Adventure Magazine Issue 220

Issue 220: June/July Winter 2020

Issue 220: June/July
Winter 2020


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



WINTER<br />


ISSUE <strong>220</strong><br />

JUNE/JULY 2020<br />

NZ $10.90 incl. GST<br />



#firstincraft<br />

McCashin's Brewery<br />

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

T:+64 3 547 5357<br />

E: orders@mccashins.co.nz @stokebeer<br />

Looking for the positives...<br />

Over the last few months, we have seen massive change; to our lifestyle,<br />

communities, and economy. It’s easy to throw out platitudes about ‘silver<br />

linings’, but the reality is there are a lot of people, friends and associates whose<br />

businesses have been devastated, years of work undermined. Now a murky<br />

grey future of uncertainty still awaits them. Sure there are positives as in every<br />

situation, but we need to look squarely at the future and know that what was in<br />

the past will not be coming back any time soon – if ever.<br />

But it is equally important to look at that which does not change – here at<br />

<strong>Adventure</strong> we were astounded by the support that our online ‘free to the world’<br />

issue received, which we brought out mid-COVID. I would love to say it was<br />

carefully planned, but it wasn’t, it was us thinking on our feet trying to find the<br />

best way forward. We sat daily bewildered by the number of people who read the<br />

magazine. At one stage it was being read once every 25 seconds (you can follow<br />

the link at the bottom if you wish to see that issue).<br />

In a time of ‘whoa what’s coming next’ we had this beacon of positive<br />

reaction. Regardless of what the world throws up, we are committed to an active<br />

and adventurous lifestyle. Now more than ever, we generally believe that seeking<br />

that adventures lifestyle is vital for us all. It makes us healthier, both physically<br />

and mentally, it strengthens our environment and communities. We live in one<br />

of the most incredible places on earth, and for every one of us, <strong>Adventure</strong> is<br />

accessible.<br />

I am sure by the time you read this; we will be in Level One – embrace<br />

all that it has to offer; visit local, buy local, and invest locally. Be an advocate<br />

for your friends and family and encourage them to venture out. If they lack<br />

confidence, then use one of the agencies that will introduce them and their family<br />

safely to the outdoors.<br />

You will see throughout this issue a new second logo associated<br />

with <strong>Adventure</strong> called Taiao – it’s the simple symbol of a nikau palm and<br />

the word ‘Taiao’ which means environment. It is time for us to grasp our<br />

own environment. We can be proud of what kiwis have achieved through<br />

this COVID experience, how it’s been overcome, how we have been<br />

supportive of each other and how we have set a standard for the world.<br />

Its now time to take that to another level and show the world how we as<br />

kiwi can invest finically, emotionally and physically in our own Taiao our<br />

own environment, because it is that investment locally, is what we can<br />

control, what we can count on, that will give the most reward to both us<br />

and our community for the future.<br />

Steve Dickinson - Editor<br />

#<strong>220</strong><br />

Will Gadd ice climbs in a moulin on the Greenland ice cap<br />

near Ilulissat, Greenland.<br />

Image by Christian Pondella/Red Bull Content Pool<br />


Steve Dickinson<br />

Mob: 027 577 5014<br />

steve@pacificmedia.co.nz<br />


Lynne Dickinson<br />

design@pacificmedia.co.nz<br />


subs@pacificmedia.co.nz<br />


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

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

www.adventuremagazine.co.nz<br />


www.adventuremagazine.co.nz<br />

www.adventuretraveller.co.nz<br />

www.adventurejobs.co.nz<br />

www.skiandsnow.co.nz<br />

@adventurevanlifenz<br />


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

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

Whangaparaoa, New Zealand<br />

Ph: 0275775014<br />

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

www.adventuremagazine.co.nz<br />

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

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

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

work published may be used on our website. Material in this publication may not be reproduced<br />

without permission. While the publishers have taken all reasonable precautions and made all<br />

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

purchase of this magazine that the publisher does not assume any responsibility or liability for<br />

loss or damage which may result from any inaccuracy or omission in this publication, or from<br />

the use of information contained herein and the publishers make no warranties, expressed or<br />

implied, with respect to any of the material contained herein.<br />

www.adventuretraveller.co.nz<br />

Exploring Bad<br />

Lands National<br />

Park, South<br />

Dakota... Now<br />

looking forward to<br />

exploring my own<br />

back yard.<br />

Proud to be Kiwi!<br />

JOBS<br />

www.adventurejobs.co.nz<br />

www.adventuremagazine.co.nz<br />

Digital, Hardcopy, Web, Social<br />


page 08<br />

Introducing the<br />


Perfect cold weather insulation for every body.<br />

www.merrell.co.nz<br />

Image by River Valley Lodge Image compliments of MSC Image by Daniel Price<br />

Image by Red Bull<br />

page 16<br />

page 24<br />

page 36<br />

#<strong>220</strong><br />

contents<br />

08//Beneath the Ice<br />

Will Gadd explores Greenland's ice cap<br />

16//Aoraki/Mt Cook<br />

Getting ready to revisit our favourite places<br />

22//Alps to Ocean<br />

Why do it guided, even if you're a Kiwi?<br />

24//Avalanche Awareness<br />

Staying safe on the snow<br />

28//Playing safe<br />

Explore the backcountry safely<br />

32//The Day we Left<br />

When surfing and snow collide<br />

36//Home Grown<br />

Exploring the Central Plateau<br />

78//<strong>Adventure</strong> Van Life<br />

• It's cool to travel when it's cool<br />

• Live for AdVANture<br />

98//<strong>Adventure</strong> travel<br />

• New Caledonia<br />

• Vanuatu<br />

plus<br />

86. gear guides<br />

95. subs<br />

106. Active adventure<br />


www.facebook.com/adventuremagnz<br />

adventuremagazine<br />

www.adventuremagazine.co.nz<br />

Nzadventuremag<br />



We know the dance that is winter hiking with a pack so we used heat-mapping to study<br />

the way different bodies regulate heat while hiking in order to build the Ridgevent.<br />

+<br />


Heat-mapping shows that men retain<br />

heat longer than women, so we’ve<br />

increased the ratio of ventilation<br />

to insulation in men’s styles.<br />

Pictured: Men’s Ridgevent Hybrid Jacket / Sailor Blue<br />

Many Paths. One Trail.<br />

+<br />


Blending 65% responsibly sourced,<br />

waterproof goose down and 35%<br />

ultra fine Primaloft synthetic<br />

fibers for warmth even when wet.<br />

+<br />


Alleviates overheating with a<br />

baffle construction that provides<br />

warmth where you need it and<br />

breathability when it matters.<br />

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

02//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#<strong>220</strong><br />

Takapuna Whangamata Christchurch Queenstown


Photographer Christian Pondella, explains taking the cover shot while on<br />

an expedition with Will Gadd to Greenland. See page 10 for the full story.<br />

"In this kind of environment pretty much anyone with a camera or a phone<br />

can take a really amazing photo because it’s such an amazing place, so<br />

as a pro photographer you’ve got to find ways to exceed that. You’ve got<br />

to be dynamic, evaluate the situation and give depth, use foreground,<br />

middle ground, background, tr to do something that evoked emotion ,puts<br />

the viewer into the picture, use dramatic lines and shadows, and then<br />

draw them into the subject.<br />

On this shoot, sometimes it was just a matter of hanging on a rope taking<br />

photos, going up and down to line things up differently, shooting into the<br />

light to make it dramatic, moody, bright and colourful. You always have<br />

ideas before a shoot but you always end up changing your plan.<br />

Every time I do a project with Will it turns out to be wild and adventurous. I<br />

knew this one would be a tonne of fun and produce some amazing photos<br />

and it turned out to be one of the coolest adventures I’ve ever been on."<br />


Here is an Irish whiskey<br />

that apparently will make<br />

you think twice about it.<br />

The engaging backstory<br />

behind the birth of the<br />

Glendalough distillery,<br />

was created by friends<br />

from Wicklow and<br />

Dublin, with a desire to<br />

set up a craft distillery<br />

in Ireland to reflect the<br />

heritage of the gone<br />

by distilleries. They<br />

took a risk by giving<br />

up their jobs and created a distillery in the Glendalough mountains,<br />

which was a favourite spot. Coupled with the sweet notes of cherry,<br />

raisins, and fig flavour notes of the award winning double barrel<br />

Irish whiskey, it was the right choice to use with a combination of<br />

persimmon, pear, citrus and ginger. The tasting team commented<br />

on the fruity, sweet but smooth whiskey flavour that shone through.<br />

It was described as heavenly even when mixed with other fruit burst<br />

flavour notes. Have you tried this whiskey?<br />

• Muddle persimmon and pear together<br />

• Add a few drops of essential black pepper oil thanks to @<br />

crazyoilchicksnz<br />

• 2 jigger Glendalough Double Barrel Irish Whiskey @glendalough<br />

• 1 jigger freshly squeezed lemon juice<br />

• Bar spoon of Stones ginger wine<br />

• Shake with ice, pour into glass and top up with a no sugar ginger<br />

beer, and garnish with dehydrated pear and a matching rose.<br />

Approx 10 carbs per serve<br />

Follow Sue on Instagram: @cocktailontherock<br />

To sign up for the weekly newsletter: www.cocktailontherock.co.nz

70,000 followers can't be wrong<br />


06//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#<strong>220</strong><br />

@ adventuremagazine<br />

@ adventuretraveller @ adventurevanlifenz

Beneath the Ice<br />

In the remote, icy wilderness on the<br />

Greenland ice cap, a gaping hole marked<br />

the spot where climber Will Gadd and his<br />

support crew and film team would descend<br />

into the unknown. A moulin is basically a<br />

giant hole in a glacier, created when surface<br />

water finds its way into a crack in the ice and<br />

melts through. And in this dream project,<br />

the plan was to climb into one and go deep<br />

inside the Greenland ice cap to a place<br />

nobody has ever been before.<br />

Story and Images courtsey Redbull<br />

What they discovered was a sparklingly<br />

beautiful, but terrifying 90m-deep cavern,<br />

with a roof made of hundreds of tonnes of<br />

cracking, creaking and groaning ice.<br />

Having become the first person to ice climb<br />

up Niagara Falls, Will Gadd is no stranger<br />

to perilous situations. But the Canadian<br />

adventurer undertook his biggest and most<br />

dangerous challenge in Beneath the Ice, an<br />

exploration within the Greenland Ice Cap<br />

with the aim of collecting global warming<br />

data. Will tells us what motivates him to<br />

embark on such a journey…<br />


Camp at the Greenland ice cap near Ilulissat, Greenland<br />

Image by Christian Pondella/Red Bull Content Pool<br />

"Curiosity, more than any other emotion or motivation, has always<br />

pushed me forward. It has taken me to the edge of human understanding<br />

and ability, a place that gets me up in the morning.<br />

The excitement of answering “what would happen if we…” first drove<br />

me to explore caves in my teens around the same time that curiosity<br />

introduced me to ice climbing. I hooked up with an older crew of cavers<br />

who brought me along primarily because I could squeeze my skinny<br />

frame through holes that they couldn’t. We’d move through the rock<br />

thousands of feet below the mountains, and then they’d send in “the<br />

probe”. I’d squeeze into places no human had ever been, all because it<br />

was wildly interesting and scratched the raw itch of curiosity.<br />

Lately, more than three decades after my first caving experiences,<br />

my worlds of ice climbing and caving have collided. Yet again, it was<br />

curiosity: what is down those moulins, those big holes in the glacier?<br />

Maybe it was time to send in “the probe” once again.<br />

I researched what was known about glacial caves, and that took me to<br />

Professor Martin Sharp at the University of Alberta. Together we worked<br />

under the Athabasca Glacier, and found new life forms growing inside the<br />

glacier.<br />

I kept digging on the research front and wound up in contact with<br />

Professor Jason Gulley, one of the top experts on glacial caves in the<br />

world. Together we hatched a plan for what would become Beneath the<br />

Ice, a project that pushed me further than any other project I’ve ever<br />

done.<br />

Come the summer of 2018, I was learning how to cave dive in Florida<br />

with Gulley. Why? Because our plan involved going deeping into the<br />

Greenland ice cap than anyone had ever gone before, and to do that,<br />

we were planning to dive once we hit the water table inside the glacier.<br />

When we emerged from the depths of the ice sheet, we hoped to have a<br />

better understanding of how the ice cap ultimately moves and melts.<br />

RIGHT: Topside view as Will Gadd<br />

descends into a moulin on the Greenland<br />

ice cap near Ilulissat, Greenland<br />

Image by Christian Pondella<br />

Red Bull Content Pool<br />


Will Gadd and Jason Gulley inside a moulin on the Greenland ice cap near Ilulissat, Greenland<br />

Image by Christian Pondella/Red Bull Content Pool<br />

We took two trips to Greenland, that made up the Beneath the Ice project:<br />

the first took place in August, where we identified the moulin we hope to<br />

explore further; the second took place in October, where we hoped to put<br />

our full scope of ambitious exploration into action…"<br />

Will and Professor Jason Gulley reached the ice floor where they planned<br />

to dive however, with massive blocks of ice falling from the ceiling above<br />

they were forced to pull out of the dive. They still achieved a vital insight<br />

into understanding how global warming works and what happens to rivers<br />

of melted ice and rising sea levels.<br />

Joining them to capture the event was photographer, Christian Pondella. He<br />

explains the trip from his perspective…<br />

"Wherever there’s surface water on a glacier there will be a moulin nearby,<br />

but this one was special because it had a big opening facing the same way<br />

as the prevailing wind. That meant the snow would block up the entrance<br />

while we were inside. Obviously, that was pretty important.<br />

Just getting out there was an adventure. It was a half-hour heli flight from<br />

Ilulissat, with amazing views and then we were dropped off in the middle<br />

of this ice desert. Just flat ice, as far as you can see. Totally surreal. When<br />

we first dripped into the moulin, we found this giant amphitheatre. It was<br />

stunning, with tonnes of overhanging ice. We were in the fall zone most of<br />

the time, which was pretty nerve wracking.<br />

One day there was a big temperature drop and you could hear cracking<br />

around us as we stood on the ice cap. When you go into a cavern like this<br />

you’re extremely exposed, so you’ve got to continually look for signs of<br />

instability. We all saw them, so we took the day off. It turned out we made<br />

the right call. The next day, when things got more stable, we went back in<br />

and at the bottom, where we’d been standing two days before, there were<br />

huge chunks of fallen ice. Massive. That was eerie and scary. If we’d been<br />

down there the day before, well…"<br />

RIGHT: Looking back as Will Gadd<br />

descends into a moulin on the Greenland<br />

ice cap near Ilulissat, Greenland<br />

Image by Christian Pondella<br />

Red Bull Content Pool<br />


"When we first dripped<br />

into the moulin, we found<br />

this giant amphitheatre. It<br />

was stunning, with tonnes<br />

of overhanging ice. We<br />

were in the fall zone most<br />

of the time, which was<br />

pretty nerve wracking."<br />





"The real joy of hiking up this<br />

far is to experience the mountain<br />

during the many stages of the<br />

day and night. From listening<br />

to avalanches crash in the<br />

distance and the beauty of the<br />

uninterrupted night sky, through<br />

to the sight of dawn over the<br />

ranges the following morning, are<br />

all reasons to stay overnight."<br />

Looking back through old photo albums uncovered one of my favourite hikes to Meuller Hut in Aoraki Mt Cook National Park<br />

L-R: Taking a break at the start of the climb to Sealy Tarns and Meuller Hut | Our crew at the start of the track in Aoraki Mt Cook village<br />

included two Kiwis, two Canadians, two Aussies and one American | Jai Ralls on the trail to Meuller Hut<br />

Aoraki/Mt Cook<br />

Words by Lynne Dickinson<br />

Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park<br />

Located in the central part of the South<br />

Island, Aoraki/Mount Cook is the highest<br />

mountain in New Zealand. It boasts 19<br />

peaks over 3000m with Aoraki/Mount Cook<br />

standing at 3,724m tall.<br />

Climbing the mountain is a technical<br />

challenge crossing large crevasses with<br />

a risk of rock and ice falls, avalanches<br />

and rapidly changing weather conditions.<br />

The first attempt to climb the highest peak<br />

was in 1882 by two Swiss climbers and it<br />

is believed they came within 50m of the<br />

summit and it was successfully summited<br />

in 1894 when New Zealanders Tom Fyfe,<br />

John Michael Clarke and George Graham<br />

reached the top.<br />

Unfortunately, Aoraki/Mount Cook, is also<br />

NZ's most deadliest mountain, with over 80<br />

people perishing on it’s slopes.<br />

However, the area is not just about<br />

extreme mountaineering. There are plenty<br />

of activities for all levels of fitness and<br />

technical ability and you’ll find something to<br />

challenge you in this National Park.<br />

Meuller Hut<br />

As people were coming to grips with the<br />

travel restrictions imposed during the<br />

Covid-19 epidemic and the loss of their<br />

potential overseas travel plans, the focus<br />

turned to New Zealand and what we<br />

have to offer the intrepid traveller and the<br />

adventurer at heart.<br />

The strange thing is, that for overseas<br />

visitors, New Zealand is considered the<br />

adventure capital of the world, yet we often<br />

look overseas first for our next adventure.<br />

So while in isolation, as most New<br />

Zealanders did I am sure, I got to sorting<br />

out the spare bedroom and came across<br />

photo albums from back in the day.<br />

One of the things that struck me most about<br />

them was that most of my adventures<br />

in my 20’s were located in New Zealand<br />

(possibly because I didn’t have the funds<br />

to travel back then). I have since travelled<br />

extensively abroad and it made me realise<br />

how much we have to offer here at home,<br />

and I vowed that no matter whether the<br />

travel restrictions at our borders were lifted<br />

or not, I would not be so hasty to head<br />

overseas before I rediscovered what we<br />

had on our doorstep.<br />

"The faded images brought back<br />

memories of a summer spent<br />

road tripping around New<br />

Zealand with a backpack, a tent,<br />

a sleeping bag and a great group<br />

of friends (many who had come<br />

from overseas)."<br />

One lot of photos that stood out from my many<br />

slightly faded albums was taken on the Meuller<br />

Hut track in the South Island in Aoraki, Mt Cook<br />

National Park. The faded images brought back<br />

memories of a summer spent road tripping<br />

around New Zealand with a backpack, a tent,<br />

a sleeping bag and a great group of friends<br />

(many who had come from overseas). One of<br />

the things I remember most clearly about that<br />

hike to Meuller hut, was sleeping in our tent at<br />

night listening to the sound of the snow cracking<br />

on the mountains around us as avalanches<br />

fell throughout the night. It was an incredible<br />

experience.<br />

So the plan is to return to the scene of these<br />

photos and relive some of those experiences.<br />

This time we will be a little older (25 years older<br />

to be precise) and we’ll be a little slower. We<br />

may need to carry with us some self inflating air<br />

mattresses and even a pillow, however I am sure<br />

we’ll enjoy it just as much. I am looking forward<br />

to seeing how much has changed in the years<br />

since we last visited, but I am hoping, with the<br />

absence of people over the past few months,<br />

that nature has had a chance to restore itself to<br />

its original glory. I will let you know what we find,<br />

but in the meantime, here’s some information so<br />

you too can plan for your next NZ adventure to<br />

this beautiful part of our country.<br />

Right:Sunset at Aoraki Mt Cook, Image by WIll Turner<br />


The image above taken 25 years ago in 1995, not far from Meuller Hut.<br />

The image on the right, taken at the same spot by Jamie Davies in 2018<br />

Meuller Hut Track, Mt Cook (moderate to advanced)<br />

This is the one we did, but as you can see by the photos, we were a lot<br />

younger and therefore found it a lot easier than I would now.<br />

Length: 5.2km one way<br />

Duration: 4 hours one way<br />

Meuller Hut: 28 bunk beds with mats, cooking gas and burners, drop toilets,<br />

and running (but non-treated) water. The Mueller Hut costs $45 NZD per<br />

person per night for adults, $22.50 for kids 5 to 17 years old, under 5 free.<br />

