Free spirited Lucinda’s love affair with New Zealand

The MAFS favourite brings her positive vibes to Aotearoa, a place that has captured her heart
Images: Robert Trathen

When Woman’s Day chats to Married At First Sight Australia star Lucinda Light the week before her arrival in New Zealand, we’re delighted to find she’s her usual authentic self.

“My voice is a bit tough and husky today,” she says. “I’ve had a weekend dancing in the bush!”

The 43-year-old lives life large and loud, which – to her surprise – is part of the reason she’s become a MAFS fan favourite.

“It’s unbelievable how many people watch this show,” laughs Lucinda. “It’s a bit of a change going out in public now, but for me, it’s more love exchange, more opportunities to say hello and meet new people. That’s beautiful.”

And once she lands in Auckland for our photoshoot in the Viaduct, her experience is no different. “I’m having a ball,” she says. “It’s been such a hoot today.”

Lucinda is dressed by Cazinc The Label.

But Lucinda is familiar with the friendly Kiwi way of life. This is her third visit to Aotearoa. The first time, in 2012, she spent six months hitchhiking around the country on her own.

“I lived in the Coromandel for a while in a beautiful community out in the wilderness. I also lived with a herbalist in Nelson and a builder in Raglan. I don’t think I’ve ever been anywhere more beautiful.”

Since then, she’s returned periodically, to get in touch with what she calls “her tribe”.

“I’ve had incredible experiences in your country,” she gushes. “I just love it. One really wild thing I did was go on a hike just outside of Queenstown. A gorgeous friend of mine wanted to get married on top of a mountain in some natural hot springs. So the whole wedding party went up there, we all got naked, and I married her and her partner naked in the hot spring!”

It’s Lucinda’s loving, carefree nature that caught the eye of MAFS Australia casting agents. Though appearing on a reality show was the last thing on her mind, she decided to dive headfirst into it after finding herself at a crossroad.

“I was living in Byron Bay and was ready for a quantum leap. The ad flashed across my screen and it just made sense to apply in that moment.”

The next thing she knew, she was thrust into the spotlight and matched with someone very different from her usual type, Timothy Smith, 51.

“It was definitely a very challenging situation,” she says. “Unrequited love is never easy and so it was just putting on my big-girl pants and going, ‘Alright, I’m very acquainted with my soul and I know who I am.’ I had to trust myself, and not buy into the rejection and thinking it’s personal. Tim is such a legend and so worth the challenge, though.”

From a breakdown to bliss, Lucinda’s taking her MAFS marriage to Timothy in her stride.

But the speed-dating business owner hasn’t always been so understanding. It’s only in the past five years that she’s learned to find peace.

“Five years ago, I had a nervous breakdown,” shares Lucinda. “I tumbled out of a four-year relationship that I loved so much. It was my choice to leave, but then I severely hurt my back.”

Lucinda was hospitalised and ended up spending eight months bedridden, when she quickly went from riches to rags.

“I was doing very well at the time and the next minute, I’m on government money and it was just awful,” she recalls. “It took me quite a few years to extract myself from that victim space, of just feeling like my whole life had collapsed.

“The last couple of years, I’ve been healing in the Northern Rivers [by Byron]. I alchemised that breakdown into something that I feel good about.”

Lucinda believes it was this journey that prepared her for the crazy ride that is reality television.

“I’ve had way bigger challenges to beat than being on MAFS,” she smiles.

“And I suppose that’s only something living a courageous life can lead you to. Of course, sometimes doubts still come up. But I suppose just having peace in all the hardships, trusting them that they’ve got a job, that you’ve got an opportunity to learn and grow. That’s what the last couple of years have taught me.”

Throughout her life, Lucinda has had a range of romantic experiences, but none quite like her relationship with Timothy, though she’s not giving too much away.

“I’ve had these beautiful sabbaticals and chapters with gorgeous humans,” she reflects. “I’ve dated a woman, I’ve tried polyamorous relationships and it’s been amazing.”

When asked whether she thinks the judges made a good point when they asked Tim, “Is there anyone else better equipped to deal with your flaws than Lucinda?” she answers in the most Lucinda fashion possible.

“Look, I mess up all the time, but that’s part of life,” she says. “Looking back on my failings, I like to believe it’s all part of the divine orchestration which has made me who I am today – that I can hold my sacred ground.”

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