This past weekend we took a 7-hour drive down south from Christchurch to Queenstown. We had a wedding to go to which would span three days, so we were down south for five days.
We arrived in Queenstown – an alpine/lake tourist destination – in the late afternoon and were thankful for some good rest at a motel. The next morning we took an hour-and-a-half journey further south of Queenstown around the lake to Glenorchy, and then another half hour drive up a long gravel road.
I found a few photos that do better justice to this stunning place than I ever could (though I will be putting some personal ones up on Instagram over the next few days with some more thoughts about our holiday).
My husband’s longest friend was getting married in a very out-of-the-way off-grid farm where some of The Lord of the Rings and Narnia movies were made. It was absolutely stunning to say the least. We stayed in a one-room cabin that had no electricity, only a coal-range for heating, and a long-drop toilet out in a shed. It was eye-opening for the children to say the least!
The cabin on the left is the one we stayed in. If you click on the ‘source’ link above, it will take you to the site of the place where we were. I so recommend it if you are ever that way down south in New Zealand. The people who run the Trust are friendly, caring, and don’t mind a four-year-old girl following them as they feed their animals.
It was great living like this even just for a few days as it added real-life understanding to so many things we have learned in all our homeschooling so far: how people lived long ago, how much we depend on electricity each day, and how much we love warm heaters! It is quite cold down south, even this early in Autumn, and the cabin overnight got very chilly! We wore many layers until about lunch, when the sun got too warm, and we were back to summer clothes.
After the wedding was finished, we left back for Queenstown for one more night and then drove the seven hours back home today. It is a long drive, but so beautiful. My heart was filled with thankfulness to God many times – not just for His creative beauty and artistic work, but also His goodness to our family.
I also wanted to add how incredibly grateful I am that we are homeschooling. I love the freedom it gives us to not only go somewhere, but that in becoming a homeschool mother and learning all about how children grow and learn, I see them soaking up all the things we have seen, done, and experienced. I see all the connections that are linking up in their mind to things we have talked about. I see their minds awake and thriving. I see the impact these two little ones have on other people and their perception of homeschooling. And I love, love, love that we can do this life together and that there is no separation between our family life and their educational life. It is so beautiful.