Adventure Magazine Feb 2020


Issue #218 - The Escape Issue
Immerse yourself in adventure, active travel, products, gear and more.















NZ $10.90 incl. GST

we ARE tramping

Tramping on Mt Howitt, Hooker Range, high above the Landsborough Valley

Photo: Mark Watson / Highluxphoto

Whether it’s a day trip with the family or a multi-day adventure deep into the wilderness, Bivouac has the best gear,

from the top brands, to keep you safe, comfortable, warm and dry. Our friendly staff are happy to provide expert

advice, ensuring you get the right equipment and the right fit. If you need it for tramping, we have it, because at

Bivouac Outdoor we ARE tramping.





the simple art of travel

Enjoying the

sunset and

a cold one

at Badlands

National Park,

South Dakota

Morgan Massenn Redbull Illume entry 2019

Image courtesy Redbull Content Pool

I am sitting writing this at Auckland airport. The loudspeaker is calling for some

unpronounceable names that are ‘keeping others waiting and the unload procedure is

underway’. – That is such a passive aggressive statement - trying to use other 'passengers’

anger to move you along.

Most of the people you see at the airport are slightly stressed. Mothers with babies, teenagers

walking around in a confused state, older people in that same airport ‘Where am I supposed

to be?’ fog. People are wandering around in 'comfortable clothes', actually some look like their

PJs. There are people with cushions wound around their neck and others already sleeping on

the floor.

I have already picked up a passport and boarding pass and handed it to the barman – yep

it’s 10.45 am and I am having a beer. It's a bit like; if you are at the airport, all those standard

rules go out the window. That is what travel does and we are not even out of the airport yet!

Travel opens up so many doors, apart from just the bar. No one knows me here, no one can

judge me for having a beer at 10.45am, or that the lady next to me is in her pyjamas with eye

covers on her head and a mickey mouse pillow. It seems that once people are on the road

to somewhere all those conventions that hold us back seem to go out of the window and the

simple process of travel to anywhere creates a feeling of freedom, from rules, from convention,

from really caring what others think.

Travel builds us; whereas normal life can shrink us, we can’t do this, we can't do that because

of the judgement of others. We are too concerned to step outside of ourselves and challenge

ourselves. The process of travel is the ability to challenge yourself, making movement, creating

fun, finding new things, you don't know what is around the next corner, what's behind the next

door, it is all a surprise. When you travel, the unexpected is an everyday occurrence. When

you are not travelling, you can guess what you will be doing at 10.30am (probably not having

a beer) at and at 4pm. That's why repeatedly travelling to the same place is not as

beneficial as going somewhere new. You don't want to make your travel experience a repetition

of being at home, or you lose some of the value.


Steve Dickinson

Mob: 027 577 5014


Lynne Dickinson



Ovato, Ph (09) 979 3000

Visit Adventure Magazine online




NZ Adventure Magazine is published six times a year by:

Pacific Media Ltd, P.O.Box 562

Whangaparaoa, New Zealand

Ph: 0275775014

Email: |

Contributions of articles and photos are welcome and must be accompanied by a stamped selfaddressed

envelope. Photographic material should be on slide, although good quality prints may

be considered. All care is taken but no responsibility accepted for submitted material. All work

published may be used on our website. Material in this publication may not be reproduced without

permission. While the publishers have taken all reasonable precautions and made all reasonable

effort to ensure the accuracy of material in this publication, it is a condition of purchase of this

magazine that the publisher does not assume any responsibility or liability for loss or damage

which may result from any inaccuracy or omission in this publication, or from the use of information

contained herein and the publishers make no warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to

any of the material contained herein.

Travel is about expansion, expansion of your knowledge, your culture, your experiences, but

most of all it is about developing a better you.

This is our travel issue – enjoy!

Steve Dickinson - Editor


Adventure is proudly powered

by Ssangyong

Please feel free to send any

submissions to

page 08



page 20

Image by Derek Cheng

Image by Steve Dickinson Image by Rob Bruce

page 30

page 52

08//Falling in love with


Explore Queen Charlotte Sounds with Adventure

Magazine and Wilderness Guides

20//dirtbag dispatches

Derek Cheng explores Canada

30//Everest base camp

A rite of passage for the prepared Kiwi

36//from city to mountains

Reasons to visit Tongariro National Park

42//alex megos

Talking Olympic climbing

52//adventure van life nz

Check out the latest on Van Life

65//urban adventure

Inspiration, activities and information for the urban


88//adventure travel

Escape to the Pacific


64. subs

82. gear guides

110. Active adventure









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Many Paths. One Trail

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We've heard lots of New Year's resolutions, but this is one of our

favourites... "Learn to make good cocktails."

One of our readers, Sue, has been creating cocktails to match her

adventurous lifestyle. Here is her latest, "The Mountainbiker."


1 jigger whiskey

Half jigger lime

A quarter jigger jagermeister

Shake with ice

Serve in highball glass with ice and fill

with IPA beer...

Garnish with sprig of rosemary...

Follow Sue on instagram @coastcocktails2020


This image was taken by Morgan Maassen. On his website he says,

‘Growing up in and around the ocean has provided me with my favourite

subject to photograph. The majority of my work is water-related and involves

the oceanic lifestyle. I’ve also frequently incorporated my passions of

travelling, nature, architecture and fashion into my work. While I strive to

capture what I see as beautiful, this is often not the perfect moment. Instead,

light, textures, and the abstract nature of the earth are what truly fascinates

me’. This particular image was a finalist in the Red Bull illume 2019 –

(courtesy Red Bull content pool) The illume the largest action photography

competition in the world with over 25000 entries.


Well to be fair we didn't go to Nepal but a copy of our last issue did

with the @gottogetout crew that were trekking to Mt Everest BaseCamp

and they took an Adventure Mag for the ride. This photo was snapped at

Namche Bazar, 3440m above sea level. You can read the full feature later

in this issue.

If you are going on an adventure and you would like a copy of

Adventure to take with you to shoot in some place special (does not have

to be Everest!) let us know and we'll send you a copy to take along. Take

an image and we will post it here in the magazine and on-line, plus we will

send you a wee gift.







The Aether | Ariel AG Series features our innovative, ventilated

and comfortable AntiGravity system to deliver the best in load

carrying comfort and stability. For big trips and heavy loads,

nothing compares. Join us on the #CommonPath.

Find a stockist:

45,300 people can't be wrong



@ adventuremagazine




We are all so swift to jump on a plane and fly to another country boasting amazing

views and stunning activities; but there are few destinations that can rival what we

have right here on our doorstep. I had always wanted to visit Queen Charlotte Sounds

and with an invitation from Wilderness Guides that ‘date’ was finally going to happen.

This adventure would take 3days; a hike, a bike and kayak and as this title suggests it

was the beginning of a real location romance.

By Helen Pelham, Lynne Dickinson and Linda Lennon

Arriving in Picton, the heart of the Marlborough Sounds the air was unseasonably

cool, but you were distracted from the lack of summer warmth by the absolute beauty

of Sounds. We caught up at Wilderness Guides HQ and were fully and expertly briefed

about our upcoming trip.

You know when someone looks at you and you can see doubt in their eyes?

Martyn, our Wilderness Guide, looks at us with ‘professional’ concern as he explains

day two’s 24km mountain bike ride.

“Just how much mountain biking experience do you have?” he asks dubiously.

We are 3 women in our 50s with varying levels of competence and Martyn

obviously has doubts about our biking abitilies. He explains that this is a difficult ride,

rated a grade 4-5, and we will likely be pushing our bikes up and down hills for a fair

amount of the track. He offers us the easier option of riding along a road through

Kenepuru Sounds, but we fail to take the hint and reply, "It's OK, we'll be right, we'll

stick to the track!" How naive we were...


Marlborough Sounds in all its beauty - Image compliments of Wilderness Guides

Top: Leaving Picton on day one of our journey

Left to Right: Map check / Take the time to read the history of the area at the start of the hike in Ship Cove / Linda, appreciating the native fauna


As day one dawns, another unseasonably cold

one, it’s an early start as we meet the guides for a

final briefing at 7.30 am. With a pack lunch provided

we board Beachcomber Cruises for our ride out to the

start of the track at Ship Cove.

45 minutes into the journey a pod of dolphins

appear alongside the boat, playing in the waves and

wake of our vessel. They are so close we can almost

touch them.

Ship Cove “Meretoto”, has been memorialised to

mark the landing and trading of Captain Cook. Take the

time to have a look around and visualise how things

must have been when Cook first arrived. There’s a

shelter and toilet for your convenience and information

boards that give a full description of Captain Cook’s


We had a good look around and then set off on the

17km walk. All of our gear was being transported to

our first night’s accommodation thanks to Wilderness

Guides, so all we had to carry was our day pack. This

allowed us to experience the hike without having to

carry too much weight. One thing to note is to make

sure you carry enough clothes and water with you for

all conditions. In the exposed parts of the track, the

strong southerly winds made for cold temperatures

and so we were constantly adding and removing layers

throughout the day.

The hike itself is along a clay track, which is easy

to walk on requiring only a quality pair of trainers. If

you do not own a pair of hiking boots it really does

not matter, our Hoka One One’s proved to be just the

ticket. The track meanders over 2 saddles and with

a relatively gentle gradient, is not too demanding.

Immersed in the native bush and surrounded by ocean

it’s easy to see what makes the Queen Charlotte track

so popular.

We stopped at the top of the Tawa saddle, which

is just past the halfway mark, to have our lunch. There

are picnic tables and toilets here with amazing views

making it a perfect place to refuel. Be aware of the

weka, they are evil little thieves who will steal any food

or search through any unattended backpacks in the

hope of finding a treat.

The second half of the tramp takes you gradually

down to Endeavour Inlet and after approximately 4

hours the sight of several quintessential kiwi baches

tells you that you are close to Furneaux Lodge, the

end of the track for us today. The lodge is a historical

oasis and over a cold beer followed by a nice Pinot,

we relaxed and enjoyed the beautiful setting before

boarding the mail boat for the short ride to Punga Cove.

(If you miss the boat it’s another 12km hike around the

inlet, however the staff keep you well informed when

it’s close so there should be no excuse.)

Arriving at Punga Cove was a real highlight. We

were straight into the Jacuzzi to rest our tired muscles;

this pool boasts a wonderful view of the sounds. This

was followed by a magnificent meal at their top-quality

restaurant. Punga Cove is an absolute delight with

comfortable, well-appointed chalets all with amazing

views. To be honest we didn’t want to leave. However,

more adventures awaited us the next day and it was

time to move on.


Top Left to Right: Spectacular views are in abundance along the track and are impressive regardless of the weather / Not a bad spot to enjoy our

lunch, the Hoka One One's proving to be just the ticket

Bottom: The view and the food are both spectacular at Punga Cove

"It was from a hill on Arapaoa Island in

1770 that Captain James Cook first saw

the sea passage from the Pacific Ocean

to the Tasman Sea, which was named

Cook Strait. Captain Cook sheltered in

Queen Charlotte Sound during each of

his three voyages of exploration at various

points, and named it after Queen Consort

Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.”


Above: There were loads of bays and beaches to stop and enjoy along the

Kenepuru Sounds road


Day 2 could not have been more different. Gone were the

thermals, fleeces and jackets from yesterday and out came the togs

and singlets! Our bikes had been delivered the day before so after a

buffet breakfast, we headed out of the resort. The ride starts with a

gruelling 1km uphill on a gravel road and Martyn’s original concerns

start to come back to haunt us. It is here that you either head up

the Queen Charlotte Track or take the option of the road through

Kenepuru Sounds.

Despite Martyn’s warnings we had originally decided to give the

trail a go, however the cold weather from the previous few days had

left us feeling a little under the weather (or was it just the wine?) and

our enthusiasm for a hard day’s ride was waning. After checking out

the track on foot the reality of the ride hit us and we decided to take

the road. Turning away from the Queen Charlotte Track did not come

without a sense of FOMO however, the Kenepuru Sounds road turned

out to be a real surprise and a route that shouldn’t be seen as a

second-rate option.

The ride from Punga Cove to Portage along the Kenepuru Sounds

is 32 km and can be ridden in 2-3 hours, compared with 24km along

the Queen Charlotte Track, with an estimated 4-5 hours ride time.

This should tell you a lot about the difficulty of the ride. Although we

could have ridden the track, it would have been hours of technical

riding, focusing only a few feet in front of us, with little chance to

appreciate anything else.

What we learnt is how important it is to be honest with yourself

about your abilities and what you want out of the day. For us, the

ability to relax, take our time and enjoy the views and each other’s

company was what it was all about, however, if you were a hard core

mountain biker who loves the technical and physical challenge you

would want to be doing the ridge ride over on the track.

The countryside and farmland provided a different vista from the

day before, but no less beautiful. The ride becomes easier as you

leave the gravel onto a sealed road, which then winds along the edge

of Kenepuru Sounds. There are endless opportunities to take a break

and enjoy the stunning views. We took our time, stopping at various

bays along the way, enjoying lunch and a swim at Picnic Cove.

Top to bottom: The view from near the ridge on the Queen

Charlotte track was incredible, however we quickly realised

we'd made the right decision in taking the lower road.

Helen and Linda checking out the map, note the ridgeline in

the background marks the top of the Queen Charlotte track.

Resting our legs on the deck of our room at the Portage.

As we came down the final bend, The Portage Resort lays nestled

in the hillside overlooking the ocean. We were warmly welcomed on

arrival by the manager, Josh and nothing was too much trouble for

him or his staff. There were incredible views from everywhere at the

resort and we ended the day with a meal in the restaurant as we

watched the sun set over the Sounds, a perfect end to a perfect day.


"Leaving the valley

the road opens out to

expose the beautiful

Kenepuru Sounds”


"Our start point at Ship Cove is now

just a hazy point in the distance, and

we cannot help but feel a sense of

pride as we reflect on how far we have

travelled over the past few days, all

under our own steam.”

Far Left: Kayaking is a great way to

see the Sounds from a totally different


Left: Early morning planning with our

incredible guide, Rikki

Right: Helen and Rikki squeezing

through the crack in the rock

Below: A picture paints a thousand

words #Nofilterneeded


The next morning we headed over the hill to Torea. This is a

30-minute walk from Portage, or you can ask the lovely staff to give

you a ride to the jetty. The kayaks and our competent, Canadian

guide Rikki arrived on the mail boat and our final day began with

a briefing at the beach before heading off on our route for the day.

Although the weather had warmed since we started, the wind was

still gusting so instead of kayaking back to Picton, Rikki proposed

an alternative route that keep the wind at our backs for most of the

day. Perfect!

We were in double kayaks, which were super stable and almost

impossible to capsize. Even the most nervous adventurer would be

confident in one of these, especially with Rikki in charge.

Our route took us along the edge of the coastline and in and

out of the many bays. Along the way, we listened as Rikki chatted

about the native birds, trees and sea creatures. Her knowledge of

our coastline and the history of the region is impressive, apart from

the accent, you’d think she was born and bred in this part of our


After a few hours paddling in and out of bays, we crossed the

channel which gave us a panoramic look back towards the sounds.

Our start point at Ship Cove is now just a hazy point in the distance,

and we cannot help but feel a sense of pride as we reflect on how

far we have travelled over the past few days, all under our own


The rest of the day is spent exploring the beaches, coves,

stopping for lunch and even kayaking through a cheeky hole in the

rock before meandering towards our pickup point. We pass a playful

NZ fur seal and watch stingrays swimming beneath us. We really

feel like we are in paradise.

Like most new romances this had to come to an end, all three

of us had fallen in love with Marlborough and Queen Charlotte

Sounds; not just the beauty and activities, but the people, the vibe

and how Wilderness Guides tailored the trip so that we got the very

most out of every moment. We were sad to go but as Tennyson said

‘Tis better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all’ –

Charlotte we’ll be back!




Getting There: To reach the Marlborough Sounds, Air New Zealand flies directly to Blenheim or you can

take the Blueridge Interisland Ferry across Cook Straight from Wellington to Picton. Conveniently located in

Wellington CBD, Bluebridge Cook Strait Ferries sail downtown Wellington to the Sounds 50 times a week.

They are famous for their warm Kiwi hospitality and better value fares every day. Your ticket includes free

movies and the best free WiFi on Cook Strait. If you’re a keen cyclist they have a Bluebridge Bike Club and

you can walk your bike on and it will sail for free. They reward you Airpoints Dollars every time you sail with

Bluebridge. Their passengers also love the great value quality local food freshly prepared by their onboard

chefs and their private cabins that come with an ensuite and linen from only $30. You can even use their

Wellington to Picton week day sleeper service and board early around midnight. You’ll sleep while they set sail

at 2.30am and arrive rested in Picton at around 6am ready for the next leg of your adventure. Once in Picton,

the choices for exploring the region are in abundance.

Why Wilderness Guides?: Wilderness Guides is celebrating its 20th birthday

this year. Owned and operated by Steve and Juliet Gibbons, Kiwis who grew up in

the Marlborough region who both have a passion for the outdoors. All the planning

and preparation are taken care of so you can just enjoy what you have come to

do. Everything was so easy for us, our bags arrived ahead of us and were in our

rooms when we arrived. The convenient luggage transfer system provided by

Beachcomber Cruises, meant we only had to carry day packs so we could really

enjoy the adventure. The bikes and kayaks were top quality, easy to ride and

paddle, and suited for the terrain. It is an easy, cost effective way to experience

this piece of paradise.

Wilderness Guides have plenty of options for seeing the sounds and will taylormake

an adventure just to suit you. So what are you waiting for? Check out what

they have to offer at

Punga Lodge: We wish we had more time at Punga Lodge; the

setting was like something from a tropical island. The staff were

friendly and attentive and the views from our room were simply

spectacular. We were also well sheltered from the southerly winds

and the temperature felt a few degrees warmer here. Thoroughly

recommend the spa pool, a great way to relax at the end of the day

and the views over the bay made relaxing super easy.

The Portage: Another luxury lodge that is warm

and welcoming. The staff are there to make you feel

special and nothing is too much trouble for them.

The views are unbelievable and there is a pool to

relax in after a hard day on the track. If offers 2

bars and restaurants so you have a choice of either

the more casual “Snapper Bar,” a favourite for the

locals, or if you prefer something a little more formal

the main bar and restaurant provide either a buffet

dinner or a-la-carte. Both provide amazing views and

a stunning place to relax.

