Adventure Magazine April 2020

Issue #219 Survival Issue April is always our survival issue - seems fitting this year. How to survive an eruption, survive Everest, survive a Great White encounter and more.

Issue #219 Survival Issue
April is always our survival issue - seems fitting this year.
How to survive an eruption, survive Everest, survive a Great White encounter and more.


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N E W Z E A L A N D<br />














URBAN<br />


MIND<br />

STYLE<br />


ISSUE 219<br />

DEC APR/MAY <strong>2020</strong><br />

NZ $10.90 incl. GST<br />



McCashin's Brewery<br />

660 Main Road, Stoke, Nelson, New Zealand<br />

T:+64 3 547 5357<br />

E: orders@mccashins.co.nz #stokedinNZ

#219<br />

Reminiscing<br />

on a time<br />

before social<br />

distancing<br />

and isolation.<br />

Take me<br />

back to<br />

Panorama<br />

Sir Ranulf Feinnes<br />

The World's Greatest Living Explorer<br />

Photo supplied<br />

the simple art of travel<br />

Visit <strong>Adventure</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> online<br />

www.adventuremagazine.co.nz<br />

This is day six of the COVID-19 lockdown in New Zealand (I usually would not<br />

mention that we were in New Zealand, but as you can see with this digital issue,<br />

we have expanded free to the world).<br />

The world media seems currently either in team ‘this is terrible’, or they are ‘it's<br />

all fine’, stay home and ‘enjoy the time off’.<br />

The reality is it is still very early days, and the virus has had an enormous<br />

impact on some people already. Lots of people in the travel and adventure industry<br />

have lost their jobs, and our heart goes out to them. It is scary not knowing what<br />

the future holds. I am not going to rattle on about change, or how bad it will get or<br />

even that it will improve. But what I am going to comment on is the goodness of<br />

people.<br />

I listened to Russell Brand recently in one of his political rants, one thing he<br />

said that I thought was very relevant was how 'surprised' we are how kind and<br />

generous people have been to each other. He went on to say we should not<br />

be surprised because that is how it should be; we should always be kind and<br />

generous of spirit.<br />

Even walking down the beach, you can see families walking together, couples,<br />

people on their own and they all greet each other with a smile. There is collective<br />

angst against those who are breaking the lockdown rules, but a real sense by the<br />

community that we are in this together.<br />

<strong>Adventure</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong>, in 50 years, has never missed an issue, and even<br />

though we don't have a printer or a distributor, we were determined to maintain<br />

momentum and so have gone to a digital format, which we will look to continue in<br />

the future. We wanted to make sure that those in isolation, those in lockdown, have<br />

something of quality to read, so we have made this issue free to the world. We<br />

hope people everywhere will enjoy it and feel free to get in touch if you have any<br />

comments at all.<br />


Steve Dickinson<br />

Mob: 027 577 5014<br />

steve@pacificmedia.co.nz<br />


Lynne Dickinson<br />

design@pacificmedia.co.nz<br />


subs@pacificmedia.co.nz<br />


Ovato, Ph (09) 979 3000<br />


www.adventuremagazine.co.nz<br />

www.adventuretraveller.co.nz<br />

www.adventurejobs.co.nz<br />

www.skiandsnow.co.nz<br />

@adventurevanlifenz<br />


NZ <strong>Adventure</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> is published six times a year by:<br />

Pacific Media Ltd, P.O.Box 562<br />

Whangaparaoa, New Zealand<br />

Ph: 0275775014<br />

Email: steve@pacificmedia.co.nz<br />

adventuremagazine.co.nz<br />

adventurejobs.co.nz | adventuretraveller.co.nz<br />

Contributions of articles and photos are welcome and must be accompanied by a stamped<br />

self-addressed envelope. Photographic material should be on slide, although good quality<br />

prints may be considered. All care is taken but no responsibility accepted for submitted<br />

material. All work published may be used on our website. Material in this publication may<br />

not be reproduced without permission. While the publishers have taken all reasonable<br />

precautions and made all reasonable effort to ensure the accuracy of material in this<br />

publication, it is a condition of purchase of this magazine that the publisher does not assume<br />

any responsibility or liability for loss or damage which may result from any inaccuracy<br />

or omission in this publication, or from the use of information contained herein and the<br />

publishers make no warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to any of the material<br />

contained herein.<br />

Our next issue is issue 200 – stay tuned!<br />

Stay safe, stay healthy and stay connected.<br />

Steve Dickinson - Editor<br />

www.adventuretraveller.co.nz<br />

JOBS<br />


page 08<br />

Image supplied<br />

page 26<br />

#219<br />

contents<br />

10//Sir Ranulph Fiennes<br />

The World's greatest living explorer.<br />

26//Survival Special<br />

• Whakaare White Island<br />

• Can you survive an eruption<br />

• The Tongariro Crossing<br />

• Trapped in a Snow Storm<br />

• Evacuation from Everest<br />

• Believe it or not<br />

• Shark attack<br />

Image by Michael Schade<br />

Image by Red Bull Image by Eonel Barut<br />

page 32<br />

page 46<br />

46//Taking the drop<br />

Dane Jackson's 134ft decent<br />

52//High Alpine Allure<br />

The humble back country hut<br />

54//adventure van life nz<br />

Check out the latest on Van Life<br />

65//urban adventure<br />

Inspiration, activities and information for the urban<br />

adventurer<br />

92//Diagnosing Backcountry Ski addiction<br />

Are you addicted?<br />

96//A world of hidden gems<br />

Explore Tongariro National Park<br />

100//Andy's memorable marine adventures<br />

Andy Belcher shares his incredible photos<br />

104//<strong>Adventure</strong> travel<br />

It's still there waiting for you<br />

plus<br />

64. subs<br />

82. gear guides<br />

114. Active adventure<br />


www.facebook.com/adventuremagnz<br />

adventuremagazine<br />

www.adventuremagazine.co.nz<br />

Nzadventuremag<br />


........<br />



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Sir Ranulph Fiennes, was due to be visiting our shores in May for<br />

a fascinating evening of tales about his adventurous life, before<br />

Covid-19 put the world in lockdown. We are hoping he will be<br />

able to reschedule but in the meantime find out all about this<br />

incredible man's achievements on page 10 and we'll keep you<br />

updated on any new dates as they come to hand.<br />


Another great cocktail from our friends from Cocktail on the Rock. This<br />

one has a bit of a story - We'll let Sue tell you the tale...<br />

"That neighbour and good friend of ours (who also happens to be the<br />

editor of <strong>Adventure</strong>) has been put off kayak fishing for life as he was<br />

nearly eaten alive by a great white about a week ago – just in the distance<br />

from our house (see the full story on page 40). As I’m quite pleased he<br />

is still with us, I dedicated this dirty martini to him. The photo shoot with<br />

my tasting team (hubby) took place at 8.00am on a Sunday morning to<br />

fit in with the tides down at the rock. After shooting it, I left Shark Bite on<br />

his fence as not to wake him. I was also inspired by @mr_cocktail_friday<br />

with his dirty martinis. Here’s my reshake with vodka and Kaitaia Fire chili<br />

pepper sauce. Are you ready to give Shark Bite a go?"<br />

TO MAKE:<br />

* 2 jigger vodka<br />

* 1 jigger dry vermouth<br />

* generous helping of Kaitaia Fire<br />

* stir with plenty of ice<br />

and pour into coupe<br />

#glassfromthehospiceshop<br />

* garnish with an olive<br />

Approx 3g carbs per serve<br />

Feedback received was that it<br />

certainly had bite!<br />

Follow Sue @cocktailontherock #cocktailontherock<br />

For her regular newsletter signup at www.cocktailontherock.co.nz



/<br />

D R O P L I N E G T X<br />





posure<br />




LOCATION: Zapata, Texas<br />

THE SHOT:<br />

This is of Will Gadd who is well<br />

known Canadian ice climber and<br />

paraglider pilot. He formerly held<br />

the paragliding world distance<br />

record, with a flight of 423 km in<br />

Zapata, Texas.<br />

Image courtesy Red Bull content<br />


63,600 followers can't be wrong<br />



@ adventuremagazine<br />

@ adventuretraveller @ adventurevanlifenz

+<br />

prof<br />

ile<br />



All images supplied<br />

"It is a truism to say that the dog is largely what<br />

his master makes of him: he can be savage and<br />

dangerous, untrustworthy, cringing and fearful;<br />

or he can be faithful and loyal, courageous and<br />

the best of companions and allies.”<br />

Sir Ranulph Fiennes<br />

Sir Ranulph Fiennes has spent<br />

his life in pursuit of extreme adventure<br />

in some of the most ambitious private<br />

expeditions ever undertaken. His<br />

achievements are lengthy and in<br />

1984 the Guinness Book of Records<br />

named him the “world’s greatest living<br />

explorer.”<br />

Sir Ranulph was due to be visiting<br />

our shores to share his tales of epic<br />

adventures and explorations, when<br />

Coronovirus hit and the world as we<br />

know it was put into a spin.<br />

His talk, “An Evening with the<br />

World’s Greatest Living Explorer Sir<br />

Ranulph Fiennes” has since been<br />

delayed and we will let you know as<br />

soon as a new date is scheduled, but<br />

it will be a treat for any adventurer<br />

or simply anyone looking for a<br />

motivational and entertaining night<br />

out. So to whet your appetite here's<br />

a bit about the man behind the<br />

accolades.<br />

It seems strange that the person<br />

who Sir Ranulph wished to emulate<br />

was a person he would never meet,<br />

his father. Sir Ranulph was born in<br />

England in 1944, at the end of the<br />

war which claimed the life of his father<br />

just four months before he was born.<br />

However his mother kept his memory<br />

alive with stories of his exploits as<br />

an officer in the British army and that<br />

became Ranulph’s goal, to follow in<br />

his father’s footsteps.<br />

“My father had been killed in the<br />

war 4 months before I was born. I<br />

was brought up with stories of his<br />

endeavours and I was inspired by<br />

him more than anything else… I<br />

wanted to do what he did, I wanted<br />

to become the commanding officer of<br />

the regiment.”<br />

Ranulph spent his early childhood<br />

in South Africa, where his mother<br />

had moved with the family to avoid<br />

the bombing of WWII and they did<br />

not return to England until he was<br />

12 years old. Sir Ranulph, or Ran<br />

to his friends, talks about his school<br />

years with much humour, and also<br />

to highlight where motivation can<br />

develop. His lack of academic<br />

success and the roadblocks he<br />

experienced along the way, meant<br />

he had to find other ways to achieve<br />

his goal, which at the time was to<br />

become an officer in the British army,<br />

just like his father.<br />

“In his days you didn’t need A<br />

levels to get a commission. I was<br />

not designed to get A levels. The<br />

only thing I could do was get a short<br />

service commission, 3 years as an<br />

officer and a further 5 years. After<br />

8 years you get chucked out as the<br />

rules do not allow you to stay in any<br />

longer.”<br />

He served the first 5 years in the<br />

British army, stationed in Germany<br />

during the cold war, before applying<br />

for the SAS. His stories about those<br />

days in the SAS are fascinating<br />

and funny, including the story of<br />

being thrown out of the SAS for his<br />

part in a “public spirited gesture” of<br />

helping a friend blow up a bridge in<br />

a protest against 20th Century Fox.<br />

He explains how he came to have so<br />

much explosives to do the job.<br />

“I was at an explosive course<br />

in Hereford at the time, and at the<br />

end of each day I had quite a lot of<br />

explosives left over. Rather than hand<br />

it back I thought it would be nice to<br />

keep it.”<br />

Fortunately for Ran, this all<br />

happened in 1967, before the rise of<br />

the IRA. If it had been a year later he<br />

would have likely served more than 7<br />

years in jail.<br />

But it was his stint in the army in<br />

the Sultan of Oman in the late 60’s<br />

early 70’s that his love of travelling to<br />

remote places really developed. After<br />

three years in Oman, Sir Ranulf left<br />

the army and returned to England.<br />

“The only thing I could do was to<br />

do what I had been doing in the cold<br />

war in Germany, teaching Scottish<br />

soldiers to canoe and climb to stop<br />

them getting bored, which they did<br />

cause the Soviet army never bothered<br />

to attack.”<br />


+<br />

"I had just completed and Army explosives course, where you<br />

learn to blow up as much as possible with as little as possible.<br />

And I was pretty good at it."<br />

Upon his return to England,<br />

Ranulph, with no formal “education” as<br />

such, had to think outside the box.<br />

“I lacked in “exam intelligence”<br />

which meant I had to go into<br />

something that requires looking very<br />

carefully at a problem, working out<br />

where the difficulties of the problem<br />

are, and attacking it from that side with<br />

the right people.”<br />

He married his childhood<br />

sweetheart, Virginia Pepper in<br />

1970, who he credits with many of<br />

the expedition ideas. Together they<br />

launched a series of record breaking<br />

expeditions that kept them ahead<br />

of their international rivals for three<br />

decades. For Virginia’s support and<br />

involvement in the many expeditions<br />

she became the first woman to<br />

be awarded the Polar Medal for<br />

“outstanding service to British Polar<br />

exploration and research.”<br />

Virginia had the same love of<br />

adventure as Sir Ranulf and one of<br />

their first expeditions together was to<br />

find the Lost City of Ubar, which the<br />

Queen of Sheba had built thousands<br />

of years before.<br />

“My greatest achievement, the one<br />

that took the longest, was to find the<br />

Lost City of Incense in the greatest<br />

desert in the world. So for 26 years,<br />

after 8 separate expeditions we found<br />

the Lost City. It is now the biggest<br />

excavation works in Arabia.”<br />

A lot can be said there about<br />

perseverance.<br />

Virginia passed away in 2004 from<br />

cancer, aged just 56 years old and<br />

Sir Ranulf met and married Louise<br />

Millington and had a daughter and<br />

step-son from his marriage to Louise.<br />

The expeditions that Sir Ranulf<br />

has led (of which there are numerous)<br />

were varied and diverse but his<br />

interest in the Arctic and Antarctic<br />

regions was inspired by the need to<br />

follow the sponsorship. He explains,<br />

that without media coverage there is<br />

no sponsorship and the media were<br />

interested in the “cold” places.<br />

This led to the expedition to<br />

circumnavigate their way around the<br />

world from top to bottom, a feat they<br />

completed between 1978 and 1982.<br />

This route had never been done<br />

before and has never been achieved<br />

since!<br />

For many expeditions you can<br />

study what the person before you has<br />

done and see where they have gone<br />

wrong, but for many of Sir Ranulph’s<br />

expeditions, he went to places where<br />

no one had been before. For this he<br />

explains the need to have the right<br />

people on board.<br />

“Maybe you wake up in the<br />

morning and you look out of the tent<br />

and you see inbetween the two cliffs,<br />

everything is rumbled and full of holes.<br />

You want someone who is an expert at<br />

doing that type of project. So you take<br />

that particular person with you.”<br />

Some of his other achievements,<br />

which are extensive and at times<br />

seemingly impossible or equally<br />

foolish. He has been to the top of<br />

the highest mountain, traversed<br />

from the north to the south pole, and<br />

run seven marathons in 7 days in 7<br />

countries. However each year, despite<br />

the challenges, Sir Ranulf has found<br />

another expedition to challenge his<br />

need for adventure.<br />

As you can imagine, a life full of<br />

adventure comes with some great<br />

“work stories”. One of the most<br />

extraordinary tales was during an<br />

expedition in 2000, to walk solo and<br />

unsupported to the North Pole. When<br />

his sled fell through weak ice and<br />

he was forced to pull it out by hand,<br />

he suffered extreme frostbite to his<br />

fingers on his left hand forcing him to<br />

abandon the attempt. Upon return to<br />

the UK the doctors wanted him to wait<br />

several months before amputating the<br />

severely frostbitten fingers, however<br />

he became impatient with the pain.<br />

“When I came back to the UK,<br />

they wouldn’t amputate my fingers<br />

for 5 months and my wife said I was<br />

getting irritable, so we bought a black<br />

and decker bench and a microsaw and<br />

in the garden shed, she bought me a<br />

cup of tea, and my thumb took me two<br />

days to cut off. The physiotherapist<br />

said I’d done a good job, but the<br />

surgeon was not happy.”<br />

In 2007, despite experiencing<br />

ongoing heart issues he decided<br />

to climb the Eiger in an attempt to<br />

overcome his lifelong issues of vertigo.<br />

“So I trained, because I couldn't<br />

climb. It’s 6000 feet of sheer rock face<br />

and in the first 300 feet I realised that<br />

I couldn't do it. But by then the charity<br />

cameras were filming it and I couldn't<br />

get out of it. It was horrific. When I got<br />

to the top I realised I hadn’t got rid of<br />

the vertigo and I decided I would never<br />

climb another mountain.”<br />

However that did not put him off<br />

climbing the highest mountain in the<br />

world, Mt Everest. After two failed<br />

attempts climbing (2005 and 2008), in<br />

2009, at age 65 he reached the top.<br />

“I tried in 2005, not long after I<br />

had my first big heart attack. I did it<br />

from Tibet. On my last night when I<br />

was within 300m from the summit, I<br />

got a heart attack on the rope. I had<br />

glyceryl trinitrate in my pocket and I<br />

was by myself; it was pitch black and<br />

I was alone apart from my sherpa. I<br />

was trying to tell him I was about to<br />

die, you would think you would just<br />

take out the pills, unscrew the top and<br />

put the pills in your mouth but you've<br />

got these big mitts on, you’re holding<br />

onto a rope, its sheer, you’ve got ice,<br />


Sir Ranulph during his stint in the Sultan Army<br />

“I go on expeditions for the same reason an estate<br />

agent sells houses – to pay the bills.”<br />

Floating on an iceflow hoping to stay afloat during the Arctic melt<br />


+<br />

“You must have your “prepared reaction” to<br />

things that go bad. You must have the right<br />

equipment for bad things happening with the<br />

weather, in the same way in a bank you have to<br />

have big reserves."<br />

it’s in pitch black, it’s a very different<br />

situation. You’ve got an oxygen mask<br />

on, you’ve got clothing all over the<br />

place, it was three or four minutes<br />

before I could find the bottle, I’m then<br />

in a panic situation cause it felt like my<br />

stitches where they tie you up after<br />

a double bypass were being pulled<br />

apart. I took the pills and I foamed like<br />

a dog into this mask, but long story<br />

short, I survived.”<br />

After visiting the doctor when he<br />

made it to the bottom the doctor asked<br />

where his pills were and he showed<br />

him the empty bottle. He had taken the<br />

whole lot, where he should have taken<br />

only two. He considers himself lucky to<br />

have survived that mistake.<br />

Not deterred from his first effort Sir<br />

Ranulf had another failed attempt in<br />

2008 from the Kathmandu side, before<br />

successfully reaching the summit in<br />

2009. In doing so Sir Ranulf raised<br />

6.3 million dollars for Marie Curie, a<br />

registered charitable organisation in<br />

the United Kingdom which provides<br />

care and support to people with<br />

terminal illnesses and their families,<br />

and became the eldest Brit to summit<br />

Mt Everest.<br />

To say the man’s achievements<br />

are extraordinary, goes without saying.<br />

He has allowed his body to be used<br />

as a human experiment during and<br />

after expeditions, and each expedition<br />

has a charity and a science project<br />

attached. But for Sir Ranulf, to achieve<br />

this he needs sponsorship and for that<br />

he explains that “you have to maintain<br />

your lead over your known rivals at all<br />

times.” Maybe this is what motivates<br />

him? As he simply says.<br />

“I was inspired by the necessity to<br />

make a living rather than by a previous<br />

explorer.”<br />

Sir Ranulph’s life journeys have<br />

not been without its health challenges<br />

but he strongly believes age should<br />

not be seen as one of them.<br />

“Just because you are older you<br />

don’t have to make that a reason for<br />

not doing the challenges you would<br />

otherwise want to do.”<br />

The physical and mental<br />

preparation stays the same, it just<br />

differs slightly.<br />

“Preparation mentally is learning<br />

from other people's mistakes. In terms<br />

of physically you have to find time to<br />

do something everyday. When you are<br />

50 you go for a one hour run, when<br />

you are 60 it’s called a jog and when<br />

you are 70 it’s called a shuffle. But you<br />

still have to keep doing it.”<br />

So how does he deal with fear?<br />

“Fear comes in so many shapes<br />

and sizes that no one strategy would<br />

not, in my honest opinion, be enough.<br />

So we hope first of all that we plan our<br />

expeditions with as less encounter<br />

with risk as possible, because if you<br />

don’t encounter risk you are more<br />

likely to break world records and<br />

succeed, where other people have run<br />

into risk and failed.<br />

Firstly we plan it to avoid situations<br />

of fear, but nonetheless every now and<br />

then you do.<br />

I’ve fallen into a deep crevasse in<br />

a situation where I wasn’t tied up to<br />

anything, just stuck by one ski stick<br />

between two ice walls with 200 feet<br />

beneath me. I was very very lucky to<br />

get out of that.”<br />

Sir Ranulph believes that a<br />

person’s character should overweight<br />

their experience. He believes that<br />

you can’t teach character but you can<br />

teach skills.<br />

“On one occassion out of 800<br />

applicants I only took 2. One of them<br />

had never been on an expedition, he<br />

was a beer salesman in London, the<br />

other was a butcher in South Africa.<br />

Out of 800 these two, their characters<br />

were just perfect. When we put them<br />

into bad situations, a bad side of their<br />

characters did not appear, they were<br />

not egocentric, they were not sarcastic<br />

when they were feeling bad.”<br />

Despite the best preparation,<br />

things will go wrong. So how does Sir<br />

Ranulph prepare for these situations?<br />

“You must have your “prepared<br />

reaction” to things that go bad. You<br />

must have the right equipment for bad<br />

things happening with the weather,<br />

in the same way in a bank you have<br />

to have big reserves. So crisis that<br />

don't have reserves are the fault of<br />

the people at the top and in my case<br />

as leader of the expedition I am to<br />

blame if I am not ready for very bad<br />

weather at all times, you have to think<br />

pessimistically.”<br />

Sir Ranulph has also witnessed<br />

firsthand the effects of global warming.<br />

“In the 1970’s I was making<br />

sledges a little bit waterproof in case<br />

there was some water on the way<br />

to the north pole. By the 1990’s I’m<br />

designing them like canoes because<br />

there is so much water.”<br />

So you may wonder, at the age of<br />

73, if there are any more adventures<br />

left for Sir Ranulph and whether<br />

retiring is an option. We’ll let him sign<br />

off in his own words...<br />

“Thinking about stopping is like<br />

thinking about dying.”<br />


First unsupported crossing of the Antarctic<br />

"There is no bad weather, just<br />

inappropriate clothing."<br />

Some of Sir Ranulph's remarkable achievements<br />

• First to reach both Poles (with<br />

Charles Burton).<br />

• First to cross<br />

Antarctic and Arctic<br />

Ocean (with Charles<br />

Burton).<br />

• First to<br />

circumnavigate the<br />

world along its polar<br />

axis (with Charles<br />

Burton).'This 3 year, 52<br />

000 mile odyssey took intricate<br />

planning, 1900 sponsors, a 52 person<br />

team to handle, complex communications,<br />

meticulous planning and iron determination mixed<br />

with flexibility. The circumnavigation has never<br />

been successfully repeated.<br />

• Led the first hovercraft expedition up the longest<br />

river in the world (the Nile) in 1968/1969.<br />

• Achieved world record for unsupported northerly<br />

polar travel in 1990.<br />

• Led the team that discovered the lost city of Ubar<br />

on the Yemeni border in 1992 (after seven previous<br />

search expeditions over a 26 year period).<br />

• Achieved world first in 1992/1993 by completing<br />

the first unsupported crossing of the Antarctic<br />

Continent (with Mike Stroud). This was the longest<br />

unsupported polar journey in history.<br />

• In 2003, only 3½ months after a massive heart<br />

attack, 3 day coma and double bypass, Ranulph<br />

Fiennes (with Mike Stroud) achieved the first 7x7x7<br />

(Seven marathons in seven consecutive days on<br />

all seven continents).<br />

• March 2005, climbed Everest (Tibet-side) to within<br />

300m of summit raising £2 million for the British<br />

Heart Foundations new research MRI scanner.<br />

• March 2007, Sir Ranulph climbed the North Face<br />

of the Eiger (with Kenton Cool and Ian Parnell) and<br />

raised £1.8 million for Marie Curie Cancer Care's<br />

Delivering Choice Programme<br />

• Winner of ITV Greatest Britons 2007 Sport<br />

Award (beating the 2 other main nominees Lewis<br />

Hamilton and Joe Calzaghe)<br />

• May 2008, climbed Everest (Nepal-side) to within<br />

400m from summit raising £2.5m for Marie Curie<br />

Cancer Care Delivering Choice Programme<br />

• Marie Curie 2008 ‘Above and Beyond Award’<br />

Winner<br />

• Successfully summited Everest May 2009 with<br />

Thundu Sherpa making a total for Marie Curie of<br />

over £6.2m. The oldest Briton ever to summit.<br />

• Becomes the oldest Briton, at the time, to complete<br />

the Marathon des Sables – the ‘toughest footrace<br />

on earth’ in aid of Marie Curie.<br />


+<br />

volcanoes<br />



By Helen Pelham, Lynne Dickinson and Linda<br />

Lennon<br />


In the immediate aftermath of the<br />

White Island eruption on December<br />

9th 2019, I was overwhelmed, as was<br />

everyone I am sure, by the level of<br />

support and compassion shown for<br />

those affected by the tragedy that<br />

unfolded. Heroic actions by the tour<br />

guides and other tourists visiting the<br />

island along with the local helicopter<br />

pilots were shared around the world<br />

and once again our country became<br />

united by another tragedy.<br />

It didn’t seem to take long<br />

before the naysayers were out in full<br />

force, criticising every aspect of the<br />

devastating event; the way the cruise<br />

ship responded, the way the police<br />

and rescue crews responded, and then<br />

questioning why tourists were even<br />

allowed on the island in the first place.<br />

I know that if I had been on the<br />

cruise ship then I would have been one<br />

of those people who signed up to go<br />

to White Island and walk on the active<br />

volcano. I’ve always been drawn to<br />

the thing that pushes you outside of<br />

your comfort zone, however, I think in<br />

the back of my mind that although I<br />

have been aware of the inherent risks<br />

in outdoor adventures I’ve always<br />

believed (obviously wrongly) that as<br />

long as I didn’t make a mistake, that all<br />

would be OK.<br />

What we seem to forget, and what<br />

the White Island tragedy reminds us<br />

of, is the fragile and volatile nature<br />

of nature itself. Regardless of the<br />

numerous warning systems in place<br />

and regular monitoring of volcanic<br />

activity, White Island erupted without<br />

warning.<br />


This photo was taken by American tourist Michael Schade who left the island just moments before it erupted.<br />