Season: The track is open year round however, the best time of year to<br />

attempt the Meuller Hut route is from December through to April, due to the<br />

more settled weather. However don’t expect it to be hot, you are in alpine<br />

conditions and temperatures range between 8-14 degrees Celcius. Be<br />

prepared for all weather conditions; rain, strong winds and even snow. The<br />

rest of the year, deep snow covers most of the track making it more difficult<br />

to walk as well as increasing the risks of avalanches. The thing to remember<br />

is that this is an alpine walk and if you want it to be enjoyable and safe, then<br />

wait for a good weather window and make sure you are well prepared with<br />

the correct clothing and shelter. Do not be fooled by the seemingly short<br />

distance to the hut, the 5.2km rises 1000km in elevation, which is the reason<br />

the estimated time to walk the short distance is around 4 hours.<br />

The walk: As my memory is a little hazy<br />

from doing this walk 25 years ago, I<br />

consulted the Mountain Safety Councils<br />

website, read a few articles and watched<br />

a great trail information video. One of<br />

the things I concluded, for my personal<br />

journey to revisit this track, is that I have<br />

to do this in good weather. The area is<br />

subject to snowfall all year round and<br />

parts of the track are exposed to high<br />

winds, so this is something I would not<br />

feel comfortable undertaking in less than<br />

ideal weather conditions. For those of you<br />

more accustomed to inclement weather,<br />

I am sure you will enjoy the experience<br />

regardless of the weather, but for me, not<br />

so much.<br />

The main difficulty in this is if you want to<br />

stay in Meuller Hut you need to book well<br />

in advance, so fitting it in with weather<br />

conditions is not always easy. 25 years<br />

ago we carried a tent and found a bit of<br />

flat ground to sleep near the hut, this way<br />

we could be spontaneous and picked a<br />

day when the weather was just perfect.<br />

I’m not sure how keen my friends will be<br />

reliving the experience in its entirety but I’ll<br />

keep you posted on how it goes.<br />

The Meuller Hut route begins at the<br />

Aoraki, Mt Cook village, outside the visitor<br />

center, but do not let that fool you into<br />

thinking this is another walk in the park, so<br />

to speak. It begins on a well established<br />

track called the Kea Point Track, which is<br />

an easy 2km walk up the valley through<br />

alpine meadows and native bush. Enjoy<br />

this section as you will then turn off onto<br />

Sealy Tarns track, and this is where the<br />

going gets tough.<br />

The track zigzags steeply up around 2000<br />

steps and rises 520m till it reaches Sealy<br />

Tarns, the halfway point. The track is<br />

exposed and quite steep in places so you<br />

may need to be able to use your hands as<br />

support on the way up, but trust me when<br />

I say the view from the Tarns is worth<br />

every step. You will get hot walking up,<br />

regardless of the weather, so take plenty<br />

of time to shed and re-layer as you reach<br />

the top and rest.<br />

The tarns are a good spot to break for<br />

lunch and is also a good time to reassess<br />

your plans. If you found the first bit hard<br />

it only gets more technical, so it’s a point<br />

where you have to decide whether to<br />

continue or to turn back. Keep in mind the<br />

fitness of your overall group and make<br />

sure you are all honest with how you are<br />

feeling and make a sensible decision.<br />

There is no shame in<br />

turning round at this point.<br />

If you decide not to go any<br />

further, you simply retrace<br />

your steps and return the<br />

way you came.<br />

For those of you who decide to carry<br />

on you’ll notice the track becomes less<br />

defined and you must keep an eye out<br />

for the orange poles that mark the route.<br />

The key is to make sure you spot the next<br />

marker pole before leaving the one you<br />

are at, easy to do on a fine clear day, but<br />

not so easy if you have limited visibility.<br />

The terrain is mainly tussock and boulders<br />

and in places you will need to use your<br />

hands to scramble over rocky steps.<br />

The last section is through a scree rock<br />

face with loose footing and you need to<br />

take care on this section. Once you reach<br />

the top, follow along the ridge until you<br />

reach Meuller Hut.<br />

The first ever hut here was built in 1914,<br />

and since then the harsh conditions and<br />

even an avalanche has meant there have<br />

been four more built. The most recent one<br />

was opened in July 2003 by Sir Edmund<br />

Hillary, and is situated just below Mt<br />

Ollivier – the first mountain Sir Edmund<br />

climbed. Considering the last time we<br />

climbed this track was in 1995 the hut is<br />

one change we’ll see for sure.<br />

Although some people treat the hike as<br />

a day trip (crazy if you ask me), the real<br />

joy of hiking up this far is to experience<br />

the mountain during the many stages<br />

of the day and night. From listening to<br />

avalanches crash in the distance and<br />

the beauty of the uninterrupted night<br />

sky through to the sight of dawn over<br />

the ranges the following morning, are all<br />

reasons to stay overnight.<br />

For those of us who have a few more<br />

years under our belts, it’s often the walk<br />

down that we find harder. Knees that<br />

have been injured from years of outdoor<br />

sports and activities can suffer under<br />

the pressure of walking down so I would<br />

recommend the use of walking poles.<br />

Although they won’t be any help when<br />

clambering over rocks, they can definitely<br />

reduce the pressure on your knees when<br />

walking down.<br />

If Meuller Hut hike seems a tad too<br />

challenging, try the Hooker Valley Track.<br />


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"This is one of the most<br />

popular tracks in the<br />

National Park, with<br />

roughly a 100m change in<br />

elevation the walking is<br />

relatively easy."<br />

Hooker Valley Track (easy trail)<br />

Length: 10km one way<br />

Duration: 3 hours return<br />

Season: The track is open year round but the<br />

best time to go is at dawn when the rays creep<br />

over the Southern Alps, including Mt Cook.<br />

The Walk: This is one of the most popular<br />

tracks in the National Park, with roughly a<br />

100m change in elevation the walking is<br />

relatively easy. This track starts from the White<br />

Horse Campground but you can begin from the<br />

information center in the village (just add an<br />

extra 30 minutes each way). The start of the<br />

track will take you through open grassland and<br />

passes close to Freda’s rock and the Alpine<br />

Memorial.<br />

Freda du Faur was the first woman to climb<br />

Aoraki/Mt Cook in 1910 and the rock is where<br />

she had her photo taken on her completion.<br />

Three years later she completed the Grand<br />

Traverse (all three peaks) of Aoraki/Mt Cook<br />

and Freda’s ROck is the site where her now<br />

famous photo was taken just after her first<br />

successful ascent of the mountain.<br />

The Alpine Memorial is dedicated to the lives<br />

lost on Aoraki/Mt Cook. The plaque reads, "I<br />

am not gone – I am in these mountains, I am<br />

in the stars, I am all around you, always near,<br />

never far."<br />

Both are just a stroll off the main trail.<br />

From here the track crosses the first of three<br />

suspension bridges over the Meuller River just<br />

below the Meuller Glacier Lake and continues<br />

to weave back and forth before crossing the<br />

river again, this time above the lake. Here the<br />

track opens to a wide valley where you will<br />

gain your first view of Aoraki/Mt Cook. This<br />

view will be visible for the rest of the trail, so<br />

enjoy.<br />

If you are walking between December and<br />

February you are likely to see large daisies<br />

amongst the foliage and the Mt Cook Lily,<br />

which both flower during these months.<br />

Continue walking up the valley until you reach<br />

the boardwalk, which has been established<br />

where the valley floor becomes swampy.<br />

Continue up the boardwalk until you reach the<br />

final suspension bridge before climbing above<br />

the height of the moraine wall to a picnic area<br />

with views over Hooker Lake. In summer you’ll<br />

likely see icebergs floating in the lake, whereas<br />

in the cold winter months the lake can freeze<br />

over completely.<br />

The lookout point at the end of the Hooker<br />

Valley track is the closest any walking track will<br />

take you to Aoraki/Mt Cook itself.<br />

Return the way you came and enjoy views<br />

down the valley and over the Sealy Range.<br />

Image by Tyler Lastovich

Alps to Ocean Cycle<br />

Why do it guided, even if you’re a Kiwi<br />

Words by Elaina Culbert and Natalie Tambolash - Images by Elaina Culbert<br />

At a time where the world is closed to<br />

international travel, it is time to delve<br />

into those close to home adventures and<br />

support local. Quite often, us Kiwis wouldn’t<br />

dream of doing a guided or supported<br />

trip here in NZ – we seem to have that “I<br />

can do it” attitude. Elaina was one such<br />

Kiwi. She would have placed herself in the<br />

self-guided category before this, but after<br />

cycling the A2O trail with her partner Tina,<br />

it’s safe to say she’s had a change of heart.<br />

Alps to Ocean Day 1 and my Word is<br />

#Hot: We drove in sweltering heat and<br />

started our first ride not far from Fairlie and<br />

ended the day riding around the Tekapo<br />

bike park plus got to have a favourite,<br />

Emerson’s pilsner on tap! We are travelling<br />

with two lovely Aussie guys and our tour<br />

guide is amazing!<br />

Alps to Ocean Day 2: Day 2 took us from<br />

Tekapo to Twizel with a bonus explore<br />

towards Aoraki/Mt Cook. Stunning scenery<br />

and enjoyable once out of the insane wind!<br />

Alps to Ocean Day 3 and my Word<br />

is #Celebrate: What a way to spend a<br />

birthday! We departed Twizel in high spirits.<br />

About half an hour in, the rain came. We<br />


Image: Rebecca Ryan<br />

The Alps 2 Ocean Cycle is the longest continuous ride in New Zealand. The trail descends<br />

over 2000ft and travels 300km to the coastal town of Oamaru passing through glacial-fed<br />

lakes, golden grasslands and limestone cliffs until it reaches the Pacific Ocean. The Alps<br />

2 Ocean Cycle trail is a one way ride, so you’ll need to have a way of being dropped off<br />

at the start point. There are quite a few companies that offer this service if you don’t have<br />

someone who can do this for you.<br />

We caught up with Elaina Culbert who recently completed the Alps 2 Ocean (commonly<br />

