A few weeks ago, heading into the wilderness to wait out the global pandemic seemed like the most logical thing to do. Instead, full lockdown restricting access to wilderness and recreation, challenged even the strongest of wills. And like that of the great depression era, which drove people to dream of wild and unspoilt places, we too were longing for the back country, yearning for adventure.
However, amidst the crazy storm like no other, comes a moment of calmness. A time to think, reflect, and reconnect with loved ones. Living on the flanks of Fiordland National Park in the beautiful township of Te Anau, there is the constant reminder the mountains are eternal, graceful and predictable, a perfect juxtaposition in a rapidly changing world. A metaphor for the patience needed before we can unrestrictedly partake in outdoor adventures. From kayaking, to hiking the awesome trails, getting the boat out and sailing the coast, we are spoilt for unspoilt places, to get our fix and be grounded in the wilderness.
In our moments of quiet, we’ve been pouring over topo maps finding new features and interesting spots to explore; daydreaming about adventures in Fiordland National Park. We love spending time in Dusky Sound - an outdoor adventure playground. There are many places to kayak in sheltered bays, walk in the historic footsteps of early explorers, hike up the ridges to capture long vistas out over the fiord and enjoy the vast waterways by sail. And we never tire of dolphins dancing the bow wave of the Breaksea Girl!
We are equally excited about our next opportunity to venture beyond Milford Sound into other stunning Northern Fiords. The Irene River in Charles Sound hosts an awesome day hike up the valley with great waterfalls and plenty of eels to spend time feeding; a perfect spot to recharge in nature.
And as we all head into unknown territory, the realisation we have a unique opportunity to cut fresh tracks in approaching how we enjoy our stunning National Parks and wild places comes to play. We have a lot of mahi to do, however one thing is certain in this uncertain future; that spending time in the outdoors has never been more important than now. It brings about balance, a fresh perspective, sparks innovation and promotes a strong sense of wellbeing.
The Mountains endure, watch over us, and will welcome us back when we can break free of our bubbles and reconnect with the wild. How ready are you for your dose of the wild?
- Fiona Lee