"What we seem to forget,<br />

and what the White Island<br />

tragedy reminds us of,<br />

is the fragile and volatile<br />

nature of nature itself."<br />


+<br />

Two White Island Tour guides disembarking the boat in the moments after the eruption - Image by Michael Schade<br />

White Island is not our only active<br />

volcano and not the only one where<br />

tourists visit regularly. Each winter, Mt<br />

Ruapehu hosts close to 10,000 people<br />

each day of each weekend as people<br />

flock to the mountain to ski and board<br />

and simply sight see. Mt Ruapehu is<br />

New Zealand's largest active volcano<br />

and began erupting at least 250,000<br />

years ago. In recent history it has had<br />

major eruptions every 50 years; 1895,<br />

1945, 1995-1996, with smaller eruptions<br />

more frequently, at least 60 have been<br />

recorded since 1945 and even these<br />

have been large enough to cause<br />

damage to the ski fields.<br />

Although no lives were lost in the<br />

initial 1945 eruption, it did cause the<br />

damming of the Crater Lake, which<br />

collapsed in 1953 causing a lahar which<br />

in turn caused the Tangiwai disaster<br />

which claimed 151 lives.<br />

In 1995 a series of eruptions took<br />

place on Mt Ruapehu resulting in a<br />

dramatic eruption in September of that<br />

year, with the eruption plume rising 12km<br />

high, rocks thrown as far away as 1.5km<br />

from the crater and three lahars racing<br />

down river valleys. Eruptions continued<br />

throughout the remainder of the year<br />

and through to June 1996, however the<br />

mountain still opened for the ski season<br />

that year. Fortunately, no lives were lost<br />

in the 1995 eruption, and as a result of<br />

the activity that year new regulations<br />

were put in place to more closely monitor<br />

the volcanic activity levels.<br />

Eruptions have continued on Mt<br />

Ruapehu with young climber, William<br />

Pike, losing his leg through rockfall from<br />

an eruption in September 2007.<br />

The hut that William Pike was in was buried<br />

in the 2007 eruption on Mt Ruapehu<br />

In 2012 volcanologists warned of<br />

building pressure beneath the crater<br />

lake with an eruption likely to occur in<br />

the following months. There have been<br />

numerous warnings since then but the<br />

mountain still remains open for business.<br />

So the question remains, what is<br />

considered a reasonable risk? Some<br />

would argue that any visit to an area<br />

that is active is outside of reasonable<br />

risk, however, were the visitors to White<br />

Island simply unlucky or was that an<br />

avoidable catastrophe?<br />

If we were to avoid all things that<br />

had inherent risk attached we would not<br />

venture on our roads or let our kids walk<br />

to school. Life is full of risks, some that<br />

can be controlled and others that can’t.<br />

The secret is to do our best to minimise<br />

those risks without letting them interfere<br />

with that art of living.<br />

So what could the visitors to<br />

Whakaari White Island have done<br />

differently? And how did some of them<br />

survive with minor injuries while others<br />

perished. The answer seems to lie<br />

in simple luck. If you were one of the<br />

people standing on the edge of the<br />

volcano when it erupted, there was not a<br />

lot that you could have done to alter the<br />

course of events. However, those down<br />

at the water's edge had some choices.<br />

Some jumped into the water straight<br />

away which saved them from some of<br />

the worst of the injuries. Others sought<br />

shelter behind large rocks which gave<br />

them some protection from the initial<br />

blast. But when the air is so toxic and<br />

the eruption so sudden, the only way to<br />

survive was to get off the island and into<br />

care as soon as possible.<br />

Those people that risked their lives to<br />

retrieve those stranded on White Island,<br />

went a long way towards giving those<br />

injured a chance of survival. To date<br />

there have been 22 deaths from the 47<br />

reportedly on the island at the time of the<br />

eruption.<br />


The two guides returning to the boat with survivors - Image by Michael Schade<br />

With the most recent deaths has once<br />

again come some finger pointing. A relative<br />

of one of the deceased believes that “proper<br />

safety equipment” would have saved his<br />

family, such as appropriate heat resistant<br />

gear/clothing, safety glasses, helmets and<br />

face masks.<br />

The questions have also been asked<br />

about the comprehensive disclosure of<br />

associated risks with such activities, and this<br />

is what was posted on the White Island Tour<br />

website prior to the December 2019 eruption:<br />

“Whakaari/White Island is currently on<br />

Alert Level 2. This level indicates moderate<br />

to heightened volcanic unrest, there is the<br />

potential for eruption hazards to occur. White<br />

Island Tours operates through the varying<br />

alert levels but passengers should be aware<br />

that there is always a risk of eruptive activity<br />

regardless of the alert level. White Island<br />

Tours follows a comprehensive safety plan<br />

which determines our activities on the island<br />

at various levels.”<br />

Despite the clear message we often<br />

overlook the “fine print” in our excitement to<br />

take part.<br />

In the aftermath of the disaster, the<br />

blast is currently subject to two inquiries,<br />

a coronial investigation and another by<br />

Worksafe NZ.<br />

Whakaari White Island Reviews from Trip Advisor<br />

"We Went. It was a once in a lifetime adventure - standing<br />

on the crater floor of an active volcano - spewing forth sulfa,<br />

steam and other toxic gases - truly the inspiration for the fire<br />

and brimstone concept of Hell. Three days later, it erupted<br />

killing and burning many. That really shook us up. I doubt<br />

they'll ever let tourists visit again."<br />

"I don't think there were any passengers that were naïve<br />

enough to believe that landing on an active volcano didn't have<br />

inherent risks. That was part of the thrill - doing something that<br />

others are afraid to witness."<br />

“So what happens to White Island now? I doubt that tours<br />

will be permitted in the future even for those brave enough<br />

or curious enough to want to make them with a small but<br />

significant local employment knock on effect. Commercial<br />

considerations including insurance cover will be prohibitively<br />

high, certainly in the foreseeable future. Perhaps it is time<br />

to leave White Island to the sea birds and the occasional<br />

volcanologists doing their assessments which seem on this<br />

occasion to have been so tragically disregarded. When we<br />

visited The killing Fields just outside Pnom Penh we felt<br />

that some places just should not be for tourists. Perhaps,<br />

admittedly in a vastly different context, the same might now be<br />

true for White Island?"<br />


+ eruptions "They are unpredictable,<br />


A volcano is defined simply as “an opening in<br />

the Earth’s crust that allows molten rock, gases,<br />

and debris to escape to the surface.” A volcanic<br />

eruption does not always involve lava, but will<br />

throw debris, volcanic ash and steam into the air at<br />

speed and this can travel 100’s of miles from the<br />

volcano. They are unpredictable, often extremely<br />

violent and can happen without warning.<br />

The violence of an eruption is measured by<br />

the volume of materials discharged and the height<br />

of the column. This is known as the VEI (volcanic<br />

explosive index). The eruption of Whakaari White<br />

Island in December last year threw steam and ash<br />

3.7km into the air and had a VEI of 2.<br />

often extremely violent<br />

and can happen without<br />

warning."<br />


Mt. St. Helens<br />

mushroom cloud,<br />

40 miles wide<br />

and 15 miles<br />

high. Camera<br />

location: Toledo,<br />

Washington,<br />

35 miles westnorthwest<br />

of<br />

the mountain.<br />

The picture is<br />

a composite<br />

of about 20<br />

separate images.<br />

Images by Rocky<br />

Kolberg<br />

Mt St Helens, in Washington, USA last erupted in<br />

2008 but is most known for the 1980 eruption that created<br />

the largest landslide ever recorded. Ash was blown over<br />

cities hundreds of miles away and over 57 people were<br />

killed. Despite the destruction and death toll, the mountain<br />

was reopened to climbers 7 years later and remains<br />

open today. (VEI level 5)<br />

Mt Vesuvius<br />

erupting in<br />

1944 with<br />

Naples in the<br />

foreground.<br />

Image US<br />

Navy File No<br />

54410<br />

Mt Vesuvius in Italy is well known for the eruption of 79<br />

A.D. that destroyed the city of Pompeii killing thousands of<br />

people. It has been quiet since 1944 after having produced<br />

several explosive eruptions that have produced fast moving<br />

streams of scalding hot gas and volcanic matter. But more<br />

significant is the fact that 6 million people live within 100km<br />

of the mountain. (approx VEI level 5)<br />

The driver<br />

of a pickup<br />

truck<br />

desperately<br />

tries to<br />

overeun a<br />

cloud of ash<br />

spewing<br />

from the<br />

volcanic<br />

eruption of<br />

Mt Pinatubo<br />

in 1991.<br />

This image<br />

by<br />

Alberto<br />

Garcia went<br />

on to win<br />

numerous<br />

awards.<br />

In 1991, after 500 years<br />

of inactivity, Mt Pinatubo<br />

in the Philippines erupted.<br />

The force of the eruption<br />

blew lava and ash 34km<br />

into the air, killing 847<br />

people. It was the 4th most<br />

violent eruption in history<br />

and the second in the<br />

last two decades. Despite<br />

the recent eruption, more<br />

than 21 million people live<br />

within 100km radius of Mt<br />

Pinatubo. (VEI level 6)<br />

Lava from a<br />

fissure slowly<br />

advanced to<br />

the northeast<br />

on Hoʻokupu<br />

Street in<br />

Leilani Estates<br />

subdivision.<br />

Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii had been erupting almost<br />

continuously between 1983 and 2018. Although no lives<br />

were lost, hundreds lost their homes. (VEI level 4)<br />


+ tramping<br />



Insights from NZ Mountain Safety Council<br />

With the second death in just over a<br />

month on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing,<br />

it seems prudent to take a moment to<br />

consider the risks in undertaking what is<br />

considered one of the best day walks in<br />

New Zealand. It is a challenging 19.4km<br />

hike taking on average around 7 hours to<br />

complete. It passes through raw volcanic<br />

terrain and reaches an altitude of over<br />

1800 metres.<br />

On average over 150,000 people walk<br />

the track each year (This is the highest<br />

number of walkers of any track in NZ that<br />

takes more than half a day) with 30-40<br />

people requiring rescueing. Many people<br />

are unprepared, unsuitably dressed for<br />

the changeable weather and have no<br />

idea of what to expect, and others simply<br />

underestimate the level of fitness needed<br />

to cross the rugged terrain.<br />

In 2007, after two deaths from<br />

hypothermia in 2006, the name of the<br />

track was changed from the Tongariro<br />

Crossing to the Tongariro Alpine Crossing<br />

to highlight the extreme weather<br />

possibilities on the exposed terrain.<br />

Weather, or the rapid change of alpine<br />

weather has been a factor in people<br />

getting into difficulty on the track. Most<br />

people hike the track in summer and<br />

assume that they will experience the<br />

settled weather we come to expect at<br />

that time of year in the rest of the country.<br />

However, in the mountains, extreme<br />

weather can hit at any time and without<br />

shelter and limited visibility it is easy to get<br />

into trouble.<br />

Meteorologist, Lisa Murray explains.<br />

“As you change elevation from sea level<br />

to the mountains a number of things begin<br />

to happen that will potentially have an<br />

impact on your trip. Using the Tongariro<br />

Alpine Crossing (TAC) as an example,<br />

the difference in elevation between Taupo<br />

and the summit of the track is around<br />

1500 metres. Because of atmospheric<br />

lapse rate, the ambient temperature will<br />

be about 10°C colder at the summit than<br />

at Taupo.”<br />

Not only does the changing weather<br />

mean an increase in hypothermia cases,<br />

it also equates for people getting lost on<br />

the track. Poor visibility means people are<br />

likely to make a wrong turn and this can<br />

result in deadly consequences.<br />

In 2019 DOC initiated a public bad<br />

weather advisory that would inform people<br />

that the crossing was “not recommended<br />

today” if the weather was considered<br />

inappropriate for a safe crossing. This<br />

followed the death of a woman whose<br />

body was found by Red Crater after<br />

becoming separated from her group. The<br />

weather was considered less than ideal.<br />

The previous year also saw a death in<br />

similar circumstances. A group of four men<br />

became separated, with three turning back<br />

and one continuing over the crossing,<br />

he never made it. All were unprepared,<br />

wearing only hoodies, sweatpants and<br />

running shoes. The weather was dry when<br />

they started, but began to drizzle as they<br />

got higher, eventually becoming a blizzard<br />

once they reached Blue Lake. This was<br />

forecast to happen, but the forecast was<br />

not checked by the group beforehand.<br />

Local Police involved in rescues have<br />

four key messages for anyone thinking of<br />

doing the crossing.<br />

1. Wear appropriate clothing<br />

2. Keep an eye on the weather<br />

3. Stick together<br />

4. Be prepared to turn back<br />

However, it’s not always misfortune<br />

or lack of preparation that is the cause of<br />

death on the crossing.<br />

In 2018, 56 year old Bernhard<br />

Hanssen was found collapsed on the<br />

track by passing hikers. Despite CPR<br />

he was unable to be saved. However,<br />

nothing in his death could be attributed<br />

to his fitness, preparation clothing or<br />

equipment. He carried plenty of food,<br />

a torch, cell phone, battery pack, spare<br />

clothing and emergency gear. He was<br />

considered physically fit but an unknown<br />

heart condition was found to be the cause<br />

of his death.<br />

Earlier this year, 75 year old Gerd<br />

Wilde from Germany decided to attempt<br />

the track with his son. He was in the<br />

middle of a whirlwind bucket list adventure<br />

with his son after spending the previous<br />

six years fighting prostate cancer. New<br />

Zealand and the Tongariro Alpine Crossing<br />

were both on his list. He died as a result of<br />

a heart attack halfway along the track.<br />

So who does the responsibility lie with<br />

to ensure a safe and secure crossing?<br />

Of course it lies firstly with ourselves, but<br />

what responsibility, if any, should tourism<br />

play. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is<br />

promoted as one of the best day walks<br />

in the world with social media channels<br />

and the like spouting it’s praises. Nearly<br />

75% of those who walk the Tongariro<br />

Crossing are overseas visitors, often from<br />

areas without extreme alpine conditions.<br />

Given their often limited time in our<br />

country and their desire to “see all the<br />

best bits” they will jump on board without<br />

truly understanding what they are getting<br />

themselves into. Motivated by pictures on<br />

instagram and “tips” from every so-called<br />

influencer, they often find themselves well<br />

outside their comfort zone and more often<br />

than not, unprepared for the worst.<br />

Tongariro Alpine Crossing Emerald Lakes<br />

Image by Laura Smetsers<br />



+<br />

Always be aware of the changing weather conditions in any alpine environment. Image by Daniel Chen<br />

IN 2017, 1,539,133 PEOPLE WENT TRAMPING<br />





The Tongariro Alpine Crossing has by far<br />

the most incidents, however it also caters for<br />

the highest number of visitors. 150,000 walk the<br />

Tongariro Crossing each year compared to 15,000<br />

on the Milford Track.<br />

In 2018 the NZ Mountain Safety Council<br />

(MSC) produced a report called “A Walk in the<br />

Park? A deep dive into tramping incidents in New<br />

Zealand. It makes for some interesting reading<br />

on the statistics surrounding our most popular<br />

outdoor activity.<br />

In the ten years between 2007 and 2017, 57<br />

people lost their lives in tramping accidents; 31<br />

from falling, 21 from drowning, 6 from hypothermia<br />

and the remainder from avalanches and other<br />

such incidents.<br />

The role of the MSC is in preventing safetyrelated<br />

issues in land-based outdoor recreation.<br />

Fatalities due to natural cause or suicide were not<br />

analysed as they are not deemed to be safetyrelated<br />

issues. E.g. Gerd Wilde (case above)<br />

could have had his heart attack at any other point<br />

of his journey in NZ such as in a spa in Rotorua or<br />

walking along Queen Street.<br />

Of the 57 deaths, 32 were Kiwis and 25 were<br />

international visitors.<br />

The MSC noted that the most prominent<br />

causal factor of a fatality while tramping was<br />

competence, or lack of, attributing to 66% of the<br />

deaths occurring over the decade. Competence<br />

includes relevant experience, level of skill etc.<br />

The second most prominent causal factor<br />

was social and psychological factors; the state<br />

of mind of the tramper, which attributed to 62%<br />

of the fatalities; the desire to get to a destination,<br />

taking a 'short cut', or underestimation of risk were<br />

causes that factored highly.<br />

By comparison, weather and equipment<br />

were seen as the cause of only 32% and 28% of<br />

tramping deaths respectively.<br />

The other interesting information was where<br />

fatalities occurred as a result of ignoring advice,<br />

88% were male. Not surprisingly, where fatalities<br />

occurred as a result of ignoring signs, 100% were<br />

international visitors.<br />

Many people have a strange way of weighing up risk against benefits<br />

and can convince themselves that everything will be alright, despite many<br />

obvious signs that it won’t be. This is also known as “confirmation bias” or<br />

underestimating the risk. MSC insights have discovered that this was a factor<br />

in at least 17% of tramping fatalities between 2007 and 2017. The fact that<br />

so many other people have “done the crossing” and do so every year gives<br />

people a false sense of the safety of the experience. Our tourism machine<br />

has done a great job of making people really want to have an experience,<br />

despite the risks involved.<br />

So what can we do with all this information?<br />

Hopefully the research can help us to make better<br />

decisions, be aware of where the risks lie and help<br />

us become better informed. It has also highlighted<br />

some specific solutions for the Tongariro Alpine<br />

Crossing ranging from more targeted advertising<br />

of alternative tracks in the area, improvements in<br />

parts of the track itself, through to the employment<br />

of full time rangers on the track to offer<br />

assistance and assess trampers progress, and<br />

the development of technology that would track<br />

trampers progress.<br />

However, the final buck stops with us. Will<br />

our egos allow us to make sure we take all risk<br />

assessments into consideration? Will our egos<br />

allow us to turn back if the weather is inclement?<br />

Will our egos allow us to admit that the exercise<br />

is outside our ability levels? Or will we make what<br />

could be a fatal error of judgement?<br />


posure<br />

X<br />




LOCATION: Teahupoo, Tahiti<br />

THE SHOT: The image by the Tahitian<br />

photographer Ben Thouard. Ben has<br />

made Teahupo’o’s famous wave his<br />

backyard and his favourite place to<br />

shoot. The image was called "The Fight"<br />

for obvious reasons. This was entered in<br />

the 2019 Red Bull Illume<br />

Image courtesy Red Bull content pool

+<br />

snow<br />

storms<br />



By Geoff Hunt<br />

Before technology had really caught up<br />

with the outdoor industry, Geoff and his friends<br />

found themselves in trouble when their tent<br />

was unable to withstand the weight of a heavy<br />

snow storm. Today, the modern design of tents<br />

would have meant a very different experience,<br />

but we’re talking the 1970’s when touring tents<br />

were a triangular shape with two poles. Geoff<br />

shared his experience of his night in the snow<br />

on Franz Josef glacier.<br />

Cold and hungry we faced a choice - the<br />

snow had been falling so hard that our tent was<br />

collapsing on us, even with two people outside<br />

at all times clearing snow. Time to decide - we<br />

could not go anywhere with the weather the<br />

way it was but we did need to do something.<br />

We were camped on the Franz Josef névé and<br />

there was nowhere to go. A snow cave was the<br />

only solution . . . . . . but before I get ahead of<br />

myself. Let me set a little background.<br />

The story really begins some months before<br />

with a climb of Mt Tasman. On a visit to Mt<br />

Cook’s Unwin Hut, Judy Norman said to me<br />

“get this grumpy bear (husband Shaun) out of<br />

here - he is driving me crazy.”<br />

Shaun volunteered that we go and climb<br />

Mt Tasman. I did remind him that I had little<br />

experience at ice climbing but he said - “you<br />

will be fine so away we went”<br />

The following day - equipped to climb steep<br />

snow and ice we were away. Boarding a ski<br />

plane we were quickly dropped at Plateau Hut<br />

where after eating super we retired to our warm<br />

sleeping bags. It was going to be an early start.<br />

Shaun has decided that a little experience with<br />

ice climbing should probably be good for this<br />

‘skier’ boy - so the training hill was Mt Dixon.<br />

Mount Dixon is the 23rd highest peak in<br />

New Zealand, rising to a height of 3,019 metres<br />


The drop off point at the top of Franz Josef Glacier<br />

Image by Belle Hunt<br />


+<br />

A successful ascent of Dixon and I am ready for<br />

Mt Tasman ( the second highest mountain in NZ,<br />

rising to a height of 3,497 metres). Well not really<br />

ready, but a little more confident that I will not hold<br />

Shaun up too much. So once again we retire early<br />

to our warm sleeping bags, the last time we would<br />

see them for 40 hrs or so.<br />

An early mountain climbing start of 1.30am and<br />

I was following Shaun on crampons across the<br />

Grand Plateau on the way to the base of the climb<br />

of Tasman. A climb of Silverhorn Ridge to Engineer<br />

Col and on to the summit is the standard route on<br />

Tasman.<br />

We climbed successfully, me on my tip toes on<br />

ice for the first time. My slow ascent and descent<br />

left us a bit late in the day and the call was made to<br />

spend a night in a crevasse rather than keep going<br />

through the dark. Mmmm - sleeping bag where are<br />

you? Oh yes, in the hut! So I crawl into my pack, on<br />

top of the flaked out rope, and finally fell asleep.<br />

A toe in my side wakes me.<br />

“Wake up Geoff”<br />

“Hah - time to go?”<br />

“No, you were asleep and I wasn’t."<br />

Thanks Shaun.<br />

At dawn we return to the hut for late breakfast<br />

and a cup of tea or five and then it’s on our way<br />

again. From the Grand Plateau we cross Cinerama<br />

Col, onto the Caroline Glacier, skirting left under<br />

the Anzac Peaks to the ridge line above the Boyes<br />

Glacier (Boyes Col) and on down onto the Tasman<br />

and home. Sounds easy but I can assure you it is<br />

not. I survived it easy enough though.<br />

But this story is not about that trip but is really<br />

about being stuck on the top of the Franz Josef<br />

névé near the Tusk, with super guide Shaun, and<br />

ski buddies Hamish Cochrane, Ross Ewington and<br />

Andrew Secombe. All of them totally inexperienced<br />

at glacier and backcountry ski travel.<br />

Planned over a beer or two no doubt; a ski trip<br />

into the high mountains with a guide for some safety.<br />

The plan was to fly into the top of the Fox Glacier,<br />

ski a few lines and climb through Newton Pass<br />

and camp near the Tusk for another couple days<br />

skiing on the Fritz Range with stunning views of the<br />

Tasman below, and then out via Almer Hut.<br />

All sounds great, and it was, except as we<br />

climbed back towards home after another fantastic<br />

day ski touring the clouds started to close in and<br />

gentle snow drifts began to gather. Not a problem<br />

we thought, we have a good expedition tent, we’ll be<br />

fine.<br />

We settled in comfortably in the tent for the<br />

overnight storm, or perhaps a day long storm. We<br />

had food, the tent was well located and the company<br />

was good. Note: there were no cell phones then to<br />

check weather with, and in fact there would be no<br />

reception there even if we have had had them.<br />

During this first night the snow intensified and<br />

begun to weigh on the tent. So we would push it up<br />

from the inside and it slid off. By morning, however<br />

it was snowing hard and we took turns at suiting up,<br />

climbing out of the warm sleeping bags and clearing<br />

the tent. We’d get the snow off, dig it out from the<br />

side and increasingly throw it out of the hole that we<br />

are sitting in.<br />

The snow began to build up, as first a foot and<br />

then another foot of snow fell during the day. The<br />

weight was loading the tent and putting strain on<br />

the two poles and slowly pushing the fabric down.<br />

We found that a cup solved that for a while, placed<br />

upside down on the pole with a plate on top of that,<br />

but we were losing the battle. By the next night it<br />

took two people outside at all times working around<br />

the tent, clearing the snow. However there was more<br />

snow falling than our ability to clear it off the tent<br />

even with two people outside at all times.<br />

Of course, it was not only the tent that was<br />

getting weighed down, but we are getting wet<br />

outside as well and dragging that back into the tent.<br />

By now the roof was just above our heads<br />

Cold and hungry we faced a choice. The snow<br />

had been falling so hard that our tent was collapsing<br />

on us, it was time to decide. We could not go<br />

anywhere with the weather the way it was but we<br />

did need to do something. We were camped on the<br />

Franz Josef névé and there was nowhere to go. A<br />

snow cave was the only solution . . .<br />

The Tusk is not far away so Shaun headed out<br />

on a compass setting and using ski poles to mark<br />

his route enabled me to follow him to the Tusk wind<br />

scoop, the only practical place that we can dig a<br />

cave. With Shaun tunnelling and me clearing the<br />

entrance we are soon enough inside and ‘out of the<br />

storm’ but wet and hot from digging like moles. The<br />

others joined us in due course bringing the sleeping<br />

bags, mats, stove and supplies.<br />

We continued digging and soon had a luxury<br />

cave with sleeping shelves a cooking bench and a<br />

foot hole. Luxury after the cramped living conditions<br />

of the tent. However, after another day of storm<br />

conditions the weight of snow above begins to<br />

compress our space. Where once we had room to sit<br />

comfortably, our roof is getting closer and closer.<br />

My sleeping bag was abandoned in the tent; too<br />

wet to bring over was the call made by the others<br />

as they packed up and so I end up sharing a bag<br />

with Ross - he is ‘loving’ it. Squashed tight in a bag<br />

with another man was way outside his comfort zone,<br />

and I mean way outside. He mumbles constantly to<br />

himself about this situation.<br />

“Your turn to clear the door tunnel."<br />

That’s not much fun either.<br />

“What’s it doing outside?”<br />

Hmmm snowing and blowing.<br />

“What’s for dinner?”<br />

Hmmm fresh snow and soup.<br />


Looking back down towards the Franz Josef Glacier<br />

Image by Makalu<br />

"We were camped onthe Franz Josef névé and there was<br />

nowhere to go. A snow cave was the only solution."<br />

A day and night pass before the storm<br />

passed and we emerged like moles, hungry<br />

from lack of food and with no energy.<br />

We still had to get out of this situation and<br />

we have wet clothing, wet sleeping bags, no<br />

food and no skis. Our skis had been used as<br />

snow stakes to hold up the tent in the storm<br />

and now we have to find first the tent location<br />

and then the skis attached to the guy ropes.<br />

The tent is relatively easy to find, 50<br />

paces west of the Tusk wind scoop we find<br />

a slight depression in the snow and decide it<br />

must be the tent site. A probe or two reveals<br />

indeed it is, but everything is buried beneath<br />

feet of snow. Patiently we dig, first one ski<br />

and then another. Digging 6 feet down we find<br />

the tent and salvage a few things from it. All<br />

the time following guy ropes to one ski after<br />

another. It’s a slow day but finally we find all<br />

the skis, bar one.<br />

We can’t leave with one person only on<br />

one foot so back to it, patiently working our<br />

way around the deep hole probing, looking for<br />

that last ski. We finally find it and with much<br />

relief we can leave this hole in the glacier.<br />

Almer Hut sits 400 meters lower across<br />

the other side of the glacier, about 4kms<br />

away but we can’t go directly but instead<br />

have to skirt slowly through the deep snow till<br />

we reach a position where we can descend<br />

safely down the edge of the glacier and finally<br />

off the edge into a steepish snow gut down to<br />

the hut. We flopped down outside in the sun<br />

while Shaun went in to use the radio.<br />

The operator sounded relieved to hear<br />

from us. Judy had been calling through the<br />

network for any word from our party (there<br />

had been three foot of snow in Mt Cook<br />

village during the storm).<br />

Soon enough a helicopter was on its way<br />

and it’s a very weary party that climbed on<br />

board for the short trip down to the green<br />

landing pad in Franz Josef.<br />

High fives and smiles and a story to tell.<br />


+<br />


SICKNESS on everest<br />




Interview with Robert Bruce<br />

Last issue we talked to Robert Bruce, founder of the adventure group Got to Get<br />

