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I’m McKinley. I’m an adventurer. Photographer. Life long learner. Budgeter. Creator. Self proclaimed comedian. Dreamer. Over thinker.

This is a travel diary.

This is a love letter.  

This is me. 

My First Overnight Hike and Other Snapshots from New Zealand

My First Overnight Hike and Other Snapshots from New Zealand

New Zealand is more than just mountains. It's also beaches, and farms, and sheep, and forests, and BBQs, and (my personal favorite) REAL FRUIT ICE CREAM! But this post is mostly about hiking mountains. Will got the idea to do an overnight hike in the ranges near his home town, the Tararua Mountain Range. We "trained" for the hike by running 5K a day for a week and then carb loading the weekend before going. Amazing regimen, I know. Suffice it to say, that was not enough training. 

The hike up Mt Holdsworth isn't a particularly long one, but it is steep. We got to the top in 3.5 - 4 hours but it felt more like 14 hours. The last two hours of the hike pretty much consist of walking up stairs, a challenge I didn't quite feel prepared for. 

Once we made it to the overnight hut, we took a breather, gazed out at the clouds that surrounded us and masked our view, and ate our sandwiches before heading to the summit, which was also covered in clouds. All in all, it was a tough hike and more often than not, I was complaining. The weather wasn't on our side and as it turns out, maybe I'm not in the best shape of my life. But one thing this hike really has going for it, is the beautiful forest you get to walk through virtually the entire time. Grant it, I definitely appreciated the natural beauty more on the second day, when we were walking down hill. Will swears he'll never live anywhere where moss can grow so abundantly (not a fan of the cold or the rain), but I think it's one of the most beautiful details in nature. 

A look at Powell Hut, the accommodation at the top of Mt Holdsworth:

New Zealand has really become like a second home to me, and therefore I hardly ever take enough pictures while I'm there. Believe it or not, I tried really hard to take more photos this time (you won't believe it after seeing the few pictures I'm about to post). I know this is a bit of a scrappy post (yet again, I keep doing that!) but here are a few snapshots of my latest trip to New Zeland!

Just outside of Auckland, we were able to observe these Gannets in their natural habitat. The sheer numbers were astounding and the smell was pretty unbelievable as well.

For me, New Zealand has almost become synonymous with "Farm Life." I love seeing the animals and "helping out" wherever I can, which usually means standing on the sidelines and trying to not get run over by sheep. Feeding the pigs was a highlight for me this trip, although I'm not so sure how I feel about bacon now.

Beach life on the Coromandel, featuring my favorite cider of all time, Old Mout.



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Road Tripping Australia's East Coast

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