The Region: Marlborough Sounds

(Te Tau Ihu o te Waka-a-Māui) offers the

tourist and the adventurer many options.

After experiencing the sounds, be sure

to allow yourself plenty of time to enjoy

everything the region has to offer. We

recommend heading up to Blenheim

(Waiharakeke) to check out the

vineyards for a day. You can hire cycles

and do a tour of the vineyards that offer

tastings and enjoy either top quality

dining or casual tapas or platters.



The dust settles.

Shoulder your Manaslu

Breathe in. Buckle up.

Zip, clip, adjust.

Life loaded on your back

A dirt track at your feet.

Brace yourself.

This is The Carry Moment

Breathe out, and go.


Backpacking carry system

Move from mountain trails to forest glades, find yourself with flip-flop

feet washed up on a wild beach, pack on back and the world at your

feet. Trek, travel - trust in your carry system.

MANASLU: designed to move your world






LOCATION: Big Water, Utah

THE SHOT: “I was working in Utah with Brett Rheeder and Anthill Films as he built

his segment for the film ‘Return to Earth’. Brett had built this amazing quarter

pipe onto a rock sitting out on the desert floor. After witnessing and shooting

this in various natural lighting scenarios and compositions, I started to envision

an opportunity to light it from above with the strobe on a drone. I really liked

the simplicity of this composition with the three rocks together and thought we

could help truly give it an otherworldly feel and help bring shape to the scene

with some cascading light fall from above. At twilight one evening, with help from

drone pilot Colin Jones, we slowly feathered the drone into the right position till

the light was just right and Brett was maxing out off this rock.”

Image courtesy Red Bull content pool



The wall steepened and I gingerly placed a foot higher,

reaching for a hold. It seemed solid, but promptly broke.

Luckily, I kept my footing and simply tossed the remains of

the hold below with a cry of “Rock!”, sending climbers at the

base scattering. A few moves higher, another loose rock was

sent flying, this one the size of an onion. It scraped the leg of

a friend at the base, who mistakenly thought that huddling in

a corner would keep him out of harm's way.

Shit. This was perhaps the worst pitch of rock climbing

I've ever done. There was nowhere to place any rock

protection for dozens of metres in the brittle limestone of

Castle Mountain, in the Canadian Rockies, which felt steep

for grade 5.4 (12). Every foot and hand placement was

delicate, tenuous. Every movement, slow and deliberate. I've

grabbed handfuls of gravel more solid than this.

After several held breaths and excruciating moments,

finally, I found a placement to place some rock protection.

A few moves later, I climbed over a ledge to the first place

to build an anchor and bring up my climbing partner. I

continued up, reaching the top of the second pitch, when a

blood-curdling scream swept up the face.

I called out and anxiously waited for a response from

my friends below signalling all is good. Silence for a few

heartbreaking moments.

"I'm okay," a response finally floated up. My friend had

pulled off a block the size of a toaster. The block had luckily

dropped harmlessly over her shoulder, adding to the debris at

the base of Brewer's Buttress.

Words and images by Derek Cheng


Previous Page: Climbing the Grand Sentinel (grade 5.10d, 20) near Mt Temple

Above: The mountains around Canmore, including the Three Sisters on the left

Right: The Grand Sentinel

Why were we there? Surely

there are better mountains to

climb, with kinder rock.

The same question

lingered when I was kicking

down loose shale near the

top of Saddle Mountain. Or

when a rock to the helmet

rudely reminded me of my

own vulnerable position while

soloing Mt Indefatigable. Or

on a rock route on Mt Rundle,

when a chunk of limestone

bigger than a loaf of bread

broke off after my thigh merely

brushed it.

But the Rockies are magnificent in

other ways - an adventure playground

of the highest order, with endless

mountain terrain rich in glaciers, forests,

and peaks that push skywards. Where

else in the world are there so many

towering rock faces, most of them

easily accessible from the main highway

running across the country?

These words from Canadian

climbing legend Sonnie Trotter say it all

(especially the lack of words about rock

quality): "It is absolutely astonishing to

me that this heavenly range actually

exists in real life. They are some of the

wildest, most spectacular, pristine and,

for the most part, accessible mountains

in the world - and they are right in our

own backyards."

"It is absolutely astonishing to me

that this heavenly range actually

exists in real life. They are some

of the wildest, most spectacular,

pristine and, for the most part,

accessible mountains in the world

- and they are right in our own


The first thing you notice when

you enter Rockies territory is the sheer

volume of rock. Around every corner

simply reveals more mountains with

more rock faces.

The Canadian Rockies form part of

five National Parks - Banff, Yoho, Jasper,

Kootenay, and Waterton - and a number

of provincial parks. They run some 2000

kilometres from the border of British-

Columbia and the Yukon, down through

Alberta, and south over the US border

to Montana. The rock is sedimentary,

mainly limestone and bands of shale

and quartzite that can be exceptionally

solid, or notoriously brittle.

The heart of Rockies rock climbing

is the town of Canmore, right in the

heart of the Bow Valley and home to

some 12,000 people. It is nestled

among a series of eye-catching

peaks. The Ship's Prow blushes in

the dawn light. The Three Sisters to

the east catch the evening light. Mt

Rundle's 11 peaks trail a jagged

line west to Banff. But several

inquiries into rock quality were all

met with the same shrug: "It's the

Rockies. It's a bit shit."

Still, the first pitch of Brewer's

Buttress on Castle Mountain

transcended the usual definition

of "crumbly". We chose it because

of the hut on a massive ledge

halfway up the peak, and the fine

view from the long-drop, perched on the

edge of a precipitous drop. We bivied

under the stars, with only the foraging

of squirrels and the passing freight train

breaking our slumber.

The following morning, after a

mild leg-scratch and a near-miss on

the first pitch, we climbed a number of

aesthetic corners to the summit. The

higher we were, the better the rock. At

the top, the sharp, splendid pyramid

of Mt Assiniboine greeted us in the far


Assiniboine was immediately added

to the list, which was growing every day:

Ha Ling, the iconic peak I could see from

our bedroom window; Yamnuska, the

birthplace of climbing in the Rockies; the

Grand Sentinel, a free-standing pillar on

the south-east side of Mt Temple.


"The 600m-high

dihedral splits the

main face of Mt

Indefatigable from the

first move to the final

top-put. A stunning,

unique feature.”

Many of the best bolted climbs - where you don’t

need to place your own rock protection as you climb -

were an outrageously convenient five-minute drive from

town. This was mind-blowing to someone who was used

to the 10-hour round-trip that is Wellington (see Taupo)

rope-climbing. Even the alpine climbing wasn't far away.

Yamnuska? Twenty minutes to the car park. Lake Louise?

An hour.

One day, we dared to venture beyond an hour's

drive, heading deep into the Kananaskis Range in search

of a beautiful corner, aptly named Joy (grade 5.6,14).

The 600m-high dihedral splits the main face of Mt

Indefatigable from the first move to the final top-put. A

stunning, unique feature.

Every climb seemed to have something special.

Takakkaw Falls, in Yoho National Park, has a belay position

a stone's throw from a raging waterfall. Then, above a

typically loose, unprotectable shale pitch, a giant hole in

the face leads you into the darkness. The route requires

you to crawl on hands and knees along this 30m-long

cave. It is understandably damp, a remnant from a time

when the waterfall was even more immense. It narrows

just enough to force you to drop into a belly-shuffle, before

you emerge into the light next to the apex of the waterfall

and its narrow, sharp channels and deafening roar. Not

recommended for the claustrophobic.

Sir Donald, at 3284m, is a dark triangle that

dominates the skyline in Rogers Pass, and looks like it

belongs in the Himalaya. It offers a delightful grade 5.4

(12) scramble up the Northwest Ridge, slowly rising above

the surrounding glaciers and rugged peaks.

The back of Lake Louise is considered to be the

cragging jewel in the Rockies Crown. Anyone who passes

through with only a week to climb is told to head directly

there. The rock is quartzite, often with vertical cracks

and horizontal in-cuts for hands and fingers to surmount

overhanging sections. There are roofs, arétes, technical

faces, cracks - sometimes all in one steep, magnificent

line. And the setting is stunning. The hue of Lake Louise

seems to be infused with a purity of blue that doesn't exist

anywhere else.

Morraine Lake is in the same area, at the head of the

Valley of Ten Peaks. A stroll up the valley not only gives you

a view of several peaks that resemble the bottom jawline

of some mammoth, prehistoric predator, but also brings

you to the free-standing, 100m-high pillar known as the

Grand Sentinel.

Of the few lines on it, Cardiac Aréte (grade 5.10d,

20) is the stand-out. Four bolted pitches up a sharp,

aesthetic aréte, with wild exposure and a nearby glacier

that frequently releases boulder torpedoes to the talus

below. At the top of the route is a flat platform which

seems custom-built to pose for summit photographs and

bask in the euphoria that comes with the sheer pleasure

of beautiful climbing in a magnificent position.


Above: Route Joy (grade 5.6, 14) on Mt Indefatigable

Following page: Cragging around Lake Louise


Lake Louise epitomises everything that is great about

the Rockies: a lot of rock amid stunning serenity. But even

here, we were not immune to shitty rock. While having lunch,

some climbers dislodged a boulder the size of an armchair

from the top of the cliff of Saddle Mountain. The sound was

like the swooshing of a diving bird inches from the cliff face

- but magnified a thousand times. I gazed skywards, halfexpecting

to see a winged dinosaur the size of a bus, but

instead watched as the block obliterated into the ground a

mere 10m from us.

This was a special type of playground, where falling

death blocks could interrupt your lunch. As I continued to

munch on my hummus and crackers, it struck me. You have

to be prepared - more than usual - to navigate rock both

excellent and fragile, but so long as death was avoided, it

enhanced the experience. It improved your skill set. Close

encounters with crumbly rock are character-building, and

add flavour to the adventure.

The summer season in the Rockies is short and as

October rolled around, several objectives - Mt Assiniboine,

Mt Edith Cavell, the Tonquin - remained undone. Whole

ranges unvisited. Therein lies the secret of the Rockies to

keep drawing you back: the infinite rock faces will mean that

the tick-list will always keep growing.






LOCATION: Fruit Bowl, Moab, Utah, USA

THE SHOT: “During a two-month climbing trip in the USA, I

stayed in Indian Creek when I heard about the GGBY Highline

Festival happening outside of Moab. I went to check it out

and was totally impressed by the place, the community and

the aesthetics of people expressing themselves by moving

through space. Next to the highline area, I had the chance

to witness Andy Lewis going for a base jump right into the

setting sun above the green river. It was a one-shot kind of

opportunity, but everything aligned perfectly.”

Image courtesy Red Bull content pool

Got To Get Out trekkers at Mt Everest Base Camp, 5380m, Jan 2020. Approx-25 degrees celcius.

Photo, Robert Bruce on Nikon Z6 mirrorless




What is it about Mt Everest Base Camp (EBC) at

5380m above sea level that is such a draw card for Kiwis?

Thousands of New Zealanders pay good money and trek

over one hundred kilometers (in wintertime, in sub-freezing

temperatures) seemingly to visit a collection of rocks and

prayer flags at ‘base camp’. Granted, in the climbingseason

EBC is the staging point for summit attempts of

the tallest mountain on earth, however interesting fact,

trekkers to EBC never actually step foot ‘on’ Mt Everest.

Why bother then?

Prepared by Robert Bruce, +6421 238 7758

Founder Got to Get Out /

Trip leader Nepal 2019 expedition

Adventure Magazine talks with Robert Bruce, founder

of Got to Get Out who just completed his fourth group trek

to the region, this time leading thirty (mostly) Kiwis to EBC

return while also navigating some drama at 5,000m above

sea level. He explains the draw card and why he believes

EBC is an educational and cultural rite of passage for

Kiwis, if you are prepared.

Josefine from Got To Get Out, pausing while descending after EBC, photo Robert Bruce Nikon Z6

Where did your interest in Nepal first

come about? Got To Get Out (GTGO) is a

social enterprise adventure group I founded in

2015. The group is designed to get Kiwis (or

people living in New Zealand) active, outdoors,

getting healthy and making friends. The

whole premise of the group was to get people

outdoors on safe and well-organised events,

that ‘got people off the couch’. I never set out

to become a particularly extreme outdoors

operator, I just wanted to make it easy for

people to get moving.

As I recall, back in 2015 no-one was really

arranging free organized trips, so I guess GTGO

was unique when I started writing on Facebook

“who’s #gottogetout with me this weekend?”

It was while trekking through Nepal to

Mt Everest Base Camp, my first trip to the

region, that the idea of arranging group trips

came about; I had recently left the corporate/

marketing world, not exactly by choice, but

looking back it was exactly the change I


With some time on my hands, and a

wee bit of redundancy money in my pocket,

I opted to fly to Nepal and trek to Mt Everest

Base Camp in winter, not due to any particular

planning or interest, but because I was

available right then and had the money.

Looking back I could have travelled anywhere,

but I suppose the words “Mt Everest”

had brand allure or triggered some Kiwi

sentimentality, even before I knew much about

the region.

Before I left on that first trip, my mum

thrust a paperback into my suitcase titled

“Nothing Venture, Nothing Win” written by

none other than Sir Edmund Hillary. At age

30, this book was my first real research into

arguably New Zealand’s most famous man

– and thanks to this book and this first trip

my eyes were really opened to what he had

achieved, not only by putting New Zealand on

the map by climbing the world’s tallest peak

with Sherpa Tenzing Norgay in 1953, but also

by subsequently doing such good work for the

people and communities and environment

of Nepal. Something was certainly sparked

within me back then, and on my return to NZ

in January of 2015 I started Got To Get Out as

a Facebook page running NZ based events,

but quietly vowed to bring people back to the

Himalayas in future, to also follow in ‘Sir Ed’s


Tell us about your first trip, what was that

like? Back in 2015 I was pretty inexperienced;

I certainly didn’t have free sponsored boots or

gear like I do now! I had to buy or borrow it all

myself. I really did not know what I was walking

in to, literally, and had just paid some global

travel brand that churn out EBC visits once a


I trekked with a nice multinational group

of people, Brits Ozzy’s and a couple of Kiwis,

and we did EBC together and became friends

along the way. To call it a learning experience

is probably a bit much, my recollection of that

first trek (and my observation of other group

leaders, since) is they take more of a personaltrainer

approach; the guides are there to

feed and water you, and get you safely to and

from EBC. Perhaps due to the limited English

of guides, there’s not much ‘teaching’ of the

history per se, certainly not specifically to any

Kiwi / Nepalese connection, anyway.

I have found you can learn far more about

the region by reading books during the trip.

I’ve become a bit of an Everest geek since that

first trip, and read dozens of mountaineering

and history books, to give myself more context

to the history of the region, and in particular

the Kiwi connection to the mountains. Today,

I try to pass on this information to my guests,

such as the amazing exploits of Edmund

Hillary but also of other mountaineers like Rob

Hall, who also fills several chapters of Kiwi

mountaineering history.

In my first trip I remember being awestruck

by the huge swing bridges crossing back

and forth across the Khumbu valley (some of

which I would later learn, were installed by Sir

Edmund Hillarys’ Himalayan Trust to help locals

and mountaineers safely cross the rivers). I was

also amazed by the many mules’ donkeys yaks

and porters carrying huge loads up and down

the route, and gob smacked the first time I saw

Mt Everest with its plume of ice blowing off it’s

summit. The whole trek is a visual feast, and

I for one am so glad the region (Sagarmatha

National Park) has resisted commercialization,

at least in the form of roads. Granted, it

appears to be absolutely back-breaking work

for the porters carrying supplies between

towns piled high on their backs, but having now

walked the Annapurna Circuit where human or

animal porters have been replaced with lorries,

I know which I prefer and I hope this never

changes. Some things are better left original.

What is it like getting to Mt Everest Base

Camp itself? Getting to Mt Everest Base Camp

the first time is certainly an achievement, one

you remember forever. In general, you have

climbed 500 or so vertical meters per day for

about two weeks and covered around 10km of

distance per day. Each day of walking takes the

average person between 5-8 hours, depending

on the regularity or length of stops and fitness

and speed of the group.

In wintertime, which happens to be the

only time I have visited Nepal, it’s certainly

cold! The first few days from Lukla airport


"My mum thrust a paperback into my suitcase titled,

“Nothing Venture, Nothing Win” written by none other

than Sir Edmund Hillary. At age 30, this book was my

first real research into arguably New Zealand’s most

famous man – and thanks to this book and this first trip

my eyes were really opened to what he had achieved... ”

Robert always takes a 'Sir Ed' $5 bill

to EBC. Here shown with Everest in

background. Photo Robert Bruce

(called the Tenzing Hillary airport, another

building arranged by Sir Edmund Hillary)

are relatively warm. By relatively warm, I

mean zero degrees thereabouts, in the

daytime. It’s after arriving to the ‘Sherpa

capital’ of Namche Bazar that temperatures

start to really plummet. Each time I have

visited EBC it has been colder than the last,

which may be the result of changing global

climates. To give readers an idea, when we

visited EBC this January it was snowing and

very windy. The wind was so strong that

our lighter-weight guests had to lean their

bodies against the wind to stand up, and

some were worried about being knocked

over. My guides estimated windchill of -30

degree Celsius on this day (in the middle

of the day), and it certainly felt like it: take

your glove off to snap a photo, and your

fingers soon freeze! The interesting thing

with the region in winter, is the weather is

changeable: the Got To Get Out group split

into two this year, and the first group to EBC

reported fine clear conditions. One day later

and it was a storm.

Basecamp itself is nothing like the

movies. If you’ve watched films like

“Everest” or any documentary on Himalayan

mountain climbing you’re forgiven for

expecting to see dozens of yellow alpine

tents, and mountaineers in crampons

walking among piles of expired oxygen

bottles. You could even be forgiven for

expecting to see bodies, at Basecamp(!).

This is one of the most common questions I

am asked “are there bodies at basecamp?”

I’m afraid this impression is all

completely wrong, at least in December

and January when I run trips to EBC. After

days of trekking, hopefully dodging altitude

sickness, while surviving with no showers

or flushing toilets, you arrive to a very cold

barren glacier, without much sign of life.