Out, who'd just completed his fourth group trek to Nepal, this time to Everest Base<br />

Camp (EBC). With 30 mostly Kiwis (or people with strong NZ connections) they headed<br />

into the Nepal winter enduring temperatures of -20 to -40, while we enjoyed the NZ<br />

summer.<br />

As leader of this large group, Rob learned the hard way no matter how prepared<br />

you are, at altitude there's always a chance that things can go wrong. He shares what it<br />

was like arranging an emergency evac from the foot of Mt Everest..<br />


Everest Base Camp, image by Anaya Bilimale<br />


+<br />

Some guests got altitude<br />

sickness, tell us about that? What<br />

happens up high? Altitude sickness<br />

is an unfortunate reality of trekking<br />

at altitude, and despite EBC being<br />

considered relatively 'easy' by some,<br />

it should not be underestimated. I've<br />

done EBC three times now as well<br />

as Annapurna Circuit trek in Nepal,<br />

and I can confirm the risks are real.<br />

Trekkers to EBC are climbing five<br />

hundred or more vertical meters a day<br />

for up to eight hour a day, for fifteen<br />

days (there and back). With reduced<br />

hygiene facilities, extreme cold in<br />

winter, unusual foods and fatigue added<br />

in.. there's certainly a risk of altitude<br />

sickness, as I have now experienced<br />

first-hand.<br />

How had you prepared your<br />

guests for altitude sickness? I must<br />

start this answer by saying that in my<br />

opinion our group of trekkers were<br />

highly prepared for this trip. Some of<br />

our precautions included pre departure<br />

meetings and many emails discussing<br />

gear list, medical needs, likely<br />

temperatures, what to bring and how to<br />

train. I shared links to information like<br />

blogs and videos, and other useful tips<br />

to help get my guests ready for nearly<br />

three weeks in a third world country,<br />

in the middle of winter. In-Nepal when<br />

we were all together for the first time,<br />

we held a huge group briefing with<br />

our expert local guides, recapping the<br />

route, discussing how to pack, and<br />

basically sharing what to expect in their<br />

adventure ahead. During the trek itself<br />

I hosted daily check-ins with the whole<br />

group, providing significant support<br />

to anyone feeling unwell or offering to<br />

lighten loads.<br />

I believe guests knew full-well<br />

the chance of getting ill from altitude<br />

sickness, and what symptoms to look<br />

for (in themselves, and others). I feel<br />

they also knew what would happen if<br />

the guides or I deemed them too unwell<br />

to continue ascending or descending..<br />

Our trained Nepalese guides from a<br />

leading Nepal-based trekking company<br />

have hundreds of EBC (and other<br />

Himalayan) treks under their belts<br />

and knew what to look for in terms of<br />

identifying altitude sickness. Though,<br />

it should be noted a mountain guide<br />

from most trekking company’s, as far<br />

as I am aware, is not the same as an<br />

alpine doctor, so they are not mandated<br />

to provide medical care per se, only<br />

to identify sickness and act on this by<br />

arranging help or sending someone<br />

home.<br />

What is altitude sickness? In<br />

simple terms, as a human ascends<br />

higher in altitude, there is less oxygen<br />

in the air so people need to breath<br />

harder, more often, to get the same<br />

amount of oxygen into their blood as<br />

at ground level – it gets increasingly<br />

harder to perform both physically and<br />

mentally the higher up a mountain you<br />

ascend. The effects of less oxygen can<br />

be alleviated with ‘acclimatization’ days<br />

whereby you ‘climb high and sleep low’,<br />

though, in general, descending is the<br />

best / only way to improve your health<br />

quickly, if you start getting ill.<br />

Some of the main (early) symptoms<br />

of altitude sickness include;<br />

Loss of appetite<br />

Headache<br />

Nausea<br />

Fatigue<br />

Coughing<br />

High heart rate<br />

Low blood oxygenation.<br />

If left untreated or if a patient<br />

does not descend fast enough,<br />

these early symptoms above can<br />

eventually become quite serious<br />

altitude sicknesses like HACE (high<br />

altitude cerebral edema) or HAPE<br />

(high altitude pulmonary edema. Over<br />

the years many climbers and trekkers<br />

including those to the relatively low<br />

level of EBC (when compared to<br />

climbing a Himalayan summit, let alone<br />

Mt Everest) who continued upwards<br />

instead of heeding the warnings,<br />

have become very ill and some have<br />

sadly even died. So altitude sickness<br />

is a serious matter for trekkers in the<br />

region, and everyone on the Got To<br />

Get Out trek knew of these risks, and<br />

understood they would be sent ‘down’,<br />

if they got too sick<br />

How did you deal with altitude<br />

sickness of guests? Got To Get Out<br />

had a protocol in place that we actually<br />

rehearsed before leaving New Zealand,<br />

whereby if guests did not improve<br />

quickly from early signs of altitude<br />

sickness, they would either return by<br />

foot to a lower altitude to improve (and<br />

then potentially rejoin the group after<br />

improvement) or if they were unable<br />

to descend under their own steam,<br />

a helicopter evacuation would be<br />

triggered.<br />

It should be noted that heli<br />

evacuation sounds scary, but in Nepal<br />

is extremely common. Each day<br />

several helicopters fly back and forth<br />

through the Khumbu valley (the main<br />

trekking highway) from Kathmandu<br />

to EBC or nearby villages, picking up<br />

sick or injured trekkers. This is not to<br />

say the trek is unsafe, more so that it<br />

is very common for people – even well<br />

prepared and fit – to get ill and need a<br />

helping hand to descend.<br />

It should also be noted that the<br />

policy of both Got To Get Out and<br />

our Nepal trekking partner is to insist<br />

on insurance that will pay in full for a<br />

helicopter medical evac over 5,000m<br />

above sea level. Readers should be<br />

aware that credit-card or cheaper<br />

insurance policies may not cover evac<br />

from this elevation so should not be<br />

relied on alone, at least in the Himalaya.<br />

Make sure you read the fine print.<br />

Tell us about the evacuation on<br />

Jan 4th. On the day prior to our evac,<br />

the group needed to walk Pheriche<br />

(4200m) to Lobuche (approx. 4900m),<br />

and on this day the weather was very<br />

poor, with snow and cold down to an<br />

estimated -20 Celsius.<br />

On arrival to the ‘Pyramid’ tea<br />

house located slightly above Lobuche<br />

(an ex Italian environmental research<br />

station). Guests were pretty tired and<br />

cold but all seemed fine that night.<br />

We watched a documentary about<br />

Sherpas and their amazing contribution<br />

to mountaineering by taking all the<br />

‘risk’ when setting the complex ‘ladder<br />

crossings’ in the Khumbu Ice Fall<br />

ahead of Everest climbing expeditions.<br />

I digress!<br />

The next morning, 7am, I started<br />

getting reports from worried guests that<br />

several of our trekkers were feeling<br />

unwell; some had been up all night<br />

with nausea. I set about finding out<br />

who was ill, with what conditions, and<br />

immediately began making plans with<br />

our trekking guides to determine what<br />

needed to be done.<br />

Throughout that morning, various<br />

guests presented symptoms of nausea,<br />

headaches, fatigue, and upon testing<br />

for the blood oxygenation and heart<br />


Images by Eonel Barut<br />

"Throughout that morning, various guests<br />

presented symptoms of nausea, headaches,<br />

fatigue, and upon testing for the blood<br />

oxygenation and heart rate of guests it was<br />

found that some guests were feeling effects of<br />

altitude sickness."<br />

rate of guests it was found that some<br />

guests were experiencing the effects of<br />

altitude sickness.<br />

The good news is that after some<br />

of the ill were administered tea,<br />

electrolytes, mild pain relief and food,<br />

they made a recovery and joined the<br />

other guests on an acclimatization<br />

walk - which helped us 'clear the decks'<br />

to deal with the really sick people. I<br />

was very lucky to have some medical<br />

experts on the trip, including a nurse<br />

and midwife who helped with recording<br />

patient vital signs, and administering<br />

some basic meds.<br />

Unfortunately, three of our<br />

guests, made up of two Kiwis and an<br />

Australian born citizen living in New<br />

Zealand were still displaying worrying<br />

symptoms including low blood oxygen,<br />

high heart rates, fatigue, vomiting and<br />

some diarrhea. In consultation with<br />

the trekking company staff both in the<br />

Himalaya and by phone in Nepal, it<br />

was decided to trigger the medical<br />

evacuation procedure to send these<br />

sick guests to the lower altitude of<br />

Kathmandu with more oxygen-dense<br />

air, and to get treated by medical staff<br />

at the very well equipped travel-specific<br />

hospital in the Nepal capital.<br />

As leader of the group, I then had<br />

the tough task of phoning next of kin<br />

to tell them of the news. My job was<br />

made easier as all the families were<br />

supportive of their loved ones being<br />

taken to Kathmandu for specialist<br />

treatment, even though it meant their<br />

trip was over.<br />

Who pays for the helicopter?<br />

Before the helicopter was booked, the<br />

sick guests were made aware that if the<br />

Kathmandu doctors deemed them ‘fit<br />

enough to have walked out’ they may<br />

be charged for the evac, a cost all or<br />

part of $5,000USD per ride.<br />


+<br />

Apparently, trekkers in Nepal have<br />

exploited the evac system in the past,<br />

getting to EBC then ‘requesting’ a<br />

helicopter to save walking to lower levels.<br />

This has made insurance companies<br />

more skeptical and sometimes they won’t<br />

pay. In all our cases, the doctors agreed<br />

with our assessment that our guests<br />

were ill enough, and the insurers paid<br />

everyone out in full.<br />

Tell us about the helicopter. Once<br />

the decision was made, the next part<br />

was quite remarkable and efficient. The<br />

guests were evacuated within just 2<br />

hours of the first phone call being made.<br />

The helicopter arrived around 12noon<br />

on 4th Jan, onto a snow covered square<br />

‘heli pad’ outside the Pyramid tea house.<br />

We were lucky to have clear sky and<br />

no snowfall this day, so visibility was<br />

perfect. One day either side, and it may<br />

have been hard to get the helicopter<br />

to our height. Upon landing the rotors<br />

whipped up clouds of snow and ice, so<br />

the onlooking crew and patients had to<br />

cover their faces and look away. Our sick<br />

guests were ushered onto the helicopter<br />

within about 2 minutes of landing, which<br />

our guides later told us was a slow<br />

evacuation! It really happened fast from<br />

my perspective.<br />

After leaving the mountains by<br />

helicopter, our sick guests landed in<br />

Kathmandu and treatment began a<br />

matter of hours. Treatment included rest,<br />

monitoring, IV drip, and antibiotics for<br />

some lung infections.<br />

How did your guests feel about<br />

being evacuated? The guests<br />

themselves were naturally disappointed<br />

not to make it to Mt Everest Base Camp<br />

(the rest of the group visited the very next<br />

day) but they all understood that ‘health<br />

comes first’ and most have expressed a<br />

desire to ‘give it another crack’ one day.<br />

The NZ press got hold of all this,<br />

while you were there? When I came into<br />

Images of the trip by Eonel Barut<br />

phone range for the first time in over a<br />

week,after attempting Island Peak 6189m<br />

after EBC, I found every single person in<br />

our expedition, my staff and volunteers<br />

in New Zealand, Nepalese guides and<br />

even the Nepalese hospital had been<br />

contacted by NZ journalists, eager to<br />

find out about the “evac off Everest”!.<br />

To this day I don’t know who tipped off<br />

the NZ media, but we had a good laugh<br />

about our apparent "escape from the<br />

tallest mountain on earth" which was<br />

of course, totally wrong. Jokes aside, it<br />

was distressing for everyone involved to<br />

have been so mercilessly hounded for<br />

comment, but I am thrilled that everyone<br />

in our expedition stayed tight-lipped<br />

until I got into range and spoke to the<br />

media and gave them a comment. This<br />

was a valuable learning experience<br />

for sure and illustrated to me the many<br />

misconceptions about climbing Mt<br />

Everest vs. trekking to Mt Everest Base<br />

Camp; they are not the same thing at all.<br />

So then, is it all worth it? Following<br />

in the footsteps of our most famous<br />

mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary,<br />

and taking the time to learn about<br />

the amazing contribution he and the<br />

Himalayan Trust have made to the region<br />

while experiencing the strong connection<br />

between NZ and Nepal, should be on<br />

the ‘bucket list’ of all Kiwis in my opinion.<br />

I have grown to feel this trek is a ‘rite of<br />

passage’, a pilgrimage of sorts to get<br />

immersed in Kiwi heritage, albeit on the<br />

other side of the world.<br />

I do of course acknowledge there is<br />

some risk of getting sick at altitudes like<br />

those on my trip, but as I’ve explained,<br />

good operators have reliable systems for<br />

the identification of altitude sickness and<br />

can arrange your evac if needed, and<br />

there are excellent helicopter services<br />

and trekker-specific hospitals set up to<br />

deal with this.<br />

I don’t personally think readers should<br />

do this trek alone, unless they are vastly<br />

experienced. At the very least, ordering<br />

food, flying to Lukla, and navigating the<br />

military permit checkpoints could be<br />

daunting without a guide, where most<br />

locals speak only broken English at best.<br />

So with all this risk, why do people<br />

trek to EBC, in winter? After the trip<br />

when I asked our group “why did you<br />

choose Nepal in winter for your summer<br />

vacation?” Many guests talked of EBC<br />

being a goal of theirs for many years.<br />

Others were honoring family, proving they<br />

could do it, achieving something out of<br />

their comfort zone, and basically having<br />

an adventure rather than staying home or<br />

going to the beach!<br />

Put simply though, NZ summer<br />

holidays (December/January) seem the<br />

most convenient time of year for full time<br />

workers to take leave.<br />

It’s certainly important that Kiwis<br />

attempting this trek in winter (or<br />

indeed any time of year) have the right<br />

information, coaching, support, fitness<br />

and equipment. Despite the risks I<br />

personally say, “don’t let the fear hold you<br />

back!” Feedback from my guests is the<br />

trek is ‘life changing’ and learning about<br />

the work of Sir Edmund Hillary certainly<br />

makes you feel proud to be a Kiwi, even if<br />

there is some risk of altitude sickness and<br />

a few discomforts, especially in the cold<br />

of winter.<br />

What next for GTGO? Once the<br />

world is back up and running following<br />

Covid-19 (not too long we hope!) Got<br />

to Get Out intends to run more trips to<br />

Nepal as there is clearly interest and<br />

demand, plus I love going back! We are<br />

considering a mid-year trip to the region<br />

one year, which will be warmer than our<br />

winter visits.<br />

We also have a big pipeline of both<br />

free or paid-for events to get Kiwis<br />

outdoors around NZ. These will all be<br />

hosted on our website and Facebook<br />

page, when NZ is back on track.<br />


The helicopter evacuation took approximately 2 minutes and took the guests to Kathmandu where they all made a full recovery<br />

"You gotta know when to hold em,<br />

know when to fold em,<br />

know when to walk away,<br />

know when to run."<br />

Kenny Rogers<br />

Images of the trip by Eonel Barut<br />

Please see www.facebook.com/gottogetout for updates on their local or Nepal<br />

treks or email robert@gottogetout.com to get put on the list for updates.<br />


+<br />

believe<br />

it or not<br />



In 2018 Angela Hernandez swerved<br />

her car to avoid hitting an animal and<br />

drove 60 meters down a cliff onto a<br />

deserted rocky beach. She suffered a<br />

brain hemorrhage, broken collar bone,<br />

fractured ribs, collapsed lung and<br />

ruptured blood vessels in both eyes<br />

and when she came to the water was<br />

lapping at her knees.<br />

Using a multitool, she broke her<br />

window, crawled out the car, swam to<br />

the beach and passed out. When she<br />

woke up she began walking the shore<br />

looking for help. Using a hose from her<br />

car to collect dripping water from moss<br />

along the shore she kept herself alive<br />

for days.<br />

Although she could hear and see<br />

cars pass by atop the cliff, they couldn’t<br />

hear her screams for help. Eventually, 7<br />

days into her ordeal, a couple of hikers,<br />

Chelsea and Chad Moore, stumbled<br />

across her car and found her sleeping<br />

under some rocks.<br />

Left:Angela and her rescuer, Chelsea<br />

Moore<br />

Above: Her car at the bottom of the cliff<br />

Image by Chad Moore<br />


Tyson Steele survived three weeks in<br />

the Alaskan wilderness after his cabin was<br />

burnt down in a fire. He woke to his cabin<br />

on fire and ran outside wearing only boots,<br />

long johns and a jumper. He ran back to grab<br />

blankets and his rifle not realising his dog<br />

was still inside. The fire ignited hundreds of<br />

rounds of ammunition and a propane tank in<br />

the cabin. After shovelling snow on the blaze<br />

for hours he was unable to save the shelter,<br />

he made a basic tent out of debris in the subzero<br />

temperatures and lived on canned food<br />

that survived the blaze.<br />

The authorities rescued Tyson Steele by helicopter<br />

Image by Alaskan State Troopers<br />

Alaskan native Ada Blackjack<br />

survived alone for two years on the<br />

remote Wrangel Islands. After being<br />

hired as a seamstress and cook on<br />

the expedition to claim the islands she<br />

was left there in 1921, with 5 others<br />

as a territorial claim. However their<br />

rations soon ran low and three of the<br />

team went in search of help. Ada was<br />

left to take care of an ailing crewmate.<br />

Unfortunately he did not survive,<br />

however, Ada, alone on a polar bear<br />

populated island, learned to hunt the<br />

seals and survived off their meat until<br />

she was rescued two years later.<br />



It was assumed that they had taken to their<br />

boats in order to escape the heightened volcanic<br />

activity. However, after closer investigation it<br />

appeared they had all been washed out to sea by<br />

a mudflow caused by the eruption and no trace of<br />

the men were ever found. Ten men perished.<br />

The mine was re-established in 1927 and not<br />

long after another series of violent earthquakes<br />

hit the island. This time workers were able to<br />

escape in their boats where they waited until the<br />

island settled down. Sulphur mining on the island<br />

finally came to an end in the early 1930’s.<br />

Working on White Island in the 1920's - Image compliments Alexander<br />

Turnbull Library<br />

Whakaari White Island has always been a volatile environment,<br />

with a history steeped in mystery and intrigue. The island was<br />

named by Captain Cook in 1769 White Island by Captain Cook<br />

due to the thick white steam that emitted from the island.<br />

The first recorded landing on Whakaari White Island was<br />

back in 1826 by missionary brothers, Henry and William Williams.<br />

Around the same time, trading ships began landing, using the hot<br />

volcanic streams to “cook” the pigs by dunking them in the water.<br />

It wasn’t until 1848, however, when the world was in need of<br />

sulphur for industrial and agricultural purposes, that the high levels<br />

of crystallised sulphur on the crater floor suggested it’s resources<br />

could be useful.<br />

In February, 1914 a fully realised sulphur mining operation was<br />

commissioned on the island. A few months after this an employee<br />

of the mining company died after suffering serious injuries when<br />

a retort exploded and then not long after another employee went<br />

missing with no trace, apart from his boots. Then the island<br />

erupted.<br />

People had noticed an increased level of activity on the island<br />

and on 10 September 1914, thick black smoke could be seen from<br />

the mainland and thoughts immediately went to the men working in<br />

the quarry.<br />

After failing to get hold of them, one of the steamship pilots,<br />

who carried workers and supplies to and from the island, stopped<br />

in to check on the workers. When he arrived he noticed that a<br />

large section of the cliff had collapsed burying the camp and the<br />

wharf and no workers were to be found.<br />


THE OCEAN...<br />

In 2013, when divers were<br />

exploring the wreckage of a boat that<br />

had capsized and sat 30 meters on<br />

the bottom of the ocean, the last thing<br />

they expected to find was a survivor.<br />

However, they found the ship’s cook,<br />

Harrison Okene, trapped with a four<br />

square foot bubble of air with no way<br />

out. After three days he had given up<br />

hope when he heard the divers. He was<br />

brought to a decompression chamber<br />

where he spent two days recovering,<br />

vowing never to go out to sea again.<br />


Czech tramper, Pavlina Pizova,<br />

survived for a month trapped in a hut in<br />

the South Island after getting into trouble<br />

on the Routeburn Track. Despite being<br />

advised not to attempt the track in winter<br />

due to tough weather conditions, they<br />

decided to “give it a go”. That decision<br />

proved fatal for Pavlina’s partner and left<br />

Pavlina huddled in a wardens hut with<br />

limited supplies hoping for rescue.<br />

Knowing that there was thick snow<br />

outside and avalanches were constantly<br />

falling, she decided the best thing to do<br />

was stay put. This decision proved to<br />

be a life saver as she was discovered<br />

after her friends alerted the police when<br />

they noticed she had not been posting on<br />

facebook for quite some time.<br />


+<br />

believe<br />

it or not<br />



WHITE<br />

By Steve Dickinson<br />

Anyone who knows our editor well, knows he has a knack of telling a<br />

great tale. So when he called in a panic to say he'd just been chased by a<br />

Great White, I must admit, I sort of didn't really believe him. But when I saw<br />

him an hour later and he was still shaking, I began to think that this may<br />

have been true. I'll let Steve tell the story and you can decide for yourself...<br />

Yes, I know they are always there. Yes, I know there<br />

has never been an East Coast fatal shark attack in the<br />

North Island.<br />

BUT – while fishing off Stanmore Bay Point (not long<br />

before the lockdown), a popular area just as the tide<br />

turned, I was ‘investigated’ by a 2.5+ meter great white.<br />

I don’t have a fear of sharks, I have dived with them<br />

extensively in Tahiti and Fiji and even photographed Great<br />

Whites in Tasmania, but I do have a deep respect for them<br />

and the role they play.<br />

I have seen bigger sharks but from a boat not in a<br />

kayak. In a kayak you are really exposed, and very close<br />

to their level.<br />

I heard him before I saw him. I saw him approach from<br />

the right-hand side. At which point I slashed at him with<br />

my rod accompanied by a range of expletives – made no<br />

difference. It was like being approached by a couch; his<br />

length was less intimidating than his girth.

