1 - Arthur's Pass, New Zealand

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Foreword

I’ve finally decided to let my creative side take full control, not only through my images but with my words as well, hence my new blog. Thank you for taking the time to read my very first post, I hope you enjoy this and what is to follow.

- Billy.

Lately I’ve felt a little trapped, you see I don’t cope well being stuck in a city for a prolonged period of time. Thankfully the opportunity for me to get back into the mountains with new found friends Yann and Coco came up when it did; nothing relieves stress and declutters my brain like time away in nature and thanks to Trekker Adventures I’d be doing just that in one of my favourite places in New Zealand, the overwhelmingly beautiful Arthur’s Pass.

Less than two hours from my front door, Arthur’s Pass is the source of my passion for photography. I recall just over two years ago wandering through mountains surrounding Castle Hill at sunrise, I was left speechless by the way the golden light crawled across the crisp winter landscape causing the frozen planation to give off steam, hearing the native birds come to life in a resounding chorus, the smell of the fresh alpine wind and the feeling of dawns first light caressing my skin. Perhaps I’m romanticising it a little, it was -3°C and my legs were crying in agony but that couldn’t take away from the beauty of the occasion. This is where my love for nature took hold, this is where the roots of my desire to become a photographer were planted and now, revisiting this place has invoked my inclination to start writing.

Building up to our weekend away, the weather looked a little rough with heavy rain, high winds and even snow predicted throughout the Southern Alps during the weekend but this didn’t act as a deterrent, far from it in fact. For those who don’t know, the most detrimental aspect of photography is the light, the best light comes at the start and end of everyday as the sun casts long shadows across the landscape with both blue and golden hues. During the middle of the day the light is hard to work with particular on beautiful clear days, its flat and harsh which takes away any drama and power that the image could of had, thick cloud, rain and snow cut out the harsh light you get at midday and provide an even ambient light that is beautiful to take photographs in which is why, despite the fact we’d be cold and wet, we were growing more and more excited with each passing day.

This was Yann and Coco’s first time to Arthur’s Pass, Yann is fresh off the plane from France, he’s here to travel around New Zealand during the warmer months of the year into early winter while Coco has done just that and leaves for Germany in less than a week. I take great pleasure in showing people new places, watching them take it all in for the first time is a joy to watch in itself and is as close as I’ll ever get to seeing the place for the first time again, it reiterates the point that I’m so lucky to have somewhere so beautiful so easily accessible.

Getting to Arthur’s Pass from Christchurch is a fairly simple task, you make your way to State Highway 73 and follow it West. SH73 takes you across the Canterbury Plains all the way to the base of the Southern Alps before you begin the ascent into the mountains themselves. Immediately we were greeted with incredible dense fog that really set off the trip on the right foot, definitely a case of start as you mean to go on. The weather remained relentlessly moody throughout the weekend, dream like conditions if you ask me!

You have the ability to feel completely secluded from the real world in Arthur’s Pass, perhaps thats why I love the place so much, despite the fact it has a highway connection the East and West there was barely a soul to be seen. We nestled into the mountains, next to lakes and in secluded forests with the entire place to ourselves. Even after days of exploring up the areas many hidden roads and tracks we’d barely scratched the surface, perhaps thats why I love revisiting this place so much, to see old favourites and have completely new experiences while I’m at it.

One thing that I really appreciate were the people I shared the journey with, two weeks ago we’d never communicated with one another and now I consider both of them live long friends. I guess thats one thing I really love about social media is the like minded people you come across, people who otherwise you’d have never met. 

I’ll be coming up with a list of my five favourite places in Arthur’s Pass so subscribe if you don’t want to miss out on that, a big thank you to Trekker, Yann and Coco for making that incredible weekend all come together. Until next time!

Trekker Adventures - www.instagram.com/trekkeradventures
Yann - www.instagram.com/yann_b
Coco - www.instagram.com/iamthefatbaby

Thank you to everyone who made it this far, I hope you enjoyed my first blog entry even if it was a short one! I hope you stick around as I share more of my adventures, tips and tricks. Have a great day!

- Billy