known as A2O) with World Expeditions.<br />

made it the first 20k where our amazing<br />

guide was waiting with a hot cuppa and a<br />

bday cake surprise. What a great team we<br />

are with. The ride around Lake Ohau was<br />

stunning in the misty, majestic scenery.<br />

The track flowed beautifully. The rain came<br />

harder. We celebrated making it to Ohau<br />

lodge and it was a relief to have a complete<br />

change of clothes. A beautiful platter was<br />

served and we celebrated again with a<br />

bday bubbles.<br />

Next was the big climb over the saddle. It<br />

was a day of determination. The rain set<br />

in harder and the temp dropped. We were<br />

soaked to the bone and FREEZING! As we<br />

descended the other side the track became<br />

a steady stream of water. By this stage<br />

we just had to have faith that the ground<br />

underneath was solid!<br />

Finally made it to the next meeting point<br />

where a warm van was waiting. We had<br />

done 60k and celebrated our achievement.<br />

Did we decide to pull out and take shelter?<br />

Hell no, “let’s knock this off” Tina grins, so<br />

off we go for another 20k of swallowing<br />

mud! It was the best feeling to arrive tired,<br />

numb and cold, celebrating once again.<br />

Experience all that NZ has to offer!<br />

Why not cycle an iconic trail - Alps to Ocean,<br />

Otago Rail Trail, West Coast Wilderness.<br />

Get out and explore your own backyard!<br />

www.worldexpeditions.com<br />

0800 350 354<br />

enquiries@worldexpeditions.co.nz<br />

Our thoughtful guide had already sorted<br />

our room and bags were waiting for a<br />

hot shower. We had beautiful salmon for<br />

dinner, a well-earned drink and a soak in<br />

the wood fired hot tubs. I couldn’t think of a<br />

better way to celebrate my bday!!<br />

Alps to Ocean Day 4 and my Word is<br />

#Burn: Incredible scenery and riding today<br />

around lakes and dams from Omarama<br />

to Kurow. A cool start and the sun was<br />

shining. A lovely picnic lunch by the lake<br />

(we have been so spoilt by our guide who<br />

is an absolute gem). The off-road tracks<br />

were fast and smooth, just magic. Our<br />

accommodation tonight is really unique and<br />

we have just had the most amazing meal.<br />

Oh, and the wine tasting was superb... and<br />

the burn... well that’s sunburn on my left leg<br />

and... chaffing!<br />

Alps to Ocean Day 5 and my word<br />

is #Peaking: After a fabulous night in<br />

Kurow staying at the gorgeous Waitaki<br />

Braids where we enjoyed luxurious<br />

accommodation, outstanding food,<br />

beautiful wine and the warmest welcome,<br />

we set off for the next day of adventure.<br />

I was peaking. The fresh air and scenery<br />

was energising and happiness levels were<br />

right up there. The riding today took us<br />

into new scenery along the fast and high<br />

flowing Waitaki river to the farm lands of<br />

Burnside Homestead... magic.<br />

Alps to Ocean Day 6 and my word is<br />

#Exceeded: The high from yesterday<br />

wasn’t quite as high upon waking to very<br />

cold and drizzly weather. Luckily our<br />

guide Jan was able to give us all a pep<br />

talk to awaken the spirits! We set off from<br />

"I feel like I’ve seen<br />

NZ through new<br />

eyes this trip and<br />

learnt so much."<br />

elephant rocks and 20mins into it I was<br />

wet and muddy and grinning ear to ear.<br />

Once out there I was loving it again. The<br />

trail was a dream to ride with lots of little<br />

ups and downs. We had some fun on the<br />

downs, what a blast!<br />

The scenery on this final day was so<br />

interesting. I feel like I’ve seen NZ through<br />

new eyes this trip and learnt so much<br />

thanks to Jan’s exceptional knowledge.<br />

After the last stop with only about 10k to<br />

Our Stand Out Moments<br />

• Stand out accommodation was Waitaki Braids (we<br />

would definitely go back there, it's not just a bed, it's<br />

an experience).<br />

• Biking along the Lake Ohau track, the scenery was<br />

magic.<br />

• Enjoying the experiences outside of the biking like<br />

the meals together, the hot spa pools, the picnic<br />

beside the lake, wine tasting, photography.<br />

• We found the tour guide highly flexible so that we<br />

could adapt when the weather wasn't right. This<br />

made the trip much more enjoyable.<br />

• We thought the trail was extremely well built and<br />

lovely to ride.<br />

• Benefits of guided travel in New Zealand - Even for<br />

Kiwis<br />

• Having the time and taking the time to stop at<br />

places we never stopped at (as we were always on<br />

route to a destination)<br />

• Seeing NZ through fresh eyes, through the eyes of<br />

a tourist. Exploring small towns we haven't been to<br />

in many many years.<br />

• Not having to drive!! For me, who is normally<br />

driving, I loved relaxing and looking out the window.<br />

I saw things I would never usually see.<br />

• Not having to worry! All we had to think about was<br />

getting up and biking! Everything was so well taken<br />

care of, it was lovely being taken care of and not<br />

have to worry about the minor details.<br />

• Not having to take the time to pre-plan the trip<br />

• Being able to explore cycle routes that started and<br />

finished in different places (self-guided and we<br />

always have to finish where we started)<br />

• Having a guide meant finding out about places,<br />

gaining knowledge we wouldn't have if self guided.<br />

• It really felt like a holiday and it was great doing<br />

something we wouldn't normally do.<br />

• Would be a great trip with a group of friends<br />

For more information on a Kiwi iconic cycle, discover the<br />

Alps to Ocean Classic here: https://worldexpeditions.<br />

com/New-Zealand/Cycle-Trails/Alps-to-Ocean-Classic<br />

go we gave it everything and sped along<br />

the track, adrenaline pumping with the<br />

finish line so close!<br />

What an adventure! A special thanks to<br />

our guide, Jan, I knew I would love this<br />

trip but the whole thing totally exceeded<br />

my expectations in every way. Would do<br />

it all over again in a heartbeat. Thank you<br />

so much!<br />


Avalanche<br />

Words and Images by Mountain Safety Council<br />

What comes to mind first when you think of<br />

‘avalanche awareness’? Is it taking a training<br />

course? Perhaps it’s making sure you have<br />

avalanche rescue equipment and know how<br />

to use it. Or, is it checking the New Zealand<br />

Avalanche Advisory (NZAA) to find your<br />

region’s avalanche forecast? They’re all<br />

correct answers!<br />

A<br />

w areness<br />

Getting the training, having (and knowing how<br />

to use) the gear and checking the forecast<br />

are the three essential steps to ensuring you<br />

are prepared to head into the backcountry,<br />

whether you are ski-touring, mountaineering,<br />

ice climbing, or tackling a winter tramping trip.<br />

But is that it, if you tick those boxes are you<br />

good to go? Short answer is, you’re on the<br />

right path, but as you probably expected there<br />

is more to it. There are the more critical parts<br />

of the process that require deeper thought and<br />

consideration, and they probably don’t come<br />

to mind quite as readily as they should.<br />

Critical thinking and risk management requires<br />

asking ourselves the more challenging<br />

questions, like ’what does this forecast mean<br />

for my route?’, ’what time of day am I going<br />

to be in that avalanche terrain and what<br />

will that mean?’, and even something as<br />

simple as, ‘does this trip make sense right<br />

now?’ Your group’s skill level and whether<br />

everyone’s goals are aligned also needs to be<br />

considered.<br />

These considerations are the soft skills you<br />

learn about during an avalanche course,<br />

but they can’t be left there, they need to be<br />

transferred into real life situations. Critical<br />

thinking and risk management are essential<br />

tools (and skills) that belong on every trip, just<br />

like your skins or your crampons, and they<br />

should be taken out and used just as often.<br />

At the New Zealand Mountain Safety<br />

Council (MSC) we do a huge amount of work<br />

compiling and analysing outdoor recreation<br />

data in order to gain insights into what<br />

incidents are occurring and why.<br />

When we take a detailed look into avalanche<br />

incidents, it’s not surprising to find that<br />

those more challenging questions and<br />

considerations appear to either be glossed<br />

over or overlooked entirely.<br />


While there are plenty of reasons to believe that<br />

that opportunities in the backcountry are scarce,<br />

there is still no justification for downplaying<br />

dangers that are present when you are out there.<br />

Over the last 20 years a large proportion of the<br />

avalanche fatalities in NZ involve the scarcity<br />

heuristic trap. These were usually individuals not<br />

who weren’t ignorant to the dangers in front of<br />

them. Most would have been able to identify the<br />

hazard. But, for various reasons, they decided to<br />

accept an elevated level of risk because ‘scarcity’<br />

influenced their decision making.<br />

A clear, reoccurring example of this comes to<br />

mind. I’ve heard numerous times ‘considerable’<br />

avalanche danger referred to as “3 out of 5” or an<br />

“orange”. This is missing the point. The danger<br />

scale isn’t like ski-run grades or mountain-bike<br />

track grades. In those cases, the black runs<br />

are more difficult and dangerous, but they are<br />

designed to be ridden. “Extreme” avalanche<br />

danger is not, nor is “high” for that matter. These<br />

are times to avoid avalanche terrain altogether.<br />

“Considerable” avalanche danger effectively<br />

means treating the snowpack like you would your<br />

most challenging ski-runs and bike-tracks. It’s<br />

going to require high-level experience and skills to<br />

navigate through and pick the right line. And even<br />

then, sometimes it’s just best to save it for another<br />

day.<br />

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking, “I’ve got<br />

this chance, I have to take it”. But as scarce as<br />

those moments are (even in New Zealand!), there<br />

will always be more. That might not be true if you<br />

make the wrong choice and put the goal ahead of<br />

the evidence.<br />

“But it is one thing to read about dragons and<br />

another to meet them.”<br />

-Ursula K. Le Guin, A Wizard of Earthsea<br />

What came as a surprise to us was that<br />

the people who were skipping those<br />

steps and making those errors should<br />

have known better. These individuals<br />

were typically experienced, skilled and<br />

would have had the training to learn<br />

about and then apply critical thinking<br />

over the years. The avalanches they<br />

were getting caught in weren’t one-ina-hundred-year<br />

unpredictable events.<br />

These were often text-book examples of<br />

avalanches that we see and hear about<br />

every day and can easily be overlooked<br />

or misjudged.<br />

What’s clear is that heuristic traps<br />

are a key component. If you’re not<br />

familiar, heuristic traps are situations<br />

we (humans) fall into where we may<br />

make decisions (consciously or not) that<br />

conflict with the evidence available or<br />

the situation we find ourselves in. We<br />

make assumptions, favour convenience,<br />

or judge things based on a bias. These<br />

‘traps’ are explained in different ways<br />

depending on who you talk to, but<br />

the acronym FACETS (Familiarity,<br />

Acceptance, Consistency, Expert-Halo,<br />

Tracks and Scarcity) is commonly<br />

referred to and an easy guide. A quick<br />

online search will lead you to a variety<br />

of articles on this topic, many specific to<br />

the avalanche space. It’s definitely worth<br />

reading up on if you haven’t before.<br />

Without diving into all of these (one could<br />

devote a whole magazine issue to the<br />

topic!), let’s focus on one heuristic trap<br />

in particular, scarcity. Scarcity largely<br />

revolves around the idea that we ignore<br />

or discount elevated risks as they stand<br />

in the way of experiencing something<br />

rare or finite. Fresh, untracked powder<br />

is a great example, or getting a bit of<br />

summit fever on an alpine mission<br />

because ‘I never get the chance to<br />

get out anymore’. It’s fair to say that in<br />

New Zealand, we all feel this pressure<br />

from time to time. Our ski seasons are<br />

short and rarely offer up the consistent,<br />

powder-laden conditions often seen in<br />

areas such as Japan or North America.<br />

Likewise, climbing in NZ has a maritime<br />

climate to contend with, greatly reducing<br />

the frequency of suitable weather<br />

windows for alpine climbing compared<br />

to continental ranges like the European<br />

Alps. Climate change isn’t helping any<br />

of this either, with shorter winters and<br />

retreating glaciers constantly adjusting<br />

what the landscape looks like and how<br />

we can access it.<br />

For your regions avalanche forecast,<br />

visit the New Zealand Avalanche<br />

Advisory at avalanche.net.nz, owned<br />

and managed by the New Zealand<br />

Mountain Safety Council (MSC). Here<br />

you can also find useful resources<br />

such as our online avalanche course,<br />

avalanche safety videos, and a list of<br />

avalanche course providers around the<br />

country.<br />

For more information about the<br />

MSC please visit our website www.<br />

mountainsafety.org.nz where you’ll<br />

find outdoor safety tools, resources,<br />

information and heaps more to help you<br />

stay safe in the outdoors no matter what<br />

your pursuit.<br />


Playing Safe<br />

Words and Images by Aspiring Guides<br />

After months of restricted outdoor access, we can all attest to<br />

what a precious commodity time in the mountains is-- all the<br />

more reason to ensure that it is time well spent. You might<br />

have spent Lockdown stocking up on the latest gear, or have<br />

the ability to carve it up like a pro, but planning a successful<br />

backcountry ski trip is about taking a holistic approach. Here<br />

are six tips to help you prepare for a season of safe and<br />

memorable (in the right ways) backcountry touring.<br />

• Use a variety of sources when planning<br />

your route. Topographic maps are a good<br />

source of information and can be useful for<br />

approximations of slope steepness, but they<br />

don’t necessarily contain enough information<br />

to determine whether a route is feasible or not.<br />

Vertical spacing between contour lines often<br />

means that a lot of detail is lost, so use these<br />

maps alongside other sources of information<br />

that will fill in the gaps. These could be photos<br />

or videos from the location, or check out online<br />

visualisation tools such as Fatmap®.<br />

Ski touring on Black Peak means epic views over Lake Wanaka.<br />


Above and below: Learning to interpret<br />

snowpack is an important tool in your<br />

avalanche awareness toolkit.<br />

• In New Zealand especially, flexibility is key.<br />

Have plans for a number of objectives ready<br />

to go. Then when the dates draw near, you’re<br />

able to choose the most appropriate trip for<br />

the given weather and conditions. Locking<br />

onto a single plan and stubbornly plunging<br />

forward regardless of the circumstances is a<br />

big red flag.<br />

• Be aware of the avalanche danger scale<br />

and the public danger forecast from the MSC<br />

NZ Avalanche Advisory before accessing<br />

the backcountry. This should be a given!<br />

When interpreting the danger forecast,<br />

make sure you consider the forecasted<br />

avalanche character; this will dictate which<br />

risk management strategies you should apply<br />

when you do head into the field.<br />

Terrain on Black Peak is for advanced skiers, with options for ski mountaineers to take it to the next level.<br />

• Make a realistic assessment of the team’s skills, experience and<br />

abilities. Ideally you’ll get to know the strengths and weaknesses of<br />

each team member through a progression of trips or other activities.<br />

Knowing what you each bring to the table increases confidence<br />

and ultimately safety. It’s also useful for individuals to have a clear<br />

understanding of their own goals and motivations, and how these fit in<br />

with the others on the team. Both these and levels of risk acceptance<br />

will be big factors in decision making during the planning and<br />

execution of a trip, and good teamwork is never a bad thing.<br />

• There is an inherent risk associated with any<br />

backcountry travel. In the event of an emergency,<br />

remember that weather and conditions in the mountains<br />

might prevent attempts at immediate rescue. Have plans<br />

in place and carry appropriate equipment to keep yourself<br />

as comfortable as possible during an extended stay in the<br />

elements, including the right emergency communication<br />

tools. How much and what you carry will depend on the<br />

level of commitment and remoteness of your journey.<br />

• Once your trip is finished and you’re back at<br />

home with a hot chocolate and epic photos, there<br />

is yet another step. Take some time to reflect on<br />

your trip, whether successful or not, and use this to<br />

inform your ongoing improvement in trip planning,<br />

movement, technical systems and all the other<br />

factors that contribute to a long and enjoyable career<br />

skiing in the backcountry. Then get onto planning<br />

your next adventure!<br />


The day we left<br />

Words by Forrest Shearer - Images by Jeff Johnson<br />

As of yesterday, Heath Joske hadn’t been on a snowboard in 13 years<br />

– too busy chasing surf around the world. Now, after a wrong turn, he’s<br />

boot-packing with pro boarders Robin Van Gyn and Forrest Shearer in the<br />

backcountry of New Zealand’s Southern Alps.<br />

There’s an unwritten rule in Wanaka that when it snows like it did last night,<br />

you’re half-expected to cut from work or school (maybe at least for the<br />

morning) to take advantage and get in a few runs. Well it dumped almost<br />

two feet of fresh powder overnight and we’re looking at a bluebird day.<br />

Robin and I are stoked to be chasing winter here in New Zealand, and it’s<br />

even better that we get to show our buddy Heath a bit of our world on the<br />

mountain.<br />

Heath's surf style is mirrored on the mountain when he finds some open terrain<br />


Heath, out of his element and yet leading the pack.<br />

We’d all gotten in a few good runs before<br />

Robin and I peeled off to the left to stretch<br />

our legs away from the crowds, boot<br />

packing up to check out the ridgeline. We’re<br />

headed back up after a run and I hear<br />

“Case!...Hey! Casey!”<br />

Someone is calling out behind me, but<br />

it’s just me and Robin on this side of the<br />

mountain. We had started as a four-some<br />

but Heath Joske and Glen Casey, both<br />

surfers, were sticking to the groomed runs.<br />

As of yesterday, Heath hadn’t even been on<br />

a snowboard in 13 years – too busy chasing<br />

surf around the world.<br />

“Casey!” I hear again. I turn around to see<br />

Heath trudging towards me. “Shit mate, I<br />

only followed you because I thought you<br />

were Glen,” he says, frustrated, exhausted.<br />

But I was glad to see him. If we’d left it up<br />

to Heath to decide he’s ready to go off-piste<br />

with us, it might not be this trip.<br />

“Hell yeah, brother! You’ll be alright” I say<br />

with a pat on the shoulder. I reckon this is<br />

my favorite crossover to watch these days.<br />

Surfers may be out of the water and out of<br />

their element, but as soon as they get on<br />

the mountain and strap into the board, the<br />

froth is real.<br />

“I’m still figuring out how to get off the<br />

bloody lift” he says, sounding defeated as<br />

we boot pack up a chute. Robin points out<br />

to me that “even though he feels like he’s<br />

out of his depth, he wasn’t anxious until he<br />

realized you were the wrong person. He<br />

was totally doing it.” She’s so right, it’s easy<br />

to get intimidated when you’re in a new<br />

arena, especially with people who are so at<br />

home there. We’ve both been there before,<br />

and will be again when we go surfing in a<br />

few days.<br />

But right now we’re still on a good 45-minute<br />

thigh-burner and he’s not just keeping up,<br />

Heath’s actually out ahead head of us.<br />

Ocean or not, he’s still a top athlete.<br />

Finally on the other side, the mountain<br />

opens up into an epic view and a landscape<br />

of options, and for a moment we’re just awestruck,<br />

taking it in. Heath breaks the silence.<br />

“I was shitting bricks back there,” he shares<br />

from the safety of semi-flat ground.<br />

“You’re good, Heath! Just do what you know<br />

how to do,” encourages Robin.<br />

Then there’s nothing left to do but drop in.<br />

Right away we’re cruising some wide open,<br />

uncrowded terrain. For the first time, Heath<br />

has a length of proper powder to just glide<br />

from turn to turn and let his surf style come<br />

out. You can’t do that on the groomed runs,<br />

especially on the best snow day of the year.<br />

It’s a perfect day of riding with friends,<br />

watching each other rip turns and seeing my<br />

buddy quickly adapt his technique from the<br />

ocean and apply it to the mountain, surfing<br />

long, frozen waves, and conquering a few<br />

burly hike missions with Robin and myself.<br />

Ultimately whether on the mountain or in<br />

the ocean, we’re all just after that feeling of<br />

flying, and getting to share it only fuels the<br />

fire. There’s something so gratifying about<br />

taking someone with you who you know will<br />

love it, and getting to show them your world.<br />

Next we’ll be in on the coast in Heath’s<br />

world. Hopefully he’s not holding a grudge<br />

about that hike we took him on.<br />

Heath, doing what he loves best<br />







NORTH<br />

ISLAND<br />











































The Central Plateau<br />

The Central Plateau covers a large<br />

area in the central North Island of New<br />

Zealand. The heart of the area is the<br />

mountains and volcanic area of the<br />

Tongariro National Park and then it<br />

fans out north past Taupo, to the west<br />

past Taumaranui, and to the south<br />

past Taihape. Each of the towns offer<br />

something unique...<br />

Taupo:<br />

The largest urban area in the Central<br />

Plateau and the 20th in the country, Taupo<br />

is located at the outlet of Lake Taupo, New<br />

Zealand’s largest lake. Taupo is the heart<br />

of volcanic and thermal activity providing<br />

natural hot springs throughout the region.<br />

With the lake and Waikato River on its<br />

doorstep it’s obvious that Taupo is home<br />

to a range of water activities. However,<br />

there is a lot more to Taupo than just the<br />

water. Mountain bike trails and river walks<br />

allow you to get into the outdoors, but if<br />

it's an adventure that you are after, you’ll<br />

find plenty of things to do in Taupo, from<br />

Bungy Jumping, skydiving, jet boating and<br />

paragliding.<br />

Turangi:<br />

On the southern edge of Lake Taupo<br />

you’ll find the town of Turangi. Developed<br />

on the banks of the Tongariro River, it<br />

was originally built to house workers<br />

from the Tongariro hydro-electric power<br />

development project and their families but<br />

is now a hub for outdoor enthusiasts. With<br />

the Kaimanawa Ranges and the Tongariro<br />

River on its doorstep, it offers a range<br />

of outdoor activities, from hiking, biking,<br />

fishing, hunting, skiing, rafting, kayaking<br />

and more.<br />

Taumaranui:<br />

Originally a Maori settlement at the<br />

confluence of the Ongarue River with the<br />

Whanganui, this is where important canoe<br />

routes linked the interior of the island with<br />

the lower Whanganui River settlements.<br />

Its proximity to the Whanganui River<br />

means there are plenty of water activities<br />

on hand and biking trails, such as the<br />

Timber Trail, are close by.<br />

Owhango:<br />

20km south of Taumaranui, you’ll find the<br />

tiny town of Owhango. The Whakapapa<br />

River lies 2km east of the town and<br />

the vast expanse of Tongariro Forest<br />

Conservation Area and bisecting the forest<br />

is one of New Zealand's best mountain<br />

bike rides, the 42 Traverse. The forest also<br />

has excellent tramping, camping and deer<br />

hunting opportunities.<br />

Skydiving over Lake Taupo and the Central Plateau<br />

National Park:<br />

Nestled between the North Island main<br />

trunk railway line and State Highway 4,<br />

lies what for many travelling past would<br />

appear as an unassuming village. From<br />

the highway, travellers will see a petrol<br />

station, pub, hotel and a few houses much<br />

like many other small Kiwi towns they pass<br />

through.<br />

At an altitude of 820 metres, National Park<br />

Village can truly claim the title of New<br />

Zealand’s top town, being the highest<br />

urban township in the country. But that’s<br />

not what makes the village a destination of<br />

choice for thousands of visitors each year.<br />

As its name suggests, National Park<br />

Village is located on the boundary of<br />

Tongariro National Park in the Central<br />

North Island. This makes the village an<br />

ideal base for those wishing to explore<br />

the natural and cultural wonders of New<br />

Zealand's oldest national park and Dual<br />

World Heritage Area, all year round.<br />

Raurimu:<br />

Just 6km north of National Park, is home<br />

to the famous Raurimu Railway Spiral and<br />

a selection of accommodation options set<br />

among and on top of hills offering some of<br />

the best views over the park, there’s also<br />

a pub !<br />

Further south along State Highway 4, lies<br />

Erua where you’ll find a mountain lodge,<br />

backpackers, motel units and access to<br />

a mountain bike park – all at the base of<br />

Hauhungatahi, one of the lesser known,<br />

yet highest volcanoes in New Zealand, at<br />

1,521 metres.<br />

Whakapapa Village:<br />

16km from National Park - meanwhile lies<br />

within the Tongariro National Park and<br />

hosts the historic Chateau Tongariro Hotel,<br />

the Skotel resort hotel, a holiday park, café<br />

and tavern.<br />

Combined these villages offer the best<br />

access to the Whakapapa ski area and<br />

wider Tongariro National Park, along with<br />

an exceptional choice of accommodation<br />

and dining options catering for all budgets<br />

and tastes.<br />

Ohakune:<br />

Located at the southern end of Mt<br />

Ruapehu, Ohakune is the gateway to the<br />

Turoa Ski fields. But it is also a lot more<br />

than just a ski town, with trout fishing,<br />

mountain biking, tramping and bushwalking<br />

all within easy reach of the town.<br />

As well as boasting the famous Ohakune<br />

Carrot (the worlds largest model carrot),<br />

the world's first commercial bungy jumping<br />

site was established just outside Ohakune<br />

at the old railway viaduct. This was<br />

operated during the 1980s until the bridge<br />

became too unsafe to continue operations.<br />

This bridge is now restored and a highlight<br />

of the 'Old Coach Road' walk/bikeway.<br />

Taihape:<br />

South of Ohakune on State Highway 1,<br />

you’ll come across the small settlement of<br />

Taihape. Built near the confluence of the<br />

Hautapu and Rangitikei Rivers, this town<br />

offers a gateway to some great outdoor<br />

adventures. Home of the gumboot, Taihape<br />

offers an access to a taste of the “real” NZ.<br />

Why wait?<br />

<strong>Adventure</strong> starts here<br />

Dual Heritage Tongariro<br />

National Park<br />

38//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#<strong>220</strong><br />




Kayaking the Kuratau River<br />

Image compliments of Visit Ruapehu<br />

Water, water everwhere: and most of it you can drink<br />

When we normally write about water<br />

adventure a lot of it is sea based<br />

and salty. The Central Plateau boast<br />

numerous rivers and lakes, the most wellknown<br />

being Lake Taupo. Lake Taupo a<br />

surface area of 616 square kilometres,<br />

is the largest lake by surface area in<br />

New Zealand, and the second largest<br />

in Oceania (after Lake Murray in Papua<br />

New Guinea).<br />

With that amount of aquatic room to<br />

move there is a lot to do. One activity that<br />

gets a lot of coverage is sea kayaking<br />

to visit the water based Maori carvings.<br />

The first question you ask is how did<br />

it get there? The answer is when<br />

traditional marae-taught carver Matahi<br />

Brightwell paddled past a rock alcove<br />

on Lake Taupo in 1976, he had a vision<br />

of a tattooed face. His grandmother, Te<br />

Huatahi Susie Gilbert of Ngati Rauhoto,<br />

Ngati Tuwharetoa, Ngati Maiotaki and<br />

Ngati Whakaue, had asked the young<br />

carver to create a likeness of her ancestor<br />

Ngatoroirangi on a totara tree to create<br />

a permanent connection for her family to<br />

the land. When Matahi arrived in Taupo<br />

there was no totara tree to carve so he<br />

journeyed onto the lake for inspiration.<br />

The rock alcove at Mine Bay became the<br />

canvas for one of the most extraordinary<br />

contemporary artworks New Zealand has<br />

ever seen. Sculpted over the course of<br />

four years and completed in 1980,<br />

There are a range of guided sea kayaking<br />

trip around Taupo some offer longer<br />

trips and kayak hire so you can go solo.<br />

Paddleboarding has also become popular<br />

in recently years and these are also<br />

available for tours or hire.<br />

If you would prefer not to go under your<br />

own steam, there are several charter<br />

yacht companies offering day tours and<br />

overnight options both skippered and<br />

unskippered vessels.<br />

Moving away from the lake the Central<br />

Plateau offers some of the most<br />

significant rivers in New Zealand, some<br />

to cruise and some to play in. Both the<br />

Whanaganui and Waikato have been<br />

used for centuries as a way of getting<br />

around the country now they are used for<br />

paddle canoe cruises. Companies offer a<br />

gambit of options in terms of length and<br />

numbers.<br />

The Whanganui River has been dedicated<br />

as one of New Zealand’s ‘great walks’ –<br />

or should be a great float?<br />

The Waikato river also offer a range of<br />

guided tours the most common around<br />

the Taupo area both one and half day<br />

tours some of which visit some of the<br />

local attraction like the Bungee, Huka falls<br />

etc.<br />

Where there are flowing rivers and<br />

some elevation you will find white water<br />

kayaking – the Central Plateau is a<br />

kayaker’s playground.<br />

The most well-known waterfall would be<br />

Huka Falls which produces breath-taking<br />

power and only extreme adventure gurus<br />

have run it (and its illegal). Below these<br />

falls Aratiatia Rapids which rise with<br />

awesome fury when the control gates<br />

are opened, and this creates a great<br />

spectacle. Its important be aware of when<br />

these food gates are open as people have<br />

been caught unaware. Ngawaapurua<br />

Rapids, downstream from the Aratiatia<br />

Dam, provide real Whitewater sport. A<br />

huge breaking wave dominates the rapids<br />

and a strong back-eddy facilitates reruns.<br />

You can play here for hours -<br />

locally call Full James. The is also<br />

a doc camp site here so it has a<br />

strong community feel.<br />

Another river that rises out of the<br />

sparkling snowfields, rock-strewn<br />

slopes and windswept tussock<br />

plains is one of New Zealand’s<br />

most famous recreational river<br />

systems. The Tongariro; is the<br />

main river flowing into Lake Taupo.<br />

It is both a renowned rainbow trout<br />

fishery and a mecca for rafting and<br />

kayaking enthusiasts. The most<br />

popular run is a 3-hour, Grade 3,<br />

full-on rafting experience through<br />

60 rapids on the Lower Tongariro.<br />

The put in is at the Poutu water<br />

intake on the Waikato Falls Road<br />

and the takeout is on the true left<br />

bank of the Red Hut Pool.<br />

Often forgotten the Whakapapa<br />

River this is the major tributary of<br />

the Whanganui and offers good<br />

Grade 3 – 4 rapids after heavy<br />

rainfall. The put in is the Rangipo<br />

Hydro Scheme intake structure off<br />

S.H.47. Experience is needed to<br />

negotiate the tight chutes between<br />

boulders and some rapids may<br />

need to be portaged. The takeout<br />

is below Owhango on S.H.4 before<br />

the river joins the Whanganui.<br />

Another little gem is the Mangakino<br />

Stream, which flows into Lake<br />

Maraetai south east of Mangakino<br />

township. Put in at the Sandels<br />

Road bridge after heavy rain and<br />

ride some bouncy Grade 3 rapids<br />

down to the lake.<br />

This is just a small collection of<br />

what is available in the region<br />

Basically if there is any sort of<br />

rafting operation in the area there<br />

will be good kayaking – stick to<br />

your limitations.<br />

Viewing the Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings on Lake Taupo<br />