Image supplied by Alex Steyn...<br />

Not taken by S&%T scared paddler at the time.

+<br />

I saw the water swirl off to my<br />

right, the water was crystal clear. He<br />

swam directly towards the kayak and<br />

then turned away and went under<br />

behind me. At that stage he had not<br />

touched the kayak, but I could feel his<br />

movement through the water in the<br />

kayak. He then came to the surface on<br />

my left and his huge dorsal fin broke<br />

the water. He then turned and came<br />

to the front of the kayak and started<br />

pushing it which was odd. He simply<br />

put his nose about a foot from the end<br />

of the kayak and pushed. As I was<br />

anchored at the back of the kayak,<br />

he pushed the nose like the hands<br />

of a clock for about 2 – 3 meters with<br />

enough force for me to start taking<br />

water over the side. More yelling<br />

and rod swiping. It then submerged<br />

and came up again on the right side<br />

its body pressing again the kayak. I<br />

had recently discussed this situation<br />

with my wife, and what I would do if<br />

approached by a big shark. I had no<br />

idea how big. With the sharp knife I<br />

always keep in hands reach I cut off<br />

the burley bag and threw it as far as I<br />

could– which was empty but I presume<br />

was his main interest – the red onion<br />

sack floated the surface for about 5<br />

seconds. A which point his head came<br />

out of the water and he ate it – his<br />

head was at least 2ft across it was like<br />

a scene from Jaws.<br />

Now he is swimming around<br />

the kayak with the burley bag in his<br />

mouth nudging it with the side of his<br />

body and he is pissed. I could not<br />

see his pectoral fins clearly, but his<br />

movements were now faster and<br />

more erratic. I have now put the rods<br />

down - cut all the lines and picked up<br />

the paddle. My overwhelming concern<br />

was that he would choose to chew the<br />

kayak and tip me in which would not<br />

have ended well. Due to the length of<br />

the kayak if he had chosen to chew<br />

behind or in the front, I would not be<br />

able to reach him to deter him. But he<br />

came at the boat about where my thigh<br />

was. At which point I then smashed<br />

on top of his head several times with<br />

the paddle- I could feel the connection<br />

through the paddle - still made no<br />

difference. What was concerning was<br />

his level of interest and he would not<br />

be put off he was just unrelenting.<br />

He was making sudden side to<br />

side movement, the red onion bag<br />

stuck in his teeth and flowing down<br />

the side of his face. His back fin was<br />

massive and repeatedly breaking the<br />

water. He turned away, and as he<br />

turned back towards the kayak, I had<br />

a moment when I was not defending,<br />

I then cut the anchor rope and started<br />

to paddle to the shallow water which<br />

was about 800mm away as quickly as<br />

possible. Surprising and terrifyingly<br />

he swam level with the kayak on the<br />

left-hand side, ploughing through the<br />

water making darting turns towards the<br />

kayak I was constantly in fear he was<br />

going to ram the kayak, this lasted for<br />

the first 20 -30m then submerged. That<br />

was an ‘oh f*&k’ moment, I had vision<br />

of being like one of the seals who<br />

gets hit from below on the discovery<br />

channel. He seemed to be gone but<br />

then heard him break the surface<br />

behind me, due to its size every time<br />

he broke the surface it made a noise<br />

– not one I will forget, he stayed about<br />

10m away and just kept following.<br />

Finally as I got closer to the shallower<br />

reef, I heard him submerge and I had<br />

no idea where he was or what he was<br />

going to do. I was head down paddling<br />

like Fred Flintstone runs. But he was<br />

gone, I sat in shallows called my wife,<br />

“I have just been attacked by a<br />

Great White”<br />

Her response was, “are you still<br />

out there?”<br />

My response. “Are you F&%king’<br />

kidding me!!!”<br />

Since this ordeal, I put it on our<br />

local Facebook page in a non-dramatic<br />

way and said ‘if you are fishing be<br />

aware there is a large Great White<br />

in the area’ I have had range of<br />

responses, others have said they<br />

have seen it as well, some ‘thanks<br />

for the warning’, some went on to<br />

rant about how lucky I was to have<br />

the experience to be up close and<br />

personal with such a magnificent<br />

creature. I understand the sentiment<br />

but that is an experience I never want<br />

again.<br />

I now have a kayak for sale and<br />

will be buying a boat and a lottery<br />

ticket.<br />


we ARE tramping<br />

Tramping on Mt Howitt, Hooker Range, high above the Landsborough Valley<br />

Photo: Mark Watson / Highluxphoto<br />

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

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

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

Bivouac Outdoor we ARE tramping.<br />





posure<br />

X<br />





THE SHOT: Young skateboarder<br />

Levi Glenney in Burlington, United<br />

States. This images was captured<br />

by Peter Cirilli entered in the 2019<br />

Red Bull Illume.<br />

Image courtesy Red Bull content<br />


TAKING<br />

THE DROP<br />

Words and images courtesy Red Bull<br />

American kayaker Dane Jackson has revealed<br />

the story behind his breathtaking 134-foot descent<br />

down the Salto del Maule waterfall in Chile, after his<br />

paddle over the edge became the second highest in<br />

history.<br />

The reigning ICF canoe freestyle world champion<br />

grew up travelling the USA in an RV with his family,<br />

getting homeschooled by his mother and chasing<br />

kayaking competitions with his father, Eric Jackson,<br />

an Olympic paddler and founder of the company<br />

Jackson Kayaks.<br />

The 26-year-old, who has now completed six<br />

waterfalls that are at least 100-feet high, has spent<br />

the last decade travelling the planet in search of<br />

new places to freestyle kayak as well as dominating<br />

the competition scene since he won the Whitewater<br />

Grand Prix in 2011.<br />

Here is what the Tennessee native had to say<br />

after his latest adventure feat shocked the world:<br />


Dane Jackson drops the Salto Del Maule<br />

134-foot waterfall, the second greatest kayak<br />

descent, on the Salte Maule river in Chile

Dane Jackson walks with his kayak after dropping the Salto Del Maule 134-foot waterfall, the second greatest kayak descent, on<br />

the Salte Maule river in Chile on 5 February, <strong>2020</strong>.<br />


"Whenever there's a<br />

moment where you get<br />

shown a waterfall that<br />

hasn't been done, or you<br />

come across a photo, it<br />

always sparks something<br />

that makes you have to<br />

answer the question; is it<br />

possible?"<br />

How much research went into identifying<br />

this particular waterfall, and what makes it<br />

so special? Whenever there's a moment where<br />

you get shown a waterfall that hasn't been done,<br />

or you come across a photo, it always sparks<br />

something that makes you have to answer the<br />

question; is it possible? I've been shown drops<br />

before, but when I was shown Salto del Maule<br />

four years ago, it's the most obsessed I've been<br />

with a waterfall - constantly looking at photos and<br />

videos trying to make up my mind on it. It looks so<br />

perfect and the location is breathtaking, but there<br />

were a lot of question marks on the depth which<br />

is what mainly stopped me from committing to go<br />

see it. When I got a message in January showing<br />

a good clip of it, I knew it was time to see it for<br />

myself and make the call.<br />

How do you prepare yourself mentally for<br />

something as scary as the waterfall drop?<br />

The biggest thing is making sure to cover all<br />

the bases from the line itself, to what could go<br />

wrong and where to have safety, and then have<br />

an internal discussion on whether or not I have<br />

100% confidence in hitting the line. By covering<br />

all of that, feeling 100% on the line, as well as<br />

preparing for what could happen and accepting<br />

that, it allows me to make sure I am doing it for<br />

the right reasons. For Maule the line looked<br />

amazing, there was solid safety, and it was a<br />

dream drop of mine, so I knew there was nothing<br />

else I'd rather be doing then.<br />

Can you describe the feeling on the edge,<br />

just as you are about to drop? It's hard to<br />

describe as it happens so fast but, more than<br />

anything, it's the moment where everything kind<br />

of snaps into place for me. It's where it's time<br />

to see if the lip acts like you imagined, or react<br />

properly if not. It also is the most glorious feeling<br />

coming over that blind horizon and then staring<br />

down the beast because most waterfalls you get<br />

water in your face and realistically only have clear<br />

vision as you are coming over the lip. That's the<br />

moment you remember most and Maule was the<br />

greatest I've ever experienced.<br />


"If I had measured it<br />

beforehand and realised<br />

it was the tallest drop I<br />

had done, maybe I would<br />

have been more nervous<br />

or hesitant."<br />

Did everything go to plan, or were there things that went<br />

wrong? In the end, everything from the lip, to my line, to the hit at the<br />

bottom went as perfectly as I could have ever imagined. Unfortunately,<br />

after I hit, my skirt came off filling my boat with water. Although I did<br />

stay in my boat as I popped up, I ended up coming out of my boat after<br />

which does take away from it being a perfect descent as I wasn't able<br />

to simply just paddle away from the drop. That being said, with a drop<br />

of that power and height, how things turned out is still a win for me.<br />

Though things could have gone a bit better, with waterfalls of that size,<br />

things could go much worse so I am stoked on how it all turned out.<br />

Is it the most adrenaline spiking kayaking experience that<br />

you have ever undertaken? It definitely was one of my greatest<br />

experiences. I wouldn't necessarily say it was another level of<br />

adrenaline considering I still had to focus on what I had done before.<br />

I also didn't know the height as I wanted to wait until after I ran it to<br />

measure it. I wanted to wait until after because, by looking at it, I<br />

felt it looked a similar height to what I have done before. Everything<br />

made me really confident in doing the line right, which allowed me to<br />

do exactly what I needed to do. If I had measured it beforehand and<br />

realised it was the tallest drop I had done, maybe I would have been<br />

more nervous or hesitant. I would have still had a great line, but I might<br />

not have had the same confidence.<br />

Do you ever want to try and beat Tyler Bradt's 189-foot<br />

Palouse Falls world record? I wouldn't call it a pursuit, although I'm<br />

sure there is one out there somewhere. It's going to be hard to find a<br />

drop as perfect as Palouse. If I find it, and the opportunity presents<br />

itself, maybe I'll take a look but I'm not on the hunt as I have got lots of<br />

other things I want do.<br />

What new kayak places are you looking to explore for the<br />

remainder of this year? I just touched down for a two-month trip in<br />

Indonesia where myself and a few friends plan to try and run a bunch<br />

of new waterfalls and sections. Beyond Indonesia, I'm not very good<br />

at planning ahead. My goal for this year is to try to break my usual<br />

routine, check out new places and find first descents.<br />

How proud are you that you have overcome hearing difficulties<br />

to excel in your sport? I wouldn't say there was much to overcome<br />

as there isn't much auditory stuff I can't pick up or need to pick up.<br />

Beyond maybe not being able to hear what the plan for the next day is<br />

at the campfire, there's not a whole lot of disadvantages. If anything, it's<br />

an advantage as I am able to read lips, which means I can understand<br />

what someone is saying from across the river when describing what's<br />

coming up or what the plan is.<br />


A close up look as Dane Jackson drops the Salto Del Maule 134-foot waterfall, the<br />

second greatest kayak descent, on the Salte Maule river in Chile<br />





By Annabel Anderson<br />

Perched high above the valley floor, nestled into<br />

the curve of the hill away from the chill of the southerly<br />

wind, I gaze out across the horizon through the soft<br />

light of a winter's afternoon. I’m surrounded by peaks,<br />

lakes and valleys as far as the eye can see. From this<br />

altitude you take in the true magnitude of the Southern<br />

Alps. Twinkling lights in the distance draw the attention<br />

of my eye; the lights of Cardrona to the south west,<br />

Treble Cone to the north west and the urban sprawl of<br />

Wanaka and the Upper Clutha start to sparkle in the<br />

fading light.<br />

It feels a world away from civilisation yet I only left<br />

the bustle of Wanaka a couple of hours ago before<br />

driving up to the Snow Farm, strapping on some<br />

cross-country skis and making my way to the Bob Lee<br />

Hut for an overnight mid-week mission.<br />

New Zealand is littered with a plethora of back<br />

country huts scattered the length and breadth of the<br />

country, but the high country of the South Island is<br />

where you’ll find them in abundance. Once the shelter<br />

of musterers tending to their flocks on the high alpine<br />

summer pastures, these huts provided a place to take<br />

shelter, boil a billy, and rest a weary head after a big<br />

day in the hills. Rustic and full of charm they were<br />

made from anything surplus to requirement that could<br />

be repurposed and packed into their location and often<br />

remain the same to this day.<br />

One such place that you’ll find a collection of huts<br />

restored to their full glory is on Pisa Range. Restored<br />

and brought to life by the Snow Farm, all their original<br />

charm has been kept intact with some additions that<br />

make these huts almost palatial in comparison to<br />

some that I have rested my head in over the years.<br />

Fitted with gas stoves, solar lights, wood burners (and<br />

a wood pile), bunks complete with mattresses, long<br />

drops and water, these high alpine outposts have<br />

taken the niggle out of a night in the back country. As<br />

if it didn’t get any better, your bags and supplies get<br />

dropped at your chosen hut and are ready and waiting<br />

for your return at the base lodge of the Snow Farm on<br />

your departure. All of a sudden the finer bits and bobs<br />

that make ‘camping’ that much more pleasurable are<br />

added to your supplies. Cue a stove top coffee maker,<br />

crackers and cheese, a tipple of wine to accompany<br />

dinner and some obligatory dark chocolate make the<br />

list rather than being cut due to the weight of being<br />

carried in on foot.<br />

With three huts to choose from (Meadow,<br />

Daisy and Bob Lee) ranging from 3.4km to 6km<br />

from the base building at the top of the Snow Farm<br />

road, means they can have you door to door in as<br />

little as 2.5 hours if you are making your way from<br />

Queenstown or Wanaka. How you choose to get there<br />

depends on your choice of season. Winter opens up<br />

the opportunity to ski tour, snow shoe or cross-country<br />

ski to your chosen location while summer is the<br />

perfect chance to make your way by foot or mountain<br />

bike and while making the most of the more than fifty<br />

kilometres of Snow Farm cross-country ski trails on<br />

offer.<br />

Like most adventures in the high country, these<br />

times are best shared with those who have an<br />

appreciation for the simpler things in life; fresh air, big<br />

vistas, good conversation, pot belly stoves and getting<br />

to and from your destination under your own steam.<br />

The best bit about this one is the hard stuff is already<br />

done for you, all you need to do is pick your crew,<br />

secure your dates and gather your supplies.<br />

All huts are able to be booked exclusively or on a<br />

per person/per night basis. A Snow Farm trail pass is<br />

required for winter bookings.<br />

Hut availability is can be found at:<br />

https://snowfarmnz.com/backcountry-huts/<br />


Clockwise from top Left: The Bob Lee and Daisy Huts have prime position looking out across the Upper Clutha Valley to Lakes Wanaka, Hawea<br />

and the Southern Alps beyond.<br />

The Snow Farm Huts come equipped with close to everything you may need, including firewood, water, a gas cooker, pots, pans and solar<br />

powered lights.<br />

Nestled beside the Roaring Meg River only 3.5km from the Snow Farm base, the Meadows Hut can sleep up to 20 people.<br />

As you make your way to your hut for the evening, your gear and supplies travel in style.<br />




One of the best things about vanlife is<br />

the flexibility; you can go where you want,<br />

when you want and stay as long as you<br />

want. This flexibility allows you to discover<br />

new places and with everything you need<br />

inside your van, which is the perfect way to<br />

explore as you never know what is around<br />

the next corner...<br />


You never know what's around the next corner.<br />

In this case it was the Grand Tetons

"Nothing quite prepares<br />

you for the Grand Tetons...<br />

For me, it is the USA's<br />

most scenic mountain<br />

range.”<br />

We found this out first hand on<br />

a recent trip to the States. We were<br />

on our way to Yellowstone National<br />

Park and decided to go via the Grand<br />

Tetons access route. Having very little<br />

idea what to expect we didn’t plan on<br />

stopping, but that all changed as soon<br />

as we got there.<br />

The Grand Tetons literally jump out<br />

from nowhere. One moment you are<br />

driving along through a forest and the<br />

next there is a staggering wall of snowcovered<br />

mountains bearing down on<br />

you. There seems to be no landscape<br />

pre-warning that around the next bend<br />

is the most majestic and awe-inspiring<br />

range of mountain in America.<br />

We arrived at the Grand Tetons<br />

from the Eastern Entrance, and it was<br />

one of those places that although I had<br />

heard lots about, I really didn’t know<br />

what it was all about. The days before<br />

we arrived the weather had been<br />

scorching hot followed by plummeting<br />

temperatures and a bitter wind. We<br />

woke to fine weather but also warnings<br />

that snow had fallen on the Togwotee<br />

Pass, the pass that provides the most<br />

direct access to the Grand Tetons.<br />

The road was open, but we were<br />

advised to be aware of ice and sliding<br />

conditions. Going from the golden<br />

tundra of Lander to the red rocks of<br />

Dubois, the snowy peaks of Togwotee<br />

Pass were something special. As we<br />

dropped out of the snow cloud layer,<br />

we were greeted by the Grand Tetons<br />

in the distance.<br />

Nothing quite prepares you for the<br />

sight of the Grand Tetons. As someone<br />

once said, “it is the USA’s most scenic<br />

mountain range” and they are not<br />

wrong. What makes the Grand Tetons<br />

so impressive is their lack of foothills,<br />

they seem to rise straight from the<br />

golden plains below them.<br />

Up close with the Grand Tetons


Mt Teton, the highest peak at 13,775 feet, rises 7000 feet<br />

above the valley floor with no immediate foothills in front of it,<br />

which makes climbing the Grand Teton more arduous than many<br />

other peaks of the same height. It is a rite of passage for any<br />

mountaineer and standing at the base of the mountain range you<br />

can only be impressed by anyone who attempts her peaks.<br />

An average of 4,000 people attempt the summit of Grand<br />

Teton each year, yet claims of people’s achievements on<br />

the mountain have often been shrouded in controversy. It is<br />

undecided as to who first climbed the mountain, Nathaniel<br />

Langford and James Stevenson claim to have done so in July<br />

1872. Their story is interesting as they claim they were able to<br />

climb an otherwise slick face due to the fact that a cloud of coldnumbed<br />

grasshoppers blew onto the peaks snowfields and their<br />

bodies melted divots into the frozen surface that allowed Langford<br />

and Stevenson to cling to the almost vertical sides.<br />

We left the snow capped hills of the<br />

Togwotee Pass into another world that was<br />

the Grand Tetons<br />

"I made a point to try to<br />

imprint the place in my<br />

memory; the smells, the feel,<br />

the spirit of where I was at,<br />

because there is so much<br />

more to a place that what<br />

any photo can capture.”<br />

Then in 1971, when Bill Briggs claimed to have skied down<br />

the east face, the locals were dubious. However a photographer<br />

from the Jackson Hole news snapped an aerial photo of Brigg’s<br />

tracks that were still visible on the Grand’s face.<br />



We spent a day driving the “Teton Circle”<br />

just so we could stop at the many pull out<br />

spots to take photos. It’s times like this that<br />

you are thankful for digital cameras, I cannot<br />

imagine the number of rolls of film we would<br />

have got through attempting to capture the<br />

awe of the place.<br />

One of the things that I have learnt about<br />

the National Parks of America, along with<br />

any of the spectacular places that I have<br />

witnessed around the world, is that a photo<br />

can not do it justice. Often places captured<br />

in our Instagram worlds are recreated to look<br />

better than the “real deal”, however I have<br />

yet to look at a photo of any scenic place I<br />

have visited and thought that the picture has<br />

captured what it was like to be there.<br />

So despite our constant photo stops, I<br />

made a point to try to imprint the place in<br />

my memory; the smells, the feel, the spirit<br />

of where I was at, because there is so much<br />

more to a place that what any photo can<br />

capture.<br />

The Grand Tetons may be a little less well-known however there are plenty<br />

of adventures to be had in this region.<br />

• Climbing and Mountaineering: One of the things that makes this<br />

such a popular place for climbing and mountaineering is that the tracks<br />

are easily accessible by road. Also there are plenty of climbs that<br />

can be completed in one day and tracks are well marked and clearly<br />

visible. There are also two guide companies in the area that offer<br />

instruction and training escorts if you do not want to climb alone.<br />

• Hiking: The park has 320km of hiking trails ranging from easy to<br />

strenuous so there is something for everyone. The easiest are<br />

located in the valley so you do not have to deal with any major altitude<br />

changes.<br />

• Biking: Although this looks as though it should be a mountain bikers<br />

paradise, biking in the Grand Tetons is limited to the roads and the<br />

paved multi-use pathways throughout the park. Bikes can be hired<br />

easily but it’s more of a way to sight see rather than than anything<br />

else.<br />

• Boating: Boats are allowed in the many rivers and lakes but only two<br />

lakes allow low powered motorised boats to restrict the noise.<br />

• Fishing: Trout is the main species fished for in the Grand Tetons. All<br />

rivers and waterways can be fished, you just need a license.<br />

• Skiing: During the winter the hiking trails can be used for cross<br />

country skiing and snowshoeing. At the southern end of the Grand<br />

Tetons you’ll find Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, known for its<br />

challenging terrain and exceptional views.

SIMLY<br />


By Jessica Middleton<br />

Do you drive to thrive, or simply<br />

survive? There is a difference and<br />

survival is often questioned when<br />

involved in vanlife.<br />

The answer to thriving is simple,<br />

preparation. I cannot express how<br />

important this is for the comfort of your<br />

travels.<br />

Van life has given us our most<br />

treasured memories and experiences<br />

however there have been testing times<br />

for us on the road too. I'm hoping the<br />

following content I share with you can<br />

encourage healthier and happier travels<br />

because van life is more than just<br />

surviving.<br />


Before you hit the road, you need<br />

to pack your essentials first, make a list<br />

and check it twice because it will feel<br />

like Christmas when you desperately<br />

need that item. Have your travel buddy<br />

check it too, it will cut out the blame<br />

game if something gets left behind or<br />

next your buddy does, just kidding.<br />

Do you drive to thrive or simply survive?<br />

"The answer to thriving is simple, preparation.<br />

I cannot express how important this is for the<br />

comfort of your travels."<br />

The basics would have to include<br />

and not subject to, first aid kit, tent,<br />

portable lamp, jerry can, survival<br />

blanket, spare tyre, adequate water,<br />

and food. Once your van is equipped<br />

with your essentials you can top it up<br />

with all your desired items, well maybe<br />

not all. Jordan is practical and I've<br />

been known to be the dreamer, I once<br />

packed an abundance of clothes the<br />

size of what he called Uluru ( Ayers<br />

Rock ). It was my biggest regret. Every<br />

day the clothes would erupt from my<br />

bag in flying colours and I would end up<br />

going to the old faithful cotton overalls,<br />

I got really fed up with rearranging my<br />

clothes as the space was very limited.<br />

Driving can cause some wear and<br />

tear and we so happened to have a<br />

popped tyre when driving through to<br />

Karijini Gorge, thank goodness we had<br />

our spare and were able to continue<br />

with our adventures as we were a long<br />

way from the nearest service stop.<br />


Take into consideration the climate<br />

you will be enduring on a day to day<br />

basis. Our first trip on the way to Darwin<br />

was intense, I'm talking we used the last<br />

of our drinking water to pour over us at<br />

night it was that sweltering hot. If Jordan<br />

as so far put a pinky toe on me there was<br />

going to be some cursing. First thing in the<br />

morning, destination anywhere, let's just<br />

get driving so we can have air-conditioning.<br />

You could crack an egg on the road and<br />

call it your new frying pan that's the kind<br />

of temperature we were hacking, we had<br />

no idea it was normal for parts of Australia<br />

to be on fire due to the chronic heat. With<br />

heat, it's difficult to cool down when there<br />

are no streams nearby and if you are not<br />

moving your van becomes somewhat like<br />

an oven. Don't let this deter you from van<br />

life, we would recommend being wise and<br />

plan your destination in accordance with<br />

the seasons. Cover your windows up during<br />

the day and find a place of shade to park,<br />

or be in an area where you know you can<br />

cool off.<br />

Winter is a little different, you can<br />

always dress warm and apply many layers,<br />

thermals are your best friend, a hot cup of<br />

cocoa never goes astray and you love your<br />

travel buddy again.<br />

BUDGET<br />

Planning your trip to your budget, this<br />

is crucial. Van life is about the connection<br />

with nature and people which mostly comes<br />

at no cost however there are still budget<br />

requirements, mainly fuel for yourself and<br />

your sweet ride. Some people just get in<br />

and drive and in theory that sounds like a<br />

dream, and is possible if you have income<br />

whilst travelling or tackling short distances.<br />

Having a rough plan or end destination<br />

helps with how successful your road trip is.<br />

I remember so many people thinking I was<br />


Vanlife is mostly about connection with nature and people (and fur friends)<br />


Taking time to just enjoy the surrounding. A fishing rod is a great thing to pack and can help keep costs down (if you're lucky!)<br />

