Back in 1999, a lifetime ago we lived here … a farmhouse in the Mackenzie, South Island, New Zealand. On a merino farm, named The Wolds, surrounded by the Southern Alps, all for $80 a week. My love affair with New Zealand was in full swing.
Once you have lived amongst the lupins and been up close and personal with the Southern Alps it changes you and is forever in your heart.
It was a simpler, pre-kid life… We worked, we rested, we had more ‘alone time’. I was the young and enthusiastic GM of a tourism and development board for Mackenzie District Council, my second council. Mic worked in Dunedin and came up on weekends. So that was almost perfect, as Monday to Friday was my time and work time. Weekends were our time.
We earned less money. Nothing was too flash, nothing was too precious, nothing was remotely trendy. We loved it. We lived a hassle free life. We had time to sit around in wing backed chairs and read books.
We played with new born lambs in spring. In summer we sat in the sun, and in winter we hibernated in front of the fire. We walked Aoraki Mount Cook, pretending we were explorers. Aoraki was the first Maori I learnt.
When this COVID19 nonsense is over and you want to travel again, then add the Mackenzie to your list. From Fairlie in the north to Twizel in the south, it is worth your time to drop on by and stay a few nights. I will never not love this place. Once you have lived amongst the lupins and been up close and personal with the Southern Alps it changes you and is forever in your heart. I heart you Mackenzie. I am sure you will too, Le xox
My top ten kid friendly things to do in the Mackenzie are:
- Walk in the Aoraki Mount Cook National Park to the Tasman Glacier – no cost
- Star gaze at Tekapo – on your own, look up, no cost or join a tour group – $
- Visit the Church of the Good Shepard, Lake Tekapo’s iconic landmark – no cost
- View Aoraki Mount Cook from Lake Pukaki – no cost
- Eat Mount Cook Alpine Salmon straight from the source – $ but sooooo yummy
- Take a scenic flight – fixed wing or helicopter – you land and get out in the chopper – $$$
- Go grab a bike – on trail, on the back roads – cycling for all levels of skill and fitness – such an amazing way to see the countryside $ – $$
- Go have an on farm experience and meet the real kiwi high country farmer – $$
- Sit, just sit and soak in the stillness and vastness of this amazing place – no cost
- Eat, drink and be merry in the Mackenzie – so many choices, such little time – from $ to $$$ – you decide