Shift south the right move

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2Leaving Auckland’s thriving city life for the peace and quiet of the Waitaki district is the right decision as far as Karen Legg is concerned.
She took ownership of the Waitaki Waters Holiday Park north of Oamaru in mid-November after she decided to opt for a quieter life than the one she was living in the country’s largest city.
Ms Legg, who has a background in the fitness and recreation industry that dates back to the mid-1980s, was working for the YMCA managing recreation centres before she decided to pack up and head south.
She has links to the North Otago area – her grandmother, Mary Harney, lived at Windsor.
“I suppose it’s been a bit of a journey,” she said.
“I needed a change and it took me a few years to decide what that would be. I like the location of the place here. It’s close to Central (Otago) and there’s a wilderness-y feeling down here.
“I wanted something a little different and it’s a lifestyle thing – I wanted somewhere with a bit of land where I could have an income as well.”
Ms Legg said “things have changed” in Auckland that had affected her lifestyle.
“We lived near a forest and access to it had been very limited, so that impacted my leisure time and there were other reasons too.”
She said in the short time she’d been in the south, she had grown to appreciate the climate, handy access to the beach and conservation areas in the district.
“I like the outdoors, and Oamaru seemed to tick all the boxes.
“I do feel like I’m on holiday. I was driving 80km a day to work, so it’s good to be able to walk out the gate.”
She was pleased with how business had gone so far, and expected it to only get busier as the summer holiday season drew closer.
“It’s been good. The people are lovely and I enjoy talking to the tourists about where they’re going and where they’ve gone. It’s just so relaxed and everybody says it’s nice and quiet, and peaceful.”
Ms Legg planned to improve the fencing at the holiday park to create a dog run for visiting pooches and her own dog, Jai-Jai, to enjoy.
She also had two horses.
“I might look to do some horse trekking, but I need to know where I can get into first.”
While Ms Legg admitted she was “still learning the ropes”, she was comfortable with her decision to relocate to the Waitaki district.
“I think I’ve made the right decision … it’s a big move.”