Image compliments of Sail Barbary<br />

Canoeing the Whanganui River<br />

Image compliments of Visit Ruapehu<br />

Lastly a phenomenon that has grown<br />

in popularity because of tourism is jet<br />

boating the most famous being the<br />

Huka jet. Which is a white knuckle<br />

tour for a close up look at the bottom<br />

of the Huka Falls, flying over shallow<br />

water, spins and turn like a natural<br />

roller coaster ride. Jet boat tour<br />

operators are now available on most<br />

of the major rivers.<br />

Jetboating the Whanganui River<br />

Image compliments of Visit Ruapehu<br />

Water is the basis of so many<br />

activities in the Central plateau<br />

region. The natural central free flow<br />

out to the edges of the region create a<br />

playground that offers an experience,<br />

an activity, a sport, a recreation –<br />

something for everyone.<br />


massive<br />

half price<br />

rafting for<br />

everyone<br />

UNtil the end of<br />

August<br />

Grade 2 family fun trip<br />

Image compliments of Rafting New Zealand<br />



Rafting:<br />

There are a few commercially<br />

raftable rivers in the Central<br />

Plateau; the Tongariro and<br />

the Rangitikei. Both rivers<br />

offer options for day trips and<br />

overnight experiences so you'll<br />

find something to suit your<br />

needs. Some of the best fun<br />

you'll ever have!<br />

Rafting on the Tongariro River with Rafting New Zealand<br />

Image compliments of Rafting New Zealand<br />

Tongariro River:<br />

The headwaters of the Tongariro originate in the Central Plateau and wind their way down through<br />

the towns of Turangi until it arrives at Lake Taupo. This is New Zealand’s most fished river, but it<br />

also proves an excellent choice for rafting.<br />

There are three main white water sections which provide excellent rafting options, with two<br />

gorges which are usually considered unpaddleable, (Tree Trunk Gorge and Waikato Gorge). The<br />

river levels are controlled by the dam and two of the three sections are only able to be rafted on<br />

the release days of the dam. The lower section of the Tongariro River offers a family friendly<br />

experience to give a taste for first time rafters or younger children.<br />

Section Put in Take Out Difficulty Length Time<br />

Access 14 Rangipo Dam Tree Trunk Gorge Grade 4 5.7km 1-3 hrs<br />

Access 13 Tree Trunk Gorge Waikato Gorge Grade 3+ 5.3km 2-3 hours<br />

Access 10 Poutu Intake Blue Pool Grade 3 13km 2-4 hours<br />

Scenic beauty on the Tongariro River<br />

Image compliments of Rafting New Zealand<br />

Access 14 has a put in just below the Rangipo Dam and is the highest<br />

and most narrow section of the raftable section of the Tongariro. It is<br />

graded a 4, although there are only a few grade 4 rapids, however, the<br />

continuity of the grade 3+ sections and the inability to walk out means<br />

it keeps its grade 4 status. Also care needs to be taken to ensure that<br />

the takeout is not missed, as just below this is Tree Trunk Gorge, which<br />

could be fatal if entered on a release day.<br />

Access 13 has a more difficult access and requires a walk in and<br />

out and rafts have to be dropped down a 15m cliff into the river. It is<br />

rated a 3+ and also has a critical takeout point just above Waikato<br />

Gorge, another section of the river that could prove fatal. The riverbed<br />

through this section is small, containing the rapids and making them<br />

steeper. Due to the accessibility, this section of the river is rarely rafted<br />

commercially.<br />

Access 10 is the most popular section of the river and most actively<br />

rafted, due to the ease of access and the year round flow levels allow<br />

rafting daily on this part of the Tongariro. There are over 60 Grade 3<br />

rapids making for an excellent half day on the river. Take out is at Blue<br />

Pool or you can choose to continue down to Turangi township, this<br />

part of the river offers a fantastic grade 2 rafting experience, where as<br />

young as three years of age can take part in the thrill of rafting.<br />

you deserve<br />

an escape<br />

to adventure!<br />

USECODE: WIN2020<br />


Rafting the Grade 5 section of the Rangitikei River<br />

The upper Rangitaiki River - Images compliments of River Rats<br />

Rangitikei River:<br />

Rangitaiki River:<br />

One of New Zealand’s longest rivers, the Rangitikei’s<br />

headwaters are to the south east of Lake Taupo and<br />

the river flows through the central plateau past Taihape<br />

and Mangakiwa, before heading out to the coast south<br />

of Whanganui. The grade of the river varies over the<br />

185km stretch ranging from grade 1 through to grade 5,<br />

all sections are raftable, it just depends on what you are<br />

looking for.<br />

Due to the length and nature of the river, a multiday trip<br />

is a great way to experience the area however there are<br />

plenty of options to do day trips of varying degrees of<br />

difficulty. The scenery is spectacular and secluded and<br />

offers real variety.<br />

The highlight for white water enthusiasts is the grade 5<br />

section that ends at River Valley Lodge just out of Taihape.<br />

This 11km section of river starts with grade 2-3 rapids and<br />

builds to a section of the river with 10 major rapids, from<br />

Grade 3+ - Grade 5 line up one after the other.<br />

Rangitaiki River<br />

Rangitaiki River<br />

Tongariro River<br />

Rangitikei River<br />

Situated 45 minutes from Rotorua or around 1 hour from Taupo,<br />

there are two sections to the Rangitaiki River; the upper section is a<br />

busy class 3 – 4 section and lower down there is a grade 2 section<br />

suitable for children as young as 5.<br />

The upper section requires good teamwork but without the drops<br />

experienced on the grade 5 offerings it doesn’t feel as scary. It runs<br />

through a beautiful river valley with a mix of native and plantation<br />

forest.<br />

The lower section runs through a stunning rock gorge with lots of<br />

freshwater springs trickling into the river that you can stop and drink<br />

from, there is even a spot to get out for a shower under a stunning<br />

spring fed waterfall making for some great shots to ensure you have<br />

a strong Instagram game. There are plenty of opportunities<br />

to float down smaller rapids or swim in the calm pools. It has a few<br />

bigger rapids but they are just nice rolling wave trains with not many<br />

obstacles to avoid making it a great option for families or those<br />

looking to experience the scenery without too much excitement.<br />

The lower Rangitaiki River - Images compliments of River Rats<br />


Recommended:<br />

Rafting New Zealand are based in Turangi and have been<br />

operating for over 25 years and is New Zealand’s most awarded<br />

rafting Company. A part-Iwi owned business along with Luke and<br />

Pianika Boddington, Rafting New Zealand was established in<br />

1991.RNZ love to raft and love to share their passion for rafting<br />

rivers with all their clients, this enthusiasm for their excellent<br />

product is infectious and helps to create the unique experience<br />

that is white water rafting with Rafting New Zealand.<br />

Rafting New Zealand first began as Rock ‘n’ River <strong>Adventure</strong>s in<br />

1991. It’s founders Rod Brown (Pianika’s dad), and Tui Brabyn,<br />

had a vision to operate, not necessarily the biggest, but definitely<br />

the best white water rafting business in Aotearoa (New Zealand).<br />

This vision is realised and continued today.<br />

Rafting New Zealand offers a range of rafting adventures from<br />

their Grade 2 family fun trips, suitable for the whole family,<br />

through to their Grade 3 White Water adventures and raft/<br />

fishing adventures. They also offer multi-day trips camping on<br />

the banks of the river. For more information check them out at<br />

raftingnewzealand.com.<br />

kaituna RIVER<br />

grade 5<br />

quality<br />

adventures<br />

for over<br />

35<br />

years<br />

Kaituna River:<br />

On the border between the central plateau<br />

and the Bay of Plenty, lies the Kaituna River.<br />

Beginning at the outflow of Lake Rotorua<br />

and Lake Rotama, the river flows north until<br />

it reaches the coast near Te Puke. The top<br />

section of the river, near Okere Falls is where<br />

the white water begins and has been rafted and<br />

kayaked since the early 1990's.<br />

One of the main draw cards to rafting the<br />

Kaituna is that you get to run the highest<br />

commercially rafted waterfall in the world, the<br />

Tutea Falls. The 7 meter drop is super exciting<br />

and suitable for anyone over the age of 13.<br />

The Kaituna River has been run regularly<br />

by kayak enthusiasts and rafters since 1991<br />

and has become a winter destination for<br />

paddlers from the northern hemisphere. There<br />

is a slalom course that has been used by<br />

international teams for off-season training at<br />

the entrance to the upper gorge which itself<br />

contains a number of play features including<br />

the famous “bottom hole”.<br />

Tutea Falls on the Kaituna River - Images compliments of River Rats<br />

River Valley Lodge and adventure company, is conveniently<br />

placed at the end of the Grade 5 white water rafting section of<br />

the Rangitikei River. It is also the start point for several more<br />

leisurely river trips. This Grade 5 section of the Rangitikei River<br />

has been placed amongst the top 8 rafting trips in the world by<br />

the international brand, Red Bull. River Valley Lodge has been<br />

operating for over 30 years and has grown to meet the demands<br />

of the changing market.<br />

What you will find at River Valley Lodge is a destination where<br />

you can have fun on the river, choosing from a mix of day trips<br />

and multi-day trips. Multi-day trips involve camping on the river<br />

bank at night and exploring new stretches of the river by day.<br />

They are a fun option for families or groups of friends.<br />

There is no better way to explore the countryside, this beautiful<br />

hill country, than by horse. Treks from a half-day to eight days will<br />

be operating from October.<br />

A River Valley Lodge stay, need not be just about rafting or<br />

riding horses. The Lodge is also a great place to relax. There<br />

are several short walks, a great swimming hole in the river, two<br />

saunas and a spa, and plenty of places to just relax with a book.<br />

River Valley Lodge is presently open for meals and<br />

accommodation. <strong>Adventure</strong> activities, both on the river, or by<br />

horse, will resume no later than the 1st October 2020, and<br />

possibly earlier. Check out their website rivervalley.co.nz, to<br />

start planning a stay at River Valley.<br />

River Rats Raft & Kayak have been operating for 38 years and<br />

have a wide range of trips so there is something for everyone.<br />

The most popular trip is the Kaituna situated 20 minutes from<br />

Rotorua, it features the world’s highest commercially rafted<br />

waterfall, the awesome 7m Tutea falls. Although the trip provides<br />

full on action it is suitable for adventurous beginners as all the<br />

major drops run into calm water making it very forgiving for a<br />

grade 5 trip. As well as the drops it has stunning scenery and<br />

some fun surf holes.<br />

River Rats also offers Grade 5 rafting on the Wairoa River and<br />

grade 3-4 or grade 2 options on Rangitaiki Rivers and kayaking<br />

on Rotorua's lakes. On Lake Rotoiti there are hot pools right on<br />

the lake edge and fed from a natural hot spring. The paddle is<br />

around an hour each way with plenty of time to relax and enjoy<br />

the hot pools. In summer there is an evening option with a BBQ<br />

dinner at the hot pools followed by a sunset kayak to a hidden<br />

glow worm cave.<br />

rangitaiki River<br />

grade 2 &<br />

grade 3-4<br />

kayaking<br />

head office<br />

hanger 14s rotorua airport<br />

837 te ngae road<br />

rotorua, 3074<br />

mention<br />

promo code<br />

ADV20<br />

for a 20%<br />

discount<br />

free phone<br />

0800 333 900<br />

email<br />

info@riverrats.co.nz<br />

River Rats operates year-round and provides excellent gear to<br />

keep you cosy regardless of the temperature.While the borders<br />

are closed to tourists they are also offering a great discount for<br />

the local market. Mention this article or use the code ADV20 on<br />

their website to get a 20% discount on any of the trips. For more<br />

riverrats.co.nz<br />

46//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#<strong>220</strong> information check out riverrats.co.nz<br />


Hooked on Fishing:<br />

Worldwide, New Zealand is renowned<br />

for its trout fishing and there is no better<br />

location than the Central Plateau. We<br />

can’t cover every aspect in these few<br />

pages, but it will give you a taste of what<br />

is on offer.<br />

Almost every river, stream and lake in the<br />

region has some ‘trout’ potential. Some<br />

have world recognition like Lake Taupo<br />

and the mighty Tongariro River (ranked<br />

one of the best trout fishing rivers in the<br />

world) but there are numerous rivers<br />

and lakes many with easy access. Bank<br />

walking, wading and boating are options<br />

and provide superb fishing throughout<br />

the region. Licenses are inexpensive<br />

even guided trips are amazing value for<br />

money.<br />

Nearly all of the central North Island<br />

rivers and streams hold good numbers<br />

of wild rainbow and brown trout, with<br />

numerous on-and-off road access points<br />

providing you with a wide choice from<br />

small streams, spring creeks and lakes<br />

to large rivers such as the renowned<br />

Whakapapa and Tongariro. Most of these<br />

major rivers also have smaller tributaries<br />

of which many carry good fish.<br />

If you employ a guide, (there are plenty<br />

online or ask a local store) many have<br />

access through private farmlands,<br />

providing clients with an off-the-beatentrack<br />

experience in almost untouched<br />

back country rivers and streams. Or<br />

you can venture into the remote ‘back<br />

country’ yourself, where you will not see<br />

a footprint all day. These back-country<br />

fish have not been fished or even seen<br />

a fishing rod, many are resident in these<br />

rivers and grow to an impressive size.<br />

Access can be a little more complicated<br />

and it pays to go with a guide the first<br />

time to anywhere too ‘remote’.<br />



Fishing on Lake Taupo - Image compliments of Great Lake Taupo<br />


The Tongariro River:<br />

Hinemaiaia:<br />

Tauranga-Taupo:<br />

Sunrise on the Tongariro River - Image compliments of Great Lake Taupo<br />

The Tongariro River near Turangi has won<br />

a well-deserved reputation as one of the<br />

world's foremost fishing experiences. In<br />

winter, an estimated 10,000 rainbows and<br />

over 1000 browns migrate up it to reach<br />

the spawning beds.<br />

The river is wide and fast-flowing in places,<br />

with long gravel runs, rocky stretches<br />

and deep lies but there is easy access,<br />

even directly off the motorway. The fishing<br />

pools are not only historic but legendary<br />

among angler worldwide: Major Jones,<br />

The Admiral's Pool, The Judge's Pool, The<br />

Hydro, Red Hut, Kamahi, The Duchess...<br />

During rainbow trout migrations<br />

out of lake Taupo through<br />

April to September the lower<br />

Hinemaiaia offers great fly<br />

fishing, especially. The river<br />

generally runs very clear and is<br />

ideal for nymphing as well as<br />

dry and wet fly. Its banks are<br />

overgrown, but trails give good<br />

access. The fish often lie deep<br />

and close to the bank, making<br />

them a challenge to cast too.<br />

The middle reaches of<br />

the 'TT' as it is called offer<br />

easy access off the main<br />

highway and casting and<br />

good fish between March<br />

and September for dry, lure<br />

and nymph fishing. In places<br />

the bank is very high, and it<br />

is easy to see trout laying in<br />

the deeper pools.<br />

Guided Fly Fishing:<br />

The Big Lake:<br />

Te Whaiau Canal:<br />

Whanganui:<br />

Regardless your ability to fly-fish,<br />

highly skilled or novice, fishing lake<br />

or river you will have something to<br />

meet your budget and time frame.<br />

Whether it’s a half day learning on<br />

the bank of the Tongariro river for<br />

first timers or a day trolling around<br />

Lake Taupo with the family, there is<br />

something for everyone.<br />

Local guides know where to go,<br />

what to use and how to use it. From<br />

half day introduction package to<br />

full week away in the hills, drive in<br />

– walking or even helicopter. Most<br />

guides will provide all the gear and<br />

organise a licence. Be prepared<br />

most guides will not let you keep the<br />

fish you catch but you will get some<br />

great memories and photos.<br />

New Zealand's largest lake (surface area of 616sq<br />

km) is situated in the middle of the North Island on a<br />

volcanic plateau 359 metres above sea level. Due to<br />

its very cold clean water and abundant food sources it<br />

produces huge numbers of well-conditioned fish. It is<br />

very deep in places (up to 185 metres) but has many<br />

areas that provide excellent shoreline fishing. Some<br />

of the best areas for shoreline angling are around the<br />

many stream mouths where fish congregate during the<br />

warmer months and to which they migrate during the<br />

winter spawning runs.<br />

The most popular method for fishing the lake is trolling,<br />

including leadline trolling, wire lining, or the use of<br />

downriggers to troll at a deeper level. Jigging the dropoffs<br />

and fly-fishing around the lake shore and at river<br />

mouths are also popular methods (though note that<br />

boat fishing is not permitted around many of the points<br />

where rivers and streams enter the lake).<br />

The Te Whaiau Canal is short slow<br />

moving and deep. It generally<br />

has steep banks with quite dense<br />

vegetation coming down to the<br />

water’s edge. There are few areas<br />

however where the land opens up<br />

allowing for good casting. Much of<br />

the length of this water is difficult<br />

to both find a good place to stand<br />

and cast from. The fish numbers,<br />

particularly early and late in the<br />

season can be very high and the<br />

fish tend to free risers. During the<br />

warmer months they can often be<br />

seen chasing emerging insects.<br />

That said they are often very difficult<br />

to fool and will rise close to anglers<br />

yet reject even the most beautifully<br />

presented fly.<br />

The upper river rises in the Tongariro National Park and<br />

connects with Lake Otamangakau and the Whakapapa river.<br />

It runs through beautiful native forest, spectacular gorges and<br />

farmland. This river has a reputation for rising quickly so it<br />

pays to keep an eye on the weather forecast. The Wanganui<br />

river generally clear, easy to fish and contains a good number<br />

of trout and is renowned to have some large specimens.<br />

Whakapapa:<br />

The Whakapapa is a large, clear river with some wild rapids,<br />

deep pools and long boulder runs that flows down from<br />

Mt Ruapehu it runs through rugged country which is not<br />

advisable for the inexperienced. Lower down it features many<br />

kilometres of spectacular and productive wilderness fishing.<br />

But the upper reaches you need to know what you are doing<br />

and again be watchful of the weather.<br />

Trout fishing anywhere in the world give you great access to<br />

some of the most unique and beautiful aspect of the country.<br />

But trout fishing in the Central Plateau is like nowhere else it is<br />

varied, spectacular, full of history and legend. It offer something<br />

for everyone, from kids fishing at the Turangi Trout Farm to heli<br />

trip to the back of beyond. Your only limitation is time.<br />




Hiking:<br />

The Central Plateau offers a range of hiking options; from the<br />

shores of Lake Taupo through to the Kaimanawa Forest and<br />

Pureora Forest Park, but nothing quite beats the draw of the<br />

Tongariro National Park.<br />

Tongariro National Park is a land of volcanic wonders –<br />

steaming craters, alpine rock gardens, surreal lakes and<br />

tumbling waterfalls. Its hiking trails offer spectacular winter trips<br />

complete with solitude and a backdrop of snowy peaks.<br />

The 600-hectare national park is centred on three volcanoes,<br />

Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and Tongariro. In their foothills,<br />

Okahune, National Park and Whakapapa Village make great<br />

bases for exploration, as do other little Ruapehu region towns<br />

within easy reach.<br />

Tongariro is New Zealand’s oldest national park, established<br />

in 1887. It holds dual UNESCO World Heritage status for its<br />

cultural significance as well as its outstanding natural features.<br />

The park’s striking natural beauty is the result of two million<br />

years of volcanic activity. Ruapehu and Tongariro are two of the<br />

most active composite volcanoes in the world.<br />

Winter crossing of the Tongariro National Park<br />

Image compliments of Visit Ruapehu<br />


Know before you go:<br />

Even experienced trampers have<br />

come unstuck in this extreme<br />

environment. The weather can be<br />

especially unpredictable in winter,<br />

with big temperature drops and heavy<br />

downpours that can make streams and<br />

rivers dangerous or impassable. There<br />

are also volcanic hazards, so it’s vital to<br />

obey all warnings and signs.<br />

Check in with the Visitor Centre at<br />

Whakapapa for advice, forecasts<br />

and hut bookings. The Walks in<br />

and around Tongariro National Park<br />

brochure has further detail on these<br />

tramps and others in the national park.<br />

A topographical map is essential for<br />

longer walks.<br />

Above and right: Hiking in the Tongariro National Park - Image compliments of Visit Ruapehu<br />

Day Walks:<br />

Tongariro National<br />

Park’s spectacular day<br />

walks venture into all<br />

corners and will keep<br />

you occupied for a<br />

solid week.<br />

Tongariro Alpine Crossing:<br />

7–8 hr<br />

Snowy surrounds and low crowds make winter a fabulous time to hike<br />

the Crossing, but you’ll need to go with a guide unless you’re an expert<br />

alpine tramper. This challenging track starts at 1120m and winds up<br />

the Mangatepopo Valley to the saddle between Mts Tongariro and<br />

Ngauruhoe. You’re into crater territory as you reach the crossing’s<br />

highpoint at 1886m.<br />

The descent is via a rock scree track to the vivid Emerald Lakes/<br />

Ngā Rotopounamu (greenstone-hued lakes) and Blue Lake/Te Waiwhakaata-o-te-Rangihiroa<br />

