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Monday, March 11, 2019

New Zealand Travelogue | Explore Life Luxury Camping

One of the things I was most excited about on our trip was Glamping. Glamping, or Glamourous Camping, is actually something I've always wanted to try and when I found out that NZ had it I literally begged Brandon to allow us to give it a try. 

The campsite we picked was the Mt Gold Camp which was for couples although they do have other campsites for families as well. The campsite was off road so we had to drive down an unmarked lane, met up with Amy (our host) who brought us to the little parking area (there's no actual parking, we kind of just drove through a gate that marked the spot as private property and parked behind a bush to block the car from sight).

Then, we proceeded a strenuous hike up the hill to our campsite. Now, this hike isn't for anyone. Brandon is a pretty fit guy, being a regular in the army and all, and while I'm not the fittest, I can easily do 5-6h hikes, no problem. The hike up wasn't the longest but boy was it steep af. I was wheezing and heaving my way up and had to stop every couple of steps because we were lugging our overnight stuff with us as well. There wasn't an actual path up the hill as well, so make sure to wear proper foot wear to ensure you don't slip down the hill. Also, do pack an over night back because there's no way you can drag your luggage to the campsite. I know you can't actually see how steep the slopes were but trust me, they aren't for the faint hearted.

The views on the way up were amazing though.

Because it was autumn, the sun sets pretty early so around 5ish, it started getting really dark. The good thing is that there is zero light pollution there so the star gazing we did at night was amazing. The down side of that is that if you have night blindness like I do, it was really hard to navigate around the campsite at night. There are little solar-powered lamps all around but the light they gave off just wasn't enough so I resorted to using my phone's torch light.

We stayed the night in the cutest tent which looks like nothing much in the photo above but you'll get to see the interior later on.

There were 2 little tents, one for showering and one for, well, peeing and pooping so you don't have to shower in public or dig a hole in the ground for your business. You get some really good views while you're doing your business though hehe.

There's a little barbecue area where you can either choose to buy your own food and barbecue it or to opt for their hamper basket where the hosts pack food for your to cook at night, and for breakfast the next day. Because we were lazy, we literally had cup noodles for dinner because they were the easiest, most fuss-free way to go.

On the night we spent there, the winds were extremely strong so we really didn't spend a lot of time outside. It took us nearly 15 minutes to boil a kettle of water so on hindsight, we definitely made the right choice in not packing food and doing a full barbecue.

The little outdoor washing area.

The interior of the tent is pretty cosy and had almost every thing we needed. We had torch lights, a full cooking set if we wanted to cook, water, tea, coffee, magazines, board games, towels, and they even provided us with outdoor blankets if we wanted to sit outside and stargaze.

The bed had heavy duty blankets as well and if the wind wasn't that strong and chilly, it would have been a pretty pleasant stay. The wind actually kept us up pretty late into the night and there were times I woke up in fear that the tent would be blown off with us inside, insane I know but it was that strong.

We actually did spend some time star gazing the the it was amazing to do so. In Singapore, we never get to see any stars except the brightest ones (or satellites lol) but there we could see so many, and as far as the eye could see.

Unfortunately I'm not the best at photography so I didn't manage to capture any photos of them but hey, at least I did get a photo of the moon.

The next morning I took a couple of photos of the campsite so you can see it properly in the bright day light.

All in all, it wasn't a bad stay but it wasn't all I expected it to be, although it is of no fault to the campsite. We stayed there at the end of April so the weather was pretty cold and I don't do well in cold (and windy) weather. If the weather was warmer, I think we would enjoy the experience a lot better. Would I recommend this campsite, definitely, but do be sure to pack light and be prepared for the steep hike up.

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