Originally I had planned to trek into Wye Creek on my MSR snow shoes to do some ice climbing and back country stuff but unfortunately my ankle was not yet strong enough to don crampons, nor was it ready for major hikes. 

So what do you do when stuck in the South with a van full of toys and a few great mates? Why you head to NZ’s #1 playground of course…..Wanaka!

Wanaka is the one stop adventure shop where all your wilderness dreams can come to fruition. Plus it is also a sweet place to chill, party, access snow fields and even fine dine. One of Sams mates Mark operates the Oakridge Spa and resort just a few minutes out of town and insisted we leave the van for a couple of nights and stay in one of the units. We obliged 

As amazing as a van with three lads and smelly snowboard gear is, this was totally a step up! After a hard day riding there is no better way to soak your bones than this tranquil setting with the perfect combo of natural beauty and detailed craftsmanship. Oakridge

After an epic ‘rest day’ soaking in the spa, mountain biking, climbing Mt Iron and frisbee at Lake Hawea

we decided to go check out one of NZ’s finest musical talents Tiki Taane, (who is also just a mean as dude) who was performing his epic one man band set at the Water Bar in town. We hooked up with a mate of mine knows as P-Diggs 

and arrived at the gig with a belly full of Mexican and an amber hopsy smile on the dial and starting grooving. After Jimi Hendrix illegitimate kiwi son finished an incredible pre show of originally twisted covers, our taringas were blessed as Tiki treated us with melodical sweet beets that make you feel proud to be of this beautiful country. Until this happened…

Not to worry…the mike was not on but our Baywatch Duet during sound check definitely was!!

Finally a massive dump of fresh snow happened so we packed up the van and back up the mountain! Sam’s friend and particularly handy nurse/ski bunny Briar joined us for a day up Cadrona on the mission to lay some fresh tracks in the pow. 

It is always worth putting in the effort, to leave the trails and find that fresh snow (so long as you have the experience to do so) 

I cut my final run short so I could grab the van and meet the others at the bottom carpark of home run, but did not expect there to be so much extra snow on the road and only being in a 2wd..well….

Kook award….

We just made it back down in time to drop Sam off at the Airport and turn the throuple into a couple. To drown our sorrows me and Scotty just aimlessly walked around Queenstown for hours finding Pokemon till we were tired enough to brave #vanlife. 

For our final day we decided so have one last session up Remarks to make the most of more fresh powder before driving through the night to arrive at Picton just after 2am to discover our ferry was cancelled due to a truck falling off the ship! Ferry article

Scotty needed to be back by midday so I dropped him at Marlborough airport and went to visit long time S2S7 supporters Yealands Family Wines. 

I cannot describe how awesome it was to have the opportunity to say thank you to Peter Yealands face to face for what he had done for this project. I left Yealands all giddy and motivated to honour their contribution and get fit, healthy and healed up properly for the next adventure. 

I boarded the 2pm ferry and said goodbye to the South Island until next time. I was not able to do the ‘extreme’ pursuits part of this trip but I also learned that sometimes it is okay to just cruise, make friends, enjoy the surroundings and not just “live life 1/4 mile at a time” Vin Diesel 😂

A huge shoutout to Sam TheCameraman for all the epic footage (more to come), banter and hookups. Also to DJ Scotty (too hotty, lashes, Channing) Martin for the youthful enthusiasm, admin and tunes. Also thanks to Bivouac Outdoors, Yealands, Oakridge Resort, BoarderTown, AJ Hackett Bungee, The North Face, Tiki and Rach, Diggs, Mark, Briar and Jamie, Liam and Liv, Team Straya, Mal Laws, Bronny and everyone else we met on the trip! (too many sorry) 

We have the best back yard in the world people! Get amongst it! Make the most of life! Take the path less traveled! No excuses! Arohanui

Tiki, Always on my mind- Dub
Random drone crash and underwater with Tuna (NZ freshwater eels)

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