N E W Z E A L A N D
WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS
DEC 2019/JAN 2020
NZ $10.90 incl. GST
TREASURE, DANGER & DEATH
MANY PLACES LIKE
THE WEST COAST”
If experiencing nature at its untamed
best is your thing, the West Coast is
tough to beat. From short day walks
to some of New Zealand’s most iconic
multi-day tramps there are endless
wild places to fall in love with.
Believe it or not, this magic spot on the
Pororari River is just a 15 minute walk
from State Highway 6!
SEE MORE OF RADAR’S TRIP
AND PLAN YOUR OWN AT:
introducing adventure vanlife
"Home is where you park it"
We have had our eye on this for a while but ‘van life’ has become hugely popular. In simple
terms it is people enjoying adventure and outdoors while living in a van. Any sort of a van, a
kombi, a panel van, a motorhome or and RV. It’s about being moveable and self-sustainable,
basically ‘home is where you park it’.
Surfer Michel Bourez is photographed by Leroy Bellet who
surfed behind him on the wave in order to capture this
iconic shot in Tahiti, French Polynesia
Visit Adventure Magazine online
There is an interesting feature from ‘Stuff’ – I have pulled out some of the key facts – if you do
not have time to read the whole feature – www.stuff.co.nz/travel/114056313/how-instagrammade-van-life-a-phenomenon
Here are some of the key points:
• Consumer report reveals grey nomads - the term for road-tripping retirees popularised by
the 1997 documentary Grey Nomads - are the minority. Instead, a survey of more than
2500 people suggests the average age of an RV owner in Australia is 33, and almost half
have children at home.
• There are 679,378 recreational vehicles registered in Australia, according to the
Australian Bureau of Statistics' Motor Vehicle Census, roughly one for every 13
households. Ownership of RVs - including towable caravans and camper trailers,
motorhomes and campervans, 'pop tops' where a tent pops out of the roof of a van,
Kombis and converted panel vans - has grown 5.2 per cent a year for the past five years,
faster than any other vehicle type in Australia.
• Like the hippies and surfies travelling around in Kombi vans in the 1960s and '70s,
there's a counter-cultural element to the #vanlife phenomenon - this time with an
"There's a real trend in social media and generally in
society to have this kind of escape and a lot of it is to do
with people wanting to disconnect from the city ... and
slow down a bit,"
EDITOR & ADVERTISING MANAGER
Mob: 027 577 5014
Ovato, Ph (09) 979 3000
OTHER PUBLICATIONS (HARDCOPY AND ONLINE)
NZ Adventure Magazine is published six times a year by:
Pacific Media Ltd, P.O.Box 562
Whangaparaoa, New Zealand
adventurejobs.co.nz | adventuretraveller.co.nz
Contributions of articles and photos are welcome and must be accompanied by a stamped selfaddressed
envelope. Photographic material should be on slide, although good quality prints may
be considered. All care is taken but no responsibility accepted for submitted material. All work
published may be used on our website. Material in this publication may not be reproduced without
permission. While the publishers have taken all reasonable precautions and made all reasonable
effort to ensure the accuracy of material in this publication, it is a condition of purchase of this
magazine that the publisher does not assume any responsibility or liability for loss or damage
which may result from any inaccuracy or omission in this publication, or from the use of information
contained herein and the publishers make no warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to
any of the material contained herein.
Now sure these stats are from Australia but you can guarantee the same results here in New
Zealand and weather you hire a motorhome, buy an RV fit our your own panel van you will
be part of the wave of grow adventures who are taking their adventure on the road and their
‘home is where they park it’.
Steve Dickinson - Editor
Adventure is proudly powered
Please feel free to send any
Image by Mike Dawson
08//aotea - The white cloud
By Mike Dawson
Entering the Surfers Hall of Fame
18//there be treasure, danger &
Jeremy Wadzinski takes us on a treasure hunt
Image by Ash Routen
24//the longest journey
Exploring Greenland's Ice Cap
On the River Wild
With Erik Skilling
Jack Austin explores South Island's West Coast
Cliffnicking in Estes Park
48//adventure van life nz
Check our our new section on Van Life
Image by Jess Middleton Image by Steve Dickinson
Inspiration, activities and information for the urban
Norfork Island, Papua New Guinea, Niue, Vanuatu, New
82. gear guides
110. Active adventure
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02//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#217
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Image by Leroy Bellet/Red Bull Content Pool
BEHIND THE COVER
Some waves in the world are legendary, they don’t need a title, you can
tell it is that wave simply by the way it is breaking. Teahupoo, in Tahiti, is
one of those waves, it is as beautiful as it is powerful, a left breaking wave
that is perfection. The swell rolls in from uninterrupted water and then hits
a coral reef that has been chiselled by a local freshwater river, the wave
then peels like no other creating the most perfect of tubes.
There are a number of surfers who have huge reputations here at
Teahupoo. But possibly the most famous and without doubt the most
successful is Michel Bourez; on the World Tour they call him 'The Spartan'
because of his psychique and the was he charges every wave that is sent
his way. Michel is a modest guy and is like a soccer super star in the
islands of Tahiti.
The cover was shot by Australian Leroy Bellet for a Red Bull special
project. Leroy has become famous for these types of POV shots inside
nasty waves. In this shot he is surfing about 3 feet behind Michel shooting
with a fisheye lens in a water housing specifically made for this wave.
Effectively, he is dragged into the big waves by a jet ski with a surfer in
front of him and captures the images knowing in his position that he will
eventually get hit by the wave, with the hope of being not to get hurt on the
reef below. Bellet, who was 18 at the time of the shoot said ‘In terms of
perfection, it’s the Everest of intensity and challenge.’
"Chops is so sharp and shallow. When I was surfing on the days leading
up to the swell, I was like, 'This could end up bad.' I thought I might only
have one wave and I'd get sliced up and that would be it. Luckily we got
Behind the scenes as photographer Leroy Bellet is seen paddling in Tahiti,
French Polynesia during filming of Chasing the Shot
Image by Domenic Mosqueira/Red Bull Content Pool
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Climbers ascend the iconic
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Photo: ex-Bivouac Staff member
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06//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#217
THE WHITE CLOUD
By Mike Dawson
The skyline of downtown Auckland slowly
disappeared into the mist, as the ferry headed
further into the Hauraki Gulf towards the edge
of the Pacific – Towards Aotea. The White Cloud
or as Captain James Cook decided - Great
4 hours of relentless swell and some 90
kilometers later a speck began to emerge on
the horizon, from the clouds clinging to the
wilderness in-front of us. Adventure a waits. Our
plan was to head out and explore the coastline
of Great Barrier Island by kayak – A group of
buddies, 8 sea kayaks, a ton of food and beer
heading out for a mission to try snag a fish or
two but mostly chasing good times.
Great Barrier Island is home to around 800
residents - most here for the solitude from the
hustle and bustle of the mainland. Finding the
serenity that is so elusive in modern times.
Adventure doesn’t always need to be
hardcore and Aotea is the perfect place to
switch off, explore and enjoy New Zealands
nature at it’s finest. Beautiful stretches of white
sand ocean beaches surround the shoreline
on the east coast while sheltered bays boarder
A beach landing and cave for shelter from
the raging Westerly for lunch on Arid Island,
just off the coast of Great Barrier Island.
A mere 19 kilometers separate the
Coromandel Peninsular from the Southern tip of
Barrier. Dramatic peaks pierce the sky, especially
the summit of Hirakimata (Mt Hobson) a pointy
rocky outcrop 621m above sea level.
We were instantly at home, time almost
stood still as we rolled into Harataonga beach,
set up camp before heading out on the water.
First stop exploring Rakitu Island (Arid Island).
The 4 km paddle out from the main island
seems somewhat remote with very little between
this island and South America. Blue seas and
dramatic cliffs surround the island as we paddle
around just taking it in. Seals swimming around
the boats and countless caves cut into the rugged
cliffs overtime, to explore. This was paradise.
Adventuring sea kayaker Jamie Garrod
paddles through the maze of channels through
scattered rock outcrops in on the Northern tip
of Great Barrier Island
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From here we headed North for the
Northern Tip of Barrier, into the open
ocean. Passing by the pristine white sand
of Whangapoua beach, with Dolphins
swimming and out into one of NZ’s
unsung wilderness areas, an absolute
paradise of Mother Nature. Rugged cliffs
crashed into the Ocean ahead, as we left
the beaches behind us. Countless birds
soared above us – As well as epic scenery
Great Barrier is also home to a wide range
of endangered species particularly birds
including the North Island Kaka, Banded
Rail, Black Petrel, NZ Dotterel and Oyster
Catchers. Countless Tui keep you alert in
the bush with endless song.
With over 60% of the island under
Department of Conservation ownership,
Great Barrier also has incredible hiking
through conservation land. Leaving the
kayaks at the beach it’s possible to head
out for countless walks. From visiting local
hot pools in the Kiatoke Valley climbing
Mt Hobson or exploring the coastal
Harataonga Walkway there was endless
exploring to do.
We headed West across the island to
explore Blind Bay and Whangaparapara
Harbour. Here the scenery changes from
stunning beaches to sheltered inlets and
historic sites showcasing New Zealand’s
past and the first European settlers here
in the mid 1800’s as the whaling, forestry
and mining industries were established.
As we beached our boats for the last
time. Our 7 day mini adventure was over.
Exploring this epic place before loading
up and heading back to the mainland. All I
can say is GO.
Clockwise from top left: All the gear no idea -
Gearing up to head out on the water / Beached on
an isolated West Coast beach on Barrier / Kayaking
amongst the pinnacles of Arid Island / The boys’
enjoying some chill time - hammocks set for the
evening / Adventure mode engaged - Locked an
loaded and heading out on the mission. Blind Bay
Great Barrier / Crayfish dinner always satisfies / One
of the worlds few dark zones - the night sky lights up
beautifully / The lads heading out to the ocean.
Captain James Cook named NZ’s 4th
largest landmass “Great Barrier” on his
exploration of the Southern Ocean as the
245 km2 island acted as a formidable barrier
protecting the Hauraki Gulf from the Pacific
Kauri Dieback is a disease that is
threatening Kauri with extinction. First found
in 1972 on Great Barrier Island it has spread
throughout the upper North Island. While there
is no cure there’s plenty we can do to slow the
spread. Visit www.kauridieback.co.nz
12//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#217
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Image: photographed by Jack Austin photography
ENTERS SURFERS HALL OF FAME
Hawaiian star Kai Lenny received another accolade in his
glittering career when he became the youngest person ever to
enter the Surfers' Hall of Fame in 2019, aged just 26.
He was inducted with Sam Hawk and Janice Aragon, their hand
and footprints immortalised in cement out the front of Huntington
Surf & Sport as the ceremony paid tribute to the stars who have
made an indelible mark on the sport, industry and culture of
Along with his surfing honours, Lenny has won the SUP world
title several times and was runner-up at the Kite Surf Pro World
Championships while he has become a leading global campaigner
in fighting ocean pollution.
Kai Lenny taming Jaws
Images compliments of Red Bull
Here is what the Maui native had to say after an
impressive 2019 season riding the waves:
How was your big wave season in 2019? For me
the big wave season this year was probably the best I
have ever had. We didn't have the most consistent big
swells, but some of the most challenging conditions
that I could ever remember. It was a lot of wind, really
big waves and very unforgiving. The fact that I was able
to survive another season but, at the same time, feel
like my level went up a notch meant that I accomplished
everything that I set out to do. Coming into this new
season, I am really excited because there is still so
much left to be done to go to the next level.
You have said in the past you sometimes felt like
an outsider, is that still the case now? I think I felt like
an outsider growing up mainly because I had my hands
in so many different sports and, within each sport or
discipline of surfing, there are little tribes that you jump
in between. You are either with the windsurfers, the
kitesurfers, the surfers or the stand-up paddlers, and
when you are not consistently in one, you don't really
have a place in any. I quickly outgrew that mentally
and now I feel comfortable in my own skin doing what
I would rather do. It was a good learning experience
"I had my hands in so many
different sports and, within
each sport or discipline of
surfing, there are little tribes
that you jump in between. You
are either with the windsurfers,
the kitesurfers, the surfers or
the stand-up paddlers, and
when you are not consistently
in one, you don't really have a
place in any."
After winning so many big titles so early in your
career, what is your main focus now? For me, right
now, my focus is on winning a Big Wave world title
on the Big Wave Tour. I have been able to win a lot
of different things across a few sports. For me, each
event is not so much beating someone else but kind
of proving to myself that, 'OK, I have reached this
certain point and where can I go next?'. Winning is just
basically having a lot of fun doing it and my goals, for
sure, are always to try to be the best I can possibly be
and that requires me testing myself against the world's
What is it about the ocean that makes you so
happy? The sea makes me so happy because it is a
place that I can constantly test myself, but also enjoy
myself. It is always there. It is for free. I grew up doing
it for so long that it is who I am now. Imagining not
being in the water is almost worse than going to jail,
just because it feels like it is built into my cells. The salt
water feels really good, just being immersed in it and
all that other stuff sort of melts away that you take from
You are a shining star when it comes to
environmental issues, what more needs to be done
to help save our oceans? Growing up I have noticed
the changes in the ocean, mostly the pollution and
microplastics. Now, with so many people around the
world just spewing stuff into the ocean, there are a
lot of fish that are consuming microplastics which is
morphing into their DNA. That is going to go back into
us and, if we don't want to have cancer later on in life
from fish, I suggest that we try to keep the oceans
much cleaner. We have got to protect the environment
because we are part of it. If it goes down, we are getting
dragged with it too.
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THERE BE TREASURE,
DANGER AND DEATH
By Jeremy Wadzinski
What if I told you there is a treasure chest filled with precious gemstones, gold nuggets and priceless artifacts hidden
somewhere in the Rocky Mountains? That an eccentric art collector buried an antique, metal box worth over $5 million dollars
somewhere in the mountains between New Mexico and the Canadian border. And what if I told you he left clues? Nine clues
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,
or just plain lucky enough to find them. Will you grab your fedora, coil up your bullwhip, and book your flight for adventure?
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
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
follow as the legend and the mystery grows.
This is the story of my hunt for Forrest Fenn’s treasure.
I first heard the legend of Forrest Fenn’s treasure while fly
fishing in the cool summer current of the Yellowstone River, false
casting a mayfly-dry to some trout determined to avoid my angling
seductions. I was waist-deep in the water when my best friend and
fishing buddy noticed a rather odd-looking dude marching along
the river banks. He was dressed in a random assortment of old
army surplus gear and neon coloured hiking kit. He was intently
looking at a map. After looking at the map he would raise his gaze
and search; the ground, the sky, the river, the mountains, and the
trees. He was looking everywhere but where he was going and
we watched as he crashed directly into a ditch and disappeared
from sight. He re-emerged covered in thistles and swearing and
continued on his haphazard way, constantly adjusting his glasses,
and consulting his map; now as torn and ragged as his clothing.
That’s when I heard my fishing buddy say, “I betchya that’s one of
them treasure hunting idiots.” That’s when I said the four words I
knew I would regret: “What treasure hunting idiots?”
You see, unbeknownst to me, I was about to be taken hostage
by my own imagination. When I heard the story of the treasure my
mind would not, could not, let it go. This mental fever is why the
legend of Forrest Fenn’s treasure grows with each passing year.
A gold fever pierces the imagination and clutches at the heart
of would-be explorers the world over. The thrill of the chase has
haunted hikers and bushwhackers from New Mexico, up through
Colorado, into Wyoming and Montana, and I was about to join their
The search area is literally a thousand miles long and it runs
along the jagged spine of America’s West. A twelve-inch-by-twelveinch
box is hidden somewhere among the countless peaks and
rivers and ravines. All logic says that this is a fool’s errand. That
only a madman or idiot would think they could find a needle lost
somewhere in a haystack the size of The Empire State Building.
But logic is quickly swept aside when it comes to gold and the thrill
of the hunt. The heart quickens at the mere mention of treasure.
When the fever takes hold, burning through the veins, one is made
mad with adventure lust. But first, some whiskey.
18//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#217
"Begin it where warm waters halt
And take it in the canyons down,
Not far, but too far to walk.
Put in below the home of Brown."
“The first clue in the poem is ‘Begin it
where warm waters halt’. That’s the first clue.
If you can’t figure that clue out, you don’t have
anything.” — Forrest Fenn
It all starts with the poem. The thirst for
adventure begins there. Forrest has said many
times, that everything you need is in the poem.
So, here it is…
Sitting on a porch, watching the
amber hues of a glorious sunset on the
outskirts of Yellowstone, I learned about
the one man who knows the exact location
of the hidden box. He’s the silver-haired
octogenarian that hid the treasure in the
first place. His name is Forrest Fenn.
Forrest Fenn has lived a lifetime of
adventure. Growing up, he had many
happy escapades near Yellowstone and the
surrounding Rocky Mountains. He grew up
exploring America’s vast South West before
he left for war. A Vietnam fighter pilot, he
flew over three-hundred combat missions
and was shot down twice. He retired from
the Air Force and moved to Santa Fe, New
Mexico, where he opened an art gallery
looking for a quieter and more peaceful
life. He and his wife, Peggy, dealt with
unusual and ancient items and antiquities
from all over the world. At one point the
gallery grossed more than $6 million
dollars a year. Life was good for the retired
adventurer and fly-boy.
But his luck took a turn when in 1988
he was diagnosed with a terminal form of
kidney cancer. Thinking he was on death’s
door, and looking for a way to secure his
legacy, he bought a 12th-century bronze
box for $25 thousand dollars and filled it
with treasure. He wrote a cryptic poem and
planned to march out into the wilds and
die with the treasure clutched to his chest.
There was just one problem.
He didn’t die.
So, his treasure stayed hidden. In a
vault. In his house. For two decades. Then
the economy took a nosedive in 2010,
and it was that year, with the publication
of his memoirs, that he decided to gift the
treasure and its hunt to the world. In his
book, The Thrill of The Chase; A Memoir, he
describes a treasure chest with gemstones,
gold nuggets, and jewelry, hidden “in the
mountains somewhere north of Santa
Fe.” And why after all those years, and
in full health, did he decide to finally gift
$5 million dollars to the world? Because,
as he said in an old TV interview, “I just
wanted to give some people hope.”
As I have gone alone in there
And with my treasures bold,
I can keep my secret where,
And hint of riches new and old.
Begin it where warm waters halt
And take it in the canyons down,
Not far, but too far to walk.
Put in below the home of Brown.
From there it’s no place for the meek,
The end is ever drawing nigh;
There’ll be no paddle up your creek,
Just heavy loads and water high.
If you’ve been wise and found the blaze,
Look quickly down, your quest to cease,
But tarry scant with marvel gaze,
Just take the chest and go in peace.
So why is it that I must go
And leave my trove for all to seek?
The answer I already know,
I’ve done it tired, and now I’m weak.
So hear me all and listen good,
Your effort will be worth the cold.
If you are brave and in the wood
I give you title to the gold.
After copious amounts of whiskey, cigars,
more whiskey, and a little bit of dinner, our
brains were fortified enough to contemplate
the poem and dissect its inner workings. We
berated each other as we cross-referenced
the map and the poem with passion born of
alcohol-induced hallucinations. Every clue
took on a life of its own, but we knew the key
was to start the hunt in the right place. If
you didn’t start right, you were pretty much
just a sucker wandering around the woods
like some treasure hunting idiot. And we
certainly were not idiots!
We focused on the first clue; “Begin it
where warm waters halt.” Which we figured
could only mean one thing: it must’ve had
something to do with a hot springs. Luckily
the source of one of the largest hot springs in
North America was just outside our doorstep;
Yellowstone National Park. So. That was as
good a place to start as any. But then the
arguments took over. Were the “hot waters”
halting because they were getting dumped
in a river? Or were the “hot waters” halting
because they were the last hot waters on
the map? Should we be looking for the
Southernmost hot water spring, which would
be in Colorado or maybe New Mexico? Which
meant the beginning point was nowhere
near Yellowstone. And not only that, which
specific “hot waters”? It is estimated that
Yellowstone has over 10,000 geothermal
features. The clue was maddeningly opaque.