There is no ‘tea tent’ welcome at EBC, you

will only be greeted by a collection of ice,

rocks, prayer flags, and perhaps mementos

from past trekkers. There is also a bonechilling

cold like nothing I can explain in

words. If you’re anything like the members

of my groups, you get to base camp and

spend only a few moments grabbing a

selfie, then get the heck out of there back

to Gorek Shep (the nearest town where you

spend the night after EBC) to warm yourself

in front of their yak-dung fireplace and hot

masala tea.

EBC isn’t a place you ‘hang out’.

"Got To Get Out founder Robert Bruce before attempting Island Peak, two days after EBC.

Photo Josefine Pettersson, using Nikon Z6

"I believe

following in

the footsteps of

Sir Edmund

Hillary through

the Himalayas

to Mt Everest

Base Camp is

something every

Kiwi should do,

at some point in

their life.”

Got To Get Out trekkers, heading up the Khumbu valley toward EBC. Robert Bruce on Nikon Z6

Winter doesn’t sound fun, why do you

trek then? Winter in Nepal is actually a

wonderful time to trek through the Himalaya

due to there being far less crowds, clearer

sky’s than summer, and lovely fresh cold air.

The downside (some might say) is the attimes

extreme cold (especially at night), and

therefore often frozen facilities like toilets

and water pipes. In winter there also can be

slippery ice covering the usually grippy dirt

tracks. I’ve seen many trekkers (and porters,

alike) slip over, and narrowly miss breaking a

wrist. Rubber stretchy crampons are a cheap

purchase in Nepal, and all GTGO guests wear

these at least across the worst ice. I strongly

recommend this purchase in winter (approx.

$10USD or 1100rupees).

Whilst it is true there is often no running

water, and therefore no flushing loos, to me

this is all part of the experience and you get

used to it. Most important is to come with the

expectation that ‘nothing will work like it does

at home’ and you won’t be disappointed or


Lastly, don’t expect a shower in winter for

the full fifteen days you are in the mountains. I

suggest bringing wet wipes!

So why trek in winter? The real reason is

that December and January are when most

Kiwis have enough annual leave to complete

the whole trip, so that’s when we go.

How much gear do you carry? Most

people, certainly on my trips, opt to have a

porter carry their main bag (usually their gear is

in a duffel bag, often supplied by the trekking

company) so the weight on your back (usually a

20 to 40liter pack) may only be 5kg depending

on what you keep in your day-bag. Things like

your camera, wallet, water, and some snacks

for the day. Using a porter to carry your stuff

certainly makes it more comfortable for guests

and reduces the chances of overexerting,

which is thought to be one trigger for altitude

sickness. Paying for a porter (on our last trip,

about $13US per day per person) also helps

give a job to a Nepalese local and helps spread

some tourist-dollars into the poorer regions of

the Himalaya.

Trekkers are limited by how much they

bring into the Himalaya in a few different

ways. The first of course is the flight from

home to Nepal, which is usually about a 30kg

limit depending on the airline. One shouldn’t

get carried away bringing too much to Nepal

though, because you just must leave this stuff

in your Kathmandu hotel for your return from

the mountains. Once in Nepal it gets tighter; on

the flight from Kathmandu to Lukla airport you

are only meant to have around 10kg in your

main-bag, and a further maximum 5kg in your

carry-on (day bag). Finally, your porter is only

meant to carry two or three bags totaling 30kg,

so each guest is meant to keep their duffel at

10kg or less. To me, this is an honesty system:

I for one wouldn’t want some poor tiny porter

carrying all my unnecessary junk (or indeed,

junk food): it’s best to pack light at each step

of the way.

I personally self-carry my gear and have

done for three of my four trips to Nepal mostly

for the exercise benefit of weighted walking.

On this most recent trip my pack weighed

in at about 18kg. My pack is heavier than

most due to a group first-aid kit (probably not

needed as our guides have a kit, but I always

go prepared), down jacket and pants for

the extreme cold up high, sleeping bag (-40

comfort), spare merino underlayers (I only

made two changes the whole trip, you don’t get

naked much in these temperatures!), scroggin

and snacks (again, probably not really needed

due to the ease of buying food in Nepal but

good for emergency). Other gear included a

personal locator beacon, hut-shoes, battery

pack, some paperwork relating to everyone’s

insurances and flights, paper map, drink

bottle (for when the Camelbak froze, from

about 4500m), money, and of course a big

camera. I was shooting with a brand-new Nikon

mirrorless with two spare batteries. Got to get

great shots! Call me old fashioned, but I had a

book too, I have never gotten into Kindles.

It’s certainly easy to let the weight creep

up if you don’t pack smart; asking around my

group afterwards, I think hard-cover books,

too many snacks from home (some had 2kg

of snacks!), too much water in the hydration

pack and too many changes of clothes were

the main regrets in peoples packing. Keep

in mind that a 70liter pack (I had an Osprey

70+10) weighs 2-3kg empty so you must pack

sparingly to stay under 10kg.

In terms of water, you are certainly meant

to drink 4-5 liters per day at altitude, but that

doesn’t mean you need to carry it all day. As

long as you have a sterilization system or boil

the water before drinking (in my case I had

AquaTab’s, one pill per liter) you can fill up

throughout the day without needing to carry too

much water, which is quite heavy. Just note that

your hydration pack (at least the drinking tube)

will freeze in winter so you need a backup,

which for most people is a drink bottle. Be

warned, a bottle left outside your sleeping bag

at nighttime will freeze overnight even in your

room, so you’re better to start the night with

hot water supplied from the tea-house, use this

as a hot-water-bottle, and then you have warm

water to sip on the next morning. Hot water is

usually 400rupees, circa $5NZD.

I believe following in the footsteps of

Sir Edmund Hillary through the Himalaya to

Mt Everest Base Camp is something every

Kiwi should do, at some point in their life. It

is amazing physical exercise, a cultural eyeopener,

and gives trekkers a real sense of

achievement - no matter how far into the trek

you get.

Check in to the next issue of Adventure Magazine to read how Rob and his team deal with altitude sickness in the Himalayas



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What's a weekend break all about?

Having some time out, relaxing with friends and family,

re-energising, and refreshing the soul. Has it been a while?

Tongariro National Park is a popular destination in the

summer months for the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, but did

you know the earthy, volcanic landscapes of this Dual World

Heritage Area have plenty of other outdoor pursuits for nature

lovers? Slap on the sunblock and explore unknown tracks and

hidden gems - there is an experience on offer for everyone.

Make your first stop at the Tongariro National Park

Visitor Centre at Whakapapa Village, where the Department

of Conservation works alongside our local i-Site to share

extensive knowledge on trails and have 3D models

showcasing where you are and how to get around.


Whether you’re familiar with Tongariro National Park or not, wander

into the Visitor Centre for all the information you need to make the most

of your visit, including maps and information on local activities, short

walks, viewpoints and great photography spots. The Visitor Centre and

i-Site is open every day except Christmas Day.

Whakapapa Village is the gateway to the magnificent walking trails.

Parking inside Whakapapa Village is not a problem with purpose-built

carparks open all hours of the day. Don’t have a car? Then seek out the

many shuttle companies from your lodging to take you straight up and

explore our backyard.

From Whakapapa Village make the year-round snow-capped Mt Ruapehu

your next stop. Take short drive up the mountain for some short hikes

and then venture onto the Sky Waka - New Zealand’s latest and most

technically gondola. Journey into the clouds as the Sky Waka travels

1.8kms through one of the North Island’s most rugged and spectacular

landscapes at Whakapapa. During your exploration, you will encounter

glacial waterfalls and ancient lava flows - and just take in the majestic

views of Mt Ruapehu and its neighbouring volcanoes, Ngauruhoe and


Like to research what short adventure suits you? Check out these


"Tongariro National Park earthy

landscapes has plenty of other outdoor

pursuits for nature lovers. ”



-let’s wonder where the wifi is weak-

Taranaki Falls: A 2 hour loop to the falls that tumble 20m over the

edge of a 15,000 year old lava flow.

Silica Rapids: A 2 hour loop through mountain beech forest, the

track travels alongside a cascading stream, arriving at the creamy

white terraces of Silica Rapids. Has spectacular views of Ruapehu

and Ngauruhoe on a clear day.

Soda Springs: A 3 hour walk up Mangatepoppo Valley - the start of

the Mighty Tongariro Alpine Crossing.

Tawhai Falls: A movie set site from Lord of the Rings - 20mins

return walk.

Tama Lakes: Absorb the stark beauty and magical colours of two

volcanic explosion craters (5 hours return via Taranaki Falls)

The Mounds: Only a 10 minute walk, the mounds are believed to

have been formed by debris avalanches during Ruapehu’s periods of

volcanic activity thousands of years ago.

Whakapapa Nature Walk: A 15 min loop track. Wheelchair

accessible. See examples of the unique alpine flora of Tongariro

National Park from the sealed loop track. A series of information

panels explain the various zones of vegetation in the park.

6am-7am-8am-9am-10am departures

$40pp round-trip - 100% refundable

Dual Heritage Tongariro National Park

Ridge Track: After a short climb through low beech forest, the track

emerges into alpine shrublands with panoramic views of Ruapehu,

Ngauruhoe and the surrounding landscape. Return via same track.

Meads wall and the Skyline Ridge Track are located on Whakapapa

ski field. Experience isolation as your journey up an over volcanic

terrain soaking in the deep canyons and views of all three volcanoes.

“Why Wait?

Adventure starts here”

Tongariro National Park Villages

Dual Heritage Tongariro

National Park



Line up in an event thousands of years in the making.

Adventure running definition: the act of running and

moving over vast expanses of mountainous like terrain and

commonly including some technical elements that provide

extra challenge such as underfoot conditions, elevation and

atmospheric conditions.

Adventure running is where a new breed of trail and offroad

runners in New Zealand are redefining their limits with a

total mind and body experience.

A recent addition (established in 2018) to the kiwi

adventure running-scene is the Ring of Fire Volcanic Ultra,

50km, 20km & relay that will take place on Saturday 21

March 2020.

In the footsteps of the ancestors you will figuratively

have fire in your heart and heels as you take on one of

Australasia’s foremost adventure running events in Tongariro

National Park, New Zealand’s oldest national park and a dual

world heritage area for its breath-taking nature and enriching


The event offers the bucket list 72km solo ultra, starting

and finishing outside the historic Chateau Tongariro Hotel in

Whakapapa Village and circumnavigating Mount Ruapehu on

the Round the Mountain track.

A three-leg team relay comprising an average 24km per

leg covers the same course. Also, on offer is a 50km ultra

from Turoa Ski Area around the southern side of Mt Ruapehu

back to the Chateau. A 24km trail traverse is offered on the

final section of the course from Tukino back to Whakapapa


The Ring of Fire relay is a rare once a year opportunity to

get together with your friends and family and do something

extraordinary as a team in the greater outdoors.

The course around the mountain features over 3,200m

in vertical ascent through boulder strewn river valleys, native

beech forests and alpine herb fields. Across lava fields, swing

bridges, desert sands, and up the sides of soaring waterfalls.

The events start from just before 4am through to midday

with the last participants in the 72km Solo expected back

by midnight. The evening finish line as the sun goes down

is an eclectic vibe of music, mood lighting, craft beer and

beverages and rousing commentary from knowledgeable and

entertaining MC’s bringing athletes from around the world

back to a memorable finish line.

So, what are you waiting for? Get your mates together

and come run where the mountains meet the sky in majestic

Tongariro. Enter today at

Runners make their passage across the Whangaehu

River in the 2019 Ring of Fire Volcanic Ultra.

Image compliments of Kurt Matthews






Alex Megos from Erlangen (GER) is one

of the best German sport climbers. He was

Vice European Bouldering Champion in

2017, Vice World Lead Champion in 2019

and won his first Lead World Cup in Briançon

(FRA) in 2018. He has also made a name for

himself in rock climbing with extremely fast

repetitions of numerous difficult routes. He

was the first German climber to qualify for

the 2020 Games. In our interview, he talks

about the new “Olympic Combined format,

a mixture of the three disciplines Speed,

Bouldering and Lead, as well as the mental

aspects of the sport.

Left: Alexander Megos climbs Necessary Evil

(5.14c) in the Virgin River Gorge of Arizona.

Image by Ken Etzel/Red Bull Content Pool


Can you explain the differences between

bouldering, lead and speed climbing? And

which, for you, is the most difficult?

Bouldering is sometimes described as

the purest form of climbing. It is climbing

without a rope on boulders or walls up to a

height of around 4m. The individual moves

in bouldering are very hard compared to the

other disciplines, but in general a boulder

only has up to 10 moves. When you fall off

a boulder there are matts (indoors) or socalled

crash pads (outdoors) underneath the

boulder to lower the impact.

Lead climbing is the discipline which

most people would refer to when they say

climbing. You climb on rocks, cliffs, indoor

walls and you are climbing on a rope. So

in case of a fall the belayer will catch your

fall through the rope. Normally indoor walls

are around 15m high and a route in a

competition has around 40 to 50 moves.

The individual moves are not as hard as

in bouldering, but the length of the climbs

are challenge. The more moves you do the

more pumped you get in your forearms.

Lactic acid in your forearms are normally

the reason for why you fall on a lead climb

whereas in bouldering the reason normally

is that the moves are too hard or in case of a

competition you don't find the right sequence

of holds to climb the boulder.

Speed climbing is the newest form

of climbing. In speed climbing you always

climb the same route and you try to climb

that route as fast as possible. In order to be

able to climb it fast you have to have every

movement memorized and you have to do

every move an infinite amount of times

to study it to perfection. To climb fast you

need a lot more explosiveness in your legs

and arms than in the other two disciplines.

Speed climbing is as well the most difficult

discipline for me as I've only been doing it

since a couple of years. I don't have a speed

wall close by so the amount of speed training

I did is not very high compared to the amount

of time I put into my lead and bouldering


How does a pro-boulderer become an elite

grade speed-climbing master in two short


Personally I don't think that a climber

from any discipline can become world class

in any of the other disciplines if he hasn't

done that discipline before. A boulderer or

lead climber will not be able to get to a world

class speed climbing level in two years and

same goes for the other way around. With a

lot of training one might get quite good at the

other disciplines though.

Why should everyone tune in to watch the

climbing events on Tokyo?

Climbing as a sport has got a lot to offer.

It's a fundamental movement like running

and swimming. It's in the human’s nature to

climb up on things. That's why climbing is a

sport a lot of people are drawn towards.

Why should people tune into watch climbing

at the Olympics?

Because it'll be a very interesting

competition where it's impossible to say how

the outcome of the comp will be. With the

scoring system of the combined format each

score is dependent on how the other athletes

do so it will be a thrilling competition till the

very end.

How hard have you had to train in order to

stand a chance of a gold medal? How has

your training changed?

Since I started competing my training

has changed a lot compared to some years

ago. Before u l was only training for rock

climbs I wanted to do, so my training as a lot

more specific according to the project I was

working on. With getting back into comps I

suddenly found myself training a lot more

diverse. You never know what you will get at

a comp, so you need to be prepared for all

styles. I had to work on my weaknesses in

order to be able to perform better.

I incorporated speed climbing and more

comp style bouldering in my training. That

was probably the biggest change in my

training routine.

When you look at a climbing wall, what do

you see and how do you prepare mentally

for it?

Of course the longer you climb the

more you see just by looking at a wall. In

competitions it's essential to be able to look

at a route or a boulder for a short amount of

time and figure out how to climb it. So when

I look at a climb, I try to find out what the

easiest sequence is and how to climb it in the

most efficient way possible. I look at possible

rest positions, I try to imagine in which body

positions I'll be in and how every hold and

foothold will feel like. Essentially, I'm trying

to climb it in my mind while standing on the

ground looking at the route.

What's your advice to novice climbers when

it comes to the mental side of the sport?

Beginners very often have mental

barriers because of heights. Being high

above the ground on a climb, only protected

by a rope of course is scary for everyone at

first. Through training and exposing yourself

to mild fear and uncomfortable situations

we can learn to deal with it and work on our

mental weaknesses. Not giving up is key for

improvement when it comes to physical and

mental challenges.

As our lives get busier, faster and more

demanding than ever, is climbing is the

perfect antidote to the pressures of modern


Climbing is the cure for everything! ;-)

haha. Well, I would see climbing as some sort

of antidote yes. Our world is constantly about

change and moving faster, climbing though is

always the same in a way. And with the same

I don't mean that climbing is monotonous.

What I mean is that the idea of climbing is

that you challenge yourself on a piece of

rock. The challenge is always different, and

the rock is too. Sometimes it's a physical

challenge and sometimes it's a mental

challenge. Sometimes it's not even a big

challenge but the game itself never seems

to change. And because of that climbing is a

good escape from our fast, modern world.

What are you focusing on in the upcoming

month till the Olympic Games?

For the last few months of 2019 I'd

like to go rock climbing a bit and enjoy the

nature. From the beginning of next year I will

focus again on plastic and on the training for

the comps. I do still have to catch up with my

speed climbing and my bouldering is still too

dependent on whether or not it suits me, so I

still need to work on my weaknesses.

What excites you most about climbing's

debut at the Games?

The most exciting thing for me will be the

fact that I'm able to be part of the biggest

sport event of all time. I was at the Olympics

once to watch back in 2004 in Athens and

since then the Olympics always stood for the

biggest goal of an athlete.


Alex Megos at Voralpsee in Switzerland Image by Thomas

Ballenberger / Red Bull Content Pool

"Climbing as a sport has got a lot to

offer. It's a fundamental movement

like running and swimming. It's in the

human’s nature to climb up on things.

That's why climbing is a sport a lot of

people are drawn towards."


"Bouldering is sometimes described as

the purest form of climbing. It is climbing

without a rope on boulders or walls up to

a height of around 4m."

Image by Ken Etzel/Red Bull Content Pool




The breathtaking landscapes of New

Zealand have graced movie theatre screens

for decades and have held viewers around the

world captivated, but how much do you know

about diving in New Zealand? Did you know

that between the diving around the North

Island and the South Island, it would take a

lifetime of dives to see it all? Try everything

from incredible offshore diving at the Poor

Knights Islands and exploring fiords, wrecks

and sub-tropical reefs through to navigating

kelp forests and swimming with dense schools

of fish. It’s all possible in New Zealand!