(Rangihiroa’s mirror). The track then sidles<br />

around the northern slope of Tongariro to descend via a zigzag track<br />

past Ketetahi Shelter and down to the road end.<br />

Attempting the Tongariro<br />

Alpine Crossing in winter is a<br />

very different experience than<br />

during other times of the year.<br />

From May to October, snow<br />

and ice mean alpine skills<br />

and experience are essential.<br />

Therefore, the best and safest<br />

way to enjoy the Crossing in<br />

its full alpine glory is to go with<br />

guide. Two Tongariro Alpine<br />

Crossing guiding companies,<br />

with decades of experience<br />

and approved by the<br />

Department of Conservation,<br />

operate from National Park<br />

Village - Adrift Tongariro and<br />

<strong>Adventure</strong> Outdoors Tongariro,<br />

and can guide you safely<br />

across this incredible, yet risky,<br />

wintery wonderland.<br />

Multi Day Walks:<br />

Round the Mountain Track:<br />

Tama Lakes Tramping Track:<br />

Lake Surprise:<br />

There are two classic multi-day tramps in<br />

Tongariro: the Northern Circuit Great Walk<br />

and the Round the Mountain Track.<br />

The Tongariro Northern Circuit:<br />

3–4 days<br />

One of New Zealand’s Great Walks, this tramp can<br />

be completed in the winter months by experienced<br />

trampers with all the right gear, preparation and<br />

favourable conditions.<br />

It’s usually started in Whakapapa Village and walked<br />

clockwise, winding first to Mangetepopo Hut to join the<br />

Alpine Crossing with its craters and surreal lakes. The<br />

circuit then continues down the spectacular Oturere<br />

Valley and around Mt Ngauruhoe’s foothills towards<br />

historic Waihohonu Hut.<br />

The final day sees you hike over Tama saddle between<br />

Ngauruhoe & Ruapehu – with a possible detour to<br />

the must-see Tama Lakes – before heading past the<br />

tumbling Taranaki Falls to return to Whakapapa Village.<br />

4–6 days<br />

A more remote and advanced adventure than the<br />

Northern Circuit, this unforgettable tramp traverses<br />

a variety of landscapes from mountain beech forest,<br />

tussock country and alpine herbfields, to desert lands<br />

and glacial river valleys.<br />

As much of the track passes through alpine terrain,<br />

it is recommended that winter trips are completed<br />

with a guide. The rest of the year it can be walked by<br />

experienced, well-prepared trampers when the weather<br />

is favourable.<br />

Starting at Whakapapa, it heads clockwise around Mt<br />

Ruapehu taking in many of the park’s most famous<br />

sights: Taranaki Falls, Tama Lakes, Waitonga Falls,<br />

Lake Surprise and Silica Rapids. It also takes in the<br />

Rangipo desert, with its barren and peculiar beauty. Six<br />

huts along the way each have their own character, too.<br />

5–6 hr<br />

This memorable walk starts at Whakapapa Village<br />

along the Taranaki Falls Track with all its interesting<br />

landforms and gushing streams. At the top of Taranaki<br />

Falls, the track branches off through rolling tussock<br />

country and alpine herbfields towards Tama Lakes.<br />

Beyond the lower lake viewpoint (1240m), the track<br />

climbs steeply to a 1440m-viewpoint of the upper lake.<br />

Tama Lakes occupy several old explosion craters on<br />

Tama Saddle between Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe. In<br />

winter, it’s essential to check in with Whakapapa Visitor<br />

Centre on the current trail conditions.<br />

Old Blyth Tramping Track:<br />

4–5 hr<br />

Starting on the Ohakune Mountain Road, this track partly<br />

follows the historic route up Mt Ruapehu through significant<br />

vegetation including mixed beech forest. When Blyth Track<br />

was constructed in the early 1900s, much of the route was<br />

through alpine bog; you can see the remains of ‘corduroy’<br />

laid across the muddy surface. Return the same way or<br />

walk out to the Mountain Road via the Waitonga Falls/<br />

Round the Mountain Tramping Track, and then walk back<br />

down the road – the views are epic.<br />

5 hrs<br />

Few walks are as aptly named this, but a hidden lake<br />

isn’t the only surprise on this amazing day out. Starting<br />

high on Mt Ruapehu, this advanced trail heads through<br />

epic boulder fields, bluffs and scree slopes with alpine<br />

gardens boasting a colourful array of flowers, lichens and<br />

moss. A climb into Mangaturuturu Valley follows a waterfall<br />

flowing over an ancient lava cascade. You’ll also pass a<br />

70-year-old tramping hut, nestled amongst stunted forest.<br />

Ever-changing views stretch from Ruapehu’s peak to the<br />

edges of the volcanic plateau. The lake itself is tranquil and<br />

untouched. The trail starts 20 minutes’ drive up Ohakune<br />

Mountain Road.<br />

Historic Waihohonu Hut:<br />

3 hr<br />

It’s well worth the half-day return hike to see this historic<br />

hut, especially as you’ll get up close to the strange terrain<br />

of the Rangipo desert, deep beech forest, and tussockland.<br />

Built in 1903/04 as a stopover for stagecoaches, it’s<br />

constructed of a double layer of corrugated iron with a layer<br />

of pumice between. No longer used for accommodation, the<br />

hut is preserved as an historical building and is classified by<br />

the Heritage New Zealand. This track starts off the Desert<br />

Rd (SH1), signposted 35km south of Turangi.<br />


RUN2302<br />



Short Walks:<br />

A series of short nature trails in Tongariro<br />

National Park take in the various habitats home<br />

to fascinating and diverse native flora and<br />

fauna, and are a great way to get to know the<br />

park’s places and stories.<br />

Taranaki Falls:<br />

2 hr<br />

A popular short walk form Whakapapa Village, this track’s upper and lower sections<br />

form a loop and cross a variety of landforms along the way. It also offers spectacular<br />

long-range views, and takes in various alpine vegetation types including pretty alpine<br />

shrublands and beech forest. On a clear day Ngauruhoe’s symmetrical cone and<br />

the older, eroded mountains of Tongariro and Pukekaikiore can be seen. There are<br />

plenty of lovely sights along Wairere Stream, too, including Taranaki Falls tumbling<br />

20 metres over a 15,000-year-old lava flow.<br />

Silica Rapids:<br />

Plenty of beautiful scenery to be found in the Tongariro National Park - Image compliments of Visit Ruapehu<br />

2 hr 30 min<br />

This is a slightly longer outing, also starting near<br />

the visitor centre in Whakapapa. It begins along<br />

Whakapapanui Stream, meandering through beech<br />

forest to meet the turn off to Silica Rapids. The track<br />

soon crosses a bubbling stream with a gold coloured<br />

bed caused by iron oxide clays from upstream swamps.<br />

There’s some lovely alpine vegetation along this walk<br />

and some delightful birdlife, too.<br />

Skyline via the Sky Waka:<br />

1.5–2 hrs<br />

A ride on Mt Ruapehu’s new state-of-the-art Sky Waka<br />

gondola is a must for any visitor to the national park.<br />

It whizzes you up in six unforgettable minutes to New<br />

Zealand’s highest café, on Knoll Ridge (2020m).<br />

Depending on snow conditions and your level of alpine<br />

experience, it may be possible to head further up the<br />

mountain, but check with the Whakapapa Visitor Centre<br />

or local guide companies first.<br />

Whakapapanui Walking Track:<br />

2 hr<br />

Another good leg-stretch from Whakapapa Village, this<br />

trail begins just beyond the visitor centre, following the<br />

gorgeous Whakapapanui Stream through beech forest<br />

to reach the road 3km below Whakapapa Village. Take<br />

in the epic mountain views as you walk back up to the<br />

village via the highway, or return back along the forest<br />

trail keeping an eye out for the endangered whio/blue<br />

duck.<br />

56//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#<strong>220</strong><br />

Waitonga Falls Track:<br />

1.5 hrs<br />

You can walk to the national park’s highest waterfall<br />

on a well-formed track through mountain beech and<br />

kaikawaka (mountain cedar) forest. The track also<br />

passes Rotokawa, an alpine bog where the reflection<br />

of Mt Ruapehu can be seen on still days. The Falls<br />

themselves are 39m high and quite the sight! This track<br />

begins high on Ohakune Mountain Road, around 11km<br />

from town.<br />

Timber Trail, Pureora Forest<br />


Biking:<br />

There are so many<br />

bike trails in the Central<br />

Plateau, too many to list<br />

here. So we've chosen<br />

a couple that you can<br />

access from each of the<br />

major towns in the area.<br />




Maramataha Suspension Bridge on the Timber Trail - Image compliments of Visit Ruapehu<br />

Riders on the 42nd Traverse - Image compliments of Visit Ruapehu<br />

From Taupo:<br />

From Turangi:<br />

From National Park:<br />

1. Craters of the Moon (50km worth of<br />

trails)<br />

Grade 1-5<br />

This mountain bike park, situated just<br />

north of Lake Taupo, offers tracks for<br />

every level of rider, from family friendly<br />

trails to those for the more experienced<br />

riders. Some offer excellent views of the<br />

lake and river. Spend an hour or a full<br />

day exploring the trails.<br />

2. The Timber Trail (87km)<br />

Grade 2-3 (easy to intermediate)<br />

2 days<br />

This backcountry adventure starts in the<br />

Pureora Forest Village, between Te Kuiti<br />

and Mangakino. The first day is graded<br />

intermediate due to the initial climb. There<br />

is accommodation at the end of the day<br />

that needs to be booked in advance<br />

or you can chose to camp. Day two is<br />

considered easy to intermediate. Over<br />

the two days you’ll experience incredible<br />

scenery, suspension bridges and ancient<br />

native forests.<br />

3. Great Lake Trail 71km)<br />

Grade 3<br />

6 hours<br />

Considered by some, one of the best Grade<br />

3 cycle trails in the country. This trail follows<br />

the northeastern shoreline of Lake Taupo.<br />

This is an all-weather, all-seasons travese<br />

through native forest with incredible views<br />

across the lake towards the volcanoes of<br />

the Tongariro National Park.<br />

The trail has three distinct sections and can<br />

be ridden in one day if your fitness allows.<br />

Waihaha to Kotukutuku Stream (31km)<br />

Begins 54km from Taupo, highlights include<br />

a fun and flowing trail and biking over the<br />

Kotukutuku Waterfall. From here a water<br />

taxi will take you to the start of the next<br />

section.<br />

Whangamata Road to Kawakawa Bay and<br />

Kinloch (18km)<br />

This section begins with a graded climb to<br />

Rocky lookout, but it's worth the effort for<br />

the fantastic views.<br />

Kinlock to Whakaipo Bay (14km)<br />

The final section climbs gently over the<br />

Headland to Whakaipo Bay. You can do an<br />

additional 10km loop of the headland if you<br />

wish or continue to the finish at Whakaipo<br />

Bay. If you still have energy to burn then<br />

continue to ride another 13km to Taupo via<br />

Acacia Bay.<br />

4. Tongariro River Trail (15km loop)<br />

Grade 2<br />

1-2 hours<br />

Starting in Turangi, follow the<br />

Tongariro River, through farmland,<br />

native bush and across swing<br />

bridges. Multiple entry points and an<br />

easy ride with family. The Tongariro<br />

National Trout Hatchery makes for a<br />

great stop on the way.<br />

5. Tree Trunk Gorge (12km one way)<br />

Grade 3-4<br />

2-4 hours<br />

Situated on the eastern side of the<br />

mountain ranges this track takes you<br />

through river crossings and magnificent<br />

beech forest in the Kaimanawa Forest<br />

Park.<br />

6.Te Iringa (38km)<br />

Grade 5<br />

4-6 hours<br />

A track for expert riders only set in<br />

the backcountry of the Kaimanawa<br />

Forest Park. Navigating steep hills,<br />

fallen trees, and wetlands this track will<br />

challenge the most avid rider.<br />

7. Fishers Track (17km)<br />

Grade 2<br />

2-3 hours one way<br />

From the National Park Railway<br />

Station, Fishers Track is a mostly<br />

downhill trail with great views of the<br />

National Park mountains as well as<br />

Mt Taranaki (on a clear day).<br />

8. Marton Sash and Door<br />

Tramway (13.8km)<br />

Grade 2<br />

2 hour loop<br />

Leaving from National Park Village,<br />

the trail follows a recovered<br />

bush tramway route and some<br />

backcountry dirt roads past a mix of<br />

native forest and pine plantations.<br />

9.The Pines Tracks (10km worth of<br />

trails)<br />

Grade 3-4<br />

This mountain bike park, not far from<br />

National Park Village, offers trails for<br />

the intermediate to advanced riders.<br />

10. 42nd Traverse (46km)<br />

Grade 3-4<br />

4-7 hours<br />

Bike along the 42nd Traverse<br />

following an old logging road through<br />

the remote and rugged landscape<br />

of the Tongariro National Park.<br />

Start point 19km from National Park<br />

Village.<br />

There are a number of challegning<br />

sections on one of NZ most iconic<br />

mountain bike rides known for its long<br />

and rutted downhills.<br />

The track surfaces are often rutted<br />

with gravel and mud, and there are<br />

plenty of stream crossings and uphill<br />

sections to challenge you.<br />

Although the trail can be ridden either<br />

direction it is recommended that you<br />

start at Kapoors road end and finish<br />

in Owhanga. If you look at the crosssection<br />

map you can see why.<br />

Cross section of the 42nd Traverse<br />

Image compliments of DOC<br />


Old Coach Road Trail - Image compliments of Visit Ruapehu<br />

Bikers on the Mountain to Sea Trail - Image compliments of Visit Ruapehu<br />

From Ohakune:<br />

11. Lakes Reserve (1.6km loop)<br />

Grade 1 (great for families)<br />

An easy loop ride that takes you<br />

around Lakes Reserve a short ride from<br />

Ohakune.<br />

12. Old Coach Road (15km one way)<br />

Grade 2<br />

2-4 hours one way<br />

Follow the old coach road that joins the<br />

two railheads of the never completed<br />

Northern Trunk Line in the 1900’s. The<br />

trail goes through farmland, native<br />

forest and across historic viaducts and<br />

tunnels. See the information centre in<br />

Ohakune for shuttle services to the start<br />

and you'll be able to bike back to the<br />

centre of Ohakune. The trail is varied<br />

and scenic with plenty of historical<br />

landmarks to break up the journey.<br />

You'll can finish off at the famed<br />

Powderkeg, a great place to reward<br />

yourself with a drink for your efforts.<br />

13. Rangataua Loop Track (18.7km)<br />

Grade 2-3<br />

Beautiful views of Ohakune and some<br />

beautiful New Zealand farms including<br />

great views of Mt Ruapehu along most<br />

of Ratamaire Road! The ride uses<br />

sealed roads and unsealed farm roads.<br />

14. Ruatiti Road and Middle Road<br />

(45km)<br />

Grade 3<br />

3-5 hours one way<br />

This gravel road is the link between<br />

the Ohakune Old Coach Road at<br />

Horopito and the Mangapurua Track<br />

which leads to the Whanganui<br />

National Park. Start at Horopito, just<br />

out from Ohakune, and follow the road<br />

alongside the Manganu-o-te-ao River<br />

to a great free camping and picnic<br />

spot in the Ruatiti Domain. Usually<br />

completed as part of the Mountains<br />

to Sea track but can be done alone.<br />

Mainly downhill, however there are<br />

some steep climbs towards the end.<br />

Multi Day Trips:<br />

15. Mountains to Sea (297km)<br />

Grade 2-3 (easy to intermediate) Plus<br />

one section of advanced terrain.<br />

1-6 days<br />

This trail takes you from the fringes<br />

of Mt Ruapehu to the coastal town of<br />

Whanganui, through alpine mountains<br />

and native forest. The track uses local<br />

biking tails, public roads and even a<br />

jet boat ride. You can choose to do<br />

sections of the track or the whole trail.<br />

There is plenty to see and great places<br />

to stop along the way.<br />

14<br />

15<br />

2<br />

7<br />

8<br />

9<br />

10<br />

12<br />

11<br />

13<br />

Grading system:<br />

Grade 1-2 = Easy: Flat. Few obstacles.<br />

Grade 2-3 = Intermediate: Moderately<br />

steep. Uneven terrain with some<br />

obstacles.<br />

Grade 3-4 = Advanced: Some technical<br />

terrain and limited alternate lines.<br />

Grade 4-5 = Expert: Mostly technical<br />

terrain. Advanced features with no<br />

alternate routes<br />

Terrain Park: With multiple rides and<br />

trails.<br />

5<br />

3<br />

4<br />

1<br />

6<br />


Skiing the volcano: It's easier than it sounds<br />

Like Mt Fuji, Ruapehu rises from a desert<br />

plain and is a stunning site against a clear<br />

blue sky, and it is still an active volcano.<br />

There are three ski fields on Ruapehu, two<br />

commercial; Turoa and Whakapapa and one<br />

club field Tukino. The commercial fields are<br />

serviced by local communities; National Park<br />

Village and Ohakune. The two are operated<br />

together, with a combined lift ticket for both<br />

fields. Together, they are considered to be<br />

the largest ski resort in New Zealand and<br />

possibly the southern hemisphere.<br />



Whakapapa:<br />

Whakapapa is on the northern side of Mount<br />

Ruapehu in Tongariro National Park. The ski<br />

season is generally from late June to late<br />

October, depending on snow and weather<br />

conditions. The terrain at Whakapapa is<br />

loosely divided up as 25% beginner, 50%<br />

intermediate and 25% advanced. Recently<br />

there have been several significant changes<br />

to this side of the mountain with the<br />

introduction of a multi-million dollar mountain<br />

gondola which makes access quicker and<br />

easier.<br />

Access to the ski field is by Bruce Road, a<br />

two-lane, 6 km (3.7 mi) sealed road. There<br />

is the accommodation on the mountain, but<br />

you need to join a lodge. There is also an<br />

array of accommodation at the mountain<br />

base and National Park Village.<br />

Tukino Club Field<br />

Image compliments of Visit Ruapehu<br />

Tukino:<br />

Tukino on the eastern face of Mount<br />

Ruapehu. The field is a club managed<br />

field, but open to the general public. The<br />

ski area is serviced by two tows and an<br />

over-snow vehicle giving access for skiing.<br />

Tukino is known for its untouched trails,<br />

uncrowded slopes, friendly atmosphere<br />

and good weather. Accommodation is<br />

available at Tukino for those that want to<br />

stay and play, but bookings are essential.<br />

Access is via the Tukino Access Road from<br />

the Desert Road and is suitable for fourwheel-drive<br />

vehicles only during the winter<br />

months. Transport can be arranged by<br />

contacting the ski field.<br />

Whakapapa Ski Field - Image compliments of Visit Ruapehu<br />


Image compliments Mt Ruapehu<br />





$830 for studio Queen unit with My-Sky<br />

Package includes:<br />

Transport up the mountain with flexible pick up times<br />

Ride up the Gondola to NZs highest restaurant for two<br />

and lunch for two.<br />

(Those wanting larger family accommodation<br />

contact Gillian on 021351103)<br />

Bed and Breakfast<br />

Budget Lodge Accommodation<br />

Self-Contained Motel Units<br />

Packages available for skiing and Tongariro Crossing<br />

adventurenationalpark.co.nz | 0800 621 061<br />

Snowboarder at Turoa - Image compliments Mt Ruapehu<br />

Turoa:<br />

Turoa (or Tūroa) is on the south-western side of Mt<br />

Ruapehu. The area has been used for skiing since<br />

the completion of the Mountain Road, but the first lifts<br />

opened in 1978.<br />

There are two beginner areas, and many<br />

intermediate and advanced trails. The upper field is<br />

a mix of natural pipes, steep drops, fast plains, and<br />

more accessible slopes. The field is 500 hectares and<br />

has 722 metres (2,369 feet) vertical drops.<br />

The ski field is reached via the Mountain Road from<br />

the town of Ohakune. The Mountain Road was built<br />

by locals from Ohakune, mostly during weekends<br />

after they formed the Mountain Road Association<br />

in 1952. They aimed to open Ruapehu's southern<br />

slopes for skiing, partly as a replacement industry for<br />

the decline in logging which had sustained the town<br />

for the previous decades<br />

On a good day, it is possible to hike to the top of the<br />

mountain with skis or snowboard in hand, view the<br />

Crater Lake, and then ski back down to the field, or<br />

Whakapapa. Also on a clear day, Mount Taranaki can<br />

be seen.<br />



Central Taupo Motel accommodation<br />

searchers look for the best central location,<br />

quality reviews and great service.<br />

Welcome to Acapulco Motor Inn, the best<br />

affordable Taupo Motel.<br />

This Taupo Motel is a kiwi family run<br />

business that loves their job and takes pride<br />

in presenting the best choice for a Taupo<br />

Motel. A short walk to central Taupo with an<br />

array of shops and eateries. Try some local<br />

kiwi flavours and some Must Do activities to<br />

maximise your Taupo visit.<br />

Acapulco Taupo Motor Inn has a range of<br />

accommodation choices that can sleep from<br />

1 to 8 guests. Some Motel rooms have a spa<br />

Pool or spa bath. All Motel rooms have air<br />

conditioning.<br />

Check through our accommodation choices<br />

to match your needs to the best Acapulco<br />

Motor Inn room or apartment.<br />

A: 19 Rifle Range Road, Taupo 3330 | T: +64 7 378 7174 | F: +64 7 378 7555 | M: +64 21 800 118<br />