Okay. So, the beginning was impossible
unless we used more clues and worked
our way backwards. We moved on to “Put
in below the home of Brown.” This clue
was both obvious and obtuse at the same
time. It is well known that Forrest was an
avid fly fisherman. Many among our party
were convinced that this surely must mean
brown trout. And where do trout call home?
Rivers. So, clearly the search would begin
where a hot springs dumped its water into
a trout river somewhere... But, others were
not convinced. The house could be a literal
house. Why else would Forrest capitalize the
“B” in “Brown” in the poem? Legend had
it that, up in the mountains, an old Doctor
Brown had owned a cabin and when he
died, he was buried near his cabin. Was his
burial site the “home of brown”? Or perhaps
Forrest was referring to a brown bear. Bears
hibernate in dens through the winter. So,
surely we should be looking for a cave or
den of some sort? Or was it a log cabin? Log
cabins are brown. Maybe he meant a literal,
brown home?!? Another baffling clue.
The arguments went in endless circles.
Voices were raised. Maps were torn and
taped back together. More than one person
stormed off into the night to consult the
stars and pee on the fence. We moved on
to the next clue and then circled back to the
first clue. And then revisited the last clue.
Back-and-forth it went. On-and-on we argued
until the wee hours of the morning. Only
ending when the bottle ran dry and the last
smoke had been toked. But, in the haze of
our confused ramblings, somehow a cunning
plan had been hatched. We had cracked the
mystery of the poem. Our hunt would begin
first thing in the morning.
20//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#217
Exploring Yellowstone National Park in search of the treasure
The next morning we woke up neither bright, nor early.
The hangover from so much treasure hunting research
had left us all a bit worse for wear. By mid-afternoon we
were ready to strike out into the unknown. I would soon
be baptized into the ranks of, “treasure-hunting-idiot”. Our
treasure hunting crew consisted of two children, two dogs,
three adventure women, and two very hungover men. After
many promises and agreements as to the exact nature of
how we would split the booty when we found it (seven-ways
as is customary in these sorts of exchanges) we all shook
hands and pinky-swore before marching out into the wilds.
And here the treasure hunting story ends. To discuss
more about the minutiae would be to give away too many
clues about our theorized location, and since the first rule
of treasure hunting is secrecy, I would hate to be banished
from my treasure hunting society for breaking the rules.
But, I can say this. Looking around at the joy and hope on
the children’s faces as they spent their imaginary money
(One child, in particular, had a very clear vision of how
she’d spend her share of the treasure; a Pony and saddle) I
realized that Forrest Fenn had been right. His greatest gift
to the world wasn’t the treasure. It was hope.
Whether the search for Forrest Fenn’s treasure is
the greatest hunt, or the greatest hoax, ever crafted
is debatable. What is not debatable is that the world
doesn’t have too many mysteries anymore. Every nook,
cranny, crag, and bluff has pretty much been mapped and
remapped. Satellites drift by in the cosmos constantly
taking pictures of all the parts and pieces of our world.
"So hear me all and listen good,
Your effort will be worth the cold.
If you are brave and in the wood
I give you title to the gold."
Our treasure hunting crew consisted of two children, two
dogs, three adventure women, and two very hungover men.
Our own lives don’t even escape from the constant
bombardment of updates, eyeballs, and investigations.
The scrutiny of social media has become an ever-present
invasion into our daily lives. So, how refreshing and
joyous it is to have a little bit of mystery left in this world.
And to be inspired to set out into the wilderness, and
find a wealth of adventure, if not treasure. They say the
journey is the destination so, I suppose you could also
say: the real treasure isn’t in finding it, but in the hope
and adventure that it inspires.
22//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#217
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What made them take on the challenge?
“Youthful exuberance and a slight lack
of understanding of what it was really
going to be like. If you haven’t been on an
expedition before, you don’t quite know
what you don’t know.”
THE LONGEST JOURNEY
By Ash Routen
In 2008 two young British adventurers completed
the longest unsupported Arctic expedition in history. A
decade later adventure writer Ash Routen caught up with
one of them to find out more about their remarkable
Even a decade ago the polar expedition market
was saturated. Our most extreme latitudes were well
explored, and the likelihood of finding funding for a
major expedition was almost non-existent.
But this hadn’t deterred Alex Hibbert, an ambitious
British University student, who had his sights set on
a big polar undertaking. “I wanted to ski further than
anyone before without support,” he says. “That was my
big aim. Initially, the plan was to do so in the Antarctic on
a new route.”
Over several years Alex managed to juggle his
studies with the search for teammates and sponsorship.
At one point, in 2007, he had formed a team and was
close to securing funding. However, as is often the case
in the expedition world, he was let down at the very last
minute, just weeks from jetting south.
Alex’s Antarctic dreams were in tatters. But not
being one to sulk, he set his sights on another frozen
wasteland – Greenland. Alex didn’t water down
his ambition and stuck to the aim of skiing further
than anyone in polar history without outside help. “I
decided, ‘Why not? Let’s go for the big prize again, the
unsupported polar distance record, but let’s do it over a
return route on the Greenland ice sheet’.”
With an out-and-back route planned across the vast
Greenland Ice Cap, Alex would be able to make enough
mileage to bring back the record, which previously stood
at 1070 miles.
Alex only had a few months to find fresh support and
new teammates. He managed to persuade a previous
sponsor to headline the trip and settled upon George
Bullard, an open water swimmer, as his new companion.
What was remarkable about this pairing was that Alex
was 21 and George just 19, and they had very limited
polar experience between them. In fact, George had
never skied with a sledge before.
You might be beginning to wonder how they
thought they could take on such a challenge. “Youthful
exuberance and a slight lack of understanding of what
it was really going to be like,” explains Alex in hindsight.
“If you haven’t been on an expedition before, you don’t
quite know what you don’t know.”
Above Left to right: Hauling the sled / Trans Greenland Expedition / On a meltpool, inland Icecap, Greenland
But Alex had confidence in his
planning: “If we did adequate training,
I brought together a team of talented
people, I did my sums correctly and we had
the right equipment, I couldn’t see why
it wasn’t possible to go from zero to 100
In March 2008, Alex and George were
dropped by helicopter on the southeastern
coast of Greenland. In The Long Haul,
Hibbert’s book on the expedition, he
writes: “I relished the simplicity of the
journey ahead. There was no momentous
speech made. We simply got down to work
The pair began clawing their way up
the steep glaciated coastline and onto
the ice cap itself, before skiing northwest
in a diagonal line to the opposite coast.
They stashed stores of food along the
way for their return journey. Behind them,
they were pulling crushingly heavy 195kg
sledges that contained supplies and
With a minimum of fuss, they inched
forward. Some days they made good
progress, covering 10-15 miles or so.
Other days they were almost brought to
a standstill due to bumpy ice and snow
formations called sastrugi, melting pools
of water, crevasse fields, and occasional
After 71 days and 716 miles, they
reached the opposite coast, their turnaround
point and halfway marker. Despite
having never been on an expedition
together, Alex and George had formed
a solid bond. “It could have ended up a
disaster,” he says. “It could have quite
easily led to an accident or a big mistake
or us not getting on. It could have led to a
number of things, but as it happened, it led
to none of those.”
Alex’s obsessive planning had paid
dividends, but that didn’t mean he
was totally immune from doubt or fear,
especially when it came to crevasses.
But crevasses pale into comparison to
Piteraqs – vast raging wind storms that
sweep across the icecap. Luckily they
didn’t encounter a Piteraq, and instead,
the overwhelming distance had played
on Alex’s mind earlier in the journey.
“There was a period where I was starting
– privately – to think, ‘Hmm, I don’t know
about this’…If you start to think that you
have to come up with a contingency plan,
that lack of singularity and thought can be
They skied one behind the other in
formation so that the second would benefit
from flattened tracks. Days were broken
down into ski sessions of 60 minutes with
10-minute rests. This routine went on for
11 to 12 hours a day until the pair settled
into their tent at night, something that
could become a life-or-death situation itself
if high winds arose when it was time to
Evenings were spent preparing
dehydrated meals, tending to injuries,
making equipment repairs, checking in
back home and logging diary entries.
Routine was the order of the day, but
humour also played a role. “After a really
bad day, with high winds in your face, cold
temperatures, not much progress, difficult
to navigate, you get the tent up and dive
inside,” says Alex. “The two of us just
sat down for two seconds and chuckled
to each other, because we realised the
ridiculousness of where we were and what
we were doing.”
Alex and George had buried food
stores under the snow to lighten their load
on the outward journey. They made a snow
structure around the burial site and logged
its location on their GPS device. What they
had to do now was to hone in on these vital
supplies, and dogleg from depot to depot.
This went smoothly until the final 100
miles, where months of exposure to the
elements made it impossible to locate the
last two lifelines.
“It was a feeling of, ‘Oh, s***’. We
are still a long way from the coast and we
don’t have very much food left to last,”
recalls Alex. All the pair had left was a
few flapjacks. With such meagre rations,
they had to fight off dangerously low blood
sugar levels and the risk of simultaneously
fainting during skiing sessions.
The exhausted duo trod a fine line
between calling for rescue and pushing on
into oblivion, and Alex recognised this. “I
knew that there was going to be crevassing
ahead,” he says. “I knew we were going to
start to deteriorate physically pretty quickly.
We were in a bit of a dark hole after that
It didn’t help that their expedition
manager suggested they were only just
in range for a helicopter evacuation. But
interestingly Alex had somewhat expected
this scenario. So, with some confidence,
26//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#217
Helicopter ride into Greenland
he put aside thoughts of rescue and set
about pushing to the finish. Helicopter
evacuation or a food drop would have
killed off their record plans.
In The Long Haul Alex writes: “On
the one hand was the decision of
Shackleton to abandon his South Pole
attempt…on the other are tragic stories of
inexperienced clients and under-pressure
guides on Mount Everest… I felt that
the situation George and I were in fell
somewhere in the middle – a calculated
risk to finish the job combined with a
desire to come home alive.”
And come home they did. On the
16th July 2008, the pair hauled their
emaciated bodies over the finish line,
having journeyed some 1374 miles in
113 days. Nobody in history had travelled
further without support on foot in the
Pen Hadow, the only person to have
trekked solo from Canada to the North
Pole, said at the time: “The figures
alone are astounding. It rightly deserves
to be remembered as a classic polar
achievement, regardless of its moment
Three years later Aleksander
Gamme of Norway skied 1,404 miles in
Antarctica. Gamme had broken the record
for the longest unsupported polar journey
in history, and it remains the record to
this day. However, Hibbert and Bullard’s
journey is still the Arctic benchmark. Quite
remarkable when you consider they were
barely out of their teens.
" I felt that the
and I were in fell
somewhere in the
middle – a calculated
risk to finish the job
combined with a
desire to come
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STU'S CREW ON
THE RIVER WILD
“He makes himself ridiculous
who is forever repeating the same
The quote came to mind as we rocked up to the
Rafting New Zealand headquarters in Turangi to sign in
for the 2019 edition of the River Wild Raft and Run race.
We’ve been participating in the event every year since
its conception in 2013 and every year we arrive in the
same slightly dishevelled state; usually a little hungover
from the night before with our bodies carrying numerous
injuries which are a sign of our age, not due to any sort
of overtraining. Actually, our bodies also tend to go into a
slight state of shock at the thought of rafting 16km and
running 8km as we mutter under our breaths, “maybe we
should have done some training.”
However, this is one of the things that makes this
event stand out from all others. It’s not about being the
fastest down the river, although we all secretly covet that
spot, and its not about being the fastest on the 8km run,
it’s simply about taking part with a group of friends or
colleagues and the sense of camaraderie it creates.
By Lynne Dickinson
Images compliments of Rafting New Zealand
Stu's Crew navigating our way through one of the 60+
28//WHERE ACTIONS rapids SPEAK on the LOUDER Tongariro THAN River, WORDS/#217
Above and below: Stu's Crew enjoying the ride both
on and off the river
"The River Wild is an event
for anyone and everyone,
it’s a great event for friends,
family and there is a fantastic
opportunity for corporates
and companies to use this
event for team building."
Rafting New Zealand & The River Wild
The River Wild is hosted each year by Rafting New
Zealand in Turangi. They offer a wide range of white
water rafting trips from family float trips to Grade 5
white water , raft-fishing and overnight trips.
The perfect activity for a family, a group of friends or
as a corporate challenge. Contact the team at Rafting
New Zealand to find out more:
0800 865 226
Being regular fixtures at this event
has meant we have got to know the
staff well and they seem to enjoy our
rather unorthodox style. So much so
that we have been lucky enough to have
the same guide (at both our and their
request) for the past three years. We
first stumbled across Stu when we were
competing in the Spring Challenge a few
years back during the rafting section
of the race. He was politely giving us
the safety briefing and commands for
rafting, to which one of the girls yelled,
“we’ve done this before, just paddle.”
We then blitzed it down the Tarawera
River in record time, telling jokes, talking
inappropriately and laughing the whole
way down. Seems Stu enjoyed our
company as much as we did his and
we meet each year at the River Wild to
catch up and laugh our way down the
river. We even changed our team name
to Stu's Crew, to honour our favourite
This year a few of us were carrying
injuries so we jockeyed for places in
the raft to suit our list of pains; sore
knees, sore backs, sore shoulders… You
don't have to be in tip top shape to take
part in this event, another reason why
we love it so much. Regardless of our
ailments, it didn’t stop us from setting
off at a blistering pace. However, it did
mean that we couldn't keep up the pace
so decided to simply enjoy the ride, the
scenery and of course, the company.
With over 60 rapids on this section of
the Tongariro River, there’s always plenty
of water flow so you never get stuck
having to really graft it out paddling. It’s
one of the most scenic rivers around
with plenty of trout and loads of the
supposedly rare blue ducks.
As we came off the river and took
our time getting changed into our dry
shoes (and sipped on a couple of cold
beers we’d snuck into our gear bag),
one of the other teams mentioned that
they had dibs on last place so not to get
any ideas. Of course, like every year,
there are teams that are in it to win it,
but there are also plenty of teams who
are there for the experience of working
together to achieve something in an
With some injuries a little more severe
this year, and the fact that you have to
stay together as a team, we opted to walk
the 8km rather than run it. So, we set
off at a steady pace chatting about life
and continuing the laughs. If there was
a category for the team with the most
chatter, we would have been hands down
winners and would have come home with
a medal! We may not have come home
with a trophy, but we did come home with
a big haul of satisfaction, comradery and
the knowledge that we had not missed a
Rafting, and particularly the
River Wild, is an event for anyone and
everyone; it’s great for friends, family
and there is a fantastic opportunity
for corporates and companies to use
this event for team building. No one is
excluded, there are winners but really
everyone has fun. Paddling the river
you need to work as a team, you need
to listen and understand, you need to
perform but you also need to know when
to stop and enjoy the ride. Set amongst
the most amazing scenic background
in the North Island this is an event for
everyone to enjoy. My only advice is
book early – we have!
30//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#217
The dust settles.
Shoulder your Manaslu
Breathe in. Buckle up.
Zip, clip, adjust.
Life loaded on your back
A dirt track at your feet.
This is The Carry Moment
Breathe out, and go.
A KIWI CYCLING IN TAIWAN
By Erik Skilling
The Taiwanese really get what
cycling is all about. Cycling in another
country is always a buzz, but Taiwan also
offers a great climate with temperatures
between 21 and 26 0 C and light breezes
all day. Add to that smooth tar-seal/
roads, a culture where it is ok to share
the road with bikes, a wide variety of
terrain to choose from, and at the end of
the day NZ$4.20 for a 600ml bottle of
cold Taiwan Gold Lager, and you see the
attraction as a place to cycle.
In our case we had added a bit of tension to our trip by choosing to ride to the
top of the Mount Wuling undeniably one of the toughest mountain climbs on offer
anywhere. A continuous gut-busting 55 km of climbing at an average 8% gradient,
into the thin airs at 3,275 metres, or 10,740 feet. To put it into perspective, the
summit tops Mt Aspiring by about 240 metres.
There were consolations. The road surfaces are a cyclist dream, clean and
genuinely smooth, and shared with very considerate drivers. We were also followed
by a van loaded with water, packed with bananas, apples, passionfruit and enough
packets of gels, electrolytes, biscuits, lollies and dried fruit to fuel the next 10 cycling
tours. The best news though was the main climb was split over two days - 1,865
metres the first day and a mere 1,300 metres the next. Easy.
32//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#217
Switchbacks approaching the summit of Mt Wuling
Our group of 11 cyclists could not be more diverse, ranging from novice cyclists who were
very happy to accept an E-bike, to Brett who recently completed the Tour of Aoteroa – 3,000km
of mainly off-road cycling from Reinga to Bluff, carrying all his gear. Even more intimidating,
Brett completed/finished in 19 days. Although obviously born with titanium knees, the
achievement demands respect. /Respect.
In between are 3 of us over-60’s who were very happy to accept almost brand-new Giant
Advanced bikes with its smart looking climbing frame and Integra gear including a very
forgiving 34 sprocket in the cassette. The low-body-fat members of the group either had their
own bikes or were very happy with the Giant Propel, 8.5kg of Aero-bike replete electric gearchange.
Like they needed that advantage.
"The road surfaces are
a cyclist dream, clean
and genuinely smooth,
and shared with very
The team from Giant Adventures were our chosen guides. Highly organised, cheerful and
sometimes tolerant group of 3 very capable cyclists. Min took up point position at the front
of the group. Weighing less than 50 Kg dripping wet, loaded with camera and gels, she came
armed with a whistle that she blew with a gusto way out of proportion to her diminutive size,
warning us of hazards, upcoming intersections, traffic lights and breaks.
"We had added a bit of tension
to our trip by choosing to ride
to the top of the Mount Wuling
undeniably one of the toughest
mountain climbs on offer anywhere.
A continuous gut-busting 55 km of
climbing at an average 8% gradient,
into the thin airs at 3,275 metres."
Above: Out of the saddle for one last effort before a lunch stop
Right clockwise from top left: Setting out for the final leg. A short time later the group would be spread over several kilometres / Angry
temple guardian / Morning briefing; distances, gradients, food stops, places of interest / Some much needed encouragememt along
the way / The summit of Mt Wuling 3,275 metres / Doing the macho thing at the entrance to the National Park
Sunny, another slightly built pack of
human Taiwanese cycling machinery, at the
back to keep us on track after photos stops.
Lastly Kevin, dedicated photographer and van
driver, with an encouraging “keep going, not
far now” smile.
Each morning Min gave us a
comprehensive briefing on weather, road
gradients, expected stopping points and
landmarks to look out for along the way. Then
into a short stretching session. Each day our
guides made sure we had plenty of stops to
take photos, refill water bottles and load up
with snacks, or just to take in the sights.
The first day started off as a deceptively
cruisy trip out of Yuanlin, onto Jiji a dedicated
cycle trail past small but immaculately
cultivated farms, and then we glided through
small villages and markets. The route includes
the Taoist Wuchang temple, built after the
original temple was destroyed in infamous 921
earthquake of 1990. The original temple was
not demolished, standing as a symbol to the
devastating power of the earthquake.
Then we hit the first hill. The phrase, “it
starts to climb after this village” just didn’t
do justice to the 13 km of non-stop climbing,
which just got steeper and steeper as I cursed
the lack of training before leaving NZ. I admit
though it was very pleasant getting into the
bush-clad hills, the smoothness of an almost
new bike, and no time pressures.
Two empty water-bottles later we were
looking out over Sun Moon lake. The wind up
here was very light and hardly a ripple broke
the surface of the water. I craved a quick
swim to cool down and settle my jelly-legs, but
swimming is banned so we had to settle for
cycling along the of-road trail to our hotel and
a hot shower.
