Sophie and Robbie

Sophie and Robbie's Engagement in Mout Cook National Park, New Zealand

How We Met

Five years ago I jumped on a cruise around the Sydney Harbour for a girlfriends birthday. I was visiting Sydney at the time with a friend and was soon to leave back for the UK. Robbie happened to be at the same party and by the end of the night we had separated from the group and spent the whole time getting to know each other. The next day we had Fish and Chips and a failed surf lesson. We only saw each other once more at a big dinner where 16 people attended, Robbie’s brother sat between us the whole night and we tried again to chat.

We said our goodbyes and I left for the UK. As soon as I got back to Sheffield, something didn’t feel right, I knew I wanted to be with Robbie. Confiding in my Dad and my best friend they both said well if you don’t go you will never know. I stayed in the UK for 4 weeks, speaking to Robbie every day, we were even setting alarms so we could catch each other due to the time difference.

I booked my flights without a second thought, packed up my life and flew to Australia. Sure as he said, Robbie was there waiting for me in the arrivals hall, with a huge surprise. He had bought and renovated a VW camper van while I was in the UK so we could road trip around Australia together. I had just landed into the arms of my dream man, I still pinch myself today.

The crazy thing is that I moved straight into his apartment which meant getting to know each other was on quick time, we used to play this game called question time and download all information about each other on long drives to beaches around the country. Within a week I was his girlfriend and the rest is history.

Five years later we have moved to Queenstown, New Zealand as residents of NZ and are now planning our dream wedding in the mountains.

I think we are the perfect example of you don’t know until you try, well we tried it and it was the best decision I ever made.

How They Asked

We are huge hikers and spend our weekends getting lost in the hills around the South Island of New Zealand. This weekend Robbie told me it was his turn to plan the adventure. We packed the car up with all our camping gear and a bag full of clothes and off we went. I was blissfully unaware of what was going on or where we were going until we hit the road to Mount Cook National Park, my favorite place in New Zealand/the world.

Excited that we were going to be hiking here, I let Robbie take the lead and pick the track. He had chosen Red Tarns, a steady 1.5-hour climb to the top with perfect views of Mount Cook. We were blessed with the most beautiful day. Bags packed, we set off on the track. As we reached the summit you walk around a boardwalk to a bench and then back down the track.

Robbie darted off the track and started to make his way up the hill, I followed as he thought it would be great for photos. I’m a photographer so thought nothing of it and followed him to the photo spot he had chosen. We set the camera up and I walked away to get that classic girl from behind photo with my favorite mountain in the background.

When he told me he had finished taking photographs he started to say a little speech he had prepared and when I turned around he was on one knee, beaming at me with the most beautiful smile on his face. I screamed, cried and hugged him so hard I thought he was going to pop. After a lot of screaming and hugging and more crying, I finally said yes and we both felt like we were on cloud 9.

What I didn’t know if that he had set my Go Pro up and recorded the whole thing (however I’m keeping that to myself) We took some more photos and when I had composed myself started walking back down the track.

I was under the impression we were camping, which would have been perfect. However my now sneaky Fiance had booked a room at The Hermitage in Mount Cook national park, it was very fancy and so romantic. The hotel asked if we wanted to book a table at the hotel for a celebratory dinner. I politely declined and opted for Pizza and beer with my love, looking over the mountain that he knows I love the most.

We spent the night blissfully happy calling friends and family in the UK while watching the sunset on the most perfect day. It was so unapologetically us, it couldn’t have been more perfect. When we returned to Queenstown, one of my best friends shot the most gorgeous engagement photos for us so we could share our news with all our friends and family. I will treasure them forever.

Proposal Ideas Mout Cook National Park, New Zealand

Special Thanks

Kate Craig-Brown
 | Photographer