E: stay@acapulcotaupo.co.nz W: www.acapulcotaupo.co.nz

The Alpine Centre<br />

Home of Ski Biz and Snowzone!<br />

When you're looking to buy or rent ski & snowboarding gear, or for workshop tuning or Hiking Gear rental – The Alpine<br />

Centre located in National Park Village is the place to go.<br />

The Alpine Centre is an amalgamation of two long serving winter businesses Ski Biz and Snowzone (Roy Turner Ski<br />

Shop). At the end of the 2017 winter owners Shona and Robbie Forbes closed Snowzone @ Roy Turner Ski Shop for<br />

the last time, a business that had operated in National Park since 1964. With a plan to build a massive extension of the<br />

Ski Biz rental shop, joining the two long standing businesses, by creating one super store location for rental and retail<br />

both winter and summer, The Alpine Centre was created. Now, two years on we have a well-established Alpine shop with<br />

gear for hiking, camping, skiing and snowboarding and are open all year round.<br />

With the Corona Virus pandemic causing delays for all<br />

NZ ski areas its been hard to get an understanding of<br />

how/what may open this season, many customers may<br />

be turning to online buying of ski gear, and we also<br />

now have around 80% of our stock listed on our online<br />

shop.<br />

However, Our primary focus remains to be<br />

predominantly an actual, customer face to face service<br />

store. We aspire to offer real service and advice to<br />

everyone that comes in and are always prepared to<br />

go the extra mile to find the right equipment for our<br />

customers' needs if we don’t have it in store. For us<br />

it’s not about making a quick sale, see you later, we<br />

want to keep the customer, get the chance to tune their<br />

gear in the future, and keep a repour for many years<br />

to come.<br />

We believe when purchasing ski equipment, it's not<br />

a case of buying the cheapest, prettiest deal you<br />

can find online, but offering great sound advice and<br />

service means our customer has the best time on the<br />

snow. E.g. When your boots are not fitted correctly, it's<br />

like trying to drive with a flat tyre. Or you might think<br />

you're getting a great deal buying a cheap ski jacket or<br />

pants but are the specs good enough for our mountain<br />

conditions (waterproof, windproof, and breathable).<br />

Your helmet and goggles need to sit well together, but<br />

also fit with your head and face shape.<br />

Thankfully all our crew this season are returning<br />

staff from various past seasons bringing a wealth of<br />

experience and knowledge which is awesome for both<br />

us and our customers and a real bonus in this post<br />

(hopefully) Corona virus new normal.<br />

Our winter 2020 team at The Alpine Centre all share a<br />

passion for having fun on the snow and want to ensure<br />

that everyone who comes into our store are equipped<br />

with the right gear they need to have the best possible<br />

and memorable snow experience!<br />

Ski Biz / Snowzone @ The Alpine Centre<br />

10 Carroll Street, National Park Village<br />

Ph 07 8922 717<br />

www.thealpinecentre.co.nz<br />


A range of skis for those that are never not sending. Those willing to create and explore.<br />

Those who Ride Free. Each ski has a different personality. Designed to ensure you’ll find<br />

the perfect match for your style. For the last three years we’ve tested all over the globe.<br />

To ensure all conditions, terrain, and influences were considered. To build an all-new<br />

vision of freeride. Progressive. Inclusive. Irreverent. Athlete-approved. Ready to send.<br />

Welcome to BLACKOPS.<br />


The all-new BLACKOPS range has been developed with a strong focus on<br />

material sourcing and the product lifecycle. Each ski has been constructed<br />

using PEFC certified poplar or FSC® certified paulownia wood cores<br />

combined with recycled topsheet, base, and edge materials to help reduce<br />

our environmental impact. Ride Free my friends.<br />


Active <strong>Adventure</strong>s<br />

Words and Images by Active <strong>Adventure</strong>s<br />

Now that you’ve explored every inch of your<br />

backyard, and house, and the internet – you’re<br />

probably itching to reconnect with friends and<br />

family and get back out adventuring in the great<br />

outdoors. We get it – the virtual tours aren’t doing<br />

much for us either anymore.<br />

When we dream of travel, most of us go to places<br />

in our minds that are far from our own backyards.<br />

However, this is set to change for many Kiwis as<br />

we collectively begin to look for adventure closer<br />

to home. Your plans for a midwinter European<br />

adventure being canned now gives you the<br />

unprecedented opportunity to see some of New<br />

Zealand’s best without the usual tourist buses or<br />

people getting in the way of your perfect shot. If<br />

you’ve always wanted to discover Milford Sound or<br />

bring your family on a real backcountry experience,<br />

now is a better time than ever.<br />

With over two decades of experience up their<br />

sleeves guiding thousands of happy travellers<br />

around the world, Active <strong>Adventure</strong>s take the<br />

hassle and risk out of organising your trip. You<br />

might think you know New Zealand, but their<br />

knowledgeable Kiwi guides will show you some of<br />

the country’s best kept secrets.<br />

Here’s why you can say ‘no’ to organising a trip by<br />

yourself, and instead get your family or group onto<br />

an Active <strong>Adventure</strong>.<br />

1. They’ll cater for all abilities<br />

All their trip itineraries include a detailed<br />

breakdown of the ‘activity level’ involved, from<br />

‘What’s the Rush’ right through to ‘Challenge<br />

Accepted’. They also provide detailed distance<br />

and elevation information for each hike, so you<br />

know exactly what you’re in for and you can make<br />

educated decisions about which trip is right for you.<br />

Within each trip they also have many options<br />

available like add-ons for those keen for more, or<br />

‘let’s just chill’ options for those who’ve reached<br />

their capacity for the day. Their guides are also<br />

there to help and encourage you through some of<br />

the more challenging activities that you might not<br />

feel so comfortable doing alone!<br />

2. They’ll cater for all requirements<br />

From specific diets to rooming requests to who<br />

gets the front seat on the bus, their guides will<br />

do everything they can to ensure that not only is<br />

everyone catered for, but everyone can get the<br />

maximum out of their holiday without worrying<br />

about individual plans. They look after the big<br />

stuff, so you can enjoy the small stuff. They also<br />

offer private trips if your group is over 6 people,<br />

meaning your experience will be completely<br />

personalised to meet your groups specific needs.<br />


Your New Zealand <strong>Adventure</strong>,<br />

Your Way.<br />


3. They’ll bring you to new places, off<br />

the tourist trail<br />

Their trips have always included a mix of<br />

must-sees and hidden gems, but as a Kiwi<br />

visiting your own country, you’ve probably<br />

seen a LOT of the must-sees already.<br />

That's why they’ve developed 8 news trips,<br />

from 2 to 6 days, taken straight from their<br />

staff’s bucket-lists. From a backcountry<br />

adventure in Nelson Lakes National Park,<br />

to flying deep into Aspiring National Park<br />

to hike to the insanely blue Crucible Lake,<br />

to an assisted biking adventure on the Alps<br />

2 Ocean trail or a more relaxed retreat<br />

under the sun with amazing food and wine<br />

near Nelson – just take your pick!<br />

4. You know you’ll be in safe hands<br />

They’ve been guiding adventures here<br />

in New Zealand for 24 years now – and<br />

passion for the outdoors has lead them<br />

to start guiding in other parts of the world,<br />

like Patagonia and the Himalayas, always<br />

using New Zealand safety standards,<br />

which are some of the highest in the world.<br />

So, whether they’re talking about the food<br />

on your plate or crossing a river safely,<br />

they make sure their guides get the best<br />

training.<br />

5. They make logistics a breeze<br />

While on a trip with Active <strong>Adventure</strong>s you<br />

won’t have to worry about a thing. They<br />

make sure the jet boat on the Wilkin River<br />

is waiting for you just at the right time, or<br />

Clockwise from top left: Kayaking, Incredible scenery, the beautiful Braemar Station<br />

the boat onto the Milford Sound has your<br />

name and personal requests before you’ve<br />

set foot on board. You’ll get a packing list<br />

telling you how many pairs of socks you<br />

need, and even a pre-trip training program<br />

if you wish. Even if you’ve travelled these<br />

parts of the country before – logistics for a<br />

group can be a headache and can take the<br />

shine off your holiday planning. Let them<br />

do that for you. They'll even help you make<br />

sure you get to meet the trip at the right<br />

place and time, and have onward travel<br />

sorted for when it's time to say goodbye.<br />

6. Guaranteed value for your money<br />

Quite simply, it is now more affordable<br />

than ever to have your whole trip<br />

organised for you, and having someone<br />

else take care of the nitty gritty details is<br />

the most important ingredient in you being<br />

able to enjoy exploring, hassle free.<br />

Sure, you can book a trip by yourself, but<br />

you run the risk of getting messed around<br />

with accommodation that doesn’t live up to<br />

its photos, unreliable and uncomfortable<br />

transport, and you miss out on the<br />

expertise, knowledge and care of local<br />

guides. It’s better to invest your money in<br />

a trip that is guaranteed to be seamless<br />

and stress-free, than cut corners to try<br />

and save a few dollars by throwing a trip<br />

together yourself! Active <strong>Adventure</strong>s trips<br />

are all inclusive, providing great value for<br />

your money.<br />

7.Your guides will be the best of the<br />

best<br />

If you haven’t spent your lockdown<br />

period from Coronavirus studying the<br />

flora and fauna of New Zealand and the<br />

history of each area… don’t worry. On<br />

an Active <strong>Adventure</strong>s trip, you will have<br />

2 Kiwi guides along with you every step<br />

of the way who are not only great cooks,<br />

budding comedians, pack carriers, safe<br />

drivers and planning gurus – they’re<br />

also walking encyclopaedias. Traveling<br />

with their guides means that you won’t<br />

miss the opportunity to see the Southern<br />

Lights, have a flowering Rata pointed<br />

out to you, or hear about the history and<br />

movement of the glaciers. It's the kind<br />

of details that can take your experience<br />

from great to unforgettable. Oh, and it<br />

shouldn’t be forgotten that they know ALL<br />

the best coffee spots across the country,<br />

so you don’t have to waste your precious<br />

mornings hunting down the good stuff.<br />

They’ll do that part for you too!<br />

So just say ‘no’ to wrangling your friends<br />

and family for a trip. They’ll do it for you –<br />

headache free. Just decide which of their<br />

22 adventures is the most tempting to you,<br />

or just reach out at info@activeadventures.<br />

com or 03 450 0414 to get the advice of an<br />

adventure planner!<br />

Crafting Award-Winning<br />

Trips for decades<br />

The Kiwi way<br />


Choose Active <strong>Adventure</strong>s this summer and have confidence you’re joining<br />

New Zealand’s most experienced guiding company. An impeccable safety<br />

record, garnered over 24 years and more guiding concessions than any other<br />

operator.<br />

Our flexible assurance allows you to change your plans up to 30 days before<br />

your departure, so you can book stress-free.<br />

Explore hidden gems<br />

through our expert<br />

local Kiwi guides<br />

Visit activeadventures.com/new-zealand,<br />

email us at info@activeadventures.com or<br />

call us at 0800 234 726 to plan your adventure!<br />

Every detail covered<br />

to maximise your time<br />

and experience<br />

4.5/5 from 18,580 reviews<br />

Experience adventures<br />

the way you want<br />

them<br />




By Jessica Middleton<br />

"Chill when its chill for when<br />

it's too hot you cannot. "<br />

Don't turn the cold shoulder on winter. You might just warm<br />

up to it, after all it's the perfect condition for soul-warming<br />

activities and adventures.<br />

It's honestly cool to travel when it's cool, and here's why.<br />


In winter most people hibernate because leaving the comfort<br />

of your warm snuggly home to go seek adventure isn't<br />

always inviting. Game changer, what if the adventure came<br />

to you, right on your doorstep? This kind of accessibility<br />

has now opened up a whole new world of opportunities to<br />

you, am I right? There's peace of mind knowing when you<br />

head out that your reliable van will be waiting for you with<br />

doors wide open, warm supplies, food, shelter, and all your<br />

essentials right in the car park. This means no freezing longdrawn<br />

drives back from an outing wearing wet soggy shoes,<br />

ugh the worst! We depend on our van to shield us in the<br />

winter, you just want to go up and hug the thing, but don't,<br />

because the exterior can remain pretty icy. Instead, you can<br />

thank your van by treating it with regular servicing as during<br />

colder months your van requires some close loving care.<br />


While you fix yourself a morning brew, make sure to take in<br />

all the breathtaking views, you can stay tucked up in bed if<br />

you want to. We have a habit of calling this - "Inside Out",<br />

where you get to experience outdoor surroundings with little<br />

guilt for lounging inside. It truly is the best of both worlds.<br />

This is the perfect environment to set aside time to relax<br />

and unwind, finish reading that book or art project you have<br />

been working on. Chill when its chill for when it's too hot you<br />

cannot. So if you have a travel companion take advantage of<br />

all the snuggle opportunities you have now.<br />


Have you ever been at home freezing away to find you go<br />

outside and surprise, it's warmer out than inside? I hate<br />

when I find myself in this situation, frustrated that I hadn't<br />

braced the day earlier. As good as downtime is, the winter<br />

world is awaiting you with an abundance of trails, lakes, and<br />

mountains to explore. Our top tip is to keep active daily, get<br />

that blood flowing and core temperature rising. We are built<br />

to move and so are our vans.<br />



There is nothing worse than being in an incredible environment<br />

to be so bogged down by the weather you simply cannot enjoy<br />

it. I've had times I swear my brain has frozen over just from the<br />

memory of a place. Being from New Zealand, I have braced<br />

some arctic winters in my time, and to be honest growing up<br />

I dreaded winter every year. To the extent where I relocated<br />

to Australia just to escape from it. They say you don't know<br />

what's good until its gone, so I returned to my arched nemesis<br />

and went in with a different tactic - PREPARATION. I have had<br />

a complete shift in my mentality and prefer van life in winter, it<br />

truly is a breath of fresh air.<br />

RUG UP<br />

Warm clothes are the greatest protection against the winter<br />

chill and staying on top of it before the cold shakes your bones<br />

is highly important too. I seem to feel the cold far more than<br />

the average person. I cannot express my love for thermals,<br />

snow socks and beanies and wear them like it's going out of<br />

fashion. You'll often find me wearing multiple thermals at once<br />

and even in my snowboarding gear, do what YOU have to do,<br />

and never underestimate the cold. If you are prepared, winter<br />

van life is extremely rewarding, trust me.<br />

The perk of having a van as your home base is that small<br />

areas require little time to heat up. If you are at a powered site<br />

you may have access to get that heater cranking which means<br />

you'll be tucked up like a little burrito in no time.<br />


Speaking of food, cooking in winter is a task that you will<br />

look forward to and undoubtedly treasure. There's nothing<br />

quite like comfort food, it's like being served heaven on<br />

a plate, and this doesn't necessarily mean it needs to be<br />

unhealthy. Fueling yourself after a great hike with heartwarming<br />

meals and a warm cuppa is sure to keep your<br />

body toasty and spirits lifted. Home-cooked hot soups with<br />

buttered bread, mmm gets us every time.<br />


Do you ever just ache for those moments where you get to<br />

experience a magic spot all to yourselves? As social media<br />

has increased and tourism has spiked these untouched<br />

encounters are unfortunately harder to come by. Winter<br />

is a time where most people shy away, in turn, a vanlifers<br />

dreams come out to play. Winters gift is a raw experience<br />

without all the summer chaos and crowds. Peaceful and<br />

soul-fulfilling adventures are topped with plenty of spots to<br />

choose from with less competition.<br />

If winter vanlife hasn't grabbed your attention yet I want<br />

you to visualise it. Picture waking to the morning sunlight<br />

glistening from the dewdrops on your window. Find yourself<br />

awakening in a bed of clouds formed by the fog from rivers,<br />

forests, and oceans nearby. These are perfect conditions for<br />

a photographers dream, the adventure is honestly surreal<br />

and provides a majestic start to your day.<br />


This world is full of hidden gems and if you are traveling in<br />

New Zealand, the most rewarding winter experience is the<br />

moment you stumble across thermal pools and hot water<br />

beaches. The only issue is you'll never want to leave! We<br />

have hiked through the Kaweka Ranges and ended the day<br />

by soaking in the natural hot springs, perfect for soothing<br />

those adventure ridden muscles.<br />


Looking to spice up your winter? Winter travel is regarded<br />

as 'off-season' you will be thrilled to hear rentals come<br />

at a lower cost. So our secrets out that vanlife is in fact,<br />

enjoyable in any season. We encourage you to go discover<br />

it first hand.<br />


Traveled your country in summer and think you have seen<br />

it all? I urge you to go back and do it in winter, you will gain<br />

a totally different experience! Not only does the scenery<br />

change it is accompanied by a complete shift in mood too.<br />

Some places are even unrecognisable especially if they<br />

have been sprinkled with snow, now that's something worth<br />

traveling for.<br />


Fire packs a punch, it not only brings light on the<br />

subject it brings warmth too, and the subject in this<br />

instance is overcoming the tough winter vanlife<br />

reputation that even I admit I once believed in. We<br />

honor fire for the contrast between warmth/cold, dark/<br />

light and I guess what it boils up to is we have complete<br />

respect and appreciation for it. We have spent<br />

countless nights by the firelight gazing up at all the<br />

stars listening to the sounds of nature, time passing us<br />

by as we lay there deep in thought.<br />

For me, winter vanlife is like the story of 'Beauty and<br />

the Beast' I had to give it a chance to see its amazing<br />

qualities, see it for what it truly is. So now you know<br />

its possible to do van life in winter, but that you can<br />

completely fall in love with it too.<br />

Warm Regards,<br />

Jess<br />

Follow Jess and Jordan: @our_van_life_ | @jessmiddletonxo | @jordan_whitcombe<br />


"There is nothing like driving<br />

down the highway with no<br />

air conditioning, seeing the<br />

Colorado River, and jumping<br />

in. There is no schedule and we<br />

are free to explore whatever we<br />

want whenever we want. "<br />

LIVE FOR<br />


By Brittany Henning<br />

Karma has a pretty funny way of<br />

making life work, putting people in<br />

the right place at the right time. We<br />

had a decision to make, chase our<br />

career and move to New York or buy<br />

a van and see the world. Well a few<br />

months later, unbeknownst to us,<br />

buying a van was the best decision<br />

we could have ever made, not only<br />

because van life is awesome but<br />

also because there was a pandemic<br />

coming and moving to New York<br />

would have been a nightmare.<br />

Drew Glickman: I am from<br />

Templeton, California. I work as a<br />

freelance cinematographer filming<br />

everything from brand content, reality<br />

tv, and documentaries. Traveling<br />

has been a passion of mine since I<br />

was small. When I was younger my<br />

family would travel the west coast<br />

and camp anywhere from the sierras<br />

to Baja Mexico. These early trips<br />

installed the love of travel in me.<br />

Since then I have searched out every<br />

way to travel for cheap and see the<br />

world.<br />

Brittany Henning: I am from Aiken,<br />

SC. I also work as a freelancer<br />

in event marketing. I never really<br />

started traveling until I met Drew, but<br />

ever since our first trip to Thailand<br />

four years ago I’m addicted.<br />

80//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#<strong>220</strong><br />