Sun Moon Lake is a popular tourist
destination, with several temples set in the
bush-clad hills and plenty of well-marked trails.
A gently rolling cycle track runs for most of the
30km loop around the lake, popular with many
groups of families on rented bikes. The main
village had that busy resort town feel to it –
although a very modern and very Asian version
of one, with several tall hotel blocks and the
tantalising aromas of Asian cuisine from the
many restaurants and street stalls hanging in
Next day we joined the 'Come Bike Day'
fun ride around the Lake, with 4 of the group
finishing in the top 10. But racing was not
really what this event was all about. Before
the start all 500 or so participants join in
a synchronised warm-up session to some
serious drum-and-bass. It was all too much
for our token Californian Mamil who broke
ranks with some sort of uncoordinated break
dancing. Amusing for the locals but humbling
The last event of the day was a highly
competitive race around the paddock for the
under 5's. More entertaining than the attempt
at break dancing, with heaps more skill and
coordination involved. But not as satisfying as
the glass of Taiwan Gold over lunch.
Next day was 1865 metre day. 55 km with
35 km of climbing. The signs were good - the
coldest start by far. A freezing 20 0 C with a high
of 23 0 C but cooling at altitude, and once again
just a slight breeze. Perfect riding weather.
After a very pleasant cruise along dual
carriageway for an hour or so, we stopped to fill
water bottles and load up with electrolytes and
gels and then the ascent began. It wasn't long
before the corners turned into switchbacks,
legs were burning and speeds plummeted -
down to single figures in my case.
Once again, the locals excelled
themselves with plenty of ni hao and jia you,
pronounced jar yoh and meaning 'more gas'. I
am getting even more hooked on this place.
The last 50 metres is a demoralising
switch-back up the step driveway to the hotel,
but almost everyone else is already there,
waiting to cheer me up the hill in one last lung
aching burst before collapsing in the car park.
Tomorrow a mere 1,300 metres to the top.
Early start. About 16 0 C and the Taiwanese
are rugged up like we are going skiing. A mere
20km and 1,310 metres to go.
Within a few km we are a lot more spread
out than usual. The lead group is down to 3
people. Even the E-bike riders are noticing the
extra effort in the thinner air.
Up ahead I can see the top covered in thin
mist. Some serious drop-offs give spectacular
views of rugged valleys with the odd terraced
farms, all facing the rising sun.
The legs are doing ok, but the heart rate
feels like it is heading for max at every rise.
I reach around 2,700 metres and 11 km to
go. The van is parked at the next corner and
suddenly the thought of another 500 metres
at 11% to 13% gradient is too much. I bail.
Steve encourages me to walk 100 metres
and then give it another go. I walk about 30
metres, but the heart is still pounding and I’m
breathing hard. I turn back to the van.
After a few stops for photos of the other
making their way up, we reach the top to find
the lead group of 3 waiting. Kevin reached
there just in time to throw up. I console myself
knowing that, and also knowing I now have
just the reason I need to come back soon.
Only between now and then I will have put
in a few miles on the Bruce Road, with a few
trips to the Dome shelter for that extra altitude
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SOUTH ISLAND'S WEST COAST
Between the Towering peaks of the Southern Alps and the Wild Waters of the
Tasman Sea, lies one of the most remote regions in New Zealand; the West Coast
or Westland as otherwise known. It’s an area truly dominated by nature and its
many forms, from Nikau palm rainforests of the North, to the glaciated valleys and
fortress-like peaks of the South.
It’s an astounding fact that this stretch of Coast is over 600km long and
home to only 1% of the Country’s population, leaving a lot of space to roam and
explore. While much can be seen not too far from the State Highway, you will
need adequate gear and potentially helicopters to go off and explore some of the
otherwise unexplorable inner realms. The West Coast is often well-known for its
less-than-favourable weather patterns, with heavy storms often rolling in from the
The ‘Coasters’ are a friendly and independent community who will no doubt,
add to your amazing experience following this rugged coastline. I’ve been lucky
enough to travel the length of the West Coast on multiple occasions, only to
find myself captivated yet astounded by its remoteness and startling change in
ecosystems each time.
Choosing the top 5 places to visit along this 600km stretch of rugged coast is
difficult, but I am certain nonetheless that these natural features and gems, will be
fantastic additions to any travel experience you find yourself on and I’m sure you
will enjoy them just as much as I did.
By Jack Austin
Porters beach, Kahurangi Coast
36//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#217
Gazing in awe at the surreal turquoise waters of the Hokitika Gorge
The Heaphy Track
To be named one of New Zealand’s
9 Great Walks immediately sets the tone
for what is an incredible journey through
nature. I can’t think of a walk I have done
that covers more different ecosystems
than the Heaphy Track. Being the Longest
of the Great walks done on foot at 78km,
the journey takes you from the rugged
coastline and Nikau Rainforest of the West
Coast, right through the baron plains of
the Gouland downs, passing through the
mountain-scapes of Perry Saddle before
finishing on the shores of the roaring Brown
If you don’t fancy the 3-5 day hike,
plenty of short walks can be done from both
sides but more so from the West Coast. One
of my favourite West Coast beaches, ‘Scotts
Beach’ sits 5km from the track start.
The waters of Hokitika Gorge are often
described as ‘an impossible emerald blue’,
followed by “I’ve never seen water that
colour… ever!” You’d be quite right. The
Turquoise blue that runs through this gorge
contains fine, ground “rock flour” that is so
fine, it suspends in the water as it flows;
producing an impossible turquoise blue
hue. With just a short walk from the Car
park until you reach the swing-bridge, you’ll
be immediately welcomed by the incredible
greens of the rainforest. Cast your eyes
down to the emerald blue waters below,
you’ll be wanting to make it to the rocks for
a swim right away. Be warned though, the
waters are damn cold!
The Haast Pass
One of the areas I haven’t quelled my
curious nature by exploring enough of. The
drive through the Haast pass I can only
describe as being the most ‘wild’ of the
three cross-country Passes (including Lewis
Pass & Arthurs Pass.) Steep cliff faces
encompassing you, many waterfalls lie on
this stretch which are most definitely worth
exploring including the fascinating Fantail
Falls and Roaring Billy Falls ; my favourite
being ‘Thunder Creek Falls.’ Another
feature of ‘emerald blue waters’ lies in the
form of ‘Blue Pools’ an incredible natural
phenomenon sitting amongst the dense
New Zealand bush. The terrain of this region
is steep and allows any explorer to get up
into the alpine very quickly with several
back-country/alpine DOC serviced huts
spread-out amongst the mountain tops.
38//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#217
Glacier country, as seen from above.
One of my favourite places to visit in
the Karamea region is the Oparapara Basin;
home to the highest natural rock archway
in the Southern Hemisphere. Tucked away
amongst the West Coast rainforest, the
archways are mind-blowing examples of
nature’s elements creating such formations.
When done exploring here, the basin is full
of amazing features to be seen along with
several cave networks, astounding Tree
Fern Forests and my favourite; Mirror Tarn.
It’s a forest pool of dark, stained water
surrounded and sheltered by tall trees,
creating a reflection that is undisturbed and
actually very difficult to tell where the land
ends and the water begins.
Fox Glacier & Lake Matheson
As you begin venturing further South,
you’ll realise 2 things. Firstly, the mountains
get closer and much, much bigger and
secondly; it’s a lot colder. While the North
of the South Island receives arguably the
most sunlight hours of the whole country,
entering into Fox and Franz Josef means
you have finally made it to Glacier country.
This part of New Zealand is home to 2
incredible Glaciers; Franz Josef Glacier (12
km long) and Fox Glacier (13 km long). I
feel it’s important to note that both of these
Glaciers, as well as many others in New
Zealand are currently retreating. Rising
temperatures have had an astounding effect
and my 2 visits here, with a gap of 4 years,
made me realise just how much they have.
You can still go and explore the glaciers,
however if you’re wanting to actually walk on
the glacier, you will need to do so by going
with a Glacier Heli-guiding company located
in either Fox Glacier or Franz Josef.
Coming away from the Glaciers, one of
the best walks around is the world-famous;
Lake Matheson. You will not see a better,
more beautiful mountain mirror-reflection
than here, especially as that is of New
Zealands tallest peak; Aoraki Mount Cook.
You are more likely to get this mirror-like
effect in the early morning or late evening.
One more for good measure! If you
really want to get an insight as to how
rugged and spectacular this stretch of coast
is, the well-known Cape Foulwind walkway
should be on your trip itinerary. Located in
the old fishing town of Westport, where you
can quickly escape to the shores and the
roaring waves of the Tasman Sea. Home to
a Seal Colony, there is no limit on the native
wildlife to be seen here along with incredible
views of the coastal formations. If the
weather allows, be sure to go all the way to
the Cape Foulwind lighthouse!
Needless to say, any travel experience
in New Zealand HAS to include exploring the
West Coast and its many natural attractions.
It’s wild, remote and has an uncanny effect
of drawing you back to explore it time and
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BEN THOUARD WAS CROWNED THE OVERALL
WINNER OF THE REDBULL ILLUME – THE MOST
PRESTIGIOUS ADVENTURE PHOTO COMPETITION
IN THE WORLD. THIS PHOTO WAS SHOT DURING
A FREESURF SESSION RIGHT BEFORE THE WCT
EVENT IN TEAHUPO‘O. THIS IS ACE BUCHAN KICKING
OUT FROM THE BARREL THROUGH THE WAVE, A
TECHNIQUE TO ESCAPE A CLOSE-OUT WAVE.
CLIFFNICKING IN ESTES PARK
Words by Lynne Dickinson
Images by Steve Dickinson and Kalley Rittman
Most of us have watched Cliff Hanger,
my husband had not. So, the night before our
departure to Colorado to go cliff camping, he
decided to watch it – bad move. For those
of you who also haven’t seen the movie,
or simply have forgotten, it starts with the
iconic scene of Sylvester Stallone climbing
with his best friends’ girlfriend when she
comes unclipped from her harness. Despite
Sylvester’s incredible physique he is unable
to hold onto her and she plummets 1000 feet
to her death.
Fast forward a few days and we’re
in Estes Park, on the outskirts of Rocky
Mountain National Park, being clipped
into our very own harnesses, Steve was
undoubtably a little nervous.
To make matters worse, the day before
we had been driving through the Rockies over
the highest sealed road in the US stopping
numerous times to take photos and enjoy
the incredible scenery. Later that evening
Steve began to feel a little under the weather;
headaches, nausea, loss of appetite and
went to bed early. The following morning, still
feeling pretty dodgy we decided to check in
with the local pharmacist to see what maybe
ailing him. Seemed he had a dose of altitude
sickness and was prescribed some travel
sickness pills for the nausea, ibuprofen for
the headaches, a portable oxygen cannister
for his breathing along with a box of ‘concrete
pills’ and told to go enjoy the day.
So, we checked into KMAC, (Kent
Mountain Adventure Center) and met our
guide for the day. Kalley (pronounced Cali,
as in California) was the quintessential rock
climber, who despite growing up in Wisconsin
(not renowned for its peaks) had fallen in
love with climbing and the mountains. She
was passionate about the outdoors and had
made a life for herself doing the thing she
really loved, climbing.
" It just goes against
all logic and took every
ounce of mind over matter
to simply trust that we
were indeed safe, when
all instincts screamed the
RIGHT: Cliffnic with Kent Mountain
Adventure Center and trying our
hardest to look relaxed.
Image by our guide Kalley
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Left: Our platform for the Cliffnic / Right: Climbing the Via Ferrata
We were there to experience both the Via Ferrata and
Cliffnicking… I’ll explain….
Via Ferrata is an Italian phrase that means “iron way”
and it basically means a fixed climbing route has been
established enabling you to experience what it’s like to rock
climb, without needing to have any technical climbing ability.
The KMAC website describes the experience as, “somewhere
between scrambling and technical rock climbing, something
like a rope course up a cliff.”
Cliffnicking is lunch or dinner on a portaledge attached
to a sheer rock face hundreds of feet above the ground. Now
this does not appeal to everyone but if you have any sense
of adventure (which we did) this is one of those must do
Our day began with a 45-minute hike before securing
our harness and helmet to begin the Via Ferrata. After a brief
demonstration and practise we clipped into the first of the
anchored steel cables and began our ascent.
The Via Ferrata climbs roughly 600 vertical feet and
traverses across the middle of a steep cliff which is really
exposed, so it gives you a mental challenge as well as a
The views from the climb are spectacular and we
managed plenty of stops to enjoy the sights and snap
photos (or suck on an oxygen bottle). Although the climb is
assisted in the way of ladders and steel rungs, it was great
to challenge yourself to use more of the natural features,
that way you could get a feel of really climbing. Regardless
of the path you choose it is still physically demanding so you
need to have a relatively good level of fitness. You know when
you’ve reached the top of the Via Ferrata as the scene is
somewhat similar to the prayer flags at the top of Everest.
After a brief stop, we walked down to the start of the
rappel for our portaledge lunch. Usually going down is the
easy part, but strangely that was not the case. Although
clipped into the rappel line, tipping yourself backwards off
the edge of a cliff is simply not a natural sensation. You are
putting all your faith in the line, with only your feet securing
you to the sheer cliff face.
As we inched our way down, the portaledge offered only
the tiniest of safe havens between us and the hundred of
feet sheer drop to the bottom.
It’s a strange sensation, to say the least, to perch on a
ledge held onto the side of a cliff by a few harnesses. Despite
being reassured that the safety holds were exactly that,
“safe” it was hard to really relax. It just goes against all logic
and took every ounce of mind over matter to simply trust
that we were indeed safe, when all instincts screamed the
I focused on watching Kalley as she gave off a sense of
calm and reassurance and I put my trust in her enough to
actually relax and enjoy the experience. I’m not sure I can
say the same for Steve. Despite his best attempt to “chill” he
44//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#217
At the summit with our wonderful guide Kalley
just couldn’t hide the inner turmoil and never quite looked at
ease. Kalley took a picture of us perched on the ledge and
we posted it (as you do) to our social media channels and
is the image that has received the most comments, most of
them along the lines of "are you crazy?" Well, maybe just a bit!
Steve has no fear of heights but a lifetime of being in
some fairly adventurous predicaments, like photographing
30-foot waves from a boat and shooting while hanging out of
helicopter (things not always going well), he has developed
a good sense of self preservation and this situation seemed
anything but. He asked about the portaledge and how it
was held on the cliff wall. Kalley pointed to the single bolt
in the wall that we were all attached our harness and the
portaledge. "So we are all attached to that one bolt?"
Kalley went on to reassure him of how it was rated and
perfectly safe of which he heard none. All he heard was we
are all attached to that one bolt and it was time to get down.
I could see he wanted to get down and but didn’t want to
be a pussy. Kalley unpacked a beautiful lunch – drinks –
sandwiches and crackers and hummus. I started to really
relax and enjoyed the experience; the weather was beautiful,
crows flew around the cliff face and you could see for miles.
On the other hand, Steve nibbled at his sandwich, nervously
twitched every time someone moved and kept a firm grip on
the rappel line.
Kalley: "More crackers?"
Steve: "No I’m good"
Kalley: "Another sandwich?"
Steve: “No I’m good?"
Steve: "No thanks"
Kalley: "Shall we just hang out here then?"
Steve: "No I’m good"
We rappelled to the bottom and sat and looked up at the
tiny space we had been sitting on as it flapped in the breeze.
We were perfectly safe at all times but something’s its is hard
to get your head round, that you are sitting on the face of a
cliff 600ft off the ground dipping crackers in hummus!
Weeks later when we returned to New Zealand, this
experience is the one that I have relived many times as
people have asked me what it was like and was I crazy?
I know that the cliffnicking could have easily been
outside of my comfort zone, it was definitely outside of my
everyday experiences, however, isn’t it that that makes life
exciting. The minute you start putting things in the “too hard”
or “too scary” category means you stop living.
Our experiences make us who we are at any age and it is
way too easy to put some things in the too hard basket; I am
too weak, too unfit, too injured too old, the excuse list goes
on forever. Sure, you don’t want to overdo it, but each and
every one of us needs so desperately, for our own personal
wellbeing, to push the envelope; take that extra step, commit
to things we are not completely comfortable with, and all of
us will be better off for it.
" Each and every one of
us needs so desperately,
for our own personal
wellbeing, to push the
envelope; take that extra
step, commit to things
we are not completely
comfortable with, and all of
us will be better off for it."
Kent Mountain Adventure Center was
established by Harry Kent and has been
offering rock climbing and mountaineering
instruction since 1987 as well as providing
outdoor education programs for school. Many
of the staff are teachers, outdoor educators,
professional career guides and personal
coaches who cite their passion for the outdoors
and love of teaching as one of the most
satisfying parts of their lives.
You’ll find KMAC in the lobby of the The
Aspire at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park.
What else they offer: Whether you are
young or old and seeking a climbing guide or
looking for a group experience, KMAC can cater
something to suit your needs. Programmes
include: Via Ferrata, Cliff Camping, Rock
Climbing Programmes, Avalanche Education
and more. Check them out at kmaconline.com
VisitEstesPark.com and Colorado.com for
more adventures in the region.
To some, #vanlife is just an escapist hashtag. It was those amazing Instagram images of people living in
a van, like a crazy tiny house on wheels that really kick-started the change. But it has grown into a far bigger
movement worldwide. What originally was the domain of both modern-day hippies and at the other end of
the scale, retirees, now has been embraced by all walks of life for all sorts of reasons.
To some it represents freedom, travel, adventure, and to some minimalism. To some it is cheaper
than a holiday home and for other's it’s the basecamp of adventures. It’s become a movement, a way of
life; whether it’s a 24/7 life commitment, the holidays or just a weekend. It can be in a converted bus, RV,
motorhome or a van. It’s not what you park it is where you park it.
At its most basic, van life is just that: living in a van, something with wheels. It has little to do with the
vehicle itself. It doesn’t matter what kind of work you do, or where you spend most of your time. It doesn’t
matter what specific kind of vehicle you drive, or how much you spent on ‘building it out’ or buying it. It
doesn’t matter whether you travel all over or stay around one region, or whether you live full time, part time,
or just on weekends.
Vanlife does involve living in a van, yes. That demands a minimalist approach which is cathartic in
itself – living with less. There is often travel involved which itself is rewarding. There is greater access to
adventures, climbing, biking, tramping, kayaking, which can only be good. But deeper than that, vanlife is
about the commitment to create the most fulfilling life you can for yourself. It’s about not settling for what
you “should” be doing, it’s about focusing on what’s meaningful in your life and shedding what isn’t. Best
surmised as ‘more fun with less’ and about ‘creating your own path’.
#adventurevanlifenz will be a regular part of Adventure we hope it whets your appetite to join the movement.
48//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#217
TRIALS & TRIBULATIONS
There are a lot of options around having a
‘VanLife’, you can rent an RV, or a motorhome,
hire a van or build one from the ground up,
but regardless of where you start there are
challenges to be overcome. It’s not all hanging
in hammocks drinking wine and looking at the
IT CAN BE HARD TO WORK!
Regardless of what you may see on social
media, vanlife is not all about hanging around
your van in gorgeous locations. Living an on the
road lifestyle takes work, and you need to be
almost continually strategizing, making a plan,
Anyone who has done any time in a van will
know the joy of everpresent questions:
• When can I fill up with fresh water?
• Where will we sleep tonight?
• Where can we shower next?
• What shall we do with the greywater?
Cooking in a van is like cooking in a
cupboard – it helps if you can cook outside,
but if you can’t, then it is close quarter cooking.
You need to learn to put things away as soon
as you have stopped using them, there is no
piling them up in the corner and putting them
in the dishwasher later. There is an upside to it
that cooking as with most vanlife experiences
is about becoming a more of a minimalist,
keeping things simple and enjoy the quality
rather than the mass.
