Adventure Magazine December 2019/January 2020

Issue @217 - Xmas issue Waves, water, camping and more

Issue @217 - Xmas issue
Waves, water, camping and more


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




GIANTS<br />


AOTEA<br />


ISSUE 217<br />

DEC <strong>2019</strong>/JAN <strong>2020</strong><br />

NZ $10.90 incl. GST<br />


“THERE’S NOT<br />



If experiencing nature at its untamed<br />

best is your thing, the West Coast is<br />

tough to beat. From short day walks<br />

to some of New Zealand’s most iconic<br />

multi-day tramps there are endless<br />

wild places to fall in love with.<br />

Believe it or not, this magic spot on the<br />

Pororari River is just a 15 minute walk<br />

from State Highway 6!<br />




#217<br />

introducing adventure vanlife<br />

"Home is where you park it"<br />

We have had our eye on this for a while but ‘van life’ has become hugely popular. In simple<br />

terms it is people enjoying adventure and outdoors while living in a van. Any sort of a van, a<br />

kombi, a panel van, a motorhome or and RV. It’s about being moveable and self-sustainable,<br />

basically ‘home is where you park it’.<br />

Surfer Michel Bourez is photographed by Leroy Bellet who<br />

surfed behind him on the wave in order to capture this<br />

iconic shot in Tahiti, French Polynesia<br />

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

www.adventuremagazine.co.nz<br />

There is an interesting feature from ‘Stuff’ – I have pulled out some of the key facts – if you do<br />

not have time to read the whole feature – www.stuff.co.nz/travel/114056313/how-instagrammade-van-life-a-phenomenon<br />

Here are some of the key points:<br />

• Consumer report reveals grey nomads - the term for road-tripping retirees popularised by<br />

the 1997 documentary Grey Nomads - are the minority. Instead, a survey of more than<br />

2500 people suggests the average age of an RV owner in Australia is 33, and almost half<br />

have children at home.<br />

• There are 679,378 recreational vehicles registered in Australia, according to the<br />

Australian Bureau of Statistics' Motor Vehicle Census, roughly one for every 13<br />

households. Ownership of RVs - including towable caravans and camper trailers,<br />

motorhomes and campervans, 'pop tops' where a tent pops out of the roof of a van,<br />

Kombis and converted panel vans - has grown 5.2 per cent a year for the past five years,<br />

faster than any other vehicle type in Australia.<br />

• Like the hippies and surfies travelling around in Kombi vans in the 1960s and '70s,<br />

there's a counter-cultural element to the #vanlife phenomenon - this time with an<br />

economic edge.<br />

"There's a real trend in social media and generally in<br />

society to have this kind of escape and a lot of it is to do<br />

with people wanting to disconnect from the city ... and<br />

slow down a bit,"<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.adventuerjobs.co.nz<br />

www.skiandsnow.co.nz<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 selfaddressed<br />

envelope. Photographic material should be on slide, although good quality prints may<br />

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

published may be used on our website. Material in this publication may not be reproduced without<br />

permission. While the publishers have taken all reasonable precautions and made all reasonable<br />

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

magazine that the publisher does not assume any responsibility or liability for loss or damage<br />

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

contained herein and the publishers make no warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to<br />

any of the material contained herein.<br />

Now sure these stats are from Australia but you can guarantee the same results here in New<br />

Zealand and weather you hire a motorhome, buy an RV fit our your own panel van you will<br />

be part of the wave of grow adventures who are taking their adventure on the road and their<br />

‘home is where they park it’.<br />

Steve Dickinson - Editor<br />

www.adventuretraveller.co.nz<br />

JOBS<br />

www.adventurejobs.co.nz<br />

<strong>Adventure</strong> is proudly powered<br />

by Ssangyong<br />

Please feel free to send any<br />

submissions to<br />


page 08<br />

Image by Mike Dawson<br />

page 24<br />

contents<br />

#217<br />

08//aotea - The white cloud<br />

By Mike Dawson<br />

14//kai lenny<br />

Entering the Surfers Hall of Fame<br />

18//there be treasure, danger &<br />

death<br />

Jeremy Wadzinski takes us on a treasure hunt<br />

Image by Ash Routen<br />

24//the longest journey<br />

Exploring Greenland's Ice Cap<br />

28//Stu's crew<br />

On the River Wild<br />

32//cycling taiwan<br />

With Erik Skilling<br />

page 42<br />

36//Westland<br />

Jack Austin explores South Island's West Coast<br />

42//Cliff hanger<br />

Cliffnicking in Estes Park<br />

48//adventure van life nz<br />

Check our our new section on Van Life<br />

Image by Jess Middleton Image by Steve Dickinson<br />

page 50<br />

65//urban adventure<br />

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

adventurer<br />

92//adventure travel<br />

Norfork Island, Papua New Guinea, Niue, Vanuatu, New<br />

Caledonia, Whitsundays<br />

plus<br />

64. subs<br />

82. gear guides<br />

110. Active adventure<br />


www.facebook.com/adventuremagnz<br />

adventuremagazine<br />

www.adventuremagazine.co.nz<br />

Nzadventuremag<br />


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


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Image by Leroy Bellet/Red Bull Content Pool<br />


Some waves in the world are legendary, they don’t need a title, you can<br />

tell it is that wave simply by the way it is breaking. Teahupoo, in Tahiti, is<br />

one of those waves, it is as beautiful as it is powerful, a left breaking wave<br />

that is perfection. The swell rolls in from uninterrupted water and then hits<br />

a coral reef that has been chiselled by a local freshwater river, the wave<br />

then peels like no other creating the most perfect of tubes.<br />

There are a number of surfers who have huge reputations here at<br />

Teahupoo. But possibly the most famous and without doubt the most<br />

successful is Michel Bourez; on the World Tour they call him 'The Spartan'<br />

because of his psychique and the was he charges every wave that is sent<br />

his way. Michel is a modest guy and is like a soccer super star in the<br />

islands of Tahiti.<br />

The cover was shot by Australian Leroy Bellet for a Red Bull special<br />

project. Leroy has become famous for these types of POV shots inside<br />

nasty waves. In this shot he is surfing about 3 feet behind Michel shooting<br />

with a fisheye lens in a water housing specifically made for this wave.<br />

Effectively, he is dragged into the big waves by a jet ski with a surfer in<br />

front of him and captures the images knowing in his position that he will<br />

eventually get hit by the wave, with the hope of being not to get hurt on the<br />

reef below. Bellet, who was 18 at the time of the shoot said ‘In terms of<br />

perfection, it’s the Everest of intensity and challenge.’<br />


"Chops is so sharp and shallow. When I was surfing on the days leading<br />

up to the swell, I was like, 'This could end up bad.' I thought I might only<br />

have one wave and I'd get sliced up and that would be it. Luckily we got<br />

four chances."<br />

Behind the scenes as photographer Leroy Bellet is seen paddling in Tahiti,<br />

French Polynesia during filming of Chasing the Shot<br />

Image by Domenic Mosqueira/Red Bull Content Pool

we ARE climbing<br />

Climbers ascend the iconic<br />

Grand Sentinel in Sentinel Pass,<br />

Banff National Park<br />

Photo: ex-Bivouac Staff member<br />

John Price / johnpricephotography.ca<br />

For over twenty five years Bivouac Outdoor has been proudly 100% New Zealand owned and committed to<br />

providing you with the best outdoor clothing and equipment available in the world. It is the same gear we literally<br />

stake our lives on, because we are committed to adventure and we ARE climbing.<br />




46,500 people can't be wrong<br />



@ adventuremagazine<br />


AOTEA<br />


By Mike Dawson<br />

The skyline of downtown Auckland slowly<br />

disappeared into the mist, as the ferry headed<br />

further into the Hauraki Gulf towards the edge<br />

of the Pacific – Towards Aotea. The White Cloud<br />

or as Captain James Cook decided - Great<br />

Barrier Island.<br />

4 hours of relentless swell and some 90<br />

kilometers later a speck began to emerge on<br />

the horizon, from the clouds clinging to the<br />

wilderness in-front of us. <strong>Adventure</strong> a waits. Our<br />

plan was to head out and explore the coastline<br />

of Great Barrier Island by kayak – A group of<br />

buddies, 8 sea kayaks, a ton of food and beer<br />

heading out for a mission to try snag a fish or<br />

two but mostly chasing good times.<br />

Great Barrier Island is home to around 800<br />

residents - most here for the solitude from the<br />

hustle and bustle of the mainland. Finding the<br />

serenity that is so elusive in modern times.<br />

<strong>Adventure</strong> doesn’t always need to be<br />

hardcore and Aotea is the perfect place to<br />

switch off, explore and enjoy New Zealands<br />

nature at it’s finest. Beautiful stretches of white<br />

sand ocean beaches surround the shoreline<br />

on the east coast while sheltered bays boarder<br />

the west.<br />

A beach landing and cave for shelter from<br />

the raging Westerly for lunch on Arid Island,<br />

just off the coast of Great Barrier Island.

A mere 19 kilometers separate the<br />

Coromandel Peninsular from the Southern tip of<br />

Barrier. Dramatic peaks pierce the sky, especially<br />

the summit of Hirakimata (Mt Hobson) a pointy<br />

rocky outcrop 621m above sea level.<br />

We were instantly at home, time almost<br />

stood still as we rolled into Harataonga beach,<br />

set up camp before heading out on the water.<br />

First stop exploring Rakitu Island (Arid Island).<br />

The 4 km paddle out from the main island<br />

seems somewhat remote with very little between<br />

this island and South America. Blue seas and<br />

dramatic cliffs surround the island as we paddle<br />

around just taking it in. Seals swimming around<br />

the boats and countless caves cut into the rugged<br />

cliffs overtime, to explore. This was paradise.<br />

Adventuring sea kayaker Jamie Garrod<br />

paddles through the maze of channels through<br />

scattered rock outcrops in on the Northern tip<br />

of Great Barrier Island<br />



From here we headed North for the<br />

Northern Tip of Barrier, into the open<br />

ocean. Passing by the pristine white sand<br />

of Whangapoua beach, with Dolphins<br />

swimming and out into one of NZ’s<br />

unsung wilderness areas, an absolute<br />

paradise of Mother Nature. Rugged cliffs<br />

crashed into the Ocean ahead, as we left<br />

the beaches behind us. Countless birds<br />

soared above us – As well as epic scenery<br />

Great Barrier is also home to a wide range<br />

of endangered species particularly birds<br />

including the North Island Kaka, Banded<br />

Rail, Black Petrel, NZ Dotterel and Oyster<br />

Catchers. Countless Tui keep you alert in<br />

the bush with endless song.<br />

With over 60% of the island under<br />

Department of Conservation ownership,<br />

Great Barrier also has incredible hiking<br />

through conservation land. Leaving the<br />

kayaks at the beach it’s possible to head<br />

out for countless walks. From visiting local<br />

hot pools in the Kiatoke Valley climbing<br />

Mt Hobson or exploring the coastal<br />

Harataonga Walkway there was endless<br />

exploring to do.<br />

We headed West across the island to<br />

explore Blind Bay and Whangaparapara<br />

Harbour. Here the scenery changes from<br />

stunning beaches to sheltered inlets and<br />

historic sites showcasing New Zealand’s<br />

past and the first European settlers here<br />

in the mid 1800’s as the whaling, forestry<br />

and mining industries were established.<br />

As we beached our boats for the last<br />

time. Our 7 day mini adventure was over.<br />

Exploring this epic place before loading<br />

up and heading back to the mainland. All I<br />

can say is GO.<br />

Clockwise from top left: All the gear no idea -<br />

Gearing up to head out on the water / Beached on<br />

an isolated West Coast beach on Barrier / Kayaking<br />

amongst the pinnacles of Arid Island / The boys’<br />

enjoying some chill time - hammocks set for the<br />

evening / <strong>Adventure</strong> mode engaged - Locked an<br />

loaded and heading out on the mission. Blind Bay<br />

Great Barrier / Crayfish dinner always satisfies / One<br />

of the worlds few dark zones - the night sky lights up<br />

beautifully / The lads heading out to the ocean.<br />

Captain James Cook named NZ’s 4th<br />

largest landmass “Great Barrier” on his<br />

exploration of the Southern Ocean as the<br />

245 km2 island acted as a formidable barrier<br />

protecting the Hauraki Gulf from the Pacific<br />

Ocean.<br />

Kauri Dieback is a disease that is<br />

threatening Kauri with extinction. First found<br />

in 1972 on Great Barrier Island it has spread<br />

throughout the upper North Island. While there<br />

is no cure there’s plenty we can do to slow the<br />

spread. Visit www.kauridieback.co.nz<br />






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Hawaiian star Kai Lenny received another accolade in his<br />

glittering career when he became the youngest person ever to<br />

enter the Surfers' Hall of Fame in <strong>2019</strong>, aged just 26.<br />

He was inducted with Sam Hawk and Janice Aragon, their hand<br />

and footprints immortalised in cement out the front of Huntington<br />

Surf & Sport as the ceremony paid tribute to the stars who have<br />

made an indelible mark on the sport, industry and culture of<br />

surfing.<br />

Along with his surfing honours, Lenny has won the SUP world<br />

title several times and was runner-up at the Kite Surf Pro World<br />

Championships while he has become a leading global campaigner<br />

in fighting ocean pollution.<br />

Kai Lenny taming Jaws<br />

Images compliments of Red Bull

Here is what the Maui native had to say after an<br />

impressive <strong>2019</strong> season riding the waves:<br />

How was your big wave season in <strong>2019</strong>? For me<br />

the big wave season this year was probably the best I<br />

have ever had. We didn't have the most consistent big<br />

swells, but some of the most challenging conditions<br />

that I could ever remember. It was a lot of wind, really<br />

big waves and very unforgiving. The fact that I was able<br />

to survive another season but, at the same time, feel<br />

like my level went up a notch meant that I accomplished<br />

everything that I set out to do. Coming into this new<br />

season, I am really excited because there is still so<br />

much left to be done to go to the next level.<br />

You have said in the past you sometimes felt like<br />

an outsider, is that still the case now? I think I felt like<br />

an outsider growing up mainly because I had my hands<br />

in so many different sports and, within each sport or<br />

discipline of surfing, there are little tribes that you jump<br />

in between. You are either with the windsurfers, the<br />

kitesurfers, the surfers or the stand-up paddlers, and<br />

when you are not consistently in one, you don't really<br />

have a place in any. I quickly outgrew that mentally<br />

and now I feel comfortable in my own skin doing what<br />

I would rather do. It was a good learning experience<br />

growing up.<br />

"I had my hands in so many<br />

different sports and, within<br />

each sport or discipline of<br />

surfing, there are little tribes<br />

that you jump in between. You<br />

are either with the windsurfers,<br />

the kitesurfers, the surfers or<br />

the stand-up paddlers, and<br />

when you are not consistently<br />

in one, you don't really have a<br />

place in any."<br />

After winning so many big titles so early in your<br />

career, what is your main focus now? For me, right<br />

now, my focus is on winning a Big Wave world title<br />

on the Big Wave Tour. I have been able to win a lot<br />

of different things across a few sports. For me, each<br />

event is not so much beating someone else but kind<br />

of proving to myself that, 'OK, I have reached this<br />

certain point and where can I go next?'. Winning is just<br />

basically having a lot of fun doing it and my goals, for<br />

sure, are always to try to be the best I can possibly be<br />

and that requires me testing myself against the world's<br />

best consistently.<br />

What is it about the ocean that makes you so<br />

happy? The sea makes me so happy because it is a<br />

place that I can constantly test myself, but also enjoy<br />

myself. It is always there. It is for free. I grew up doing<br />

it for so long that it is who I am now. Imagining not<br />

being in the water is almost worse than going to jail,<br />

just because it feels like it is built into my cells. The salt<br />

water feels really good, just being immersed in it and<br />

all that other stuff sort of melts away that you take from<br />

land.<br />

You are a shining star when it comes to<br />

environmental issues, what more needs to be done<br />

to help save our oceans? Growing up I have noticed<br />

the changes in the ocean, mostly the pollution and<br />

microplastics. Now, with so many people around the<br />

world just spewing stuff into the ocean, there are a<br />

lot of fish that are consuming microplastics which is<br />

morphing into their DNA. That is going to go back into<br />

us and, if we don't want to have cancer later on in life<br />

from fish, I suggest that we try to keep the oceans<br />

much cleaner. We have got to protect the environment<br />

because we are part of it. If it goes down, we are getting<br />

dragged with it too.<br />




By Jeremy Wadzinski<br />

What if I told you there is a treasure chest filled with precious gemstones, gold nuggets and priceless artifacts hidden<br />

somewhere in the Rocky Mountains? That an eccentric art collector buried an antique, metal box worth over $5 million dollars<br />

somewhere in the mountains between New Mexico and the Canadian border. And what if I told you he left clues? Nine clues<br />

in the form of a 24 line poem. And what if I also told you, that these riches are free to whoever is brave enough, crafty enough,<br />

or just plain lucky enough to find them. Will you grab your fedora, coil up your bullwhip, and book your flight for adventure?<br />

Well. If you said yes, then you better get packing Indiana; the treasure is real and it’s free to the first person that finds<br />

it. But, be warned: It is not for the faint-hearted. At least four people have died on this decade’s old quest. More are sure to<br />