About a year ago, we started looking through Facebook<br />

marketplace trying to find an upgrade to our 1998 Toyota<br />

Tacoma. Drew built a bed in the back of it with storage and a<br />

camper shell on top. It was perfect for short road trips, but no<br />

way we could live in it. We wanted something more. We came<br />

across a 2004 Sprinter Van 2500 with a 140 inch wheel base.<br />

We drove all the way to Charlotte, NC to pick up our new<br />

home. Drew, being 5’10, specifically wanted this van so he<br />

could stand up in it without bumping his head. It’s small enough<br />

to parallel park in a big city, but big enough to live in. Perfecto!<br />

Ten months, $8000, and one million Home Depot trips later we<br />

had our new home customized the way we wanted it. Drew and<br />

his dad built everything from scratch with the help of Youtube<br />

Vanlife Build videos. Their motto: “90% thinking, 10% working.”<br />

As we hit the open road the first day you could only imagine the<br />

feelings and energy that was going through us. The excitement<br />

of what’s to come, the sadness of what we are leaving behind<br />

and the fear of the unknown are only a few. That is, until about<br />

3 stop lights from our old drive way that we got rear ended.<br />

Luckily there was no damage but it sure got us started into<br />

what Vanlife is realistically like.<br />

What is full-time Vanlife like you ask? Oh man, it’s exhilarating!<br />

Not everyone is cut out to live this way. There is nothing like<br />

driving down the highway with no air conditioning, seeing the<br />

Colorado River, and jumping in. There is no schedule and we<br />

are free to explore whatever we want whenever we want. Just<br />

the other day, in the Sedona desert we looked at each other<br />

and said “Let’s climb up that mountain and do yoga.” It was far<br />

away from everyone and so peaceful.<br />

There are no rules and we can live in whatever state we want<br />

to and have no obligations. The more terrifying moments<br />

come the longer you live like this. As we find places to sleep<br />

(Walmart parking lots and rest areas) we never know who<br />

might come knocking at our door at 3am. A cop telling us to<br />

leave? A scary man threatening our lives? We just never know.<br />

We also have the anxiety of driving around our entire life that<br />

could be taken from us at any second. Our van is our house/<br />

car with everything we own inside. All of these moments put<br />

together are what makes Vanlife so exciting and we wouldn’t<br />

want it any other way.<br />

There are challenges and there are rewards. Everyone asks<br />

us, “Do you still love each other?” Yes, we do, but we have<br />

both struggled living with another human in such a small space.<br />

“Why didn’t you clean your dishes?” “You’re going the wrong<br />

way!” “You killed my succulent!” I could go on, but our four-year<br />

relationship is definitely being tested every day and we look<br />

at it as just another experience. Other challenges we face are<br />

keeping things clean and occasional boredom. Cleaning is hard<br />

when you have limited amount of water to wash dishes. We<br />

have three 6-gallon water tanks, but it still doesn’t seem to be<br />

enough. Bugs LOVE to fly in the second you open the door. It’s<br />

a fun game of “who can catch the moth before it disappears,<br />

and we find it in our bed later”.<br />

We have picked up reading a lot more since we don’t have a<br />

tv to binge watch every show on Netflix. Drew plays the mouth<br />

harp and I play the ukulele to pass the time. These challenges<br />

are nothing compared to the rewards we receive in exchange.<br />

We have traveled all over the world, but our wanderlust is<br />

never fulfilled fully. Every city has a story and we want to<br />

read every one. From hiking next to grizzly bears in Alaska to<br />

wakeboarding in Brazil. We hope to take our home on wheels<br />

to it all.<br />

Drew and Brittany in their home away from home<br />


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URBAN<br />



URBAN<br />


HYDRO FLASK 32oz (946mL)<br />

Lightweight Wide Mouth Trail<br />

Series: Clay, Obsidian & Slate<br />

Our Lightweight Trail Series flasks<br />

are 25% lighter, making it easier to<br />

take your cold hydration wherever<br />

your adventure takes you.<br />

RRP: $109.99<br />


Ghost of Everest<br />

Before Edmund Hillary and Tenzing<br />

Norgay reached the summit of<br />

Mt Everest, British climbers,<br />

George Mallory and Andrew Irvine<br />

attempted the same feat. However<br />

they disappeared during the June<br />

1924 attempt on the summit leaving<br />

significant questions unanswered.<br />

Ghost of Everest recounts the<br />

expedition and the 1999 search for<br />

their bodies in enthralling detail.<br />

In the Kingdom of Ice<br />

In 1879, the wealthy owner of The New<br />

York Herald, sent Captain GEorge De<br />

Long on a North Pole expedition which hit<br />

pack ice and was stuck for two years. This<br />

book recounts the epic tale of survival.<br />

Enduring everything from snow blindness<br />

and polar bears to ferocious storms<br />

and labyrinths of ice, the crew battled<br />

madness and starvation as they struggled<br />

desperately to survive. With thrilling<br />

twists and turns, In The Kingdom of Ice is<br />

a tale of heroism and determination in the<br />

most brutal place on Earth.<br />

Terra Incognita<br />

This is a book about the call of the wild<br />

and the response of the spirit to a country<br />

that exists perhaps most vividly in the<br />

mind. Sara Wheeler spent seven months<br />

in Antarctica, living with its scientists<br />

and dreamers. No book is more true to<br />

the spirit of that continent–beguiling,<br />

enchanted and vast beyond the furthest<br />

reaches of our imagination.<br />

Black Nanopresso<br />

Nanopresso Black, built around<br />

a newly patented pumping<br />

system, is capable of reaching,<br />

with the help of your hands, a<br />

maximum of 18 bars (261 PSI)<br />

of pressure for unparalleled<br />

coffee extractions qualities.<br />

The Nanopresso works best<br />

with finely ground coffee that is<br />

tamped hard.<br />


Stoke dark<br />

Fill your mouth with toasted malts, balanced<br />

by dry-hop flavours, for an indulgent yet easy<br />

drinking dark ale. NO artificial additives, NO<br />

added sugar, NO colouring or preservatives.<br />


Welcome to the Goddam<br />

Ice Cube<br />

Icefall<br />

Icefall is a thrilling adventure story and<br />

a report from the extremes of the planet,<br />

taking you to collapsing Andean glaciers,<br />

hidden jungles in Honduras, and the<br />

highest points on Earth. In this gripping<br />

account, our changing climate is not a<br />

matter of politics; it's a matter of life and<br />

death and the human will to survive and<br />

thrive in the face of it.<br />

Weaving fast-paced adventure<br />

writing and ethnographic<br />

journalism with elegantly wrought<br />

reflections on identity, Welcome to<br />

the Goddamn Ice Cube captures<br />

the triumphs and the perils of<br />

Braverman’s journey to selfdiscovery<br />

and independence in a<br />

landscape that is as beautiful as it<br />

is unforgiving.<br />

Stoke APA<br />

Our version of an American classic, the<br />

confident malt base supports a lively hop<br />

blend that delivers resinous, zesty, stone fruit<br />

aromas. NO artificial additives, NO added<br />

sugar, NO colouring or preservatives.<br />


lyres non-alcoholic spirits<br />

Lyre’s is a premium range of 12 unique non-alcoholic<br />

variants, crafted to pay homage to the flavours of the<br />

world’s most classic, time tested spirits.<br />

RRP: $44.99<br />



Gear guide<br />

Looking for a jacket to keep<br />

you warm and dry? We've got<br />

what you need...<br />

b<br />

c<br />

A<br />

d<br />

e<br />

a: Rab Electron<br />

The Electron Jacket is a mid-weight, technical down jacket, with a water-resistant Pertex® outer shell, designed for<br />

year-round climbing and mountain use. The Electron is designed with a stitch-through construction throughout, with<br />

varying size baffles to help reduce bulk in key areas and to help eliminate cold spots.190g/7oz (size Large) of 800FP<br />

European Goose Down provides exceptional levels of warmth and features a small-volume helmet-compatible hood.<br />

Key technical features include YKK® VISLON® zips throughout, elasticated stretch woven cuffs and a zipped internal<br />

security pocket.The Electron Jacket is designed for cold weather climbing and mountain use, however with high levels<br />

of comfort and packability, it is suitable for day-to-day winter use.<br />

RRP $549.95<br />


b: Rab valiance<br />

With 170g of 800-fill power<br />

RDS-certified hydrophobic<br />

European goose down, nylon<br />

inner, Pertex Shield taped<br />

waterproof outer, bonded<br />

narrow box-wall construction,<br />

synthetic insulation filled hood<br />

and cuffs, helmet-compatible,<br />

wired peak, YPP zips, hand<br />

warmer pockets, internal<br />

security pocket, drawcord hem,<br />

stuff sack. 750g (m), 615g (w).<br />

RRP $699.95<br />


c: Rab Microlight Alpine<br />

Filled with 143g of 750-fill<br />

power hydrophobic down,<br />

RDS-certified, water-resistant<br />

Pertex Quantum Infinity<br />

Weave fabric, harnesscompatible<br />

hand pockets,<br />

two-way front zip with<br />

insulated zip baffle, stretch<br />

cuffs fit over gloves, helmetcompatible<br />

hood with an<br />

internal stretch gaiter to seal<br />

out wind. 470g (m), 430g (w).<br />

RRP $399.95<br />


d: marmot featherless<br />

hybrid jacket<br />

The light-weight jacket will<br />

keep you warm and dry in<br />

chilly, damp weather without<br />

weighing down you or your<br />

pack. 3M Thinsulate<br />

Recycled Featherless<br />

Insulation is made with 75%<br />

recycled loose-fill fibres that<br />

feel just as warm as 700 fill<br />

power down, but still perform<br />

in wet conditions.<br />

RRP $349.95<br />


e: marmot featherless<br />

hoody<br />

The lightweight Women's<br />

Featherless Hoody features<br />

3M Thinsulate Recycled<br />

Featherless Insulation that<br />

is made with 75% recycled<br />

loose-fill fibers that feel just<br />

as warm as 700 fill power<br />

down, but still perform in wet<br />

conditions. This space-saving<br />

jacket packs into its own<br />

pocket.<br />

RRP $449.00<br />


Gear guide<br />

g: macpac Ascend Hooded Down Jacket<br />

Made from a stretchy nylon/elastane fabric and filled with 650 loft RDS duck down — ‘RDS’ being the Responsible<br />

Down Standard for the ethical sourcing of down — the Ascend Jacket is warm and flexible. In addition to the<br />

elastane content, the unique fabric weave is designed to create ‘stepped’ baffles, which binds the fabric in a way<br />

that still allows it to stretch with you. To maximise warmth, the elastic bound hood, hem and cuffs help to trap warm<br />

air against your body, while discreet zipped pockets keep hands cosy when the temperature drops.<br />

RRP $379.99<br />


88//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#<strong>220</strong><br />

A: Merrell Men's Glacial<br />

Ascent Hoody<br />

Synthetic warmth when wet<br />

insulation. A featherless<br />

insulated jacket that uses<br />

700 fill power loose synthetic<br />

fibers, created by scientists<br />

to mimic the qualities of down<br />

when dry and is warmer than<br />

down when wet. Designed<br />

with a slightly longer length<br />

for ease of wear in urban or<br />

outdoor environments.<br />

RRP $399.00<br />


b: outdoor research alpine<br />

down hooded jacket<br />

Made with water- and windresistant<br />

Pertex® Quantum<br />

fabrics, the shoulders, sleeves<br />

and hood feature a heavier<br />

weight for durability, while<br />

the lighter weight traps the<br />

insulating warmth of 800-fill<br />

responsibly-sourced down<br />

in a baffled construction that<br />

eliminates cold spots. (Men's<br />

and women's available)<br />

RRP $649.99<br />


C: Rab Kaon<br />

Hybrid jacket with 70g of<br />

800-fill power RDS-certified<br />

hydrophobic European goose<br />

down in hood and body,<br />

Stratos synthetic insulation<br />

in shoulders, cuffs and hips.<br />

Ripstop nylon fabric, stitchthrough<br />

construction, YKK<br />

reverse coil chest pocket, YKK<br />

front zip, half hem drawcord,<br />

stuff sack. 250g (m), 235g (w).<br />

RRP $399.95<br />


d: Merrell women's<br />

Ridgevent Hybrid Hoody<br />

Perfect cold weather insulation<br />

for every body. We engineered<br />

the Ridgevent to alleviate<br />

overheating while hiking in<br />

cooler temperatures. Heatmapped<br />

back baffles provide a<br />

different balance of insulation<br />

and ventilation for either men or<br />

women. Blending 65% goose<br />

down and 35% synthetic fibres<br />

for warmth even when wet.<br />

RRP $449.00<br />


Gear guide<br />

B<br />

C<br />

D<br />

E<br />

A: Patagonia Men's Macro Puff Hoody<br />

We took the technology and successes of our revolutionary Micro Puff Hoody and expanded upon them to create the<br />

Macro Puff® Hoody, an even warmer answer to biting cold. Its ultralight recycled nylon ripstop shell with DWR finish<br />

stands guard against outside elements. The alpine helmet–compatible hood adjusts with a single pull for cocoon-like<br />

warmth without messing with your peripheral vision. Inside, the Hoody features 135-g synthetic, down-like PlumaFill<br />

insulation in the body and 90-g PlumaFill in the sleeves and sides (compared to 65-g overall for the Micro Puff),<br />

wrapping you in deep, water-resistant warmth without weighing you down. PlumaFill replicates the structure of down<br />

for great loft but offers the warm-when-wet benefit of synthetic. We quilt the insulation with a unique, minimal-stitch<br />

construction to stabilize it and maximize loft. The two-way center-front zipper’s storm flap seals out drafts, and a soft<br />

zipper garage at the chin saves your skin. Plenty of pockets sit where you need them, in and out, and the whole toasty<br />

package stuffs down small into a separate stuffsack. Fair Trade Certified sewn. 434g.<br />

RRP $659.99<br />


b: Outdoor Research Refuge<br />

Hooded Jacket<br />

The water-resistant Refuge<br />

Hooded Jacket uses high-loft<br />

VerticalX synthetic insulation<br />

technology for resilient, breathable<br />

performance that will keep you<br />

warm even when wet and so<br />

compressible you can stow the<br />

jacket into its own hand pocket. Its<br />

helmet-compatible hood and an<br />

elastic-drawcord hem allow you to<br />

further seal out the elements.<br />

RRP $419.99<br />


c: macpac NZAT Arrowsmith<br />

HyperDRY Hooded Down<br />

Jacket<br />

A winter down jacket for alpine<br />

conditions, the NZAT Arrowsmith<br />

features an ultralight Pertex®<br />

Quantum shell, DWR (C6) finish,<br />

800 loft HyperDRY RDS waterresistant<br />

goose down, boxed<br />

and sewn-through baffles, large<br />

zipped hand pockets, two internal<br />

mesh pockets, helmet compatible<br />

hood and internal fleece cuff.<br />

RRP $659.99<br />


d: Outdoor Research<br />

MicroGravity AscentShell<br />

Jacket<br />

The MicroGravity AscentShell Jacket<br />

is a lightweight, fully waterproof<br />

jacket built to withstand the changing<br />

conditions in high-alpine terrain<br />

while also breathing when you're<br />

working hard via award-winning<br />

AscentShell technology. Dynamic<br />

Reach underarm panels and the<br />

ability to stow it in its own pocket<br />

when the conditions improve.<br />

RRP $499.99<br />


e: Macpac Nazomi Pertex®<br />

Rain Jacket<br />

A lightweight alpine shell, the<br />

Nazomi is waterproof, windproof<br />

and breathable with a Pertex®<br />

Shield Pro 3-layer construction,<br />

water-resistant YKK®<br />

AquaGuard® zips, high collar<br />

with offset zip, helmet compatible<br />

hood, raised harness compatible<br />

hand pockets, underarm lift<br />

patterning.<br />

RRP $499.99<br />


Gear guide<br />

A<br />

c<br />

d<br />

B<br />

e<br />

f<br />

A: RAB Xenon<br />

Stratos recycled polyester synthetic<br />

insulation, ripstop lining and outer<br />

fabric, under helmet hood with<br />

stretch binding, two-way opening<br />

YKK front zip with insulated internal<br />

zip baffle and chin guard, zippered<br />

handwarmer pockets, internal<br />

zippered pocket, stuffs into pocket,<br />

elasticated cuffs, hem drawcord.<br />

326g (m), 285g (w).<br />

RRP $349.95<br />


b: Merrell women's Whisper Rain<br />

Focus on the trail, not the weather. Be present and in the moment while in the outdoors<br />

with a rain shell so quiet you can hear the enthralling sounds of nature. The wind howling,<br />

the rain pattering, the birds chirping and the leaves rustling. The Whisper Rain is highly<br />

waterproof but feels as comfortable as a softshell.<br />

+ 20K/20K fully seam-sealed waterproof and breathable jacket keeps water and wind out<br />

+ Built with four-way stretch to provide comfort and ultimate ease of movement<br />

+ A swish-free durable three-layer construction gives you long-lasting protection against the<br />

elements<br />

+ PFC free Durable Water Repellency (DWR) finish<br />

RRP $399.00<br />


c: Cactus rain jacket<br />

Built from ultra-tough 3 layer WTF-<br />

3 fabric, this heavy-duty jacket will<br />

protect you from rain, wind, snow,<br />

and whatever else nature throws<br />

at you - and is guaranteed to last<br />

the distance in tough New Zealand<br />

conditions.<br />

RRP $599.00<br />


d: Hydrophobia<br />

Widely referred to as New<br />

Zealand’s No 1 tramping jacket.<br />

Tested thoroughly through<br />

hard wearing and drenching<br />

conditions with length that<br />

makes it ideal for tramping in<br />

the wet or everyday wet and<br />

wind weather protection.<br />

RRP $549.00<br />


e: Patagonia Men's<br />

Torrentshell 3L Jacket<br />

Using H2No® Performance<br />

Standard technology the<br />

Torrentshell provides comfort<br />

and protection in soaking<br />

storms and steady drizzles.<br />

The 3-layer jacket features<br />

100% recycled nylon face<br />

fabric, DWR finish, and tricot<br />

backer. Fair Trade Certified<br />

sewn.<br />

RRP $249.99<br />


f: Nano Primaloft Jacket<br />

A Primaloft jacket with a<br />

seam sealed waterproof shell,<br />

the Nano is suitable for the<br />

most testing conditions. The<br />

combination of a lightweight<br />

waterproof and breathable<br />

Entrant shell and 135gm/m2<br />

Primaloft Gold means warmth<br />

you can depend on.<br />

RRP $799.00<br />


<strong>Issue</strong> #196//new zealand’s premIer adventure magazIne sInce 1981<br />

new zealand<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> 196<br />

JUN/JUL 16<br />

NZ $9.20 incl. GST<br />

AUST $6.90 incl. GST<br />

USA $9.99<br />

CANADA $9.99<br />

hiking winter<br />

wanaka<br />

ice climbing<br />

first rule<br />

mt aspiring<br />

don’t look down<br />

iceland<br />

colder than you think<br />

gear guide<br />

more than just a puffer<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> #196//new zealand’s premIer adventure magazIne sInce 1981<br />

new zealand<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> 196<br />

JUN/JUL 16<br />

NZ $9.20 incl. GST<br />

AUST $6.90 incl. GST<br />

USA $9.99<br />

CANADA $9.99<br />

hiking winter<br />

wanaka<br />

ice climbing<br />

first rule<br />

mt aspiring<br />

don’t look down<br />

iceland<br />

colder than you think<br />

gear guide<br />

more than just a puffer<br />

education<br />

in the outdoors*<br />

Back Country Cuisine<br />

CHICKEN CARBONARA: A freeze dried<br />

chicken and pasta dish, served in a<br />

creamy italian style sauce.<br />


Mushrooms with tomato in a savory sauce,<br />

served with noodles. Vegan.<br />

Available in one serve 90g or two serve<br />

175g sizes.<br />

RRP $8.99 and $13.49<br />


take on chocolate self-saucing pudding,<br />

with chocolate brownie, boysenberries and<br />

chocolate sauce. Gluten Free.<br />

RRP 150g $12.49<br />





Back Country Cuisine<br />

ICED MOCHA: Our mocha is made<br />

with chocolate and coffee combined<br />

with soft serve to give you a tasty<br />

drink on the run. Gluten Free. 85g.<br />

RRP $3.99<br />



HIKING<br />


FOR 21 YEARS<br />

Wherever your next<br />

adventure is about to<br />

lead you, we’ve got<br />

the goods to keep you<br />

going.<br />

Est. 1998 Back Country<br />

Cuisine specialises in<br />

a range of freeze-dried<br />

products, from tasty<br />

meals to snacks and<br />

everything in between, to<br />

keep your energy levels up<br />

and your adventures wild.<br />

backcountrycuisine.co.nz<br />

<br />

<br />

Sunsaver Super-Flex 14-Watt Solar<br />

Charger<br />

Putting out over 2.5-Amps of output on a<br />

sunny day you’ll charge your phone and<br />

devices in no time at all, straight from the<br />

sun.<br />

RRP: $199.00<br />


Kiwi camping 1.2L Collapsible<br />

Turbo Pot<br />

Flexible, lightweight and durable.<br />

Collapses for easy storage. Durable<br />

translucent lid. Hard-anodised<br />

aluminium base heats evenly and<br />

efficiently. Heat resistant silicone is<br />

PBA-free and easy to clean.<br />

RRP: $69.99<br />


Sunsaver Classic 16,000mAh Solar<br />

Power Bank<br />

Built tough for the outdoors and with a<br />

massive battery capacity you can keep all<br />

your devices charged no matter where your<br />

adventure takes you.<br />

RRP: $119.00<br />


Outdoor Research Refuge Air Hooded Jacket<br />

The Refuge Air Hooded Jacket is a water- and wind-resistant jacket<br />

that helps you retain heat while working and sweating hard using the<br />

adaptable VerticalX Air insulation that keeps you warm when you<br />

need it and rapidly moves moisture the moment you start to perspire.<br />

This jacket utilises ActiveTemp, a thermo-regulating technology that<br />

keeps you cool, dry and comfortable on your highly-active adventures.<br />

RRP: $399.99<br />




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Like a ‘perfect storm’, we have seen a dramatic growth and<br />