Unlike a house or an apartment, with a
vanlife you have to keep a close eye on the
water, how often do you need to fill up and
where, greywater what to do with it, black water
if you have it where can you dump it. You need
to keep an eye on fuel, propane/LPG. When
can I do some laundry? It takes a lot more
work than people imagine, but it’s not as bad
as having to do the lawns and paint the house.
These questions are relevant to how long you
are on the road for but anything over two weeks
you need to have answers to the daily question
and a developed awareness.
GET USED TO BEING OUTDOORS.
If you are not an outdoor person then
maybe vanlife is not for you! The key phrase you
hear is that ‘you don’t live in a van, you live out
of a van’. Vanlife, regardless of the vehicle, is
living and enjoying being outside.. No matter
how many amenities you included in your van,
you will still spend a significant amount of time
outside your van.
This is something that attracts a lot of
people to vanlife, and it’s one of our favourite
parts of this lifestyle. But it’s important to
realize that being outside all the time comes
with some unavoidable discomforts. There will
be dirt, mud, sand, and leaves. There will be all
kinds of insects; mosquitoes, flies, and spiders.
You will be cold, or hot, or damp, or sweaty.
Things won't be clean all the time, and you
won't be entirely comfortable all the time. And
the sooner you embrace this reality, the more
you'll enjoy living in a van.
LIKE CROWDHOUSE SAID ‘YOU ALWAYS TAKE
THE WEATHER WITH YOU.'
When you live in a van, you can’t control the
environment like you can in a house, and you
are always at the mercy of the weather. If it's
wet outside it’s going to get wet inside; if it dirty
and dusty outside, then it’s going to get dirty
and dusty inside.
But you can make sure your van is well
insulated; if you have hired a van you can learn
to use the temperature controls, lots of vans
have heating and aircon. But for those older
ones that don't, then you soon get used to
knowing what to wind-up and what to pull down.
But the most significant thing, like everything
with vanlife, you learn to put up with it and
you understand you can’t control everything,
so tonight you may bake a little, but tomorrow
things will be back to normal. When you
deal with the weather and the environment it
connects you to what’s around you – it makes
you understand the seasons. When we are
locked in an office or home, we try to maintain
an equilibrium with vanlife; you learn to accept
and enjoy it.
The other joy of vanlife is if you don’t
like the temperature where you are, you can
Vanlife means different things to different
people, there are difficulties, but it’s turning
those challenges into being part of the value
of the lifestyle which makes it even more
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RB009 NZ Adventure Magazine Half Page Ad.indd 1
4/09/19 8:48 AM
MORE THAN A DECADE
Dirtbag Dispatches with Derek Cheng
The policeman found nothing humorous
in the huge, black letters on the back of my
van spelling out ‘Free Candy’.
He had been called out to the van -
parked in the library carpark in Sandy, south
of South Lake City, Utah - by a concerned
"It’s pretty weird . You’re got ‘Free Candy’
on your van. There are children around. It’s
pretty weird … "
He did not seem to calm down upon
finding no children in or around the van.
I asked him if he wanted any candy. He
I asked him if he’d like to take a look
inside the van. He did not.
I went through some of the types of
candy I had. It did not change his mind. "It's
pretty weird," he repeated.
Adventure-seekers pondering vanlife are
often concerned about safety and security;
how vulnerable are you to thieves - or worse -
when you park in a public space by yourself?
In roughly three years of living in my van
in North America, I had more encounters
with dodgy police (one) than I did with dodgy
thieves (none). Free Candy crossed countless
miles visiting the most famous climbing
destinations, and mainly provoked fascination
from vanlife aspirants.
There was Caitlin, who was so inspired
by the van parked outside a climbing gym
that she left a note on the windshield saying:
“Your van is my spirit animal - admirer.”
Within a year, Caitlin had bought her own
van and moved to Boulder, Colorado, where
being a vanlifer is as common as coffee in
There was Ara, an old man with kind
eyes, who had taken to the road on a
motorcycle - with his dog in a sidecar - as
a way of coping with his son’s death. I met
him in a laundromat carpark in Moab, Utah,
where he had upgraded to a huge RV. After
sharing a cup of tea, Ara gifted me one of his
three $500 Goal Zero powerbanks to light my
comparatively dreary living space.
"It’s pretty weird . You’re got ‘Free
Candy’ on your van. There are
Longtime vanlifer Ara, who gifted me one of
his three Goal Zero powerbanks
Derek Cheng with his "Free Candy"
Then there were simply the countless
people who poked their heads in the door out of
curiosity. The random way you meet people is one
of the great benefits of vanlife, but it’s hardly the
highest selling point. Many have dreamed of the
freedom of the road, and while few have taken
the plunge, more and more are.
It’s an easy lifestyle to sell. 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 - climbing,
surfing, hiking, mountain biking - that make your
There are also the struggles that vanlifers
don’t post online: a curtain catching fire when
you were distracted from the cooking task
at hand, or breaking down in the middle of
nowhere, or simply those times when you sat in
the supermarket carpark at night feeling lonely,
isolated, even forgotten.
Many fear how vanlife will affect their ability
to find future work or afford a future mortgage.
Some think they'll get robbed or worse.
RIGHT: Keenan Waeschle and Cat Geras atop Eichorn
Tower in the Sierra Nevada, California
52//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#217
Others don’t think they could cope with the
lack of a convenient shower, or pooing into a
hole in the ground in the absence of a public
If you consider these issues to be
insurmountable, then yes, vanlife probably isn’t
for you, even though you could mitigate the loss
of comfort by buying a van of opulent luxury, one
with solar-panels that power a fridge, TV and
heater, with a gas kitchen and oven, and even a
These are increasingly the types of vans you
find these days. They are even becoming the
more dominant breed in dirtbag climbing circles,
where the cheapest vehicle possible used to be
I’ve always been in the latter camp. There
was the Summerhouse, a 1987 Toyota Hiace
that wasn’t much more than a double bed
in the back of a van. Then there was Kiki, an
almost identical Toyota Hiace, followed by
Doris, another Hiace but with a game-changing
Doris had a top you could pop, enabling
this thing known as “standing” that had hitherto
been missing from my vanlife; hunching up to
cook at awkward angles as heavy rain poured
outside was not something that my fragile spine
ever got used to.
Doris, with her top popped, parked by the Takaka River in Golden Bay
"Social norms - from the importance of
looking your best or keeping up to date with
the latest TV fad - fade into irrelevance,
while weather reports become critical as
they dictate your next move."
Doris even had a sink with a retractable
shower-head that was operated via foot-pump;
you could shower as much as you liked, as long
as someone was inside pumping the water.
I must have yearned for the simpler lifestyle,
as my next van was a throwback: a 1980 Chevy
that looked nothing more than barely adequate.
Van Morrison made strange, random noises,
and broke down several miles out of Durango,
Colorado. It was pure luck that there was a gas
station nearby from where we could call the
American equivalent of the AA.
Free Candy was the best of all worlds: old
but hip, tall enough for standing in, yet cheap
enough to be kind to my savings.
It had a cooler (no fridge), a two-element
gas stove (no oven), a bookshelf and toolbox, a
coat rack, the Goal Zero powerbank (courtesy
of Ara), and abundant storage underneath a
It could provide refuge for five sleepers: two
in the bed, two on the floor on thermarests, and
one in a hammock tied to the roll-cage bars.
On days when the raindrops thundered into
the roof as if trying to reach the inside of your
belly, Free Candy provided a superb social
space: three chilling on the bed, three on the
back seat facing the bed and one on the floor,
lit by solar-powered lamps and some fairy
lights on each sidewall.
Free Candy was my ticket to dirtbag life
and I drove it endless miles from Canada to
Mexico and back, with visits to everywhere in
It braved the rugged roads heading into
the remote mountains of the Wind River
Range, in Wyoming, and the infinite canyons
of Utah. It endured the deserts of Nevada for
Burning Man, and survived being trapped for
days in Tensleep Canyon while a fire raged. All I
could do was camp at the brewery in the small
nearby town and drink craft beer, awaiting Free
Candy’s fate; I was very relieved to recover it
It even persevered through the -30C
winters of Canada, a fate it was forced into
when I decided I wanted to try ice climbing.
Such conditions drove the mattress to stiffen
into concrete, making it slightly amusing to
wake up in a human-shaped cavity that my
body temperature had created in the otherwise
Vanlife shrinks the number of your
possessions as you realise the things you don’t
need. Social norms - from the importance of
looking your best or keeping up to date with
the latest TV fad - fade into irrelevance, while
weather reports become critical as they dictate
your next move.
You become a frequent user of public
services, from toilets to parks to the library,
as well as an expert in finding places to park
overnight. Parking on conservation land in the
US is generally permitted, but vanliving in the
climbing mecca of Yosemite Valley is strictly
against the rules and can attract an instant
fine of about $200.
For weeks I scampered up granite walls
in Yosemite and, at night, surreptitiously
“borrowed” a campsite in the Upper Pines
campsite. I thought I had been sneaky enough,
but to the trained and watchful eye, Free
Candy was always likely to belong to someone
unwilling to pay $40 a night for a campsite.
54//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#217
"On days when the raindrops thundered
into the roof as if trying to reach the inside
of your belly, Free Candy provided a superb
social space: three chilling on the bed, three
on the back seat facing the bed and one on
the floor, lit by solar-powered lamps and
some fairy lights on each sidewall."
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 -
climbing, surfing, hiking, mountain biking - that make your heart sing.
On my last night at the Upper Pines, I was
happily in dreamland when a Yosemite ranger
knocked on my door. When I opened it, she
asked me simply if this was my campsite and
whether I had paid for it.
I am a terrible liar.
“No,” I replied with sleepy resignation.
She told me I had to leave before the
arrival of those who had paid for the site. It
was 1am, and the conversation became a tad
prickly when I asked if she thought that the
arrival of said happy campers was imminent,
or likely at all. She thought it was. I did not.
A stand-off ensued, but my friend’s sixth
sense kicked into gear. She had been sleeping
in her car parked next to my van and, sensing
that a fine was about to be flung, she quickly
opened her door and told me roll out.
The only other testy exchange I
encountered on my vanlife adventures was the
policeman in Sandy, the one obsessed with
how “weird” my presence was in the public
If he had found my facetious offer of candy
humorous in any way, he was hiding it well.
I tried reason: I only had candy in my van
after seeing the disappointment from those
who had approached in the hope of finding
(There was even a time when I saw
children waiting by the van for the owner to
return, which compelled me to walk by as if I
had no connection to the van whatsoever.)
I tried blaming others: a friend had written
the words “Free Candy” on the van despite my
avid objections. (This was untrue, and I had
consented without really considering how it
might paint me as a potential paedophile.) I
asked what law I was breaking.
The cop was having none of it. He talked to
me like I was a second-class citizen. The fact
I was clad in my sarong may not have helped
I eventually resorted to flattery. “You’re
right, it is pretty weird.”
He ordered me to leave the carpark
and, while the whole exchange left an
uncomfortable mess in my gut, it was a tiny
blip on a glorious vanlife adventure spanning
five vehicles and more than a decade.
the number of your
possessions as you
realise the things
you don’t need."
56//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#217
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SEE THE WORLD
Explore beyond the road, and your imagination
Ever wanted to leave it all behind
and travel the world your way?
Image by Dayna Andrews
Dave Clark, owner and director of
Clark Global, has always had an
insane passion for travel. After
a successful 20+ year career in
building and fabrication in
New Zealand, he embarked on his
first intrepid journey from Cape
Town to Cairo over six months with
a well-known overlanding company.
After 157 days of packed buses,
camping every night in every weather
condition, he learnt two important
things; 1) he needed to see more of
the world and 2) he needed to do it
on his terms, his way.
But what did that mean? Anyone can
pack a suitcase, book a tour and
see what the world has to offer - but
that is not what intrepid adventure
travellers aspire to do! Adventure
travellers want to explore beyond
the tours and experience the world
down the path less travelled. But to
do that, you need to be in control of
your own adventure, so that is exactly
what Dave set out to do.
18 months later, after returning
home to NZ from Africa and spending
a considerable amount of time
researching a vehicle that could
handle what it was going to be put
through, he put his life on hold and
moved to the UK. He began building
his first Unimog 1550 expedition
truck ‘Aroha’ with the plan to take
it back to Africa and explore the
Western Coast. Unfortunately, Ebola
had other plans, so a new route was
to be found.
Dave says “It’s liberating to be
able to pack up your home, set
off and explore the unknown …
Overlanding as a form of travel is
in itself a wonderful way to explore
what a country has to offer. More
so than not, many people fly into
main cities, see the tourists sights
and fly onto the next major city
without fully having the sheer joy
of immersing themselves in the
backcountry, meeting the locals
and experiencing the culture in its
purest form …”
“...This experience is only
enhanced when you have your own
overlanding vehicle, where you are
the creator of your own adventure
and destiny. Stop where you want,
stay in places where few people
have ever seen and do what you
want when you want. You don’t
need to be anywhere by anytime to
meet anyone - you can just be you.
A gift rarely experienced by people
Once he landed in the UK, he
collected his Unimog and drove it
back to the outskirts of London.
Once the crate arrived with all the
necessary tools to build her, less
than four months later, and with his
best mate in tow, they drove ‘Aroha’
on her maiden voyage from the UK
along the Silk Road via Mongolia and
Russia over eight months, totalling a
massive 41,000km and 17 countries.
Over the eight months the pair
experienced and encountered some
truly awe-inspiring events, including
arriving in Turkey and taking the
truck off-road into an unmarked
clearing in a forest to sleep on a
cliff top after travelling for 22 hours
straight. To then stay the next night
in a carpark they found in the dark,
only to discover the next day while on
an ANZAC tour that they unknowingly
had not only stayed on the cliff the
ANZACs had to climb up when they
accidentally landed in the wrong
place, but the exact place they stayed
had a monument that a specialist
they spoke to hadn’t been able to find
again in 10 years. To add to the awe,
the carpark they stayed at the next
night was on Brighton Beach, where
the ANZACs should have landed.
And it just got better. Seeing
the infamous Gates of Hell in
Turkmenistan, to being stuck
in quicksand for 27 hours in
Kazakhstan. They fell in love with the
majestic landscapes of Kyrgyzstan,
the vibrancy of Almaty and the
humble nature and generosity of the
"If anyone can replace a severed drive
shaft in the middle of Mongolia with the
only thing visible within 1000km is a
horse without a rider and still be back on
the road within two days ... it’s Dave"
When travelling through Mongolia
they went the first five days without
seeing anything but the odd camel
and shepherd. When they did come
across a nomad family, they were
excitedly chased down by spirited
children smiling and waving (the
sheer joy would compel anyone to
stop). They were then welcomed
into the family yurts where they
shared meals with families that
had little to spare. Giving what they
have is all they know - they have a
They returned the generosity
throughout their travelling in kind.
They cooked and shared their food,
they prepared and smoked shisha
around family tables, they fixed
motorbikes, towed out trucks, gave
first aid to a family that rolled their
water truck down a bank and got
their truck back on the road.
As sparse as Mongolia is, they
still drove down rivers to camp as
far from civilsation as they could,
only to still hear the greeting of a
lone shepherd on a donkey at the
front door. Being able to immerse
themselves so deeply meant
that they met amazing people,
made lifelong friends and more
importantly sparked a dream.
Since the Silk Road, ‘Aroha’ has
spent time in NZ before being
shipped to the US to attend Burning
Man and then driven through some
of the most remote parts of Canada
into the North Pole to see the
breath-taking Northern Lights on
display, through to Houston over six
months just last year.
With ‘Aroha’ still in Houston and
set to be shipped over to the UK,
Dave has now built her big sister,
‘Arohanui’ which is his show and NZ
Everything that Dave learnt and
experienced inspired him to
form Clark Global LTD and build
expedition vehicles that with the
right engineering will enable kiwis
and global overlanders to explore
the world on their own terms.
It just goes to show where a
passion and a dream can take
you. In only a few short years, Dave
has expanded his factory and
crew, built a new showcase truck,
consulted and built expedition
trucks for multiple customers - at
the same time expanding his global
connections and strengthening
his reputation as being one of
the leading expedition vehicle
‘Arohanui’, their new U1700
Unimog expedition vehicle, is the
culmination of their global travels
and displays the very best in
engineering, fabrication, knowledge
and specialist collaboration with
some of the leading suppliers in the
clark-global.com | Auckland, NZ
@clarkglobal | #clarkglobal
58//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#217
Image by Jordan Sumner
Image by Jordan Sumner
“We believe that freedom
of travel is enhanced by
building a vehicle that is
100% uniquely you and
satisfies all your needs;
even the ones you didn’t
know you needed”
LIVEABLE AND UNIQUELY YOURS
Dave Clark and the team bring all their
experience to create expedition vehicles
that drive, defy and allow you to see more of
the world, your way.
Image by Jordan Sumner
Starting from the bottom up Dave and his
team will work with you to build your dream
travel vehicle. They can work with any
chassis and cab. Couple that with the expert
design and precision build of the cabin - any
vehicle can become your adventure home on
wheels, no matter the conditions.
Clark Global offers a full 360 service. They
can work with you to provide:
• Consultation to find the right vehicle
• Sourcing and management of
procurement of your base vehicle
• Import and export management
• Cabin design, build and supply with
their custom profile extruded fibreglass
• Parts and modifications
• Build and maintenance management
Image by nomadasaurus.com
The team can design and build vehicles
that will satisfy all your dreams, needs,
challenges and creature comforts.
Clark Global is proud to be a kiwi company,
offering not only fellow kiwis, but the global
market, the ability to explore everything
the world has to offer, their way. Nothing is
Home is where you park it
Another awesome night spent on the beach with good company,
cold beers and a warm fire . We think someone's keen for dinner.
SLOWING THINGS DOWN
By Jessica Middleton
My boyfriend and I have always enjoyed what you would call the "van life".
My adventures started when I was a young girl exploring the forests and beaches
growing up in the land of the long white cloud - New Zealand. Growing up in a small
country you can't help but have the urge to see what is on the other side, for me that
was across the ditch to Australia. I met my boyfriend Jordan Whitcombe who grew up
in both coastal Perth and the outback of Western Australia in a small town of only
200 people, 'Beacon'.
For us the sense of adventure is to share our experiences in each other's
countries. We decided to pack up our jobs and travel around Australia in a van that
we renovated to be our home on wheels. People would state, "that's what you do
when you are retired," we couldn't think of anything more beautiful than to see every
nook of what these outstanding countries have to offer.
You just can't get that same experience flying place to place.
We are now living in a world which often feels like everything is in fast forward,
getting in the van allows you to put the brakes on when needed, having more control,
freedom and the ability to really S L O W things down and take time to realise what
matters the most; this earth and the connections we make.
Van life is such an amazing experience, but
when you are able to share that experience with
someone you love, whether a friend or partner,
that experience becomes a whole lot better.
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One of our all time favourite drives is through the Lamington
National Park , nature in its purest form.
Crispy sunrises with warm coffee.
"Naturally happiness is only real when shared".
With van life this can be achieved
even if you are travelling on your own.
It is truly heart-warming to bump into
all different types of people on your
journey and I often feel I learn the most
valuable life lessons listening to other’s
experiences. As the firelight would dance
deep into the nights, so would the stories
from all the incredible people we would
Friendly locals will always provide
you with deep information, you start to
understand what makes every place
special and see more than what lies
beyond the surface. I have learnt every
place has its own story.
As social as we both are there are
also times where we prefer to enjoy the
company of just each other, sometimes
you can have this overwhelming feeling
that you are the only two people that exist
on earth, it’s pretty incredible.
You may think being in a van will test
your relationship but when you have so
much to explore, there’s a lot of places
you can go to cool off or have some own
time. We often take the hammock with us
and set up little day area outside the van.
I like to often research places before
I arrive at my destination, you may not
have to worry about being at work, but
you do have to take into consideration
where your next food stop, powered site,
and service stations are. When budgeting
for a long-term trip the biggest point to
keep in mind is the cost of petrol.
