Will & Bear x Driza-Bone 8 Days in NZ.
We teamed up with Driza-Bone and set off on an 8 day trip with our teams through the everchanging landscape of New Zealand. Set amongst the rugged terrain of the south island we explored this dreamy destination in everything from rain and gale-force winds to sunny skies and sun showers. This was a trip to remember.
From the minute we arrived until the moment we left, we were in total awe of the place. Being welcomed by (our personal tour guide) Stefan, and jumping in the back of his 1973 Land Rover, we got the full tour of Queenstown and its surroundings.
Each day brought a totally new adventure, starting with a team brekkie, a fuel up on coffee and a rough plan for the day ahead. We’d pack the car of everything we needed, piled in and hit the road. But the beauty of travelling with a team of born travellers, was that by midday, the ‘original plan’ would be diverted with impromptu plans to go here, turn there or climb that!
Each mission had to begin with location scouting and, if you’ve never been to NZ, there is no ‘wrong turn’. Every dirt road, short cut, or dead-end is surrounded by insane surroundings, whether it be snow-capped mountains in the distance or a river running through. And so a lot of our trips, we choose the wrong turns over google maps any day!
Unfortunately we can’t give away all of the locations (that would make for some very grumpy locals) and we like to respect and preserve these beautiful untouched places, but we will tell you how much fun we had! Through a few water crossings in Peanut, we found a spot nearby to set up camp, prepare and cook a stew and relax with front-row views of the valley.
In true New Zealand fashion, it rained most days so we found it hard to get any hikes done until one day there was a gap in the clouds and we decided (super last minute) to fang it up the hill, crossing our fingers and toes that it wouldn’t start pouring rain again. We got pretty damn lucky! The feeling of reaching the top as a team and watching Matty and Stefan froth out over frames and shots from that height overlooking the entire valley below was a special moment.
For the last few nights, we’d found an old hunters shack set deep within a secluded valley built from nothing but timber and tin and took some time to disconnect from ‘real-life’. No reception, no wifi and just enough power to turn on a few light switches, we built fires inside and out, cooked a big stew over the outdoor fire pit, played rounds of Pictionary and star-gazed at night in the outdoor fire baths. This was living!
We dubbed this quaint little shack “The Ranch” and quickly adapted to ranch life, taking on alter egos and finding ourselves way too funny! But it was here that we all felt the most at home and where ‘team’ turned into ‘family’ working all together to cook breakfast, lunch, and dinner, clean up and swap stories around the campfire. This was the highlight of the trip, a reminder of why our brands exist and how important the outdoors are to us.
Goodbyes suck and the last day was upon us so as we all packed up our gear, we shared highlights of the trip and belly laughed at all the silly, outlandish, accidental moments that were pure gold. As we all headed to the airport and finally parted ways, the trip home was a time of reflection and we came to this: The outdoors are pivotal for us as humans and as a brand, we exist to inspire a life lived outdoors and everything we do stems from those moments connecting to our natural world.
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