The Poor Knights Islands

As a protected marine reserve, this is

arguably New Zealand’s most famous diving

area. The diverse underwater topography

includes drop offs, walls, caves, swimthroughs,

arches, tunnels and a wide variety of

reef fish and marine creatures. The dive sites

here are bursting with blue maomao, snapper,

kingfish, morays and brilliantly colored

nudibranchs. Larger tropical species are also

spotted here and during the warmer periods,

turtles, whales and even manta rays can be

frequent visitors. There is a large resident

(and visiting) population of sting rays which

attract orcas who come to feed on them – a

phenomenal sight.

Bay of Islands

This marine rich region is also known as

the Bay of Plenty – for good reasons! Wreck

divers are drawn to the area to dive the

HMNZS Canterbury or the Rainbow Warrior

(Greenpeace’s flagship vessel, bombed by the

French Secret Service). Both of these iconic

New Zealand wrecks are now encrusted in

stunning colourful jewel anemones and have

become part of the living reef. The wrecks

are also home to an abundance of fish life

and macro critters. This area is rich in New

Zealand history and a must see for all visitors.


The South Island town of Kaikoura

is renowned for attracting sperm whales,

dusky dolphins, New Zealand fur seals and

albatross. Although a highlight here is to go

swimming with the sea mammals, no trip is

complete until you’ve explored the stunning

kelp forests and limestone reefs here too.

The Coromandel Peninsula

Dotted with islands, this coastline

provides many healthy dive sites. Hiding inside

the kelp and crevasses you will find trevally

and blue maomao. The Mercury Islands

should not be missed. Here you can swim

amongst schools of fish, sharks and look

out for spot octopus in the marine reserve

surrounding Mercury Islands’ waters. In the

summer months large kingfish school with

giant boar fish, john dory and tarakihi. A great

variety of other marine animals inhabit these

waters and some of the regular sightings

include; moray eels, stingrays, wrasse,

demoiselles, porcupine fish, snapper and

many other vibrant species.

The South Coast, Wellington

This favourite shore dive for many divers,

is home to a wide range of crustaceans and

cephalopods. Rocky reefs and copious marine

growth makes the area an attractive breeding

ground for a large variety of other marine

species too. Prepare for the unexpected as the

South Coast is often full of surprises!

Aramoana, Dunedin

Within this region kelp forests lie along

with several scuttled wrecks. Whilst the

wrecks are a draw card for some, it is the

varied marine life here which has put the

region on the diving map. Macro aficionados

will be kept entertained while looking for

seahorses, nudibranchs, eels, crayfish and

event carpet sharks. Those who prefer “big

fish” will not be disappointed as the region

attracts seven gill sharks, curious cod, greenbone,

blue moki, wrasse and perhaps the

most special of visitors – the New Zealand

hooker sea lion. The area is also a voluntary

marine reserve to ensure it remains at its best

for divers. Despite the chilly southern South

Island waters, this region rarely disappoints.

Does New Zealand appeal to your sense

of adventure both underwater and on land?

No matter which region of this captivating

country you choose to visit there are stunning

diving opportunities just waiting to be seized.

Visit to locate a PADI dive shop and

get planning!


© PADI 2020

Contact your local PADI ® Dive Center or Resort to learn more, or visit





LOCATION: Shipstern Bluff Tasmania

THE SHOT: “At the bottom of Tasmania lies Shipstern bluff, I'm

still not sure if this wave is amazing or just plain silly, but we all

love it either way. We were shooting video with a drone that day,

it was kind of grey and all of a sudden the sun came out so I

quickly jumped in the water with my stills camera, about thirty

minutes later it went really cold and ugly again, but I managed to

get this bomb set of Mikey! Tassie is pretty known for its overcast

gloomy days especially when we have a large swell underneath

us, so if its ever sunny like that I'm always swimming.”

Image courtesy Red Bull content pool


Van life for many conjures up images of cramped spaces, rough living

and eating out of a tin can, however van life does not have to be ‘squished’

and space limited.

For our latest adventure our vanlife consisted of a 30ft luxury RV,

fitted out with expandable rooms, a full fridge and freezer and a separate

bedroom and ensuite, the complete antithesis of the perceived idea of

‘living in a van’.

Words and Images by Lynne and Steve Dickinson

Be prepared for all weather. We were travelling

through Wyoming in September and were not

expecting snow! As you can see we got it...

We had picked up our Roadbear RV in Denver, USA, and had roughly

planned a route that would take us nearly 2000km, through 6 states and

through 4 National Parks.

Covering this many miles and this distance meant lots of driving to get

from one point to the next, and having the RV that we could stop and take

a drink, have something to eat or even take a rest whenever we wanted

was a real asset.

Some things we learnt from our few weeks of vanlife:


"For our latest adventure our vanlife

consisted of a 30ft luxury RV, fitted

out with expandable rooms, a full fridge

and freezer and a separate bedroom and

ensuite, the complete antithesis of the

perceived idea of ‘living in a van’.”

Biggest is not always best:

We loved having the huge RV but with only two of us travelling,

we probably could have done with something a little smaller. Many

of the pullout or parking places in the National Parks didn’t cater

well for anything larger than 25ft. Although the US has an amazing

road system that caters for vehicles the size of our RV, there were

roads where it was a challenge and it took a little pre planning.

Another major consideration was the wind, we travelled through

some areas there wind was…. amazing, scary and dangerous; the

bigger the van the more you get shoved around.

Don’t be fooled by reputation:

Yellowstone National Park is the 8th largest National Park

in the States covering over 2 million acres, yet it was my least

favourite. Finding places to stay here was impossible and to leave

the park for a night meant over an extra hour’s drive each way. It

was also incredibly crowded, and we visited during the end of the

season, supposedly the “quiet time”.

Be flexible:

Although we had wanted to spend more time in the Yellowstone

area, the weather at the end of September became inclement and

we really weren’t prepared for the cold. Keeping an eye on the

forecast meant we could stay ahead of the colder wet weather and

we changed our route to suit. In a two week period we experienced

highs of 31degrees down to highs of 5degrees Celcius and varied

our travel plans to keep away from the worst of it.

Even the bison looked underwhelmed with Old Faithful at

Yellowstone National Park



Living the "van life" meant we could stop wherever the mood took us, in this case it was beside a river in Wyoming

Do your research:

Although we had data on our phones we were often without internet

due to the remote locations we were visiting. So the fact that we had done

most of the research before we went made it a little easier.

Despite some solid planning before we left there were also so many

places we simply “stumbled” across that turned into highlights; the Grand

Teton’s being one of them. The Tetons had not been on our radar, but it

was simply one of the access routes to Yellowstone and the one we chose

to take. It turned out to be one of the highlights of the trip (more on that in

the next issue).

One of the places we "stumbled" across, the Grand Tetons

Regardless of the amount of online research you may have done

before your visit, nothing quite beats a stop at the local information

or visitor centre. They have the most up to date information on track

conditions, places to hike, etc and they also held valuable information

about “boondocking”, or free camping as we like to call it.

Give yourself time:

Although all trips have to follow some sort of time schedule so you

don’t miss your return flight, make sure you give yourself time when

planning to stop for the unexpected. We came across so many interesting

towns that we wish we had more time to explore.

We would have been best to cover less distance so we could have

spent more time exploring each place. However, it’s always a compromise,

but one to keep in mind when planning.

Taking time to enjoy the town and vineyards of Loveland

We did get to enjoy a couple of days at the end of our journey basing

ourselves in the town of Loveland, just south of Fort Collins. We embraced

the local life by hiring bikes and exploring the craft breweries of Fort

Collins and the vineyards of Loveland and it was a great way to end our

travels and a beautiful part of Colorado.


Bad can also be good:

Badlands National Park, on the eastern side of South

Dakota, was a real find. We almost didn’t get the extra

distance but I think when you come from the green of New

Zealand, seeing something like the Badlands is truly unique

and different. Hiking in the area is fantastic, as is the

photographic opportunities, although beware of rattlesnakes

and make sure you carry plenty of water. Simply being in this

unique environment was worth the drive.

Not all is created equal:

It seems that some States are abundant with outdoor

adventure activities and simply gorgeous scenery, whereas

others’ seem devoid of anything for miles and miles. You

could spend months exploring Colorado, for example, as

there are so many amazing and varied places within this

State. On the other hand, Wyoming boasts the Grand Tetons

and Yellowstone in the north-west of the State, however

the majority of the area is covered in large plains and is so

sparsely populated that the towns are spread a long way


Colorado was abundant in outdoor adventure activities

Lastly I think the best advice we can offer is not to be

too rigid, if the road gets too narrow, find a different way,

if the crowd is too big, go somewhere else, the real joy of

an RV - van life, is that life is where you park it and you can

pretty much park where you like!

Hiking in Badlands National Park



By Jessica Middleton

Van life is becoming increasingly more popular and there's definitely a reason

for it, who wouldn't want this kind of freedom when it can be experienced as if you

haven't left the comfort of your own home? Speaking of homes, owning a house

nowadays is becoming an extremely difficult task. We, being Jordan Whitcombe and

Jess Middleton decided to pursue our dream project of renovating a van and to us,

that was buying our first house, yet better. In fact, we could transform our van exactly

how we wanted to, and where we wanted to. Our van ‘Dusty’ is our greatest and

happiest investment along with our pup Chet who also joins us on our travels.

Just like anything in life, there is more than meets the eye, and sometimes

this can become overwhelming if you are looking to get started into the van life

movement. We have experienced this first hand and would love to be able to help

those who may feel the same. Imagine, after going through the process of finding

the right van, you are so excited to park up and dive into your new project but your

left asking yourself “well now that's done, what's the next step?” Trust us, there are

certain steps you need to take in order for the build to go smoothly. When we initially

started our build a few years ago there was very little information or guidance for

renovations, what's involved or what to expect. As a result, we had to figure a few

things out on our own and have taken away some valuable information for our next

project in the near future.

Selecting Your Van

Before you go ahead and purchase a van, you should test if you enjoy the ‘van

life’ experience first. You could look at borrowing a friend's van or hire one out

for a weekend getaway. We spent two months driving around Australia in a hired

camper van as our first trial, the best decision for us. This gives you the opportunity

to see what you feel comfortable with, or without, and gain an idea for the use of

space, setup and layout. The beauty is with a van or bus they come in all different

shapes and sizes and there's a huge variety on the market. You will find conditioned

vans for those who are ready to jump straight into it or ones you can completely

renovate yourself and use as a creative outlet. You will be quite surprised by all

the little nifty compartments you can come up with to utilise an area with minimal

space. Formulating the ideas is a great challenge and gets the brain firing, when it's

successful you are able to include more of what you love, winning!

Planning Your Layout

We would recommend gaining inspiration from Instagram accounts, YouTube or

Pinterest as these sites source the best information with new and updated content.

We based our design from the hire van and took components from other van builds

to create our own version. Having a seating area by day and bed by night is our

preference as it supplies variation and assists in different moods and aesthetics.

You need to be able to have easy access to all of your belongings and that each

item has a home, therefore placement is key. There is nothing worse than having to

unpack and repack your van every day.

Installing Solar and Electrical

You should install all of your electrical components first, as these need to be

hidden under all of your walls and cupboards. Solar panels are the way to go in

terms of supplying power to your van. This goes in hand with a dual battery which

allows the van to run off different systems to avoid your car battery going flat,

definitely not what you want if you are parked up in ‘Woop Woop’.

Before you go ahead and purchase a van, you

should test if you enjoy the ‘van life’ experience first.

"We would


gaining inspiration

from Instagram

accounts, YouTube

or Pinterest as these

sites source the best

information with

new and updated

content. "

Insulating Your Van

It is not completely necessary to insulate your van but it will make your overall

use enjoyable especially if you are planning to sleep in your van during cold winters

and hot summers.



Being nature lovers we wanted our van to feel homely yet exotic so added faux plants to the interior, installed lights behind the plants to give the sense of

stars, wooden ceiling as a feature and we handpainted a wave for some colour and artwork.

"Van life doesn't mean you have to pack up your entire life and live

completely out of your van, you can enjoy your van locally, as a home

away from home or a holiday home."

Fridge, Cooktop and Water System

These all need to be energy efficient to

your chosen power source supply, you will

find fridges on the market that are specific for

camper vans and output of the power unit.

We prefer a door fridge, but many prefer a

lift top fridge as they store more food.

Portable cooktops can be placed out the

back of vans, they are compact, inexpensive

and easy to use and means you can have more

bench space as it packs away neatly. You may

prefer longterm travel where you can install

a stovetop and oven and have a little kitchen


You can purchase portable pop up sinks

from your local camping stores which take up

far less space or have installed a water pump

and sink, it all comes down to preference.

Our shower consists of a long PVC pipe

attached to our roof racks, however, you can

opt for warm shower units and portable pump

showers, there are plenty of options to suit all


Flooring, Walls, and Ceiling

Bear in mind your vehicle runs on fuel

which can come at an expense so it's best to

equip your van with lightweight options that

will withstand the constant movement of your

van on the road. Your local warehouse stores

should have some convenient clip-in floorboard

options which are easy to assemble and provide

a quality finish. Vans are an organic shape

but that adds to the fun of configuring your

unique vans build. VJ board is commonly used

for van walls as it is lightweight and somewhat

malleable, there are other materials and

options that can be used.

Benches, Bed, and Cupboards

We would recommend getting second-hand

drawers or cupboards from a thrift shop as this

will save you time and frustration if you are

not confident with woodworking. Jordan made

the cupboards for our van and did an amazing

job but when it comes to sliding drawers it can

prove a little more difficult. We installed lift up

bench seats for storage and had wished we

had of alternatively installed pull out drawers

exiting the back of the van. Soft-close drawers

are recommended and we shall use these for

our next project as we currently have open-door

cupboards which occupy more space.

Never underestimate the superpower of

a good night's sleep, its important your bed is

comfortable, you really want to be able to wake

up fresh and tackle the day. We chose to get

Folllow Jess and Jordan: @our_van_life_ | @jessmiddletonxo | @jordan_whitcombe

our cushions done with a premium foam which

was measured up and fabricated perfectly. If

your van is built as a bed permanently this can

be a better comfort option as you can have a


Personalised Touches

Here you get to channel your creative side

and detail your new home personalised to

you and your interests. Being nature lovers

we wanted our van to feel homely yet exotic

so added faux plants to the interior, installed

lights behind the plants to give the sense of

stars, wooden ceiling as a feature and we

handpainted a wave for some colour and

artwork. Having surfboards racks inside the van

means they are accessible, safe and secure. We

have seen vans equipped for those who enjoy

fishing, snowboarding, hiking, mountain biking,

or whichever your heart desires.

Van life doesn't mean you have to pack up

your entire life and live completely out of your

van, you can enjoy your van locally, as a home

away from home or a holiday home.

The opportunities are endless and open

just like the roads we drive upon.







LOCATION: Antarctica

THE SHOT: “Kayaking in those wild

and pristine landscapes of Antarctica

was an experience beyond the real.

Those huge icebergs and glacier

behind made the moment one of the

best in my life! It was also for me a

best way to approach the wildlife”

Image courtesy Red Bull content pool


Issue #196//new zealand’s premIer adventure magazIne sInce 1981

new zealand

Issue 196


NZ $9.20 incl. GST

AUST $6.90 incl. GST

USA $9.99

CANADA $9.99

hiking winter


ice climbing

first rule

mt aspiring

don’t look down


colder than you think

gear guide

more than just a puffer

Issue #196//new zealand’s premIer adventure magazIne sInce 1981

new zealand

Issue 196


NZ $9.20 incl. GST

AUST $6.90 incl. GST

USA $9.99

CANADA $9.99

hiking winter


ice climbing

first rule

mt aspiring

don’t look down


colder than you think

gear guide

more than just a puffer


in the outdoors*




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inspiration: flying the high life

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By Sally Woodfield

Suspended 50 metres above the crowd, Arthur Meauxsoone

spreads his angel wings and soars along the zipline strung

between towering cranes. Below him, thousands of people turn

their faces skyward, the joy evident and reaching up in wonder

and delight. Feathers cascade around him and the feeling is


The son of well-known Belgian speleologist and

documentary maker Guy Meauxsoone, Arthur says he has been

caving and in the outdoors all his life. “When people asked me

what I wanted to do when I was older, I would say I wanted

to work as a speleologist and take people into caves. I love

exploring new things and discovering new places.”

“It’s incredible,” he says. “This is why I do this.”

Arthur (32) is one of 26 cast and crew with France’s

Compagnie Gratte Ciel (trans: ‘skyscraper’), a company which

specialises in grand scale performances with most of the cast

coming from backgrounds in the outdoors industry – ropes

specialists, caving and canyoning instructors, climbing experts,

paragliders and base jumpers.

Compagnie Gratte Ciel comes to New Zealand in March

to perform Place Des Anges in Auckland Domain exclusively

as part of Auckland Arts Festival for three nights with 10,000

people attending each night. Written and directed by Pierrot

Bidon and Stéphane Girard, Place Des Anges has been

performed around the world entrancing audiences of all ages in

France, Canada, Poland, Argentina, England, Sweden, Russia,

South Africa and Australia.

Like Arthur, Rémy Legeay (32) comes from an outdoors

background as a ropes expert and has been with Gratte Ciel for

10 years – he heard of the company while training as a ropes

instructor, and a few years later Stephane invited him to join.

As well as performing, he’s the company’s head rigger and

aerial designer and is in charge of overall safety, of the ‘angels’

and the public attending the show.

“In Auckland we’re working 50 metres above the ground,

but in some countries where we have performed from buildings,

we have been up to 100 metres above the audience. Safety is

the most important thing for me – making sure everyone is

safe. So while I love all the special moments of performing the

show, I’m also very focused on keeping an eye on everybody and

the whole installation.”

Rémy’s commitment to safety and design, and a brain

which he says “thinks about the mechanics of what needs to

be done”, has also seen him working with high wire walkers

on major installations including the 300 metre crossing of the

river Volga in Prague and he’s now collaborating with high

wire walkers to use textile ropes – a major departure from the

traditional use of metal wire.

While Rémy has spent a lifetime working at heights, for

Arthur it’s a different story. A caving and canyoning instructor,

and outdoors enthusiast, Arthur has been with Compagnie

Gratte Ciel for six years and says performing as an angel in

the show is a far cry from being underground discovering new

caves in Mexico, exploring the caves near his home town in

Lyon, France, or experiencing the beauty of the ice caves at

Mount Blanc.

