▨ Jamie McHale

May 2023

South Island, New Zealand

May was the second month of our two month trip to New Zealand. I’ll post a few photos here (ones that I have already edited during the trip), and then backfill my journal with more details as I process the other 6,000 photos. I’ll edit this file to add links as I go.

We started May in Lake Hawea in the center of South Island, New Zealand. In April we travelled to Sydney and then on to New Zealand. We spent a week driving to Cromwell, a week there with Harriet’s family, and then a few days in Te Anau. So by May we were pretty tired, Jack wasn’t sleeping too well, and we needed a rest from our holiday . We decided to extend our stay in the Lake Hawea area, and ended up back at an AirBnb in Wanaka.

After Wanaka we drove up past Lake Hawea, over to the West Coast. The drive was long, but very beautiful.

Top of Lake Hawea
Top of Lake Hawea

One of my favourite parts of the trip was calling in at Ship Creek as we arrived on the West Coast. It was golden hour, with the light pouring over the crashing waves. The West Coast has drama. The waves are whipped up over the Tasman Sea and burst onto the coast. There is a constant roar. I love it here.

Harriet and Jack at Ship Creek
Harriet and Jack at Ship Creek
West Coast Waves
West Coast Waves

We stayed in Franz Josef, visiting the glaciers, Gillespies Beach and Lake Matheson.

The next stop was Punakaki, with a vist to Pancake Rocks just before sunset. We walked the Pororari River Track, and enjoyed the beautiful (albeit rainy) bush.

After the West Coast we decided to limit the number of further moves, as we wanted to get Jack more settled with his sleep. We decided on Mapua near Nelson, partially as it is a nice place to visit, and partially to chase the sunshine. We visited the Abel Tasman National Park and Kaiteriteri several times.

We spent the last night on South Island in Picton before catching the ferry back to Wellington.

We had a great time in Wellington visiting my brother and his family. It was nice to spend time with Douglas, Kate and Juniper, particularly to see Juniper adopt the role of “big cousin” to Jack. It was really important to me that Jack got to meet his extended family. The pandemic travel restrictions highlighted that you can’t take these things for granted. I was glad to have met Juniper as a new baby, and wanted to make sure the family had the same opportunity with Jack.

With thanks to Gordon, Amy and Aileen for a 40th birthday brunch voucher, which I used both for brunch and to get a sample flight of espresso and a bag of beans at The Hanger.

It was difficult to say our goodbyes and leave New Zealand. I’m sure we will be back, but I grow to love it more each time.

The last part of the trip was in Melbourne. As Hazza had previously lived there for several years there was a lot of catching up to do with old friends. Luckily, I also have an old friend in Melbourne to balance the socialising out - it was great to spend an evening with Ru talking about life down under and how raising children has been.

We ate out a lot - brunches, lunches, dinners, snacks, coffee and croissants. Melbourne is an awesome city for foodies, and it was a lovely week.

We flew back to the UK at the end of the month. 14 hours flight, 7 hours layover, and then a further 7 hours flight gave me enough time to finish James Belich’s “Making Peoples”, a history of the Maori and Paheka, the only book I managed on the entire trip.

Now we are back we are ready to throw ourselves into an Edinburgh summer. I am organising an EdinburghJS meetup on 22nd June, and will be at Pete’s founder meetup on Saturday 10th. Both Hazza and I are keen to catch up with folks, and to enjoy the rest of her maternity leave. If you want to hang out then give me a shout. I’d love to see you.

Until next month 👋