follow as the legend and the mystery grows.<br />

This is the story of my hunt for Forrest Fenn’s treasure.<br />


I first heard the legend of Forrest Fenn’s treasure while fly<br />

fishing in the cool summer current of the Yellowstone River, false<br />

casting a mayfly-dry to some trout determined to avoid my angling<br />

seductions. I was waist-deep in the water when my best friend and<br />

fishing buddy noticed a rather odd-looking dude marching along<br />

the river banks. He was dressed in a random assortment of old<br />

army surplus gear and neon coloured hiking kit. He was intently<br />

looking at a map. After looking at the map he would raise his gaze<br />

and search; the ground, the sky, the river, the mountains, and the<br />

trees. He was looking everywhere but where he was going and<br />

we watched as he crashed directly into a ditch and disappeared<br />

from sight. He re-emerged covered in thistles and swearing and<br />

continued on his haphazard way, constantly adjusting his glasses,<br />

and consulting his map; now as torn and ragged as his clothing.<br />

That’s when I heard my fishing buddy say, “I betchya that’s one of<br />

them treasure hunting idiots.” That’s when I said the four words I<br />

knew I would regret: “What treasure hunting idiots?”<br />

You see, unbeknownst to me, I was about to be taken hostage<br />

by my own imagination. When I heard the story of the treasure my<br />

mind would not, could not, let it go. This mental fever is why the<br />

legend of Forrest Fenn’s treasure grows with each passing year.<br />

A gold fever pierces the imagination and clutches at the heart<br />

of would-be explorers the world over. The thrill of the chase has<br />

haunted hikers and bushwhackers from New Mexico, up through<br />

Colorado, into Wyoming and Montana, and I was about to join their<br />

ranks.<br />

The search area is literally a thousand miles long and it runs<br />

along the jagged spine of America’s West. A twelve-inch-by-twelveinch<br />

box is hidden somewhere among the countless peaks and<br />

rivers and ravines. All logic says that this is a fool’s errand. That<br />

only a madman or idiot would think they could find a needle lost<br />

somewhere in a haystack the size of The Empire State Building.<br />

But logic is quickly swept aside when it comes to gold and the thrill<br />

of the hunt. The heart quickens at the mere mention of treasure.<br />

When the fever takes hold, burning through the veins, one is made<br />

mad with adventure lust. But first, some whiskey.<br />


THE POEM<br />

"Begin it where warm waters halt<br />

And take it in the canyons down,<br />

Not far, but too far to walk.<br />

Put in below the home of Brown."<br />

“The first clue in the poem is ‘Begin it<br />

where warm waters halt’. That’s the first clue.<br />

If you can’t figure that clue out, you don’t have<br />

anything.” — Forrest Fenn<br />

It all starts with the poem. The thirst for<br />

adventure begins there. Forrest has said many<br />

times, that everything you need is in the poem.<br />

So, here it is…<br />

THE MAN<br />

Sitting on a porch, watching the<br />

amber hues of a glorious sunset on the<br />

outskirts of Yellowstone, I learned about<br />

the one man who knows the exact location<br />

of the hidden box. He’s the silver-haired<br />

octogenarian that hid the treasure in the<br />

first place. His name is Forrest Fenn.<br />

Forrest Fenn has lived a lifetime of<br />

adventure. Growing up, he had many<br />

happy escapades near Yellowstone and the<br />

surrounding Rocky Mountains. He grew up<br />

exploring America’s vast South West before<br />

he left for war. A Vietnam fighter pilot, he<br />

flew over three-hundred combat missions<br />

and was shot down twice. He retired from<br />

the Air Force and moved to Santa Fe, New<br />

Mexico, where he opened an art gallery<br />

looking for a quieter and more peaceful<br />

life. He and his wife, Peggy, dealt with<br />

unusual and ancient items and antiquities<br />

from all over the world. At one point the<br />

gallery grossed more than $6 million<br />

dollars a year. Life was good for the retired<br />

adventurer and fly-boy.<br />

But his luck took a turn when in 1988<br />

he was diagnosed with a terminal form of<br />

kidney cancer. Thinking he was on death’s<br />

door, and looking for a way to secure his<br />

legacy, he bought a 12th-century bronze<br />

box for $25 thousand dollars and filled it<br />

with treasure. He wrote a cryptic poem and<br />

planned to march out into the wilds and<br />

die with the treasure clutched to his chest.<br />

There was just one problem.<br />

He didn’t die.<br />

So, his treasure stayed hidden. In a<br />

vault. In his house. For two decades. Then<br />

the economy took a nosedive in 2010,<br />

and it was that year, with the publication<br />

of his memoirs, that he decided to gift the<br />

treasure and its hunt to the world. In his<br />

book, The Thrill of The Chase; A Memoir, he<br />

describes a treasure chest with gemstones,<br />

gold nuggets, and jewelry, hidden “in the<br />

mountains somewhere north of Santa<br />

Fe.” And why after all those years, and<br />

in full health, did he decide to finally gift<br />

$5 million dollars to the world? Because,<br />

as he said in an old TV interview, “I just<br />

wanted to give some people hope.”<br />

As I have gone alone in there<br />

And with my treasures bold,<br />

I can keep my secret where,<br />

And hint of riches new and old.<br />

Begin it where warm waters halt<br />

And take it in the canyons down,<br />

Not far, but too far to walk.<br />

Put in below the home of Brown.<br />

From there it’s no place for the meek,<br />

The end is ever drawing nigh;<br />

There’ll be no paddle up your creek,<br />

Just heavy loads and water high.<br />

If you’ve been wise and found the blaze,<br />

Look quickly down, your quest to cease,<br />

But tarry scant with marvel gaze,<br />

Just take the chest and go in peace.<br />

So why is it that I must go<br />

And leave my trove for all to seek?<br />

The answer I already know,<br />

I’ve done it tired, and now I’m weak.<br />

So hear me all and listen good,<br />

Your effort will be worth the cold.<br />

If you are brave and in the wood<br />

I give you title to the gold.<br />


After copious amounts of whiskey, cigars,<br />

more whiskey, and a little bit of dinner, our<br />

brains were fortified enough to contemplate<br />

the poem and dissect its inner workings. We<br />

berated each other as we cross-referenced<br />

the map and the poem with passion born of<br />

alcohol-induced hallucinations. Every clue<br />

took on a life of its own, but we knew the key<br />

was to start the hunt in the right place. If<br />

you didn’t start right, you were pretty much<br />

just a sucker wandering around the woods<br />

like some treasure hunting idiot. And we<br />

certainly were not idiots!<br />

We focused on the first clue; “Begin it<br />

where warm waters halt.” Which we figured<br />

could only mean one thing: it must’ve had<br />

something to do with a hot springs. Luckily<br />

the source of one of the largest hot springs in<br />

North America was just outside our doorstep;<br />

Yellowstone National Park. So. That was as<br />

good a place to start as any. But then the<br />

arguments took over. Were the “hot waters”<br />

halting because they were getting dumped<br />

in a river? Or were the “hot waters” halting<br />

because they were the last hot waters on<br />

the map? Should we be looking for the<br />

Southernmost hot water spring, which would<br />

be in Colorado or maybe New Mexico? Which<br />

meant the beginning point was nowhere<br />

near Yellowstone. And not only that, which<br />

specific “hot waters”? It is estimated that<br />

Yellowstone has over 10,000 geothermal<br />

features. The clue was maddeningly opaque.<br />

Okay. So, the beginning was impossible<br />

unless we used more clues and worked<br />

our way backwards. We moved on to “Put<br />

in below the home of Brown.” This clue<br />

was both obvious and obtuse at the same<br />

time. It is well known that Forrest was an<br />

avid fly fisherman. Many among our party<br />

were convinced that this surely must mean<br />

brown trout. And where do trout call home?<br />

Rivers. So, clearly the search would begin<br />

where a hot springs dumped its water into<br />

a trout river somewhere... But, others were<br />

not convinced. The house could be a literal<br />

house. Why else would Forrest capitalize the<br />

“B” in “Brown” in the poem? Legend had<br />

it that, up in the mountains, an old Doctor<br />

Brown had owned a cabin and when he<br />

died, he was buried near his cabin. Was his<br />

burial site the “home of brown”? Or perhaps<br />

Forrest was referring to a brown bear. Bears<br />

hibernate in dens through the winter. So,<br />

surely we should be looking for a cave or<br />

den of some sort? Or was it a log cabin? Log<br />

cabins are brown. Maybe he meant a literal,<br />

brown home?!? Another baffling clue.<br />

The arguments went in endless circles.<br />

Voices were raised. Maps were torn and<br />

taped back together. More than one person<br />

stormed off into the night to consult the<br />

stars and pee on the fence. We moved on<br />

to the next clue and then circled back to the<br />

first clue. And then revisited the last clue.<br />

Back-and-forth it went. On-and-on we argued<br />

until the wee hours of the morning. Only<br />

ending when the bottle ran dry and the last<br />

smoke had been toked. But, in the haze of<br />

our confused ramblings, somehow a cunning<br />

plan had been hatched. We had cracked the<br />

mystery of the poem. Our hunt would begin<br />

first thing in the morning.<br />


Exploring Yellowstone National Park in search of the treasure<br />

THE HUNT<br />

The next morning we woke up neither bright, nor early.<br />

The hangover from so much treasure hunting research<br />

had left us all a bit worse for wear. By mid-afternoon we<br />

were ready to strike out into the unknown. I would soon<br />

be baptized into the ranks of, “treasure-hunting-idiot”. Our<br />

treasure hunting crew consisted of two children, two dogs,<br />

three adventure women, and two very hungover men. After<br />

many promises and agreements as to the exact nature of<br />

how we would split the booty when we found it (seven-ways<br />

as is customary in these sorts of exchanges) we all shook<br />

hands and pinky-swore before marching out into the wilds.<br />

And here the treasure hunting story ends. To discuss<br />

more about the minutiae would be to give away too many<br />

clues about our theorized location, and since the first rule<br />

of treasure hunting is secrecy, I would hate to be banished<br />

from my treasure hunting society for breaking the rules.<br />

But, I can say this. Looking around at the joy and hope on<br />

the children’s faces as they spent their imaginary money<br />

(One child, in particular, had a very clear vision of how<br />

she’d spend her share of the treasure; a Pony and saddle) I<br />

realized that Forrest Fenn had been right. His greatest gift<br />

to the world wasn’t the treasure. It was hope.<br />

Whether the search for Forrest Fenn’s treasure is<br />

the greatest hunt, or the greatest hoax, ever crafted<br />

is debatable. What is not debatable is that the world<br />

doesn’t have too many mysteries anymore. Every nook,<br />

cranny, crag, and bluff has pretty much been mapped and<br />

remapped. Satellites drift by in the cosmos constantly<br />

taking pictures of all the parts and pieces of our world.<br />

"So hear me all and listen good,<br />

Your effort will be worth the cold.<br />

If you are brave and in the wood<br />

I give you title to the gold."<br />

Our treasure hunting crew consisted of two children, two<br />

dogs, three adventure women, and two very hungover men.<br />

Our own lives don’t even escape from the constant<br />

bombardment of updates, eyeballs, and investigations.<br />

The scrutiny of social media has become an ever-present<br />

invasion into our daily lives. So, how refreshing and<br />

joyous it is to have a little bit of mystery left in this world.<br />

And to be inspired to set out into the wilderness, and<br />

find a wealth of adventure, if not treasure. They say the<br />

journey is the destination so, I suppose you could also<br />

say: the real treasure isn’t in finding it, but in the hope<br />

and adventure that it inspires.<br />


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What made them take on the challenge?<br />

“Youthful exuberance and a slight lack<br />

of understanding of what it was really<br />

going to be like. If you haven’t been on an<br />

expedition before, you don’t quite know<br />

what you don’t know.”


By Ash Routen<br />

In 2008 two young British adventurers completed<br />

the longest unsupported Arctic expedition in history. A<br />

decade later adventure writer Ash Routen caught up with<br />

one of them to find out more about their remarkable<br />

story.<br />

Even a decade ago the polar expedition market<br />

was saturated. Our most extreme latitudes were well<br />

explored, and the likelihood of finding funding for a<br />

major expedition was almost non-existent.<br />

But this hadn’t deterred Alex Hibbert, an ambitious<br />

British University student, who had his sights set on<br />

a big polar undertaking. “I wanted to ski further than<br />

anyone before without support,” he says. “That was my<br />

big aim. Initially, the plan was to do so in the Antarctic on<br />

a new route.”<br />

Over several years Alex managed to juggle his<br />

studies with the search for teammates and sponsorship.<br />

At one point, in 2007, he had formed a team and was<br />

close to securing funding. However, as is often the case<br />

in the expedition world, he was let down at the very last<br />

minute, just weeks from jetting south.<br />

Alex’s Antarctic dreams were in tatters. But not<br />

being one to sulk, he set his sights on another frozen<br />

wasteland – Greenland. Alex didn’t water down<br />

his ambition and stuck to the aim of skiing further<br />

than anyone in polar history without outside help. “I<br />

decided, ‘Why not? Let’s go for the big prize again, the<br />

unsupported polar distance record, but let’s do it over a<br />

return route on the Greenland ice sheet’.”<br />

With an out-and-back route planned across the vast<br />

Greenland Ice Cap, Alex would be able to make enough<br />

mileage to bring back the record, which previously stood<br />

at 1070 miles.<br />

Alex only had a few months to find fresh support and<br />

new teammates. He managed to persuade a previous<br />

sponsor to headline the trip and settled upon George<br />

Bullard, an open water swimmer, as his new companion.<br />

What was remarkable about this pairing was that Alex<br />

was 21 and George just 19, and they had very limited<br />

polar experience between them. In fact, George had<br />

never skied with a sledge before.<br />

You might be beginning to wonder how they<br />

thought they could take on such a challenge. “Youthful<br />

exuberance and a slight lack of understanding of what<br />

it was really going to be like,” explains Alex in hindsight.<br />

“If you haven’t been on an expedition before, you don’t<br />

quite know what you don’t know.”

Above Left to right: Hauling the sled / Trans Greenland Expedition / On a meltpool, inland Icecap, Greenland<br />

But Alex had confidence in his<br />

planning: “If we did adequate training,<br />

I brought together a team of talented<br />

people, I did my sums correctly and we had<br />

the right equipment, I couldn’t see why<br />

it wasn’t possible to go from zero to 100<br />

extremely rapidly.”<br />

In March 2008, Alex and George were<br />

dropped by helicopter on the southeastern<br />

coast of Greenland. In The Long Haul,<br />

Hibbert’s book on the expedition, he<br />

writes: “I relished the simplicity of the<br />

journey ahead. There was no momentous<br />

speech made. We simply got down to work<br />

immediately.”<br />

The pair began clawing their way up<br />

the steep glaciated coastline and onto<br />

the ice cap itself, before skiing northwest<br />

in a diagonal line to the opposite coast.<br />

They stashed stores of food along the<br />

way for their return journey. Behind them,<br />

they were pulling crushingly heavy 195kg<br />

sledges that contained supplies and<br />

equipment.<br />

With a minimum of fuss, they inched<br />

forward. Some days they made good<br />

progress, covering 10-15 miles or so.<br />

Other days they were almost brought to<br />

a standstill due to bumpy ice and snow<br />

formations called sastrugi, melting pools<br />

of water, crevasse fields, and occasional<br />

blizzards.<br />

After 71 days and 716 miles, they<br />

reached the opposite coast, their turnaround<br />

point and halfway marker. Despite<br />

having never been on an expedition<br />

together, Alex and George had formed<br />

a solid bond. “It could have ended up a<br />

disaster,” he says. “It could have quite<br />

easily led to an accident or a big mistake<br />

or us not getting on. It could have led to a<br />

number of things, but as it happened, it led<br />

to none of those.”<br />

Alex’s obsessive planning had paid<br />

dividends, but that didn’t mean he<br />

was totally immune from doubt or fear,<br />

especially when it came to crevasses.<br />

But crevasses pale into comparison to<br />

Piteraqs – vast raging wind storms that<br />

sweep across the icecap. Luckily they<br />

didn’t encounter a Piteraq, and instead,<br />

the overwhelming distance had played<br />

on Alex’s mind earlier in the journey.<br />

“There was a period where I was starting<br />

– privately – to think, ‘Hmm, I don’t know<br />

about this’…If you start to think that you<br />

have to come up with a contingency plan,<br />

that lack of singularity and thought can be<br />

a deal-breaker.”<br />

They skied one behind the other in<br />

formation so that the second would benefit<br />

from flattened tracks. Days were broken<br />

down into ski sessions of 60 minutes with<br />

10-minute rests. This routine went on for<br />

11 to 12 hours a day until the pair settled<br />

into their tent at night, something that<br />

could become a life-or-death situation itself<br />

if high winds arose when it was time to<br />

make camp.<br />

Evenings were spent preparing<br />

dehydrated meals, tending to injuries,<br />

making equipment repairs, checking in<br />

back home and logging diary entries.<br />

Routine was the order of the day, but<br />

humour also played a role. “After a really<br />

bad day, with high winds in your face, cold<br />

temperatures, not much progress, difficult<br />

to navigate, you get the tent up and dive<br />

inside,” says Alex. “The two of us just<br />

sat down for two seconds and chuckled<br />

to each other, because we realised the<br />

ridiculousness of where we were and what<br />

we were doing.”<br />

Alex and George had buried food<br />

stores under the snow to lighten their load<br />

on the outward journey. They made a snow<br />

structure around the burial site and logged<br />

its location on their GPS device. What they<br />

had to do now was to hone in on these vital<br />

supplies, and dogleg from depot to depot.<br />

This went smoothly until the final 100<br />

miles, where months of exposure to the<br />

elements made it impossible to locate the<br />

last two lifelines.<br />

“It was a feeling of, ‘Oh, s***’. We<br />

are still a long way from the coast and we<br />

don’t have very much food left to last,”<br />

recalls Alex. All the pair had left was a<br />

few flapjacks. With such meagre rations,<br />

they had to fight off dangerously low blood<br />

sugar levels and the risk of simultaneously<br />

fainting during skiing sessions.<br />

The exhausted duo trod a fine line<br />

between calling for rescue and pushing on<br />

into oblivion, and Alex recognised this. “I<br />

knew that there was going to be crevassing<br />

ahead,” he says. “I knew we were going to<br />

start to deteriorate physically pretty quickly.<br />

We were in a bit of a dark hole after that<br />

day.”<br />

It didn’t help that their expedition<br />

manager suggested they were only just<br />

in range for a helicopter evacuation. But<br />

interestingly Alex had somewhat expected<br />

this scenario. So, with some confidence,<br />


equip<br />

yourself!<br />

Helicopter ride into Greenland<br />

he put aside thoughts of rescue and set<br />

about pushing to the finish. Helicopter<br />

evacuation or a food drop would have<br />

killed off their record plans.<br />

In The Long Haul Alex writes: “On<br />

the one hand was the decision of<br />

Shackleton to abandon his South Pole<br />

attempt…on the other are tragic stories of<br />

inexperienced clients and under-pressure<br />

guides on Mount Everest… I felt that<br />

the situation George and I were in fell<br />

somewhere in the middle – a calculated<br />

risk to finish the job combined with a<br />

desire to come home alive.”<br />

And come home they did. On the<br />

16th July 2008, the pair hauled their<br />

emaciated bodies over the finish line,<br />

having journeyed some 1374 miles in<br />

113 days. Nobody in history had travelled<br />

further without support on foot in the<br />

Polar Regions.<br />

Pen Hadow, the only person to have<br />

trekked solo from Canada to the North<br />

Pole, said at the time: “The figures<br />

alone are astounding. It rightly deserves<br />

to be remembered as a classic polar<br />

achievement, regardless of its moment<br />

in history.”<br />

Three years later Aleksander<br />

Gamme of Norway skied 1,404 miles in<br />

Antarctica. Gamme had broken the record<br />

for the longest unsupported polar journey<br />

in history, and it remains the record to<br />

this day. However, Hibbert and Bullard’s<br />

journey is still the Arctic benchmark. Quite<br />

remarkable when you consider they were<br />

barely out of their teens.<br />

" I felt that the<br />

situation George<br />

and I were in fell<br />

somewhere in the<br />

middle – a calculated<br />

risk to finish the job<br />

combined with a<br />

desire to come<br />

home alive.”<br />

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“He makes himself ridiculous<br />

who is forever repeating the same<br />

mistake” Horace<br />

The quote came to mind as we rocked up to the<br />

Rafting New Zealand headquarters in Turangi to sign in<br />

for the <strong>2019</strong> edition of the River Wild Raft and Run race.<br />

We’ve been participating in the event every year since<br />

its conception in 2013 and every year we arrive in the<br />

same slightly dishevelled state; usually a little hungover<br />

from the night before with our bodies carrying numerous<br />

injuries which are a sign of our age, not due to any sort<br />

of overtraining. Actually, our bodies also tend to go into a<br />

slight state of shock at the thought of rafting 16km and<br />

running 8km as we mutter under our breaths, “maybe we<br />

should have done some training.”<br />

However, this is one of the things that makes this<br />

event stand out from all others. It’s not about being the<br />

fastest down the river, although we all secretly covet that<br />

spot, and its not about being the fastest on the 8km run,<br />

it’s simply about taking part with a group of friends or<br />

colleagues and the sense of camaraderie it creates.<br />

By Lynne Dickinson<br />

Images compliments of Rafting New Zealand<br />

Stu's Crew navigating our way through one of the 60+<br />

28//WHERE ACTIONS rapids SPEAK on the LOUDER Tongariro THAN River, WORDS/#217<br />

all smiles.

Above and below: Stu's Crew enjoying the ride both<br />

on and off the river<br />

"The River Wild is an event<br />

for anyone and everyone,<br />

it’s a great event for friends,<br />

family and there is a fantastic<br />

opportunity for corporates<br />

and companies to use this<br />

event for team building."<br />

Rafting New Zealand & The River Wild<br />

The River Wild is hosted each year by Rafting New<br />

Zealand in Turangi. They offer a wide range of white<br />

water rafting trips from family float trips to Grade 5<br />

white water , raft-fishing and overnight trips.<br />

The perfect activity for a family, a group of friends or<br />

as a corporate challenge. Contact the team at Rafting<br />

New Zealand to find out more:<br />

raftingnewzealand.com<br />

0800 865 226<br />

Being regular fixtures at this event<br />

has meant we have got to know the<br />

staff well and they seem to enjoy our<br />

rather unorthodox style. So much so<br />

that we have been lucky enough to have<br />

the same guide (at both our and their<br />

request) for the past three years. We<br />

first stumbled across Stu when we were<br />

competing in the Spring Challenge a few<br />

years back during the rafting section<br />

of the race. He was politely giving us<br />

the safety briefing and commands for<br />

rafting, to which one of the girls yelled,<br />

“we’ve done this before, just paddle.”<br />

We then blitzed it down the Tarawera<br />

River in record time, telling jokes, talking<br />

inappropriately and laughing the whole<br />

way down. Seems Stu enjoyed our<br />

company as much as we did his and<br />

we meet each year at the River Wild to<br />

catch up and laugh our way down the<br />

river. We even changed our team name<br />

to Stu's Crew, to honour our favourite<br />

guide.<br />

This year a few of us were carrying<br />

injuries so we jockeyed for places in<br />

the raft to suit our list of pains; sore<br />

knees, sore backs, sore shoulders… You<br />

don't have to be in tip top shape to take<br />

part in this event, another reason why<br />

we love it so much. Regardless of our<br />

ailments, it didn’t stop us from setting<br />

off at a blistering pace. However, it did<br />

mean that we couldn't keep up the pace<br />

so decided to simply enjoy the ride, the<br />

scenery and of course, the company.<br />

With over 60 rapids on this section of<br />

the Tongariro River, there’s always plenty<br />

of water flow so you never get stuck<br />

having to really graft it out paddling. It’s<br />

one of the most scenic rivers around<br />

with plenty of trout and loads of the<br />

supposedly rare blue ducks.<br />

As we came off the river and took<br />

our time getting changed into our dry<br />

shoes (and sipped on a couple of cold<br />

beers we’d snuck into our gear bag),<br />

one of the other teams mentioned that<br />

they had dibs on last place so not to get<br />

any ideas. Of course, like every year,<br />

there are teams that are in it to win it,<br />

but there are also plenty of teams who<br />

are there for the experience of working<br />

together to achieve something in an<br />

incredible setting.<br />

With some injuries a little more severe<br />

this year, and the fact that you have to<br />

stay together as a team, we opted to walk<br />

the 8km rather than run it. So, we set<br />

off at a steady pace chatting about life<br />

and continuing the laughs. If there was<br />

a category for the team with the most<br />

chatter, we would have been hands down<br />

winners and would have come home with<br />

a medal! We may not have come home<br />

with a trophy, but we did come home with<br />

a big haul of satisfaction, comradery and<br />

the knowledge that we had not missed a<br />

year.<br />

Rafting, and particularly the<br />

River Wild, is an event for anyone and<br />

everyone; it’s great for friends, family<br />

and there is a fantastic opportunity<br />

for corporates and companies to use<br />

this event for team building. No one is<br />

excluded, there are winners but really<br />

everyone has fun. Paddling the river<br />

you need to work as a team, you need<br />

to listen and understand, you need to<br />

perform but you also need to know when<br />

to stop and enjoy the ride. Set amongst<br />

the most amazing scenic background<br />

in the North Island this is an event for<br />

everyone to enjoy. My only advice is<br />

book early – we have!<br />


The dust settles.<br />

Shoulder your Manaslu<br />

Breathe in. Buckle up.<br />

Zip, clip, adjust.<br />

Life loaded on your back<br />

A dirt track at your feet.<br />

Brace yourself.<br />

This is The Carry Moment<br />

Breathe out, and go.