"Our advice would be to budget for more than what you expect, make room<br />

for mistakes and take the good with the bad."<br />

taking it too far when I was researching<br />

the distance a full tank of petrol would<br />

get us, the cost to fill, the average fuel<br />

prices across the country and calculated<br />

the kilometers of our projected route.<br />

I then knew from Perth to Gold Coast<br />

our trip was going to cost approximately<br />

$3500 in fuel a price most were shocked<br />

about. There is nothing worse than<br />

planning an amazing van trip to not<br />

be able to get involved in some of the<br />

local attractions because you haven't<br />

budgeted correctly. Plan for that night<br />

you want to swap out the Easy Mac for<br />

a restaurant meal, check into a campsite<br />

(there are not always freedom camps),<br />

a dive trip or simply you want to do that<br />

zipline or helicopter ride.<br />


Literally, take your feet off the<br />

pedal and park up and take in your<br />

surroundings. There was one stage we<br />

were driving very long distances for<br />

three days straight because there was<br />

nothing that interested us in between<br />

our stops. This can cause fatigue where<br />

one little mistake can cost you. We<br />

so happened to have a twist and pull<br />

hand brake, one of us either forgot to<br />

put it on, didn't put it on properly and it<br />

popped down, causing our van to roll<br />

into a tree while we went to pay for a<br />

powered site. We were told the radiator<br />

had been damaged and it would take<br />

weeks for a part to reach us in the<br />

middle of Australia. Luckily for us, it was<br />

the window washing fluid and no real<br />

damage to the motor only the panels.<br />

From here we were able to drive with<br />

a permit to Cairns and hire a station<br />

wagon while the van was under repair.<br />

The station wagon came with a tent<br />

as sleeping arrangements, did either<br />

of us check it? We drove up the coast<br />

to find the tent poles and pegs were<br />

missing. The car was way too hot and<br />

uncomfortable so we headed down to<br />

the beach and slept on the sand for the<br />

night, that was our survival.<br />

As we had no income on this trip<br />

and after having to pay $2500 for the<br />

van to be repaired you can imagine we<br />

are nearly completely out of pocket. We<br />

would be driving and one of us would<br />

be gurgling like Homer Simpson over<br />

a doughnut. This meant one of us had<br />

spotted McDonald's, it just so happened<br />

to be the time of the year when the<br />

Monopoly game was on where you can<br />

gain instant wins involving free food. We<br />

would collect the tokens and it almost<br />

turned into a game, luckily we were<br />

active every day because we probably<br />

pulled into every McDonalds down the<br />

east coast of Australia. Just another<br />

little survival hack we had going on.<br />

Our advice would be to budget for more<br />

than what you expect, make room for<br />

mistakes and take the good with the bad.<br />

I guess like anything in life you will<br />

always bump into some obstacles along<br />

your route, moving on and tackling<br />

the next destination might just be the<br />

drive you need. After our experience<br />

who would have thought the two of us<br />

couldn't wait to buy our own and do it all<br />

over again.<br />

Folllow Jess and Jordan: @our_van_life_ | @jessmiddletonxo | @jordan_whitcombe<br />


Literally, take your feet off the pedal and park up and take in your surroundings.<br />


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

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hiking winter<br />

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first rule<br />

mt aspiring<br />

don’t look down<br />

iceland<br />

colder than you think<br />

gear guide<br />

more than just a puffer<br />

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

new zealand<br />

Issue 196<br />

JUN/JUL 16<br />

NZ $9.20 incl. GST<br />

AUST $6.90 incl. GST<br />

USA $9.99<br />

CANADA $9.99<br />

hiking winter<br />

wanaka<br />

ice climbing<br />

first rule<br />

mt aspiring<br />

don’t look down<br />

iceland<br />

colder than you think<br />

gear guide<br />

more than just a puffer<br />

education<br />

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URBAN<br />


inspiration: running for oscar<br />

mind: surviving our screens<br />

Style: urban wear<br />

business: brian magaw<br />

tech guide: for your safety<br />

Diversion: tales of survival<br />


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URBAN<br />



"My name is Oscar Jimmy Edwards Bisman.<br />

I am four years old.<br />

And three quarters!<br />

I have Leukaemia.<br />

Leukaemia is a cancer of the white blood<br />

cells.<br />

The type of Leukaemia I have is called<br />

Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. (AML).<br />

It is a cancer that originates in my bone<br />

marrow & develops quickly.<br />

No-one knows why this has happened, it<br />

just has. There’s nothing anyone could<br />

have done to change that. Now we just<br />

have to deal with it.<br />

There’s heaps of questions and we’re really<br />

lucky that the people at Starship Childrens’<br />

Hospital have lots of the answers.<br />

I’m trying to be brave.<br />

It’s scary and unknown and there’s lots of<br />

different stuff happening.<br />

But I’m trying to be cool in this strange<br />

new place.<br />

My room at the hospital is now going to<br />

be my new home for about six months the<br />

doctor said. Stink.<br />

Ice blocks for breakfast are kinda ok<br />

though.<br />

Dad says it’ll be ok because he’s here to<br />

help the Doctors fight the baddies and<br />

make them go away from my blood.<br />

He’s told me we won’t stop until all the<br />

baddies are gone.<br />

The goodies are going to win!<br />

Mum is giving me so many kisses &<br />

cuddles which I pretend is yucky but I<br />

really like it and need heaps of them at<br />

the moment. Don’t tell her though because<br />

I’m tough. I’m a big boy.<br />

My life has changed so much this week.<br />

But this is my life now.<br />

I’m going to keep being cheeky, silly,<br />

awkward, funny & saying inappropriate<br />

things to grown ups while we all laugh<br />

& cry in my room & today we will start<br />

fighting the baddies until they all go away<br />

forever.<br />

Thank you for reading my story.<br />

It’s for true life.<br />

Oscar."<br />

@ Auckland Starship Hospital<br />

Lucy in training before the event, would like to thank the wonderful<br />

sponsors who helped make this happen.<br />

By Lucy Olphert<br />

Gavin and Sarah Bisman’s lives were turned upside down in<br />

late January when their 4yo son Oscar was diagnosed with a severe<br />

form of Leukaemia. Unaware of their plight, I was catching up with<br />

friends around this time and pondering my next bucket list challenge,<br />

when the crazy idea to enter the <strong>2020</strong> Tarawera Ultramarathon (New<br />

Zealand’s biggest trail running festival) came up. An ultra distance<br />

race is typically a race of any distance beyond the standard marathon<br />

length of 42km. The most common ultra races begin at 50K and can<br />

span up to 100 miles (160km) long, lasting throughout the entire day<br />

(sometimes even the night). Usually, they take place on roads, trails,<br />

or tracks and often in beautiful, far-flung locations.<br />

In all honesty, running is not really my jam. So why would I want<br />

to endure such an event? Ultimately, to see if I could! I have long been<br />

inspired by those who push themselves beyond perceived capabilities<br />

and my challenge bucket at the time was looking a little empty... The<br />

Tarawera 50km was a brand new event for 2019 and returned this<br />

year with a new course that explored Rotorua’s stunning geothermal<br />

landscapes, lakes and forests. In theory it sounded like an above<br />

average way to spend a Saturday. The only problem was, most people<br />

train for months before events like this. The race was in six days’ time.<br />

Unless you've done one, it's impossible to know how your mind<br />

(and body) will react to running such a distance. I decided to seek<br />

out an external motivation to lock me in and throw fuel on the will to<br />

survive!<br />

As fate would have it, the following morning I heard about young<br />

Oscar and knew on the spot I had found the motivation I was looking<br />

for. Through the powers of social media, I got in touch with Dad Gavin<br />

and that afternoon set off on my first training run - an 8km jog down<br />

Mount Maunganui beach! Incredibly, by that evening, Team Oscar had<br />

a band of supportive sponsors thanks to the generosity of several local<br />

businesses.<br />

As D-day grew closer, the reality of what I was about to do kicked<br />

in along with a high dose of imposter syndrome. I knew sweet nothing<br />

about this sport, let alone the baffling language that came with it.<br />

This jargon requires its own dictionary with detailed translations.<br />


One of the aid stations. Think a smorgasbord of jet planes, potato chips, peanut butter and jam<br />

sandwiches, energy drinks, flat soda, bananas, oranges, gels, and pizza!<br />

Camelbacks, buffs, bonking and Garmins were certainly<br />

unfamiliar to my sheltered running vocabulary! Once<br />

again, the kickass community of Mount Maunganui and<br />

Papamoa stepped up. Strangers far and wide reached<br />

out offering advice on everything from nutrition and race<br />

day strategies, to clothing suggestions and anti-chafing<br />

measures.<br />

A Givealittle page dubbed Oscar’s<br />

Fight Against The Baddies was set up<br />

to support Oscar and his immediate<br />

family. By day three, it was already<br />

at $16,000! My heart rate increased<br />

tenfold. There was absolutely no<br />

turning back now.<br />

All competitors were required to<br />

check in and collect their race number<br />

by 8pm race day eve so I headed<br />

across that afternoon. Along with the<br />

mandatory race gear (a buff and a<br />

seam proof jacket) were my five drop<br />

bags (one for each of the aid stations on<br />

course), filled to the brim like Chrisco<br />

hampers. Inside were carefully selected<br />

goodies from Nothing Naughty protein<br />

and energy bars, to baked kumara,<br />

No-Doz caffeine tablets, extra socks, vaseline, and even a<br />

spare pair of shoes! Silently high fiving myself on this level<br />

of pre-prepared awesomeness, I proudly handed them over<br />

to the Athlete Check-In officials, only to be swiftly informed<br />

that 50km athletes were allowed one drop bag only. The<br />

imposter syndrome returned with a vengeance. Dam rookie!<br />

Sighing, I finished my check in and scurried back to my<br />

car, the four remaining Chrisco hampers in tow, hoping<br />

At the start of the Ultra Marathon - Lucy<br />

Olphert ready to go with Oscar as her<br />

motivation!<br />

my dinner date for one at Burger Fuel that evening would<br />

cheer me up...<br />

Race day dawned with an unexpected drizzle but<br />

cleared by the time I arrived at the start line in Te<br />

Puia. A powerful haka followed by a few choice words of<br />

encouragement by race director Tim Day<br />

set the tone for the gruelling day ahead.<br />

Every nerve, muscle and fibre in my body<br />

felt alive. I was going into battle but this<br />

time for a cause far greater than my own.<br />

The resounding blast of the horn<br />

sounded and we were off through the<br />

winding trails of Te Puia’s spectacular<br />

geothermal valley. There was a stickiness<br />

in the air and beads of sweat started<br />

to roll down my face as the course<br />

shifted into single lane tracks and I<br />

maneuvered my way around tree roots<br />

and natural drop banks. Following the<br />

advice from ultrarunning junkies, I took<br />

regular sips from the R-Line electrolyte<br />

mix in my camelback. Fortunately, the<br />

humidity vanished as we entered the<br />

Whakarewarewa State Forest, home to<br />

many of New Zealand’s native tree species<br />

and the magnificent Californian Redwoods.<br />

The endorphins had well and truly kicked in and I was<br />

buzzing, but held a conservative pace knowing the shallow<br />

depths of hell may try to grapple with me later in the<br />

course. My phone pinged. It was Oscar. He had just woken<br />

up.<br />


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URBAN<br />


of gin and tonic, my camelback contained some lime<br />

flavoured electrolyte mix. In all seriousness though,<br />

breaking a long distance race into increments through<br />

targets such as the aid stations saved my sanity and,<br />

should you ever attempt one someday, will likely save<br />

yours!<br />

Running alongside the world famous Blue and<br />

Green Lakes was another highlight for me. The track<br />

dips up and down as it winds its way through native<br />

bush, at times high above the waterline and in others,<br />

right on the edge of it. It is a magical place, good for the<br />

soul.<br />

It is also around the 36 kilometre mark where the<br />

second to last aid station on course is situated and<br />

athletes may finally retrieve their drop bag. Boy was I<br />

looking forward to those goodies! My feet had formed<br />

some funky looking blisters (note to self - never break in<br />

a brand new pair of running shoes on race day)! It was a<br />

huge relief to swap back into my old faithful Nikes.<br />

The atmosphere at this station was electric,<br />

made even more awesome by the arrival of piping hot<br />

Domino’s Pizza. I could have stayed all day, but as if on<br />

cue Justin Timberlake’s ‘Can’t Stop This Feeling’ came<br />

over the speakers.<br />

“I got that sunshine in my pocket<br />

Got that good soul in my feet<br />

I feel that hot blood in my body when it drops (ooh)<br />

I can't take my eyes up off it, movin' so<br />

phenomenally<br />

Room on lock, the way we rock it, so don't stop.”<br />

Look closely at this photo, Lucy is running to the finish line, after 8 hours<br />

and 47 minutes, and is Facetiming Oscar as she runs through the chute,<br />

a truly emotional experience for everyone.<br />

“Have fun and don’t trip over”, he said with a cheeky smile<br />

from his hospital bed. I heeded his solid advice. You encounter far<br />

more unpredictable obstacles running on trails or through forests<br />

than on the treadmill or tarmac. This is part of the fun, providing<br />

you don’t find yourself face-planting into forest floor vegetation.<br />

It was time to move on. I was on the home straight<br />

with less than 15 kilometres to go and no sign of the<br />

dreaded “bonking” or “runners wall” as it is also known.<br />

This is the point in a race where essentially your stored<br />

energy is depleted, your legs pump battery acid, your<br />

breathing becomes laboured, your pace slows to a crawl<br />

and the thought of taking another step seems like the<br />

worst idea in the world.<br />

I surged on and shortly after rounded a corner to the sweet<br />

sound of bells ringing, signalling the first aid station on the course!<br />

For those unfamiliar to ultra running, these are just what they<br />

sound like. Aid stations are a runner’s lifeline. They are beacons<br />

of hope that turn these long distance races into 8-10 kilometre<br />

increments. Think a smorgasbord of jet planes, potato chips,<br />

peanut butter and jam sandwiches, energy drinks, flat soda,<br />

bananas, oranges, gels, and pizza!<br />

Although a novel sight for an Ultra virgin like myself, running<br />

for long periods of time burns a lot of calories and you need to keep<br />

cramming them in - little amounts and often! The volunteers at<br />

these stations are pretty much the coolest people around and even<br />

provide tape, plasters, bean bags and sunscreen for those a little<br />

worse for wear (I needed all of the above)!<br />

Decked out in themes from island styles to the Mexican Día<br />

de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead), and music blaring through the<br />

treetops, the vibe is out the gate. You can’t help but feel you are<br />

on one big pub crawl from station to station. Though sadly instead<br />

Think that’s tough? Try six months of chemotherapy.<br />

Oscar’s plight and his family’s incredible braveness<br />

brought perspective to me like nothing else. Sure there<br />

may be physiological evidence of such a phenomenon,<br />

but in my opinion, Ultrarunning is much more about<br />

the size of your determination.<br />

The last section of the race followed a series of single<br />

tracks and forest roads, joining back up to the main<br />

trail and winding down to the Redwood forest. This gave<br />

way to parkland before shifting onto the apocalyptic<br />

sulphur flats and finally the lakefront reserve where<br />

the finish line lay in wait. Before the race I had talked<br />

with Gavin about Facetiming with Oscar up the chute.<br />

Words cannot describe this incredibly special moment,<br />

the inspiration that led to it and the raw emotions that<br />

followed as a result.<br />

Holocaust survivor and psychologist Viktor Frankl<br />

wrote, "Between stimulus and response there is a<br />


Lucy with Oscar and his family at Starship Hospital<br />

space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our<br />

response lies our growth and our freedom."<br />

This incredible experience is etched in my mind forever.<br />

It taught me the limits of my body and reinforced the power<br />

of the mind. The equation is relatively simple: find something<br />

that challenges you and go there! It makes life a meaningful<br />

and wild experience. For you it may not be an ultramarathon<br />

- and that’s ok. Whatever option you choose, a life highlight<br />

awaits!<br />

To donate to Oscar’s Givealittle page visit<br />

https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/oscars-fight-against-the-baddies<br />

A special thanks to all the businesses who supported Team<br />

Oscar:<br />

Hopping Auto Electrical Ltd<br />

Kiwi Double Glazing<br />

Recharge Physio<br />

Nothing Naughty<br />

Diffuse Screenprinting<br />

Stirling Sports Bayfair<br />

The Success Group<br />

Theragun by Peak Performance Massage<br />

Kangen water courtesy of LightUp Marketing Agency<br />

Juice Plus courtesy of Bridget Serafimidis<br />

Lucy crossing the finish line after 8 hours, 47 minutes<br />

and 8 seconds!<br />


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URBAN<br />

MIND<br />


Addictive levels of connection<br />

to our phones used to be something<br />

reserved for millenials, however as<br />

time has progressed it seems that<br />

even the boomers are falling into the<br />

same traps. We rely on our phones<br />

for so many things; they have become<br />

our morning alarm, our way to access<br />

news, bus schedules, road maps, and<br />

even our friends, their capabilities<br />

have become frightening.<br />

But is this a problem?<br />

Unfortunately studies have shown<br />

that excessive reliability on our<br />

phones is causing sleep issues, anxiety,<br />

inability to focus along with the<br />

inability to form lasting relationships.<br />

So how does this happen?<br />

Engagement with social media and<br />

our cell phones releases a chemical<br />

called dopamine. This is the chemical<br />

that makes you feel good and is<br />

the same chemical that is released<br />

when we smoke, drink, and when we<br />

gamble! It’s highly addictive.<br />

Sensibly so, age restrictions apply<br />

to those other things, however there is<br />

no age restriction on cell phones and<br />

social media. The issue lies around<br />

the fact that the highly addictive<br />

dopamine received from engaging in<br />

social media and cell phones means we<br />

form superficial relationships and lose<br />

the ability to interact with the world<br />

around us.<br />

It is well documented that people<br />

who spend more time on social media<br />

have higher rates of depression<br />

than those who don't. A lot of this<br />

as a result of social media replacing<br />

actual activity and real life human<br />

interaction.<br />

It’s all about balance, alcohol<br />

in itself is not bad, but too much is.<br />

Gambling can be fun, but too much<br />

can be destructive. The same can<br />

be said about social media and cell<br />

phones, it’s all about the balance of<br />

time.<br />


"Unfortunately studies<br />

have shown that excessive<br />

reliability on our phones<br />

is causing sleep issues,<br />

anxiety, inability to<br />

focus along with the<br />

inability to form lasting<br />

relationships."<br />

a<br />

a<br />

a<br />

How can you tell if you have an<br />

addiction?<br />

• When out with friends do you<br />

feel the need to text someone<br />

who is not there?<br />

• At a meeting or when out<br />

with friends, do you leave<br />

your phone on the table?<br />

• Do you check your phone<br />

in the morning before you<br />

say good morning to your<br />

husband, wife, kids?<br />

If the answer to any of these is<br />

yes, then you have an addiction…<br />

Truth be known, most of us would<br />

reply yes.<br />

So what can we do about it?<br />

This experiment was done with<br />

a group of university students and<br />

I would recommend trying it to see<br />

what your reaction is. No doubt you<br />

will find you are more addicted than<br />

you would think.<br />

Students were asked to spend just<br />

one day without the connectivity of<br />

technology and to keep a journal of<br />

their experience. As you can imagine,<br />

this experiment was met with a<br />

fair amount of resistance: What if<br />

someone needs to get hold of me<br />

urgently? What if someone thinks I<br />

am ignoring them? The students were<br />

given some time to inform friends<br />

and family of the experiment so<br />

they would not worry and were also<br />

given a few days to prepare. Many<br />

students used those days to print off<br />

timetables, bus schedules and inform<br />

their social media channels of their<br />

impending absence.<br />

The findings were quite<br />

interesting. Firstly, most of the<br />

students noted that the day seemed so<br />

much longer. Imagine what we could<br />

all do with that extra time? However,<br />

the problem for a younger generation,<br />

is that they really don’t know what to<br />

do with “spare time”. They are easily<br />

bored and due to a lifetime of screen<br />

availability, they have not developed<br />

the necessary skills to fill their time<br />

with meaningful activities.<br />

They also noted feeling incredibly<br />

frustrated by things like the bus ride<br />

home where they would usually be on<br />

their phones and without them they<br />

were simply bored and uncomfortable.<br />

Without their phones to become<br />

engrossed with they were also left<br />

feeling vulnerable and exposed.<br />

As the day wore on and they<br />

stopped fixating on what they weren’t<br />

able to do without their phones, they<br />

began to notice the things they were<br />

able to do. Many noticed they were<br />

able to hold much more meaningful<br />

conversations with people which made<br />

them feel more connected and closer<br />

to their friends. They also began to<br />

note how “unsociable” phones made<br />

people by noting other’s fixations with<br />

them.<br />

During the “unplugged” day, the<br />

most repeated emotion people felt<br />

was sadly one of anxiety; the fear<br />

of missing something important.<br />

They also noted how their phones<br />

provided them with a feeling of safety,<br />

something to hide behind but also<br />

something that connected them with<br />

the rest of the world. Another feeling<br />

experienced was one of “guilt” at not<br />

being able to respond to messages and<br />

chats suggesting that being fast in<br />

responses was essential in order for a<br />

successful social life.<br />

Although all saw the negatives<br />

of being without technology, many<br />

also noted the need to be aware of the<br />

reliance on their screens to enable<br />

them to establish more meaningful<br />

connections.<br />

So I challenge you to do the same<br />

and see if you can save yourself from<br />

your screens, even if it is just for one<br />

day.<br />


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URBAN<br />

STYLE<br />

Macpac NZAT Arrowsmith HyperDRY<br />

Hooded Down Jacket — Men's $549.99<br />

A longer length alpine down jacket, the<br />

NZAT Arrowsmith combines the insulating<br />

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Pertex® Quantum outer shell.<br />

Designed as the ultimate alpine belay jacket,<br />

the NZAT Arrowsmith has boxed baffles<br />

across your body for improved core warmth,<br />

while the arms and hood feature sewnthrough<br />

baffles to reduce bulk.<br />

macpac.co.nz<br />

Rab Cirrus Flex Jacket $279.95<br />

Worn as either a lightweight outer or warm midlayer, the Women's Cirrus<br />

Flex Hoody is incredibly versatile, offering durability, breathability, and<br />

freedom of movement for any winter adventure.<br />

Filled with synthetic Cirrus Featherless insulation, the Women's Cirrus<br />

Flex Hoody works to balance and regulate temperature. Designed to ensure<br />

you don't overheat when you're moving or get cold when you stop, the<br />

Thermic stretch fleece panels offer excellent flexibility and exceptional<br />

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Featuring a low profile, under-helmet hood, fleece lined chin guard, and<br />

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The hard working Cirrus Flex Hoody is designed for long mountain days<br />

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outfitters.net.nz<br />

Marmot Precip ECO $199.00<br />

Meet the environmentally conscious and<br />

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Available in Mens & Womens. Weight 286.3g<br />

(M) / 246.6g (W)<br />

marmotnz.co.nz<br />


Rab Kaon Jacket $399.95<br />

The Kaon Jacket is the lightest, most packable<br />

insulating layer we have ever created. Built to help you<br />

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Conceived as the next step in insulated layers, the<br />

Kaon Jacket employs a combination of high-loft<br />

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With stitch-through construction and a handy stuff sack<br />

