Gday! / by Joe McCarthy

Welcome to my blog! This is the perfect time to start sharing more than my photographic work with you. In July I returned to the UK after travelling Australia and New Zealand, before heading to the wilds of the Scottish North-West for a month of hiking in September. I am feeling fresh and inspired by the beauty of the outdoors. 

My time in Australia was spent doing typically Aussie activities: watching cricket, drinking tinnies and sunning it on the beaches. After 2 months in Sydney with my family I took the hop over the Tasman Sea to Queenstown; where I spent a couple of weeks hitchhiking to the various trailheads of Mount Aspiring National Park. This was what I'd come for! And so after relying on Kiwi good-will I purchased my own car, so as to access the most remote areas of NZ with a certain degree of comfort and flexibility. 

The road was however just half of the journey. I will be sharing a selection of my favourite hikes with you in the coming months, as well as some other hill and mountain routes that I have undertaken in the UK as part of the training for my Mountain Leader Award.

What next? For the winter months I plan on taking a few multi-day trips into Snowdonia where I will be testing new cold weather clothing and equipment. All in preparation for the next big one: a 7 day snowshoeing trek into the Cairngorm winter and its mountain bothies. But more about that another time...

A worthwhile stop near Arthurs Pass whilst driving the West Coast Road. The drive is one of New Zealand's most spectacular and is one of only a few paved roads to link the west and the east coast of the South Island. Mountain views are in abundance here with the Southern Alps surrounding!

A worthwhile stop near Arthurs Pass whilst driving the West Coast Road. The drive is one of New Zealand's most spectacular and is one of only a few paved roads to link the west and the east coast of the South Island. Mountain views are in abundance here with the Southern Alps surrounding!