Arthur’s exploring has taken him into a few tight places at

times including being seriously injured in his early 20s while

exploring a new cave in Mexico’s Puebla region with his father

and three climbing partners.

While 300m underground, a piece of the wall, including the

anchor point, gave way and sliced through the rope. Arthur fell

35 metres and was stranded at the bottom with three other

climbers and leaving only Guy on the surface. French, Belgian

and Mexican climbers were involved in the rescue. A year

later Arthur returned to the Tipitcli cave and pushed the cave

further to a length of 1000 metres and a depth of 658 metres.

“All experiences are good – you learn from those accidents.”

One of the climbers on that expedition was Place Des Anges

director Stéphane Girard. “My parents have known him for

many years and he’s been on numerous expeditions with them.

About six years ago he invited me to join the company.

“I love everything about the show – travelling to new

places, being part of the team and the feeling of doing the show

for the audience. There’s so much love shared between you and

the people and that connection is really powerful for me.”

Arthur admits that working high above the ground took

some adjustment after being more comfortable underground.

“There are times when I’ve been scared about being at height,

but then during the show you’re in the moment and feeling

what’s happening all around you and with the audience.

“It’s an incredible feeling. You look down and there’s no young

or old, there’s no difference or confrontation between people …

everyone is smiling and people forget their troubles and they

are just filled with joy and wonder.”

Rémy adds that seeing the audience respond to the show

makes all the months of preparation worthwhile. “We see the

joy this brings to people and that is the best thing.”

And while packing for the New Zealand season, Arthur

and Rémy have both added their personal climbing, hiking

and caving equipment and are staying on to experience New

Zealand’s outdoors.

“When I was a kid we looked at an atlas and talked about

where we would like to go during life,” says Arthur. “I saw New

Zealand on the map and I’d heard about all the mountains, the

oceans and the wildlife and I said I’d like to go there. Coming

to New Zealand is a dream come true and I can’t wait to go

hiking, caving and canyoning.”


Rémy Legeay

Arthur Meauxsoone

Remy and Arthur are part of a company which specialises in

grand scale performances with most of the cast coming from

backgrounds in the outdoors industry – ropes specialists,

caving and canyoning instructors, climbing experts,

paragliders and base jumpers.

Flying as an angel: Rémy Legeay

Place Des Anges is on in Auckland 13-15 March at Auckland Domain. Details
























































































By Bob Osborne – (Secretary of Responsible Campers Association Inc)

At this Campsite controlled by Whakatane District Council, tents outnumbered other forms of camping 3-1. No litter or

other reason for complaint was discovered over a 7-day period, Christmas - New Year 2019-2020. When tents outnumber

those in Motorhomes and Caravans so obviously and without complaint, where is the real cause of problems? All we saw

in 7 days was families really enjoying themselves in NZ’s great outdoors.

Responsible Campers Association Inc has been

developed to represent all freedom campers – this is

the stand they are making, for the full feature go to

have skewed the debate and regulatory responses against

another group of campers, so called ‘vanpackers' who tend

to be younger and are more likely to use smaller, non-selfcontained


For many years now, when mainline media and

councils talk about freedom campers they refer to

Motorhomes and Caravans. Very rarely do we hear

mention of any other form of freedom campers.

Interesting that even the Department of Internal

Affairs fail to correctly interpret the Freedom Camping

Act and who are defined as campers under that legislation

adding further confusion to the situation..

But just what is a freedom camper and who does it


The freedom Camping Act 2011 defines the meaning of

freedom camping, if you would like to read this in full you

can at

Freedom camping in New Zealand, also referred to as

free camping or in the US as boondocking, is where roadtrippers

and campers set up overnight in public places

which are not identified as campgrounds or holiday parks.

As time has gone on and Council’s restrict Freedom

Camping due to the lobbying of large Motorhome type

clubs, we see more Councils insist that all Freedom

Campers are ‘certified self contained’ (NZS;5465 in the

act) which is in denial of the right (yes we have a ‘right’

to camp) of freedom campers who use the traditional

methods of tents and bivouacs to camp.

So what does it all mean for me?

If you camp within 200 metres of a motorvehicle

accessible area, the Freedom Camping Act and indeed any

restrictions that a Local Government agency (Councils

etc) enact under the FCA apply to you. This could include

kayaker’s / rafter’s pulling up on a river bank, lake shore

etc to camp the night, cycle tourists and mountain bikers

camping the night as well as mountaineer’s and trampers.

People like surfers, who will often sleep in their cars

until the early morning to be ready to catch the morning

breaks, divers, fisherpersons, and others whose only

reason for camping is as a sideline to other recreational

activities, homeless people sleeping in cars, and the list

goes on.

Freedom Camping as defined in legislation (Freedom

Camping Act 2011) involves far more than Motorhomes

and Caravans.

Unfortunately only Motorhomes and Caravans can

be certified as compliant. Regrettably while the standard

can assist a camper to be responsible it does not make

them responsible, the persons camping have to make

that decision for themselves just as a non-certified selfcontained

camper has to.

The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) stated in a

2017 freedom Camping report that;

"....Much of the available evidence puts forward the

point of view of one group of campers who tend to be older

New Zealanders in larger self-contained vehicles, so-called

‘grey nomads’. This group are part of a trend towards

‘glamping’, valuing luxury as well as independence and an

outdoors experience. Advocacy on behalf of this group may

While you may consider the restrictions potentially

placed on your adventurism activities are not actually

impacting on you presently, be aware that in time they


The only way to prevent that happening and to get

the freedom camping situation back on a fair and level

playing field for all freedom campers is to act now.

Our Responsible Campers Association Inc has been

developed to represent all freedom campers to achieve

this goal. We invite Representative’s from organizations

and individual’s concerned about this ongoing situation

to join us and contact can be made thru our website



By Brian Megaw - River Valley

I wanted to write about was something that to me

was common sense and I knew to be true. That is the

link between feeling good in oneself, and taking time

out in nature. Or as our German guests often say – “Ve

come to Neu Zeeland because ve vant to be in za nature”.

Maybe a short walk might help.

What is the Link Between Nature and Health?

Scientists, (and I would think common sense) have

long known that there is a link between sunlight,

natural settings and human well being, however new

research has expanded those findings.

This new research is finding that as little as five

minutes in a natural setting, whether it be gardening

or walking in a park, improves mood, self esteem and

motivation. An example of this is a study done by the

University of Essex in 2007 that found that a walk in the

country reduced depression in 71% of the participants.

These findings, and others have resulted in the

coining of a new phrase in medical treatments, namely –


Surely a Few Minutes Walking in the park will not

be a Cure All?

No, a few minutes wandering amongst the flowers is

not going to suddenly be a cure all for all the conditions

affecting modern man.

John F. Kennedy University Ecotherapy Professor,

Craig Chalquist, PhD, co-author of Ecotherapy: Healing

with Nature in Mind, had this to say about Ecotherapy


“They do not represent a cure for the woes of

industrial civilization, nor can they be judged by

expectations more appropriate to a body of knowledge

and practice examined by many years of research.”

In other words, research thus far has not proven

that spending time in nature – while admittedly part

of a healthy lifestyle – can prevent, treat, or cure any

particular condition.

But it can certainly make you feel


When Should a Focus on Exercise and Time Spent in

Natural Surroundings be Started?

The focus needs to start with children. No surprises

there. There is plenty of research that says that children

need at least 60 minutes of physical activity (preferably

outside) per day. Outdoor time is beneficial for children’s

physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development.

However, what is especially interesting is where

the children’s physical activity becomes part of the

whole families activity. A walk to the Park as a family

group has benefits way beyond simple exercise. There

is excitement in doing something together that benefits


So you see where all this is going don’t you?

Therapist, Eric Marlowe Garrison, MAEd, MSc, says

this, “I can’t deny what I’m seeing with my clients,” he

says. “There’s a world of benefit to being out in nature.”

When you feel the lack of a creative spark, when the

glare of fluorescent lighting gets just too much, Go take

a Hike, or if a five minute walk in the park won’t quite

do it, then dare I say it, a River Trip, or a Horse Riding

Holiday may be what you are looking for.

River Valley can help you out with the river and

riding therapy. Our range of half day to multi day rafting

trips, and two-hour horse treks to multi day horse riding

holidays can provide a natural outdoor experience that

may be just what your mind and body needs.

Either browse our website to find a natural outdoor

experience for you or your family, or contact us by email

or phone.

River Valley Lodge:

p: 0800 248 666 | e:

What is the Point Then if Ecotherapy

cannot Prevent, Treat or Cure any

Particular Condition?

In a 2010 Japanese study of

“Shinrin-yoku” (defined as “taking in the

forest atmosphere, or forest bathing”),

for example, researchers found that

elements of the environment, such as the

smell of the trees and plants, the sound

of running stream water, and the scenery

of the forest can provide relaxation and

reduce stress.

Those taking part in the study

experienced lower levels of cortisol, (a

steroid hormone released by the body in

response to stress), a lower pulse rate,

and lower blood pressure.

These results would indicate that not

only did these participants feel better,

but their bodies reacted in a positive way

to the natural surroundings.
























































































Chaco Confluence $139.95

The beach-minded Confluence borrows

elements of the Z sandal for your next

sun and sand adventure. Stylish yet

performance-driven, with 2.5mm-deep

lugs for tons of different terrain.

Rab Momentum Pull-on $139.95

Perfected for moving at pace to through the

mountains, the Momentum Pull-On is designed

for those looking for that extra layer of protection

in varied conditions. Ideal for a cool morning

MTB ride or alpine run. Made from durable,

wind-resistant Matrix softshell with a UPF50+,

this versatile layer protects from both the wind

and sun while highly breathable Motiv side

panels ensure full freedom of movement. Stripped

back and uncomplicated, the slim-fit Momentum

Pull-On features a deep venting chest zip, soft

chin guard and single chest pocket that doubles

as a stuff sack when the jacket is not in use.

Chaco Z/CLOUD $159.95

Want your Classic Sandals with

pillow-top comfort? Introducing our

travel-ready Z/Cloud series, featuring

our same custom adjustable strap

system, performance ChacoGripTM

rubber outsole, and a top layer of

ultra-soft PU for instant-cushion

underfoot. Every pair comes

standard with our podiatrist-certified

LUVSEATTM PU footbed for all-day

comfort and support. Step in and feel

the difference.

Chaco Odyssey $179.95

Overcome rivers, trails, and

expectations. The all-terrain,

closed-toe Odyssey sport sandal

delivers the durability of a hiker,

the freedom of a barefoot trainer,

and the performance you need

from land to water.

Rab Momentum Shorts $99.95

From steep climbs up jagged peaks to

traversing ridges, the Momentum Shorts are

designed for covering greater distances at pace.

Made from lightweight but durable Matrix

double weave fabric they offer full freedom of

movement when hiking, running or scrambling

in the mountains. Treated with a DWR these

shorts will repel water during light showers

and dry quickly. Features are stripped back

with a simple elasticated waistband with

drawcord adjustment, a zip pocket in back

waistband and two hand pockets. Available in

mens and womens styles


Men's Line Logo Ridge Pocket

Responsibili-Tee $59.95

This 100% recycled pocket T-shirt

is made from 4.8 plastic bottles and

.26 pounds of fabric scrap, and saves

63 gallons of water compared to a

conventional cotton T-shirt. Fair Trade

Certified sewn.

Patagonia Women's Fleetwith Dress $109.95

The Fleetwith Dress was built for hiking,

traveling and general getting out and about.

Made from a 91% recycled polyester/9%

spandex blend that’s quick-drying and resists

wrinkling. Fair Trade Certified sewn.

Lowe Alpine Pioneer $169.95

Inspired by alpine summits, the Pioneer 26 litre day pack

is based on original Lowe brothers design from 1985. The

perfect companion whether you’re roaming the mountains

or exploring the urban jungle, the Pioneer 26 combines

retro styling with urban features.

With a zipped ‘bucket’ style opening, an internal organiser

with zipped security pocket keeps your valuables in order.

An external padded laptop compartment which fits a 15"

laptop, external zipped lid and front pockets keep your

essential items to hand. Made with tough canvas fabric

and featuring leather details, the Pioneer is ideal for

commuting, day hikes and urban adventures.

Marmot Windridge LS $69.95

A classic training shirt, the UPF 50 semifitted

quick-drying performance knit of the

Windridge Long Sleeve is ideal for highenergy

pursuits of all kinds. Emblazoned

with our venerable logo, this lightweight

piece is finished with flat-locked seams for

added comfort.
























































































"Alongside this hardcore growth

in adventure travel has been the

development of ‘soft' adventure.

Those holiday trips where one

day you are by the pool the next

you are out rafting or diving or

swimming with whales, those

vacations where there is a mixture

of relaxation in a nice hotel

coupled with core activities."

Over the last forty years, Adventure has seen a lot of changes,

the woolly jumpers have been discarded (in most cases) to be

replaced by technical, profession-specific clothing. Offshore

adventures are now no longer just for a select few but for

everyone. People are venturing further and further afield to find

new, exciting and unique experiences. But the side development

to this that no one saw coming was the growth of both hard and

soft adventure holidays.

There has grown a whole industry taking people on ‘holiday'

to the far corners of the world, even Base Camp at Everest for a

trip of a lifetime. Last week a company in the US was offering ski

and snowboard tours to the slopes of Everest!

Alongside this hardcore growth in adventure travel has been

the development of ‘soft' adventure. Those holiday trips where one

day you are by the pool the next you are out rafting or diving or

swimming with whales, those vacations where there is a mixture

of relaxation in a nice hotel coupled with core activities. These

types of ‘holidays’ feature in Adventure magazine, website and

social media. But there is so much growth we had to establish a

second website to pick up the over

the flow of material. and @adventuretravellermag

(on Instagram) have been going over a year, and already, there

are over 10,000 followers on Instagram. Online you will find

specific activities and destinations plus gear and ''hot’ deals.

If adventure travel is on your radar check out and follow @adventuretravelermag

and we will keep you up to date to what’s new and what’s


Feel free to send us images and stories of your adventures.






Last March, Nick Vaughan

from Wellington took part in

the Himalayan Trust Summit

Challenge, not only smashing

the challenge to climb 8848m

within a month but tripling

the elevation to climb a

staggering 26,544m.

Nick was one of hundreds

of Kiwis who climbed the

height of Everest in March to raise funds for the work of Sir

Edmund Hillary’s Himalayan Trust in Nepal.

“The Summit Challenge appealed to me in several ways,”

said Nick. “There’s the mental and physical challenge of pushing

yourself to achieve a goal as well as the challenge to make a real

difference for people in Nepal.

“My connection to Nepal started eight years ago. I took

part in a leadership course that showed me how I need to lead

myself first and that I needed to learn how to serve others truly.

I found that once you open yourself up, then the universe has a

wonderful way of connecting you to others.

“Then within a couple of months of the course, I was made

redundant. As was sitting at my desk on a Monday morning

thinking about what to do next. I suddenly thought – I’ve always

wanted to go to Nepal. The next week I was on a plane to Nepal

to trek to Everest Base Camp.

“On that trip I met a great bunch of people and the Khumbu

region was such a peaceful and stunning part of the world.

“Seeing the difference that Sir Ed made to this region made

me proud to be a Kiwi. The locals say that Sagarmatha (the local

name for Everest) allowed Hillary to climb her as he would be

the one to use his fame to give back to the region. Which he did


“Taking on the Summit Challenge was a chance to give back

to others and this was far more fulfilling than personal success.

I decided to do triple the elevation as I knew it would take some

dedication to achieve and would be a great way to inspire friends

and family to sponsor me.

“I cycled and ran the challenge, including one very memorable

ride where I did the both sides of the Akatarawa hills, Rimutakas

and Moonshine hill. That was a distance of 176km and over

3000m elevation – all in one day.

“What kept me going was knowing first-hand how this would

change the lives of people in Nepal, which is still one of the

poorest countries in the world.

“I’m already thinking about the challenge this year and let’s

see who can join us in raising money for a great cause and getting

themselves fit at the same time.”

To find out more about the Himalayan Trust Summit

Challenge visit

Climb the height of Everest for the people of Nepal.

Anywhere, anytime during March 2020 • Bike, walk or run • Go solo or as a team

Register now at






















































































In my opinion

What do you really think?


Do you think TripAdvisor is an asset or a

blemish for travel industry?

Michael Smithers –


I hate Tripadvisor – it’s just too

unbelievable. A couple of times I have

booked a place and was locked into it

then looked it up on Tripadvisor and

the review were a horror story, only to

go and really loved it. In Fiji I spoke

with the owner re Tripadvisor’s bad

review and he said it had been written

by a local competitor, so I call BS on


Katherine Prague –


Love Tripadvisor would never book

anywhere without checking there first.

I always write an honest review, it’s

just my opinion but I hope it helps



Marke Dickson -

Director, Marketing, Panorama Mountain Resort

Search for Trip Advisor on Google and you’ll see “Latest Reviews, Lowest Prices”

showing that what started as an online forum (deliberately) is now a revenue

generating online travel agency. Is it an asset or a blemish? Perhaps the question any

traveller should ask themselves is, what’s the real story behind the reviews posted on

sites like these? Did the writer have an argument with their partner before checking

in? Or, were they upgraded to business class on the flight to their spectacular hotel?

Why do we value anonymous postings the same way we do recommendations, or

otherwise, from friends?

Not that long ago we decided what we wanted out of a holiday, grabbed some

brochures and made a decision (with high hopes but reasonable expectations).

These days, we spend night after night reading reviews from unknown and faceless

contributors who likely confuse us more than they help. If you want advice about a

destination there’s still nothing better than talking to a travel professional.

In terms of feedback, positive and negative, think old-school and go directly to the

business concerned. Operators with strong values will always respond, do their best

to make things right, and use the information to make the experience better for the

next visitor. If they don’t, vote with your feet and your wallet.


Jeremy Wadzinski -


Trip Advisor and the plethora of

websites and Apps similar to it are a

tool just like anything else used when

travelling. And just like all tools,

they’re only as useful as the person

wielding them. As with any peer-topeer

evaluation system the ratings can

be corrupted or skewed to either give

something too high or too low a rating,

but while we were travelling around

the world, we found it invaluable. It

helped us find many restaurants,

hotels and experiences we would have

missed or overlooked. Nothing beats a

deep dive into researching a place or a

culture. But, when you don’t have the

luxury of time, it works great to give

you a quick overview of a destination.