Being behind the wheel means you
can take whichever route YOU want to,
honestly, we have found incredible places
by researching but also have stumbled
across our favourite spots as they were
unexpected little treasures.
You can have a choice to completely
go out bush or spend some time in a
powered site where you have a sense
of community. There are now extremely
handy apps you can download that will
give you the options you desire.
Waking up to the sound of
kookaburras rather than an alarm,
makes you want to jump out of bed and
go explore all the diverse wildlife and
On our adventures we love to include
waterfalls, mountain hikes, rainforests
and dive trips to further explore not only
land but the big blue.
Since travelling in the van we
have come across the most amazing
encounters with animals in their natural
habitats such a crocodiles, surfing with
dolphins, night dives with sharks, beach
strolls with bioluminescent plankton.
There was one time when we were at a
campsite in Karinjini and I wasn't really
thinking, I mentioned to Jordan, "You'll
be happy to see someone has turned up
with their dog." He asked what colour it
was, and I replied "sandy". That’s when
we realised there was a dingo strolling
straight past our van.
We are now lucky to have our own
dog Chet who loves the van life just as
much as we do. We are endeavouring to
find out the best ways to include our furry
friend on our travels as there are often
restricted areas for dogs.
Having the ability to have a milliondollar
view as your backyard and change
your home is something you just can't
buy. For us home is where the heart is,
travelling with each other, our border
collie Chet in our van.
Folllow Jess and Jordan: @our_van_life_ | @jessmiddletonxo | @jordan_whitcombe
WINNER OF THE INNOVATION AWARDS AT THIS
YEAR'S ILLUME WAS LAURENCE CROSSMAN-EMMS.
"Blaenau Ffestiniog was once described as the wettest place
in Wales, this is no lie. Even when the sun shines, the puddles
are plentiful. I’ve always been attracted to their animations
when struck by a bicycle at full steep. The tyres of Katy Winton
making the perfect parting of this muddy sea."
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L I T E T R A I N K
Looking for a lightweight, supportive and responsive shoe for alpine
training with maximum grip and minimum weight? Our Lite Train K has
a sculpted MICHELIN® Lite Train outsole and Outdoor Compound rubber
to ensure high grip, traction and optimal adaptability on all terrain.
With a breathable, knitted mesh upper for enhanced moisture control,
so that you can focus purely on your training.
Issue #196//new zealand’s premIer adventure magazIne sInce 1981
NZ $9.20 incl. GST
AUST $6.90 incl. GST
don’t look down
colder than you think
more than just a puffer
Issue #196//new zealand’s premIer adventure magazIne sInce 1981
NZ $9.20 incl. GST
AUST $6.90 incl. GST
don’t look down
colder than you think
more than just a puffer
in the outdoors*
Win one of 5 Adventure Emergency Ration Packs
from Back Country Cuisine
The Adventure Emergency Ration Pack
gives you a complete day's food in
Freeze Dri form and is perfect for all
sorts of outdoor adventures as well as
emergencies, so keep a spare! Quick and
easy to prepare Yoghurt and Muesli, Roast
Chicken and Beef Teriyaki meals in one
serve packs plus a pack of drinks and
ready to eat snacks.
For all the details go to:
YES I’D LIKE TO SUBSCRIBE
COUPON ONLY OFFER
New Zealand Subscriptions:
One year subscription NZD$48.00 That’s six issues (you save $7.20!)
Two year subscription NZD$90.00 That’s twelve issues (you save $20.40!)
Asia/Pacific/Rest of the Universe Get it online at magzter.com or subscribe online
in the outdoors*
free digital subscription with
every hard copy subscription
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Expiry Date: ...................................................................
Or send cheque/money order to:
ADVENTURE SUBSCRIPTIONS: Pacific Media Ltd
PO BOX 562, WHANGAPARAOA, 0932
Or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For all subs enquiries call: Steve @ 0275775014
inspiration: lia ditton
health: hydration myths busted
business: Dragon & goodbye ouch
mind: leave your cellphone at home
Diversion: just add water
66//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#217
Image by Charles Hambleton
THE FINAL EXAM
ROW LIA ROW
In March 2020, Lia Ditton will depart
from Choshi, Japan on a mission to row 5,500
nautical miles, solo and unsupported, across
the Pacific Ocean to the Golden Gate Bridge of
To date 2 people have rowed this distance.
Both were men and both men were towed
the last 20 and 50 miles respectively. If she
succeeds, she will be the 1st woman and 1st
person to row land-to-land.
This is her interview
How did you get into ocean
rowing? How did it all start for you?
A Danish Olympic was given my
number by a mutual friend. ‘Me? Row
an ocean? You haven’t even met me!’ I
still laugh at the memory of my phone
call with Lisa Kroneberg. I started
reading books about people who
rowed oceans – there were a total of
8 on the subject at the time. I became
fascinated. Within months I had
committed to row the Atlantic.
Rowing round the Farallon
Islands was something that you
were determined to do. Why is
rowing round the Farallon Islands so
The Farallon Islands are a chain
of gnarly-looking volcanic islands
situated 26 miles west of the Golden
Gate Bridge of San Francisco. The
islands are a wildlife sanctuary
prohibited to humans – a breeding
ground for elephant seals in the spring
and a shark feeding ground from May
A sequence of weather events need
to line up favourably in order to reach
the Farallon Islands in a rowboat –
a strong outgoing tide and a weak
incoming tide and either a break in
the wind or an easterly/north-easterly
breeze (which is rare). The islands are
right on the lip of the continental shelf
and subject to huge swells, which have
killed many sailors in the past.
Conquering the row around these
islands was a huge milestone in
your rowing career. Can you talk us
through the three attempts you made?
What was going through your mind
after you failed the first attempt?
What motivated you to continue for
I proved it was possible to reach
the Farallon Islands in my boat,
when I turned back 2.5 miles shy
of the Southeast Farallon Island on
my reconnaissance mission. My first
official attempt was foiled due to the
marine layer, a wind-fog phenomena
caused by a temperature differential
between land and sea. The experience
felt humiliating because of how much
media coverage the attempt received
(everyone loves a story of aiming big
and coming up short). My second
attempt ended with another battle
with the wind fog, but it’s possible I
might have been able to break through
the marine layer if I had deployed
my sea anchor when I went to sleep.
I didn’t, so I’ll never know! My third
attempt was in October after I had
rowed 350 miles down the coast from
San Francisco to Santa Barbara. I had
that row in the bank, was willing to
be patient for the right conditions and
when the weather presented a perfect
window I dropped everything and
went for it!
How much did achieving your row
around the Farallon Islands impact
your confidence in your attempt to row
I feel that rowing around
the Farallon Islands was an
accomplishment in its own right.
The main take-away for me, was
never give up. In the end I think my
perseverance to succeed was more
note-worthy than the feat itself.
You spoke a lot about your
mentality during your rows. How do
you keep yourself motivated when
I try and think of the bigger
picture – the education programme
for 4-11 year old children who are
following along as well as my amazing
family of Believers who contribute
monthly on my crowdfunding platform
Patreon.com/rowliarow. My Believers
are terrific at offering encouragement.
Can you chat to us about your
boat? How does it work/ where do you
sleep/ what does it look like? What
technology is there on board?
My boat is a 21-foot ocean rowboat
with a cabin at one end and a storage
compartment at the other. I row
on a sliding seat. I have a Katadyn
desalination unit onboard, which
enables me to convert seawater into
drinkable water, a GPS antenna
to determine my position and AIS
(automatic identification system) to
see other ships and for them to seem
me. My YellowBrick tracker shows
you where I am on my website and to
communicate I use a Garmin InReach
satellite device that enables me to
send text messages using my iPhone.
What is it like on your boat, during
a storm? Do you feel safe? What goes
through your mind?
Storms don’t usually appear out of
nowhere. The sky changes, the waves
build. You know something is coming.
Hopefully this gives you enough time
to get ready – tidy up, tie down any
lose items, make food, wash. As the
storm arrives, the important thing is
to monitor how the boat is riding the
waves and make frequent equipment
checks. I have faith that my boat is
designed to withstand the conditions,
but storms are still stressful because
no storm is the same. It’s hard to
sleep, but even harder to eat and use
the toilet bucket!
"To date, I have rowed 2,067
miles in training. By the
time I ship my boat to Japan,
I am hoping to have rowed
the equivalent of half the
Pacific (3,000 miles)."
Image byChristian Agha
What is your training regime like?
I try and do as much of my training in
my boat as possible. Nothing beats doing the
thing you’re training for! Off the boat, I swim
once a week with a full-face mask so I breathe
through my nose and train my diaphragm. I
do Bikram (hot) yoga for a serious stretch and
a minimum of 2 strength and conditioning
workouts in the gym.
You mentioned your diet is completely
different whilst you’re preparing for a row,
to what it’s like normally. Can you talk us
I expect to lose up to 23KG while rowing
the Pacific and so have been trying to gain as
much weight as possible, preferably muscle.
I have succeeded in packing on 13.6KG! To
achieve this I cover everything I eat in oil and
lean towards calorie-rich foods like Parmesan
cheese and dark chocolate.
training. By the time I ship my boat to Japan,
I am hoping to have rowed the equivalent
of half the Pacific (3,000 miles). Time on the
water breeds experience and with experience
What would you say is the most important
thing you’ve learned, that you’ll take with you
into your attempt to cross the Pacific?
I have been through so many trials just
to get to the point of departing on my trans-
Pacific record attempt. Above all else, I have
learned humility. Anything can and will
happen and my job is to stay grounded and
persevere through the storms and the calms.
What are you most worried about?
Not being able to give the row a go –
through lack of finance, bureaucracy getting
my boat to the start line or an issue I can’t
even imagine right now.
What initially made you want to attempt a
solo crossing of the Pacific?
I met a man who had just completed
a row of the North Pacific with a rowing
partner. His rowing partner said the crossing
couldn’t be done solo. Two French men had
come close rowing solo in 1991 and 2005, but
both had been towed the last 20 and 50 miles
respectively to land.
What advice would you give someone who
was just getting into ocean rowing?
All of it is part of the adventure –
preparing the boat, raising the money,
recruiting volunteers and managing sponsors.
The row is the pay off at the end – be sure to
open your eyes and soak up the beauty of the
ocean. You don’t know when you’ll be out there
Image by Alex Sher
You said that everything you’ve done up
until this point has been, in essence, training
for your attempt to row the Pacific. How do
you feel your rowing experience up until
this point has prepared you for the Pacific
To date, I have rowed 2,067 miles in
What advice would you give someone,
attempting an expedition like the ones you do?
A positive attitude is the most critical
thing you need if you end up in a liferaft.
The same goes for getting through the highs
and lows of preparing and fundraising for an
68//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#217
"I have been through so many trials just to get
to the point of departing on my trans-Pacific
record attempt. Above all else, I have learned
humility. Anything can and will happen and
my job is to stay grounded and persevere
through the storms and the calms."
Merrell NZ District Mahana
Never look back. With a fullgrain
leather upper, corkwrapped
footbed, and M Select
GRIP outsole, the District
Mahana Backstrap keeps you
moving forward. Weight: 360g
Keen Women’s Explore WP $269.99
Rab Momentum Pull-on $139.95
Why stop at sneaker when you can get
a hiker, too? Unplug instantly in this
women's crossover hiking shoe that's
always ready to explore. It’s lightweight
and waterproof in performance mesh.
Available in Tawny Port/Satellite.
Available at Kathmandu, Shoe Clinic &
Key Outdoor Independent Stores
The Momentum Pull-On is designed
for those looking for that extra layer
of protection in varied conditions.
Made from durable, wind-resistant
Matrix softshell with a UPF50+, this
versatile layer protects from both the
wind and sun while highly breathable
Motiv side panels ensure full freedom of
movement. Ideal for breezy MTB days.
Rab Arc Jacket $399.95
Mans and womens Pertex Shield®
3 layer rain jacket offers rain
and weather proofing as well as
stretch. Easily packable, helmetcompatible
hood and easily
accessible A-line chest pockets,
perfect for year-round use in
uncertain weather conditions.
Rab Momentum Shorts $99.95
The Momentum Shorts are light and
robust with a quick dry time and full
freedom of movement. From steep climbs
up jagged peaks to traversing ridges,
designed for covering greater distances at
pace. Made from lightweight but durable
Matrix double weave fabric they offer
full freedom of movement when hiking,
running or scrambling in the mountains.
Treated with a DWR these shorts will
repel water during light showers and dry
70//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#217
Macpac Mannering Jacket $259.99
A lightweight alpine softshell, the
Mannering combines Pertex® Equilibrium
high performance stretch fabric with
an innovative design to create a flexible
protective layer. Designed to withstand
light precipitation and wind with a Durable
Water Repellent (DWR) treatment, the
Pertex® shell remains breathable and
supple during fast movement or when
you're stretched out on a climbing route.
Featuring a slim fit for low volume layering,
the Mannering is light and durable, offering
technical versatility in the mountains and
at your local crag.
• Pertex® Equilibrium with four-way
stretch for flexibility and abrasion
• Durable Water Repellent (DWR)
treatment to repel moisture
• High-cut zipped hand pockets —
• Thumb loops
• Adjustable hood
• Elasticated cuffs and hem
• Slim fit
Macpac Saros Jacket — Men’s $199.99
The Saros range presents hybrid innovation,
combining lightweight Polartec® Alpha®
50 active insulation (72% recycled content)
with soft stretch knit panels for free
movement. The gridded fleece backing
is warm and breathable, while reflective
detailing increases visibility in low light
Macpac Merino Blend Polo — Men’s $119.99
An ultralight merino blend polo featuring
Tencel® Lyocell fibre for improved moisture
management and softness. Providing
natural temperature regulation and odour
resistance, this polo is perfect for travelling
or casual wear.
HYDRATION MYTHS BUSTED
At its elementary level, hydration is
simple... If you feel thirsty then drink.
However there is a tsunami of misinformation
and we are going to tackle some of those halftruths.
Hydration is one of the key ingredients
to performance. Simply it transports nutrients
to your cells and takes waste away from them.
MYTH: Dehydration won’t impact your
workout that much.
Truth: False! Whether you start the any activity
dehydrated or become dehydrated during that activity,
if you cross the dehydration “threshold” (a 2% decrease
in body weight), your exercise intensity drops off. Once
you reach this dehydration threshold, you will sweat
less, which will lead to a higher body temperature, and
your heart rate will be higher for the same exercise
intensity. Which basically means you will slow down
and it impacts on what you are doing that’s is at the
gym or hiking a mountain.
Myth: If you’re thirsty, you’re already
Truth: Actually, your thirst sensations are a pretty
sensitive gauge of your fluid levels. “Dehydration is
the body’s natural loss of water through sweat, tears,
and breathing. The kidneys control the water balance
in the body, and when they sense the need for more
water replacement, it sends a message to our brains to
drink more water by making us feel thirsty,” explains
kidney specialist Dara Huang, MD, founder of New
York Culinary Medicine.
Myth: You need a minimum of eight
glasses of water a day.
Truth: You do need to keep hydrated, but how
much is an individual thing. Everybody, especially
athletes and those at hotter temperatures have
different needs. There are lots of variables; size,
weight, altitude, temperature.
Myth: You need to wee clear to be
Truth: As long as what coming out is a pale
yellow, you're hydrated. If it's completely clear, it
just means you are in overflow and what's going in
is coming straight out. However if your pee is darker
in colour and/or particularly smelly, you are possibly
dehydrated, but it could be a range of factors.
Myth: Water only is best for hydration.
Truth: Although water is a great way to hydrate,
it may not be the best choice in all situations. For an
easy an easy activity on a coolish day, sipping water
is fine. But if you're running 10 miles in the sun are
going to need more water enhanced with electrolytes,
are good options
72//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#217
GU Energy Hydration Drink Tablets
Created primarily for hydration, GU Hydration Drink Tabs offer the
athlete a low-calorie drink option. Formulated with xylitol to help
reduce gastrointestinal distress when compared to sorbitol. Sodium,
the primary electrolyte lost in sweat, helps maintain water balance.
Use GU Hydration Drink Tabs before, during, and after exercise to
hydrate and replenish electrolyte levels. ELECTROLYTES Maintain
system balance and aid in optimum hydration.
Flavours: Watermelon, Lemon Lime, Orange, Strawberry lemonade &
Triberry (All vegan) Available in 12 serve tube or Box of 8 tubes
$15.99 for single tube or $127.95 for box of 8 tubes
Myth: Coffee dehydrates you.
Truth: While caffeine provides a
performance-boosting edge, however it’s
also seen as a diuretic, but recent research
shows that caffeine doses between 250 and
300 milligrams, about two cups of coffee, will
minimally increase urine output for about
three hours after consuming it. However the
research also shows that exercise seems to
negate those effects.
During activity, blood flow shifts toward
your muscles and away from your kidneys, so
urine output isn't affected, Plus you always
have a latte in the morning or a red bull at
lunch, your body is acclimated to the caffeine,
so its effect, on both your physiology and
performance, is negligible.
Myth: Drinking water flushes toxins
from your body.
Truth. If you are not properly hydrated,
your kidneys don’t have the right amount of
fluid to remove metabolic wastes as efficiently.
In other words, lack of water causes the body
to hold in toxins rather than expelling them
as required for proper health.
Myth: You can't drink too much.
Truth: You absolutely can drink too much
and it can be deadly." Too much water can
cause symptomatic hyponatremia, a condition
where the sodium levels in the blood become
Myth: Dehydration can impair
Fact. Studies have shown that when
individuals are dehydrated by approximately
3%, performance was impaired on tasks
involving visual perception, short-term
memory and psychomotor ability.
GU Energy Liquid Energy
The Liquid Energy Gel is based on the
proven GU Energy Gel, contains 30 ml
more water per gel and is therefore easier
and quicker to consume. GU Liquid
Energy Gel packs energy-dense calories in
a portable packet to help sustain energy
demands of any duration or activity.
Packed with 100 calories, GU Energy Gel
uses maltodextrin and fructose to deliver
efficient energy and diminish stomach
Flavours: Orange, Lemonade, Strawberry
Banana, Coffee (all Vegan)
Available in 60g individual serves or Box
of 24 single serve sachets
$3.99 for individual serves or $95.99 for
box of 24 pkts
GU Energy Roctane Energy Drink
Created for high-intensity and
demanding activity, GU Roctane
Energy Drink Mix packs even more
electrolytes and carbohydrates
than GU Hydration Drink Mix.
The 250-calorie serving contains
carbohydrates (maltodextrin and
fructose) that use non-competing
pathways to help maximize
carbohydrate absorption and
utilization while diminishing
stomach distress. Sodium, the
primary electrolyte lost in sweat,
aids hydration by maintaining water
balance. The amino acid taurine helps
maintain heart contractility and improve cardiac output during
long exercise sessions, while the amino acid beta-alanine helps
promote formation of the intramuscular buffer carnosine.
Flavours: Grape, Summit Tea, Lemon Berry, Lemon Lime &
Tropical Fruit (all vegan)
Available in 12 serve canister or Box of 10 single serve sachets
THROUGH THE LENS
Dragon Eyewear will roll-out of their proprietary
Lumalens lens technology into the brand’s line of performance
sunglasses. All new and key carryover sunglass styles will
be produced using the brand’s latest innovative lens offering.
Already used throughout Dragon’s snow goggles since 2016,
Lumalens brings Dragon’s sunglass collection to life in high
definition through intensely vivid colour optimisation, razorsharp
clarity, and remarkable depth perception. By filtering
out light attributed to haze and glare while amplifying the
light that intensifies clarity.
Additionally, all of Dragon’s new and key carryover
injected sunglasses (and ophthalmic frames) will be produced
using a bio-based resin made from castor bean oil.