By Erik Skilling<br />

The Taiwanese really get what<br />

cycling is all about. Cycling in another<br />

country is always a buzz, but Taiwan also<br />

offers a great climate with temperatures<br />

between 21 and 26 0 C and light breezes<br />

all day. Add to that smooth tar-seal/<br />

roads, a culture where it is ok to share<br />

the road with bikes, a wide variety of<br />

terrain to choose from, and at the end of<br />

the day NZ$4.20 for a 600ml bottle of<br />

cold Taiwan Gold Lager, and you see the<br />

attraction as a place to cycle.<br />

In our case we had added a bit of tension to our trip by choosing to ride to the<br />

top of the Mount Wuling undeniably one of the toughest mountain climbs on offer<br />

anywhere. A continuous gut-busting 55 km of climbing at an average 8% gradient,<br />

into the thin airs at 3,275 metres, or 10,740 feet. To put it into perspective, the<br />

summit tops Mt Aspiring by about 240 metres.<br />

There were consolations. The road surfaces are a cyclist dream, clean and<br />

genuinely smooth, and shared with very considerate drivers. We were also followed<br />

by a van loaded with water, packed with bananas, apples, passionfruit and enough<br />

packets of gels, electrolytes, biscuits, lollies and dried fruit to fuel the next 10 cycling<br />

tours. The best news though was the main climb was split over two days - 1,865<br />

metres the first day and a mere 1,300 metres the next. Easy.<br />


Switchbacks approaching the summit of Mt Wuling<br />

Our group of 11 cyclists could not be more diverse, ranging from novice cyclists who were<br />

very happy to accept an E-bike, to Brett who recently completed the Tour of Aoteroa – 3,000km<br />

of mainly off-road cycling from Reinga to Bluff, carrying all his gear. Even more intimidating,<br />

Brett completed/finished in 19 days. Although obviously born with titanium knees, the<br />

achievement demands respect. /Respect.<br />

In between are 3 of us over-60’s who were very happy to accept almost brand-new Giant<br />

Advanced bikes with its smart looking climbing frame and Integra gear including a very<br />

forgiving 34 sprocket in the cassette. The low-body-fat members of the group either had their<br />

own bikes or were very happy with the Giant Propel, 8.5kg of Aero-bike replete electric gearchange.<br />

Like they needed that advantage.<br />

"The road surfaces are<br />

a cyclist dream, clean<br />

and genuinely smooth,<br />

and shared with very<br />

considerate drivers."<br />

The team from Giant <strong>Adventure</strong>s were our chosen guides. Highly organised, cheerful and<br />

sometimes tolerant group of 3 very capable cyclists. Min took up point position at the front<br />

of the group. Weighing less than 50 Kg dripping wet, loaded with camera and gels, she came<br />

armed with a whistle that she blew with a gusto way out of proportion to her diminutive size,<br />

warning us of hazards, upcoming intersections, traffic lights and breaks.<br />


"We had added a bit of tension<br />

to our trip by choosing to ride<br />

to the top of the Mount Wuling<br />

undeniably one of the toughest<br />

mountain climbs on offer anywhere.<br />

A continuous gut-busting 55 km of<br />

climbing at an average 8% gradient,<br />

into the thin airs at 3,275 metres."<br />

Above: Out of the saddle for one last effort before a lunch stop<br />

Right clockwise from top left: Setting out for the final leg. A short time later the group would be spread over several kilometres / Angry<br />

temple guardian / Morning briefing; distances, gradients, food stops, places of interest / Some much needed encouragememt along<br />

the way / The summit of Mt Wuling 3,275 metres / Doing the macho thing at the entrance to the National Park<br />

Sunny, another slightly built pack of<br />

human Taiwanese cycling machinery, at the<br />

back to keep us on track after photos stops.<br />

Lastly Kevin, dedicated photographer and van<br />

driver, with an encouraging “keep going, not<br />

far now” smile.<br />

Each morning Min gave us a<br />

comprehensive briefing on weather, road<br />

gradients, expected stopping points and<br />

landmarks to look out for along the way. Then<br />

into a short stretching session. Each day our<br />

guides made sure we had plenty of stops to<br />

take photos, refill water bottles and load up<br />

with snacks, or just to take in the sights.<br />

The first day started off as a deceptively<br />

cruisy trip out of Yuanlin, onto Jiji a dedicated<br />

cycle trail past small but immaculately<br />

cultivated farms, and then we glided through<br />

small villages and markets. The route includes<br />

the Taoist Wuchang temple, built after the<br />

original temple was destroyed in infamous 921<br />

earthquake of 1990. The original temple was<br />

not demolished, standing as a symbol to the<br />

devastating power of the earthquake.<br />

Then we hit the first hill. The phrase, “it<br />

starts to climb after this village” just didn’t<br />

do justice to the 13 km of non-stop climbing,<br />

which just got steeper and steeper as I cursed<br />

the lack of training before leaving NZ. I admit<br />

though it was very pleasant getting into the<br />

bush-clad hills, the smoothness of an almost<br />

new bike, and no time pressures.<br />

Two empty water-bottles later we were<br />

looking out over Sun Moon lake. The wind up<br />

here was very light and hardly a ripple broke<br />

the surface of the water. I craved a quick<br />

swim to cool down and settle my jelly-legs, but<br />

swimming is banned so we had to settle for<br />

cycling along the of-road trail to our hotel and<br />

a hot shower.<br />

Sun Moon Lake is a popular tourist<br />

destination, with several temples set in the<br />

bush-clad hills and plenty of well-marked trails.<br />

A gently rolling cycle track runs for most of the<br />

30km loop around the lake, popular with many<br />

groups of families on rented bikes. The main<br />

village had that busy resort town feel to it –<br />

although a very modern and very Asian version<br />

of one, with several tall hotel blocks and the<br />

tantalising aromas of Asian cuisine from the<br />

many restaurants and street stalls hanging in<br />

the air.<br />

Next day we joined the 'Come Bike Day'<br />

fun ride around the Lake, with 4 of the group<br />

finishing in the top 10. But racing was not<br />

really what this event was all about. Before<br />

the start all 500 or so participants join in<br />

a synchronised warm-up session to some<br />

serious drum-and-bass. It was all too much<br />

for our token Californian Mamil who broke<br />

ranks with some sort of uncoordinated break<br />

dancing. Amusing for the locals but humbling<br />

for us.<br />

The last event of the day was a highly<br />

competitive race around the paddock for the<br />

under 5's. More entertaining than the attempt<br />

at break dancing, with heaps more skill and<br />

coordination involved. But not as satisfying as<br />

the glass of Taiwan Gold over lunch.<br />

Next day was 1865 metre day. 55 km with<br />

35 km of climbing. The signs were good - the<br />

coldest start by far. A freezing 20 0 C with a high<br />

of 23 0 C but cooling at altitude, and once again<br />

just a slight breeze. Perfect riding weather.<br />

After a very pleasant cruise along dual<br />

carriageway for an hour or so, we stopped to fill<br />

water bottles and load up with electrolytes and<br />

gels and then the ascent began. It wasn't long<br />

before the corners turned into switchbacks,<br />

legs were burning and speeds plummeted -<br />

down to single figures in my case.<br />

Once again, the locals excelled<br />

themselves with plenty of ni hao and jia you,<br />

pronounced jar yoh and meaning 'more gas'. I<br />

am getting even more hooked on this place.<br />

The last 50 metres is a demoralising<br />

switch-back up the step driveway to the hotel,<br />

but almost everyone else is already there,<br />

waiting to cheer me up the hill in one last lung<br />

aching burst before collapsing in the car park.<br />

Tomorrow a mere 1,300 metres to the top.<br />

Early start. About 16 0 C and the Taiwanese<br />

are rugged up like we are going skiing. A mere<br />

20km and 1,310 metres to go.<br />

Within a few km we are a lot more spread<br />

out than usual. The lead group is down to 3<br />

people. Even the E-bike riders are noticing the<br />

extra effort in the thinner air.<br />

Up ahead I can see the top covered in thin<br />

mist. Some serious drop-offs give spectacular<br />

views of rugged valleys with the odd terraced<br />

farms, all facing the rising sun.<br />

The legs are doing ok, but the heart rate<br />

feels like it is heading for max at every rise.<br />

I reach around 2,700 metres and 11 km to<br />

go. The van is parked at the next corner and<br />

suddenly the thought of another 500 metres<br />

at 11% to 13% gradient is too much. I bail.<br />

Steve encourages me to walk 100 metres<br />

and then give it another go. I walk about 30<br />

metres, but the heart is still pounding and I’m<br />

breathing hard. I turn back to the van.<br />

After a few stops for photos of the other<br />

making their way up, we reach the top to find<br />

the lead group of 3 waiting. Kevin reached<br />

there just in time to throw up. I console myself<br />

knowing that, and also knowing I now have<br />

just the reason I need to come back soon.<br />

Only between now and then I will have put<br />

in a few miles on the Bruce Road, with a few<br />

trips to the Dome shelter for that extra altitude<br />

training.<br />





Between the Towering peaks of the Southern Alps and the Wild Waters of the<br />

Tasman Sea, lies one of the most remote regions in New Zealand; the West Coast<br />

or Westland as otherwise known. It’s an area truly dominated by nature and its<br />

many forms, from Nikau palm rainforests of the North, to the glaciated valleys and<br />

fortress-like peaks of the South.<br />

It’s an astounding fact that this stretch of Coast is over 600km long and<br />

home to only 1% of the Country’s population, leaving a lot of space to roam and<br />

explore. While much can be seen not too far from the State Highway, you will<br />

need adequate gear and potentially helicopters to go off and explore some of the<br />

otherwise unexplorable inner realms. The West Coast is often well-known for its<br />

less-than-favourable weather patterns, with heavy storms often rolling in from the<br />

Tasman Sea.<br />

The ‘Coasters’ are a friendly and independent community who will no doubt,<br />

add to your amazing experience following this rugged coastline. I’ve been lucky<br />

enough to travel the length of the West Coast on multiple occasions, only to<br />

find myself captivated yet astounded by its remoteness and startling change in<br />

ecosystems each time.<br />

Choosing the top 5 places to visit along this 600km stretch of rugged coast is<br />

difficult, but I am certain nonetheless that these natural features and gems, will be<br />

fantastic additions to any travel experience you find yourself on and I’m sure you<br />

will enjoy them just as much as I did.<br />

By Jack Austin<br />

Porters beach, Kahurangi Coast<br />


Gazing in awe at the surreal turquoise waters of the Hokitika Gorge<br />

The Heaphy Track<br />

To be named one of New Zealand’s<br />

9 Great Walks immediately sets the tone<br />

for what is an incredible journey through<br />

nature. I can’t think of a walk I have done<br />

that covers more different ecosystems<br />

than the Heaphy Track. Being the Longest<br />

of the Great walks done on foot at 78km,<br />

the journey takes you from the rugged<br />

coastline and Nikau Rainforest of the West<br />

Coast, right through the baron plains of<br />

the Gouland downs, passing through the<br />

mountain-scapes of Perry Saddle before<br />

finishing on the shores of the roaring Brown<br />

River.<br />

If you don’t fancy the 3-5 day hike,<br />

plenty of short walks can be done from both<br />

sides but more so from the West Coast. One<br />

of my favourite West Coast beaches, ‘Scotts<br />

Beach’ sits 5km from the track start.<br />

Hokitika Gorge<br />

The waters of Hokitika Gorge are often<br />

described as ‘an impossible emerald blue’,<br />

followed by “I’ve never seen water that<br />

colour… ever!” You’d be quite right. The<br />

Turquoise blue that runs through this gorge<br />

contains fine, ground “rock flour” that is so<br />

fine, it suspends in the water as it flows;<br />

producing an impossible turquoise blue<br />

hue. With just a short walk from the Car<br />

park until you reach the swing-bridge, you’ll<br />

be immediately welcomed by the incredible<br />

greens of the rainforest. Cast your eyes<br />

down to the emerald blue waters below,<br />

you’ll be wanting to make it to the rocks for<br />

a swim right away. Be warned though, the<br />

waters are damn cold!<br />

The Haast Pass<br />

One of the areas I haven’t quelled my<br />

curious nature by exploring enough of. The<br />

drive through the Haast pass I can only<br />

describe as being the most ‘wild’ of the<br />

three cross-country Passes (including Lewis<br />

Pass & Arthurs Pass.) Steep cliff faces<br />

encompassing you, many waterfalls lie on<br />

this stretch which are most definitely worth<br />

exploring including the fascinating Fantail<br />

Falls and Roaring Billy Falls ; my favourite<br />

being ‘Thunder Creek Falls.’ Another<br />

feature of ‘emerald blue waters’ lies in the<br />

form of ‘Blue Pools’ an incredible natural<br />

phenomenon sitting amongst the dense<br />

New Zealand bush. The terrain of this region<br />

is steep and allows any explorer to get up<br />

into the alpine very quickly with several<br />

back-country/alpine DOC serviced huts<br />

spread-out amongst the mountain tops.<br />


Glacier country, as seen from above.<br />

Oparapara Valley<br />

One of my favourite places to visit in<br />

the Karamea region is the Oparapara Basin;<br />

home to the highest natural rock archway<br />

in the Southern Hemisphere. Tucked away<br />

amongst the West Coast rainforest, the<br />

archways are mind-blowing examples of<br />

nature’s elements creating such formations.<br />

When done exploring here, the basin is full<br />

of amazing features to be seen along with<br />

several cave networks, astounding Tree<br />

Fern Forests and my favourite; Mirror Tarn.<br />

It’s a forest pool of dark, stained water<br />

surrounded and sheltered by tall trees,<br />

creating a reflection that is undisturbed and<br />

actually very difficult to tell where the land<br />

ends and the water begins.<br />

Fox Glacier & Lake Matheson<br />

As you begin venturing further South,<br />

you’ll realise 2 things. Firstly, the mountains<br />

get closer and much, much bigger and<br />

secondly; it’s a lot colder. While the North<br />

of the South Island receives arguably the<br />

most sunlight hours of the whole country,<br />

entering into Fox and Franz Josef means<br />

you have finally made it to Glacier country.<br />

This part of New Zealand is home to 2<br />

incredible Glaciers; Franz Josef Glacier (12<br />

km long) and Fox Glacier (13 km long). I<br />

feel it’s important to note that both of these<br />

Glaciers, as well as many others in New<br />

Zealand are currently retreating. Rising<br />

temperatures have had an astounding effect<br />

and my 2 visits here, with a gap of 4 years,<br />

made me realise just how much they have.<br />

You can still go and explore the glaciers,<br />

however if you’re wanting to actually walk on<br />

the glacier, you will need to do so by going<br />

with a Glacier Heli-guiding company located<br />

in either Fox Glacier or Franz Josef.<br />

Coming away from the Glaciers, one of<br />

the best walks around is the world-famous;<br />

Lake Matheson. You will not see a better,<br />

more beautiful mountain mirror-reflection<br />

than here, especially as that is of New<br />

Zealands tallest peak; Aoraki Mount Cook.<br />

You are more likely to get this mirror-like<br />

effect in the early morning or late evening.<br />

Cape Foulwind<br />

One more for good measure! If you<br />

really want to get an insight as to how<br />

rugged and spectacular this stretch of coast<br />

is, the well-known Cape Foulwind walkway<br />

should be on your trip itinerary. Located in<br />

the old fishing town of Westport, where you<br />

can quickly escape to the shores and the<br />

roaring waves of the Tasman Sea. Home to<br />

a Seal Colony, there is no limit on the native<br />

wildlife to be seen here along with incredible<br />

views of the coastal formations. If the<br />

weather allows, be sure to go all the way to<br />

the Cape Foulwind lighthouse!<br />

Needless to say, any travel experience<br />

in New Zealand HAS to include exploring the<br />

West Coast and its many natural attractions.<br />

It’s wild, remote and has an uncanny effect<br />

of drawing you back to explore it time and<br />

time again.<br />


X<br />

posure<br />












Words by Lynne Dickinson<br />

Images by Steve Dickinson and Kalley Rittman<br />

Most of us have watched Cliff Hanger,<br />

my husband had not. So, the night before our<br />

departure to Colorado to go cliff camping, he<br />

decided to watch it – bad move. For those<br />

of you who also haven’t seen the movie,<br />

or simply have forgotten, it starts with the<br />

iconic scene of Sylvester Stallone climbing<br />

with his best friends’ girlfriend when she<br />

comes unclipped from her harness. Despite<br />

Sylvester’s incredible physique he is unable<br />

to hold onto her and she plummets 1000 feet<br />

to her death.<br />

Fast forward a few days and we’re<br />

in Estes Park, on the outskirts of Rocky<br />

Mountain National Park, being clipped<br />

into our very own harnesses, Steve was<br />

undoubtably a little nervous.<br />

To make matters worse, the day before<br />

we had been driving through the Rockies over<br />

the highest sealed road in the US stopping<br />

numerous times to take photos and enjoy<br />

the incredible scenery. Later that evening<br />

Steve began to feel a little under the weather;<br />

headaches, nausea, loss of appetite and<br />

went to bed early. The following morning, still<br />

feeling pretty dodgy we decided to check in<br />

with the local pharmacist to see what maybe<br />

ailing him. Seemed he had a dose of altitude<br />

sickness and was prescribed some travel<br />

sickness pills for the nausea, ibuprofen for<br />

the headaches, a portable oxygen cannister<br />

for his breathing along with a box of ‘concrete<br />

pills’ and told to go enjoy the day.<br />

So, we checked into KMAC, (Kent<br />

Mountain <strong>Adventure</strong> Center) and met our<br />

guide for the day. Kalley (pronounced Cali,<br />

as in California) was the quintessential rock<br />

climber, who despite growing up in Wisconsin<br />

(not renowned for its peaks) had fallen in<br />

love with climbing and the mountains. She<br />

was passionate about the outdoors and had<br />

made a life for herself doing the thing she<br />

really loved, climbing.<br />

" It just goes against<br />

all logic and took every<br />

ounce of mind over matter<br />

to simply trust that we<br />

were indeed safe, when<br />

all instincts screamed the<br />

opposite."<br />

RIGHT: Cliffnic with Kent Mountain<br />

<strong>Adventure</strong> Center and trying our<br />

hardest to look relaxed.<br />

Image by our guide Kalley<br />



Left: Our platform for the Cliffnic / Right: Climbing the Via Ferrata<br />

We were there to experience both the Via Ferrata and<br />

Cliffnicking… I’ll explain….<br />

Via Ferrata is an Italian phrase that means “iron way”<br />

and it basically means a fixed climbing route has been<br />

established enabling you to experience what it’s like to rock<br />

climb, without needing to have any technical climbing ability.<br />

The KMAC website describes the experience as, “somewhere<br />

between scrambling and technical rock climbing, something<br />

like a rope course up a cliff.”<br />

Cliffnicking is lunch or dinner on a portaledge attached<br />

to a sheer rock face hundreds of feet above the ground. Now<br />

this does not appeal to everyone but if you have any sense<br />

of adventure (which we did) this is one of those must do<br />

activities.<br />

Our day began with a 45-minute hike before securing<br />

our harness and helmet to begin the Via Ferrata. After a brief<br />

demonstration and practise we clipped into the first of the<br />

anchored steel cables and began our ascent.<br />

The Via Ferrata climbs roughly 600 vertical feet and<br />

traverses across the middle of a steep cliff which is really<br />

exposed, so it gives you a mental challenge as well as a<br />

physical one.<br />

The views from the climb are spectacular and we<br />

managed plenty of stops to enjoy the sights and snap<br />

photos (or suck on an oxygen bottle). Although the climb is<br />

assisted in the way of ladders and steel rungs, it was great<br />

to challenge yourself to use more of the natural features,<br />

that way you could get a feel of really climbing. Regardless<br />

of the path you choose it is still physically demanding so you<br />

need to have a relatively good level of fitness. You know when<br />

you’ve reached the top of the Via Ferrata as the scene is<br />

somewhat similar to the prayer flags at the top of Everest.<br />

After a brief stop, we walked down to the start of the<br />

rappel for our portaledge lunch. Usually going down is the<br />

easy part, but strangely that was not the case. Although<br />

clipped into the rappel line, tipping yourself backwards off<br />

the edge of a cliff is simply not a natural sensation. You are<br />

putting all your faith in the line, with only your feet securing<br />

you to the sheer cliff face.<br />

As we inched our way down, the portaledge offered only<br />

the tiniest of safe havens between us and the hundred of<br />

feet sheer drop to the bottom.<br />

It’s a strange sensation, to say the least, to perch on a<br />

ledge held onto the side of a cliff by a few harnesses. Despite<br />

being reassured that the safety holds were exactly that,<br />

“safe” it was hard to really relax. It just goes against all logic<br />

and took every ounce of mind over matter to simply trust<br />

that we were indeed safe, when all instincts screamed the<br />

opposite.<br />

I focused on watching Kalley as she gave off a sense of<br />

calm and reassurance and I put my trust in her enough to<br />

actually relax and enjoy the experience. I’m not sure I can<br />

say the same for Steve. Despite his best attempt to “chill” he<br />


At the summit with our wonderful guide Kalley<br />

just couldn’t hide the inner turmoil and never quite looked at<br />

ease. Kalley took a picture of us perched on the ledge and<br />

we posted it (as you do) to our social media channels and<br />

is the image that has received the most comments, most of<br />

them along the lines of "are you crazy?" Well, maybe just a bit!<br />

Steve has no fear of heights but a lifetime of being in<br />

some fairly adventurous predicaments, like photographing<br />

30-foot waves from a boat and shooting while hanging out of<br />

helicopter (things not always going well), he has developed<br />

a good sense of self preservation and this situation seemed<br />

anything but. He asked about the portaledge and how it<br />

was held on the cliff wall. Kalley pointed to the single bolt<br />

in the wall that we were all attached our harness and the<br />

portaledge. "So we are all attached to that one bolt?"<br />

Kalley went on to reassure him of how it was rated and<br />

perfectly safe of which he heard none. All he heard was we<br />

are all attached to that one bolt and it was time to get down.<br />

I could see he wanted to get down and but didn’t want to<br />

be a pussy. Kalley unpacked a beautiful lunch – drinks –<br />

sandwiches and crackers and hummus. I started to really<br />

relax and enjoyed the experience; the weather was beautiful,<br />

crows flew around the cliff face and you could see for miles.<br />

On the other hand, Steve nibbled at his sandwich, nervously<br />

twitched every time someone moved and kept a firm grip on<br />

the rappel line.<br />

Kalley: "More crackers?"<br />

Steve: "No I’m good"<br />

Kalley: "Another sandwich?"<br />

Steve: “No I’m good?"<br />

Kalley: "Water?"<br />

Steve: "No thanks"<br />

Kalley: "Shall we just hang out here then?"<br />

Steve: "No I’m good"<br />

We rappelled to the bottom and sat and looked up at the<br />

tiny space we had been sitting on as it flapped in the breeze.<br />

We were perfectly safe at all times but something’s its is hard<br />

to get your head round, that you are sitting on the face of a<br />

cliff 600ft off the ground dipping crackers in hummus!<br />

Weeks later when we returned to New Zealand, this<br />

experience is the one that I have relived many times as<br />

people have asked me what it was like and was I crazy?<br />

I know that the cliffnicking could have easily been<br />

outside of my comfort zone, it was definitely outside of my<br />

everyday experiences, however, isn’t it that that makes life<br />

exciting. The minute you start putting things in the “too hard”<br />

or “too scary” category means you stop living.<br />

Our experiences make us who we are at any age and it is<br />

way too easy to put some things in the too hard basket; I am<br />

too weak, too unfit, too injured too old, the excuse list goes<br />

on forever. Sure, you don’t want to overdo it, but each and<br />

every one of us needs so desperately, for our own personal<br />

wellbeing, to push the envelope; take that extra step, commit<br />

to things we are not completely comfortable with, and all of<br />

us will be better off for it.<br />


" Each and every one of<br />

us needs so desperately,<br />

for our own personal<br />

wellbeing, to push the<br />

envelope; take that extra<br />

step, commit to things<br />

we are not completely<br />

comfortable with, and all of<br />

us will be better off for it."


