Queenstown, New Zealand
1st July 2021

As mentioned in the previous blog, I was offered accommodation in my hotel in exchange for being a night caretaker. I decided to accept and I have been living in my new place for a month now. I feel happy and comfortable here. It's a shame that I don't get to live with my best friends anymore, but I still see them and my other close friends regularly. My new room is quite small, but for one person it's perfectly livable. There's a small kitchen, a living area with a sofa, table and chairs, and there's a bedroom with en-suite. And a king bed! It's giant!

My New Zealand adventure was originally just meant to last six months and it's coming up on two years now. It's really starting to feel like the time is right to start packing up and heading back around the Earth to the UK. Not immediately, but before 2022. I love New Zealand, I love Queenstown and I really love all the amazing people I have met here, but I also feel like my life is on hold right now. I'm happy and enjoying myself, but I'm not moving any closer to the things I want to be doing in five or ten years. Despite New Zealand's beauty I still think the UK is a beautiul country and I'm excited to be seeing more of it soon.

The beautiful New Zealand that I will brutally miss once I leave

I finally took the time to cross over from Arrowtown to Arthurs Point via Brow Peak and Coronet Peak. It must be one of my favourite trails - it follows a beautiful and hilly ridge with stunning views the whole time. There was not much snow, so the route was easily accessible and I had the most amazing day out. It was my first time up Coronet Peak and running the ski slopes was a lot of fun. Not much snow but a fair bit of ice in the top half of the ski resort.

Brow Peak's summit
From the top of Coronet Peak

After a week-long break from running due to being ill (just a medium strength cold) I headed back into the back country for another absolute stunner of a trail. The Devils Creek track was 9/10 and the Atley track was a solid 10/10! The views of the surrounding mountains are so high quality and the hills are brutal and so fun! Also, running down Skippers Road is always a delight!

Mount Dewar viewpoint on the Devils Creek track
The always stunning Skippers Road
Looking from the Atley track into Ben Lomond station
Looking down on Lake Wakatipu from Mount Dewar
Skippers Road is a public road with more risk involved than most roads...

After weeks of sleepless nights for the ski resort bigwigs, finally it was cold and there was precipitation and snow fell from the sky in bucketfulls. Queenstown was painted white! It's always nice to see the landscape and mountains covered in snow, although it's still weird to me when it snows in late June!

Snow on the Arrow Gorge track near Arrowtown

I have put together a running schedule for the rest of my time in New Zealand. It's going to be a good six months! I am running 100km in Naseby in August (and Ariana will be running her first ultra-marathon, the 50km) and then in November I'll be running the Queenstown marathon for the second time. I will be running some solo ultra-marathons too - I will fastpack from Queenstown to Bluff along Te Araroa before the Queenstown marathon and then in December I will run the Harcombe Round, a 100 mile route with 9,000 metres of vertical ascent. Lots of fun stuff to do!