It was world social media day so what better way to hang out than with a group of like minded people, on a boat at a beautiful location. We booked our tickets and I met Kate from Queenstown Insider down at Steamer Wharf. The southern discoveries boat is red and white and ready to take you over to Mt Nicolas station. Having never been out on Lake Wakatipu apart from a failed paddle board mission I was so excited. The night could not of been more perfect, still, beautiful light & a great talk planned. The boat set off and I spent most of my time outside, trying to keep hold of my hat and trying not to loose my fingers in the bitter cold. The view of Queenstown from the water is so different, it gives you a whole new perspective. The early evening light was so beautiful and I had pretty much lapped the boat about fifteen times before retiring inside to warm up.
There was a few familiar faces on the boat so it was nice to have a mingle and chat about the night. I had teamed up with Kate from Queenstown Insider, who at the time was finding her feet in the blogging/Instagram world… Look at her now, she’s on a roll! The boat slowed down as we crossed toward Mt Nicolas station, to the left was a view like no other, Mt Alfred & Glenorchy silhouetted in what made for a beautiful landscape photo. We disembarked and split into groups. First the farm tour, oh my oh my, I nearly wet my pants at the sound of this. I know that Sheep are everywhere and especially in England but I can’t help but get excited when up close to the wooly things. We watched the work Dog round the Sheep from a different paddock before being able to feed some real life Merinos Sheep. Merino wool is the best in the world and specifically comes from NZ, they were also the biggest (and greediest Sheep) I have ever seen. As everyone else walked off toward the beach side bonfire I couldn’t resist another handful of feed for the Sheep. As we stood around the fire pit, the evening light was drawing in and the sky was on fire, by fire I mean a beautiful hazy shade of pink, I had never seen a sunset like it.
Just as I thought my food was drawing nearer we were bundled into a bus for a wee drive to the top of the hill. Mt Alfred, Lake Wakatipu and the stunning mountains all in view, it was so quiet as if everyone in that moment needed nothing but that, right there.. Back to the woodshed for a beautiful fresh Venison burger and some Social Media influencers about to take the stage. Jason Charleshill & Hello Emilie talked to the crowd about their travels, images and favourite campaigns and how she managed to coin that ‘from behind’ shot you see repeated on Instagram so much (guilty myself of a back shot). Trey Ratcliffe, now if you’ve not seen his work, you need to check out his Instagram. His work sells for more than I could imagine and so they should. He has crafted his trade and produces high quality, stand out landscape images. The Legendary Bare Kiwi laid out all his tips, trials and tribulations. Not only is he a GoPro family member, huge adventurer and all round nice guy, he is one of my biggest inspirations and what he said at the end of his talk really rang true for me. He used the Maori word Turangawaewae – ‘A place not necessarily where I was born but a place, when my feet touch the ground, I feel connected to. Somewhere I feel at home’
New Zealand is mine and as I sat in an old wool shed full of creative people, I felt at home.
The evening was drawing to a close and it was nearly time to get the boat back to town, Kate and I played on the Jetty and grabbed the last few images before sailing back. Mt Nicholas station was beautiful, the night was informative and I left feeling slightly more passionate than I already am for this industry.