Kent Mountain <strong>Adventure</strong> Center was<br />

established by Harry Kent and has been<br />

offering rock climbing and mountaineering<br />

instruction since 1987 as well as providing<br />

outdoor education programs for school. Many<br />

of the staff are teachers, outdoor educators,<br />

professional career guides and personal<br />

coaches who cite their passion for the outdoors<br />

and love of teaching as one of the most<br />

satisfying parts of their lives.<br />

You’ll find KMAC in the lobby of the The<br />

Aspire at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park.<br />

What else they offer: Whether you are<br />

young or old and seeking a climbing guide or<br />

looking for a group experience, KMAC can cater<br />

something to suit your needs. Programmes<br />

include: Via Ferrata, Cliff Camping, Rock<br />

Climbing Programmes, Avalanche Education<br />

and more. Check them out at kmaconline.com<br />

VisitEstesPark.com and Colorado.com for<br />

more adventures in the region.<br />




To some, #vanlife is just an escapist hashtag. It was those amazing Instagram images of people living in<br />

a van, like a crazy tiny house on wheels that really kick-started the change. But it has grown into a far bigger<br />

movement worldwide. What originally was the domain of both modern-day hippies and at the other end of<br />

the scale, retirees, now has been embraced by all walks of life for all sorts of reasons.<br />

To some it represents freedom, travel, adventure, and to some minimalism. To some it is cheaper<br />

than a holiday home and for other's it’s the basecamp of adventures. It’s become a movement, a way of<br />

life; whether it’s a 24/7 life commitment, the holidays or just a weekend. It can be in a converted bus, RV,<br />

motorhome or a van. It’s not what you park it is where you park it.<br />

At its most basic, van life is just that: living in a van, something with wheels. It has little to do with the<br />

vehicle itself. It doesn’t matter what kind of work you do, or where you spend most of your time. It doesn’t<br />

matter what specific kind of vehicle you drive, or how much you spent on ‘building it out’ or buying it. It<br />

doesn’t matter whether you travel all over or stay around one region, or whether you live full time, part time,<br />

or just on weekends.<br />

Vanlife does involve living in a van, yes. That demands a minimalist approach which is cathartic in<br />

itself – living with less. There is often travel involved which itself is rewarding. There is greater access to<br />

adventures, climbing, biking, tramping, kayaking, which can only be good. But deeper than that, vanlife is<br />

about the commitment to create the most fulfilling life you can for yourself. It’s about not settling for what<br />

you “should” be doing, it’s about focusing on what’s meaningful in your life and shedding what isn’t. Best<br />

surmised as ‘more fun with less’ and about ‘creating your own path’.<br />

#adventurevanlifenz will be a regular part of <strong>Adventure</strong> we hope it whets your appetite to join the movement.<br />





There are a lot of options around having a<br />

‘VanLife’, you can rent an RV, or a motorhome,<br />

hire a van or build one from the ground up,<br />

but regardless of where you start there are<br />

challenges to be overcome. It’s not all hanging<br />

in hammocks drinking wine and looking at the<br />

view.<br />


Regardless of what you may see on social<br />

media, vanlife is not all about hanging around<br />

your van in gorgeous locations. Living an on the<br />

road lifestyle takes work, and you need to be<br />

almost continually strategizing, making a plan,<br />

thinking ahead.<br />

Anyone who has done any time in a van will<br />

know the joy of everpresent questions:<br />

• When can I fill up with fresh water?<br />

• Where will we sleep tonight?<br />

• Where can we shower next?<br />

• What shall we do with the greywater?<br />

Cooking in a van is like cooking in a<br />

cupboard – it helps if you can cook outside,<br />

but if you can’t, then it is close quarter cooking.<br />

You need to learn to put things away as soon<br />

as you have stopped using them, there is no<br />

piling them up in the corner and putting them<br />

in the dishwasher later. There is an upside to it<br />

that cooking as with most vanlife experiences<br />

is about becoming a more of a minimalist,<br />

keeping things simple and enjoy the quality<br />

rather than the mass.<br />

Unlike a house or an apartment, with a<br />

vanlife you have to keep a close eye on the<br />

water, how often do you need to fill up and<br />

where, greywater what to do with it, black water<br />

if you have it where can you dump it. You need<br />

to keep an eye on fuel, propane/LPG. When<br />

can I do some laundry? It takes a lot more<br />

work than people imagine, but it’s not as bad<br />

as having to do the lawns and paint the house.<br />

These questions are relevant to how long you<br />

are on the road for but anything over two weeks<br />

you need to have answers to the daily question<br />

and a developed awareness.<br />


If you are not an outdoor person then<br />

maybe vanlife is not for you! The key phrase you<br />

hear is that ‘you don’t live in a van, you live out<br />

of a van’. Vanlife, regardless of the vehicle, is<br />

living and enjoying being outside.. No matter<br />

how many amenities you included in your van,<br />

you will still spend a significant amount of time<br />

outside your van.<br />

This is something that attracts a lot of<br />

people to vanlife, and it’s one of our favourite<br />

parts of this lifestyle. But it’s important to<br />

realize that being outside all the time comes<br />

with some unavoidable discomforts. There will<br />

be dirt, mud, sand, and leaves. There will be all<br />

kinds of insects; mosquitoes, flies, and spiders.<br />

You will be cold, or hot, or damp, or sweaty.<br />

Things won't be clean all the time, and you<br />

won't be entirely comfortable all the time. And<br />

the sooner you embrace this reality, the more<br />

you'll enjoy living in a van.<br />



When you live in a van, you can’t control the<br />

environment like you can in a house, and you<br />

are always at the mercy of the weather. If it's<br />

wet outside it’s going to get wet inside; if it dirty<br />

and dusty outside, then it’s going to get dirty<br />

and dusty inside.<br />

But you can make sure your van is well<br />

insulated; if you have hired a van you can learn<br />

to use the temperature controls, lots of vans<br />

have heating and aircon. But for those older<br />

ones that don't, then you soon get used to<br />

knowing what to wind-up and what to pull down.<br />

But the most significant thing, like everything<br />

with vanlife, you learn to put up with it and<br />

you understand you can’t control everything,<br />

so tonight you may bake a little, but tomorrow<br />

things will be back to normal. When you<br />

deal with the weather and the environment it<br />

connects you to what’s around you – it makes<br />

you understand the seasons. When we are<br />

locked in an office or home, we try to maintain<br />

an equilibrium with vanlife; you learn to accept<br />

and enjoy it.<br />

The other joy of vanlife is if you don’t<br />

like the temperature where you are, you can<br />

just……..move.<br />

Vanlife means different things to different<br />

people, there are difficulties, but it’s turning<br />

those challenges into being part of the value<br />

of the lifestyle which makes it even more<br />

empowering.<br />


RB009 NZ <strong>Adventure</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> Half Page Ad.indd 1<br />

One Lifetime.<br />

Fill Often.<br />

4/09/19 8:48 AM



Dirtbag Dispatches with Derek Cheng<br />

The policeman found nothing humorous<br />

in the huge, black letters on the back of my<br />

van spelling out ‘Free Candy’.<br />

He had been called out to the van -<br />

parked in the library carpark in Sandy, south<br />

of South Lake City, Utah - by a concerned<br />

parent.<br />

"It’s pretty weird . You’re got ‘Free Candy’<br />

on your van. There are children around. It’s<br />

pretty weird … "<br />

He did not seem to calm down upon<br />

finding no children in or around the van.<br />

I asked him if he wanted any candy. He<br />

did not.<br />

I asked him if he’d like to take a look<br />

inside the van. He did not.<br />

I went through some of the types of<br />

candy I had. It did not change his mind. "It's<br />

pretty weird," he repeated.<br />

<strong>Adventure</strong>-seekers pondering vanlife are<br />

often concerned about safety and security;<br />

how vulnerable are you to thieves - or worse -<br />

when you park in a public space by yourself?<br />

In roughly three years of living in my van<br />

in North America, I had more encounters<br />

with dodgy police (one) than I did with dodgy<br />

thieves (none). Free Candy crossed countless<br />

miles visiting the most famous climbing<br />

destinations, and mainly provoked fascination<br />

from vanlife aspirants.<br />

There was Caitlin, who was so inspired<br />

by the van parked outside a climbing gym<br />

that she left a note on the windshield saying:<br />

“Your van is my spirit animal - admirer.”<br />

Within a year, Caitlin had bought her own<br />

van and moved to Boulder, Colorado, where<br />

being a vanlifer is as common as coffee in<br />

the morning.<br />

There was Ara, an old man with kind<br />

eyes, who had taken to the road on a<br />

motorcycle - with his dog in a sidecar - as<br />

a way of coping with his son’s death. I met<br />

him in a laundromat carpark in Moab, Utah,<br />

where he had upgraded to a huge RV. After<br />

sharing a cup of tea, Ara gifted me one of his<br />

three $500 Goal Zero powerbanks to light my<br />

comparatively dreary living space.<br />

"It’s pretty weird . You’re got ‘Free<br />

Candy’ on your van. There are<br />

children around."<br />

Longtime vanlifer Ara, who gifted me one of<br />

his three Goal Zero powerbanks<br />

Derek Cheng with his "Free Candy"<br />

Then there were simply the countless<br />

people who poked their heads in the door out of<br />

curiosity. The random way you meet people is one<br />

of the great benefits of vanlife, but it’s hardly the<br />

highest selling point. Many have dreamed of the<br />

freedom of the road, and while few have taken<br />

the plunge, more and more are.<br />

It’s an easy lifestyle to sell. All the benefits<br />

you see on social media #vanlife posts are real:<br />

the gorgeous places you go, the immersion in<br />

nature, the pursuit of the activities - climbing,<br />

surfing, hiking, mountain biking - that make your<br />

heart sing.<br />

There are also the struggles that vanlifers<br />

don’t post online: a curtain catching fire when<br />

you were distracted from the cooking task<br />

at hand, or breaking down in the middle of<br />

nowhere, or simply those times when you sat in<br />

the supermarket carpark at night feeling lonely,<br />

isolated, even forgotten.<br />

Many fear how vanlife will affect their ability<br />

to find future work or afford a future mortgage.<br />

Some think they'll get robbed or worse.<br />

RIGHT: Keenan Waeschle and Cat Geras atop Eichorn<br />

Tower in the Sierra Nevada, California<br />


Others don’t think they could cope with the<br />

lack of a convenient shower, or pooing into a<br />

hole in the ground in the absence of a public<br />

lavatory.<br />

If you consider these issues to be<br />

insurmountable, then yes, vanlife probably isn’t<br />

for you, even though you could mitigate the loss<br />

of comfort by buying a van of opulent luxury, one<br />

with solar-panels that power a fridge, TV and<br />

heater, with a gas kitchen and oven, and even a<br />

compostable toilet.<br />

These are increasingly the types of vans you<br />

find these days. They are even becoming the<br />

more dominant breed in dirtbag climbing circles,<br />

where the cheapest vehicle possible used to be<br />

the norm.<br />

I’ve always been in the latter camp. There<br />

was the Summerhouse, a 1987 Toyota Hiace<br />

that wasn’t much more than a double bed<br />

in the back of a van. Then there was Kiki, an<br />

almost identical Toyota Hiace, followed by<br />

Doris, another Hiace but with a game-changing<br />

difference.<br />

Doris had a top you could pop, enabling<br />

this thing known as “standing” that had hitherto<br />

been missing from my vanlife; hunching up to<br />

cook at awkward angles as heavy rain poured<br />

outside was not something that my fragile spine<br />

ever got used to.<br />

Doris, with her top popped, parked by the Takaka River in Golden Bay<br />

"Social norms - from the importance of<br />

looking your best or keeping up to date with<br />

the latest TV fad - fade into irrelevance,<br />

while weather reports become critical as<br />

they dictate your next move."<br />

Doris even had a sink with a retractable<br />

shower-head that was operated via foot-pump;<br />

you could shower as much as you liked, as long<br />

as someone was inside pumping the water.<br />

I must have yearned for the simpler lifestyle,<br />

as my next van was a throwback: a 1980 Chevy<br />

that looked nothing more than barely adequate.<br />

Van Morrison made strange, random noises,<br />

and broke down several miles out of Durango,<br />

Colorado. It was pure luck that there was a gas<br />

station nearby from where we could call the<br />

American equivalent of the AA.<br />

Free Candy was the best of all worlds: old<br />

but hip, tall enough for standing in, yet cheap<br />

enough to be kind to my savings.<br />

It had a cooler (no fridge), a two-element<br />

gas stove (no oven), a bookshelf and toolbox, a<br />

coat rack, the Goal Zero powerbank (courtesy<br />

of Ara), and abundant storage underneath a<br />

memory-foamed double-bed.<br />

It could provide refuge for five sleepers: two<br />

in the bed, two on the floor on thermarests, and<br />

one in a hammock tied to the roll-cage bars.<br />

On days when the raindrops thundered into<br />

the roof as if trying to reach the inside of your<br />

belly, Free Candy provided a superb social<br />

space: three chilling on the bed, three on the<br />

back seat facing the bed and one on the floor,<br />

lit by solar-powered lamps and some fairy<br />

lights on each sidewall.<br />

Free Candy was my ticket to dirtbag life<br />

and I drove it endless miles from Canada to<br />

Mexico and back, with visits to everywhere in<br />

between.<br />

It braved the rugged roads heading into<br />

the remote mountains of the Wind River<br />

Range, in Wyoming, and the infinite canyons<br />

of Utah. It endured the deserts of Nevada for<br />

Burning Man, and survived being trapped for<br />

days in Tensleep Canyon while a fire raged. All I<br />

could do was camp at the brewery in the small<br />

nearby town and drink craft beer, awaiting Free<br />

Candy’s fate; I was very relieved to recover it<br />

unscathed.<br />

It even persevered through the -30C<br />

winters of Canada, a fate it was forced into<br />

when I decided I wanted to try ice climbing.<br />

Such conditions drove the mattress to stiffen<br />

into concrete, making it slightly amusing to<br />

wake up in a human-shaped cavity that my<br />

body temperature had created in the otherwise<br />

petrified base.<br />

Vanlife shrinks the number of your<br />

possessions as you realise the things you don’t<br />

need. Social norms - from the importance of<br />

looking your best or keeping up to date with<br />

the latest TV fad - fade into irrelevance, while<br />

weather reports become critical as they dictate<br />

your next move.<br />

You become a frequent user of public<br />

services, from toilets to parks to the library,<br />

as well as an expert in finding places to park<br />

overnight. Parking on conservation land in the<br />

US is generally permitted, but vanliving in the<br />

climbing mecca of Yosemite Valley is strictly<br />

against the rules and can attract an instant<br />

fine of about $200.<br />

For weeks I scampered up granite walls<br />

in Yosemite and, at night, surreptitiously<br />

“borrowed” a campsite in the Upper Pines<br />

campsite. I thought I had been sneaky enough,<br />

but to the trained and watchful eye, Free<br />

Candy was always likely to belong to someone<br />

unwilling to pay $40 a night for a campsite.<br />


"On days when the raindrops thundered<br />

into the roof as if trying to reach the inside<br />

of your belly, Free Candy provided a superb<br />

social space: three chilling on the bed, three<br />

on the back seat facing the bed and one on<br />

the floor, lit by solar-powered lamps and<br />

some fairy lights on each sidewall."<br />


All the benefits you see on social media #vanlife posts are real: the gorgeous places you go, the immersion in nature, the pursuit of the activities -<br />

climbing, surfing, hiking, mountain biking - that make your heart sing.<br />

On my last night at the Upper Pines, I was<br />

happily in dreamland when a Yosemite ranger<br />

knocked on my door. When I opened it, she<br />

asked me simply if this was my campsite and<br />

whether I had paid for it.<br />

I am a terrible liar.<br />

“No,” I replied with sleepy resignation.<br />

She told me I had to leave before the<br />

arrival of those who had paid for the site. It<br />

was 1am, and the conversation became a tad<br />

prickly when I asked if she thought that the<br />

arrival of said happy campers was imminent,<br />

or likely at all. She thought it was. I did not.<br />

A stand-off ensued, but my friend’s sixth<br />

sense kicked into gear. She had been sleeping<br />

in her car parked next to my van and, sensing<br />

that a fine was about to be flung, she quickly<br />

opened her door and told me roll out.<br />

The only other testy exchange I<br />

encountered on my vanlife adventures was the<br />

policeman in Sandy, the one obsessed with<br />

how “weird” my presence was in the public<br />

library carpark.<br />

If he had found my facetious offer of candy<br />

humorous in any way, he was hiding it well.<br />

I tried reason: I only had candy in my van<br />

after seeing the disappointment from those<br />

who had approached in the hope of finding<br />

lolly-filled streets.<br />

(There was even a time when I saw<br />

children waiting by the van for the owner to<br />

return, which compelled me to walk by as if I<br />

had no connection to the van whatsoever.)<br />

I tried blaming others: a friend had written<br />

the words “Free Candy” on the van despite my<br />

avid objections. (This was untrue, and I had<br />

consented without really considering how it<br />

might paint me as a potential paedophile.) I<br />

asked what law I was breaking.<br />

The cop was having none of it. He talked to<br />

me like I was a second-class citizen. The fact<br />

I was clad in my sarong may not have helped<br />

matters.<br />

I eventually resorted to flattery. “You’re<br />

right, it is pretty weird.”<br />

He ordered me to leave the carpark<br />

and, while the whole exchange left an<br />

uncomfortable mess in my gut, it was a tiny<br />

blip on a glorious vanlife adventure spanning<br />

five vehicles and more than a decade.<br />

"Vanlife shrinks<br />

the number of your<br />

possessions as you<br />

realise the things<br />

you don’t need."<br />



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YOUR WAY<br />

Explore beyond the road, and your imagination<br />

Ever wanted to leave it all behind<br />

and travel the world your way?<br />

Image by Dayna Andrews<br />

Dave Clark, owner and director of<br />

Clark Global, has always had an<br />

insane passion for travel. After<br />

a successful 20+ year career in<br />

building and fabrication in<br />

New Zealand, he embarked on his<br />

first intrepid journey from Cape<br />

Town to Cairo over six months with<br />

a well-known overlanding company.<br />

After 157 days of packed buses,<br />

camping every night in every weather<br />

condition, he learnt two important<br />

things; 1) he needed to see more of<br />

the world and 2) he needed to do it<br />

on his terms, his way.<br />

But what did that mean? Anyone can<br />

pack a suitcase, book a tour and<br />

see what the world has to offer - but<br />

that is not what intrepid adventure<br />

travellers aspire to do! <strong>Adventure</strong><br />

travellers want to explore beyond<br />

the tours and experience the world<br />

down the path less travelled. But to<br />

do that, you need to be in control of<br />

your own adventure, so that is exactly<br />

what Dave set out to do.<br />

18 months later, after returning<br />

home to NZ from Africa and spending<br />

a considerable amount of time<br />

researching a vehicle that could<br />

handle what it was going to be put<br />

through, he put his life on hold and<br />

moved to the UK. He began building<br />

his first Unimog 1550 expedition<br />

truck ‘Aroha’ with the plan to take<br />

it back to Africa and explore the<br />

Western Coast. Unfortunately, Ebola<br />

had other plans, so a new route was<br />

to be found.<br />

Dave says “It’s liberating to be<br />

able to pack up your home, set<br />

off and explore the unknown …<br />

Overlanding as a form of travel is<br />

in itself a wonderful way to explore<br />

what a country has to offer. More<br />

so than not, many people fly into<br />

main cities, see the tourists sights<br />

and fly onto the next major city<br />

without fully having the sheer joy<br />

of immersing themselves in the<br />

backcountry, meeting the locals<br />

and experiencing the culture in its<br />

purest form …”<br />

“...This experience is only<br />

enhanced when you have your own<br />

overlanding vehicle, where you are<br />

the creator of your own adventure<br />

and destiny. Stop where you want,<br />

stay in places where few people<br />

have ever seen and do what you<br />

want when you want. You don’t<br />

need to be anywhere by anytime to<br />

meet anyone - you can just be you.<br />

A gift rarely experienced by people<br />

nowadays.”<br />

Once he landed in the UK, he<br />

collected his Unimog and drove it<br />

back to the outskirts of London.<br />

Once the crate arrived with all the<br />

necessary tools to build her, less<br />

than four months later, and with his<br />

best mate in tow, they drove ‘Aroha’<br />

on her maiden voyage from the UK<br />

along the Silk Road via Mongolia and<br />

Russia over eight months, totalling a<br />

massive 41,000km and 17 countries.<br />

Over the eight months the pair<br />

experienced and encountered some<br />

truly awe-inspiring events, including<br />

arriving in Turkey and taking the<br />

truck off-road into an unmarked<br />

clearing in a forest to sleep on a<br />

cliff top after travelling for 22 hours<br />

straight. To then stay the next night<br />

in a carpark they found in the dark,<br />

only to discover the next day while on<br />

an ANZAC tour that they unknowingly<br />

had not only stayed on the cliff the<br />

ANZACs had to climb up when they<br />

accidentally landed in the wrong<br />

place, but the exact place they stayed<br />

had a monument that a specialist<br />

they spoke to hadn’t been able to find<br />

again in 10 years. To add to the awe,<br />

the carpark they stayed at the next<br />

night was on Brighton Beach, where<br />

the ANZACs should have landed.<br />

And it just got better. Seeing<br />

the infamous Gates of Hell in<br />

Turkmenistan, to being stuck<br />

in quicksand for 27 hours in<br />

Kazakhstan. They fell in love with the<br />

majestic landscapes of Kyrgyzstan,<br />

the vibrancy of Almaty and the<br />

humble nature and generosity of the<br />

Russians.<br />

"If anyone can replace a severed drive<br />

shaft in the middle of Mongolia with the<br />

only thing visible within 1000km is a<br />

horse without a rider and still be back on<br />

the road within two days ... it’s Dave"<br />

When travelling through Mongolia<br />

they went the first five days without<br />

seeing anything but the odd camel<br />

and shepherd. When they did come<br />

across a nomad family, they were<br />

excitedly chased down by spirited<br />

children smiling and waving (the<br />

sheer joy would compel anyone to<br />

stop). They were then welcomed<br />

into the family yurts where they<br />

shared meals with families that<br />

had little to spare. Giving what they<br />

have is all they know - they have a<br />

sharing culture.<br />

They returned the generosity<br />

throughout their travelling in kind.<br />

They cooked and shared their food,<br />

they prepared and smoked shisha<br />

around family tables, they fixed<br />

motorbikes, towed out trucks, gave<br />

first aid to a family that rolled their<br />

water truck down a bank and got<br />

their truck back on the road.<br />

As sparse as Mongolia is, they<br />

still drove down rivers to camp as<br />

far from civilsation as they could,<br />

only to still hear the greeting of a<br />

lone shepherd on a donkey at the<br />

front door. Being able to immerse<br />

themselves so deeply meant<br />

that they met amazing people,<br />

made lifelong friends and more<br />

importantly sparked a dream.<br />

Since the Silk Road, ‘Aroha’ has<br />

spent time in NZ before being<br />

shipped to the US to attend Burning<br />

Man and then driven through some<br />

of the most remote parts of Canada<br />

into the North Pole to see the<br />

breath-taking Northern Lights on<br />

display, through to Houston over six<br />

months just last year.<br />

With ‘Aroha’ still in Houston and<br />

set to be shipped over to the UK,<br />

Dave has now built her big sister,<br />

‘Arohanui’ which is his show and NZ<br />

based truck.<br />

Everything that Dave learnt and<br />

experienced inspired him to<br />

form Clark Global LTD and build<br />

expedition vehicles that with the<br />

right engineering will enable kiwis<br />

and global overlanders to explore<br />

the world on their own terms.<br />

It just goes to show where a<br />

passion and a dream can take<br />

you. In only a few short years, Dave<br />

has expanded his factory and<br />

crew, built a new showcase truck,<br />

consulted and built expedition<br />

trucks for multiple customers - at<br />

the same time expanding his global<br />

connections and strengthening<br />

his reputation as being one of<br />

the leading expedition vehicle<br />

specialists.<br />

‘Arohanui’, their new U1700<br />

Unimog expedition vehicle, is the<br />

culmination of their global travels<br />

and displays the very best in<br />

engineering, fabrication, knowledge<br />

and specialist collaboration with<br />

some of the leading suppliers in the<br />

industry.<br />

clark-global.com | Auckland, NZ<br />

@clarkglobal | #clarkglobal<br />


Image by Jordan Sumner<br />

Image by Jordan Sumner<br />

“We believe that freedom<br />

of travel is enhanced by<br />

building a vehicle that is<br />

100% uniquely you and<br />

satisfies all your needs;<br />

even the ones you didn’t<br />

know you needed”<br />


Dave Clark and the team bring all their<br />

experience to create expedition vehicles<br />

that drive, defy and allow you to see more of<br />

the world, your way.<br />

Image by Jordan Sumner<br />

Starting from the bottom up Dave and his<br />

team will work with you to build your dream<br />

travel vehicle. They can work with any<br />

chassis and cab. Couple that with the expert<br />

design and precision build of the cabin - any<br />

vehicle can become your adventure home on<br />

wheels, no matter the conditions.<br />

Clark Global offers a full 360 service. They<br />

can work with you to provide:<br />

• Consultation to find the right vehicle<br />

for you<br />

• Sourcing and management of<br />

procurement of your base vehicle<br />

• Import and export management<br />

• Cabin design, build and supply with<br />

their custom profile extruded fibreglass<br />

construction<br />

• Parts and modifications<br />

• Build and maintenance management<br />

Image by nomadasaurus.com<br />

The team can design and build vehicles<br />

that will satisfy all your dreams, needs,<br />

challenges and creature comforts.<br />

Clark Global is proud to be a kiwi company,<br />

offering not only fellow kiwis, but the global<br />

market, the ability to explore everything<br />

the world has to offer, their way. Nothing is<br />

impossible.<br />


Home is where you park it<br />

Another awesome night spent on the beach with good company,<br />

cold beers and a warm fire . We think someone's keen for dinner.<br />

#VANLIFE<br />


By Jessica Middleton<br />

My boyfriend and I have always enjoyed what you would call the "van life".<br />

My adventures started when I was a young girl exploring the forests and beaches<br />

growing up in the land of the long white cloud - New Zealand. Growing up in a small<br />

country you can't help but have the urge to see what is on the other side, for me that<br />

was across the ditch to Australia. I met my boyfriend Jordan Whitcombe who grew up<br />

in both coastal Perth and the outback of Western Australia in a small town of only<br />

