Day 315 in New Zealand: My First Camping Trip and an Amazing Hike

It has been a big year…we’ve moved countries, we’ve traveled, we’ve started a garden, we’ve taken up mountain biking, but there was one more thing I wanted to do before we wrapped up 2017…CAMPING!

That’s right, we went camping! Yours truly…New York City Girl…this just goes to show you that one should never say never. A year ago there was no way I would have ever even considered the idea of camping. However, camping is rather popular in New Zealand, particularly during the summer holidays which happens to be in December and January. I decided I should give it a try…when in Rome and all. So off we went to Craigieburn Forest Park for one night away camping.

When we arrived at the campsite, we claimed our spot as it is quite busy this time of year and set up our tent before heading off for a hike.

Redd and Chloe were unsure about these sleeping arrangements

As if camping wasn’t enough of a challenge to wrap up the year, we also decided to do a 1256 meter (4,120 feet) climb at Helicopter Hill. And yes, Redd and Chloe did the hike too and they loved running and sniffing their way along the trail.

The thing about hiking, particularly a tall climb on a hot day, you start to wonder why on earth you decided to put yourself through this and you contemplate turning back. However, the trick is to keep pushing forward because I don’t think I have done a hike yet where I pushed myself to the top and regretted it…the views make it so worthwhile. Here is the 4,000 ft view…

After the hike, we headed back to the campsite with much apprehensions on my part…

To my surprise, camping wasn’t as terrible as I thought it would be. Sleeping in a tent is pretty comfortable. Prepping meals out in the open, playing games, and chatting the evening away was all fun. The fact that NZ does not have any snakes, poisonous or predatory animals definitely makes camping more enjoyable. My biggest gripe with camping is the bathroom situation. So all in all, camping is not my favorite thing but it is something I plan to and look forward to doing a few times a year and at least for now I will stick to one night trips…baby steps.

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year full of adventure!


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