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Available in mens and womens. Weight: 250g<br />

outfitters.net.nz<br />

Macpac NZAT Summit Aztec® 24L<br />

Pack $199.99<br />

Made for rock or alpine climbing,<br />

the NZAT Summit is a technical<br />

day pack featuring our legendary<br />

Eco AzTec® 8 oz. canvas fabric for<br />

durability and weather resistance.<br />

macpac.co.nz<br />

Marmot Featherless Hybrid Jacket $349.95<br />

(some previous season colours reduced to clear)<br />

Stoke IPA<br />

Stoke IPA is crisp and fruity with honey and citrus<br />

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Stoke IPA is tank-conditioned over four weeks to<br />

enhance the smooth, caramel sweetness. It is light<br />

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stokebeer.co.nz<br />

The light-weight Men's Featherless Hybrid<br />

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255.1g<br />

marmotnz.co.nz<br />


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URBAN<br />




As I write this, New Zealand is<br />

entering its 4th day of a nationwide<br />

lockdown. This lockdown is part<br />

of the effort to control the spread<br />

of Covid-19, the Corona Virus.<br />

If unchecked, the virus can kill<br />

thousands of people in New Zealand,<br />

and millions worldwide.<br />

While I would think most people<br />

are presently secretly enjoying<br />

the unexpected pleasure of being<br />

at home, at least for a few days,<br />

I imagine the realities of this<br />

unscheduled “holiday” will wear thin<br />

reasonably fast. One can only do so<br />

many jigsaw puzzles, watch so much<br />

Netflix, or indulge in so many house<br />

DIY projects before a desire to simply<br />

“get out of the house” will be almost<br />

overwhelming.<br />

Just how different a place will the<br />

world be once we are allowed out of<br />

the house?<br />

I think this is a huge question, and<br />

one not easily answered. The “talking<br />

heads”, whether they be on TV, radio<br />

or some online site have such widely<br />

differing views.<br />

On the one extreme, we have<br />

those who believe the economic<br />

bounce back will be very strong, that<br />

world economies will ramp up activity<br />

very quickly, and within a few months,<br />

we will be at least back to where we<br />

were. They point to how fast China<br />

is reopening for business. They<br />

look to the build-up of unrealised<br />

demand that has often preceded<br />

economic recovery in previous times<br />

of economic crisis.<br />

On the other extreme are those<br />

who think that what we are presently<br />

experiencing will change everything.<br />

They believe that what will come out<br />

of this major disruption are societies<br />

that care more for each other and<br />

the earth. On an environmental level,<br />

they point to the current drops in<br />

pollution levels and CO2 emissions<br />

since the crisis started. On a societal<br />

level, they look to how people are<br />

reaching out to each other, offering<br />

help, support and empathy, even<br />

though they must stay physically<br />

separate.<br />

In the middle are those who<br />

think we are in for a deep economic<br />

recession.<br />

I think human beings have<br />

short memories. Most of the<br />

world’s population, especially in<br />

the developed economies have not<br />

experienced significant disruption<br />

in their lifetimes. While we point<br />

to the GFC in 2008 as an “almost”<br />

depression, and no doubt there<br />

have been ongoing economic issues<br />

ever since, the reality is nothing<br />

much really changed. We, that is us,<br />

consumers, have kept buying throw<br />

away junk, we have kept piling up<br />

debt as we built McMansions, went<br />

on multiple house buying sprees, or<br />

annual overseas holidays. We have<br />

tolerated the increasing gap between<br />

those with, even in our society of<br />

plenty here in New Zealand, and<br />

those without. We have even gone<br />

further than that, blanket labelling<br />

people on benefits as being lazy, as<br />

being no-hopers.<br />

There are very few people left<br />

alive, who were any older than<br />

children during the Great Depression<br />

or the war years following. Our<br />

collective real memory of having lived<br />

in, and experienced those times of<br />

great hardship, loss, disruption and<br />

uncertainty are virtually nil. We have<br />

deluded ourselves into thinking that<br />

the good times (at least for some)<br />

cannot end and will go on forever.<br />

What do I think?<br />

I think it is self-evident that we<br />

cannot sustain a civilisation of 7.5<br />

billion now, with a projected 10 billion<br />

by 2050, with an economic model that<br />

is based on endless growth. We live<br />

in a finite world of resources. We are<br />

already taxing our oceans, our rivers,<br />

our wildlife, our land more than they<br />

can sustain. We see the results of<br />

this in dramatic drops in fish stocks,<br />

in waterways degraded from urban<br />

and agricultural runoff, by the loss of<br />

biodiversity, and by the ballooning<br />

mass of extinctions. And this is not<br />

even mentioning the impact that<br />

climate change will have.<br />

I am convinced that our present<br />

economic model is busted, and that<br />

conviction challenges the belief<br />

system that our society is based<br />

upon. In a nutshell, the belief system<br />

that underpins so much, the belief<br />

(not openly spoken), that greed<br />

is good. That for me to get ahead<br />

means that you have to be left<br />

behind. The view that more for me<br />

means less for you (and it is your<br />

fault anyway, because you are lazy,<br />

worthless, or fill in the disparaging<br />

blank).<br />

I think we will come out of this<br />

latest round of disruptions and will<br />

have learned little. We will still be on<br />

this train to nowhere. However, I also<br />

think that the disruptions caused by<br />

Covid-19 are just the beginning. I<br />

think there will be more disruptions<br />

as our present system unravels.<br />

Can we find the will to replace it with<br />

something better?<br />

I hope so.<br />

Brian Megaw<br />

River Valley<br />

www.rivervalley.co.nz<br />


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URBAN<br />


In your opinion<br />

NZSki bought in a summer road toll<br />

for the Remarkables Road. This<br />

road, which is heavily used in<br />

summer to access walking trails,<br />

for camping, paragliding, mountain<br />

biking, rock climbing and more,<br />

will now cost you $10 to use.<br />

What’s your opinion on this?<br />


Mike Dawson<br />

Professional Kayaker<br />

I personally don’t have a problem<br />

as long as it's not prohibitive. At the<br />

end of the day it is a private road,<br />

and I think a $10 fee is reasonable<br />

combined with the fact that it helps<br />

maintain the road and keeps the area<br />

accessible, is great. I’d far rather<br />

spend $10 to drive up than have to<br />

walk or bike.<br />

Hamish Bartlett<br />

Director Summit<br />

Collective<br />

Yep fair enough, for them to charge<br />

over the summer, that is the licence<br />

they signed with the government<br />

many years ago and they have just<br />

spent millions on the road to improve<br />

people's safety none of which was paid<br />

by the government.<br />

It's only $10 for a safer, faster road<br />

ALL paid for by a private company<br />

who have invested the money and<br />

will continue to invest the money on<br />

repairs and maintenance. Great to see<br />

a company investing so heavily in the<br />

community and asking little in return.<br />

This is nothing to what it cost to enter<br />

any National Park in Australia.<br />

Pete Oswald<br />

Pro skier<br />

NZ Ski are in a privileged position<br />

to be able to make profits from public<br />

land, in return I think it is reasonable<br />

they maintain free access to that public<br />

land.<br />

Nic Hides - Bobo Products<br />

I don’t see a major issue here. It was not that long ago that all Ski Areas,<br />

Commercial and Club charged a road toll additional to your day ski pass.<br />

NZ Ski have spent huge money to upgrade their access road and to keep it<br />

maintained summer and winter.<br />

There are also commercial enterprises using this road to access the<br />

conservation area for free during summer and winter and they are charging<br />

their clients for the services they offer outside of using the Ski Area facilities.<br />

I pay the NZ Government a toll every time I travel from Whakatane<br />

through Tauranga to points north and If I choose to travel to the Far North,<br />

admittedly there is an alternative on those routes.<br />

The Remarkables Road is an experience in it’s own right and a small toll is<br />

acceptable to me, it is by the car not per person so fill your car up with friends.<br />

David Gatward-Ferguson<br />

Managing Director/joint owner Nomad Safaris<br />

I have some clear views on this which I stated on a tv inquiry in to the fuss<br />

being made.<br />

• Lets not forget that the bottom part of the road is private and solely<br />

funded by the Remarkable ski field company.<br />

• We are allowed to drive on this road for a very small fee<br />

• Without that road, the only access is by walking<br />

• It is a privilege, not a right to go on the road<br />

• Honest operators have been paying every year for their use of the road<br />

• Dishonest operators have not been paying for their use of the road<br />

• Anyone who tries to make an argument about paying $10 for the use of<br />

a private road is unworthy of being listened to.<br />

Image by Josh Withers<br />

Ready to eat<br />

Casseroles & Curries<br />

Eat well hiking<br />

“Not your average camping meal<br />

Absolutely delicious! Not going back<br />

to dehydrated cardboard meals ever<br />

again. Butter chicken is my favourite,<br />

generous serving of meat and it has a<br />

real spicy kick. The mash is scrummy<br />

with the chopped chives.”<br />


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URBAN<br />

TECH<br />


AMALEN Waterproof Multifunctional Military Lensatic Compass<br />

High strength engineering metal body, rugged and<br />

capable of working under extreme weather condition.<br />

Special design of fluorescent light, you can use it and<br />

read data on it in dark environment after absorbing enough<br />

sunshine.<br />

High accuracy, built-in a bubble level, which can improve<br />

its accuracy and decrease its errors<br />

First Aid App by American Red Cross<br />

This smartphone app provides<br />

step-by-step instructions (with<br />

videos and animations) for multiple<br />

emergency medical situations:<br />

bleeding, heatstroke, broken bones,<br />

shocks, burns and much more.<br />

It also includes strategic safety<br />

tips for situations ranging from<br />

winter storms to earthquakes and<br />

tornadoes. Most importantly, all the<br />

intel is pre-loaded, so everything’s<br />

handy even if you don’t have wi-fi.<br />

Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Pro Knife, Fine Edge<br />

Full-tang, premium 9CR19MoV stainless steel<br />

construction for durability. Military-grade, mildewresistant<br />

nylon sheath with pull-through carbide<br />

sharpener, for guaranteed sharpness. Built-in fire<br />

starter rod in watertight holder.<br />

gerberger.com<br />

Multi tool 11 in 1<br />

Multifunctioning<br />

outdoor hunting survival<br />

camping pocket military<br />

credit card knife!<br />

duniquetools.com<br />

Garmin GPSMAP 64st, TOPO U.S. 100K<br />

with High-Sensitivity GPS<br />

The new GPSMAP® 64st<br />

handheld navigator features a 2,6”<br />

sunlight-readable screen and a highsensitivity<br />

GPS and GLONASS<br />

receiver with a quad helix antenna for<br />

superior reception. The rugged and<br />

waterproof GPSMAP 64st comes with<br />

barometric altimeter, 3-axis compass<br />

and a preloaded Recreational Map of<br />

Europe. It wirelessly connects to your<br />

smartphone to allow Live Tracking<br />

and Smart Notification.<br />

garmin.com<br />

Exotac titanLight Waterproof Lighter<br />

On top of rain, wind is often a major<br />

culprit in making fires difficult to start.<br />

Exotac’s titanLIGHT uses tiny air vents<br />

located just below the flame to reduce wind<br />

interference, along with a strong flame<br />

guard that protects from heavy gusts. The<br />

refillable lighter has an easy-spark flint<br />

wheel and a small screw-off cap that can be<br />

used to add more fluid or service the wick.<br />

This windproof fire starter is a great gadget<br />

to add to your emergency bag, along with a<br />

compact bottle of lighter fluid.<br />

exotac.com<br />


KTI PLB personal emergency locator beacon SA2G-NZ 406MHZ<br />

The New Zealand Coded Safety Alret personal<br />

emergency locator beacon SA2G-NZ 406MHz PLB is<br />

compact, fast and reliable, making it the ultimate global<br />

rescue link for peopl ewho want peace of mind in the<br />

outdoors. A free soft pouch and arm band are also included.<br />

Free contitional battery replacement if used in a genuine<br />

emergency.<br />

RRP: $339.00<br />

www.safetybeacons.co.nz<br />

Sony DEV50V Binociulars<br />

Digital binoculars with full<br />

HD 3D recording with 12x optical<br />

zoom, a dual G Lens and Full<br />

HD recording, in a light, durable<br />

body. Splash and dust proof body<br />

for worry-free use. Dual Exmor R<br />

CMOS sensors. Precision Sony G<br />

Lenses with 12x zoom<br />

sony.oc.nz<br />

Sunsaver Super-Flex 14-Watt Solar Charger<br />

Putting out over 2.5-Amps of output<br />

on a sunny day you’ll charge your<br />

phone and devices in no time at all,<br />

straight from the sun.<br />

RRP: $199.00<br />

www.sunsaver.co.nz<br />

SAS Survival guide app<br />

SAS Survival guide app<br />

This is the paid SAS Survival Guide app<br />

(Android, iOS) based on the bestselling book by<br />

John “Lofty” Wiseman. It contains the full text<br />

of the book (optimized for mobile formats) and<br />

covers a host of basic and advanced survival<br />

topics. You will get comprehensive information on<br />

first-aid, and photo galleries of edible, medicinal,<br />

and poisonous plants. The survival app also offers<br />

the author’s instructional videos and quiz to test<br />

your knowledge..<br />

Sunsaver Classic 16,000mAh Solar Power Bank<br />

Built tough for the outdoors and with a<br />

massive battery capacity you can keep all<br />

your devices charged no matter where your<br />

adventure takes you.<br />

RRP: $119.00<br />

www.sunsaver.co.nz<br />


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URBAN<br />



When I fell from the Sky<br />

Miracle in the Andes<br />

Touching the Void<br />

Juliane Koepcke, the sole survivor of<br />

the LANSA flight 508, tells the story of<br />

her survival. The plane she was in was<br />

struck by lightning killing 91 passengers.<br />

Somehow 17 year old Juliane survived the<br />

3km fall out of the sky landing into the<br />

Amazon RainForest, still strapped to her<br />

seat. This is an amazing story of survival<br />

in a hostile environment.<br />

No doubt we are all familiar with the<br />

story of the Uruguayan rugby team on<br />

board a plane that crashed into the Andes<br />

Mountains and the survivors being forced<br />

to resort to cannibalism to survive. The<br />

original story was recounted in the 1974<br />

book Alive, if you haven’t read that then<br />

I would recommend it. However this<br />

story is told from the lens of the person<br />

most responsible for their rescue, Nando<br />

Parrado. A fresh retelling of an incredible<br />

story of survival.<br />

The amazing true story of climbing<br />

partners Joe Simpson and Simon<br />

Yates and their adventure in the Andes<br />

mountains. In 1985, when Joe shatters<br />

his leg in a fall, Simon is left to help<br />

his partner down the mountain, and<br />

accidentally lowers him over a ledge. To<br />

save himself, Simon has to cut his mate<br />

free and Joe falls into a crevasse. Left for<br />

dead, without food or water, and unable<br />

to walk, Joe spends four days crawling his<br />

way out of the crevasse and back to base<br />

camp much to the surprise of his climbing<br />

partner. The book was made into a movie<br />

in 2003.<br />

Between a Rock and a<br />

Hard Place<br />

No Surrender<br />

That was the last order given to Second<br />

Lieutenant Hiroo Onoda, a Japanese<br />

army intelligence officer fighting at the<br />

end of World War II. He followed those<br />

orders for almost 30 years, hiding in the<br />

jungles of the Philippines under the belief<br />

that the war was still being fought. Hiroo<br />

himself wrote down his experiences soon<br />

after his return to civilization and offers a<br />

rare glimpse of a man’s invincible spirit,<br />

resourcefulness and ingenuity.<br />

An incredible story of what we<br />

can endure to survive. When Aron<br />

Ralston gets his arm trapped<br />

in the Utah canyons, he goes to<br />

astounding lengths to keep himself<br />

alive, doing what most of us would<br />

think impossible. The book gives<br />

us an insight into both the joys and<br />

perils of adventuring alone. The<br />

book was later made into a movie<br />

called 127 Hours.<br />


Gear guide<br />

Whatever it<br />

is you need<br />

for your next<br />

adventure, we've<br />

got you covered.<br />

Outdoor Research Helium Bivy<br />

A perfect shelter for solo fast-and-light adventures.<br />

It features durable, waterproof, breathable<br />

Pertex® Shield+ fabric and an optional single pole.<br />

459g.<br />

RRP $299.99<br />


kiwi camping Rover Lite Self-Inflating Mat<br />

Compressible foam core inflates/deflates with the<br />

twist of a valve. Tapered mummy design fits in<br />

most sleeping bags. Durable soft stretch fabric for<br />

extra comfort. Weight: 900gm<br />

RRP $99.00<br />


Marmot Catalyst 2 person tent<br />

Designed as a roomy, livable tent that<br />

is still light in weight, the freestanding<br />

Catalyst 2P has all the ideal features for<br />

a casual camping trip, like a seam-taped<br />

catenary cut floor, colour-coded poles for<br />

easy set-up and two D-shaped doors,<br />

along with enough room and pockets to<br />

stash and organize all your necessary<br />

gear.<br />

RRP $399<br />

Special price $259 (while stocks last)<br />


SOTO AMICUS Stove with<br />

Stealth Igniter<br />

High-end performance,<br />

lightweight, compact and<br />

shock resistant. Igniter<br />

installed inside the burner<br />

post to improve ignition and<br />

prevent breakage. Excellent<br />

performance in windy<br />

conditions. 81g.<br />

RRP $74.99<br />


Helinox Chair One<br />

Award-winning lightweight,<br />

compact, durable chair that<br />

is smaller and lighter than a<br />

bottle of wine! DAC aluminium<br />

pole frame. Weight rating<br />

145kg. 5-year warranty. 960g.<br />

RRP $179.99<br />



Hearty and delicious ready to eat casseroles and<br />

curries. Not freeze dried. This is real food ready to<br />

eat. Food is one of the most important elements of<br />

a successful trip, the ideal meal is a ready to eat<br />

casserole or curry that you would happily eat at<br />

home. Heat the meal pouch in boiling water for 2<br />

minutes, use the hot water for a brew after heating.<br />

Butter Chicken, Spaghetti Bolognese, Chilli Con<br />

Carne, Vegetable Curry, Chicken and Chickpea<br />

Curry, Beef Casserole, Chicken Italiano. 250g. Eat<br />

well hiking.<br />

RRP 250g $12.99<br />


Black Diamond Storm375 Headlamp<br />

Rugged, water and dust-proof headlamp<br />

for adventures in the dark plus a<br />

maximum brightness of 375 lumens,<br />

a new, compact body and an updated<br />

interface. 4 x AAA. 120g.<br />

RRP $99.99<br />


Rab Ark Emergency Bivy<br />

The ARK Emergency Bivy is the ideal lightweight bivi<br />

bag for emergency situations. Made with lightweight PE<br />

(Polyethylene), the ARK Emergency Bivy bag is wind and<br />

waterproof and reflects body heat. Super packable, folding<br />

down 12 x 6 cm in its stuff sack, and lightweight at 105g,<br />

the ARK Emergency Bivi bag is an essential emergency<br />

mountain product.<br />

RRP: $19.95<br />


kiwi camping Illuminator Light<br />

with Power Bank<br />

Light up the campsite with a bright<br />

1000 Lumen LED with 5 lighting<br />

modes. The hanging hook, built-in<br />

stand, and tripod mount provide<br />

versatile positioning options.<br />

Charges most devices.<br />

RRP $89.00<br />


GASmate micra stove<br />

Compact and lightweight,<br />

ideal for serious backpackers.<br />

Quality stainless steel<br />

and aluminium alloy<br />

construction. Piezo ignition.<br />

Gas consumption: 230g/hr.<br />

Weight: 132g. Output: 10,400<br />

BTU. Plastic storage case<br />

included.<br />

RRP $44.99<br />



kiwi camping Intrepid Lite Single Air Mat<br />

Ideal for tramping and hiking, weighing just<br />

480g. Packed size 230 L x 100 Ø (mm). 40D,<br />

310T nylon ripstop construction. Supplied with<br />

carry bag and repair kit.<br />

RRP $99.00<br />


kiwi camping tawa<br />

sleeping bag<br />

Keep warm in temperatures<br />

as low as -10° with the hood,<br />

draft strap and thermal<br />

chest collar. The ‘mummy’<br />

shape increases insulation<br />

qualities for a more consistent<br />

temperature.<br />

Macpac NZAT HyperDRY Down Quilt 700<br />

Climbing light without compromising your safety is a<br />

constant battle in the mountains. Our NZAT Down Quilt<br />

700 offers a novel solution: designed in collaboration with<br />

the New Zealand Alpine Team (NZAT), this sleeping bag<br />

alternative reduces the need to carry individual bags on<br />

alpine trips.<br />

RRP $799.99<br />


RRP $149.00<br />


Back Country Cuisine<br />

CHICKEN CARBONARA: A freeze dried<br />

chicken and pasta dish, served in a<br />

creamy italian style sauce.<br />


Mushrooms with tomato in a savory sauce,<br />

served with noodles. Vegan.<br />

Available in one serve 90g or two serve<br />

175g sizes.<br />

RRP $8.99 and $13.49<br />


take on chocolate self-saucing pudding,<br />

with chocolate brownie, boysenberries and<br />

chocolate sauce. Gluten Free.<br />

RRP 150g $12.49<br />


Back Country Cuisine<br />

ICED MOCHA: Our mocha is made<br />

with chocolate and coffee combined<br />

with soft serve to give you a tasty<br />

drink on the run. Gluten Free. 85g.<br />

RRP $3.99<br />




FOR 21 YEARS<br />

Wherever your next<br />

adventure is about to<br />

lead you, we’ve got<br />

the goods to keep you<br />

going.<br />

Est. 1998 Back Country<br />

Cuisine specialises in<br />

a range of freeze-dried<br />

products, from tasty<br />

meals to snacks and<br />

everything in between, to<br />

keep your energy levels up<br />

and your adventures wild.<br />

backcountrycuisine.co.nz<br />

Jetboil Fuel<br />

Jetpower fuel contains a blend of propane and iso-butane. Propane provides<br />

higher vapour pressure to the fuel which means better performance in cold<br />

weather. Fuel efficiency translates to weight, space, and money savings. Since<br />

Jetboil is up to twice as efficient as conventional stoves, you can take half as<br />

much fuel on your trip, thus saving weight. A Jetpower fuel canister, with 100<br />

grams of fuel, boils as much water with Jetboil as competing stoves do with<br />

their big 227g canisters. The other big benefit is space savings since Jetpower<br />

canisters nest conveniently inside the cooking cup. Available in 100g, 230g &<br />

