Lockdown, ahh yes, New Zealand lockdown came and cancelled many a plan. Domestic and overseas trips, gone. Time to explore in our favourite season, on hold and a whole lot of uncertainty followed. We had two nights booked in the High Country Cabin in Ohau at the start of April for a wee birthday celebration for moi. However, the country wide lockdown kicked in and kicked out all birthday plans…. BUT hail Jacinda, our team of 5 million and the bloody amazing efforts to get us out exploring quicker than we thought.
We rescheduled our cabin adventure when it was safe to do so and when we got the green light on travelling domestically, we hurled everything into the car, picked up Liss and Sam and off we went. We had the best weekend at this newfound place. Our first visit to Ohau and our first visit to the cabin. Little did we know that this cabin would play host to our wedding just 12 weeks later.
Driving back from the cabin, winding through the Lindis Pass back to Queenstown, all I could think about was how I wanted to get married there and spend our first few days as husband and wife right there, in my happy place. When we got home, I jumped on Air BnB and secured three more days. What made it more special is that Robbie was having all the same feels and he too couldn’t think of a better place to spend our wedding.
12 weeks rolled around pretty quick. Our Queenstown ceremony was done and dusted, and it was time to pack up the car once more and head back to the cabin. The drive full of excitement and when we rounded the bend on the gravel track and our beloved cabin came in to view my heart skipped a beat. I spent the first day getting everything ready. I steamed our outfits, laid out my flowers, unpacked and packed up the fridge full of champagne and cheese. Tomorrow we wed, again.
I woke to the most beautiful sunrise, the light peeking through the linen curtains where my dress was hanging. We had a pretty early start; I needed to do my own hair and make-up and get dressed before Kate arrived at 8.30am.
I was eagerly looking up the driveway when she appeared in a gust of gravel dust. After getting Robbie’s finishing touches all done up, we hung around the cabin to catch the early morning light and give the resident sheep a little bridal fashion show before heading into Mount Cook National Park.
I have so much love for this park, you know it, Aoraki knows it. In fact, I think the whole world knows how much I wish I could live here. We stopped at all the beautiful viewpoints and captured some of the most incredible photographs that I am so happy to call my own.
Our day in Mount Cook was determined by our scenic flight with the crew at The Helicopter Line. The wind had picked up and we were convinced that our flight would get cancelled. Alas, the team pulled through and before we knew it, we were in a helicopter heading up the Jollie River. It was a crazy flight, a few bumps along the way but I was so pumped on adrenaline and love I couldn’t focus on anything else.
We landed at this beautiful secluded location. An old hunting shed, a crazy blue river, mountains surrounding us and what happened to be the perfect place to say our personal vows. It really reminded me of Nepal, the landscape and the colours together. It was incredible.
We choose to keep our personal vows private and share these at Mount Cook. We walked away from everyone and faced each other again. It is truly a moment I will never, ever forget.
After 45 minutes on the ground we jumped back in the helicopter and flew back to base. We dined on Tomato Soup & hot chips from the old mountaineer’s café before heading out one last time to frolic roadside. These are some of my favouirte moments from the day. My husband, fully fed, which is always a good thing, making me laugh so hard and just have the best time.
It truly was magical from start to finish. In true alpine weather fashion, the clouds had started to roll in, so we decided to shoot out to the end of Lake Pukaki before calling it a day and heading home.
Home, back to the High Country Cabin for two days of pure bliss. We opened our cards, we drank tea, we drank a lot of champagne and we soaked up all that newly wedded bliss. The next morning, I woke up and my face was actually sore from all the laughing and smiling from the past few days and for the first time in my whole life I felt an absolute overwhelming feeling of content.
We decided to head out on our first Husband and Wife adventure to Ohau Ski field. What a day. We raced each other over new terrain, had the place pretty much to ourselves and I told the girls we just got married to which I had a HUGE slab of carrot cake in front of me. It is as if they knew that it’s my favourite.
The night rolled in with a beautiful sunset and closed what had been the best week of my whole entire life. We kind of owe it to the cabin and that first adventure out there for giving us the kick we needed to book our Elopement.
We can’t wait to return and soak up your goodness again.
All images in the latter of this blog were created by my talented friend and elopement photographer Kate Craig-Brown
You can find her work and elopement packages here.