“As a leader in the performance and lifestyle eyewear
category, the expansion of our exclusive Lumalens technology
into our sunglass collection allows us to take another
major step forward to enhance our offering across multiple
categories,” said Lauren Makofske, Global Brand Director
of Dragon Alliance. “At the same time that we introduce
Lumalens to our injected sun offering, this is also the
first season these frames will be produced with our new
eco-friendly, plant-based resin material, simultaneously
asserting the brand’s commitment to innovation and social
responsibility to bring more sustainable practices to the
brand’s eyewear business.”
We caught up with Dragon Alliance Director / Retail
Division, Mark Hudson about the new Lumalens technology,
roll out plans and the key drivers of the bio-resin line.
Will the new bio-resin line be limited to certain styles? All
of the base material of our frames, going forward will come
from the plant-based resin. It’s something the R&D team have
been working towards for quite awhile, and it’s not limited to
any certain colours, it’s across the entire line.
Was the shift to plant based resin something which
was consumer driven or athlete driven? There’s definitely a
movement, as you’ve reported in previous ASB articles that
referenced Patagonia and those consumer insights (Read
‘Green is The Bottom Line – Not The Top Dressing‘) and
consumer preferences based on the values of those companies.
At a global level, Marchon have taken the initiative looking at
a number of their brands to make sure that there’s continual
improvement in our supply chain and environmental aspects,
importantly the materials we are using.
Perhaps the most exciting part of the bio-resin line is
Marchon working with a specific group based out of India
(the Pragati Project) Dragon sources its castor beans from
Pragati Project farmers. The Pragati Project is a program
aimed at improving the quality of life and increasing incomes
for farmers by teaching them how to produce higher yields
and preserve the environment through water and soil
How long has this been in the production pipeline? I get
the feeling this wasn’t something that happened overnight.
Absolutely. It’s been over 2 years and it’s something the
company wanted to make sure was a long-term ongoing play,
as opposed to isolating a certain brand or portfolio. It began
with the supply chain initiatives but we also want to ensure
that the quality of the product was maintained, whilst looking
at sustainable farming practices and the overall change in
What can we expect from a marketing standpoint? There’s
a number of elements in the go-to-market around the new
line. Central to that is the product, so we’ve got a lot of call
outs and logo lockups for the bio resin line. That will be clearly
identifiable in the cabinet, and easy for retail staff to distinguish
between the products. Importantly, we’ve got a print campaign
and VM throughout all the stores, as well as video assets that
will be rolled out this month.
Are you passing on any of the costs associated with these
supply chain initiatives to the customer? No there isn’t, Dragon
is absorbing the cost of this new production method and
therefore it’s not being passed on to the customer. Which is
fantastic, but also for retailers as well. We’ve had phenomenal
feedback so far and we’re ensuring this is communicated to staff
on the floor. Separate to that, we’ve got a new lens technology
(Lumalens) which will see a AUD$10 price increment. But with
the introduction of the bio-resin line, no there is no increase in
price. Specifically, around the Lumalens campaign we wanted
that associated with Mick, which is really important for our
Can you tell us what the green leaf symbolises? All the new
products will feature the green leaf logo and is indicative of
new life and it’ll appear on point of sale items and POP that is
being shipped to our core surf channel retailers now. The image
also reflects that of two surfboards. That messaging began on
September 1 and will appear on our social channels throughout
Dragon recently became involved with Lipped Podcast
too. Tom Wright has been integral to that project with Lipped
podcast. The important thing about that partnership was we
wanted an authentic channel to continue the mental health
message and conversation we started with Dragon’s Mental
Challenge last year. We wanted to continually reinforce that
message and the guys at Lipped have done a really good job at
Anything else? Lumalens is an important initiative, all of
the new product line will transition to that light optimisation
technology. Its had phenomenal feedback from retailers and
consumers, so it’s great to be able to offer that new addition
to the sunglass business as well. We had a staggered release
in the lens colours in snow and we’ll be doing the same across
We’re launching our new website, which went live at the
time of the launch of Lumalens. There are a few events in the
USA to kick off the new line, around the third PMI which is the
launch of the Rob Machado Collection, in Southern California
later this month.
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CELEBRATING 20 YEARS
Goodbye founders John (Kiwi) and Becky (American)
met in Nepal in 1996 while working as raft guides. A few
years later their founding product, Goodbye SANDFLY,
was formulated while they worked as guides on the
Dart River out of Glenorchy. The product was officially
launched at their outdoor wedding in 1999, just outside
This year they celebrate Twenty Years Outdoors with
Goodbye. SANDFLY has gone from a scrappy kitchenmade
product (pre-kids) to a product that consumers
expect to see on every supermarket shelf in the country.
Goodbye SANDFLY has been joined by sister brands
Goodbye OUCH Manuka Balm and Sun Balm.
These products are not their only babies. Daughter
Helena, 15 and son Isaac, 12 arrived along the way. John
and Becky are proud to say that all their products have
been robustly tested by their own family on their outdoor
Manuka Balm is the ideal outdoor companion. A
delicious formulation of natural ingredients developed to
soothe a raft of active ailments including cuts, scrapes,
bruises and stings. You really shouldn’t leave home
John and Becky’s newest product Goodbye OUCH
Sun Balm. This is a ground-breaking, high performance
natural sunscreen that delivers high SPF protection plus
the nourishing benefits of a skin balm. There is so much
to love about this unique water-free formulation. You
need only apply a small amount - much less than other
sunscreens. Unlike most zinc based products it absorbs
quickly in to your skin and doesn’t leave a white film.
And, good news - it will not slide off your skin or creep
in to and irritate your eyes. If that is not enough, rich in
quality oils and antioxidants, all ingredients have been
chosen to moisturise and protect the skin.
With high water resistance, Goodbye OUCH Sun
Balm is the sunscreen of choice for water sports and all
outdoor physical activity. And, it’s reef safe. Zinc oxide
is generally recognized as the safest sunscreen active
ingredient. With Sun Balm you know that you are
getting a tested, and certified natural product that is
safe for people, waterways and ocean.
All Goodbye PRODUCTS are NATRUE certified.
This stringent international certification for natural
cosmetic products gives the you confidence that you are
buying a truly natural product.
To celebrate their 20
years, they offer a 20%
discount on your next
purchase at goodbye.co.nz
by using the coupon code
Say hi on Instagram
and Facebook: @
LEAVE YOUR CELLPHONE AT HOME
Cell phones are becoming better adventure tools every day. You can find what feels like
endless apps for navigation, trip guides, even stargazing. So why, when you look through a
National Outdoor Leadership School’s (NOLS) equipment list, is a cell phone nowhere to be
NOLSies will answer this in different ways—some might point out that most of our course
areas are in such remote wilderness that cell phones will work about as well as a pile of Legos
for communication, and others will point to this as just one of our many long-held traditions.
More important, though, is that students on NOLS courses keep finding value in
unplugging. What they learn about themselves, and others, is impossible to get when a phone’s
in their pocket. Now, we aren’t saying never to bring your phone camping. But take a look at a
few of the reasons why we leave phones behind on courses, and maybe you’ll consider a techfree
BOREDOM IS GOOD FOR YOU:
Outside of the many tools available on
a smartphone, one of the main reasons
people use their phone is, at its root,
distraction. We open social media apps just
to see what’s going on, watch entertaining
videos, or read.
When a phone is present, it’s almost
impossible for your mind to go “off”—your
attention is inevitably pulled toward your
phone. Studies show “Results from two
experiments indicate that even when
people are successful at maintaining
sustained attention—as when avoiding
the temptation to check their phones—the
mere presence of these devices reduces
available cognitive capacity.”
When phones are not present, our
attention is more free. Now, don’t confuse
free attention, or even boredom, with
nothing going on. When people claim to
feel bored, there’s actually a lot that your
Brain imaging has shown that “The
brain as a whole is very nearly as active,
and indeed activated more widely, when
the mind is wandering than when it is
The nature of outdoor travel lends
itself pretty well to letting the mind
wander. Although you need to pay
attention to your surroundings, you’re
also spending hours each day hiking or
paddling or waiting for water to boil—
times of repetitive motions when your
mind has freedom to wander.
When we pull back from attending to
tasks, we free up our minds to plan for
the future, let ideas take root, and gain
perspective on our lives.
One researcher points out that
“Boredom is both a warning that we are
not doing what we want to be doing and
a ‘push’ that motivates us to switch goals
Next time you’re packing
your bag, think twice
about bringing your
phone. Do you really
need it? Then, consider
making it tech-free.
LIMITING RESOURCES LEADS TO
BETTER PROBLEM SOLVING: One
thing we rely on our phones for is quick
answers. You can look up the height of Mt.
Kilimanjaro, the year proper hiking boots
were invented, and the real length of an
inchworm in an instant.
Some of the most fun conversations—
and most heated debates—that happen
on NOLS courses center around just these
kinds of questions—things you could know
in a moment at home, but are impossible
to verify when you’re in a mountain valley
More seriously than honing your
debate skills, not having easy answers
available builds the mental muscles of
creativity and resilience.
Research conducted on NOLS
expeditions showed participants learned
ill-structured problem solving (solving
problems with unclear goals and
incomplete information) better than their
peers who had only learned in a classroom
Learning to cope with these types
of problems in a limited-information
environment helped those students
perform better when they returned to
Maybe your next expedition is an
opportunity for this type of creative
YOU CONNECT BETTER WITH THE
PEOPLE AROUND YOU: Many of us
now rely on our phones for communication
and maintaining a sense of community.
This is often the most difficult part of the
beginning of a NOLS expedition—figuring
out how to deal with not being a part of the
conversation, or not being able to contact
who you want when you want to.
It can be really hard. But it’s also an
opportunity. Because you’re outside of your
normal support network, your expedition
mates become the people you turn to for
advice, for jokes, and for encouragement
when the trip gets difficult. With no
distractions, relationships form quickly.
Liz Blair remembers from her Outdoor
Educator course that “At the beginning
of our trip, we were 12 strangers, and
now we know each other as if we've been
friends for years. That's what happens
when you sleep, eat, sweat, and hike with
one another non-stop for three weeks.”
And more research is showing that
“conversations with no smartphones
present are rated as significantly higherquality
than those with smartphones
around, regardless of people’s age,
ethnicity, gender, or mood. We feel more
empathy when smartphones are put
Looking at your phone, on the other
hand, signals that your attention is
elsewhere—don’t interrupt me, I’m not
listening, I’m doing something else right
When you’re in the outdoors, the
people you’re with are the people
you’re with. For better or worse. You’re
committed to this group and your
shared goal of moving through a wild
place together. This opportunity to
focus on building connection outside
the phone doesn’t just stay with you in
the wilderness—it’s something you can
practice and build upon at home.
76//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#217
a KTI PLB personal emergency locator beacon SA2G-NZ 406MHz $339.00
The New Zealand Coded Safety Alert personal emergency locator beacon SA2G-NZ
406MHz PLB is compact, fast and reliable; making it the ultimate global rescue
link for people who want peace of mind in the outdoors. A free Soft Pouch and arm
band are also included. Free contitional battery replacemet if used in a genuine
b Kaiser Baas X600 4K 30FPS Waterproof Body Action Camera $249.99
The first waterproof camera from KB that doesn't require a case. The incredible
stabilization and 4K technology will make your footage look sharp and smooth.
c Kaiser Baas S3 3-Axis Stabilized Gimbal $129.99
Take your content creation to the next level and capture professional-looking
footage, every time! Compatible with Android & iOS Smartphones with screen
sizes below 6”. www.kaiserbaas.co.nz
d Kaiser Baas Carbon Float Grip $54.95
Never lose your Action Camera when you're in the water this summer with the
Carbon Float Grip. www.kaiserbaas.co.nz
e Kaiser Baas X450 4K 30FPS 14MP Action Camera $199.99
Designed for thrill-seekers that want stunning detail, the X450 boasts
exemplary 4K resolution and Video Stabilisation to capture super clear content.
f SunSaver Super-Flex 14-Watt Solar Charger $199.00
Putting out over 2.5-Amps of output on a sunny day you’ll charge your phone and
devices in no time at all, straight from the sun. www.sunsaver.co.nz
g SunSaver Classic 16,000mAh Solar Power Bank $99.00
Built tough for the outdoors and with a massive battery capacity you can keep all
your devices charged no matter where your adventure takes you.
78//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#217
We've searched the internet for some great reads, no matter
what your water passion is...
The Emerald Mile
The Last Dive
Erik Weihenmayer is no stranger to
adversity. As the first and only blind
person to summit Mount Everest, he
continues to pursue seemingly impossible
goals. While the title claims “No Barriers,”
what it means for the rest of us is “No
Excuses.” Erik’s tale is one of motivation
and empowerment in pursuit of the best
in everyone. It’s somewhat rare to find
inspiring stories without braggadocio or
emotional terrorism. This is one of them.
And it’s happily infectious.
the thrilling true tale of the fastest boat
ride ever, down the entire length of the
Colorado River and through the Grand
Canyon, during the legendary flood of
In the spring of 1983, massive flooding
along the length of the Colorado River
confronted a team of engineers at the
Glen Canyon Dam with an unprecedented
emergency that may have resulted in the
most catastrophic dam failure in history.
In the midst of this crisis, the decision to
launch a small wooden dory named “The
Emerald Mile” at the head of the Grand
Canyon, just fifteen miles downstream
from the Glen Canyon Dam, seemed not
just odd, but downright suicidal.
Chris and Chrissy Rouse, an experienced
father-and-son scuba diving team, hoped
to achieve widespread recognition for their
outstanding but controversial diving skills.
Obsessed and ambitious, they sought to solve
the secrets of a mysterious, undocumented
World War II German U-boat that lay under
230 feet of water, only a half-day's mission
from New York Harbour. In doing so, they
paid the ultimate price in their quest for
fame. Bernie Chowdhury, himself an expert
diver and a close friend of the Rouses',
explores the thrill-seeking world of deepsea
diving, including its legendary figures,
most celebrated triumphs, and gruesome
Fifty Places to Paddle
Before you Die
Swimming to Antarctica
A noted long-distance swimmer with a
love for cold water describes her eventful
career in the sport, from her recordbreaking
English Channel crossing and
her 1987 swim across the Bering Strait
from America to the Soviet Union to her
exploits in the Straits of Magellan, Lake
Baikal, and Antarctica.
It’s exactly as the title describes.
Chase your next aquatic adventure
with a book that understands
we all seek a bit of solitude or an
Great as a coffee table book and
reference that will stoke the
wanderlust of you, your family, and
any guests fortunate enough to turn
its pages, you’ll learn about the best
locations from the very people who
spend their lives pursuing magical
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Thinking it's time to mix up your running
training? Then hit the trails. Our experts
1. It gives your brain a workout: Following the
ups and downs of a trail gets your brain working
in a whole new way. "Rather than switching off
or worrying about your day, you have to focus on
the moment and the task at hand,” says Team
GB ultra-marathon runner Robbie Britton. “On
the trails, particularly a more technical route,
this can be a real boost for the brain.”
2. It improves every element of your fitness:
Running on trails can be better for your overall
fitness than the pavement. Andy Brooks,
professional coach at Peak Running explains:
“The resistance of running uphill improves
leg strength. Uneven ground improves ankle
strength, flexibility and balance. Having to
vary stride length to deal with roots and rocks
improves agility and coordination. Running down
steep hills improves leg speed and conditions
muscles against impact...” the list goes on.
“As well as making you a better runner on the
trails, your performance on the road or track will
massively benefit. You’ve only got to look at elite
Kenyan and Ethiopian runners to see this.”
3. It’s great for mental health: Running in the
great outdoors can aid your mental wellbeing
and give you much-needed headspace.
"Running wires your serotonin tap to your
musculature. It has a positive cognitive function
that we are only just beginning to understand,”
says Ceri Rees, Founder of Wild Running:
“Some of our past clients have suffered from
things like depression, and we sometimes get
mental health referrals from practitioners who
recognise the therapeutic benefits of spending
"If you want to see beautiful
places, find hidden spots
right on your doorstep or go
on a mini adventure, then
get on the trails."
4. You will reconnect with nature: Today,
more than 80% of Kiwis live in urban areas. Trail
running gives you an excuse to escape for an
hour or so, without the faff of planning a camping
trip or a weekend away. “Many of us have a
fundamental yearning to reconnect with nature,”
says Rees. “Exercise is a great way to immerse
yourself, whether you choose running, climbing,
kayaking, adventure racing, or any other sport
that gets you out of the urban jungle.”
5. You feel like you're on a mini adventure:
"If you want to see beautiful places, find hidden
spots right on your doorstep or go on a mini
adventure, then get on the trails,” says medallist
Robbie Britton. “There's nothing better than
getting lost in a muddy forest or running up a hill
‘just because it's there’. Trail running has, and
continues to take me to some fantastic places –
go find your new favourite trail today!"
6. You won't get bored: Running up and down
the same streets day after day can get dull. With
trail running, you experience different sights,
smells and terrain with every mile. Coach Andy
Brooks is all for it: “Even on the same trails,
things look different depending on the season,
time of day and weather conditions. And, as well
as fantastic views, you never know what wildlife
you’ll spot along the way.”
7. It will improve your balance: Twisty tracks,
roots and rocks demand more stability than
running on roads. To maintain balance, your
body naturally engages your core and wakesup
a stack of smaller, stabilizing muscles that
rarely get used when you’re on the flat. The
result is a fine-tuned sense of balance, better
body awareness and beautifully strong abs.
8. It's not as hard on the body as the
pavement: Grass, mud and earth are kinder
to your body than running on tarmac. If you’re
already a regular runner, give your bones a
break by swapping concrete for the countryside
once in a while. If you’re just getting started
as a runner, soft surfaces are a gentle way to
ease your body in – there's less impact on your
bones, and softer trails can also result in less
joint pain, and general wear and tear.
9. There's always a sense of achievement:
Wherever you run, exercise always makes you
feel good, but Andy Brooks is adamant that the
rewards of trail running are bigger and better.
“Regardless of your pace or ability, dealing
with hills and tough underfoot conditions or
navigational challenges makes you feel that
you have done more than just run from A to B.
You’ve conquered something,” he says.
10. It's fun: Let’s be honest. Pounding the
pavement can get boring. Trail running, on the
other hand, lets you unleash your inner child,
get splattered in mud, and yell ‘yee-ha’ at the
top of your lungs as you bound downhill. Robbie
Britton tells it straight: "Basically it's a lot more
fun in the mud, jumping in puddles and running
fast in the woods.”
82//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#217
Hoka One One Speedgoat 4
(NEW: Available in stores January 2020, std & wide fit, M&W)
Named for HOKA Athlete Karl “Speedgoat” Meltzer, the
Speedgoat 4 is part of an award-winning family known for
making quick work of technical terrain. The fourth edition
features a new breathable yet rugged mesh. We included
3D printed overlays for increased midfoot support and an
overall more secure feel. Most importantly, we added a more
accommodating fit in the toe box for a more comfortable
ride. Grippy on the uphill and secure on the downhill, the
Speedgoat 4 is badass on every trail.
SALEWA LITE TRAIN K (men's & Women's)
The airy, quick draining seamless knit upper provides an
adaptable wrap around fit making this shoe feel as if it has
magically melded its ultra sticky Moto X inspired michelin
rubber directly to the sole of your foot. A great balance of
protection and ground feel for goin’ fast! It’s fully vegan to boot.
WEIGHT: 230G (W) 270G (M)
DROP: 6MM (HEEL: 18.5MM / TOE: 12.5MM)
Hoka One Challenger Mid GTX
(NEW: Available in stores mid Dec, M&W)
The Challenger Mid GORE-TEX® delivers on every surface
from trail to road. It features a waterproof Nubuck leather
upper for a clean look and an anatomical mid-cut collar
for support. It also features a GORE-TEX® waterproof
bootie to keep your feet dry in a variety of seasons.