450g recyclable canisters.<br />

RRP $7.99 - $16.99<br />


Steripen classic<br />

Trusted on mountains and trails<br />

for over 15 years, SteriPEN®<br />

Classic is the best-selling portable<br />

UV purifier of all time. UV light<br />

destroys over 99.9% of waterborne<br />

microorganisms that cause illness.<br />

RRP: $199.95<br />


2c - one<br />

Proven survival light you are wearing<br />

– lightweight and always at the ready<br />

because it charges while you’re<br />

wearing it. Includes new Boost mode,<br />

S.O.S. and dimmer. Invented in NZ<br />

and selling worldwide for 10+ years<br />

RRP $39.90<br />


Jetboil Flash 2.0<br />

Blistering boil times come standard on our<br />

industry-leading Flash. By modelling the<br />

combustion and selecting materials to optimize<br />

efficiency, we were able to create the fastest<br />

Jetboil ever—cutting a full minute off our best boil<br />

time. Flash is designed to be one of the safest<br />

cooking solutions out there. The cooking cup clips<br />

onto the burner, preventing accidental spills, and<br />

the fuel canister tripod ensures overall stability.<br />

The insulating cozy has a colour-changing heat<br />

indicator that signals when contents are hot.<br />

RRP $239.95<br />


kiwi camping 1.2L Collapsible Turbo Pot<br />

Flexible, lightweight and durable. Collapses<br />

for easy storage. Durable translucent lid.<br />

Hard-anodised aluminium base heats evenly<br />

and efficiently. Heat resistant silicone is PBAfree<br />

and easy to clean.<br />

RRP $69.99<br />


FAST<br />



Compact, fast and efficient outdoor<br />

stoves and cooking accessories.<br />

Award winning technology in<br />

personal and group cooking<br />

systems, with Flux-Ring technology<br />

for superior fuel efficiency and<br />

reduced boil time.<br />

Burner<br />

Volume<br />

Boil Time<br />

Weight<br />

RRP<br />

ZIP<br />

4,500<br />

BTU/h<br />

0.8 L<br />

2 min 30sec<br />

per 0.5 Litre<br />

340 g<br />

$199.95<br />

FLASH<br />

9,000<br />

BTU/h<br />

1 L<br />

1 min 40sec<br />

per 0.5 Litre<br />

371 g<br />

$239.95<br />


6,000<br />

BTU/h<br />

0.8 L<br />

2 min 15 sec<br />

per 0.5 Litre<br />

340 g<br />

$279.95<br />

MINIMO<br />

6,000<br />

BTU/h<br />

1 L<br />

2 min 15 sec<br />

per 0.5 Litre<br />

415 g<br />


Dropline<br />

We designed the Dropline for mountain running enthusiasts<br />

who want to move longer, quicker and more comfortably in alpine<br />

terrain. It has a lightweight air mesh construction and a highperformance<br />

EVA midsole that provides lightweight cushioning and<br />

comfort, giving you softer landing comfort and minimizing impact<br />

force on joints and muscles. The newly developed sole pack with<br />

an S-Path design promotes a more natural, smoother roll-off during<br />

rapid, dynamic movement, as well as superb stability. The rounded<br />

Pomoca outsole performs well with positive traction in all types of<br />

terrain. The supportive 3F system, protective wrapping EXA Shell<br />

and anti-rock heel cup lock your foot in place and ensure torsional<br />

stability. Inside, there is a breathable OrthoLite footbed with superior<br />

cushioning and wicking moisture management to keep your feet<br />

cooler and drier.<br />

Featured product<br />


• 3F System - Connects the<br />

instep area with the sole<br />

and heel; ensuring flexibility,<br />

support and the correct fit<br />

where its needed.<br />

• EXA-SHELL - The grid<br />

structure wraps around your<br />

upper foot, providing you<br />

with a precise fit and perfect<br />

front-foot balance.<br />

• Ortholite® - Long-term<br />

cushioning, high breathability<br />

and moisture management<br />

• Anti-rock heel cup - Stability<br />

and durable protection on<br />

even the toughest trails.<br />

• Stretch gaiter - Designed to<br />

keep out trail debris<br />

• POMOCA® S Path -<br />

Provides high-performance<br />

grip on both dry & wet<br />

surfaces<br />

• Rubber toe cap - Protects<br />

the toes from bumps &<br />

increases the durability of<br />

the shoe<br />


• Upper -Stretchable Air Mesh<br />

• Lining-Breathable mesh<br />

lining<br />

• Midsole -Performance EVA<br />

• Outsole -Pomoca Dropline<br />


Hoka One One KAHA GTX (men's & Women's)<br />

The all-conditions, always comfortable backcountry<br />

trekker. Named for the Māori word for strength and<br />

support, the Kaha delivers both. With surprising speed,<br />

it makes the ups easier and the downs quicker. When<br />

hiking over long distances, this trekking shoe will deliver<br />

you to your destination in comfort and safety. Unequaled<br />

in its weight-to-cushion ratio, the Kaha GTX offers the<br />

full HOKA ONE ONE® package — proprietary foams,<br />

patented geometries and exceptional Vibram® Megagrip<br />

traction. Soft and smooth, but inherently supportive, the<br />

Kaha GTX features a GORE-TEX® waterproof bootie<br />

that’ll keep your feet comfortable and dry regardless<br />

of the conditions. And an adjusta-ble lacing system<br />

provides a lockdown fit regardless of your foot type. The<br />

world is your oyster.<br />

Available in Mens & Womens.<br />

RRP $499.00<br />


SALEWA ULTRA TRAIN 2 (men's & Women's)<br />

Unmatched durablitly, protection and stablility in a svelt<br />

and springy package. Seamless mesh upper, debris<br />

gaiter, full rand, speed lacing, 3F heel locking system,<br />

and supportive anti-rock heel counter sit atop an eva<br />

midsole with enough cush to let you keep it redlined<br />

thorugh the rockiest routes. Michelin rubber confidently<br />

sticks to both wet and dry surfaces. Added bonus…<br />

vegan!<br />

WEIGHT: 268G (W) 313G (M)<br />

DROP: 8MM (HEEL: 26MM / TOE: 18MM)<br />

RRP $299.00<br />


merrell barefoot access XTR Eco – Men’s<br />

The goal was to make a 0 drop trail runner for high intensity<br />

activity that is as durable as possible with as much recycled<br />

content as possible. Weight 224g (half pair)<br />

RRP $229.00<br />


merrell Mag - 9 – Women’s<br />

This trainer with a soft, durable knit upper features highly<br />

responsive foam cushioning for shock absorption during<br />

indoor and outdoor training. Weight 390g (half pair)<br />

RRP $259.00<br />


GORE-TEX waterproof bootie keeps your feet comfortable and dry.<br />

Vibram® Megagrip hi-traction outsole with 5mm lugs.<br />

Full-grain waterproof leather upper for durability and support.<br />




Like a ‘perfect storm’, we have seen a dramatic growth and<br />

development in online stores over the past 5 years. Now as we are<br />

made to keep our ‘distance’, online, ecommerce takes on a whole<br />

new meaning and value. We are dedicating these pages to our client’s<br />

online stores; some you will be able to buy from, some you will be able<br />

drool over. Buy, compare, research and prepare, these online stores are<br />

a great way to feed your adventure addiction while you are still at home.<br />

Never have a dead phone<br />

again! Because now you can<br />

charge straight from the Sun<br />

with SunSaver. Perfect for<br />

that week-long hike, day at<br />

the beach, or back-up for any<br />

emergency. Check us out at:<br />

www.sunsaver.co.nz<br />

A leading importer and<br />

distributor of snow and<br />

outdoor products in New<br />

Zealand. Stock includes<br />

Salewa, Lange, Dynastar,<br />

Spyder and more.<br />

www.bobo.co.nz<br />

The ultimate sandals<br />

with core concepts like<br />

durability, pull through<br />

strap design and the ability<br />

to re-sole.<br />

www.chaco.com<br />

Full-service outfitter selling hiking<br />

and mountaineering gear and<br />

apparel, plus equipment rentals.<br />

Specialising in ski & snowboard<br />

touring equipment new & used;<br />

skis, boards, bindings, skins,<br />

probs, shovels,transceivers &<br />

avalanche packs.<br />

www.smallplanetsports.com<br />

Developing the pinnacle<br />

of innovative outerwear for<br />

50 years. Shop now and<br />

never stop exploring.<br />

www.thenorthface.co.nz<br />

Gear up in a wide selection of durable, multifunctional<br />

outdoor clothing & gear. Free Returns. Free Shipping.<br />

www.patagonia.co.nz<br />

Making delicious, all natural, slow release energy<br />

snacks and ready to eat casserole and curry pouches<br />

(not freeze-dried) and multiday expedition food packs<br />

multi-day expedition food packs for active people.<br />

www.gonativeworld.com<br />

Specialists in the sale of Outdoor Camping Equipment, RV,<br />

Tramping & Travel Gear. Camping Tents, <strong>Adventure</strong> Tents,<br />

Packs, Sleeping Bags and more.<br />

www.equipoutdoors.co.nz<br />


Outdoor equipment store specialising in ski retail, ski<br />

rental, ski touring and climbing.<br />

www.mtoutdoors.co.nz<br />

Safety Beacons specialises in<br />

the production of Emergency<br />

Position Indicating Radio<br />

Beacons (EPIRBs), rescue<br />

beacons and aviation<br />

simulation equipment.<br />

www.safetybeacons.co.nz<br />


Ultra lightweight running shoes, made by runners. No<br />

matter where the trail takes you, Hoka One One will<br />

have you covered.<br />

www.hokaoneone.co.nz<br />

Developing and selling innovative technological<br />

products that provide practical solutions to every<br />

day life whilst sustaining the environment and<br />

contributing to reduction of carbon footprint.<br />

www.2clight.com<br />

Bivouac Outdoor stock the latest in quality outdoor<br />

clothing, footwear and equipment from the best<br />

brands across New Zealand & the globe.<br />

www.bivouac.co.nz<br />

Shop for the widest range of Merrell footwear, apparel<br />

& accessories across hiking, trail running, sandals &<br />

casual styles. Free shipping for a limited time.<br />

www.merrell.co.nz<br />

Whether you’re climbing mountains, hiking in the hills<br />

or travelling the globe, Macpac gear is made to last<br />

and engineered to perform — proudly designed and<br />

tested in New Zealand since 1973.<br />

www.macpac.co.nz<br />

The ultimate in quality outdoor clothing<br />

and equipment for travel, hiking, camping,<br />

snowsports, and more. Guaranteed for life.<br />

www.marmotnz.co.nz<br />

Offering the widest variety,<br />

best tasting, and most<br />

nutrient rich hydration,<br />

energy, and recovery<br />

products on the market.<br />

www.guenergy.co.nz<br />

Fast nourishing freeze dried food for adventurers.<br />

www.backcountrycuisine.co.nz<br />

Jetboil builds super-dependable<br />

backpacking stoves and camping<br />

systems that pack light,<br />

set up quick, and achieve<br />

rapid boils in minutes.<br />

www.jetboilnz.co.nz<br />

Supplying tents and<br />

camping gear to Kiwis<br />

for over 30 years, Kiwi<br />

Camping are proud to<br />

be recognised as one of<br />

the most trusted outdoor<br />

brands in New Zealand.<br />

www.kiwicamping.co.nz<br />

Scarpa designs and manufactures top<br />

quality ski boots, mountaineering, hunting,<br />

rock climbing, hiking, alpine running, and<br />

mountain footwear.<br />

www.scarpanz.co.nz<br />

The ultimate in quality outdoor<br />

clothing and equipment<br />

for travel, hiking, camping,<br />

snowsports, and more.<br />

Guaranteed for life.<br />

www.adventureoutlet.co.nz<br />





Article courtesy of the team at Aspiring Guides<br />

The quest for fresh powder and<br />

the need to carve first lines has always<br />

been an addiction for skiers. What is<br />

different is the fact that more and more<br />

people are choosing to embark on<br />

this quest in the NZ backcountry. With<br />

winter fast approaching, and after being<br />

self-isolated for weeks on end, you too<br />

might be finding yourself dreaming of<br />

that sweet moment of peeling skins off<br />

your skis, a slight sweat on your brow<br />

from the uphill, and dropping in for your<br />

first run of the day. If so, it’s time to ask<br />

some serious questions: “Is this more<br />

than a hobby? “Can I stop if I want to?<br />

What can I do about it?”<br />


Image courtesy Malamala Beach Club


To get you started, here are a few of our top NZ<br />

Southern Alps Backcountry Ski locations (listed from easy to<br />

advanced):<br />

Here is a short questionnaire<br />

to help you with an early selfdiagnosis<br />

of your potential long<br />

term addiction.<br />

1. Have you been<br />

researching the latest backcountry<br />

setup all summer?<br />

2. Do you cringe at the idea<br />

of driving up to the ski field after an<br />

overnight dump only to arrive at the<br />

back of a long lift line with the hill<br />

already tracked out?<br />

3. Do you find yourself<br />

checking the weather every half<br />

hour and the long term forecast<br />

everyday?<br />

4. Have you been pouring<br />

over NZ topo maps and salivating<br />

over the endless terrain?<br />

5. Do you call every person<br />

you know for beta on the best<br />

backcountry locations?<br />

6. Are you unable to sleep<br />

due to anticipation of making fresh<br />

lines?<br />

If you answered yes to two or<br />

more questions, you have a mild<br />

case of Backcountry Addiction.<br />

Obviously this grows in severity<br />

the more questions you answered<br />

positively. We here at Aspiring<br />

Guides know the symptoms well,<br />

and thankfully for the public, we<br />

also know the cure: solid doses of<br />

time in the beautiful New Zealand<br />

backcountry.<br />

● Pisa Range, Wanaka: (easy) Simple avalanche<br />

terrain, easy to stay safe; low commitment level; no road<br />

or control work closures to consider; short runs and climbs;<br />

overnight options include DOC Kirtleburn Hut or private<br />

Robrosa Hut through Aspiring Guides. Note that Cliffburn is<br />

private land and landowners don’t permit private groups.<br />

● Remarkables 'Doolans' Zone: (intermediate) Easy<br />

quick access on foot via lake Alta or up the ski lift (Pass),<br />

Subject to Avalanche control on storm days, views of<br />

Queenstown and surrounds, safe access and exit for<br />

hazardous days, reliable forecasting close to the ski hill.<br />

Mix of terrain (hazard management-wise) from simple to<br />

challenging.<br />

● Black Peak, Wanaka - (advanced) Views of Lake<br />

Wanaka; private land requires permission from Branches<br />

Station (or go on a guided trip); overnight hut available<br />

exclusive to Aspiring Guides, heli access or touring from<br />

Treble Cone ski field (note this route is long and crosses<br />

multiple avalanche paths)<br />

● Treble Cone Backcountry (advanced): Committing for<br />

hazardous days; challenging to complex terrain; usually a<br />

more reactive (and better skiing) snow pack; views of Lake<br />

Wanaka; close to heliskiing zones. Subject to opening and<br />

control work on storms means long delays but worth it.<br />

And remember, resist the urge to run willy nilly into the<br />

backcountry:<br />

• Take an avalanche awareness course!<br />

• Gain experience and confidence in variable<br />

conditions on your skis or snowboard.<br />

• Take a touring course to improve your uphill<br />

technique, navigation skills, trip planning, etc.<br />

The more backcountry training you get, the better able<br />

you are to manage your backcountry cravings in a healthy,<br />

constructive way.<br />

So if you’re growing more certain that you’re hooked<br />

on the backcountry, don’t fret. Early diagnosis is key! The<br />

best thing you can do is dream and plan your backcountry<br />

adventures and this is a sure way to alleviate the ailment<br />

(until next season, at least).<br />



Why wait?<br />

<strong>Adventure</strong> starts here<br />

www.nationalpark.co.nz<br />

Dual Heritage Tongariro<br />

National Park

A WORLD OF<br />


Mighty and iconic, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is without a doubt one of the most<br />

legendary hikes in New Zealand - if not the world. It's no wonder it attracts tens of thousands<br />

of adventurers to the Tongariro National Park each year - all looking to tackle its rugged terrain,<br />

steep slopes and otherworldly landscapes.<br />

But while it is a must-do activity for many, the Crossing is simply not for everyone - it is<br />

after all, an almost 20km trek across a volcano! Most hikers will find completing the Crossing a<br />

challenge, and for some, the sheer distance, sharp inclines and uneven conditions underfoot<br />

make it a near impossible feat.<br />

Fortunately, there is a multitude of other excellent walks in and around the Tongariro National<br />

Park for those who can't or don't want to do the Crossing - offering something for everyone no<br />

matter their fitness level. Some are well trodden, while others are true hidden gems...<br />

Here are just a few of the locals' favourites:<br />

Meads Wall<br />

It might look like just an ordinary<br />

rocky outcrop, but Meads Wall is in<br />

fact a sheet of frozen magma that was<br />

squeezed up within the oldest part of<br />

the volcano that formed Mt Ruapehu.<br />

It was one of the filming locations for<br />

the Lord of the Rings films and offers<br />

magnificent views of the valley below<br />

and to Mt Ngauruhoe. Meads Wall is a<br />

30-minute return walk from Whakapapa<br />

ski area base on Mt Ruapehu.<br />

Grade: Easy<br />

Tawhai Falls<br />

This family friendly 20-minute return<br />

walk through mountain toatoa and<br />

beech forest leads to the impressive<br />

Tawhai falls. The falls tumble over the<br />

edge of an ancient lava flow into a deep<br />

rock pool - a favourite swimming spot<br />

for locals. The walk is accessed off<br />

SH48 - 4km from Whakapapa Village.<br />

Distance: 700m<br />

Grade: Easy<br />

Ridge Track<br />

The Ridge Track offers panoramic<br />

views of Mt Ngauruhoe and the<br />

surrounding landscape. It leads up a<br />

short climb through low beech forest,<br />

before emerging into alpine shrublands.<br />

The track starts 150m above the<br />

Tongariro National Park Visitor Centre.<br />

Allow 30 to 40 minutes.<br />

Distance: 1.2 km return<br />

Grade: Easy<br />


Silica Rapids<br />

This highly varied walk travels<br />

through mountain beech forest and<br />

alongside a cascading stream to arrive<br />

at the creamy-white terraces of the<br />

Silica Rapids. A range of vegetation<br />

types, including subalpine plants,<br />

amid a mixture of swamp and tussock<br />

country, feature around the track. On a<br />

clear day, the walk offers spectacular<br />

views of Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe.<br />

The track begins 250 metres above<br />

Whakapapa Village Visitor Centre and<br />

returns along Bruce Road for 2.5km - or<br />

return along the same track.<br />

Distance: 7 km return via Bruce Rd<br />

Grade: Easy<br />

Tupapakurua Falls<br />

One of the lesser discovered hikes<br />

in the area, but also one of the more<br />

challenging, the Tupapakurua Falls<br />

track can be reached from National<br />

Park Village. It starts off Fishers Road<br />

and begins with an easy 20-minute<br />

walk to the Taranaki lookout from<br />

where you can view Mt Taranaki on a<br />

clear day. From there, it becomes a<br />

back-country adventure track suitable<br />

for experienced hikers only. The track<br />

follows a ridge and then descends<br />

steeply to a stream with good stands<br />

of native trees, including tawa, mature<br />

rimu, miro and totara, along the way.<br />

Climbing from the stream, the track<br />

winds its way around bluffs to a good<br />

lookout point with views of the falls.<br />

Allow between 4 to 5 hours for the<br />

return trip.<br />

Distance: 11km<br />

Grade: Moderate to difficult<br />

Mangatepopo Valley<br />

You don't have to hike the fulllength<br />

of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing<br />

to experience some of its splendour.<br />

Hiking the first section of the Crossing<br />

up Mangatepopo Valley - carved out by<br />

glaciers and partially in-filled by lava<br />

flows from Mt Ngauruhoe - to Soda<br />

Springs is well worth a visit in its own<br />

right. The walk sets off through fields<br />

of yellow tussock before climbing at<br />

a gentle gradient alongside a stream<br />

and around the edges of old lava<br />

flows. The valley ends at the foot of<br />

Mt Ngauruhoe, where you're treated<br />

with up close and personal views of<br />

this iconic volcano. From here, a short<br />

side track leads to Soda Springs where<br />

clear, cold water cascades into a small<br />

stream. Allow 3 hours for the return<br />

journey, which makes it a perfectly<br />

timed with the parking time limit at the<br />

Mangatepopo carpark.<br />

Distance: 8km return<br />

Grade: Easy to moderate<br />

Tama Lakes<br />

A very close rival to the Tongariro<br />

Alpine Crossing, the Tama Lakes<br />

track crosses a distinctive undulating<br />

landscape of tussock and alpine<br />

herbfields. With very few ascents, apart<br />

from a steep incline to 1440 metres to<br />

the upper lake viewpoint, it's far less<br />

arduous than the Crossing. Flanked by<br />

Mt Tongariro and Ngauruhoe and Mt<br />

Ruapehu, the views along this walk are<br />

truly exceptional. On a clear day, you<br />

might even be lucky enough to spot<br />

Mt Taranaki on the western horizon.<br />

The Tama Lakes occupy several old<br />

explosion craters so are well worth the<br />

trek to view. The walk starts and ends<br />

in Whakapapa Village.<br />

Distance: 17km return<br />

Grade: Moderate, with a steep<br />

ascent to the Upper Lake.<br />

Taranaki Falls<br />

A firm favourite for locals and<br />

visitors looking for a short, but beautiful,<br />

loop walk, the Taranaki Falls track is<br />

perfect for families and travellers of<br />

all ages and fitness levels. The track<br />

offers an excellent glimpse of the varied<br />

scenery and landscapes the Tongariro<br />

National Park is known for - taking in<br />

tussock, bush and ancient lava flows,<br />

as it leads to a stunning waterfall.<br />

Pack a picnic and enjoy spectacular<br />

views of Mt Ruapehu and Mt Tongariro,<br />

surrounded by native plants and<br />

birdsong. The track also starts and<br />

ends in Whakapapa Village.<br />

Distance: 6km loop<br />

Grade: Easy<br />


"Hiking is<br />

undoubtedly the<br />

most popular<br />

activity in and<br />

around Tongariro<br />

National Park.<br />

However, it's by far<br />

not the only thing<br />

to do in the area."<br />

Stay local<br />

You will need at least two to three days to explore the natural and<br />

cultural wonders of New Zealand's oldest national park and Dual World<br />

Heritage Area. Fortunately, accommodation options abound in and around<br />

Tongariro National Park, catering for all budgets.<br />

massive<br />

half price<br />

rafting for<br />

everyone<br />

UNtil the end of<br />

August<br />

Located on the boundary of Tongariro National Park just off State<br />

Highway 4, National Park Village is an ideal base for your adventures in the<br />

area. The village offers a wide range of accommodation from backpackers<br />

to boutique lodging - all just a short stroll from a choice of cafes, bars and<br />

restaurants. There's also a petrol station, supermarket and an outdoor gear<br />

store.<br />

Whakapapa Village boasts a small number of accommodation options<br />

in the heart of the Tongariro National Park, including the historic Chateau<br />

Tongariro Hotel.<br />

For those looking to stay in more rural settings, Raurimu and Erua<br />

villages are excellent options.<br />

Not a hiker? Try these adventures that don't include walking! Hiking<br />

is undoubtedly the most popular activity in and around Tongariro National<br />

Park. However, it's by far not the only thing to do in the area. Here are some<br />

other adventures in the area that don't involve walking:<br />

Ride the hills!<br />

Feel the adrenaline rush of a<br />

quad bike adventure and explore<br />

the untouched beauty of the Erua<br />

Forest with Ruapehu <strong>Adventure</strong><br />

Rides.<br />

Take to the skies in a scenic<br />

flight<br />

Witness the volcanoes of the<br />

Tongariro National Park in all their<br />

glory from the air with Mountain Air<br />

Volcanic Flights!<br />

Bike through ancient native<br />

forests<br />

Enjoy two family-friendly<br />

mountain bike tracks directly from<br />

National Park Village – the downhill<br />

Fishers Track or Marton Sash &<br />

Door loop along a historic bush<br />

tramway. Rent bikes and arrange<br />

transfers with My Kiwi <strong>Adventure</strong>.<br />

Family fun<br />

Enjoy a gentle put on the minigolf<br />

course at Schnapps Bar in<br />

National Park Village or reach for<br />

new heights at the indoor climbing<br />

centre next door at National Park<br />

Backpackers. The Roy Turner<br />

Memorial Playground on Buddo<br />

Street is a treat for kids of all ages<br />

with its state-of-the-art playground<br />

equipment.<br />

Refuel with views of majestic<br />

mountains<br />

Soak in the spiritual<br />

significance & natural splendour of<br />

three volcanic peaks at once while<br />

enjoying one of the many local<br />

eateries with mountain views.<br />

For more information on<br />

planning your Tongariro National<br />

Park adventure, visit:<br />

www.nationalpark.co.nz<br />

you deserve<br />

an escape<br />

to adventure!<br />

USECODE: WIN<strong>2020</strong>



Andy Belcher is a talented Bay of Plenty freelance photographer with 82 top photographic awards to his credit.<br />

They include British Wildlife Photographer of the Year, Australasian Underwater Photographer of the Year and Nikon<br />

Photo Contest International. Ask him a question on his photographic career and he’ll usually answer you with “Gosh,<br />

where do I start?” And that’s the way it’s always been for Andy. Utterly self-taught, with no qualifications (and proud<br />

of the fact) Andy believes his open minded approach to learning has enabled him to break photographic boundaries<br />

– simply because he never knew they existed. Andy’s business success can be partly attributed to his versatility. He<br />

shoots a wide variety of commercial photographic imagery from tourism to underwater, he runs photo workshops,<br />

offers private tuition, writes and photographs magazine features and has just completed his third children’s book.<br />


