Mountaineer Lydia Bradey on being made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit

Lydia Bradey.
Lydia Bradey. Photo credit: Facebook

The first woman to climb Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen says her New Zealand Order of Merit came as a complete surprise.

Lydia Bradey was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit on Tuesday and she says the win left her "jawdropped".

"I was jawdropped and then I was very honoured," she told Newshub.

Bradey is the only New Zealander who has climbed Everest without additional oxygen - but she says adventuring wasn't always in her blood.

"I started off really bad at sports and and really stressed, and then I ended up working as a mountain and ski guide and adventuring in a world outside of my comfort zone and excelling at that - that's what I'm proud of," she said. 

Her advice for other Kiwis interested in adventuring is to respect nature.

"Love and respect nature, because it is a lot more complex than us with our fancy cellphones and our digital technology - it's a wonderful thing, nature."