Birthday Getaway in the South

Happy 2018 everyone! I hope you all had a restful and fruitful holiday season. I know I have been MIA but life has been a wee bit hectic. I promise to be more consistent from now on! At the end of last year, my girlfriends and I decided to sneak away to the South Island to celebrate our birthdays. Yes, we happen to have birthdays that are days apart! 

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We flew into Christchurch and drove down.  It has become another tradition to roadtrip when in the South Island. After the obligatory stop at Tekapo, mind you, it was steaming in the car, so the swim was much welcomed, we listened to Esther Perel podcasts and jammed to 90's hits all the way to Wanaka.


We decided to hike up Roy's Peak for sunrise.  It ended up being quite a strenuous hike because I forgot that I left my laptop in my camera bag (Silly, I know). We were thankful that we started with plenty of time to spare to ensure that we wouldn't miss the sunrise. The breathtaking views made the trek well worth it. Lesson learned: will make sure I don't have a stowaway laptop in my bag. Good weight training though, ha! 

We proceeded to have one of the most picturesque breakfasts I've ever had. I am confident we made everyone jealous with the smell of bacon wafting through the air so early in the morning. The descent was noticeably quicker than the ascent. I got to chatting with a Scottish guy who was on a roadie with a bunch of his mates. He regaled me with stories about his various travels which made the walk down feel a lot quicker. 


Time slowed when we arrived at the Onsen Hot Pools. We were ready to jump in and soothe our aching muscles. The session comes with a complimentary drink and snack. I opted for bubbles and ice cream. After the obligatory photos and potentially flashing some unassuming locals on the ridge, we got changed for dinner. 

Amisfield has always been a favourite vineyard of mine. After that first drop of 2014 Pinot Noir and their Brut Méthode Traditionalle 2014 hit my lips, I fell in love. To celebrate our birthdays, we opted for the 7-course "Trust the Chef" dinner . It was the ultimate winery experience. Every dish presented to us was not only aesthetically pleasing but mouth-wateringly delicious too. Amisfield surprised us with three birthday soufflés as well! We got to blow out our candles and make our wishes. After a much-needed visit to the cellar door, we headed home. 

We needed a little something to get our hearts racing with all the eating we were doing. Maureen suggested Wildwire Via Ferrata. Though I enjoy climbing I am still quite afraid of heights. "Feel the fear and do it anyway" as Em always says. We'll be coming back for the last 'pitch' of the waterfall climb that we didn't get to do! 

We made a quick pitstop at the Lavender farm stop on the way back to Christchurch. Beautiful variations of lavender, alpacas, furry cows, petanque, and giant connect four. I even got to live out my inner farm girl fantasy on this massive purple tractor! 

All in all, it was a wonderful trip! Short but sweet. Another tradition we are going to keep going ;)


Photos taken by: Maureen Placente, Emma Martin, & Margaret Ortega