200 people, 'Beacon'.<br />

For us the sense of adventure is to share our experiences in each other's<br />

countries. We decided to pack up our jobs and travel around Australia in a van that<br />

we renovated to be our home on wheels. People would state, "that's what you do<br />

when you are retired," we couldn't think of anything more beautiful than to see every<br />

nook of what these outstanding countries have to offer.<br />

You just can't get that same experience flying place to place.<br />

We are now living in a world which often feels like everything is in fast forward,<br />

getting in the van allows you to put the brakes on when needed, having more control,<br />

freedom and the ability to really S L O W things down and take time to realise what<br />

matters the most; this earth and the connections we make.<br />

Van life is such an amazing experience, but<br />

when you are able to share that experience with<br />

someone you love, whether a friend or partner,<br />

that experience becomes a whole lot better.<br />


One of our all time favourite drives is through the Lamington<br />

National Park , nature in its purest form.<br />

Crispy sunrises with warm coffee.<br />

"Naturally happiness is only real when shared".<br />

With van life this can be achieved<br />

even if you are travelling on your own.<br />

It is truly heart-warming to bump into<br />

all different types of people on your<br />

journey and I often feel I learn the most<br />

valuable life lessons listening to other’s<br />

experiences. As the firelight would dance<br />

deep into the nights, so would the stories<br />

from all the incredible people we would<br />

meet.<br />

Friendly locals will always provide<br />

you with deep information, you start to<br />

understand what makes every place<br />

special and see more than what lies<br />

beyond the surface. I have learnt every<br />

place has its own story.<br />

As social as we both are there are<br />

also times where we prefer to enjoy the<br />

company of just each other, sometimes<br />

you can have this overwhelming feeling<br />

that you are the only two people that exist<br />

on earth, it’s pretty incredible.<br />

You may think being in a van will test<br />

your relationship but when you have so<br />

much to explore, there’s a lot of places<br />

you can go to cool off or have some own<br />

time. We often take the hammock with us<br />

and set up little day area outside the van.<br />

I like to often research places before<br />

I arrive at my destination, you may not<br />

have to worry about being at work, but<br />

you do have to take into consideration<br />

where your next food stop, powered site,<br />

and service stations are. When budgeting<br />

for a long-term trip the biggest point to<br />

keep in mind is the cost of petrol.<br />

Being behind the wheel means you<br />

can take whichever route YOU want to,<br />

honestly, we have found incredible places<br />

by researching but also have stumbled<br />

across our favourite spots as they were<br />

unexpected little treasures.<br />

You can have a choice to completely<br />

go out bush or spend some time in a<br />

powered site where you have a sense<br />

of community. There are now extremely<br />

handy apps you can download that will<br />

give you the options you desire.<br />

Waking up to the sound of<br />

kookaburras rather than an alarm,<br />

makes you want to jump out of bed and<br />

go explore all the diverse wildlife and<br />

scenery.<br />

On our adventures we love to include<br />

waterfalls, mountain hikes, rainforests<br />

and dive trips to further explore not only<br />

land but the big blue.<br />

Since travelling in the van we<br />

have come across the most amazing<br />

encounters with animals in their natural<br />

habitats such a crocodiles, surfing with<br />

dolphins, night dives with sharks, beach<br />

strolls with bioluminescent plankton.<br />

There was one time when we were at a<br />

campsite in Karinjini and I wasn't really<br />

thinking, I mentioned to Jordan, "You'll<br />

be happy to see someone has turned up<br />

with their dog." He asked what colour it<br />

was, and I replied "sandy". That’s when<br />

we realised there was a dingo strolling<br />

straight past our van.<br />

We are now lucky to have our own<br />

dog Chet who loves the van life just as<br />

much as we do. We are endeavouring to<br />

find out the best ways to include our furry<br />

friend on our travels as there are often<br />

restricted areas for dogs.<br />

Having the ability to have a milliondollar<br />

view as your backyard and change<br />

your home is something you just can't<br />

buy. For us home is where the heart is,<br />

travelling with each other, our border<br />

collie Chet in our van.<br />

Folllow Jess and Jordan: @our_van_life_ | @jessmiddletonxo | @jordan_whitcombe<br />


X<br />

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Image by Charles Hambleton



In March <strong>2020</strong>, Lia Ditton will depart<br />

from Choshi, Japan on a mission to row 5,500<br />

nautical miles, solo and unsupported, across<br />

the Pacific Ocean to the Golden Gate Bridge of<br />

San Francisco.<br />

To date 2 people have rowed this distance.<br />

Both were men and both men were towed<br />

the last 20 and 50 miles respectively. If she<br />

succeeds, she will be the 1st woman and 1st<br />

person to row land-to-land.<br />

This is her interview<br />

How did you get into ocean<br />

rowing? How did it all start for you?<br />

A Danish Olympic was given my<br />

number by a mutual friend. ‘Me? Row<br />

an ocean? You haven’t even met me!’ I<br />

still laugh at the memory of my phone<br />

call with Lisa Kroneberg. I started<br />

reading books about people who<br />

rowed oceans – there were a total of<br />

8 on the subject at the time. I became<br />

fascinated. Within months I had<br />

committed to row the Atlantic.<br />

Rowing round the Farallon<br />

Islands was something that you<br />

were determined to do. Why is<br />

rowing round the Farallon Islands so<br />

challenging?<br />

The Farallon Islands are a chain<br />

of gnarly-looking volcanic islands<br />

situated 26 miles west of the Golden<br />

Gate Bridge of San Francisco. The<br />

islands are a wildlife sanctuary<br />

prohibited to humans – a breeding<br />

ground for elephant seals in the spring<br />

and a shark feeding ground from May<br />

to October.<br />

A sequence of weather events need<br />

to line up favourably in order to reach<br />

the Farallon Islands in a rowboat –<br />

a strong outgoing tide and a weak<br />

incoming tide and either a break in<br />

the wind or an easterly/north-easterly<br />

breeze (which is rare). The islands are<br />

right on the lip of the continental shelf<br />

and subject to huge swells, which have<br />

killed many sailors in the past.<br />

Conquering the row around these<br />

islands was a huge milestone in<br />

your rowing career. Can you talk us<br />

through the three attempts you made?<br />

What was going through your mind<br />

after you failed the first attempt?<br />

What motivated you to continue for<br />

another two?<br />

I proved it was possible to reach<br />

the Farallon Islands in my boat,<br />

when I turned back 2.5 miles shy<br />

of the Southeast Farallon Island on<br />

my reconnaissance mission. My first<br />

official attempt was foiled due to the<br />

marine layer, a wind-fog phenomena<br />

caused by a temperature differential<br />

between land and sea. The experience<br />

felt humiliating because of how much<br />

media coverage the attempt received<br />

(everyone loves a story of aiming big<br />

and coming up short). My second<br />

attempt ended with another battle<br />

with the wind fog, but it’s possible I<br />

might have been able to break through<br />

the marine layer if I had deployed<br />

my sea anchor when I went to sleep.<br />

I didn’t, so I’ll never know! My third<br />

attempt was in October after I had<br />

rowed 350 miles down the coast from<br />

San Francisco to Santa Barbara. I had<br />

that row in the bank, was willing to<br />

be patient for the right conditions and<br />

when the weather presented a perfect<br />

window I dropped everything and<br />

went for it!<br />

How much did achieving your row<br />

around the Farallon Islands impact<br />

your confidence in your attempt to row<br />

the Pacific?<br />

I feel that rowing around<br />

the Farallon Islands was an<br />

accomplishment in its own right.<br />

The main take-away for me, was<br />

never give up. In the end I think my<br />

perseverance to succeed was more<br />

note-worthy than the feat itself.<br />

You spoke a lot about your<br />

mentality during your rows. How do<br />

you keep yourself motivated when<br />

you’re struggling?<br />

I try and think of the bigger<br />

picture – the education programme<br />

for 4-11 year old children who are<br />

following along as well as my amazing<br />

family of Believers who contribute<br />

monthly on my crowdfunding platform<br />

Patreon.com/rowliarow. My Believers<br />

are terrific at offering encouragement.<br />

Can you chat to us about your<br />

boat? How does it work/ where do you<br />

sleep/ what does it look like? What<br />

technology is there on board?<br />

My boat is a 21-foot ocean rowboat<br />

with a cabin at one end and a storage<br />

compartment at the other. I row<br />

on a sliding seat. I have a Katadyn<br />

desalination unit onboard, which<br />

enables me to convert seawater into<br />

drinkable water, a GPS antenna<br />

to determine my position and AIS<br />

(automatic identification system) to<br />

see other ships and for them to seem<br />

me. My YellowBrick tracker shows<br />

you where I am on my website and to<br />

communicate I use a Garmin InReach<br />

satellite device that enables me to<br />

send text messages using my iPhone.<br />

What is it like on your boat, during<br />

a storm? Do you feel safe? What goes<br />

through your mind?<br />

Storms don’t usually appear out of<br />

nowhere. The sky changes, the waves<br />

build. You know something is coming.<br />

Hopefully this gives you enough time<br />

to get ready – tidy up, tie down any<br />

lose items, make food, wash. As the<br />

storm arrives, the important thing is<br />

to monitor how the boat is riding the<br />

waves and make frequent equipment<br />

checks. I have faith that my boat is<br />

designed to withstand the conditions,<br />

but storms are still stressful because<br />

no storm is the same. It’s hard to<br />

sleep, but even harder to eat and use<br />

the toilet bucket!<br />


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"To date, I have rowed 2,067<br />

miles in training. By the<br />

time I ship my boat to Japan,<br />

I am hoping to have rowed<br />

the equivalent of half the<br />

Pacific (3,000 miles)."<br />

Image byChristian Agha<br />

What is your training regime like?<br />

I try and do as much of my training in<br />

my boat as possible. Nothing beats doing the<br />

thing you’re training for! Off the boat, I swim<br />

once a week with a full-face mask so I breathe<br />

through my nose and train my diaphragm. I<br />

do Bikram (hot) yoga for a serious stretch and<br />

a minimum of 2 strength and conditioning<br />

workouts in the gym.<br />

You mentioned your diet is completely<br />

different whilst you’re preparing for a row,<br />

to what it’s like normally. Can you talk us<br />

through that?<br />

I expect to lose up to 23KG while rowing<br />

the Pacific and so have been trying to gain as<br />

much weight as possible, preferably muscle.<br />

I have succeeded in packing on 13.6KG! To<br />

achieve this I cover everything I eat in oil and<br />

lean towards calorie-rich foods like Parmesan<br />

cheese and dark chocolate.<br />

training. By the time I ship my boat to Japan,<br />

I am hoping to have rowed the equivalent<br />

of half the Pacific (3,000 miles). Time on the<br />

water breeds experience and with experience<br />

confidence develops.<br />

What would you say is the most important<br />

thing you’ve learned, that you’ll take with you<br />

into your attempt to cross the Pacific?<br />

I have been through so many trials just<br />

to get to the point of departing on my trans-<br />

Pacific record attempt. Above all else, I have<br />

learned humility. Anything can and will<br />

happen and my job is to stay grounded and<br />

persevere through the storms and the calms.<br />

What are you most worried about?<br />

Not being able to give the row a go –<br />

through lack of finance, bureaucracy getting<br />

my boat to the start line or an issue I can’t<br />

even imagine right now.<br />

What initially made you want to attempt a<br />

solo crossing of the Pacific?<br />

I met a man who had just completed<br />

a row of the North Pacific with a rowing<br />

partner. His rowing partner said the crossing<br />

couldn’t be done solo. Two French men had<br />

come close rowing solo in 1991 and 2005, but<br />

both had been towed the last 20 and 50 miles<br />

respectively to land.<br />

What advice would you give someone who<br />

was just getting into ocean rowing?<br />

All of it is part of the adventure –<br />

preparing the boat, raising the money,<br />

recruiting volunteers and managing sponsors.<br />

The row is the pay off at the end – be sure to<br />

open your eyes and soak up the beauty of the<br />

ocean. You don’t know when you’ll be out there<br />

again.<br />

Image by Alex Sher<br />

You said that everything you’ve done up<br />

until this point has been, in essence, training<br />

for your attempt to row the Pacific. How do<br />

you feel your rowing experience up until<br />

this point has prepared you for the Pacific<br />

crossing?<br />

To date, I have rowed 2,067 miles in<br />

What advice would you give someone,<br />

attempting an expedition like the ones you do?<br />

A positive attitude is the most critical<br />

thing you need if you end up in a liferaft.<br />

The same goes for getting through the highs<br />

and lows of preparing and fundraising for an<br />

expedition!<br />


"I have been through so many trials just to get<br />

to the point of departing on my trans-Pacific<br />

record attempt. Above all else, I have learned<br />

humility. Anything can and will happen and<br />

my job is to stay grounded and persevere<br />

through the storms and the calms."<br />


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you're stretched out on a climbing route.<br />