Complete with our all-terrain outsole with 4mm sticky
rubber lugs, this versatile boot has smooth cushion. A
shoe that looks as good as it performs, the Challenger
Mid GORE-TEX® is more wearable than ever.
Hoka One One Torrent
Designed and built with the collaboration of
world-class HOKA trail athletes, the Torrent
boasts competitive credentials. Created as a trail
racer, it incorporates the seemingly contradictory
combination of cushioning and agility. The
lightweight performance is made possible with a
PROFLY midsole, providing a forgiving landing
and responsive toe-off. High-traction rubber and
aggressive lugs mean that when your feet are on the
ground they’re sure of their footing. Marry that with a
breathable upper and you’ve got a super lightweight,
nimble, and technical trail racer that allows you to
tackle a variety of terrain at any speed. Pedal to the
SALEWA ULTRA TRAIN 2 (men's & Women's)
Unmatched durablitly, protection and stablility in a svelt and
springy package. Seamless mesh upper, debris gaiter, full
rand, speed lacing, 3F heel locking system, and supportive
anti-rock heel counter sit atop an eva midsole with enough
cush to let you keep it redlined thorugh the rockiest routes.
Michelin rubber confidently sticks to both wet and dry
surfaces. Added bonus…vegan!
WEIGHT: 268G (W) 313G (M)
DROP: 8MM (HEEL: 26MM / TOE: 18MM)
Keen men's targhee exp wp
This updated trail shoe takes the immediate comfort of the
original Targhee and fuses it with a bold, streamlined design.
It's breathable and supportive, and the all-terrain outsole
adds stability. Available in Black/Steel Grey.
AVAILABLE AT KATHMANDU, MACPAC, SHOE CLINIC & KEY
OUTDOOR INDEPENDENT STORES
merrell Choprock mens
Packed with materials that dry out fast, grip on
slick terrain, and protect your feet from debris.
Vibram® MegaGrip®, Water friendly synthetic,
mesh and webbing upper.
Keen KID'S SEACAMP II CNX
This low-profile KEEN.CNX allows little feet increased flexibility
and freedom. It has a grippy rubber sole that won't mark up the
floor and KEEN's Secure Fit Lace Capture System. Available in
Very Berry/Lilac Chiffon
AVAILABLE AT SHOE CLINIC & KEY KIDS INDEPENDENT STORES
Keen KID'S NEWPORT H2
This supportive sandal can take anything a kid can dish out.
An adjustable hook-and-loop strap lets kids put them on
themselves, and quick-drying webbing is perfect in and out of
the water. Available in Blue Depths/Gargoyle
AVAILABLE AT SHOE CLINIC & KEY KIDS INDEPENDENT STORES
Keen M Explore Mid WP & W Explore Mid WP
Adventure covers a lot of territory, so we made a waterproof
boot that does, too. Part hiking boot, part sneaker, this
lightweight, agile hiker is always ready to go.
• Speed hooks for easy lace adjustment
• 4mm multi-directional lugs for traction
• Stability shank delivers lightweight support
• Konnectfit heel-capture system for a locked-in feel
• KEEN.Dry waterproof, breathable membrane
• Radial support system adds midsole structure for
better lateral stability
• Notch in back for achilles comfort
Available in sizes:
Men: 8-13 (1/2 thru 12)
Women: 6-11 (1/2 thru 11)
AVAILABLE AT KATHMANDU
LENZ SPACE DRYER 2.0
Keep your running shoes and tramping
boots smelling fresh and increase their
lifespan with this turbocharged dryer.
Works great for gloves and clothing. Runs
silent, programmable, gentle on material,
240v. This christmas give the gift of good
Merrell Nz District Muri Lattice
District Muri Lattice features a foot-hugging
neoprene upper. Merrell Air Cushion+ in
the heel absorbs shock and adds stability.
Adjustable clip closure. Microfiber wrapped
contoured EVA footbed. Weight: 324g
Campfire 35 cm Non-Stick Bush Pan
The Campfire Bush Pan Non-stick Spun
Steel Pan has been developed using heavy
gauge spun steel with a triple coated nonstick
surface. Ideal for steaks, snags, chops,
omelettes and scrambled eggs.
Leatherman Free T2
Don’t call it light duty. The
Leatherman FREE T2 packs 8
tools into a slim, compact frame.
Equipped with the tools you require
to get you out of those everyday
Knog Bandicoot Headlamp
Bandicoot is different from any other headlamp out
there. It’s a streamlined, usb rechargeable silicone
headlamp without the bulk, endless batteries and
“boring” of conventional headlamps.
UCO Sprout Hang-Out LED
Powered by three AAA batteries, the
Sprout Mini Lantern is a compact
light that packs a punch and can
light any campsite… anywhere.
kiwi camping Intrepid Lite Single Air Mat
This air mat is ideal for tramping, weighing just
480g. Made of heavy duty 40D, 310T nylon
ripstop, it’s ultra-durable. Supplied with carry bag
and repair kit.
Gasmate Backpacker Stove with Piezo
Compact and lightweight, ideal for
backpacking. Windshield. Robust stainless
steel burner. Precise flame adjustment. Piezo
ignition. Gas consumption: 204g/hr. Weight:
280g. Output: 9,900 BTU. Fabric pouch
86//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#217
Kiwi camping Illuminator Light
with Power Bank
Light up the campsite with a bright 1000
Lumen LED with 5 lighting modes. The
hanging hook, built-in stand, and tripod
mount provide versatile positioning
options. Charges most devices.
Gasmate Power Fuel Iso-Butane
With a high 25/75 Propane/Butane mix,
Power Fuel High Performance Iso-Butane
performs better in cold weather and high
altitude than traditional butane. Available in
450g & 230g.
RRP $8.99 - $12.99
deejo 37 GRAM POCKET KNIFE
Climber-inspired ultra light stainless steel pocket
knife, titanium black finished blade with “liner lock”
locking mechanism, beech wood handle, belt clip,
new “wood colours” collection available in red, blue
(pictured), and green.
Merrell Nz District Muri Backstrap
District Muri Backstrap features a foot-hugging
neoprene upper. Merrell Air Cushion+ in
the heel absorbs shock and adds stability.
Adjustable clip closure. Microfiber wrapped
contoured EVA footbed. Weight: 348g
UCO 4 Piece Mess Kit
The UCO 4 Piece Mess Kit
is made from ultra-durable
material, the Mess Kit is
built to bang around in your
rucksack on the weekend
and pack your lunch on
Kiwi camping Oasis 3 Shelter
Ideal for picnics, BBQs, sporting events or outdoor entertainment. Seam
sealed with 3000mm aqua rating and SPF50 UV coating. 19mm steel
frame. Top air vent. Side curtains available separately.
RAB ARK Emergency Bivi
Made with lightweight PE (Polyethylene),
the ARK Emergency Bivi bag is wind and
waterproof and reflects body heat. Super
packable, folding down 12x6cm in its stuff
sack, and lightweight at 105g.
Back Country Cuisine
CHICKEN CARBONARA: A freeze dried
chicken and pasta dish, served in a creamy
italian style sauce.
MUSHROOM BOLOGNAISE - VEGAN:
Mushrooms with tomato in a savory sauce,
served with noodles. Vegan.
Available in one serve 90g or two serve 175g
RRP $8.99 and $13.49
CHOCOLATE BROWNIE PUDDING: Our take
on chocolate self-saucing pudding, with
chocolate brownie, boysenberries and
chocolate sauce. Gluten Free.
RRP 150g $12.49
hydro flask 946mL (32oz) Wide Mouth
Flask & Wide Mouth Straw Lid
Carry just under a litre this summer – your water
will stay icy all day! Pair with the Straw Lid for
ultimate hydration on all adventures!
RRP $79.99 & $19.99
Back Country Cuisine
ICED MOCHA: Our mocha is
made with chocolate and coffee
combined with soft serve to give
you a tasty drink on the run.
Gluten Free. 85g.
Macpac Great Walks Bandana
A multi-purpose cotton bandana
illustrated with New Zealand’s great
walks — wear it on your neck, wrist,
head or pack, and tick your summer
adventures off one by one.
hydro flask 354mL (12oz) kids flask
Keep the little ones hydrated this summer!
Coming with a non-chewable Straw Lid and
a protective Boot, this bottle will be the
ultimate adventure buddy!
Marmot Catalyst 2P Tent
Designed as a roomy, livable tent that is still light in weight, the
freestanding Catalyst 2P has all the ideal features for a casual
camping trip, like a seam-taped catenary cut floor, color-coded
poles for easy set-up and two D-shaped doors, along with enough
room and pockets to stash and organize all your necessary gear.
88//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#217
Our new non-stick Summit Skillet packs the performance of
your kitchen pans into a trail-ready solution. Not only does
it improve your backcountry cooking versatility, the turner
nests into the handle for compact and lightweight travel.
After all, your meals on the trail deserve to be just as good
as your adventures.
Jetboil Flash 2.0
BOIL IN SECONDS, NOT MINUTES
Blistering boil times come standard on our industry-leading
Flash. By modelling the combustion and selecting materials to
optimize efficiency, we were able to create the fastest Jetboil
ever — cutting a full minute off our best boil time.
kiwi camping Rover King Single 10cm Self-Inflating Mat
The compressible foam core expands in minutes. Covered in
durable soft-stretch fabric for extra comfort. 3-way valve for easy
inflation/deflation. Repair kit, carry bag and compression straps
Macpac Sentinel 50L Alpine Pack
Designed and tested in New Zealand,
the Sentinel is a fully-featured
mountaineering pack with a 50+ litre
capacity. Made from Eco AzTec® 8 oz.
canvas with an ActiveX harness, this
adaptable pack features a removable
foam back panel, hip belt, metal frame
and detachable top lid for lighter
Marmot Long Hauler Duffel
Burly travel demands a burly bag and the Long Hauler Duffle
series ponies up some seriously brawny features. A D-shaped main
zipper, with protective rain flap, opens to a cavernous interior that
is doubled up on the bottom for durability and decked out with a
compression strap. Available in Dm
It's about cooking. MiniMo delivers UNMATCHED simmer
control, metal handles, and a low spoon angle for easy
eating! Starting with the innovative new valve design,
MiniMo delivers the finest simmer control of any upright
canister system on the market.
Chaco Playa Pro Web
Flip Flops are disposable no more. Meet the most durable 3-point
sandals on the market. Built to last with eco-conscious features,
these premium flips stabilize and protect your feet to handle the
most aggressive terrain that stands between you and pristine
FOR 21 YEARS
Zempire Chill-Pill Self Inflating Pillow
Zempire Chill-Pill Self Inflating Pillows are the
ultimate compliment to any sleeping mat.
Stretch material and open-cell foam creates a
comfy, quiet surface for max comfort.
Wherever your next
adventure is about to
lead you, we’ve got
the goods to keep you
Est. 1998 Back Country
Cuisine specialises in
a range of freeze-dried
products, from tasty
meals to snacks and
everything in between, to
keep your energy levels up
and your adventures wild.
EXPED SynMat UL Lite Sleeping Mat
Provides comfort and warmth in a very lightweight and small
package. R-vale 2.5. Inflated dimensions: 183cm x 52cm x 5cm.
Black diamond Apollo 250 Lumens Lantern
250 lumens of glare-free, fully adjustable light on a
rechargeable battery (can also run on 3 x AAs) and
has a USB port so you can recharge your electronics
in the outback. Double-hook loop so you can hang it
up as well as folding legs.
RAB Expedition Kitbag 80
The Kitbag 80 is a hardwearing, heavy duty
kitbag, designed to keep your gear safe and
withstand the rigors of an expedition. Made
using a tough and durable 600D fabric and
is coated with a water-resistant film. Triplestitched
seams and a double thickness base
add further to the ruggedness of the Kitbag.
Contents are easily accessible through a large,
lockable main opening, and there are even 2
internal pockets underneath the lid.
Blis K12 Oral Probiotics
TravelProtect with BLIS K12 is an advanced
oral probiotic that can support your natural
immune system against airborne ailments when
RAB Mythic 200
The pinnacle of innovation, the Mythic 200
Sleeping bag is an ultra lightweight down
sleeping bag with the best warmth to weight
ratio in the Rab range. Designed for mountain
activists looking to reduce weight while moving
through the mountains, for use in warmer
conditions where weight and packsize are
crucial to success, such as long multi day
routes or summer trekking.
outdoor research Helium Bivy
A perfect shelter for solo fast-and-light adventures. It features durable,
waterproof, breathable Pertex® Shield+ fabric, a clamshell opening
with a No-See-Um mesh so you can breathe freely without letting the
weather or insects inside. 459gm
sea to summit Ultra-Sil Dry Sacks
Made with a lightweight, amazingly strong,
durable and waterproof fabric that is almost
completely translucent so you can see the
contents and has a slippery surface for easy
packing. Other features include tape-sealed
seams and a roll-top closure. 7 sizes from
1L to 35L.
RRP From $17.99
anatom Q3 Braeriach Boots
A durable, comfortable boot for ambitious
adventures. The waterproof/breathable tri.aria
membrane and Interface One lining keep your
feet dry, cushioned midsole provides improved
shock absorption, support and protection.
2.6mm Anfibio Leather. Vibram outsole.
RRP From $429.99
Dive and help preserve
Dive Munda is a multi-award winning SSI Instructor Training and Extended Range Centre in the Western
province of Solomon Islands committed to sustainable dive eco-tourism. Discover WWII history and
Kastom culture and scuba dive unexplored reefs, hard and soft coral, cuts, caverns and caves along with
pelagic life and shark action, all in one of the last wild frontiers left on planet ocean.
• Direct weekly flights from Brisbane to Munda with Solomon Airlines
Landline: +677 621 56
Cellphone: +677 789 6869
Find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
Agnes Gateway Hotel, Lambeti Station, Munda, New Georgia. Western Province, Solomon Islands
POOR WILL McCOLLOUGH
NORFORK ISLAND'S POSTER BOY
Words and Images by Steve Dickinson
When poor Will McCullough was executed along with
thirteen others for mutiny in September 1834, he
was halfway around the world from his home. He
probably didn’t know that he would end up the poster boy
for Norfolk Island. Well not him exactly but his headstone.
His grave is in the Kingstone cemetery on Kingstone beach.
There have been a lot of changes over the last hundred or
Norfolk Island is immersed in history; in the first few sentences of
introduction, most of the locals will tell you their surname name with great
pride and their links to the original mutineers. If it happens, they are not
part of the original mutineers, with Fletcher Christian. Then they soon
update you that it was from Adams or Buffet, Evans and Nobbs or any of
the half dozen core historic names who joined them on Pitcairn.
I am no history buff, but the story of Norfolk is as engaging as it is
horrific. Set up as a convict colonially, then several there were attempts
to colonise with farming. Later the Bounty mutineers (that fled to Pitcairn)
offspring we transferred to Norfolk Island, some remained, and some
returned to Pitcairn. But Norfolk was a hostile, cruel place and the
graveyard attest too so many died very young and a long way from where
they called home.
Where in comparison to now; Norfolk seems idyllic, great weather,
stunning blue water lagoon, lush subtropical forest, no predators, snakes
or bugs. A growing tourism industry, which is extending from its normal
influx of older people. Has created a new and dynamic tourism industry
around biking, hiking, fishing, history, great fresh food and stunning
The cemetery at Kingston Beach
The headstone of Will McCollough
There is a tonne of accommodation on the island to meet
everyone's needs. We stayed at Endeavour Lodge, a stunning location
overlooking Kingston beach. With a blue Pacific Ocean background,
the traditional pines swayed in the breeze and the waves broke
relentlessly on the white sand and equally white Sheerwaters playing
in pairs along the cliff edge.
Currently, most of the tourists headed to the island are well past
retirement age and, once there, spend much of their time on tour
buses experiencing the island through the window. The upside of
which is whatever beach you go too or hike you take you are alone.
There are bikes and E-bikes for rent, so you don't need to take
your own. The terrain can be a little hilly, but nothing too strenuous
and the most significant danger is taking one hand off the handlebars
to wave, as it seems to be a custom no matter what type of vehicle you
are on when passing another is customary to wave.
The beaches are spectacular, and for me, that was the biggest
surprise. I had an expectation of rocky coastline and massive swell, which
was far from correct. There was a stunning lagoon great for snorkelling,
paddleboarding, swimming and kayaking. The snorkelling may not have
been Fiji, but it was still really interesting – for those not will to brave the
water there is a glass-bottom boat that regularly goes out.
Hiking here is also a must do. The island is ringed with beautiful
walkways and paths, a diverse range of wildlife and vegetation plus the
temperature is perfect. A perfect place to download a map and get some
idea what is available is parksaustralia.gov.au/norfolk/pub/walkingtrack.
You might even see a green parrot. These are endemic to Norfolk
Personally, for me, the highlight of Norfolk island was the fishing.
There are a few charter boats on the island, and we went out with Darren
Bates on Advanced 2.
We arrived at sunrise at the wharf not a boat in sight. Actually that
is not 100% correct there was a couple of people kayaking in the early
morning light and I asked ‘was I at the right place?’ and before they could
answer, down the road comes a four tonnes of Advance 2.
The boat was quickly hoisted by a crane and lifted off the pier into the
water. I had heard about fishing in Norfolk (pronounced 'nor -folk’ locally,
not nor-fork) but to find any details on what is available was not easy,
what images I did find were an odd collection at best. Norfolk is an 8 x 11
km. volcanic outcrop in the middle of nowhere, it is like a hat as a local
described it to me, there is a shelf surrounding the island that goes out to
32x80 km. and remains at about 40m till the drop off then it plummets
for 4000 meters.
Above: Sweet lipped trumpeter fish - also called a trumpie
Right: Beautiful bay's all around the island
We headed directly out, the wind already rising from the south had
some bite to it, and the swell was bumpy and confused. In discussion
with Darren, it was clear the biggest hindrance to him was the weather
in terms of charters because you never know who you will get. Although
we coped with the bumpy swell, some older clients may have found it
challenging. Darren had a specific pinnacle in mind, as we approached
he slowed and put of two small lures, within seconds of them hitting
the water we had two bonito in the boat these were thrown into a bin.
As the boat stopped, the fish finder was now alive with fish - not just in
patches but from top to bottom.
There where a range a fish quickly pulled up snapper, kingis and a
beautiful fish officially called the Sweetlip Emperor (Lethrinus miniatus)
with pointy aggressive teeth and a dark red mouth. At that stage, I had
not eaten trumpie, but later that night, I had it pan-fried with lemon and
butter – and it was excellent, very similar to snapper but with a slightly
The wind continued to blow which is an issue fishing in Norfolk its
exposure to the weather, so we headed back – so much fun and so
Norfolk is one of those underdone destinations, traditionally
labelled for older people who want to play bowls, but nothing could be
further from the truth. Norfolk has a fantastic climate with vineyards
and restaurants, great surf, mountain biking and numerous museums
and best of all untouched fishing. It is, without doubt, one of the bestkept
secrets of the South Pacific.
Air Chathams is now flying there and back every Friday, so there is
no excuse not to go and find out for yourself.
Adventure was hosted by Norfolk Island Tourism:
Norfolk Island offers an array of fascinating activities and adventures
in a beautiful setting. Visit norfolkisland.com.au
Flights: Air Chathams fly direct to Norfolk Island once a week from
Auckland. For more information, or to book visit airchathams.co.nz
Hosted Accommodation: Endeavour Lodge – Rainbows End House
Fishing: Advance Fishing (Darren Bates) – advancefishing.nf
Charter Marine (David Bigg) – fishnorfolkisland.com
Greenwoods Fishing Adventures – greenwoodsfishingadventures.com
THREE CLOSE-TO-HOME ADVENTURES
TO ADD TO YOUR 2020 BUCKET LIST
From trekking the highest mountain in
Oceania to diving some of the world’s
most pristine coral reefs, island-hopping
across 600+ mostly-deserted islands and
discovering fiery active volcanoes, Papua
New Guinea is an adventure travellers
The lesser-known highlands and inland regions of
Papua New Guinea are where you’ll find mysterious
tribes and colourful displays of culture, worldrenowned
mountain treks, and the warm friendly
smiles of Papua New Guineans. Here are our top 3
picks for highland adventures in Papua New Guinea…
The annual Goroka Show (September) is the
region’s main drawcard. Attracting over 200 local
tribes and international visitors alike, the festival
is a spectacle of colour and culture. Visitors find
themselves enchanted as tribes tell their history and
celebrate their people through traditional Sing Sings.
