Most of the best times are unplanned and impossible to photograph. Yes, photos say a thousand words, but I’d like to see a poet write about how it feels to happen upon a beach campsite, gaze at the stars in the southern hemisphere all while laying next to your new fiance. I can say it was quiet. I can say it was breezy. But on our last night in New Zealand, the moment was so perfect, I couldn’t bare the thought of having to leave this beautiful place.
We just got done doing a quick exploration of the tip of the North Island with its adventurous beaches. On our way back to Auckland to catch our flight, we didn’t know where we would spend our last night. We turned at a sign “Beach Campsite”, paid a tiny fee, and saw this group of friends enjoying the sunset with a few beers and some tunes on this seemingly private beach. We were the only ones there.
We found out that they’re from Scotland and spent a few months here. What a perfectly nice time they must be having right now.
Soaking up the last sunset, there’s always that mixed feeling, “Do we really have to go?” That moment you have to leave is the moment you think about all the things you still have to learn about this country.
As the sun sets, we head back to our car. Being far away from civilization, there were no lights out here. That’s when New Zealand gave us another fabulous surprise still hidden from under its sleeve. Stargazing in the southern hemisphere! We were always staying at designated campsites with comfortable showers, bathrooms, complete kitchens, and lights down the walkways. This was the first time we stayed where those comforts were thrown out the window. The less human inventions surround us, the more we see of the beauty the Earth naturally offers!
The stars are always so beautiful, but never had I ever thought about viewing them from the south! You see a different collection of stars and the constellations are upside down! We spent all night figuring out which constellations are which! I look at him, knowing that this moment is uniquely ours, and I will remember it forever.
From now on, I will always recommend stargazing to someone who plans to travel south of the hemisphere.
Date: November 2016
Location: Uretiti Beach Campsite, New Zealand