Featuring a slim fit for low volume layering,<br />

the Mannering is light and durable, offering<br />

technical versatility in the mountains and<br />

at your local crag.<br />

• Pertex® Equilibrium with four-way<br />

stretch for flexibility and abrasion<br />

resistance<br />

• Durable Water Repellent (DWR)<br />

treatment to repel moisture<br />

• High-cut zipped hand pockets —<br />

harness compatible<br />

• Thumb loops<br />

• Adjustable hood<br />

• Elasticated cuffs and hem<br />

• Slim fit<br />

macpac.co.nz<br />

Macpac Saros Jacket — Men’s $199.99<br />

The Saros range presents hybrid innovation,<br />

combining lightweight Polartec® Alpha®<br />

50 active insulation (72% recycled content)<br />

with soft stretch knit panels for free<br />

movement. The gridded fleece backing<br />

is warm and breathable, while reflective<br />

detailing increases visibility in low light<br />

macpac.co.nz<br />

Macpac Merino Blend Polo — Men’s $119.99<br />

An ultralight merino blend polo featuring<br />

Tencel® Lyocell fibre for improved moisture<br />

management and softness. Providing<br />

natural temperature regulation and odour<br />

resistance, this polo is perfect for travelling<br />

or casual wear.<br />

macpac.co.nz<br />


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URBAN<br />

HEALTH<br />


At its elementary level, hydration is<br />

simple... If you feel thirsty then drink.<br />

However there is a tsunami of misinformation<br />

and we are going to tackle some of those halftruths.<br />

Hydration is one of the key ingredients<br />

to performance. Simply it transports nutrients<br />

to your cells and takes waste away from them.<br />

MYTH: Dehydration won’t impact your<br />

workout that much.<br />

Truth: False! Whether you start the any activity<br />

dehydrated or become dehydrated during that activity,<br />

if you cross the dehydration “threshold” (a 2% decrease<br />

in body weight), your exercise intensity drops off. Once<br />

you reach this dehydration threshold, you will sweat<br />

less, which will lead to a higher body temperature, and<br />

your heart rate will be higher for the same exercise<br />

intensity. Which basically means you will slow down<br />

and it impacts on what you are doing that’s is at the<br />

gym or hiking a mountain.<br />

Myth: If you’re thirsty, you’re already<br />

dehydrated<br />

Truth: Actually, your thirst sensations are a pretty<br />

sensitive gauge of your fluid levels. “Dehydration is<br />

the body’s natural loss of water through sweat, tears,<br />

and breathing. The kidneys control the water balance<br />

in the body, and when they sense the need for more<br />

water replacement, it sends a message to our brains to<br />

drink more water by making us feel thirsty,” explains<br />

kidney specialist Dara Huang, MD, founder of New<br />

York Culinary Medicine.<br />

Myth: You need a minimum of eight<br />

glasses of water a day.<br />

Truth: You do need to keep hydrated, but how<br />

much is an individual thing. Everybody, especially<br />

athletes and those at hotter temperatures have<br />

different needs. There are lots of variables; size,<br />

weight, altitude, temperature.<br />

Myth: You need to wee clear to be<br />

hydrated.<br />

Truth: As long as what coming out is a pale<br />

yellow, you're hydrated. If it's completely clear, it<br />

just means you are in overflow and what's going in<br />

is coming straight out. However if your pee is darker<br />

in colour and/or particularly smelly, you are possibly<br />

dehydrated, but it could be a range of factors.<br />

Myth: Water only is best for hydration.<br />

Truth: Although water is a great way to hydrate,<br />

it may not be the best choice in all situations. For an<br />

easy an easy activity on a coolish day, sipping water<br />

is fine. But if you're running 10 miles in the sun are<br />

going to need more water enhanced with electrolytes,<br />

are good options<br />


GU Energy Hydration Drink Tablets<br />

Created primarily for hydration, GU Hydration Drink Tabs offer the<br />

athlete a low-calorie drink option. Formulated with xylitol to help<br />

reduce gastrointestinal distress when compared to sorbitol. Sodium,<br />

the primary electrolyte lost in sweat, helps maintain water balance.<br />

Use GU Hydration Drink Tabs before, during, and after exercise to<br />

hydrate and replenish electrolyte levels. ELECTROLYTES Maintain<br />

system balance and aid in optimum hydration.<br />

Flavours: Watermelon, Lemon Lime, Orange, Strawberry lemonade &<br />

Triberry (All vegan) Available in 12 serve tube or Box of 8 tubes<br />

$15.99 for single tube or $127.95 for box of 8 tubes<br />

guenergy.co.nz<br />

Myth: Coffee dehydrates you.<br />

Truth: While caffeine provides a<br />

performance-boosting edge, however it’s<br />

also seen as a diuretic, but recent research<br />

shows that caffeine doses between 250 and<br />

300 milligrams, about two cups of coffee, will<br />

minimally increase urine output for about<br />

three hours after consuming it. However the<br />

research also shows that exercise seems to<br />

negate those effects.<br />

During activity, blood flow shifts toward<br />

your muscles and away from your kidneys, so<br />

urine output isn't affected, Plus you always<br />

have a latte in the morning or a red bull at<br />

lunch, your body is acclimated to the caffeine,<br />

so its effect, on both your physiology and<br />

performance, is negligible.<br />

Myth: Drinking water flushes toxins<br />

from your body.<br />

Truth. If you are not properly hydrated,<br />

your kidneys don’t have the right amount of<br />

fluid to remove metabolic wastes as efficiently.<br />

In other words, lack of water causes the body<br />

to hold in toxins rather than expelling them<br />

as required for proper health.<br />

Myth: You can't drink too much.<br />

Truth: You absolutely can drink too much<br />

and it can be deadly." Too much water can<br />

cause symptomatic hyponatremia, a condition<br />

where the sodium levels in the blood become<br />

dangerously low.<br />

Myth: Dehydration can impair<br />

cognitive function.<br />

Fact. Studies have shown that when<br />

individuals are dehydrated by approximately<br />

3%, performance was impaired on tasks<br />

involving visual perception, short-term<br />

memory and psychomotor ability.<br />

GU Energy Liquid Energy<br />

The Liquid Energy Gel is based on the<br />

proven GU Energy Gel, contains 30 ml<br />

more water per gel and is therefore easier<br />

and quicker to consume. GU Liquid<br />

Energy Gel packs energy-dense calories in<br />

a portable packet to help sustain energy<br />

demands of any duration or activity.<br />

Packed with 100 calories, GU Energy Gel<br />

uses maltodextrin and fructose to deliver<br />

efficient energy and diminish stomach<br />

distress.<br />

Flavours: Orange, Lemonade, Strawberry<br />

Banana, Coffee (all Vegan)<br />

Available in 60g individual serves or Box<br />

of 24 single serve sachets<br />

$3.99 for individual serves or $95.99 for<br />

box of 24 pkts<br />

guenergy.co.nz<br />

GU Energy Roctane Energy Drink<br />

Created for high-intensity and<br />

demanding activity, GU Roctane<br />

Energy Drink Mix packs even more<br />

electrolytes and carbohydrates<br />

than GU Hydration Drink Mix.<br />

The 250-calorie serving contains<br />

carbohydrates (maltodextrin and<br />

fructose) that use non-competing<br />

pathways to help maximize<br />

carbohydrate absorption and<br />

utilization while diminishing<br />

stomach distress. Sodium, the<br />

primary electrolyte lost in sweat,<br />

aids hydration by maintaining water<br />

balance. The amino acid taurine helps<br />

maintain heart contractility and improve cardiac output during<br />

long exercise sessions, while the amino acid beta-alanine helps<br />

promote formation of the intramuscular buffer carnosine.<br />

Flavours: Grape, Summit Tea, Lemon Berry, Lemon Lime &<br />

Tropical Fruit (all vegan)<br />

Available in 12 serve canister or Box of 10 single serve sachets<br />

$69.99<br />

guenergy.co.nz<br />


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URBAN<br />


DRAGON<br />


Dragon Eyewear will roll-out of their proprietary<br />

Lumalens lens technology into the brand’s line of performance<br />

sunglasses. All new and key carryover sunglass styles will<br />

be produced using the brand’s latest innovative lens offering.<br />

Already used throughout Dragon’s snow goggles since 2016,<br />

Lumalens brings Dragon’s sunglass collection to life in high<br />

definition through intensely vivid colour optimisation, razorsharp<br />

clarity, and remarkable depth perception. By filtering<br />

out light attributed to haze and glare while amplifying the<br />

light that intensifies clarity.<br />

Additionally, all of Dragon’s new and key carryover<br />

injected sunglasses (and ophthalmic frames) will be produced<br />

using a bio-based resin made from castor bean oil.<br />

“As a leader in the performance and lifestyle eyewear<br />

category, the expansion of our exclusive Lumalens technology<br />

into our sunglass collection allows us to take another<br />

major step forward to enhance our offering across multiple<br />

categories,” said Lauren Makofske, Global Brand Director<br />

of Dragon Alliance. “At the same time that we introduce<br />

Lumalens to our injected sun offering, this is also the<br />

first season these frames will be produced with our new<br />

eco-friendly, plant-based resin material, simultaneously<br />

asserting the brand’s commitment to innovation and social<br />

responsibility to bring more sustainable practices to the<br />

brand’s eyewear business.”<br />

We caught up with Dragon Alliance Director / Retail<br />

Division, Mark Hudson about the new Lumalens technology,<br />

roll out plans and the key drivers of the bio-resin line.<br />

Will the new bio-resin line be limited to certain styles? All<br />

of the base material of our frames, going forward will come<br />

from the plant-based resin. It’s something the R&D team have<br />

been working towards for quite awhile, and it’s not limited to<br />

any certain colours, it’s across the entire line.<br />

Was the shift to plant based resin something which<br />

was consumer driven or athlete driven? There’s definitely a<br />

movement, as you’ve reported in previous ASB articles that<br />

referenced Patagonia and those consumer insights (Read<br />

‘Green is The Bottom Line – Not The Top Dressing‘) and<br />

consumer preferences based on the values of those companies.<br />

At a global level, Marchon have taken the initiative looking at<br />

a number of their brands to make sure that there’s continual<br />

improvement in our supply chain and environmental aspects,<br />

importantly the materials we are using.<br />

Perhaps the most exciting part of the bio-resin line is<br />

Marchon working with a specific group based out of India<br />

(the Pragati Project) Dragon sources its castor beans from<br />

Pragati Project farmers. The Pragati Project is a program<br />

aimed at improving the quality of life and increasing incomes<br />

for farmers by teaching them how to produce higher yields<br />

and preserve the environment through water and soil<br />

conservation.<br />

How long has this been in the production pipeline? I get<br />

the feeling this wasn’t something that happened overnight.<br />

Absolutely. It’s been over 2 years and it’s something the<br />

company wanted to make sure was a long-term ongoing play,<br />

as opposed to isolating a certain brand or portfolio. It began<br />

with the supply chain initiatives but we also want to ensure<br />

that the quality of the product was maintained, whilst looking<br />

at sustainable farming practices and the overall change in<br />

production process.<br />

What can we expect from a marketing standpoint? There’s<br />

a number of elements in the go-to-market around the new<br />

line. Central to that is the product, so we’ve got a lot of call<br />

outs and logo lockups for the bio resin line. That will be clearly<br />

identifiable in the cabinet, and easy for retail staff to distinguish<br />

between the products. Importantly, we’ve got a print campaign<br />

and VM throughout all the stores, as well as video assets that<br />

will be rolled out this month.<br />

Are you passing on any of the costs associated with these<br />

supply chain initiatives to the customer? No there isn’t, Dragon<br />

is absorbing the cost of this new production method and<br />

therefore it’s not being passed on to the customer. Which is<br />

fantastic, but also for retailers as well. We’ve had phenomenal<br />

feedback so far and we’re ensuring this is communicated to staff<br />

on the floor. Separate to that, we’ve got a new lens technology<br />

(Lumalens) which will see a AUD$10 price increment. But with<br />

the introduction of the bio-resin line, no there is no increase in<br />

price. Specifically, around the Lumalens campaign we wanted<br />

that associated with Mick, which is really important for our<br />

market.<br />

Can you tell us what the green leaf symbolises? All the new<br />

products will feature the green leaf logo and is indicative of<br />

new life and it’ll appear on point of sale items and POP that is<br />

being shipped to our core surf channel retailers now. The image<br />

also reflects that of two surfboards. That messaging began on<br />

September 1 and will appear on our social channels throughout<br />

the month.<br />

Dragon recently became involved with Lipped Podcast<br />

too. Tom Wright has been integral to that project with Lipped<br />

podcast. The important thing about that partnership was we<br />

wanted an authentic channel to continue the mental health<br />

message and conversation we started with Dragon’s Mental<br />

Challenge last year. We wanted to continually reinforce that<br />

message and the guys at Lipped have done a really good job at<br />

that.<br />

Anything else? Lumalens is an important initiative, all of<br />

the new product line will transition to that light optimisation<br />

technology. Its had phenomenal feedback from retailers and<br />

consumers, so it’s great to be able to offer that new addition<br />

to the sunglass business as well. We had a staggered release<br />

in the lens colours in snow and we’ll be doing the same across<br />

sunglasses.<br />

We’re launching our new website, which went live at the<br />

time of the launch of Lumalens. There are a few events in the<br />

USA to kick off the new line, around the third PMI which is the<br />

launch of the Rob Machado Collection, in Southern California<br />

later this month.<br />



Goodbye founders John (Kiwi) and Becky (American)<br />

met in Nepal in 1996 while working as raft guides. A few<br />

years later their founding product, Goodbye SANDFLY,<br />

was formulated while they worked as guides on the<br />

Dart River out of Glenorchy. The product was officially<br />

launched at their outdoor wedding in 1999, just outside<br />

of Queenstown.<br />

This year they celebrate Twenty Years Outdoors with<br />

Goodbye. SANDFLY has gone from a scrappy kitchenmade<br />

product (pre-kids) to a product that consumers<br />

expect to see on every supermarket shelf in the country.<br />

Goodbye SANDFLY has been joined by sister brands<br />

Goodbye OUCH Manuka Balm and Sun Balm.<br />

These products are not their only babies. Daughter<br />

Helena, 15 and son Isaac, 12 arrived along the way. John<br />

and Becky are proud to say that all their products have<br />

been robustly tested by their own family on their outdoor<br />

adventures.<br />

Manuka Balm is the ideal outdoor companion. A<br />

delicious formulation of natural ingredients developed to<br />

soothe a raft of active ailments including cuts, scrapes,<br />

bruises and stings. You really shouldn’t leave home<br />

without it.<br />

John and Becky’s newest product Goodbye OUCH<br />

Sun Balm. This is a ground-breaking, high performance<br />

natural sunscreen that delivers high SPF protection plus<br />

the nourishing benefits of a skin balm. There is so much<br />

to love about this unique water-free formulation. You<br />

need only apply a small amount - much less than other<br />

sunscreens. Unlike most zinc based products it absorbs<br />

quickly in to your skin and doesn’t leave a white film.<br />

And, good news - it will not slide off your skin or creep<br />

in to and irritate your eyes. If that is not enough, rich in<br />

quality oils and antioxidants, all ingredients have been<br />

chosen to moisturise and protect the skin.<br />

With high water resistance, Goodbye OUCH Sun<br />

Balm is the sunscreen of choice for water sports and all<br />

outdoor physical activity. And, it’s reef safe. Zinc oxide<br />

is generally recognized as the safest sunscreen active<br />

ingredient. With Sun Balm you know that you are<br />

getting a tested, and certified natural product that is<br />

safe for people, waterways and ocean.<br />

All Goodbye PRODUCTS are NATRUE certified.<br />

This stringent international certification for natural<br />

cosmetic products gives the you confidence that you are<br />

buying a truly natural product.<br />

To celebrate their 20<br />

years, they offer a 20%<br />

discount on your next<br />

purchase at goodbye.co.nz<br />

by using the coupon code<br />

TWENTY.<br />

Say hi on Instagram<br />

and Facebook: @<br />

naturalgoodbye<br />


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URBAN<br />

MIND<br />


Cell phones are becoming better adventure tools every day. You can find what feels like<br />

endless apps for navigation, trip guides, even stargazing. So why, when you look through a<br />

National Outdoor Leadership School’s (NOLS) equipment list, is a cell phone nowhere to be<br />

found?<br />

NOLSies will answer this in different ways—some might point out that most of our course<br />

areas are in such remote wilderness that cell phones will work about as well as a pile of Legos<br />

for communication, and others will point to this as just one of our many long-held traditions.<br />

More important, though, is that students on NOLS courses keep finding value in<br />

unplugging. What they learn about themselves, and others, is impossible to get when a phone’s<br />

in their pocket. Now, we aren’t saying never to bring your phone camping. But take a look at a<br />

few of the reasons why we leave phones behind on courses, and maybe you’ll consider a techfree<br />

adventure next.<br />


Outside of the many tools available on<br />

a smartphone, one of the main reasons<br />

people use their phone is, at its root,<br />

distraction. We open social media apps just<br />

to see what’s going on, watch entertaining<br />

videos, or read.<br />

When a phone is present, it’s almost<br />

impossible for your mind to go “off”—your<br />

attention is inevitably pulled toward your<br />

phone. Studies show “Results from two<br />

experiments indicate that even when<br />

people are successful at maintaining<br />

sustained attention—as when avoiding<br />

the temptation to check their phones—the<br />

mere presence of these devices reduces<br />

available cognitive capacity.”<br />

When phones are not present, our<br />

attention is more free. Now, don’t confuse<br />

free attention, or even boredom, with<br />

nothing going on. When people claim to<br />

feel bored, there’s actually a lot that your<br />

brain does.<br />

Brain imaging has shown that “The<br />

brain as a whole is very nearly as active,<br />

and indeed activated more widely, when<br />

the mind is wandering than when it is<br />

engaged.”<br />

The nature of outdoor travel lends<br />

itself pretty well to letting the mind<br />

wander. Although you need to pay<br />

attention to your surroundings, you’re<br />

also spending hours each day hiking or<br />

paddling or waiting for water to boil—<br />

times of repetitive motions when your<br />

mind has freedom to wander.<br />

When we pull back from attending to<br />

tasks, we free up our minds to plan for<br />

the future, let ideas take root, and gain<br />

perspective on our lives.<br />

One researcher points out that<br />

“Boredom is both a warning that we are<br />

not doing what we want to be doing and<br />

a ‘push’ that motivates us to switch goals<br />

and projects”.<br />

Next time you’re packing<br />

your bag, think twice<br />

about bringing your<br />

phone. Do you really<br />

need it? Then, consider<br />

making it tech-free.<br />



thing we rely on our phones for is quick<br />

answers. You can look up the height of Mt.<br />

Kilimanjaro, the year proper hiking boots<br />

were invented, and the real length of an<br />

inchworm in an instant.<br />

Some of the most fun conversations—<br />

and most heated debates—that happen<br />

on NOLS courses center around just these<br />

kinds of questions—things you could know<br />

in a moment at home, but are impossible<br />

to verify when you’re in a mountain valley<br />

in Patagonia.<br />

More seriously than honing your<br />

debate skills, not having easy answers<br />

available builds the mental muscles of<br />

creativity and resilience.<br />

Research conducted on NOLS<br />

expeditions showed participants learned<br />

ill-structured problem solving (solving<br />

problems with unclear goals and<br />

incomplete information) better than their<br />

peers who had only learned in a classroom<br />

setting.<br />

Learning to cope with these types<br />

of problems in a limited-information<br />

environment helped those students<br />

perform better when they returned to<br />

campus.<br />

Maybe your next expedition is an<br />

opportunity for this type of creative<br />

problem solving…<br />


PEOPLE AROUND YOU: Many of us<br />

now rely on our phones for communication<br />

and maintaining a sense of community.<br />

This is often the most difficult part of the<br />

beginning of a NOLS expedition—figuring<br />

out how to deal with not being a part of the<br />

conversation, or not being able to contact<br />

who you want when you want to.<br />

It can be really hard. But it’s also an<br />

opportunity. Because you’re outside of your<br />

normal support network, your expedition<br />

mates become the people you turn to for<br />

advice, for jokes, and for encouragement<br />

when the trip gets difficult. With no<br />

distractions, relationships form quickly.<br />

Liz Blair remembers from her Outdoor<br />

Educator course that “At the beginning<br />

of our trip, we were 12 strangers, and<br />

now we know each other as if we've been<br />

friends for years. That's what happens<br />

when you sleep, eat, sweat, and hike with<br />

one another non-stop for three weeks.”<br />

And more research is showing that<br />

“conversations with no smartphones<br />

present are rated as significantly higherquality<br />

than those with smartphones<br />

around, regardless of people’s age,<br />

ethnicity, gender, or mood. We feel more<br />

empathy when smartphones are put<br />

away.”<br />

Looking at your phone, on the other<br />

hand, signals that your attention is<br />

elsewhere—don’t interrupt me, I’m not<br />

listening, I’m doing something else right<br />

now.<br />

When you’re in the outdoors, the<br />

people you’re with are the people<br />

you’re with. For better or worse. You’re<br />

committed to this group and your<br />

shared goal of moving through a wild<br />

place together. This opportunity to<br />

focus on building connection outside<br />

the phone doesn’t just stay with you in<br />

the wilderness—it’s something you can<br />

practice and build upon at home.<br />


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URBAN<br />

TECH<br />

a<br />

B<br />

c<br />

d<br />

E<br />

a KTI PLB personal emergency locator beacon SA2G-NZ 406MHz $339.00<br />

The New Zealand Coded Safety Alert personal emergency locator beacon SA2G-NZ<br />

406MHz PLB is compact, fast and reliable; making it the ultimate global rescue<br />

link for people who want peace of mind in the outdoors. A free Soft Pouch and arm<br />

band are also included. Free contitional battery replacemet if used in a genuine<br />

emergency. www.safetybeacons.co.nz<br />

F<br />

b Kaiser Baas X600 4K 30FPS Waterproof Body Action Camera $249.99<br />

The first waterproof camera from KB that doesn't require a case. The incredible<br />

stabilization and 4K technology will make your footage look sharp and smooth.<br />

www.kaiserbaas.co.nz<br />

c Kaiser Baas S3 3-Axis Stabilized Gimbal $129.99<br />

Take your content creation to the next level and capture professional-looking<br />

footage, every time! Compatible with Android & iOS Smartphones with screen<br />

sizes below 6”. www.kaiserbaas.co.nz<br />

d Kaiser Baas Carbon Float Grip $54.95<br />

Never lose your Action Camera when you're in the water this summer with the<br />

Carbon Float Grip. www.kaiserbaas.co.nz<br />

e Kaiser Baas X450 4K 30FPS 14MP Action Camera $199.99<br />

Designed for thrill-seekers that want stunning detail, the X450 boasts<br />

exemplary 4K resolution and Video Stabilisation to capture super clear content.<br />

www.kaiserbaas.co.nz<br />

G<br />

f SunSaver Super-Flex 14-Watt Solar Charger $199.00<br />

Putting out over 2.5-Amps of output on a sunny day you’ll charge your phone and<br />

devices in no time at all, straight from the sun. www.sunsaver.co.nz<br />

g SunSaver Classic 16,000mAh Solar Power Bank $99.00<br />

Built tough for the outdoors and with a massive battery capacity you can keep all<br />

your devices charged no matter where your adventure takes you.<br />

www.sunsaver.co.nz<br />


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URBAN<br />


We've searched the internet for some great reads, no matter<br />

what your water passion is...<br />

No Barriers<br />

The Emerald Mile<br />

The Last Dive<br />

Erik Weihenmayer is no stranger to<br />

adversity. As the first and only blind<br />

person to summit Mount Everest, he<br />

continues to pursue seemingly impossible<br />

goals. While the title claims “No Barriers,”<br />

what it means for the rest of us is “No<br />

Excuses.” Erik’s tale is one of motivation<br />

and empowerment in pursuit of the best<br />

in everyone. It’s somewhat rare to find<br />

inspiring stories without braggadocio or<br />

emotional terrorism. This is one of them.<br />

And it’s happily infectious.<br />

the thrilling true tale of the fastest boat<br />

ride ever, down the entire length of the<br />

Colorado River and through the Grand<br />

Canyon, during the legendary flood of<br />

1983.<br />

In the spring of 1983, massive flooding<br />

along the length of the Colorado River<br />

confronted a team of engineers at the<br />

Glen Canyon Dam with an unprecedented<br />

emergency that may have resulted in the<br />

most catastrophic dam failure in history.<br />

In the midst of this crisis, the decision to<br />

launch a small wooden dory named “The<br />

Emerald Mile” at the head of the Grand<br />

Canyon, just fifteen miles downstream<br />

from the Glen Canyon Dam, seemed not<br />

just odd, but downright suicidal.<br />

Chris and Chrissy Rouse, an experienced<br />

father-and-son scuba diving team, hoped<br />

to achieve widespread recognition for their<br />

outstanding but controversial diving skills.<br />

Obsessed and ambitious, they sought to solve<br />

the secrets of a mysterious, undocumented<br />

World War II German U-boat that lay under<br />

230 feet of water, only a half-day's mission<br />

from New York Harbour. In doing so, they<br />

paid the ultimate price in their quest for<br />

fame. Bernie Chowdhury, himself an expert<br />

diver and a close friend of the Rouses',<br />

explores the thrill-seeking world of deepsea<br />

diving, including its legendary figures,<br />

most celebrated triumphs, and gruesome<br />

tragedies.<br />

Fifty Places to Paddle<br />

Before you Die<br />

Swimming to Antarctica<br />

A noted long-distance swimmer with a<br />

love for cold water describes her eventful<br />

career in the sport, from her recordbreaking<br />

English Channel crossing and<br />

her 1987 swim across the Bering Strait<br />

from America to the Soviet Union to her<br />

exploits in the Straits of Magellan, Lake<br />

Baikal, and Antarctica.<br />

It’s exactly as the title describes.<br />

Chase your next aquatic adventure<br />

with a book that understands<br />

we all seek a bit of solitude or an<br />

adrenaline rush.<br />

Great as a coffee table book and<br />

reference that will stoke the<br />

wanderlust of you, your family, and<br />

any guests fortunate enough to turn<br />

its pages, you’ll learn about the best<br />

locations from the very people who<br />

spend their lives pursuing magical<br />

paddling experiences.<br />


Trail running<br />

Thinking it's time to mix up your running<br />

training? Then hit the trails. Our experts<br />

explain why...<br />

1. It gives your brain a workout: Following the<br />

ups and downs of a trail gets your brain working<br />

in a whole new way. "Rather than switching off<br />

or worrying about your day, you have to focus on<br />

the moment and the task at hand,” says Team<br />

GB ultra-marathon runner Robbie Britton. “On<br />

the trails, particularly a more technical route,<br />

this can be a real boost for the brain.”<br />

2. It improves every element of your fitness:<br />

Running on trails can be better for your overall<br />

fitness than the pavement. Andy Brooks,<br />

professional coach at Peak Running explains:<br />

“The resistance of running uphill improves<br />

leg strength. Uneven ground improves ankle<br />

strength, flexibility and balance. Having to<br />

vary stride length to deal with roots and rocks<br />

improves agility and coordination. Running down<br />

steep hills improves leg speed and conditions<br />

muscles against impact...” the list goes on.<br />

“As well as making you a better runner on the<br />

trails, your performance on the road or track will<br />

massively benefit. You’ve only got to look at elite<br />

Kenyan and Ethiopian runners to see this.”<br />

3. It’s great for mental health: Running in the<br />

great outdoors can aid your mental wellbeing<br />

and give you much-needed headspace.<br />

"Running wires your serotonin tap to your<br />

musculature. It has a positive cognitive function<br />

that we are only just beginning to understand,”<br />

says Ceri Rees, Founder of Wild Running:<br />

“Some of our past clients have suffered from<br />

things like depression, and we sometimes get<br />

mental health referrals from practitioners who<br />

recognise the therapeutic benefits of spending<br />

time outdoors.”<br />

"If you want to see beautiful<br />

places, find hidden spots<br />

right on your doorstep or go<br />

on a mini adventure, then<br />

get on the trails."<br />

4. You will reconnect with nature: Today,<br />

more than 80% of Kiwis live in urban areas. Trail<br />

running gives you an excuse to escape for an<br />

hour or so, without the faff of planning a camping<br />

trip or a weekend away. “Many of us have a<br />

fundamental yearning to reconnect with nature,”<br />

says Rees. “Exercise is a great way to immerse<br />

yourself, whether you choose running, climbing,<br />

kayaking, adventure racing, or any other sport<br />

that gets you out of the urban jungle.”<br />

5. You feel like you're on a mini adventure:<br />

"If you want to see beautiful places, find hidden<br />

spots right on your doorstep or go on a mini<br />

adventure, then get on the trails,” says medallist<br />

Robbie Britton. “There's nothing better than<br />

getting lost in a muddy forest or running up a hill<br />

‘just because it's there’. Trail running has, and<br />

continues to take me to some fantastic places –<br />

go find your new favourite trail today!"<br />

6. You won't get bored: Running up and down<br />

the same streets day after day can get dull. With<br />

trail running, you experience different sights,<br />

smells and terrain with every mile. Coach Andy<br />

Brooks is all for it: “Even on the same trails,<br />

things look different depending on the season,<br />

time of day and weather conditions. And, as well<br />

as fantastic views, you never know what wildlife<br />

you’ll spot along the way.”<br />

7. It will improve your balance: Twisty tracks,<br />

roots and rocks demand more stability than<br />

running on roads. To maintain balance, your<br />

body naturally engages your core and wakesup<br />

a stack of smaller, stabilizing muscles that<br />

rarely get used when you’re on the flat. The<br />

result is a fine-tuned sense of balance, better<br />

body awareness and beautifully strong abs.<br />

8. It's not as hard on the body as the<br />

pavement: Grass, mud and earth are kinder<br />

to your body than running on tarmac. If you’re<br />

already a regular runner, give your bones a<br />

break by swapping concrete for the countryside<br />

once in a while. If you’re just getting started<br />

as a runner, soft surfaces are a gentle way to<br />

ease your body in – there's less impact on your<br />

bones, and softer trails can also result in less<br />

joint pain, and general wear and tear.<br />

9. There's always a sense of achievement:<br />

Wherever you run, exercise always makes you<br />

feel good, but Andy Brooks is adamant that the<br />

rewards of trail running are bigger and better.<br />

“Regardless of your pace or ability, dealing<br />

with hills and tough underfoot conditions or<br />

navigational challenges makes you feel that<br />

you have done more than just run from A to B.<br />

You’ve conquered something,” he says.<br />

10. It's fun: Let’s be honest. Pounding the<br />

pavement can get boring. Trail running, on the<br />

other hand, lets you unleash your inner child,<br />

get splattered in mud, and yell ‘yee-ha’ at the<br />

top of your lungs as you bound downhill. Robbie<br />

Britton tells it straight: "Basically it's a lot more<br />

fun in the mud, jumping in puddles and running<br />

fast in the woods.”<br />


Hoka One One Speedgoat 4<br />

(NEW: Available in stores <strong>January</strong> <strong>2020</strong>, std & wide fit, M&W)<br />

