Having tried and tested the old ‘face your fears, live your dreams’ adage and found it a good ‘un, Cath Simard and Andrew Hardy want to spread their message far and wide: ‘This is your life and you only have one, so make the most of it.’


The Pursuit of a Passion


It all started with a simple phone call – the classic cold call.

One evening, as per usual, I was scrolling through my social feed and saw that Cath Simard was in New Zealand.

I’d followed Cath’s work on Instagram for a few years and had such a strong connection with the words, images and feelings she produced and pushed out into the world. The way she talked about life, adventure and the challenges that go along with them just kept me thinking each and every time I saw one of her images.

I thought ‘Bugger it, I’m going to call her.’

Within a matter of hours I had Cath on FaceTime from my home in Melbourne. We instantly connected, chatting about hiking, adventure and the possibility of myself heading over to join her on a whirlwind 10-day adventure around the South Island of New Zealand. The idea was to make a short film about the trip and ultimately what makes Cath tick and what keeps her pushing deeper into the wilderness to capture the truly incredible landscapes that she does.

Just a few very short weeks later I was off, on the plane from Tullamarine airport and headfirst into an adventure with a fellow photographer whose work I had admired and followed for years.

I flew into Christchurch airport and was detained by border security for the first time ever for about 2 hours — questioned about everything, cameras pulled apart. I was accused of ill intentions and interrogated about why I was meeting up with a girl that I met online, with a roll of duct tape in my bag (the best photographer and filmmaker asset, am I right?)!

Needless to say it was a rocky start to the trip and man, getting out of that room and seeing Cath was a big relief. We started our adventure south.

Over the next 10 days we road tripped down to Milford Sound, camped beside lakes, ate Vegemite sandwiches, took a helicopter tour from Queenstown and had an awesome time in our 4WD rooftop camper.


Cath and I forged an awesome friendship that lead us to creating this piece, where we’re able to share a message that we both hope inspires others to get outside, go on any sort of adventure and just create something to share with the world.

I urge you to do the same — make the cold call, reach out to that person whose work or words you keep coming back to.

Take the leap.

All photos by Cath Simard @mydetoxtravel

This project happened with the support of Heli Tours Queenstown and Off Track Rentals, it was a completely self-funded film that Cath and I created to spread a message and a vision of living life to the fullest — especially in the outdoors.