01 June, 2023

Adventures in Paradise

2023 Edition

Adventures in Paradise

As the silly season for photography, retreats, and coaching comes to an end, my wee family and I eagerly anticipate our annual trip to the backcountry. A serene place known as Paradise, located just beyond Glenorchy, near Queenstown, has become our sanctuary for the past three years. This haven provides us with the perfect opportunity to detox from the constant screens, Wi-Fi, cell phones, and never-ending workload that consumes our daily lives. For a blissful span of ten days, it's just us - my scruffy Dutchman, our two scruffy pups, and me.

Our home away from home during these ten days is Dolan's Hut. This cozy refuge offers us a respite from the hectic outside world, complete with a crackling fire, a small lounge area, and a comfortable bed setup. An outdoor kitchen and a delightful outdoor bath add a touch of luxury to our rustic retreat. And let's not forget the "loo with a view" - a humorous feature that never fails to bring a smile to our faces.

With each passing year, this trip becomes even more cherished, engrained within the fabric of our lives. In June 2023, we embarked on our most recent adventure and were met with a breathtaking winter wonderland. The area had recently been blanketed in a thick layer of snow, transforming it into a scene straight out of a fairytale. The warmth of the fire and the soothing embrace of the bath allowed us to enjoy the ethereal beauty of our surroundings while keeping comfortably snug.

Our days were filled with long walks around the Paradise Trust property, as we immersed ourselves in the untouched wilderness. Admittedly, we might have gotten lost once, entangled in the awe-inspiring landscapes that surrounded us. But such moments only added to the sense of adventure and allowed us to stumble upon hidden treasures. It was during these times that we truly appreciated the opportunity to disconnect from our digital devices and reconnect with ourselves and each other. It was also a great test for our relationship, apparently we handle stressful situations very well together. lol.

Landscape photography became a natural extension of our immersion in nature. Capturing the stunning scenery that unfolded before us felt both therapeutic and invigorating. It is a reminder of the creative element of my work, which sometimes gets lost in the hustle of the busy season. The sparkle of sunlight on every snow-covered leaf and blade of grass gave the impression that the fairies themselves were alive and communicating through a secret language only they understood. The sense of magic in the air was simply undeniable.

In addition to photography, I found solace in the peacefulness of meditation and the escapism of reading. These activities allowed me to delve deeper into my own thoughts and emotions, uncovering newfound perspectives and tapping into wellsprings of creativity. This time in Paradise becomes a catalyst for personal growth and introspection, as we shed the weight of our everyday responsibilities and simply allow ourselves to be.

As we packed our bags and bid farewell to Dolan's Hut, we carried with us the memories of this extraordinary experience. A beautiful fiery sunrise sent us off that final morning. The digital detox, the connection with nature, and the valuable time away from the demands of work had rejuvenated our spirits. Our annual pilgrimage to this winter wonderland, to our personal piece of paradise, had reminded us of what truly matters - family, love, adventure, magic, simplicity, and the beauty that lies within the natural world.

So, until the next time we venture into the backcountry, we hold onto the photographs, the cherished moments, and the lessons learned during our time away. Knowing that Paradise will always welcome us with open arms, ready to transport us to a world where the only thing that matters is the serenity found amidst the snow-capped mountains and the whispers of the fairies & elves in the wind.

Already eagerly anticipating our next trip come 31st May!

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Venue: Paradise Trust

If you want to experience the magic & rustic beauty of Paradise, I highly recommend booking into one of their huts for a few nights! It's also an amazing place to get married or celebrate a special event. 10/10


Kassandra Lynne Photography

Frosty Natives
Hot Tub
Mountain Range