Named for HOKA Athlete Karl “Speedgoat” Meltzer, the<br />

Speedgoat 4 is part of an award-winning family known for<br />

making quick work of technical terrain. The fourth edition<br />

features a new breathable yet rugged mesh. We included<br />

3D printed overlays for increased midfoot support and an<br />

overall more secure feel. Most importantly, we added a more<br />

accommodating fit in the toe box for a more comfortable<br />

ride. Grippy on the uphill and secure on the downhill, the<br />

Speedgoat 4 is badass on every trail.<br />

RRP $299.95<br />


SALEWA LITE TRAIN K (men's & Women's)<br />

The airy, quick draining seamless knit upper provides an<br />

adaptable wrap around fit making this shoe feel as if it has<br />

magically melded its ultra sticky Moto X inspired michelin<br />

rubber directly to the sole of your foot. A great balance of<br />

protection and ground feel for goin’ fast! It’s fully vegan to boot.<br />

WEIGHT: 230G (W) 270G (M)<br />

DROP: 6MM (HEEL: 18.5MM / TOE: 12.5MM)<br />

RRP $279.00<br />


Hoka One Challenger Mid GTX<br />

(NEW: Available in stores mid Dec, M&W)<br />

The Challenger Mid GORE-TEX® delivers on every surface<br />

from trail to road. It features a waterproof Nubuck leather<br />

upper for a clean look and an anatomical mid-cut collar<br />

for support. It also features a GORE-TEX® waterproof<br />

bootie to keep your feet dry in a variety of seasons.<br />

Complete with our all-terrain outsole with 4mm sticky<br />

rubber lugs, this versatile boot has smooth cushion. A<br />

shoe that looks as good as it performs, the Challenger<br />

Mid GORE-TEX® is more wearable than ever.<br />

RRP $399.95<br />


Hoka One One Torrent<br />

Designed and built with the collaboration of<br />

world-class HOKA trail athletes, the Torrent<br />

boasts competitive credentials. Created as a trail<br />

racer, it incorporates the seemingly contradictory<br />

combination of cushioning and agility. The<br />

lightweight performance is made possible with a<br />

PROFLY midsole, providing a forgiving landing<br />

and responsive toe-off. High-traction rubber and<br />

aggressive lugs mean that when your feet are on the<br />

ground they’re sure of their footing. Marry that with a<br />

breathable upper and you’ve got a super lightweight,<br />

nimble, and technical trail racer that allows you to<br />

tackle a variety of terrain at any speed. Pedal to the<br />

metal.<br />

RRP $249.95<br />


SALEWA ULTRA TRAIN 2 (men's & Women's)<br />

Unmatched durablitly, protection and stablility in a svelt and<br />

springy package. Seamless mesh upper, debris gaiter, full<br />

rand, speed lacing, 3F heel locking system, and supportive<br />

anti-rock heel counter sit atop an eva midsole with enough<br />

cush to let you keep it redlined thorugh the rockiest routes.<br />

Michelin rubber confidently sticks to both wet and dry<br />

surfaces. Added bonus…vegan!<br />

WEIGHT: 268G (W) 313G (M)<br />

DROP: 8MM (HEEL: 26MM / TOE: 18MM)<br />

RRP $299.00<br />


Keen men's targhee exp wp<br />

This updated trail shoe takes the immediate comfort of the<br />

original Targhee and fuses it with a bold, streamlined design.<br />

It's breathable and supportive, and the all-terrain outsole<br />

adds stability. Available in Black/Steel Grey.<br />

RRP $269.99<br />



merrell Choprock mens<br />

Packed with materials that dry out fast, grip on<br />

slick terrain, and protect your feet from debris.<br />

Vibram® MegaGrip®, Water friendly synthetic,<br />

mesh and webbing upper.<br />

RRP $239.00<br />



This low-profile KEEN.CNX allows little feet increased flexibility<br />

and freedom. It has a grippy rubber sole that won't mark up the<br />

floor and KEEN's Secure Fit Lace Capture System. Available in<br />

Very Berry/Lilac Chiffon<br />

RRP $129.99<br />


Keen KID'S NEWPORT H2<br />

This supportive sandal can take anything a kid can dish out.<br />

An adjustable hook-and-loop strap lets kids put them on<br />

themselves, and quick-drying webbing is perfect in and out of<br />

the water. Available in Blue Depths/Gargoyle<br />

RRP $119.99<br />


Featured product<br />

Keen M Explore Mid WP & W Explore Mid WP<br />

<strong>Adventure</strong> covers a lot of territory, so we made a waterproof<br />

boot that does, too. Part hiking boot, part sneaker, this<br />

lightweight, agile hiker is always ready to go.<br />

• Speed hooks for easy lace adjustment<br />

• 4mm multi-directional lugs for traction<br />

• Stability shank delivers lightweight support<br />

• Konnectfit heel-capture system for a locked-in feel<br />

• KEEN.Dry waterproof, breathable membrane<br />

• Radial support system adds midsole structure for<br />

better lateral stability<br />

• Notch in back for achilles comfort<br />

Available in sizes:<br />

Men: 8-13 (1/2 thru 12)<br />

Women: 6-11 (1/2 thru 11)<br />

RRP $289.99<br />




Keep your running shoes and tramping<br />

boots smelling fresh and increase their<br />

lifespan with this turbocharged dryer.<br />

Works great for gloves and clothing. Runs<br />

silent, programmable, gentle on material,<br />

240v. This christmas give the gift of good<br />

hygiene!<br />

RRP $149.00<br />


Merrell Nz District Muri Lattice<br />

District Muri Lattice features a foot-hugging<br />

neoprene upper. Merrell Air Cushion+ in<br />

the heel absorbs shock and adds stability.<br />

Adjustable clip closure. Microfiber wrapped<br />

contoured EVA footbed. Weight: 324g<br />

RRP $159.00<br />


Campfire 35 cm Non-Stick Bush Pan<br />

The Campfire Bush Pan Non-stick Spun<br />

Steel Pan has been developed using heavy<br />

gauge spun steel with a triple coated nonstick<br />

surface. Ideal for steaks, snags, chops,<br />

omelettes and scrambled eggs.<br />

RRP $49.90<br />


Leatherman Free T2<br />

Don’t call it light duty. The<br />

Leatherman FREE T2 packs 8<br />

tools into a slim, compact frame.<br />

Equipped with the tools you require<br />

to get you out of those everyday<br />

jams.<br />

RRP $109.90<br />


Knog Bandicoot Headlamp<br />

Bandicoot is different from any other headlamp out<br />

there. It’s a streamlined, usb rechargeable silicone<br />

headlamp without the bulk, endless batteries and<br />

“boring” of conventional headlamps.<br />

RRP $69.90<br />


UCO Sprout Hang-Out LED<br />

Lantern<br />

Powered by three AAA batteries, the<br />

Sprout Mini Lantern is a compact<br />

light that packs a punch and can<br />

light any campsite… anywhere.<br />

RRP $29.90<br />


kiwi camping Intrepid Lite Single Air Mat<br />

This air mat is ideal for tramping, weighing just<br />

480g. Made of heavy duty 40D, 310T nylon<br />

ripstop, it’s ultra-durable. Supplied with carry bag<br />

and repair kit.<br />

RRP $99.00<br />


Gasmate Backpacker Stove with Piezo<br />

Compact and lightweight, ideal for<br />

backpacking. Windshield. Robust stainless<br />

steel burner. Precise flame adjustment. Piezo<br />

ignition. Gas consumption: 204g/hr. Weight:<br />

280g. Output: 9,900 BTU. Fabric pouch<br />

included.<br />

RRP $49.99<br />



Kiwi camping Illuminator Light<br />

with Power Bank<br />

Light up the campsite with a bright 1000<br />

Lumen LED with 5 lighting modes. The<br />

hanging hook, built-in stand, and tripod<br />

mount provide versatile positioning<br />

options. Charges most devices.<br />

RRP $89.00<br />


Gasmate Power Fuel Iso-Butane<br />

Canisters<br />

With a high 25/75 Propane/Butane mix,<br />

Power Fuel High Performance Iso-Butane<br />

performs better in cold weather and high<br />

altitude than traditional butane. Available in<br />

450g & 230g.<br />

RRP $8.99 - $12.99<br />


deejo 37 GRAM POCKET KNIFE<br />

Climber-inspired ultra light stainless steel pocket<br />

knife, titanium black finished blade with “liner lock”<br />

locking mechanism, beech wood handle, belt clip,<br />

new “wood colours” collection available in red, blue<br />

(pictured), and green.<br />

RRP $89.90<br />


Merrell Nz District Muri Backstrap<br />

District Muri Backstrap features a foot-hugging<br />

neoprene upper. Merrell Air Cushion+ in<br />

the heel absorbs shock and adds stability.<br />

Adjustable clip closure. Microfiber wrapped<br />

contoured EVA footbed. Weight: 348g<br />

RRP $169.00<br />


UCO 4 Piece Mess Kit<br />

The UCO 4 Piece Mess Kit<br />

is made from ultra-durable<br />

material, the Mess Kit is<br />

built to bang around in your<br />

rucksack on the weekend<br />

and pack your lunch on<br />

Monday morning.<br />

RRP $39.90<br />


Kiwi camping Oasis 3 Shelter<br />

Ideal for picnics, BBQs, sporting events or outdoor entertainment. Seam<br />

sealed with 3000mm aqua rating and SPF50 UV coating. 19mm steel<br />

frame. Top air vent. Side curtains available separately.<br />

RRP $349.00<br />


RAB ARK Emergency Bivi<br />

Made with lightweight PE (Polyethylene),<br />

the ARK Emergency Bivi bag is wind and<br />

waterproof and reflects body heat. Super<br />

packable, folding down 12x6cm in its stuff<br />

sack, and lightweight at 105g.<br />

RRP $19.95<br />



Back Country Cuisine<br />

CHICKEN CARBONARA: A freeze dried<br />

chicken and pasta dish, served in a creamy<br />

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 175g<br />

sizes.<br />

RRP $8.99 and $13.49<br />


on chocolate self-saucing pudding, with<br />

chocolate brownie, boysenberries and<br />

chocolate sauce. Gluten Free.<br />

RRP 150g $12.49<br />


hydro flask 946mL (32oz) Wide Mouth<br />

Flask & Wide Mouth Straw Lid<br />

Carry just under a litre this summer – your water<br />

will stay icy all day! Pair with the Straw Lid for<br />

ultimate hydration on all adventures!<br />

RRP $79.99 & $19.99<br />


Back Country Cuisine<br />

ICED MOCHA: Our mocha is<br />

made with chocolate and coffee<br />

combined with soft serve to give<br />

you a tasty drink on the run.<br />

Gluten Free. 85g.<br />

RRP $3.99<br />


Macpac Great Walks Bandana<br />

A multi-purpose cotton bandana<br />

illustrated with New Zealand’s great<br />

walks — wear it on your neck, wrist,<br />

head or pack, and tick your summer<br />

adventures off one by one.<br />

RRP $24.99<br />


hydro flask 354mL (12oz) kids flask<br />

Keep the little ones hydrated this summer!<br />

Coming with a non-chewable Straw Lid and<br />

a protective Boot, this bottle will be the<br />

ultimate adventure buddy!<br />

RRP $59.99<br />


Marmot Catalyst 2P Tent<br />

Designed as a roomy, livable tent that is still light in weight, the<br />

freestanding Catalyst 2P has all the ideal features for a casual<br />

camping trip, like a seam-taped catenary cut floor, color-coded<br />

poles for easy set-up and two D-shaped doors, along with enough<br />

room and pockets to stash and organize all your necessary gear.<br />

RRP $399.95<br />



Summit Skillet<br />

Our new non-stick Summit Skillet packs the performance of<br />

your kitchen pans into a trail-ready solution. Not only does<br />

it improve your backcountry cooking versatility, the turner<br />

nests into the handle for compact and lightweight travel.<br />

After all, your meals on the trail deserve to be just as good<br />

as your adventures.<br />

RRP $119.95<br />


Jetboil Flash 2.0<br />


Blistering boil times come standard on our industry-leading<br />

Flash. By modelling the combustion and selecting materials to<br />

optimize efficiency, we were able to create the fastest Jetboil<br />

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RRP $239.95<br />


kiwi camping Rover King Single 10cm Self-Inflating Mat<br />

The compressible foam core expands in minutes. Covered in<br />

durable soft-stretch fabric for extra comfort. 3-way valve for easy<br />

inflation/deflation. Repair kit, carry bag and compression straps<br />

included.<br />

RRP $219.00<br />


Macpac Sentinel 50L Alpine Pack<br />

Designed and tested in New Zealand,<br />

the Sentinel is a fully-featured<br />

mountaineering pack with a 50+ litre<br />

capacity. Made from Eco AzTec® 8 oz.<br />

canvas with an ActiveX harness, this<br />

adaptable pack features a removable<br />

foam back panel, hip belt, metal frame<br />

and detachable top lid for lighter<br />

climbing.<br />

RRP $449.99<br />


Marmot Long Hauler Duffel<br />

Burly travel demands a burly bag and the Long Hauler Duffle<br />

series ponies up some seriously brawny features. A D-shaped main<br />

zipper, with protective rain flap, opens to a cavernous interior that<br />

is doubled up on the bottom for durability and decked out with a<br />

compression strap. Available in Dm<br />

RRP $399.95<br />


Jetboil minimo<br />

It's about cooking. MiniMo delivers UNMATCHED simmer<br />

control, metal handles, and a low spoon angle for easy<br />

eating! Starting with the innovative new valve design,<br />

MiniMo delivers the finest simmer control of any upright<br />

canister system on the market.<br />

RRP $299.95<br />


Chaco Playa Pro Web<br />

Flip Flops are disposable no more. Meet the most durable 3-point<br />

sandals on the market. Built to last with eco-conscious features,<br />

these premium flips stabilize and protect your feet to handle the<br />

most aggressive terrain that stands between you and pristine<br />

paradise.<br />

RRP $99.95<br />




FOR 21 YEARS<br />

Zempire Chill-Pill Self Inflating Pillow<br />

Zempire Chill-Pill Self Inflating Pillows are the<br />

ultimate compliment to any sleeping mat.<br />

Stretch material and open-cell foam creates a<br />

comfy, quiet surface for max comfort.<br />

RRP $29.99<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 />

EXPED SynMat UL Lite Sleeping Mat<br />

Provides comfort and warmth in a very lightweight and small<br />

package. R-vale 2.5. Inflated dimensions: 183cm x 52cm x 5cm.<br />

Only 390gm.<br />

RRP $159.99<br />


Black diamond Apollo 250 Lumens Lantern<br />

250 lumens of glare-free, fully adjustable light on a<br />

rechargeable battery (can also run on 3 x AAs) and<br />

has a USB port so you can recharge your electronics<br />

in the outback. Double-hook loop so you can hang it<br />

up as well as folding legs.<br />

RRP $139.99<br />


RAB Expedition Kitbag 80<br />

The Kitbag 80 is a hardwearing, heavy duty<br />

kitbag, designed to keep your gear safe and<br />

withstand the rigors of an expedition. Made<br />

using a tough and durable 600D fabric and<br />

is coated with a water-resistant film. Triplestitched<br />

seams and a double thickness base<br />

add further to the ruggedness of the Kitbag.<br />

Contents are easily accessible through a large,<br />

lockable main opening, and there are even 2<br />

internal pockets underneath the lid.<br />

RRP $179.95<br />


Blis K12 Oral Probiotics<br />

TravelProtect with BLIS K12 is an advanced<br />

oral probiotic that can support your natural<br />

immune system against airborne ailments when<br />

travelling.<br />

RRP $21.95<br />

BLIS.CO.NZ<br />

RAB Mythic 200<br />

The pinnacle of innovation, the Mythic 200<br />

Sleeping bag is an ultra lightweight down<br />

sleeping bag with the best warmth to weight<br />

ratio in the Rab range. Designed for mountain<br />

activists looking to reduce weight while moving<br />

through the mountains, for use in warmer<br />

conditions where weight and packsize are<br />

crucial to success, such as long multi day<br />

routes or summer trekking.<br />

RRP $899.95<br />


outdoor research Helium Bivy<br />

A perfect shelter for solo fast-and-light adventures. It features durable,<br />

waterproof, breathable Pertex® Shield+ fabric, a clamshell opening<br />

with a No-See-Um mesh so you can breathe freely without letting the<br />

weather or insects inside. 459gm<br />

RRP $299.99<br />


sea to summit Ultra-Sil Dry Sacks<br />

Made with a lightweight, amazingly strong,<br />

durable and waterproof fabric that is almost<br />

completely translucent so you can see the<br />

contents and has a slippery surface for easy<br />

packing. Other features include tape-sealed<br />

seams and a roll-top closure. 7 sizes from<br />

1L to 35L.<br />

RRP From $17.99<br />


anatom Q3 Braeriach Boots<br />

A durable, comfortable boot for ambitious<br />

adventures. The waterproof/breathable tri.aria<br />

membrane and Interface One lining keep your<br />

feet dry, cushioned midsole provides improved<br />

shock absorption, support and protection.<br />

2.6mm Anfibio Leather. Vibram outsole.<br />

RRP From $429.99<br />


Dive and help preserve<br />

the unexplored<br />

Dive Munda is a multi-award winning SSI Instructor Training and Extended Range Centre in the Western<br />

province of Solomon Islands committed to sustainable dive eco-tourism. Discover WWII history and<br />

Kastom culture and scuba dive unexplored reefs, hard and soft coral, cuts, caverns and caves along with<br />

pelagic life and shark action, all in one of the last wild frontiers left on planet ocean.<br />

• Direct weekly flights from Brisbane to Munda with Solomon Airlines<br />

Landline: +677 621 56<br />

Cellphone: +677 789 6869<br />

divemunda@dive-solomon-com<br />

www.divemunda.com<br />

Find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter<br />

Agnes Gateway Hotel, Lambeti Station, Munda, New Georgia. Western Province, Solomon Islands



Words and Images by Steve Dickinson<br />

When poor Will McCullough was executed along with<br />

thirteen others for mutiny in September 1834, he<br />

was halfway around the world from his home. He<br />

probably didn’t know that he would end up the poster boy<br />

for Norfolk Island. Well not him exactly but his headstone.<br />

His grave is in the Kingstone cemetery on Kingstone beach.<br />

There have been a lot of changes over the last hundred or<br />

so years.<br />

Norfolk Island is immersed in history; in the first few sentences of<br />

introduction, most of the locals will tell you their surname name with great<br />

pride and their links to the original mutineers. If it happens, they are not<br />

part of the original mutineers, with Fletcher Christian. Then they soon<br />

update you that it was from Adams or Buffet, Evans and Nobbs or any of<br />

the half dozen core historic names who joined them on Pitcairn.<br />

I am no history buff, but the story of Norfolk is as engaging as it is<br />

horrific. Set up as a convict colonially, then several there were attempts<br />

to colonise with farming. Later the Bounty mutineers (that fled to Pitcairn)<br />

offspring we transferred to Norfolk Island, some remained, and some<br />

returned to Pitcairn. But Norfolk was a hostile, cruel place and the<br />

graveyard attest too so many died very young and a long way from where<br />

they called home.<br />

Where in comparison to now; Norfolk seems idyllic, great weather,<br />

stunning blue water lagoon, lush subtropical forest, no predators, snakes<br />

or bugs. A growing tourism industry, which is extending from its normal<br />

influx of older people. Has created a new and dynamic tourism industry<br />

around biking, hiking, fishing, history, great fresh food and stunning<br />

accommodation.<br />

The cemetery at Kingston Beach<br />

The headstone of Will McCollough<br />

There is a tonne of accommodation on the island to meet<br />

everyone's needs. We stayed at Endeavour Lodge, a stunning location<br />

overlooking Kingston beach. With a blue Pacific Ocean background,<br />

the traditional pines swayed in the breeze and the waves broke<br />

relentlessly on the white sand and equally white Sheerwaters playing<br />

in pairs along the cliff edge.<br />

Currently, most of the tourists headed to the island are well past<br />

retirement age and, once there, spend much of their time on tour<br />

buses experiencing the island through the window. The upside of<br />

which is whatever beach you go too or hike you take you are alone.<br />

There are bikes and E-bikes for rent, so you don't need to take<br />

your own. The terrain can be a little hilly, but nothing too strenuous<br />

and the most significant danger is taking one hand off the handlebars<br />

to wave, as it seems to be a custom no matter what type of vehicle you<br />

are on when passing another is customary to wave.<br />


The beaches are spectacular, and for me, that was the biggest<br />

surprise. I had an expectation of rocky coastline and massive swell, which<br />

was far from correct. There was a stunning lagoon great for snorkelling,<br />

paddleboarding, swimming and kayaking. The snorkelling may not have<br />

been Fiji, but it was still really interesting – for those not will to brave the<br />

water there is a glass-bottom boat that regularly goes out.<br />

Hiking here is also a must do. The island is ringed with beautiful<br />

walkways and paths, a diverse range of wildlife and vegetation plus the<br />

temperature is perfect. A perfect place to download a map and get some<br />

idea what is available is parksaustralia.gov.au/norfolk/pub/walkingtrack.<br />

You might even see a green parrot. These are endemic to Norfolk<br />

Island.<br />

Personally, for me, the highlight of Norfolk island was the fishing.<br />

There are a few charter boats on the island, and we went out with Darren<br />

Bates on Advanced 2.<br />

We arrived at sunrise at the wharf not a boat in sight. Actually that<br />

is not 100% correct there was a couple of people kayaking in the early<br />

morning light and I asked ‘was I at the right place?’ and before they could<br />

answer, down the road comes a four tonnes of Advance 2.<br />

The boat was quickly hoisted by a crane and lifted off the pier into the<br />

water. I had heard about fishing in Norfolk (pronounced 'nor -folk’ locally,<br />

not nor-fork) but to find any details on what is available was not easy,<br />

what images I did find were an odd collection at best. Norfolk is an 8 x 11<br />

km. volcanic outcrop in the middle of nowhere, it is like a hat as a local<br />

described it to me, there is a shelf surrounding the island that goes out to<br />

32x80 km. and remains at about 40m till the drop off then it plummets<br />

for 4000 meters.<br />

Above: Sweet lipped trumpeter fish - also called a trumpie<br />

Right: Beautiful bay's all around the island<br />

We headed directly out, the wind already rising from the south had<br />

some bite to it, and the swell was bumpy and confused. In discussion<br />

with Darren, it was clear the biggest hindrance to him was the weather<br />

in terms of charters because you never know who you will get. Although<br />

we coped with the bumpy swell, some older clients may have found it<br />

challenging. Darren had a specific pinnacle in mind, as we approached<br />

he slowed and put of two small lures, within seconds of them hitting<br />

the water we had two bonito in the boat these were thrown into a bin.<br />

As the boat stopped, the fish finder was now alive with fish - not just in<br />

patches but from top to bottom.<br />

There where a range a fish quickly pulled up snapper, kingis and a<br />

beautiful fish officially called the Sweetlip Emperor (Lethrinus miniatus)<br />

with pointy aggressive teeth and a dark red mouth. At that stage, I had<br />

not eaten trumpie, but later that night, I had it pan-fried with lemon and<br />

butter – and it was excellent, very similar to snapper but with a slightly<br />

softer texture.<br />

The wind continued to blow which is an issue fishing in Norfolk its<br />

exposure to the weather, so we headed back – so much fun and so<br />

many fish.<br />

Norfolk is one of those underdone destinations, traditionally<br />

labelled for older people who want to play bowls, but nothing could be<br />

further from the truth. Norfolk has a fantastic climate with vineyards<br />

and restaurants, great surf, mountain biking and numerous museums<br />

and best of all untouched fishing. It is, without doubt, one of the bestkept<br />

secrets of the South Pacific.<br />

Air Chathams is now flying there and back every Friday, so there is<br />

no excuse not to go and find out for yourself.<br />

<strong>Adventure</strong> was hosted by Norfolk Island Tourism:<br />

Norfolk Island offers an array of fascinating activities and adventures<br />

in a beautiful setting. Visit norfolkisland.com.au<br />

Flights: Air Chathams fly direct to Norfolk Island once a week from<br />

Auckland. For more information, or to book visit airchathams.co.nz<br />

Hosted Accommodation: Endeavour Lodge – Rainbows End House<br />

endeavour.nf<br />

Fishing: Advance Fishing (Darren Bates) – advancefishing.nf<br />

Charter Marine (David Bigg) – fishnorfolkisland.com<br />

Greenwoods Fishing <strong>Adventure</strong>s – greenwoodsfishingadventures.com


TO ADD TO YOUR <strong>2020</strong> BUCKET LIST<br />

From trekking the highest mountain in<br />

Oceania to diving some of the world’s<br />

most pristine coral reefs, island-hopping<br />

across 600+ mostly-deserted islands and<br />

discovering fiery active volcanoes, Papua<br />

New Guinea is an adventure travellers<br />

paradise.<br />

The lesser-known highlands and inland regions of<br />

Papua New Guinea are where you’ll find mysterious<br />

tribes and colourful displays of culture, worldrenowned<br />

mountain treks, and the warm friendly<br />

smiles of Papua New Guineans. Here are our top 3<br />

picks for highland adventures in Papua New Guinea…<br />

GOROKA<br />

The annual Goroka Show (September) is the<br />

region’s main drawcard. Attracting over 200 local<br />

tribes and international visitors alike, the festival<br />

is a spectacle of colour and culture. Visitors find<br />

themselves enchanted as tribes tell their history and<br />

celebrate their people through traditional Sing Sings.<br />

But there’s more to Goroka than just the Goroka<br />

Show, you can also visit the Asaro Village, home to the<br />

mudmen or even visit the region’s coffee plantations,<br />

where you can visit, pick and sample world-famous<br />

Papua New Guinean coffee. Pacific Gardens Hotel<br />

(pacifichotel.com.pg/) offers modern accommodation<br />

right in town.<br />

A few hours drive from Goroka is one of the<br />

world’s Seven Summits. At 4,509m, Mount Wilhelm<br />

is not only Papua New Guinea’s highest peak, but is<br />

also the highest mountain in all of Oceania. On a clear<br />

day, the views are simply spectacular as you look out<br />

across the north coast of the country. At the base of<br />

the mountain is Betty’s Lodge, offering adventureseekers<br />

basic but traditional style accommodation,<br />

coupled with Betty’s famous hospitality. A local legend<br />

herself, Betty is on hand to organise guided treks<br />

of Mount Wilhelm (for those not on a pre-organised<br />

guided tour), where it generally takes 2 days to<br />

summit.<br />

KOKODA<br />

Huli Wigman | Photo by Jeremy Drake<br />

Asaro Mudmen | Photo by Ulrika Larsson<br />


A five-hour drive from Goroka,<br />

or direct flight from Port Moresby,<br />

Mount Hagen is capital of the<br />

highlands region, the true final<br />

frontier of Papua New Guinea. Of<br />

course, if you are there in August<br />

then a visit to the Mount Hagen<br />

Show is a must for those seeking a<br />

cultural display like nowhere else<br />

on earth.<br />

Looking for a luxury escape?<br />

Rondon Ridge (pngtours.com) is<br />

one of the country’s leading luxury<br />

lodges. Not only can you expect<br />

five-star service, but incredibly<br />

picturesque surrounds. The hotel<br />

boasts panoramic views of the<br />

Wahgi Valley below, as well as vistas<br />

out to the surrounding mountains<br />

and city below. While staying at<br />

Rondon Ridge, an early rise for<br />

sunrise is a must-see.<br />

Trekking world-famous Kokoda is not only a 96km physical endurance challenge,<br />

it’s also a spiritual journey, retracting the footsteps of the thousands of soldiers and<br />