development in online stores over the past 5 years. Now as we are<br />

made to keep our ‘distance’, online, ecommerce takes on a whole<br />

new meaning and value. We are dedicating these pages to our client’s<br />

online stores; some you will be able to buy from, some you will be able<br />

drool over. Buy, compare, research and prepare, these online stores are<br />

a great way to feed your adventure addiction while you are still at home.<br />

Ultra lightweight running shoes, made by runners. No<br />

matter where the trail takes you, Hoka One One will<br />

have you covered.<br />

www.hokaoneone.co.nz<br />

Earth Sea Sky has more than 25 years experience<br />

in New Zealand’s outdoor clothing industry. Their<br />

experience in design, production and sales fills a<br />

growing need in the market for outdoor clothing that<br />

combined comfort, style and performance.<br />

www.earthseasky.co.nz<br />

Never have a dead phone<br />

again! Because now you can<br />

charge straight from the Sun<br />

with SunSaver. Perfect for<br />

that week-long hike, day at<br />

the beach, or back-up for any<br />

emergency. Check us out at:<br />

www.sunsaver.co.nz<br />

A leading importer and<br />

distributor of snow and<br />

outdoor products in New<br />

Zealand. Stock includes<br />

Salewa, Lange, Dynastar,<br />

Spyder and more.<br />

www.bobo.co.nz<br />

Bivouac Outdoor stock the latest in quality outdoor<br />

clothing, footwear and equipment from the best<br />

brands across New Zealand & the globe.<br />

www.bivouac.co.nz<br />

Shop for the widest range of Merrell footwear, apparel<br />

& accessories across hiking, trail running, sandals &<br />

casual styles. Free shipping for a limited time.<br />

www.merrell.co.nz<br />

The ultimate sandals<br />

with core concepts like<br />

durability, pull through<br />

strap design and the ability<br />

to re-sole.<br />

www.chacos.co.nz<br />

Full-service outfitter selling hiking<br />

and mountaineering gear and<br />

apparel, plus equipment rentals.<br />

Specialising in ski & snowboard<br />

touring equipment new & used;<br />

skis, boards, bindings, skins,<br />

probs, shovels,transceivers &<br />

avalanche packs.<br />

www.smallplanetsports.com<br />

Whether you’re climbing mountains, hiking in the hills<br />

or travelling the globe, Macpac gear is made to last<br />

and engineered to perform — proudly designed and<br />

tested in New Zealand since 1973.<br />

www.macpac.co.nz<br />

The ultimate in quality outdoor clothing<br />

and equipment for travel, hiking, camping,<br />

snowsports, and more. Guaranteed for life.<br />

www.marmotnz.co.nz<br />

Developing the pinnacle<br />

of innovative outerwear for<br />

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never stop exploring.<br />

www.thenorthface.co.nz<br />

Gear up in a wide selection of durable, multifunctional<br />

outdoor clothing & gear. Free Returns. Free Shipping.<br />

www.patagonia.co.nz<br />

Offering the widest variety,<br />

best tasting, and most<br />

nutrient rich hydration,<br />

energy, and recovery<br />

products on the market.<br />

www.guenergy.co.nz<br />

Fast nourishing freeze dried food for adventurers.<br />

www.backcountrycuisine.co.nz<br />

Stocking an extensive range<br />

of global outdoor adventure<br />

brands for your next big<br />

adventure. See them for travel,<br />

tramping, trekking, alpine and<br />

lifestyle clothing and gear.<br />

www.outfittersstore.nz<br />

Specialists in the sale of Outdoor Camping Equipment, RV,<br />

Tramping & Travel Gear. Camping Tents, <strong>Adventure</strong> Tents,<br />

Packs, Sleeping Bags and more.<br />

www.equipoutdoors.co.nz<br />

Jetboil builds super-dependable<br />

backpacking stoves and camping<br />

systems that pack light,<br />

set up quick, and achieve<br />

rapid boils in minutes.<br />

www.jetboilnz.co.nz<br />

Supplying tents and<br />

camping gear to Kiwis<br />

for over 30 years, Kiwi<br />

Camping are proud to<br />

be recognised as one of<br />

the most trusted outdoor<br />

brands in New Zealand.<br />

www.kiwicamping.co.nz<br />


Outdoor equipment store specialising in ski retail, ski<br />

rental, ski touring and climbing.<br />

www.mtoutdoors.co.nz<br />

Making great gear for the outdoors,<br />

right here in New Zealand: high<br />

quality items that have been<br />

crafted with care to include all the<br />

features that are important, nothing<br />

superfluous and, above all, that<br />

are more durable than anything out<br />

there in the marketplace.<br />

www.cactusoutdoors.co.nz<br />

Scarpa designs and manufactures top<br />

quality ski boots, mountaineering, hunting,<br />

rock climbing, hiking, alpine running, and<br />

mountain footwear.<br />

www.scarpanz.co.nz<br />

Excellent quality Outdoor<br />

Gear at prices that can't<br />

be beaten. End of lines.<br />

Ex Demos. Samples. Last<br />

season. Bearpaw. Garneau.<br />

Ahnu. Superfeet.<br />

www.adventureoutlet.co.nz<br />


NEW<br />


Not just a summer destination<br />

With its white sand beaches and sparkling blue<br />

lagoon, it is easy to think of New Caledonia as a<br />

summer destination. But, thanks to its semi-tropical<br />

climate, it is perfect to visit year-round and a closeto-home<br />

spot to escape the winter chill. Located just<br />

less than three hours from Auckland, in the South<br />

Pacific, New Caledonia’s average winter temperatures<br />

sit between 20-23°C. The cooler temperatures in the<br />

winter months are in fact ideal for experiencing the<br />

litany of adventurous experiences on offer in New<br />

Caledonia. Here are four ideas for people looking to<br />

escape the winter chill and discover New Caledonia:<br />

Notchup P2018144 - Crédit photo : Getty Images, © Pauline Massé / NCTPS, World<strong>Adventure</strong>Divers.com / NCTPS<br />

#NewCalPulse<br />


Above: Blue River Park - © Terres de Lumière / NCTPS<br />

Biking<br />

You might also be surprised to learn that New Caledonia offers a range of biking<br />

trails, and the sport is booming amongst locals. There are many options to get out<br />

on two wheels, both just outside Noumea and further afield. Outside Noumea, Les<br />

Boucles de Tina features 20 trails, some of which have been outfitted with wooden<br />

obstacles, as well as a bike park and a pumptrack to challenge even the most<br />

seasoned bikers.<br />

Another option is Blue River Provincial Park. Not only does it offer trails for all<br />

levels, its bright red soil is a striking change from the lagoons and beaches New<br />

Caledonia is known for.<br />

On the West Coast, experienced bikers will love the challenge of the Grande Boucle<br />

trail, which sits within the Tango Plateau in Koné. The trail is nearly 40 kilometres<br />

long, about 510 metres in altitude and climbs more than 1,600 metres!<br />

For a more family-friendly option, Deva Domain, which is just outside of Bourail,<br />

offers a range of scenic biking trails.<br />


Above: Exclusiv Golf Deva - © M. Dosdane / NCTPS<br />

Hiking<br />

As learnt in the last issue, New Caledonia is a<br />

surprising hiking hotspot, with many options for all<br />

timeframes and experiences. For those that love<br />

hiking, but only have time for a daytrip, head to<br />

Fayard Park in Dumbea. A 30-minute drive from<br />

Noumea, it is home to the ‘Trail Of The Old Dam’,<br />

which follows the Dumbea River and offers views of<br />

natural rock cavities along the way. Labelled an easy<br />

hike, it is a round trip and takes just over four hours to<br />

complete.<br />

If staying in Bourail, on the West Coast, the Three-<br />

Bay Trail is a must-hike. It follows the coastline from<br />

La Roche Percée (a landmark of the region), to Turtle<br />

Bay and onto Lovers’ Bay, and has striking views<br />

of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed lagoon and a<br />

range of unique flora. The Three-Bay Trail is an easy<br />

round-trip hike, taking approximately one and a half<br />

hours to complete.<br />

For travellers staying a week or longer, it would be<br />

remiss not to experience one of New Caledonia’s<br />

long-distance trails. The GR1 Nord trail passes from<br />

Ponérihouen to Touho, and takes approximately four<br />

days to complete, while the GR1 Sud trail winds from<br />

Prony to Dumbea and takes about seven days to<br />

complete. Both trails are recommended for seasoned<br />

hikers.<br />

Golfing<br />

For those who love to get out on the green, New Caledonia is home<br />

to four golf courses and a driving range. Nearby to Noumea, Garden<br />

Golf de Dumbea features one of the longest and most complicated<br />

par-5 holes in the Pacific, alongside striking mountain views. Also<br />

nearby to Noumea, Golf de Tina overlooks the world’s largest lagoon<br />

and uses natural geography – it is quite a hilly course – to challenge<br />

players. And the Pacific Golf driving range allows players to practice<br />

their swing in the heart of the city.<br />

North of Noumea, on the West Coast, there’s Golf de la Ouenghi at<br />

Boulouparis. Set between New Caledonia’s central mountain chain<br />

and the Ouenghi River, it sits at the gateway to New Caledonia’s<br />

outback.<br />

Further North, there’s Exclusiv Golf Deva, part of the luxurious<br />

Sheraton Deva New Caledonia Spa & Golf Resort. Designed by<br />

Cynthia Dye, it is the only Dye Designs course in the Pacific. It<br />

features a driving range plus a 6,677 metre-long, 72 par course, and<br />

has an onsite shop, equipment for hire and sessions available with<br />

golf-pros.<br />

Diving<br />

Another activity perfect for the cooler months is diving. New<br />

Caledonia’s clear waters are home to spectacular coral reefs and<br />

a myriad of marine life with options for beginners, as well as more<br />

experienced divers.<br />

One of New Caledonia’s most picturesque dive spots is the<br />

Isle of Pines. Located just an hours’ flight from Noumea, it has<br />

an incredible diversity of marine life, including sea snakes and<br />

loggerhead turtles. There are numerous dive locations in the Isle<br />

of Pines, and divers of all experience levels will enjoy changing<br />

underwater scenery including corridors, passages and seagrottos.<br />

For more advanced divers, one stand-out grotto to explore<br />

is the ‘Grotte de la Troisième’, which is accessible via a narrow<br />

underwater corridor and features dramatic rock formations.<br />

For anyone concerned about travelling with diving gear, there are<br />

several professional diving centres across New Caledonia that<br />

offer access to quality equipment and run great guided dives.<br />

For more information on hiking, golfing, biking and diving in<br />

New Caledonia, as well as equipment hire and more, visit<br />

newcaledonia.travel.<br />

Above: Dumbea - © Terres de lumière / NCTPS<br />

Right: Scuba Diving - © Darren Jew / NCTPS


Dive into a different world<br />

Reef crayfish on a night dive at Hideaway Island<br />

Home to stunning, healthy reefs, fascinating<br />

wrecks and a wealth of ecologically diverse<br />

marine life, Vanuatu’s teeming waters are the<br />

perfect destination for scuba diving.<br />

vanuatu.travel<br />

While snorkelling can offer a glimpse into the<br />

world below Vanuatu’s gentle waves, scuba diving<br />

immerses you in it. Outstanding locations for<br />

diving can be found off Santo, Efate and Tanna,<br />

with tours suitable for every level from novice<br />

through to expert. From colourful reefs alive with<br />

darting fish and gentle sea turtles to underwater<br />

caves and forgotten shipwrecks, these places are<br />

just begging to be explored. Discover life under<br />

the sea with Vanuatu’s collection of exceptional<br />

dive sites, renowned the world over amongst<br />

those in the know.<br />

Diving the President Coolidge, Santo<br />


Tranquility Island Reef Dive<br />

Banner fish and butterfly fish at Twin Bommies, Efate<br />

Diving Efate Hideaway Island Bonzer Wreck<br />

SS President Coolidge, Santo<br />

Big Blue Cathedral Cavern, Efate<br />

Million Dollar Point, Santo<br />

Located off the southern end of Santo,<br />

just 6 kilometres from Luganville, is<br />

Million Dollar Point. After World War II,<br />

this was a dumping site for thousands<br />

of tonnes of US Navy equipment, said<br />

to collectively be worth a million dollars.<br />

Trucks, forklifts and bulldozers are all<br />

slowly being covered by the corals. Pacific<br />

Dive can provide you with equipment hire<br />

and all the information you need to dive<br />

both Million Dollar Point and the nearby<br />

shipwreck of SS President Coolidge.<br />

SS President Coolidge, Santo<br />

The wreck of the SS President Coolidge is<br />

one of the world’s most talked-about dive<br />

sites. The Coolidge is a former US Naval<br />

vessel sunk by mines in 1942. With the<br />

hull almost completely intact, divers often<br />

spend multiple days at this site traversing<br />

the plethora of corridors, decks, guns and<br />

discarded relics that litter this 200-metre<br />

long troop carrier. Don’t miss 'The Lady'<br />

(a beautiful statue of a woman riding a<br />

unicorn) which can be found in the main<br />

dining room, the highlight of the dive for<br />

many visitors.<br />

Cindy’s Reef, Santo<br />

A dive not to be missed, there is a huge<br />

variety of corals to be found here, from<br />

staghorn corals to large plate corals and<br />

even ‘potato head’ coral, which has only<br />

been identified in Vanuatu. A relatively<br />

simple dive that’s great for beginners,<br />

Cindy’s Reef is also home to an<br />

abundance of marine life, with a myriad of<br />

tropical fish as well as turtles and sharks.<br />

Tutuba Point, Santo<br />

This reef is found off the northern end of<br />

Tutuba Island, just a short boat ride from<br />

Santo. Depth starts around 6 metres and<br />

descends the wall to a maximum of 30<br />

metres, with visibility at this site often<br />

outstanding. As well as spotting an array<br />

of crayfish, divers at Tutuba Point also<br />

have the opportunity to explore plenty of<br />

underwater caves and chasms. Both Aore<br />

<strong>Adventure</strong> Sports and Santo Island Dive<br />

and Fishing provide regular dive trips to<br />

the sites off Tutuba Island, including both<br />

Tutuba Point and Cindy’s Reef.<br />

Blue Hole One + Blue Hole Two, Tanna<br />

The volcanic island of Tanna offers a<br />

dramatic underwater landscape with blue<br />

water caves, swim-throughs and reef<br />

walls. Opened in 2015, Volcano Island<br />

Divers provides access to the dive sites<br />

located off the island. Blue Hole One<br />

consists of four connected sinkholes.<br />

Access between them and (and to the<br />

outer reef) is via swim-throughs and<br />

tunnels, providing an exhilarating dive.<br />

If you’ve got time, Blue Hole Two is also<br />

worth a visit. At low tide, this dive site<br />

is accessible from shore with another<br />

array of interconnected tunnels as well as<br />

intricate caverns and grottos to explore.<br />

Throughout your dives in Tanna, keep<br />

your eyes peeled for turtles, moray eels,<br />

reef sharks, blue-spotted ray and even the<br />

elusive dugong.<br />

Tasman, Efate<br />

Shipwrecks are one thing, but how about<br />

the opportunity to dive a plane wreck?<br />

The Tasman offers just that. This is a deep<br />

dive, down to 40 metres, and visibility is<br />

often not the greatest, so the Tasman is<br />

best tackled by experienced divers. For<br />

those willing to take it on, the wreckage<br />

of the ill-fated Qantas S26 Sandringham<br />

Flying Boat (which hit the reef on takeoff<br />

in 1951) is mostly intact, and divers can<br />

climb through the cockpit, making this dive<br />

one for the bucket list.<br />

Hideaway Island, Efate<br />

Hideaway Island is a marine sanctuary in<br />

Mele Bay, just 30 minutes from Port Vila.<br />

With a certified PADI dive resort situated<br />

on the island, this is definitely a beginnerfriendly<br />

dive, with training courses also<br />

available through Hideaway Island Dive.<br />

Calm waters provide crystal clear visibility<br />

and a great variety of brightly coloured<br />

corals are on show here surrounded by<br />

prolific marine life.<br />

Ollies Lolly, Efate<br />

Not far from Hideaway Island and just<br />

beyond Blacksands Reef is Ollies Lolly.<br />

This large reef is only nine metres down<br />

and houses an abundance of soft corals<br />

as well as huge red anemone with playful<br />

clownfish darting in and out of them.<br />

This dive boasts excellent clarity, and its<br />

shallow depth and vivid colours make<br />

Ollies Lolly a paradise for photographers.<br />

Twin Bommies, Efate<br />

This popular dive site about 15 minutes<br />

from downtown Port Vila consists of two<br />

large coral ‘bombora’ as well as a steep<br />

wall peppered with brightly coloured<br />

coral formations. There’s a huge variety<br />

of fish here to keep you company as<br />

you explore, including butterflyfish,<br />

lionfish, leaf scorpionfish and colourful<br />

nudibranchs. Dive trips to both Twin<br />

Bombies and the Tasman seaplane wreck,<br />

as well as many of the other dive sites off<br />

Efate, can be arranged through Big Blue.<br />

MV Semle Federsen, Efate<br />

This cargo trading vessel was sunk off the<br />

Pango Coast and now forms an artificial<br />

reef located not far from Port Vila. This is<br />

another deep dive at between 40 and 60<br />

metres but offers spectacular visibility the<br />

whole way. If getting a spectacular view<br />

of the whole ship as you descend isn’t<br />

exciting enough, making your way through<br />

the cabins and stern of the wreck certainly<br />

will be.<br />

The Cathedral, Efate<br />

Located just off the Pango Peninsula, to<br />

the south of Port Vila, The Cathedral reef<br />

is a must for avid divers while in Vanuatu.<br />

This dive site offers a vast cavern filled<br />

with shafts of light, from which it gets<br />

its name, and the effects created are<br />

truly fascinating. As well as marvelling<br />

at the optical effects, divers also get the<br />

opportunity to explore a ‘chimney’, which<br />

extends up to a large pool on the surface<br />

inside the reef.<br />

Mele Reef, Efate<br />

Off the coast of Mele Bay sits a sizeable<br />

reef that offers divers a vast range of<br />

corals and marine life to explore. The<br />

main reef rises to around 6 metres below<br />

the surface and a dive here is ideal for<br />

beginners. The bay that surrounds Mele<br />

Reef is also home to two major wrecks,<br />

both worth exploring while in Vanuatu,<br />

the MV Konanda and the Star of Russia,<br />

with Nautilus Watersports coordinating<br />

dive trips to both. The MV Konanda was<br />

purposely sunk, creating a safe diving<br />

experience that’s ideal for those new to<br />

wreck diving. Exploring the cabins and<br />

holes and bridge areas makes for a fun<br />

dive. For the more experienced wreck<br />

divers, the 90-metre long sailing ship Star<br />

of Russia sits 30-metres down in Mele<br />

Bay. This grand vessel was crafted by the<br />

same builders as the Titanic and it is now<br />

home to schools of tropical fish.<br />


A C T I V E<br />

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Photo by Neil Kerr.<br />

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