N E W Z E A L A N D
WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS
WE ESCAPE TO:
DEC FEB/MAR 2020
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.
OFFICIAL GEAR SUPPLIER
PROUD SUPPORTER OF...
the simple art of travel
a cold one
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
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 1.30.pm 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.
EDITOR & ADVERTISING MANAGER
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Contributions of articles and photos are welcome and must be accompanied by a stamped selfaddressed
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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
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Image by Derek Cheng
Image by Steve Dickinson Image by Rob Bruce
08//Falling in love with
Explore Queen Charlotte Sounds with Adventure
Magazine and Wilderness Guides
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
Talking Olympic climbing
52//adventure van life nz
Check out the latest on Van Life
Inspiration, activities and information for the urban
Escape to the Pacific
82. gear guides
110. Active adventure
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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
BEHIND THE COVER
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.
ADVENTURE GOES TO NEPAL
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.
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FALLING IN LOVE
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...
08//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#218
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
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
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.
10//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#218
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
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
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.
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"Leaving the valley
the road opens out to
expose the beautiful
14//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#218
"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
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
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 wildernessguidesnz.com
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.
16//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#218
The dust settles.
Shoulder your Manaslu
Breathe in. Buckle up.
Zip, clip, adjust.
Life loaded on your back
A dirt track at your feet.
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
18//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#218
RED BULL ILLUME FINALIST
PHOTOGRAPHER: STERLING LORENCE
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
"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
20//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#218
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
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
"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.
22//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#218
dihedral splits the
main face of Mt
Indefatigable from the
first move to the final
top-put. A stunning,
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?
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
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
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.
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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.
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RED BULL ILLUME FINALIST
PHOTOGRAPHER: NILS OHLENDORF
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
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EVEREST BASE CAMP
A RITE OF PASSAGE FOR (PREPARED) KIWIS
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,
firstname.lastname@example.org +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
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
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
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"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
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
the footsteps of
to Mt Everest
Base Camp is
Kiwi should do,
at some point in
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
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
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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FROM CITY TO
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. ”
TONGARIRO CROSSING SHUTTLES
-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
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.
$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.
Adventure starts here”
Tongariro National Park Villages
Dual Heritage Tongariro
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
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
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 www.rof.co.nz.
Runners make their passage across the Whangaehu
River in the 2019 Ring of Fire Volcanic Ultra.
Image compliments of Kurt Matthews
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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
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
When you look at a climbing wall, what do
you see and how do you prepare mentally
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
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.
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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
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AROUND NEW ZEALAND
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
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!
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 padi.com to locate a PADI dive shop and
48//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#218
© PADI 2020
Contact your local PADI ® Dive Center or Resort to learn more, or visit PADI.com
RED BULL ILLUME FINALIST
PHOTOGRAPHER: STU GIBSON
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
HOME IS WHERE YOU PARK IT
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:
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"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”.
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
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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.
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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
JUMPSTART YOUR VANLIFE
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.
or Pinterest as these
sites source the best
new and updated
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.
58//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#218
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
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.
60//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#218
RED BULL ILLUME FINALIST
PHOTOGRAPHER: FLORIAN LEDOUX
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
62//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#218
Issue #196//new zealand’s premIer adventure magazIne sInce 1981
NZ $9.20 incl. GST
AUST $6.90 incl. GST
don’t look down
colder than you think
more than just a puffer
Issue #196//new zealand’s premIer adventure magazIne sInce 1981
NZ $9.20 incl. GST
AUST $6.90 incl. GST
don’t look down
colder than you think
more than just a puffer
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inspiration: flying the high life
mind: freedom camping
Style: urban wear
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tech guide: speakers
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FLYING THE HIGH LIFE
AND CAVING TO
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
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
“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.”
66//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#218
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 aaf.co.nz/placedesanges
JUST WHAT IS FREEDOM CAMPING?
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 adventuremagazine.co.nz
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
Freedom Camping as defined in legislation (Freedom
Camping Act 2011) involves far more than Motorhomes
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
68//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#218
NATURE AND YOUR HEALTH
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
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
River Valley Lodge: rivervalley.co.nz
p: 0800 248 666 | e: firstname.lastname@example.org
What is the Point Then if Ecotherapy
cannot Prevent, Treat or Cure any
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
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
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
70//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#218
Men's Line Logo Ridge Pocket
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
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
THE GROWTH OF ADVENTURE TRAVEL
"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 www.adventuretraveller.co.nz to pick up the over
the flow of material.
www.adventuretraveller.co.nz 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
www.adventuretraveller.co.nz 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.
72//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#218
STRIVING FOR A CHALLENGE
TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
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
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 summitchallenge.org
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 www.summitchallenge.org
In my opinion
What do you really think?
74//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#218
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
Andrea Messenger -
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
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 -
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.
NZ SUPPORTS GROWTH IN
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 Webjet.co.nz
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.
76//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#217
1.CHOOSE A DESTINATION
THAT DELIVERS MORE:
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
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
5.SLEEP GREEN: When
it comes to places to stay while
away, do some research to see
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
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
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.
10.TRANSPORT TIPS: You
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. www.safetybeacons.co.nz
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. www.bocoliving.com
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. www.glowormlites.co.nz
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. www.glowormlites.co.nz
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. www.sunsaver.co.nz
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.
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FOR YOUR EARS
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?
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.
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
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
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 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
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Back Country Cuisine
CHICKEN CARBONARA: A freeze dried
chicken and pasta dish, served in a creamy
italian style sauce.
MUSHROOM BOLOGNAISE - VEGAN:
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
CHOCOLATE BROWNIE PUDDING: Our take
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.
FOR 21 YEARS
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.
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.
BASE CAMP DUFFEL
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.
Salewa M WANDER HIKER GTX
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
84//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#217
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
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
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
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
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
• 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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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
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 © Drones.nc / 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
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.
92//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#218
DIVING & FISHING
TA N N A IS L A N D
P E N T E C O S T I S L A N D
E S P I R IT O
S A N T O
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.
SUN, SURF, SAMOA
COCONUTS BEACH CLUB RESORT & SPA
Get busy relaxing in Niue
BOOK DIRECT & SAVE
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 | www.scenichotelgroup.co.nz/niue
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
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
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!
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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.
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.
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
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.
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@2020 Gregoire Le Bacon
Dive and help preserve
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
Landline: +677 621 56
Cellphone: +677 789 6869
Find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
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!
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.
102//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#218
Kylie Travers is an avid traveller, diver and mother of two. You can find her at www.kylietravers.com.au
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
TAHITI, THE BLACK
PEARL OF WATER SPORTS
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
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
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
RED BULL ILLUME FINALIST
PHOTOGRAPHER: JAN KASL
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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