Three years ago I made my<br />

first trip to Vava’u in northern Tonga<br />

and when I boarded my aircraft<br />

in Auckland I had no idea what<br />

incredible adventures awaited me.<br />

On day one we boarded Beluga<br />

Diving’s whale swimming boat<br />

Gladiator and headed out into<br />

pristine blue water. After two hours<br />

on the briny we were floating beside<br />

two humpback whales. To describe<br />

my first encounter with a 40 tonne<br />

humpback as life changing is<br />

probably an understatement. I had<br />

to pinch myself a couple of times to<br />

make sure it was me! I soon realized<br />

that using the camera’s viewfinder<br />

at the surface simply showed a lot of<br />

surface water and not enough whale.<br />

So, I threw caution to the wind, held<br />

the camera below me and used the<br />

point and shoot technique which<br />

worked much better. By taking heaps<br />

of images I hoped that one would line<br />

up perfectly on the whale.<br />

Humpback whales are often<br />

called Acrobats of the Sea and<br />

lots of action happened above the<br />

surface too. To capture a breach<br />

required a good position on the<br />

boat, concentration, patience, a fast<br />

focusing lens and a fast motor drive.<br />

The D3 shoots nine frames a second<br />

and I managed to get a few images<br />

of this humpback before it splashed<br />

down.<br />

On day four we struggled to<br />

find a good whale encounter. Moa,<br />

our female skipper, received a call<br />

from another boat and we were<br />

soon alongside it. “Get ready,” she<br />

shouted but there was no sign of a<br />

humpback! “Where is the whale?”<br />

I asked. She quickly responded,<br />

“Trust me, swim that way, go, go,<br />

go”. I slid gently into the water,<br />

camera in hand. The boat’s propeller<br />

had caused aerated water like a<br />

fog and I swam blindly through it.<br />

When I emerged into clear water an<br />

enormous whale shark was only 3<br />

metres away and coming straight at<br />

me! I tried to gather my senses and<br />

back peddled furiously to one side<br />

to avoid a head on collision with this<br />

monster. It slid past me very close<br />

and all I could see was white spots!<br />

Even though the fish appeared to<br />

swim very slowly there was no way<br />

of keeping up with it. We returned to<br />

the boat, moved ahead of it and then<br />

jumped in again. The whale shark<br />

was so big I struggled to get the<br />

whole animal in my photo even with<br />

my super wide Tokina lens.<br />

At 12 to 14 metres the whale<br />

shark is the world’s largest fish and<br />

seeing a snorkeler behind it gives<br />

you an appreciation of how big it<br />

really is. We swam beside it for a<br />

whole 90 minutes in water which was<br />

1000 metres deep with visibility of<br />

70 metres plus. It doesn’t get much<br />

better than that! I have been diving<br />

since 1973 and this was without<br />

doubt my best encounter ever and<br />

beyond my wildest dreams.<br />


Years ago I visited Heron Island, a<br />

natural coral cay, right on Queensland’s<br />

Great Barrier Reef. I was invited to<br />

work briefly with the legendary Ron and<br />

Valerie Taylor who were filming with a<br />

mini submarine. After that I focused more<br />

on the wildlife. Heron Island is a nesting<br />

place for approximately 100,000 black<br />

noddy terns and the vulnerable Green<br />

and Loggerhead Turtles.<br />

The viewing of nesting and<br />

hatching turtles starts each year around<br />

November, the very time I was there!<br />

After the evening’s high tide I enjoyed<br />

watching several turtles lay their eggs in<br />

the sand. It was now late so I retired for<br />

the night.<br />

Very early next morning I heard a<br />

child screaming excitedly “dad, come and<br />

see the turtles”. Still half asleep I grabbed<br />

my camera bag and stumbled my way<br />

towards the beach in my nightwear!<br />

Three turtles were dragging themselves<br />

awkwardly down towards the waters<br />


edge. I tried to creep up quietly to the first<br />

one. A German tourist behind me called<br />

out “its against the rules to go closer than<br />

10 meters!” If an animal comes close to<br />

you its okay so rather than being rude to<br />

him I tried to work out a strategy.<br />

I observed that each turtle stopped<br />

and rested with its head on the sand for<br />

about a minute. They then raised their<br />

heads, took two deep breaths and moved<br />

off again. To my amazement I counted<br />

each turtle moving exactly thirteen<br />

paces before stopping again for another<br />

rest. There was now only one turtle left<br />

and at the end of her second effort she<br />

appeared to be about thirteen paces from<br />

the sea. Hoping for a miracle I dashed<br />

down the beach and carefully lay down<br />

in shallow water with camera in hand.<br />

Directly in her path I froze like a rock with<br />

camera to my left eye (I’m a left eyed<br />

viewer). I glanced at the turtle with my<br />

right eye. She was on the move again<br />

and as she got closer I could hear her<br />

heavy breathing. To my utter amazement<br />

she came into the water, stopped right<br />

in front of me and put her head down.<br />

I thought to myself “don’t stuff this up<br />

because it’s a special moment”. The sun<br />

was just peeping over the horizon and as<br />

she lifted her head to breath she created<br />

a slight ripple in the calm water. I pushed<br />

the shutter button and then waited for the<br />

flash to recycle. Its ready light glowed<br />

red, she turned and looked at me and I<br />

took one more photo before she moved<br />

to deeper water. I could not preview<br />

the images because I was shooting film<br />

with a Nikon F4. Oh how things have<br />

changed!<br />

When I got home and saw this<br />

photo I was elated. Its one of my all time<br />

favourites and it won a major place in<br />

the British Wildlife Photographer of the<br />

Year Competition. To photograph wildlife<br />

without hassling it, sometimes you have<br />

to hatch a plan. I got very lucky on this<br />

occasion. My plan worked!<br />


Launched in February 1931, the<br />

SS President Coolidge was operated<br />

as a luxury liner. After the Pearl<br />

Harbour attack in 1941 she was<br />

commissioned as a transport ship<br />

to reinforce garrisons in the Pacific.<br />

She set sail from San Francisco for<br />

New Caledonia and Espiritu Santo in<br />

Vanuatu. On her approach to Santo<br />

in October 1942, the SS Coolidge<br />

struck two mines and the captain ran<br />

her aground. 4,998 troops got safely<br />

off the ship before she sank. She<br />

now rests on her port side in warm<br />

tropical waters with her bow at a<br />

depth of 20 meters and her stern at<br />

70 meters.<br />

I was invited to photograph<br />

the infamous Coolidge and as we<br />

descended towards the huge wreck<br />

I was vaguely conscious of a large<br />

fish shape in the distance. My eyes<br />

just about popped out of my head!<br />

It was the biggest grouper I had<br />

ever seen and I became transfixed<br />

with photographing this wonderful<br />

250-kilo monster. Unfortunately<br />

my magazine editor wanted me to<br />

photograph a mural called The Lady<br />


in the ship’s dining room and took me<br />

to deeper water. Next day we moved<br />

on to another location. I was gutted.<br />

I knew instinctively that the grouper<br />

was an amazing photo opportunity<br />

and promised myself I would return.<br />

One year later I returned to dive<br />

the Coolidge again. My wonderful<br />

resident Japanese dive guide<br />

Mayumi told me the grouper’s<br />

name was Boris and promised to<br />

bring him close to my camera. We<br />

swam down the starboard side of<br />

the Coolidge to see Boris lurking<br />

in the distance. I signalled Mayumi<br />

to wait while I set up my camera.<br />

Then I could concentrate on the<br />

composition of the image in the heat<br />

of the moment. Guessing Boris might<br />

come very close I manually focused<br />

on my knee. I manually metered<br />

the background water and set the<br />

strobes on low power so as not to<br />

over expose the fish. I was ready. We<br />

kneeled on the hull. Mayumi pulled<br />

from her plastic container a fish the<br />

size of a small kahawai and waived<br />

it above her head. In an instant Boris<br />

was right in my face! As he turned<br />

in front of me with his little yellow<br />

followers I took one photo.<br />

Two weeks later I saw the<br />

transparency was pin sharp and<br />

perfectly exposed. I was elated<br />

and it was to become my most<br />

successful image. It won a first<br />

place in the world’s prestigious<br />

Wildlife Photographer of the Year<br />

competition. Being flown to London’s<br />

Natural History Museum to accept<br />

my award from Richard Attenborough<br />

was the highlight of my photographic<br />

career. The image then toured the<br />

world as part of their exhibition and<br />

its appearance brought me lots of<br />

new work enquiries.<br />

Several years later my 12-yearold<br />

daughter Ocean completed<br />

her PADI open water dive training<br />

and I took her to meet Boris. She<br />

appeared to have absolutely no fear<br />

of this huge fish. What I learned from<br />

this whole Boris experience was this.<br />

Once you recognize a great photo<br />

opportunity don’t give up on it. Go<br />

back and do it again and again until<br />

you get it right!<br />



I was on a live-aboard dive boat<br />

called Bilikiki in the Solomon Islands.<br />

One evening we anchored next to a<br />

beautiful island in the Russell’s group.<br />

Some guests snorkelled in the crystal<br />

clear water and met locals in their<br />

canoes. I relaxed on the main deck with<br />

a cool drink. Jimmy, a crew member,<br />

was lowering the ships inflatable boat<br />

into the water and I wondered why.<br />

As he came alongside the stern dive<br />

platform excited guests were jumping<br />

into the inflatable. They had spotted<br />

a large saltwater crocodile at the top<br />

of the beach. I screamed out rather<br />

arrogantly “don’t you dare go without<br />

me. I’ll just get my camera”. I raced up<br />

to my cabin, grabbed my Nikon camera<br />

body and nearly fell down the steps<br />

while trying to fit my 70-200 mm zoom<br />

lens. I stepped on to the inflatable and<br />

thanked everyone for their patience.<br />

Jimmy took us close to the beach<br />

on the up-current side of the crocodile.<br />

He stopped the outboard and the<br />

current carried us slowly along the<br />

beach edge. I was disappointed that<br />

the animal was tucked away under<br />

the shade of the trees with only its tail<br />

showing. I took several photos as we<br />

drifted past but they certainly weren’t<br />

the images I was hoping for. Jimmy<br />

started the outboard and we went<br />

round for another try. As we drifted<br />

by the crocodile was motionless. The<br />

consensus onboard was that we now<br />

give up and go back to the Bilikiki<br />

for dinner. I was not impressed and<br />

pleaded for one more pass. They<br />

agreed.<br />

We moved up again and stopped<br />

the outboard. I stared at the crocodile<br />

and secretly wished it to come down<br />

the beach and stop halfway. To my<br />

utter amazement it did exactly that<br />

just a few seconds later. As we drifted<br />

towards this huge creature my camera<br />

was working overtime. Jimmy could see<br />

I was excited and stuck his paddle in<br />

the sand to stop us drifting any further.<br />

The crocodile was now only four or five<br />

metres away and we were right in its<br />

path! I had plenty of static photos and<br />

secretly wished for a bit of action. But<br />

maybe that was the wrong thing to do.<br />

The crocodile rocketed straight towards<br />

us. The shriek of someone screaming<br />

resonated in my ears and accentuated<br />

my sudden feeling of fear. I was afraid<br />

the animal would launch itself over the<br />

pontoon, into our boat and rip us all<br />

to pieces! After all the crocodile has<br />

the strongest bite of any animal in the<br />

world. At the last split second it veered<br />

to the left and I felt the boat shudder as<br />

it slid past us and into the water.<br />

I gathered my composure, spun<br />

around and took one last photo as the<br />

crocs powerful tail propelled it towards<br />

deeper water. We watched with mouths<br />

open as it swam into the distance and<br />

disappeared. We all looked at each<br />

other and quickly erupted into slightly<br />

nervous laughter. A sense of relief<br />

came over us. I think we were lucky to<br />

be in one piece and would go home<br />

to our friends and family with a very<br />

special story to tell.<br />

All photos are copyright Andy Belcher-Legend Photography. Prints available on request. www.andybelcher.com email photos@andybelcher.com<br />

Phone 021 444 830 Specializing in Aerial, Tourism and <strong>Adventure</strong> photography. Private photography tuition also available.<br />


WORLD<br />


When reality gets too much, dreams help us to survive<br />

By Natalie Tambolash<br />

Who would have thought that we<br />

would be sitting here today in a world<br />

that changed overnight. Where today,<br />

is an incredibly different today from<br />

yesterday, and where tomorrow still<br />

brings with it many unknowns. Some of<br />

us relish in the adventure, grab it with<br />

both hands, excited for the changes,<br />

adapting to the new reality and ready to<br />

explore. Some of us struggle to adapt,<br />

living with the fear of the unknown,<br />

anxious, uncertain, wondering what<br />

next. No matter where you sit right now<br />

on this current new adventure we are<br />

all in….take a moment. Breathe in. Sit<br />

back and dream for a moment of where<br />

you might want to go to next.<br />

It seems that as kids, we were<br />

better at dreaming than what we are<br />

now. We would go into our own world,<br />

where we would think about who we<br />

would marry, what kind of house we<br />

would live in, would we have a cat or a<br />

dog, what we would do when we grew<br />

up, what kind of cake we would have<br />

for our birthday, and well, what exotic<br />

destinations we would travel to. For<br />

some of us, it was a rocket to the moon.<br />

For others, it was camping during the<br />

holidays along the river. No matter how<br />

big or small, we dreamed and for that<br />

moment, we escaped our reality. The<br />

game of life was ours and we could<br />

make it whatever we wanted.<br />

As I sit and think about where to<br />

next, I think about the amazing trips<br />

of the past. That cycle trip down the<br />

Danube on a beautiful Spring day in<br />

Europe. Blue skies, and bitter ice-cold<br />

days with pelting rain. Cycling along<br />

one of the most well-known rivers in<br />

Europe. Peering over stone walls into<br />

village gardens, trying not to be nosey,<br />

but interested in what lay over that<br />

stone wall. Stopping for coffee and<br />

pastries at one of the many bakeries<br />

and patisseries along the way or my<br />

favourite, discovering the amazing<br />

flavour of poppyseed ice-cream which<br />

for a lover of poppyseed was heaven.<br />

Also discovering a new favourite soup,<br />

Baerlauchcremesuppe, (Wild Garlic<br />

Soup), all of the flavour, none of the<br />

pungency. Peering through stained<br />

glass windows of old churches and<br />

reading the headstones in the historic<br />

and gothic looking graveyards trying<br />

to work out their stories. And well, who<br />

could forget Vienna!<br />

Then there were those trips to<br />

Africa. A real eye opener and honestly,<br />

never really on my bucket list. From the<br />

best of the best on offer in South Africa<br />

including seeing the slum life of Soweto,<br />

delving into the history of humankind,<br />

sampling delectable South African<br />

wines and local produce in Franschoek,<br />

experiencing 5* game lodges and<br />

drives in Kruger, the native fauna of<br />

Grootbosch and much more. To 4WD<br />

game drives in the forests of Tanzania<br />

and the well know Ngorongoro Crater<br />

with wildlife everywhere you could<br />

possibly see. Of course, one of the<br />

main dreams come reality was climbing<br />

Kilimanjaro. Taking each step on that<br />

final night, in the pitch, black darkness,<br />

with not much left in the tank. Crying.<br />

Thinking what on earth are we doing.<br />

Eating gummy bears. But you haven’t<br />

seen sunrise, until you are standing on<br />

the roof of Africa, seeing it raise its head<br />

over the continent. Bringing with it the<br />

warmth and the utter joy that you need.<br />

Perhaps the adventure is in the<br />

mystery of the land and its people such<br />

as my trip along the Silk Road. Stories<br />

vaguely that I could recall from history<br />

lessons past, but nothing much known<br />

about the people or the landscape of<br />

these lands. I learnt that trekking in<br />

the Fann Mountains is by far one of<br />

the most scenic in the world. Stunning<br />

vistas. Crystal clear blue lakes. Amazing<br />

mountain surrounds from atop the high<br />

passes and incredibly friendly locals<br />

who pull up to your tent and you’re not<br />

entirely sure if they are out to rob you,<br />

or chat. Chat it was in our combined<br />

Russian, Tajik and Croatian dialects.<br />

The people are incredibly friendly.<br />

Melons, cucumbers and tomatoes are<br />

a staple. But you will never have a<br />

peach as tasty as you will in Uzbekistan,<br />

nor see such intricate buildings and<br />

architecture.<br />

Some of us might want the rough<br />

and rugged. The untouched landscapes<br />

that are shaped by ice, wind and<br />

geology on a journey to the Arctic Circle.<br />

Where the weather is unpredictable and<br />

the wildlife even more so. The scenery<br />

changes on a daily basis. The journey<br />

onboard a small ship has a planned<br />

day to day schedule, yet the plan gets<br />

thrown out the window depending on<br />

what the day brings. Where you think<br />


you might see a Polar Bear, only to have the<br />

crew describe what you might actually see<br />

is just a cream dot in a ‘Where’s Wally’ type<br />

of photo. But then where all your landings<br />

are aborted due to the abundance of Polar<br />

Bears. Where you experience them on ice<br />

on a perfectly blue-sky day. See them on ice<br />

in full blown blizzard conditions. Or witness<br />

a real take your breathe away moment,<br />

seeing them feeding on a walrus carcass on<br />

land, whilst you sit in utter silence on a small<br />

boat, bobbing up and down, trying to take the<br />

perfect shot, whilst not dropping your camera<br />

or making a peep . Where nature owns the<br />

landscape and the itinerary.<br />

There is still so much on the travel dream<br />

list. The pyramids and ancient cities of<br />

Mexico, (as well as eating proper guacamole).<br />

The flavours and pilgrimage trails of Spain<br />

and Portugal. A trek through the amazing<br />

mountains of the Canadian Rockies. The<br />

wild landscapes and untouched regions of<br />

Patagonia….my list goes on and on.<br />

We have never quite known what life is<br />

going to throw at us, and well, that is both<br />

the beauty and the adventure that is life.<br />

Sometimes we need the fantasy to survive<br />

the reality. Relax now. Take time to read that<br />

book, explore a country online, or learn a<br />

new language so that when I ask you in a few<br />

month’s time, you will be able to tell me…..<br />

where to next?<br />


Have a BIG ADVENTURE later<br />

Stay safe, but keep dreaming:<br />

worldexpeditions.com<br />

0800 350 354<br />


Notchup © Drones.nc / NCTPS<br />

#NewCalPulse<br />


NEW<br />


The South Pacific's Surprising Hiking Hotspot<br />

If you ask someone to<br />

describe New Caledonia,<br />

they’ll likely conjure images<br />

of white sand beaches,<br />

cocktails by the pool and<br />

days spent languishing in<br />

the blue lagoon waters.<br />

And these are all certainly<br />

things you can enjoy in New<br />

Caledonia. But there’s so<br />

much more adventure to be<br />

had, which is great news for<br />

the inquisitive travellers out<br />

there.<br />

At less than three<br />

hours from Auckland, New<br />

Caledonia is one of the<br />

most easily accessible<br />

overseas getaways from New<br />

Zealand. A French territory<br />

in the South Pacific, it offers<br />

travellers a unique mix of<br />

French and local cultures,<br />

gourmet dining, striking<br />

landscapes and outdoor<br />

experiences to explore.<br />

One such outdoor<br />

experience is the country’s<br />

over 500 km of marked<br />

trails. Labelled by the FFRP<br />

(French Federation of<br />

Hiking), these trails make<br />

New Caledonia a surprising<br />

hotspot for hiking in the<br />

South Pacific. It has two longdistance<br />

hiking trails (GR®<br />

NC1 in the south and GR®<br />

NC2 in the north) and more<br />

than fifty walking and hiking<br />

trails. And this is without<br />

counting other magnificent<br />

unmarked routes, especially<br />

in the north and the Loyalty<br />

Islands.<br />

There’s something on<br />

offer for all time frames and<br />

abilities, from short day-hikes<br />

to more-than-100 kilometre,<br />

multi-day options. Here are<br />

five essential hikes to enjoy<br />

in New Caledonia:<br />

1.<br />

<<br />



Level: Difficult<br />

Distance: 126 km<br />

Duration: 7 days<br />

Elevation gain: +5,415 m<br />

Starting Point: Prony Village (1 hour drive from Noumea)<br />

Finish Point: Dumbéa Nature Reserve<br />

Passing through the municipalities of Yaté, Mont-Dore and Dumbéa,<br />

the GR® Sud crosses several of New Caledonia's most iconic sites,<br />

namely the Blue River Provincial Park and its drowned forest, the<br />

Dumbéa Natural Park, the Chutes de la Madeleine reserve and the<br />

village of Prony. In addition to its technical stages that will delight<br />

seasoned hikers, the trail showcases the incredible biodiversity of the<br />

Great South – New Caledonia is one of the most biodiverse destinations<br />

in the world with many endemic plant and animal species.<br />

For those that don’t have as much time, this trail can be done in<br />

stages. The trail can also be experienced alone or with a guide, and<br />

camping sites are set up along the way. For more information, visit<br />

province-sud.nc.<br />

© S. Duncandas / NCTPS<br />


Deva Domain, is a nature reserve located on New Caledonia's stunning west coast. About 2.5 hours drive north of Noumea<br />

© Province Sud / NCTPS<br />


Level: Difficult<br />

Type: Loop<br />

Duration: 4h 30<br />

Starting Point: Blue River Provincial Park (1.5 hours’<br />

drive from Noumea)<br />

For adventurous travellers, The Blue River Provincial<br />

Park is a must visit. An easy drive from Noumea, the<br />

Park’s striking red soil landscape and drowned forest<br />

captivates guests and is a change from the blue lagoons<br />

that surround the capital city. The Park is home to<br />

eighteen hiking trails, however the Dipodium Trail offers<br />

perhaps some of the best panoramas of the Park,<br />

allowing visitors to truly take in its size and scenery. For<br />

more information, visit province-sud.nc.<br />

2.<br />


Level: Easy<br />

Type: Loop<br />

Distance: 3.1 km<br />

Duration: 1h 15<br />

Elevation gain: +131 m<br />

Starting point: Grandes Fougères National Park (2 hours’<br />

drive from Noumea)<br />

3.<br />

The Grandes Fougères Park is located in the centre of New<br />

Caledonia, in its mountainous region. It’s perhaps one of the<br />

greenest parks in New Caledonia and is a pleasant spot for<br />

hikers of all ages and experiences. It’s also an ideal place to<br />

see some of New Caledonia’s endemic birds and plant species<br />

– the park is called the ‘Great Fern’ Park after all! It’s home<br />

to seven trails, however the Grandes Fougères Trail is one<br />

of the easiest, so great for any level of experience. For more<br />

information, visit grandes-fougeres.nc.<br />


4.<br />


Level: Easy<br />

Type: Loop<br />

Distance: 4.5 km<br />

Duration: 2 h<br />

Elevation gain: +317 m<br />

Starting point: Deva Domain (2.5 hours’ drive from<br />

Noumea)<br />

Situated within the Deva Domain national reserve<br />

on the West Coast, hikers will enjoy juxtaposing views<br />

of the region’s rural fauna against the backdrop of<br />

the glittering blue Deva lagoon, which is one of six<br />

parts of New Caledonia’s lagoon that are a UNESCO<br />

World Heritage Listed site. Deva Domain is also home<br />

to the beautiful Sheraton Deva New Caledonia Spa<br />

& Golf resort – for those adventurous travellers who<br />

enjoy a little luxury too! The Boé Arérédi Trail is one of<br />

four hikes in the Deva Domain. Visit deva.nc for more<br />

information.<br />

© Massaki Hojo / NCTPS<br />

© Massaki Hojo / NCTPS<br />

© Terres de lumière / NCTPS<br />

5.<br />


Level: Difficult<br />

Type: Loop<br />

Distance: 10 km<br />

Duration: 7 to 9 h<br />

Elevation gain: +1,100 m<br />

Departure: “Chez Maria” campsite at the Ouenghip<br />

Tribe near Hienghène (5 hours’ drive from Noumea)<br />

Located on New Caledonia’s East Coast,<br />

Hienghène is home to impressive waterfalls, lush<br />

vegetation and coral forests, and is known for its<br />

striking limestone cliffs that jut up against the crystalclear<br />

blue lagoon. The Roches De La Ouaieme trail<br />

takes hikers through forests and creeks and offers<br />

panoramic views of Mont Panié (New Caledonia’s<br />

highest mountain) and the lagoon from the cliffs of<br />

Ouaieme (which sits 744 metres above sea level).<br />

Visit province-nord.nc for more information.<br />

For more information on New Caledonia, hiking, guides and more, visit newcaledonia.travel.<br />

© Ethnotrack / NCTPS<br />

© Terres de Lumière / NCTPS<br />




9 Exciting Family-Friendly <strong>Adventure</strong>s<br />


Seeing a spectacular sight for yourself<br />

is one thing, but watching your kids’<br />

reaction to a natural wonder is something<br />

else entirely. Vanuatu is packed full of<br />

family-friendly adventures that will have<br />

you talking about your holiday for years to<br />

come.<br />

If you have ever travelled with kids, you<br />

will have heard "I’m bored" more times than<br />

you care to remember. Not in Vanuatu! As<br />

well as the facilities in your resort or hotel,<br />

such as man-made swimming pools and<br />

kids’ clubs run by enthusiastic locals, the<br />

tours and natural excursions in Vanuatu<br />

are a chance to experience new things<br />

with your kids. Family holidays here will<br />

have them on the edge of their seats with<br />

excitement and exhausted by the end of<br />

each day. Check out these top nine familyfriendly<br />

adventures in Vanuatu.<br />

2.<br />

These are not your average rope<br />

swings. Even the most seasoned<br />

rope-swing makers will be in awe of<br />

these creations, which are scattered at<br />

waterfalls and blue holes throughout<br />

Vanuatu. Just like something out of<br />

Tarzan, these huge swings will have the<br />

kids (and kids-at-heart) jumping for joy<br />

and queueing up for a few more goes.<br />

The crystal clear swimming holes in<br />

Vanuatu are vibrant shades of blue and<br />

have a great island vibe about them as<br />

villagers and visitors alike relax on the<br />

banks or take a refreshing dip, while the<br />

local kids (pikinini) welcome newcomers<br />

into their games as they splash about in<br />

the water. If you want to try something<br />

more challenging during your family<br />

holiday in Vanuatu, clamber to the top of<br />

the Mele Cascades waterfalls on Efate<br />

island and enjoy swimming in the pools<br />

and taking in the awesome views.<br />

1.<br />

Vanuatu Jungle Zipline in Port Vila on<br />

the island of Efate is suitable for kids aged<br />

four and above, and offers a three-hour<br />

tour packed full of thrill-seeking fun. Take<br />

in the views over the tops of the trees<br />

out over Mele Bay as you speed along<br />

the wires. You’ll feel like you are flying<br />

as you take on the different ziplines and<br />

suspension bridges between the tree-top<br />

platforms. This family-friendly activity in<br />

Port Vila is available on its own or as part<br />

of a package with a helicopter ride.<br />


In Vanuatu, helicopters aren’t reserved<br />

for action-packed movie scenes. With<br />

several flight options departing from a<br />

floating pontoon in Port Vila harbour, you<br />

and your family can take off in style for an<br />

3.<br />

unforgettable adventure. Whether you want<br />

to meet the local marine life at the turtle<br />

sanctuary or touch down on an extinct<br />

volcano, Vanuatu Helicopters in Port Vila<br />

has family-friendly flights to suit everyone.<br />



4.<br />



A Vanuatu snorkelling trip is the perfect familyfriendly<br />

activity in Vanuatu. As you depart from the<br />

Back to Eden restaurant on Efate, your guide will<br />

show you huge anemones packed full of real-life<br />

Nemos (clownfish), giant clams and, if you're lucky,<br />

a sea turtle, too. After the tour, enjoy a drink at<br />

the restaurant as you watch the sun go down over<br />

the water. Other snorkelling and scuba diving in<br />

Vanuatu can be accessed via boat trips or straight<br />

off the beach. Some of the best snorkelling spots<br />

are the Second World War wrecks — especially<br />

the SS President Coolidge at Million Dollar Point<br />

(off the coast of Espiritu Santo) — and snorkelling<br />

tours to smaller islands from Efate such as<br />

Hideaway Island and Lelepa Island. Top tip: it is<br />

worth packing a snorkel set to explore the blue<br />

holes and beach reefs you’ll discover all over<br />

Vanuatu.<br />

5.<br />

Snaking their way around the islands are<br />

kilometres of rivers and streams which connect up to<br />

Vanuatu’s famous blue holes. The island of Espiritu<br />

Santo has more blue holes than any of the other<br />

islands, and kayaking up the picturesque waterways<br />

is a great way to discover them while on your family<br />

holiday in Vanuatu. Keep the kids entertained with<br />

bird watching and spotting the fish that dart around<br />

under the boat as you paddle your way along.<br />

6.<br />


The active volcano on the island of<br />

Tanna is a truly awe-inspiring natural<br />

wonder. It’s one of the world’s most<br />

accessible volcanoes, as four-wheel<br />

drive vehicles can drop you off just 150<br />

metres from the edge of the crater. If<br />

you’ve got a spring in your step, you can<br />

always walk from the bottom. Stare into<br />

the belly of the earth as red-hot lava spits<br />

and dances, and steam rises from the<br />

centre of the 400-metre-wide crater. The<br />

desolate, blackened landscape of the<br />

361-metre-high Mt Yasur Volcano is in<br />

stark contrast to the lush rainforest that<br />

makes up most of Vanuatu’s islands. This<br />

is due to the semi-regular eruptions that<br />

deposit volcanic rock and lava onto the<br />

ash plain. Travelling as a family is always<br />

a great way to teach your kids something<br />

new, and this is one experience they<br />

will not forget in a hurry. Book a Tanna<br />

volcano tour or arrange four-wheeldrive<br />

transport and a guide via your<br />

accommodation. Top tip: don’t forget to<br />

take a postcard to post in the letterbox on<br />

the volcano for the folks back home.<br />



7.<br />

If your family loves the great<br />

outdoors, an ecotour is a great<br />

way to experience Vanuatu’s<br />

magnificent natural beauty, while<br />

supporting conservation efforts.<br />

Whether you have teenagers<br />

or little ones, or kids with lots<br />

of different interests, there is a<br />

Vanuatu Ecotour that the whole<br />

family can enjoy; from mountain<br />

biking to turtle tagging, kayaking<br />

to bird watching.<br />

8.<br />

Some of Vanuatu’s best<br />

beaches are on the island of Espiritu<br />

Santo. After exploring inland, an<br />

afternoon on the beach can be<br />

just what the doctor ordered. Port<br />

Olry on the north-east of Santo<br />

is a picturesque bay with islands<br />

and coral reefs just off the beach<br />

which you can kayak to, as well<br />

as beachside huts serving tasty<br />

local seafood dishes. Just south<br />

of Port Olry is Champagne Beach,<br />

where the calm, clear water makes<br />

it perfect for younger kids to swim.<br />

There are also market stalls and<br />

walking trails here if you want to<br />

stretch your legs. Travelling on<br />

Efate? Head to the family-friendly<br />

Eton Beach for an afternoon paddle.<br />



9.<br />

Explore the island of Efate by buggy or quad bike<br />

on a Vanuatu tour that is perfect for thrill-seekers. Book<br />

ahead with Off Road <strong>Adventure</strong>s and depart on your Port<br />

Vila tour to explore the beaches, jungles and remote rural<br />

areas of the island. Suitable for kids over five years of age,<br />

this experience is as exhilarating as it is muddy, so dress<br />

appropriately.<br />


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