As with all things on the internet, it’s

best to take all advice with a healthy

dose of skepticism. Be informed, don’t

be gullible.


Andrea Messenger -

Plateau Lodge

Remember back in the days before

review sites were commonplace, how

did we review our travel plans or book

the journey to do something special.

It’s now all at the end of our fingertips

to discover – explore – compare.

We have had no choice but to

accept the giants of the cyber world:

Look at Google (to search)– Amazon

(to buy books)- Uber (to order a cab).

Over time, Tourism largely

accepted that TripAdvisor wasn’t going

away, even as we watched it turn our

industry into an online review booking

platform. The online world has

changed pretty much every industry.

Bad reviews can be devastating

for business, great reviews are

perfect to building a business. We

really have had no choice but to pull

our socks up and just get on with

what the expectation is and join the

rollercoaster ride.

Paige Hareb -

Professional surfer and extensive traveller

have tried to use Tripadvisor before but I think it’s a waste of time as I have never

found the best deal for hotels or flights. Also never found a good restaurant in there as

I feel the app is almost made for the “older” market so there’s no cool, young cultures

cafes on there. The best cafes I’ve found is through Instagram or word of mouth or

just stumbling across them. For accommodation, my go to is either Airbnb, VRBO

in America, Hawaii and sometimes Europe and then any airport hotels I just use

So final answer is no I don’t use, like or recommend TripAdvisor.

Luke Boddington -

Rafting NZ

From an operator's perspective

Trip Adviser is a valuable and effective

tool for our business.

From reviews left by our clients

we can review our "trip" offerings and

critique our products and services.

We also get the "feel good" factor

from receiving complimentary

remarks were customers have highly

enjoyed their time with us.

As an operation we can review

each guide's performance and look at

how many reviews each guide receives

per month, then place against the

amount of trips they guide - from this

evaluation we award the guide with

best ratio each month an award - so

to incentivise the guides to deliver an

exceptional service on a consistent


If you maintain a high rating on

Tripadvisor then it is also a valuable

marketing tool and aide for the

business to utilise.

Of course as with everything there

is the downside of clients potentially

leaving negative remarks about their

time with us and if these comments

seem unjustified then that "hurts" but

mostly if there are negative comments

received, it is seen as valuable

information that we use to review our

products and services against so to

improve if required.

























































































Recently Webjet revealed increased demand for eco-friendly destinations

and shares tips for travelling greener:

New Zealanders are renowned

for their love of nature and sense

of community, and

has revealed a growing demand

for green travel among Kiwis,

with striking uplift in travel to

famed eco-tourism destinations,

such as Borneo, over the last five


CEO David Galt explains,

“We know New Zealanders are

increasingly conscious of their

impact on the environment, not

just when they are at home, but

when they head away too. Over

the last five years, we’ve seen

significant increase in Kiwis

taking off to locations that offer

eco-friendly opportunities. From

domestic travel to Christchurch

(+24%) where Kiwis can swim

with endangered dolphins; to

Cairns (+131%) as the gateway

to the Great Barrier Reef; Borneo

(+112%), the jungle paradise

home to orangutan sanctuaries;

and Nepal (135%*), renowned

for its protected reserves and

Himalayan hikes. *

Searches for trips to Costa

Rica are up by two thirds year-onyear

(+61%) **, and travel to the

idyllic islands of the Philippines is

up a staggering 657%*. The lure

of some of the Philippines’ most

incredible natural sites, such

as the magnificent Apo Island

Marine Reserve, has never been

more tempting for New Zealand


Galt says that green travel,

however, isn’t limited to visiting

locations known for conservation

efforts or sustainability projects.

It is also about making simple

choices that help lessen your

impact on your chosen holiday


From small habits tourists can

take along any road they travel,

to how to make as little impact on

the natural habitat as possible,

Webjet shares 10 ways you can be

kinder to the environment while

on your next holiday.




Look to destinations that offer

opportunities to support local

ecosystems. From swimming

with protected Hector’s dolphins

near Christchurch, to visiting

the Great Barrier Reef or

the Daintree Rainforest in

Queensland with sustainable

tour operators, your trips to these

destinations are an amazing way

to support ongoing conservation


2.GO DIGITAL: Opt for

electronic tickets, itineraries

and boarding passes if you can,

saving these to your mobile

for use. If you do have any

printed tour guides, make sure

you recycle properly when you

depart, or repurpose them by

leaving them for future travellers

to enjoy.

3.SWITCH OFF: Before

you even leave home for the

airport, you can help reduce your

environmental footprint just by

turning off power points and

unplugging electronic devices.

Not only does this save energy

consumption, but it will also

reflect on your electricity bills!

4.REFILL: You make an

effort to reduce use of single-use

plastic and waste at home, and

these practices should be taken

with you while travelling, too.

Taking a refillable water bottle

and reusable tote or carry bag

with you on holiday is a simple

way of not contributing to singleuse

plastic waste.


it comes to places to stay while

away, do some research to see

what environmentally-friendly

practices a preferred hotel or

resort has in place. Some of

the things to look for include

solar panels, rainwater tanks,

composting and even rooms

designed to retain or keep out the



Support the regional economy

and help funnel funds back into

the community by using local

tour guides where possible. A bit

of research beforehand is all that

is needed to track down the best

local guides.


SIGHTSEEING: Keen hikers

should stay on marked trails,

maintain a safe distance from

animals and deposit of all

rubbish correctly if it can’t be

taken with you. Those looking

to snorkel or dive should choose

a reef-safe sunscreen and be

vigilant about not touching coral

as this can damage the fragile

marine ecosystem.

8.LIVE ON LOCAL: Need to

stock up on snacks while away?

Visit a farmers’ market or coop

to pick up locally-grown produce

that doesn’t come wrapped in

plastic. Farmers’ markets are

great way to get to know the

community and even tap into the

local knowledge of the area.


HOME: Rather than having your

hotel towels and linen changed

every day, act like you would

at home and reuse them. It is

an easy way to cut your water

wastage while away.


need to get around when visiting

a new place, and using two feet or

two wheels is one of the greenest

forms of transport. Those that

can’t walk or cycle can make use

of local public transport. Try to

only used motorised transport in

the case of reaching further afield


Galt finishes, “With an abundance of eco-friendly locations and accommodation options now available – alongside great

deals and improved connections from major cities through South East Asia and beyond – it’s a great time to explore some of the

inspiring sites nature has to offer, without leaving too much of an impact as you go.”
























































































c d E

a KTI PLB personal emergency locator beacon SA2G-NZ 406MHz $339.00

The New Zealand Coded Safety Alert personal emergency locator beacon SA2G-NZ 406MHz

PLB is compact, fast and reliable; making it the ultimate global rescue link for people who

want peace of mind in the outdoors. A free Soft Pouch and arm band are also included. Free

contitional battery replacemet if used in a genuine emergency.

b Brux Pour Over Coffee System

BRuX is based on a simple concept: Flavour and convenience shouldn’t be mutually exclusive.

So, Boco put the pour-over flavour you’d expect from your favourite coffee shop into a system

that’s as adventure ready as you are. The tasteful and simple design makes brewing a breeze

and stainless-steel vacuum insulated bottle ensures that your coffee stays hot for hours. It’s

on-the-go convenience with countertop quality flavour.

c Gloworm CX

The CX is much more than a well-priced commuter light – the CX takes all-in-one lighting into

the future. The CX uses custom replaceable optics to produce a beam perfect for the desired

application, for convenience it is USB chargeable and can be mounted seamlessly on the bars

or helmet.


d Gloworm X2 Adventure

The X2 Adventure is the svelte brother of the Original X2. The X2 Adventure features the same

specifications as the X2 with the exception of the Battery and Runtime. The X2 Adventure

is shipped with a 2-cell battery (Half the size and weight of the 4-cell version), allowing the

system to be used more comfortably on a headstrap or helmet without too much loss of

runtime. CNC machined from a single block of 6061-T6 Alloy and weighing a mere 89g, the X2

turns night into day.

e Fitorch P26R Torch with Battery

P26R is a well gripped, high-output max 3600 lumen outdoor LED flashlight.

Holds a CREE XHP70.2 LED, powered by 1*26650 rechargeable 5000mAh battery. 4

illumination modes (Turbo-High-Medium-Low) and Strobe, SOS tactical function, power

detection and location beacon built in.


f SunSaver Super-Flex 14-Watt Solar Charger $199.00

Putting out over 2.5-Amps of output on a sunny day you’ll charge your phone and devices in no

time at all, straight from the sun.

g SunSaver Classic 16,000mAh Solar Power Bank $99.00

Built tough for the outdoors and with a massive battery capacity you can keep all your devices

charged no matter where your adventure takes you.



Originally smart speakers were all about the art of using your voice to

control you’re the speaker, but the newest offerings go far beyond that.

The new breed of speakers are packed with power and depth that does

justice to your playlist. We looked at some and listened to some at are

currently on the shelves. Its is a fast moving a developing category so it would

pay to do your own investigation when purchasing.

UE Boom 3

There are more powerful Bluetooth

speakers, but none match the fun and

convenience of the Ultimate Ears Boom

3. It puts out great sound for its size. The

waterproof cylinder comes in multiple colours

and it can last 15 hours between charges and

gives you 100 feet of Bluetooth range. On top

of all that, it has a two-year warranty.

JBL Link 20

The JBL Link 20 is a great

portable speaker. It can connect via

Bluetooth, but also has Wi-Fi with

Google Assistant built in, so you can

say "Hey Google" and you will get a

reply. It's easy to use and has helpful

indicators so you know if it has a solid

connection and when it's running

out of battery. It's waterproof, it even

floats, and gets 10 hours per charge?

Sonos Move

If you want a Bluetooth speaker

that can fill any room, the Sonos Move

is a good speaker to build a home

network around. Its speakers connect

to nearly every streaming service, and

they work with Google Assistant or

Alexa. They also sound amazing by

every measure. Just know that the

Move is primarily a wireless speaker

that streams over your Wi-Fi network,

but it also functions as a Bluetooth

speaker when you take it outside, or

anywhere away from Wi-Fi.

Apple HomePod

This small stylish speaker delivers

big, clear sound without much distortion.

A ring of seven tweeters (little speakers)

broadcast out in a full circle, so you can

put HomePod in the middle of a room.

Setup is easy but, being Apple, it fails

to work with all platforms. If not using

Apple Music, you can AirPlay apps like

Pandora or Spotify, you just can’t control

them with Siri.

Harman Kardon Citation 300

A balanced speaker with thumping

bass and little distortion, even at high

volume. Bohemian rhapsody on full

noise roared with clear vocals and

thumping base.

With an LCD screen, the Harman

had the best interface away from a

smartphone, including adjustments to

bass levels. Plus, it was easy to pair

with the Google Home app.
























































































We've searched the internet for some great travel needs...

A Moveable Feast

The Art of Travel

Medium Raw

A Movable Feast’ is a compilation of short

stories from famous chefs, writers and

foodies around the world. They all share a

love of food and the power it has to bring

people together. Reading the short stories

will give you a glimpse of the culture and

induce a serious case of food lust.

Many travel-themed books play to our

daydreams about travel, but de Botton

takes a brutally honest and philosophical

look at why we travel and brings to light

truths that we don't want to see or believe,

namely that the fantasies we have about

a place can often be better than the

reality we encounter once we arrive. He's

incredibly articulate when describing the

mundane moments of travel that we often

glaze over in memory. It's not just about

the moments of grandeur but every little

element is part of the whole experience.

There’s a special place in every traveller’s

heart for Anthony Bourdain. But between

his award-winning TV shows and bestselling

books, it’s hard to choose which

part of his storytelling is most influential.

He comes to us in this book a little older,

a little more worn, and above all, wiser

and apologetic for his staunch stances

of the past. He's still the same Anthony

Bourdain, with the same convictions about

what makes good cooking, but the years

on the road have softened his soul in this

memoir. This book is a lot more of an

insight into both the man and his travels.

A Woman Alone


‘Vagabonding easily remains in my top-10

list of life-changing books. Why? Because

one incredible trip, especially a long-term

trip, can change your life forever. And

Vagabonding teaches you how to travel

(and think), not just for one trip, but for

the rest of your life.”—Tim Ferriss, from

the foreword.

The sheer number of “what ifs”

when considering a solo trip is

enough to keep many travelers at

home. “A Woman Alone” will help

you conquer the fear of exploring

alone and encourage you to do it on

your own terms. “‘A Woman Alone’

is filled with relatable stories from

solo female travellers that are real,

transparent and uplifting. This book

will give you the push you need to

face your fears and see the world all

by yourself.


Back Country Cuisine


chicken and pasta dish, served in a creamy

italian style sauce.


Mushrooms with tomato in a savory sauce,

served with noodles. Vegan.

Available in one serve 90g or two serve 175g


RRP $8.99 and $13.49


on chocolate self-saucing pudding, with

chocolate brownie, boysenberries and

chocolate sauce. Gluten Free.

RRP 150g $12.49


Back Country Cuisine

ICED MOCHA: Our mocha is

made with chocolate and coffee

combined with soft serve to give

you a tasty drink on the run.

Gluten Free. 85g.

RRP $3.99





RAB Mythic 200

The pinnacle of innovation, the Mythic 200

Sleeping bag is an ultra lightweight down

sleeping bag with the best warmth to weight

ratio in the Rab range. Designed for mountain

activists looking to reduce weight while moving

through the mountains, for use in warmer

conditions where weight and packsize are

crucial to success, such as long multi day

routes or summer trekking.

RRP $899.95


Wherever your next

adventure is about to

lead you, we’ve got

the goods to keep you


Est. 1998 Back Country

Cuisine specialises in

a range of freeze-dried

products, from tasty

meals to snacks and

everything in between, to

keep your energy levels up

and your adventures wild.


The Iconic Base Camp Duffel. Originally

launched in 1986, today's Base Camp Duffel

is made of burly fabrics and built to be

transported via porters, yaks and camels.

Thousands of these gear totes circumnavigate

the globe, surviving the world’s roughest airport

baggage handlers and harshest mountains.

RRP $260.00




The Wander Hiker GTX is a low-cut alpine hiking shoe with a

durable nubuck leather upper, GORE-TEX® waterproof and

breathable protection, and a MICHELIN® outsole paired with

the new SALEWA GumFlate midsole, your go-to, versatile travel

companion to take you wherever your adventure leads you, not

to mention they look good with jeans!

RRP $359.00



Merrell Vapor Glove 4 – Men’s and Women’s

Merrell Barefoot 2 construction for enhanced proprioception

and stability during variable movement. Featuring a Vibram®

sole, this minimal trainer provides little between you and the

ground for maximum freedom and connection underfoot.

Weight 244g

RRP $189.00


Merrell Agility Peak Flex 3 – Men’s and Women’s

Built for running on rugged trails, Agility Peak Flex 3

features shock-absorbing foam cushioning, Vibram®

MegaGrip® sole and FLEXconnect midsole technology

for agility over technical terrain.

Weight 621g

RRP $269.00


Merrell Trail Glove 5 – Men’s and Women’s

Created by studying the foot in motion, this trainer

is designed to enhance the foot’s natural ability to

stabilize the body during rapid changes in movement.

Weight 392g

RRP $219.00


Hoka One One Speedgoat 4

Featuring a new breathable yet rugged mesh and a

wider toe box. Grippy on the uphill and secure on the

downhill, the Speedgoat 4 is badass on every trail.

Also available in WIDE.

RRP $299.95


Hoka One One Torrent

High-traction rubber and aggressive lugs

mean that when your feet are on the ground

they’re sure of their footing. Marry that with

a breathable upper and you’ve got a super

lightweight, nimble, and technical trail racer

that allows you to tackle a variety of terrain at

any speed. Pedal to the metal.

RRP $249.95


Travel bags

Whether it's a back pack you are after or a

cabin bag, we've got the best from our market


"There is a whole world out there.

Pack your backpack, your best friend, and go!"

Lowe Alpine AT Voyager 55 + 15

If you’re heading on a worldwide trip or travelling to remote

locations, the AT Voyager 55+15 is a spacious backpacking

pack with a detachable day pack that’s perfect for unplanned

adventures. With clever and practical features, the AT Voyager is

designed to carry your gear where wheeled luggage won’t go.

The AT Voyager 55+15 is a spacious 55 litre backpack with a

removable 15 litre day pack which can either be attached to the

main pack or the chest harness for a front carry to keep your

valuables close. With front access to the main compartment and

internal zipped mesh organisation pockets, the AT Voyager can be

packed like a suitcase for easy access to your gear. Constructed

from tough, weather-resistant nylon fabrics and featuring

tamperproof and locking zips, the AT Voyager 55+15 is designed

to keep your kit safe and secure on the move.

RRP $475.95



pacsafe Metrosafe LS100 Anti-theft

recycled crossbody bag

Protect your valuables with this 3L bag

(other sizes and designs available) featuring

slashproof panels and strap, security hooks

and lock down points for zips. RFID-blocking

pockets. Will fit a 7-inch tablet in its padded


osprey Farpoint and Fairview

Travel Packs

Range includes 40L, 55L, 70L and

80L with options of two different

sizes of men’s and women’s specific

harnesses. 55L and 70L option

features a detachable daypack.

Amazing construction and features.

RRP $219.99 - $299.99


RRP $139.95


Osprey Archeon 65 Pack

Minimalist design constructed with

recycled materials. Easy access front

panel and separate sleeping bag

compartment. Includes removable rain

cover. Comes in two different harness

sizes with men’s and women’s specific


RRP $549.99


Featured product

Lowe Alpine Halcyon 35:40

Born from Lowe Alpine’s vertical heritage, the Halcyon 35:40 is

a mid-volume, traditional mountaineering pack designed for the

extraordinary. With features including a rope compression system,

pick retainer panel and reinforced ski slots, you can carry your kit

securely over rock, snow or ice. An extendable lid increases the

volume by 5 litres, while a stiffened weather flap/compression

system aids stability. A lid pocket and zipped side entry keeps kit

organised and accessible.