Papua New Guineans who were killed or injured during WWII. In Australia, Kokoda is<br />

regarded as a rite of passage, and those who trek it feel an overwhelming sense of<br />

appreciation for what the ANZAC’s endured during the war. If that is not enough to sway<br />

you, the scenery you walk through will blow you away as you experience deep jungle<br />

and beautiful waterfalls. Reputable Kokoda tour operators are listed on the KTA website<br />

(kokodatrackauthority.org).<br />

@jackson.groves trekking Kokoda<br />

Flights to Papua New Guinea are operated by Air Niugini, Qantas and Virgin Australia,<br />

with connections from New Zealand via Sydney, Brisbane or Cairns. The most frequent<br />

services are operated by Air Niugini, who also operate an extensive domestic route network<br />

within Papua New Guinea. Flying time from Cairns to Port Moresby is only 1.5 hours.<br />

For more information on Papua New Guinea visit papuanewguinea.travel<br />





Get busy relaxing in Niue<br />


Take time out and get busy relaxing in the South Pacific escape of Niue. Snorkel in crystal clear waters,<br />

go game fishing a stone’s throw from the shore and have cocktails while cooling off in the pool. Now<br />

that’s what I call a hard day’s work. Book direct with us and save on your next dream holiday.<br />

0800 69 69 63 | www.scenichotelgroup.co.nz/niue



Words and Images by Steve Dickinson & Greg Knell<br />

For many years Niue was promoted as ‘The Rock’ and to<br />

be honest it did Niue some injustice. A rock is a hard<br />

place, it’s unforgiving, it’s solid, dull, lacking in soul and<br />

it’s cold. Niue is none of those things. Niue is warm and<br />

inviting, it’s lush and clean, it’s bright and sunny, and its<br />

people are warm and friendly. From the moment you arrive,<br />

you feel this tremendous feeling of being welcomed from<br />

the smiling customs officer to the those walking down the<br />

road who wave to everyone they see.<br />

In 1774 the first Europeans sighted Niue sailing with Captain Cook.<br />

Cook made three attempts to land, but the inhabitants fought them off<br />

each time. He named the island "Savage Island" because, as legend has<br />

it, the natives who "greeted" him were painted in what appeared to be<br />

blood. The substance on their teeth was, in fact, hulahula, a native red<br />

fe' i banana. For the next couple of centuries, Niue was known as Savage<br />

Island, it’s now known as Niuē, which translates as "behold the coconut".<br />

Niue has its challenges; it does not have beaches, and it's a long way<br />

from anywhere, but those challenges are also what makes its character<br />

unique. It’s only 3 hours from Auckland with Air New Zealand. We stayed<br />

at the Scenic Matavai Resort Niue, which is Niue's only resort. In 2004<br />

there was a massive cyclone that devasted the island. Since then, there<br />

has been a lot of rebuilding, and the Scenic Matavai Resort is, in a<br />

word, spectacular. It perches on the cliff edge, and you can literally see<br />

whales swimming past (in season). Its location is also central to the other<br />

main attraction that Niue has to offer – for example, the dive operator<br />

Buccaneer <strong>Adventure</strong>s Niue Dive is right next door.<br />

Above: Home for the week at the Scenic Matavai Resort, Niue<br />

Spinner dolphins - image by Anthony Brown Buccaneer diving<br />

"Niue is warm and inviting,<br />

it’s lush and clean, it’s bright<br />

and sunny, and its people are<br />

warm and friendly."<br />



Niue is one of the world's largest<br />

raised coral atolls. There are steep<br />

limestone cliffs along the coast with<br />

a central plateau rising to about 60<br />

metres above sea level. The classic<br />

feature of Niue is its number of<br />

limestone caves and chasms along the<br />

coast. These limestone chasms are<br />

clearly outlined for tourists; your only<br />

issue is tide. In our room at the Scenic<br />

Matavai Resort, we had a tide chart<br />

which related to each of the chasms<br />

and the best times to go. You will want<br />

to visit them, they are stunning; crystal<br />

clear water against the backdrop of grey<br />

limestone, just don't go barefoot, wear<br />

reef shoes.

"Fishing in Niue is on a whole<br />

new level. We spent half a day<br />

with Fish Niue Charters and<br />

pulled in over 16 fish."<br />

The water is blue, so blue and deep. Within a few meters if the<br />

shoreline the water drops away to phenomenal depths thus the whales can<br />

get in so close, but it also makes it fantastic for diving and fishing. As there<br />

is little runoff of water from the island in the way of rivers or streams, so<br />

the visibility for diving is off the scale with regular visibility of 70 metres.<br />

Due to the location, not only is the clarity amazing, but there is also an<br />

abundance of fish life. Because of the limestone formation, the coastline is<br />

riddled with swim-throughs and unique underwater terrain. There are a few<br />

dive operators on the island, but if you are looking to go out it, it will pay to<br />

book way in advance.<br />

Fishing in Niue is on a whole new level. We spent half a day with<br />

Fish Niue Charters and pulled in over 16 fish, BJ our skipper for the day<br />

modestly said, ‘it’s not always this good’, but I think it is!<br />

Due to the coastline and lack of a sheltered harbour, all boats have to<br />

be craned in and out of the water. We arrived at 5am just as the sun was<br />

looking to rise and we were fishing within 5 minutes of leaving the wharf<br />

and within ten minutes of having rods in the water we had our first strike.<br />

The gear on the boat is brand new which is not the case on a lot of fishing<br />

charters in the South Pacific, so there was no fear of loss because of a<br />

breakage of gear, and the equipment took a pounding as did we. A Wahoo<br />

is a crazy fighting fish- aggressive long and narrow like a torpedo and just<br />

as fast. We caught a range of fish; yellowfin tuna, pacific barracuda (which<br />

is edible in Niue), but the Wahoo stole the show. We did catch the head<br />

of an enormous Skipjack tuna the rest was shared with an even bigger<br />

predator lucking in the dark deep blue depths – key Jaws music!<br />

Our days in Niue were spent lapping up the afternoon sunshine, but<br />

in the morning, we looked to do an activity of some sort. We explored a<br />

few of the chasms, we fished two mornings and one morning we went out<br />

with Buccaneer <strong>Adventure</strong>s Niue Dive and looked for Spinner dolphins. We<br />

basically rode around the bay in front of the resort until we saw them – we<br />

then cruised along very slowly with a mask and fins on and in the crystal<br />

clear blue water you could see the pods of the small spinner dolphins just<br />

playing in front of the boat. Once they had had enough of our company they<br />

departed, and we moored and snorkelled along the cliff edge just outside<br />

the wharf. We saw more dolphins, sea snakes, turtles and millions of<br />

small fish. Once again, and sorry to repeat the same observation, but what<br />

made it so amazing was how clear the water was. Swimming in Niue is like<br />

swimming in gin.<br />

It is hard to put your finger why Niue is so appealing because it's not like<br />

any other South Pacific Island; maybe that it… maybe it’s just because it is so<br />

unique. Thus their latest marketing #nowherelikeniue is right on target.<br />

To have your trip taken care of top to bottom, flights, fishing, diving and<br />

where to stay contact www.travelandco.nz/niue<br />

• www.niueisland.com<br />

• www.niuedive.com<br />

• www.fishniue.com<br />

• www.scenichotelgroup.co.nz/locations/south-pacific/niue/scenicmatavai-resort-niue<br />

• www.airnewzealand.co.nz<br />

Top to bottom: Amazing diving - image provided by Anthony Brown,<br />

Buccaneer <strong>Adventure</strong>s Niue Dive / Greg Knell in the heavy end of a big<br />

Wahoo / Smiling till our faces hurt - great day with Fish Niue Charters<br />


DIVE<br />

Niue<br />

Image © Buccaneer <strong>Adventure</strong>s Niue Dive<br />

Home to unique dive sites, in some of the clearest waters<br />

you will experience, Niue offers a variety of underwater<br />

adventures. Explore underwater chasms, caves and<br />

caverns, coves and canyons, chimneys and arches,<br />

and discover diverse life including tropical fish, whales,<br />

turtles, sea snakes and more. Let us help plan your visit<br />

to this incredible destination.<br />

Talk to an Active Travel Expert today<br />




Working on your tan in Port Vila is certainly a lovely way to spend the day, but there’s<br />

plenty of beauty outside the big Vanuatu hotels. On distant islands scattered throughout the<br />

archipelago, you’ll find bubbling volcanoes, sugar-white beaches, coral reefs, remote waterfalls<br />

and sweeping volcanic ash plains. Natural attractions are pretty much Vanuatu’s major export,<br />

drawing thousands of visitors from all over the world. Here are but a few.<br />

Swim Beneath Waterfalls on Efate<br />

You don’t have to travel far outside Port<br />

Vila to find Efate’s best waterfalls. Mele<br />

Cascades are the most popular, hiding in the<br />

jungle about 10 km from Port Vila’s major<br />

resorts. The Mele Cascades is a collection<br />

of terraced pools that tumble down a rocky<br />

hillside, then plunge 35 metres into a natural<br />

swimming hole. Just watch your step on the<br />

rope-guided path to the top as it can get a<br />

bit slippery. For somewhere less busy, try<br />

Lololima Falls. It’s another stepped cascade,<br />

equally photogenic, with sloping limestone<br />

pools, hidden caves (search behind the<br />

upper-tier waterfall) and even a rope swing.<br />

For anyone staying on Tanna, make sure to<br />

set aside a couple of days for idle waterfall<br />

exploration: Louniel, Lenuanatuaiu and<br />

Lenuingao Falls are all beautiful spots for an<br />

afternoon swim.<br />

Walk Over Black Volcanic Sand<br />

Tanna is known for its picturepostcard<br />

surf coast, particularly around<br />

Port Resolution and Yewao Point on the<br />

island’s eastern peninsula. It’s here you’ll<br />

find some of Vanuatu’s best bungalow<br />

accommodation (if you’re looking for larger<br />

resorts, like Rockwater or Evergreen, most<br />

of them are on the west coast). But thanks<br />

to the smoking Mount Yasur, Tanna is<br />

also home to several black sand volcanic<br />

beaches. Louniel Beach is our favourite. It<br />

sweeps along the northeast coast of Tanna,<br />

and the inky black sands make for some<br />

fantastic photographs. You can also explore<br />

Lowakels Cove, which comes with nearby<br />

Friendly Beach bungalow accommodation<br />

or Iwaru Beach, just south of Lenakel,<br />

Tanna’s major port town.<br />

Venture into Millennium Cave<br />

If the idea of setting off into the jungle,<br />

hurdling river boulders and venturing<br />

beneath the earth sounds appealing, you<br />

need to explore Millennium Cave on Espiritu<br />

Santo. It’s the largest cave in Vanuatu<br />

and you can book cave tours from nearby<br />

Luganville. After a bumpy 45-minute ride to<br />

the village of Funaspef, it’s a challenging 1.5-<br />

hour hike through the forest to Millennium<br />

Cave, so you’ll need a decent level of fitness.<br />

But the scenery is some of the best in the<br />

archipelago. You’ll hike through the jungle,<br />

explore an underground cave system (with<br />

nothing but strong shoes and a torch),<br />

then cool off in forest pools surrounded<br />

by cascading waterfalls. If you’re after<br />

something a little less Indiana Jones, take a<br />

day trip on Havannah Harbour and visit the<br />

World Heritage-listed Roi Mata’s Domain.<br />


Notchup P2018144 - Crédit photo : Getty Images, © GHNC<br />

#NewCalPulse<br />




I’m sunning myself on the bow of a<br />

yacht, flickers of shade momentarily<br />

passing as the sail dances in light<br />

air. Rhythmic slaps of water on hull<br />

providing a meditative soundtrack.<br />

Dark circles move ahead of us in<br />

the water, the surface swirling and<br />

breaking as five adult humpbacks<br />

appear, encouraging their young to<br />

jump and dive. Their size dwarfs the<br />

yacht, a marine circus providing a<br />

spectacle you can only dream of.<br />

They’re not fazed by us as they dive<br />

beneath the boat pausing momentarily<br />

to take a peak.<br />

Humpbacks are the real show-stoppers in<br />

New Caledonia, where the lagoon dominates<br />

the landscape. This is one of the largest marine<br />

reserves in the world, and has been a World<br />

Heritage Site since 2008. It’s also a nesting<br />

sites for illustrious turtle breeds, rare crab<br />

species, tropical seabirds and other marine<br />

wildlife. Welcome to David Attenborough<br />

country - I feel privileged to be here.<br />

With a week on my itinerary, sailing is only<br />

the first of many lagoon adventures. I’m also<br />

booked for a jetski mission and lead myself into<br />

a false sense of security. I’ve seen the groups<br />

at home - tourists trailing behind the instructor<br />

in matching wetsuits and high-vis vests,<br />

motoring at half speed around the harbour.<br />

“This will be tame” I think.<br />

The myths were quickly dispelled. A gruff<br />

looking Frenchman of solid build presents<br />

himself as our guide, two days of thick stubble<br />

and mirrored sunglasses making him look like<br />

Liam Neeson in the movie Taken. His safety<br />

briefing consists of the words ‘”accelerator,<br />

no brake” and a few hand signals, before<br />

he opens throttle and takes off through the<br />

channel, jumping wakes on the way.<br />

A hundred metres behind, I fight to keep<br />

up, clinging onto the handlebars like wolverine<br />

and levitating from my seat with every bump.<br />

I try to ride standing so not to give myself a<br />

spinal realignment, but my puny legs don’t have<br />

the quad-strength to cope. Crossing the lagoon<br />

is a full-body workout but I’m rewarded with<br />

sheltered waters, and a handful of giant sea<br />

turtles on the other side. I toast my wind-swept<br />

body in the sunshine and circumnavigate a tiny<br />

uninhabited island before jetting off to explore<br />

the reef behind Îlot Maître.<br />

The lagoon offers the perfect playground for all water activies<br />

Once back on dry land, I spend the<br />

afternoon lazing around at Chateau Royal<br />

– the only resort in town that’s right on the<br />

beachfront. It has an epic pool area complete<br />

with a swim up bar and boasts an indoor Aquatonic<br />

Pool where you can work out and do spin<br />

classes underwater. Bizarre concept, and I’m<br />

disappointed to have missed the last class of<br />

the day. For the macho men it’s important to<br />

note, it’s compulsory to the rock the speedo<br />

here – so if you don’t want to fish a pair from<br />

the lost property then BYO.<br />

Another must see attraction in Nouméa is<br />

the busy waterfront produce market where stall<br />

keepers sell piles of bluespine, unicornfish,<br />

prawns of every denomination, lobsters, greenfringed<br />

mussels, oysters, marlin, mahi-mahi,<br />

octopus and crab. I discover big, ruby-red<br />

chunks of glistening tuna piled at every other<br />

shop and make sure my plate is loaded with<br />

them at dinner.<br />

Interestingly, after the stall keepers cleanup<br />

for the day, their water runoff leads into the<br />

Port Moselle marina. Those with keen eyes will<br />

spot shark cruising alongside the promenade<br />

waiting for an extra snack – although none big<br />

enough to chomp a limb.<br />

When I’m not on the water or in it, I’m flying<br />

over it. From the seat of a tiny ultralight plane in<br />

Bourail, I take off over an intensely hued stretch<br />

of sea and sublime lenticular reef. I gaze over a<br />

lagoon that goes on for kilometres before finally<br />

breaking in toothpaste-white billows of surf onto<br />

the reef. It’s a coral patchwork filled with every<br />

shade of blue, from azure to turquoise, so vivid<br />

and piercing it’s as though a filter has been<br />

applied to the landscape.<br />

Shadows haunt the lagoon below – slow<br />

moving shapes of turtles and rays seeking<br />

shelter in the shallow waters. And where the<br />

reef drops into deep ocean, fishing boats loll<br />

and are later are seen heaving under the weight<br />

of their catch.<br />

Rumour has it that you can surf this<br />

western coast too. I’m booked for an afternoon<br />

at ‘Secrets’ - a perfect left-hander that’s been<br />

compared to Macaronis in the Mentawais.<br />

Unfortunately I get a call saying it’s too small<br />

today, curbing plans of long lefts and glassy<br />

barrels. The wetsuit and wax in my bag a<br />

constant weighing reminder of waves breaking<br />

and departing without me. Nonetheless,<br />

it’d be an epic destination for those keen<br />

to road-trip from Noumea. Manu Hernu,<br />

one of New Cal’s best surfers runs guided<br />

boat expeditions here so fear of localism is<br />

disbanded.<br />

As the week wraps up, I board a plane back<br />

to Auckland reflecting on parting words from my<br />

guide: “Remember, nothing bad ever happens<br />

here. In the water, or on the beach. You just<br />

swim, explore, have a Number One beer and<br />

watch the sunset”. C’est bon. It’s all good.<br />

Fresh fish from the produce market<br />




A<br />

picture-perfect sunny day,<br />

beautiful blue water, and a<br />

sea full of boats and promises<br />

of adventure. As I approached the<br />

gigantic yacht that I’d be calling home<br />

for the next two days, I attempted,<br />

feebly, to size it up. Climbing on<br />

board, it was easier to take in all the<br />

different angles, and I began to feel<br />

the excitement building. The 27 other<br />

passengers and I sat together on the<br />

deck of the vessel, not knowing quite<br />

what to expect. Our Skipper told us<br />

there was enough wind blowing that<br />

we’d be leaning over a fair way. He also<br />

made us feel oh-so safe explaining the<br />

difference between the ‘high-side’ and<br />

the ‘suicide’ of the boat!<br />

Once out in the Whitsunday Passage, safety<br />

briefing complete, volunteers were called upon<br />

to hoist the humongous sails. Of course, my<br />

hand flew up! Hauling the sail from the boom to<br />

the top of the mast was no easy feat. However,<br />

between me and the two other volunteers, we<br />

were victorious – and apparently in record time!<br />

Okay, that may have been a little-white-lie on<br />

the crew’s behalf - but we didn’t mind – it made<br />

us feel empowered! In no time at all, we were<br />

seeing the fruits of our labour. Suddenly the<br />

unassuming vessel that had been sat in the<br />

dock transformed into the most commanding<br />

yacht on the water!<br />

Everyone was smiling and hanging on to<br />

their hats, as we dangled our legs over the<br />

edge. Meanwhile the crew ran around the<br />

vessel totally effortlessly, making tiny tweaks<br />

to the sails – all to ensure we were charging<br />

through the water. All of a sudden, my sailing<br />

experience on that small Croatian yacht with my<br />

family last year seemed to fall by the wayside,<br />

and I truly understood the difference between<br />

‘Champagne Sailing’ versus ‘Maxi Sailing’.<br />

"I began to imagine what<br />

it must have been like<br />

to be a crew member on<br />

board when this powerful<br />

boat competed!"<br />

We watched the islands float past us as<br />

the water splashed our toes, feeling very at<br />

ease. Constantly realigning and rebalancing<br />

our bodies, keeping up with the dipping and<br />

weaving of the yacht dancing on the waves. I<br />

began to imagine what it must have been like to<br />

be a crew member on board when this powerful<br />

boat competed!<br />

Over the course of the trip, we jumped<br />

into the water for a refreshing snorkel at<br />

three incredible bays. Watching the colourful<br />

fish swimming around right at my fingertips<br />

was amazing! My duck-diving practice from<br />

swimming lessons 20 years ago finally came to<br />

good use. Ducking down to the stunning coral<br />

to get a closer look was awesome and I reckon<br />

even David Attenborough and his team would<br />

be impressed by my video footage!<br />

We visited Whitehaven Beach and Hill<br />

Inlet Lookout, the incredible viewpoint on<br />

Whitsunday Island overlooking the beach. Even<br />

though this beach is visited by hundreds of<br />

people every day, it is still incredibly untouched.<br />

And, even though it is one of the most<br />

photographed locations in the world, you still<br />

need to see it with your own eyes to truly realize<br />

its magnificence! I wholeheartedly support the<br />

many awards and accolades this unique beach<br />

boasts!<br />

As well as all the action, of course, the<br />

trip was well-balanced with moments of calm,<br />

which were also some of the highlights of the<br />

trip. Watching the sun setting and rising over<br />

the islands, sharing stories of adventures with<br />

like-minded people from around the world,<br />

and laying back on deck to point out the<br />

constellations. Once the sun had set, although<br />

not a moment of calm, the revelries took over,<br />

and the rest you’d have to find out for yourself!<br />

Explore Whitsundays called this trip ‘Fun<br />

sailing for the adventurous traveller’ which<br />

certainly rang true for me!<br />


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