But there’s more to Goroka than just the Goroka
Show, you can also visit the Asaro Village, home to the
mudmen or even visit the region’s coffee plantations,
where you can visit, pick and sample world-famous
Papua New Guinean coffee. Pacific Gardens Hotel
(pacifichotel.com.pg/) offers modern accommodation
right in town.
A few hours drive from Goroka is one of the
world’s Seven Summits. At 4,509m, Mount Wilhelm
is not only Papua New Guinea’s highest peak, but is
also the highest mountain in all of Oceania. On a clear
day, the views are simply spectacular as you look out
across the north coast of the country. At the base of
the mountain is Betty’s Lodge, offering adventureseekers
basic but traditional style accommodation,
coupled with Betty’s famous hospitality. A local legend
herself, Betty is on hand to organise guided treks
of Mount Wilhelm (for those not on a pre-organised
guided tour), where it generally takes 2 days to
Huli Wigman | Photo by Jeremy Drake
Asaro Mudmen | Photo by Ulrika Larsson
A five-hour drive from Goroka,
or direct flight from Port Moresby,
Mount Hagen is capital of the
highlands region, the true final
frontier of Papua New Guinea. Of
course, if you are there in August
then a visit to the Mount Hagen
Show is a must for those seeking a
cultural display like nowhere else
Looking for a luxury escape?
Rondon Ridge (pngtours.com) is
one of the country’s leading luxury
lodges. Not only can you expect
five-star service, but incredibly
picturesque surrounds. The hotel
boasts panoramic views of the
Wahgi Valley below, as well as vistas
out to the surrounding mountains
and city below. While staying at
Rondon Ridge, an early rise for
sunrise is a must-see.
Trekking world-famous Kokoda is not only a 96km physical endurance challenge,
it’s also a spiritual journey, retracting the footsteps of the thousands of soldiers and
Papua New Guineans who were killed or injured during WWII. In Australia, Kokoda is
regarded as a rite of passage, and those who trek it feel an overwhelming sense of
appreciation for what the ANZAC’s endured during the war. If that is not enough to sway
you, the scenery you walk through will blow you away as you experience deep jungle
and beautiful waterfalls. Reputable Kokoda tour operators are listed on the KTA website
@jackson.groves trekking Kokoda
Flights to Papua New Guinea are operated by Air Niugini, Qantas and Virgin Australia,
with connections from New Zealand via Sydney, Brisbane or Cairns. The most frequent
services are operated by Air Niugini, who also operate an extensive domestic route network
within Papua New Guinea. Flying time from Cairns to Port Moresby is only 1.5 hours.
For more information on Papua New Guinea visit papuanewguinea.travel
SUN, SURF, SAMOA
COCONUTS BEACH CLUB RESORT & SPA
Get busy relaxing in Niue
BOOK DIRECT & SAVE
Take time out and get busy relaxing in the South Pacific escape of Niue. Snorkel in crystal clear waters,
go game fishing a stone’s throw from the shore and have cocktails while cooling off in the pool. Now
that’s what I call a hard day’s work. Book direct with us and save on your next dream holiday.
0800 69 69 63 | www.scenichotelgroup.co.nz/niue
‘NAKAI FAI FOKI KE TATAI MO NIUE.'
THERE'S NOWHERE LIKE NIUE
Words and Images by Steve Dickinson & Greg Knell
For many years Niue was promoted as ‘The Rock’ and to
be honest it did Niue some injustice. A rock is a hard
place, it’s unforgiving, it’s solid, dull, lacking in soul and
it’s cold. Niue is none of those things. Niue is warm and
inviting, it’s lush and clean, it’s bright and sunny, and its
people are warm and friendly. From the moment you arrive,
you feel this tremendous feeling of being welcomed from
the smiling customs officer to the those walking down the
road who wave to everyone they see.
In 1774 the first Europeans sighted Niue sailing with Captain Cook.
Cook made three attempts to land, but the inhabitants fought them off
each time. He named the island "Savage Island" because, as legend has
it, the natives who "greeted" him were painted in what appeared to be
blood. The substance on their teeth was, in fact, hulahula, a native red
fe' i banana. For the next couple of centuries, Niue was known as Savage
Island, it’s now known as Niuē, which translates as "behold the coconut".
Niue has its challenges; it does not have beaches, and it's a long way
from anywhere, but those challenges are also what makes its character
unique. It’s only 3 hours from Auckland with Air New Zealand. We stayed
at the Scenic Matavai Resort Niue, which is Niue's only resort. In 2004
there was a massive cyclone that devasted the island. Since then, there
has been a lot of rebuilding, and the Scenic Matavai Resort is, in a
word, spectacular. It perches on the cliff edge, and you can literally see
whales swimming past (in season). Its location is also central to the other
main attraction that Niue has to offer – for example, the dive operator
Buccaneer Adventures Niue Dive is right next door.
Above: Home for the week at the Scenic Matavai Resort, Niue
Spinner dolphins - image by Anthony Brown Buccaneer diving
"Niue is warm and inviting,
it’s lush and clean, it’s bright
and sunny, and its people are
warm and friendly."
100//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#217
Niue is one of the world's largest
raised coral atolls. There are steep
limestone cliffs along the coast with
a central plateau rising to about 60
metres above sea level. The classic
feature of Niue is its number of
limestone caves and chasms along the
coast. These limestone chasms are
clearly outlined for tourists; your only
issue is tide. In our room at the Scenic
Matavai Resort, we had a tide chart
which related to each of the chasms
and the best times to go. You will want
to visit them, they are stunning; crystal
clear water against the backdrop of grey
limestone, just don't go barefoot, wear
"Fishing in Niue is on a whole
new level. We spent half a day
with Fish Niue Charters and
pulled in over 16 fish."
The water is blue, so blue and deep. Within a few meters if the
shoreline the water drops away to phenomenal depths thus the whales can
get in so close, but it also makes it fantastic for diving and fishing. As there
is little runoff of water from the island in the way of rivers or streams, so
the visibility for diving is off the scale with regular visibility of 70 metres.
Due to the location, not only is the clarity amazing, but there is also an
abundance of fish life. Because of the limestone formation, the coastline is
riddled with swim-throughs and unique underwater terrain. There are a few
dive operators on the island, but if you are looking to go out it, it will pay to
book way in advance.
Fishing in Niue is on a whole new level. We spent half a day with
Fish Niue Charters and pulled in over 16 fish, BJ our skipper for the day
modestly said, ‘it’s not always this good’, but I think it is!
Due to the coastline and lack of a sheltered harbour, all boats have to
be craned in and out of the water. We arrived at 5am just as the sun was
looking to rise and we were fishing within 5 minutes of leaving the wharf
and within ten minutes of having rods in the water we had our first strike.
The gear on the boat is brand new which is not the case on a lot of fishing
charters in the South Pacific, so there was no fear of loss because of a
breakage of gear, and the equipment took a pounding as did we. A Wahoo
is a crazy fighting fish- aggressive long and narrow like a torpedo and just
as fast. We caught a range of fish; yellowfin tuna, pacific barracuda (which
is edible in Niue), but the Wahoo stole the show. We did catch the head
of an enormous Skipjack tuna the rest was shared with an even bigger
predator lucking in the dark deep blue depths – key Jaws music!
Our days in Niue were spent lapping up the afternoon sunshine, but
in the morning, we looked to do an activity of some sort. We explored a
few of the chasms, we fished two mornings and one morning we went out
with Buccaneer Adventures Niue Dive and looked for Spinner dolphins. We
basically rode around the bay in front of the resort until we saw them – we
then cruised along very slowly with a mask and fins on and in the crystal
clear blue water you could see the pods of the small spinner dolphins just
playing in front of the boat. Once they had had enough of our company they
departed, and we moored and snorkelled along the cliff edge just outside
the wharf. We saw more dolphins, sea snakes, turtles and millions of
small fish. Once again, and sorry to repeat the same observation, but what
made it so amazing was how clear the water was. Swimming in Niue is like
swimming in gin.
It is hard to put your finger why Niue is so appealing because it's not like
any other South Pacific Island; maybe that it… maybe it’s just because it is so
unique. Thus their latest marketing #nowherelikeniue is right on target.
To have your trip taken care of top to bottom, flights, fishing, diving and
where to stay contact www.travelandco.nz/niue
Top to bottom: Amazing diving - image provided by Anthony Brown,
Buccaneer Adventures Niue Dive / Greg Knell in the heavy end of a big
Wahoo / Smiling till our faces hurt - great day with Fish Niue Charters
102//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#217
Image © Buccaneer Adventures Niue Dive
Home to unique dive sites, in some of the clearest waters
you will experience, Niue offers a variety of underwater
adventures. Explore underwater chasms, caves and
caverns, coves and canyons, chimneys and arches,
and discover diverse life including tropical fish, whales,
turtles, sea snakes and more. Let us help plan your visit
to this incredible destination.
Talk to an Active Travel Expert today
INCREDIBLE NATURAL ATTRACTIONS
Working on your tan in Port Vila is certainly a lovely way to spend the day, but there’s
plenty of beauty outside the big Vanuatu hotels. On distant islands scattered throughout the
archipelago, you’ll find bubbling volcanoes, sugar-white beaches, coral reefs, remote waterfalls
and sweeping volcanic ash plains. Natural attractions are pretty much Vanuatu’s major export,
drawing thousands of visitors from all over the world. Here are but a few.
Swim Beneath Waterfalls on Efate
You don’t have to travel far outside Port
Vila to find Efate’s best waterfalls. Mele
Cascades are the most popular, hiding in the
jungle about 10 km from Port Vila’s major
resorts. The Mele Cascades is a collection
of terraced pools that tumble down a rocky
hillside, then plunge 35 metres into a natural
swimming hole. Just watch your step on the
rope-guided path to the top as it can get a
bit slippery. For somewhere less busy, try
Lololima Falls. It’s another stepped cascade,
equally photogenic, with sloping limestone
pools, hidden caves (search behind the
upper-tier waterfall) and even a rope swing.
For anyone staying on Tanna, make sure to
set aside a couple of days for idle waterfall
exploration: Louniel, Lenuanatuaiu and
Lenuingao Falls are all beautiful spots for an
Walk Over Black Volcanic Sand
Tanna is known for its picturepostcard
surf coast, particularly around
Port Resolution and Yewao Point on the
island’s eastern peninsula. It’s here you’ll
find some of Vanuatu’s best bungalow
accommodation (if you’re looking for larger
resorts, like Rockwater or Evergreen, most
of them are on the west coast). But thanks
to the smoking Mount Yasur, Tanna is
also home to several black sand volcanic
beaches. Louniel Beach is our favourite. It
sweeps along the northeast coast of Tanna,
and the inky black sands make for some
fantastic photographs. You can also explore
Lowakels Cove, which comes with nearby
Friendly Beach bungalow accommodation
or Iwaru Beach, just south of Lenakel,
Tanna’s major port town.
Venture into Millennium Cave
If the idea of setting off into the jungle,
hurdling river boulders and venturing
beneath the earth sounds appealing, you
need to explore Millennium Cave on Espiritu
Santo. It’s the largest cave in Vanuatu
and you can book cave tours from nearby
Luganville. After a bumpy 45-minute ride to
the village of Funaspef, it’s a challenging 1.5-
hour hike through the forest to Millennium
Cave, so you’ll need a decent level of fitness.
But the scenery is some of the best in the
archipelago. You’ll hike through the jungle,
explore an underground cave system (with
nothing but strong shoes and a torch),
then cool off in forest pools surrounded
by cascading waterfalls. If you’re after
something a little less Indiana Jones, take a
day trip on Havannah Harbour and visit the
World Heritage-listed Roi Mata’s Domain.
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Notchup P2018144 - Crédit photo : Getty Images, © GHNC
EXPLORING THE WORLD'S LARGEST LAGOON
I’m sunning myself on the bow of a
yacht, flickers of shade momentarily
passing as the sail dances in light
air. Rhythmic slaps of water on hull
providing a meditative soundtrack.
Dark circles move ahead of us in
the water, the surface swirling and
breaking as five adult humpbacks
appear, encouraging their young to
jump and dive. Their size dwarfs the
yacht, a marine circus providing a
spectacle you can only dream of.
They’re not fazed by us as they dive
beneath the boat pausing momentarily
to take a peak.
Humpbacks are the real show-stoppers in
New Caledonia, where the lagoon dominates
the landscape. This is one of the largest marine
reserves in the world, and has been a World
Heritage Site since 2008. It’s also a nesting
sites for illustrious turtle breeds, rare crab
species, tropical seabirds and other marine
wildlife. Welcome to David Attenborough
country - I feel privileged to be here.
With a week on my itinerary, sailing is only
the first of many lagoon adventures. I’m also
booked for a jetski mission and lead myself into
a false sense of security. I’ve seen the groups
at home - tourists trailing behind the instructor
in matching wetsuits and high-vis vests,
motoring at half speed around the harbour.
“This will be tame” I think.
The myths were quickly dispelled. A gruff
looking Frenchman of solid build presents
himself as our guide, two days of thick stubble
and mirrored sunglasses making him look like
Liam Neeson in the movie Taken. His safety
briefing consists of the words ‘”accelerator,
no brake” and a few hand signals, before
he opens throttle and takes off through the
channel, jumping wakes on the way.
A hundred metres behind, I fight to keep
up, clinging onto the handlebars like wolverine
and levitating from my seat with every bump.
I try to ride standing so not to give myself a
spinal realignment, but my puny legs don’t have
the quad-strength to cope. Crossing the lagoon
is a full-body workout but I’m rewarded with
sheltered waters, and a handful of giant sea
turtles on the other side. I toast my wind-swept
body in the sunshine and circumnavigate a tiny
uninhabited island before jetting off to explore
the reef behind Îlot Maître.
The lagoon offers the perfect playground for all water activies
Once back on dry land, I spend the
afternoon lazing around at Chateau Royal
– the only resort in town that’s right on the
beachfront. It has an epic pool area complete
with a swim up bar and boasts an indoor Aquatonic
Pool where you can work out and do spin
classes underwater. Bizarre concept, and I’m
disappointed to have missed the last class of
the day. For the macho men it’s important to
note, it’s compulsory to the rock the speedo
here – so if you don’t want to fish a pair from
the lost property then BYO.
Another must see attraction in Nouméa is
the busy waterfront produce market where stall
keepers sell piles of bluespine, unicornfish,
prawns of every denomination, lobsters, greenfringed
mussels, oysters, marlin, mahi-mahi,
octopus and crab. I discover big, ruby-red
chunks of glistening tuna piled at every other
shop and make sure my plate is loaded with
them at dinner.
Interestingly, after the stall keepers cleanup
for the day, their water runoff leads into the
Port Moselle marina. Those with keen eyes will
spot shark cruising alongside the promenade
waiting for an extra snack – although none big
enough to chomp a limb.
When I’m not on the water or in it, I’m flying
over it. From the seat of a tiny ultralight plane in
Bourail, I take off over an intensely hued stretch
of sea and sublime lenticular reef. I gaze over a
lagoon that goes on for kilometres before finally
breaking in toothpaste-white billows of surf onto
the reef. It’s a coral patchwork filled with every
shade of blue, from azure to turquoise, so vivid
and piercing it’s as though a filter has been
applied to the landscape.
Shadows haunt the lagoon below – slow
moving shapes of turtles and rays seeking
shelter in the shallow waters. And where the
reef drops into deep ocean, fishing boats loll
and are later are seen heaving under the weight
of their catch.
Rumour has it that you can surf this
western coast too. I’m booked for an afternoon
at ‘Secrets’ - a perfect left-hander that’s been
compared to Macaronis in the Mentawais.
Unfortunately I get a call saying it’s too small
today, curbing plans of long lefts and glassy
barrels. The wetsuit and wax in my bag a
constant weighing reminder of waves breaking
and departing without me. Nonetheless,
it’d be an epic destination for those keen
to road-trip from Noumea. Manu Hernu,
one of New Cal’s best surfers runs guided
boat expeditions here so fear of localism is
As the week wraps up, I board a plane back
to Auckland reflecting on parting words from my
guide: “Remember, nothing bad ever happens
here. In the water, or on the beach. You just
swim, explore, have a Number One beer and
watch the sunset”. C’est bon. It’s all good.
Fresh fish from the produce market
SAILING THE WHITSUNDAYS
AN UNRIVALLED EXPERIENCE
picture-perfect sunny day,
beautiful blue water, and a
sea full of boats and promises
of adventure. As I approached the
gigantic yacht that I’d be calling home
for the next two days, I attempted,
feebly, to size it up. Climbing on
board, it was easier to take in all the
different angles, and I began to feel
the excitement building. The 27 other
passengers and I sat together on the
deck of the vessel, not knowing quite
what to expect. Our Skipper told us
there was enough wind blowing that
we’d be leaning over a fair way. He also
made us feel oh-so safe explaining the
difference between the ‘high-side’ and
the ‘suicide’ of the boat!
Once out in the Whitsunday Passage, safety
briefing complete, volunteers were called upon
to hoist the humongous sails. Of course, my
hand flew up! Hauling the sail from the boom to
the top of the mast was no easy feat. However,
between me and the two other volunteers, we
were victorious – and apparently in record time!
Okay, that may have been a little-white-lie on
the crew’s behalf - but we didn’t mind – it made
us feel empowered! In no time at all, we were
seeing the fruits of our labour. Suddenly the
unassuming vessel that had been sat in the
dock transformed into the most commanding
yacht on the water!
Everyone was smiling and hanging on to
their hats, as we dangled our legs over the
edge. Meanwhile the crew ran around the
vessel totally effortlessly, making tiny tweaks
to the sails – all to ensure we were charging
through the water. All of a sudden, my sailing
experience on that small Croatian yacht with my
family last year seemed to fall by the wayside,
and I truly understood the difference between
‘Champagne Sailing’ versus ‘Maxi Sailing’.
"I began to imagine what
it must have been like
to be a crew member on
board when this powerful
We watched the islands float past us as
the water splashed our toes, feeling very at
ease. Constantly realigning and rebalancing
our bodies, keeping up with the dipping and
weaving of the yacht dancing on the waves. I
began to imagine what it must have been like to
be a crew member on board when this powerful
Over the course of the trip, we jumped
into the water for a refreshing snorkel at
three incredible bays. Watching the colourful
fish swimming around right at my fingertips
was amazing! My duck-diving practice from
swimming lessons 20 years ago finally came to
good use. Ducking down to the stunning coral
to get a closer look was awesome and I reckon
even David Attenborough and his team would
be impressed by my video footage!
We visited Whitehaven Beach and Hill
Inlet Lookout, the incredible viewpoint on
Whitsunday Island overlooking the beach. Even
though this beach is visited by hundreds of
people every day, it is still incredibly untouched.
And, even though it is one of the most
photographed locations in the world, you still
need to see it with your own eyes to truly realize
its magnificence! I wholeheartedly support the
many awards and accolades this unique beach
As well as all the action, of course, the
trip was well-balanced with moments of calm,
which were also some of the highlights of the
trip. Watching the sun setting and rising over
the islands, sharing stories of adventures with
like-minded people from around the world,
and laying back on deck to point out the
constellations. Once the sun had set, although
not a moment of calm, the revelries took over,
and the rest you’d have to find out for yourself!
Explore Whitsundays called this trip ‘Fun
sailing for the adventurous traveller’ which
certainly rang true for me!
108//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#217
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