The Halcyon features the Tri-Flex carry system, designed with

three key load support elements, allowing you to configure the

carry to suit your adventure. Load support comes from a spring

steel frame and an independent HDPE frame sheet. Both are

removable, giving the carry options of frame and board for heavy

loads, just the board for support yet flexibility, and removal of

both for a lighter, flexible pack. Tri-Flex has a moulded snowshedding

back panel, a padded harness and a dual density foam

hip belt with gear loops. The hip belt padding can be stripped back

to the waist belt webbing or removed completely depending on


RRP $395.95


Featured product

Macpac Weta 24L Pack

Designed for all-weather travel — whether it’s commuting to work

or heading overseas — the Weta is a versatile day pack featuring a

waterproof heat-welded body and a snug roll-top closure. Ideal for the

'sweaty cyclist' or sudden rain showers, this 24 litre pack is comfortable

on your back and keeps your gear dry.

• Heat-welded nylon outer is waterproof (non-submersible)

• Roll top closure is secured by side clips (or by clipping


• 3D mesh back panel for maximum ventilation

• Removable hip belt and adjustable sternum strap

• Two zipped pockets — one on the front (not waterproof) and

one inside

• Laser-cut drainage hole in bottom of front stretch pocket

• Side loops for extra carabiner attachment

• Bike light attachment

• Repair patch included in front stretch pocket — use with Gear

Aid Seam Grip Sealer & Adhesive

RRP $249.99


Osprey Transporter Global Carry-On

The Transporter Global Carry-On is a streamlined solution

for efficiency on the road. Padded handles and a nonslip

shoulder pad let you choose how to transport your

belongings. A main zipper opens flat for easy packing

and internal zippered dividers create separate areas for

your clothes, documents and electronics. A large external

compartment stores toiletries and a front panel pocket

is the perfect spot for reading material and notebooks.

Made from weatherproof fabric to protect against the


RRP $229.99


osprey farpoint 65 wheeled travel pack

Quickly converts from wheeled luggage to backpack. Front

panel that opens completely for easy packing and unpacking,

internal and external compression straps, multitude of


RRP $349.99


Macpac ITOL 35L Travel Duffel

Fitting ‘in the overhead locker’, this duffel has zipped

compartments, internal packing cells, laptop pocket, detachable

shoe bag and a removable shoulder strap. It has a 35 litre

capacity and weighs 910 g.

RRP $199.99


Osprey Transporter Wheeled Carry-On

The Transporter Wheeled Carry-On is ideal for frequent travellers

who want to minimize hassle and maximize efficiency. Offering

travel-specific features, like a concealed RFID security pocket for

your wallet or passport, mesh compartment dividers for optimal

organization and a dedicated external pocket for your liquids.

An open-flat design makes packing easy, internal compression

keeps your clothes in place and a separate padded laptop sleeve

provides protection. Built from tough weatherproof materials to

withstand the challenges of habitual travel.

RRP $399.99


Featured product

Lowe Alpine Kulu

Travel the world with the Kulu 65:75, a larger volume backpacking

pack with patented FlipBelt technology designed to ease the stress

of transit. All the kudos of a backpack combined with a set of travel

specific features, the Kulu is our ultimate backpacking pack designed

for travel to remote locations where wheeled luggage won’t go.

Available in two sizes with adjustable back length and AirMesh carry

system, the Kulu 65:75 offers a supportive and comfortable carry. With

plenty of space and pockets for your gear, the Kulu 65:75 features a

large zippered front panel for easy access on the go, plus a lower entry

with a zipped divider to keep your kit separate. Essentials stay close

to hand with hip belt pockets, while a secure internal lid zipped pocket

keeps valuables safely stashed.

Our patented Travel FlipBelt is a simple, no-nonsense design feature

that allows you to stash the hip belt on the side of the pack when

travelling. To enable, start by pivoting each arm of the hip belt so it

aligns with each side of the pack then connect the arms to the side

of the pack using the hidden travel mode buckles. The integrated rain

cover doubles up as a travel cover to ensure the harness and other

straps are secure during transit.

RRP $439.95


Travel intro


Destinations have so much to offer the 'adventurer',

whether that is Everest or the South Pacific, adventure travel,

or travel with adventure, has become hugely popular. But

I am sure that like us, you are well and truly over reading

about the ‘azure blue water, the white sand beaches and

the swaying palm trees’. This issue we are saying, ‘be

responsible for your own generic information’, if you want to

know about Tahiti and her islands then use ‘the google’! I just

typed in Tahiti, and I got 152,000,000 results (0.69 seconds).

That’s all the general information you are going to need.

So, what’s in this Escape issue? It’s the stuff you won’t

find on Google; the secret and the small, it’s all that is

special. What we like to call ‘insider’ information; that

restaurant, that lookout, that activity, that only the locals

know about. We wrote to a variety of people we know and

asked them for their best picks, their specialised insider

knowledge of their destination.


Image courtesy Malamala Beach Club


I always feel a bit sorry for Fiji because it seems to have been around for so long. It is so

diverse, so expansive, yet it gets pigeonholed. It has led the way in South Pacific tourism but

with over 333 island there is really something for everyone. From super budget to super top

end, from family kids’ clubs to billionaires only. Its longevity is both a negative and positive.

Negative because everyone you speak to has been there and everyone has an opinion. The

positive is that because it has been catering for tourism for so long there really is something

for everyone. Amazing diving and fishing, rafting, biking, hiking. The surf throughout the region

is legendary. The Fijian people are friendly and welcoming regardless of where you go. Even

though it is the quintessential ‘Pacific paradise’ it’s got a lot more to offer than the holiday

brochures would have you believe.

Spend a day at Malamala

If you think ‘Fiji’ you think white sand

beaches, it’s not always that easy - Denarau

beaches are dodgy at best, but just 25 mins away

by boat is Malamala Beach Club. Surrounded

by crystal clear waters, Malamala is located

on its very own island, just 25 minutes from

Port Denarau. Pretty much the biggest coolest

restaurant in Fiji.

You buy a day pass and you can lay on

the white sand beaches all day, or purchase a

beachside cabana with butler service on the quiet

side of the island. The resort style infinity pool is

awesome. Also good to know. Buy a day pass from

South Sea Cruises and you can go back over the

next 7 days for just FJD$75 pp.

See the Garden of the Sleeping Giant

Founded by actor Raymond Burr (aka Perry

Mason), the Garden of the Sleeping Giant

boasts a wonderful collection of orchids and

other flowering plants as well as several trails

meandering through the landscaped grounds and

into the lowland rainforest abutting the Sleeping

Giant escarpment. The entrance fee includes a

tropical juice which you can enjoy on their lovely


Explore Nausori Highlands

Towering over the coastal flats of Nadi are

the high peaks of Koromba to the south and

Koronayitu in the north, both over 1000m and

forming part of the spectacular Nausori Highlands.

With your own transport, a stunning drive starts

from halfway along the Nadi Back Road at the

turn-off known as Mulomulo Road. Head inland

along this road for 14km, and after a steep hairpin

bend, keep an eye out for a walking track on the

left-hand side (you can park 50m beyond at a

roadside clearing on the right); the track leads up

past a triangular survey marker to a steep cliff with

superb views over the Sabeto River Valley and out

over Nadi to the offshore islands.

Cloud 9

Clever idea, so you don’t have an island

but you want to have a resort – so you simply

build one. Once again this is a great day trip,

just a good reason to get out of the city and

enjoy what Fiji has to offer at its best. Warm

clear water, sun and a place to enjoy it. There

are a range of ways to get there, just google it.

Be advised it is not Cloudbreak, the surf spot,

you can not see Cloudbreak from the Cloud 9

even though the title would lead you to believe

you could.


Drive Kings Road

Carving a scenic route between Suva

and Lautoka, the Kings Road is every bit as

spectacular as the faster and more popular

Queens Road route. It takes you through a lush

interior with gorgeous views over the Wainibuka

River with the occasional village meandering

its way along the road and river - plus some

wonderful rugged country around Rakikraki,

where the nearby island of Nananu-i-Ra offers

the perfect place to get away from it all.

Explore Navua River

There are several tours to the Navua River

area. Tours include waterfall visits, 4WD trips,

trekking, kayaking and white-water rafting.

There seems to be a dizzying number of

activities on offer with costs between $225 and

$500. Prices vary according to transfers: they'll

pick you up anywhere between Nadi and Suva.

All day tours last about six hours.


Notchup © / NCTPS





New Caledonia is a little ‘under sung’ in tourism. Because it has such good

mineral resources it is not reliant on tourism to survive like many of the other

South Pacific countries. But it has a lot to offer. The mix of both French and local

Kanak culture, intermingled with aspects of Vietnamese and Indonesian influence,

has created a unique travel experience in New Caledonia. There is a lot of history

here, a unique culture and it is stunningly beautiful.

Snorkel at Kanumera Bay

Bordered by coconut palms and colonial pine

trees, the beach at Kanumera Bay was made for

snorkelling! The water is crystal clear and just

tens of metres from the shore there are ‘coral

heads’ and a little fringing reef where you can see

thousands of fish!

There is also an amazing coral formation

which seems to cut the bay in two. It is linked to

the land by a thread of silvery sand, it has strong

culture significance as such it is totally forbidden

to go on the island – still impressive to look at.

Visit Musée de la Nouvelle Calédonie

Tourists shouldn’t leave New Caledonia

without an appreciation and understanding

of Kanak culture. Kanaks – the indigenous

population of New Caledonia – lived a basic

subsistence lifestyle prior to the arrival of the

French. The museum is home to examples of their

huts, artwork, clothing and farming practises.

The museum also has a smaller section on other

Pacific cultures drawing fascinating cultural

parallels with Fiji, Vanuatu and Papua New

Guinea. Musée de la Nouvelle Calédonie offers

a snapshot of Kanak culture often overlooked by

other tourist centres.

Go Mountain Biking

Maybe it’s the French connection but biking

has become a big deal in New Caledonia. There

are numerous trails close to the city and clearly

mark adventure trails going into the back country;

for example, you can ride the Grande Boucle of

the Tango plateau in Koné: its nearly 40 km at

about 510m in altitude and climbing more than

1,600m. There are numerous places to hire your

bike from, but it would pay to book in advance.

The New Caledonia tourism website has a lot

more information about where to go and how

difficult each track is so check them out.

Explore Fort Tereka

A secluded spot often completely omitted

from the usual tourist trail in Nouméa. A trip

to the fort offers the opportunity to explore

an abandoned 19th century military fort,

complete with canons and tunnels, as well as

stunning panoramic views. Built by the French

in 1878 the fort was designed to fire upon

an approaching invasion attempt during the

Franco-Prussian war. Take time to soak up the

view and explore the tunnels and gunpowder

holdings. Visitors can access the fort by road or

walk up through Nouméa’s only dry forest from

Keundu Beach.


Walk up Mont Dore

Rising to a cumulative height of 780

meters, the peak of Mont Dore offers stunning,

panoramic views across towards Nouméa and

beyond to the south of the Grand Terre. Beat

the heat by beginning early in the morning and

entering the walk from the suburb of Mont Dore

to make sure you get clear views during the

entire ascent. Be sure to pack lunch and plenty

of water for the four-hour climb as there are no

resources along the walk itself.

Visit Aquarium des Lagons Nouvelle


Discover the native marine life of New

Caledonia at Aquarium des Lagons Nouvelle

Caledonie. In the large aquariums you can

see turtles, sea snakes, and giant clams.

Mysterious and fascinating creatures like

the nautilus mollusc and the self-lighting

flashlight fish also reside here. Multi-language

explanations are available.



Vanuatu stretches across 1,300km of the South Pacific Ocean. There are over 80 islands,

so you know there has to be a lot to do here. There are 3 main tourist destinations within the

Vanuatu island chain—the islands of Efate, Espiritu Santo (commonly just “Santo”) and Tanna.

While there’s less of a tourism-focus on the other islands, Pentecost, Ambrym and Malekula

they still have a lot to offer. What stands out to anyone who ventures out of the main township

is how raw and natural Vanuatu is; it has an astonishing culture and though cliche, is does

feel like you are stepping back in time.


Drink Kava - with care

You can buy Kava on the side of the road here

in Vanuatu. But be warned, this is not the tourist

drink you get served in Fiji. This kava can have a

real kick to it. I strongly suggest if you wish to try it

find someone local to share the experience with.

Be prepared for your lips and tongue to get pretty


Dive at Million Dollar Point

The U.S. military dumped a million dollars’

worth of goods off a beach in Santo, purely to

spite the British and French. When the United

States military abandoned the Vanuatu Island

of Espiritu Santo after occupying it as a base

during World War II, it left behind infrastructure

works such as roads, buildings and runways. But

its oddest legacy might be the millions of dollars

of goods it dumped into the ocean, just so the

French and British couldn’t have them.

Swim a Waterfall

It’s pretty well known but Mele Cascades,

just outside of the Efate, is a common tourism

attraction. Why we mentioned it here is because

you can have a lot more fun if instead of walking

up and down the track alongside the waterfall,on

your descent, just swim down. There are no

rapids to navigate, just cascading falls, and let's

be honest, it’s a lot more fun.

Witness the Pentecost Island Land Dive

The world’s most primitive form of bungee

jumping. Each spring, just after the first yams

begin to emerge from the soil, the men of

the South Pacific island of Pentecost erect

enormous wooden towers, some as tall as

seventy-five feet, in each of the island’s villages

The ceremony is known as N’gol, or land diving.

The men climb to the top of these towers,

attach two long elastic vines to their ankles,

announce to the world their most intimate (and

occasionally last) thoughts and then leap. The

vines are supposed to catch the jumper just

at the point where his hair is able to brush the

ground, ritually fertilizing it for a bountiful yam


Visit the Amelbati Cannibal Site

Nestled in the jungles of Vanuatu are the

remains of what was once a cannibal oven.

This site of former cannibal ceremonies is a

30-minute uphill trek from Walarano village on

Malekula Island. Called a “nasara,” this sacred

ground is also where the Amelbati tribe buried

their chiefs. Just a heads up - the last reported

cannibalism on Malekula Island took place in


Post a letter at the Underwater Post Office

The fully functional, submerged Vanuatu

Post Office is definitely one of a kind. One of

the world’s only underwater post offices can

be found off of Mele, Vanuatu, which hosts

the Hideaway Island resort, a vacation spot

specializing in scuba and snorkeling. It’s a

fully functional post office, which means it also

comes with the irritations of a regular post

office. It’s only open during certain hours, which

are signaled by a flag raised above a float over

the post office. You may arrive to find it closed;

in which case you must take your mail back

with you—no dropping it off.










Unique Adventures

Your Vanuatu experience starts with us. In just over three

hours, you can be carried away onboard our friendly airline to

unforgettable and unique adventures in Vanuatu. From caving to

hiking a live volcano on Tanna, land diving on Pentecost Island, or

diving and fishing Vanuatu’s crystal clear waters - Vanuatu offers

unique adventures to suit all budgets. Don’t wait - book today.




Get busy relaxing in Niue


Take time out and get busy relaxing in the South Pacific escape of Niue. Snorkel in crystal clear waters,

go game fishing a stone’s throw from the shore and have cocktails while cooling off in the pool. Now

that’s what I call a hard day’s work. Book direct with us and save on your next dream holiday.

0800 69 69 63 |


Samoa plays a big role in New Zealand culture with so many Samoans living here, yet as a

destination it has only really come into its own in the past five years. Consisting of ten islands, Samoa

is the epitome of South Pacific. Its islands are the home to lush rainforests, waterfalls, lagoons and

breath-taking reefs and beaches. There are two main islands, Savai'i and Upolu and two small islands,

Apolima and Manono, plus six other uninhabited islands. Located on the westerly end of the Samoa

Archipelago, it is halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand. Two things we noticed when visiting was

how well developed the city areas were and the second was the size of the people. Samoans are a big

race of people with strong culture, they are genuinely friendly and if they find out you are from New

Zealand they will want to talk about rugby and tell you where their cousins live.

Slide down Papase’ea Sliding Rocks

Close to Apia, kids (and adults) will love the

Papase’ea Sliding Rocks. Gentle waterfalls have

formed natural slides in the rocks, one up to five

meters in length. It’s easy to find and a must do

during the wet season. It’s possible in the dry

season although not always guaranteed to be


Go Surfing

Not so well known is how good the surf is in

Samoa. Between May and October you’ll want to

be rising early to make the most of the conditions

before the winds pick up and the waves become

too powerful. November through to April, the

breaks are more comfortable. There is no surf

shop in Samoa, so bring all your surf gear.

Falealupo Canopy Walkway

The Canopy Walkway is part of the Falealupo

Rainforest Preserve and is an unusual activity

to find in Samoa. You climb a hanging bridge

crossing a 30-meter gap between two big

tropical trees, passing over the canopy across a

hanging bridge. You pay at the Falealupo sites

the entrance fee to the walkway where the

Information Centre is also located and can also

present the receipt for admission to the other

sites which include Moso’s Footprint and the

House of Rock.

Explore the Paia Dwarfs Cave

According to legend Paia Dwarfs Cave, near

Manase, is home to dwarves. Explore the cave

and find footprint evidence of these mystical

little people. The cave is a kilometre long, so

bring good shoes, water and a torch.

An oddly shaped crack in the lava is said

to be the footprint of Moso, a famous giant. It

is said it was made when Moso stepped over

from Fiji. As with a lot of tourism sites in Samoa

there is a small fee.


Explore Peapea Cave

Explore the old lava tube of Peapea Cave, it

is easily accessible (April to November) in O Le

Pupu-Pue National Park but still worth taking

a guide as tourists often get lost. Named after

the birds that sing from its depths, Peapea is

set an hour into the rainforest. You’ll need good

shoes and a headlamp to amble into the cave,

as it is pitch black for about an hour until it

opens up.

Swim in To Sua Ocean Trench

This attraction has been thrashed visually

by Samoa tourism, but it is a pretty special

spot so deserves a mention. To sua literally

means a Giant Swimming Hole, it's 30 meters

deep and is accessible via a long ladder to the

pool. Overlooking the ocean is a beach called

Fagaoneone, meaning white sand, whereas

opposite is a lava field with a blow hole, tide

pools and walking paths along the rocks near

the ocean’s edge.




was formed by volcanic upheavals; the island sits atop 100-foot

(30-meter) cliffs rising straight out of deep ocean, that is why it is sometimes

called “the Rock.” There is no crime, no traffic lights and probably more

chickens than people. A clean, sparsely populated piece of paradise. Niue

boasts amazing diving in its gin clear water, superb fishing and it is a country

full of surprises. Pick up any brochure and you’ll find a range of activities but

here are our ‘insider’ top picks.


Drink cocktails at All Relativf

All Relativf is the coolest little bar at the back

of the shopping centre “complex” on Niue. All

cocktails are NZD $16 with happy hour being

$13, and you definitely get value for money –

no light handed pours here! Open 2pm till late

Monday – Saturday. Local produce is used where

possible, including the limes and Niuean honey.

Not just cocktails here, smoothies (for those

who don’t or can’t drink alcohol) as well as a

good wine and beer list. Drinks are served on

old school CDs, good music playing and John is

always up for a chat. Well worth a visit.

Enjoy a meal at Wok on the Rock

This restaurant, located in Alofi, has only

been open a few months and serves tasty Asian

inspired dishes. Renowned chef Ray McVinnie

helped with the menu design.

Fish for Yellow Fin Tuna

Fishing in Niue is legendary, as Niue's deep

waters are accessible almost immediately from

launching. For many anglers, the key target

species of Yellow Fin Tuna, Mahimahi and Wahoo

to name but a few. But what people don’t know is

if you catch with Fish Niue, you can go to BJ’s (the

captain) restaurant Falala Fa – not hard to find,

nothing in Niue is hard to find and they will cook

that catch as an entrée for free – and it is superb!

Swim with the Dolphins

Buccaneer dive offer a dolphin trip with a

difference – they literally drive around in their

boat until they see the Spinner Dolphins you

then leap over the side with your mask and fins

on and see the wee fellas dancing under water.

Super fun experience. We also followed this up

with a snorkel where we saw turtle and seasnakes,

all in all a great experience.

Hike to Vaikona Chasm

Not on the map and not for the faint

hearted. You can only discover this Chasm with

a local guide. Reached by a short hike through

the forest and coral pinnacles, then descent

into a sloping cave to reach the chasm floor and

nearby small freshwater pool.

Explore the rock pools

Well they are more like chasms really.

There are very few beaches on Niue but the

water is crystal clear and the island has several

chasms or rockpools. The trick to get the best

out of these is to work out is best time to visit

each rockpool. The Matavai Hotel had a booklet

of tide times to help. Reef shoes are not a

suggest they are a must!





yorli means “Hello, how are you all?” and

is Norfolk’s standard greeting that’s delivered genuinely

and often. There’s also frequent chat about wetls (food).

Both of these terms are expressed in Norfolk (also

known as Norf'k), the local dialect that is a fusion of

18th-century English and Tahitian, and the legacy of two

groups of people merging to become Norfolk Islanders,

descendents of the Bounty Muntineers. Norfolk Island

is as full of surprises as it is of history. On a recent

visit I was surprised by the beauty and the infusion of

Polynesian culture. Norfolk is one the South Pacific’s

best kept secrets and I am not sure why, it’s not hard to

get to with regular flights direct form Auckland. If it is not

on your bucket list, make some room.

Eat at Homestead Restaurant

A must do on Norfolk Island is the Homestead

Restaurant which opened in October 2019. The

chef hunts and gathers seasonal local produce,

meat and seafood to prepare on their wood

fuelled Argentinian Perilla grill. Make sure you

order the chef’s wood-fired naturally fermented


Go on a Ghost tour

It's kinda cool picking up a 'ghost' in the

middle of the night and have them conduct a

tour of the historic aspects of the island and see

where ghosts like to hang out. Listen to tales and

stories that will delight you, make you sad, maybe

weep and through it all, send shivers down your


Go for a walk in Hundred Acres Reserve

Not the woods from Winnie-the-Pooh books,

but definitely worth a visit! There's a great loop

walk which starts from a road lined with Moreton

Bay Fig trees. Sit and enjoy the spectacular

rugged coastline view at Rocky Point and spot the

many varieties of seabirds along the way.

Explore the Graves

No trip to Norfolk would be complete

without a trip to the cemetery, it is interesting

and sobering at the same time. I would strongly

suggest that you read up a little on the Islands’

history before visiting and it will give you some

perspective on the names and dates carved

into the head stones.


Visit Hilli Goat

This family run business offers the

chance to meet and even milk the goats, it's

informative and the food was outrageously

good. The produce was fresh and plentiful,

the cheeses are delicious and the setting

comfortable and relaxing. Emily and Zach run

the place. Emily is in charge of the cheeses etc

and Zach is also a photographer and there is a

small gallery on site.

Go Catching

They don’t call it fishing in Norfolk they

call it ‘catching’ - there is an abundance of fish

here. There are not many charter boats, we

used Advance2, and it was a great morning, the

weather plays a major part and it can get rough

so you need to pick your day. But one thing for

sure you will ‘catch’.




makes a destination is the people and the

Tahitian people have been welcoming visitors to their

islands since Captain Blyth. Tahitians are proud of their

cultural heritage. They love to celebrate their customs

through artwork, song, and dance. They are warm spirited.

As a people they possess an innocent and carefree spirit.

Their philosophy, aita pea pea, which means, "not to worry,"

is truly the Tahitian way of life. Tahiti is a water culture;

everyone surfs, paddleboards, sails or Va’a (outrigger

kayak). The lagoons are safe and protected from wind and

waves, but if you are looking for surf on the other side of the

reef you'll find some of the best waves in the world.

Get a tattoo

Tattoo – is originally derived from the Tahitian

word Tatau, it was an art form to express identity

and personality. Nearly everyone you meet in

Tahiti has a tattoo; some have deep meaning

some just for show. If you are thinking of getting

a tattoo, Tahiti is the place to get it. Allow the

tattooist to help design your tattoo, don’t go

in with a dolphin and ask to have it on your

ankle. There are several well-known tattooists in

Pape’ete. I suggest you book in advance or as

soon as you arrive - don’t wait till the last day to

book because you won’t get in. However, have

your tattoo late in your vacation you can’t get it

wet and will need to keep it out of the sun.


Eat at the Roulottes

At night, just on dark ,there emerges a range

of foods trucks called roulotte. These are not just

street vendors, these are legitimate places to

eat and you will note that some are very full of

locals. The trick to choosing the right one, like all

restaurants, go where the locals go. The average

meal price is around NZ$20.00.

Eat at the Blue Banana

I am not a great ‘foodie’ but there is one

restaurant in Tahiti called The Blue Banana, it is

on the edge of the lagoon just up the road from

the Manava hotel. The staff are great, the view is

awesome but the food is amazing, don’t look at

the menu, take my advice just order the "Raw Fish

Three Ways". It is superb, if you don’t like raw fish

you are in the wrong country.

Visit Teahupoo

Even if you do not surf go to Teahupoo. It

is about an hour’s drive from the main city of

Pape'ete (the road is crazy so take care). It’s

called the end of the road for a reason, it’s the

end of the road, but just before you get to the

township of Teahupoo there is a small marina

on the right hand side. If you pull in, there

will be a marine taxi that will take you out to

the surf break. As long as it is not crazy windy

there will be people surfing and if you are lucky

enough to see it on a big day just watching

people surf Teahupoo is an experience you will

not forget.

Get out on the water

Wherever you go in Tahiti there is water

everywhere and most hotels have sports

equipment for hire from paddleboards to jet

skis. This type of equipment is expensive in

Tahiti so make sure that you are well insured

just in case. Stay well within the lagoon - don’t

be tempted to head to the pass without a guide

- the current is strong and you’ll be outside the

lagoon before you know it.

Swim and feed the Stingray

I know if sounds a bit ho hum, but in Tahiti

it is taken to a new level. The closest places

to do it in the main island is Moorea which is

about 30 mins by boat. They have special ray

feeding tours which you can join or simply hire a

paddleboard and paddle out yourself. You get in

the water with the stingray and they approach

for food. It is a rare and uncomfortable feeling

to be groped by a stingray but it’s an experience

special to Tahiti.


@2020 Gregoire Le Bacon

Dive and help preserve

the unexplored

Dive Munda is a multi-award winning SSI Instructor Training and Extended Range Centre in the Western

province of Solomon Islands committed to sustainable dive eco-tourism. Discover WWII history and

Kastom culture and scuba dive unexplored reefs, hard and soft coral, cuts, caverns and caves along with

pelagic life and shark action, all in one of the last wild frontiers left on planet ocean.

• Direct weekly flights from Brisbane to Munda with Solomon Airlines

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Agnes Gateway Hotel, Lambeti Station, Munda, New Georgia. Western Province, Solomon Islands



What do you know about the Solomon’s, nothing right? That is what makes it

special. The Solomon Islands are a step back in time, it’s like going on holiday inside

the Discovery Channel. These islands are laid-back, welcoming and often surprisingly

untouched. From WWII relics scattered in the jungle to leaf-hut villages where traditional

culture is not just replicated it’s alive and flourishing. Then there’s the volcanic islands,

the mangroves, the huge lagoons, tropical islets and emerald forests. Less than 5

hours from Auckland this patch of untouched tropical wilderness is becoming popular

because of its uniqueness from diving and fishing to history and culture.

Dive at Kashi Maru

Lying in a shallow protected bay, Mbaeroko

Bay about 50 mins by boat from Munda. Once

a Japanese auxiliary minelayer/merchant ship,

it was sunk during World War II. She sits in less

than 20m of water which makes it an easy wreck

dive. The freighter was unloading a cargo of fuel

and vehicles when sunk in 1943 by US Bombers.

The ship today is covered in the most beautiful

coloured soft and hard corals and is home to a

myriad of colourful tropical fish.

Visit Skull Island

This is a small island that houses the skulls of

many chiefs from the area, hidden in the 1920s

to keep them safe from missionaries who must

have been destroying traditional sites. Thought

to have dated back to the 1700s, you see them

tucked into the rocky coral, as well as graves of

more recent deaths. It’s a strong link back to a

not so distant past.

Hike to Tenaru Falls

The waterfalls are absolutely beautiful. An

easy 1-2hr hike along a flat riverbed. A significant

proportion of the hike is spent crossing rivers so

shoes that can get wet are preferable to sturdy

hiking boots. You can swim around in the pool at

the bottom, climb up next to the falls and relax

in the cool waters before hiking back. You can

book the tour through the tourist information in

Honiara. You will need a guide!

Explore Bonegi

About 12km west from Honiara, Bonegi

is music to the ears of divers, snorkellers and

sunbathers. Two large Japanese freighters

sank just offshore on the night of 13 November

1942, and make for a magnificent playground

for scuba divers, who call them Bonegi I and

Bonegi II. As the upper works of Bonegi II break

the surface, it can also be snorkelled. There’s

also a black-sand beach that is suitable for a



Snorkel at Kennedy Island

This is small piece of paradise, only a 15

minute boat ride from Gizo Island. Originally

called Plum Pudding Island but now known as

Kennedy Island. This is where JFK and his crew

landed after their PT boat was run over by the

Japanese before being rescued by a group of

local men. It is now a place where you can go

snorkelling and spend the day.

Swim at Gwaunau'ru

If you want to get a taste of rural life and

enjoy superb scenery without travelling too

far from Auki, make a beeline for Gwaunaru'u.

This sweet little village near the airfield, about

10km north of Auki, abuts a huge bay fringed

by a 2km-long expanse of volcanic sand. It's at

the mouth of a river that offers great swimming

opportunities. Be warned: there are plenty of

sand flies. Get here by taxi or contact local tour





Word by Kylie Travers

Images by SIDC Gerald Rambert

Seeking adventure and relaxation in a tropical paradise,

I knew this trip would be one to remember. As the sun sunk

beneath the waves on the first night, the rest of the world,

along with all my worries and cares melted away. For the

next 7 days, I was free to explore the crystal clear waters,

dive or snorkel colourful reefs, meet gorgeous people and be

welcomed at each island we stopped at.

Laying on a hammock on the top deck, watching the

islands smoothly pass by as we cruised to our first stop, I

can’t help but relax. The friendly staff on Solomon Island

Discovery Cruises were taking care of my every need from

the moment I arrived. With an outstanding menu carefully

prepared by chefs who are passionate about their craft,

combining local produce and recipes with international

cuisine, every meal was an experience.

As we cruised along from island to island, dolphins swam

over, playfully jumping in and out of the water around our

boat. Followed by a whale, gliding past. We could not believe

our luck to see one so close and immediately the captain

stopped cruising so we could watch it without disturbing it

as it swam out further. With such amazing marine life being

so close, I couldn’t wait to get in the water and explore more

under the ocean for myself.

Diving had never been easier. All my gear was ready to

go, the staff, who were fast becoming friends, helped with

everything then we were off. Sinking down into the ocean,

colourful reefs, schools of fish, stingrays, manta rays and

more came out to say hello and my guide pointed each one

out beautifully so I didn’t miss a thing.

After a perfect dive, we were whisked away for a BBQ

on a private island. Whilst waiting for it to cook, we swam,

snorkelled and used stand up paddleboards to explore the

ocean around it. Asking my snorkel guide, Pedrose, where

his favourite spot was, he took me around the corner where

the rocks and reefs parted a little. As

we floated along, he suddenly pointed

and there, in the crack of a rock was an

octopus feeding, it moved so gracefully

and was amazing to watch.

Later, being heavily interested in

WWII, I was keen to dive wrecks and

climb to the top of Hill 281 in Tulagi to

see what our soldiers saw, view relics

and walk through foxholes and Japanese

U caves used in the war. With so much

WWII history throughout the Solomon

Islands, you never know what you will

discover as you are taken around each

island. After our walk up Hill 281, the

cool drinks at Raiders Hotel and Bar

were a delight.

At Roderick Bay, the wreck of the

MS World Explorer is slowly being taken

back over by nature. Despite the wreck

not being a natural part of the island, the

villagers have created a world of wonder

with ziplines between it and the trees

for kids to play on. Ropes hang off the

trees, with kids swinging out over the

impossibly clear water as we approach.

Being warmly greeted with cool coconut

drinks, we were treated to singing,

dancing and music then a walk through

the lush greenery to the other side of

the island. Coming from a cool climate,

I was sweltering but loving every step of

the way. As we started the return journey,

Captain Ezi called to me. While I was

touring the village, he had weaved a fan

from a palm leaf for me to use to cool

myself walking back through the forest.

With diving, stand up paddle

boarding, snorkelling, WWII history,

village visits, water skiing and surfing,

it was an outstanding trip, ending with

a bonfire on a private island. Sipping

champagne with my friends in the gentle

waves as the sunset and the bonfire

started was the perfect way to end the


In the morning, as we boarded the

tender to go back home and waved

farewell to our new friends, I knew I

would return again and again.


Kylie Travers is an avid traveller, diver and mother of two. You can find her at


Shaped by cooling lava flows, the chasms drawn in the ocean floor on the outer edge of

the coral reef resemble the veins of the “fenua” (Earth) stretching out into the ocean.

PC: Mat Fouliard



By Annabel Anderson

There are many great places to play in or on the water around the world, but

few come close to offering up the salt water playground that is French Polynesia,

composed of 118 geographically dispersed islands and atolls stretching over an

expanse of more than 2,000 kilometres and comprised of five island groups, "Tahiti"

is so much more than a tropical oasis of over water bungalows and mind bending

sunsets .

What the brochures fail to let on, is that it is quite possibly the best warm water

destination in the world for those that like to indulge in all and every kind of water


From the national sport of Va’a (rudderless outrigger canoes) to all and every

iteration of water sport imaginable, Tahitians literally have saltwater pulsating

through their veins with an aptitude to learn and master anything above and below

the surface.

With many of the islands within the five main island groups being atolls with

lagoons protected by coral reefs it’s this contrasting mix of protected waters and open

ocean that lends these islands to the sheer diversity of water born activities.

Shaped by Mother Nature and moulded by culture, the indigenous Polynesian

people of these islands have a gift of being in tune with their environment that is

seldom seen elsewhere. At one with the patterns of weather that once dictated

their celestial navigation by sailing canoe throughout the South Pacific, their ability

to switch from one sport to another with a display of skill, poise and grace is both

awe-inspiring and inspirational. Once you’ve experienced it first-hand it will leave you

wanting to expand your repertoire of skills ‘just in case’ they may be needed for your

next visit, because once this place gets a grip on you, it’s keeps drawing you back

time and time again.

Previously somewhat ‘unobtainable’ due to language and other ‘perception’

challenges, unless you’ve had an inside connection, it’s been somewhat difficult to

make the most of what lies so close to our doorstep.


With daily flights between New Zealand and the main island of Tahiti Nui coupled with an

expanding tourism industry that is diversifying to cater to a new breed of more adventurous

visitors, offerings of water born activities run by local guides and operators that can give you a

first-hand experience of this saly water mecca are now meeting this new demand in the most

authentic of ways.

With Tahitian bed and breakfasts known as ‘Pensions’ pronounced ‘pon-see-on’ abounding

on many islands, these traditional family run guest houses often grant lagoon-side access and

activities unique to their local waters that aid in giving an unprecedented experience in the

Polynesian way of life. Local operators are adapting and with a bit of research it’s not too hard to

find a local to give you a first-hand experience at whatever you love (or want to learn to love) to

do. Along with an ever-growing accommodation offering via AirBnB, you’re no longer confined to a

resort unless you want to be.

From the ocean and wind driven sports of outrigger paddling (va’a) stand up paddling, prone

paddling, surf ski, holopuni (sailing canoe), sailing, windsurfing, kiting, and now everything with a

foil strapped to the bottom of a board; to open water swimming, scuba, free-diving, spear fishing

as well as surfing thanks to the proliferation of reef ‘passes’ and beach breaks that abound,

French Polynesia is the South Pacific bounty for all and every water sport enthusiast.

You can foil, or you can foil in paradise with the backdrop to match

PC: Mat Fouliard







THE SHOT: Iceland is such an incredible place,

with the biggest concentration of breathtaking

locations. It feels like you appear in the middle

of the gallery of natural diversity. You can go any

direction and you will find a totally different piece

of environmental art. That’s for sure one of the

reasons why you can hear the sound of a shutter

pretty much everywhere and in all seasons. On

the other hand there is still a lot undercovered

until you get to explore the island from the bird

perspective. When you stand right next to the

river, it seems to be a pretty ordinary stream with

a flat surface, which totally changes when you get

some elevation and discover the real masterpiece

made by different depths of a river bottom. I got

immediately obsessed by all of these stunning

rivers and I knew that the only thing missing in

this surreal painting is my awesome friend Vavra

Hradilek with his his creek boat.”

Image courtesy Red Bull content pool


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