ADV 224

February issue of Adventure Magazine... Hiking and biking in Queenstown, Milford Sound, Southern Alps, West Coast, Rotorua and more....

February issue of Adventure Magazine... Hiking and biking in Queenstown, Milford Sound, Southern Alps, West Coast, Rotorua and more....


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

<strong>ADV</strong>ENTURE<br />






ISSUE <strong>224</strong><br />

FEB/MAR 2021<br />

NZ $10.90 incl. GST<br />


the times they are a changin'<br />

#<strong>224</strong><br />

JOBS<br />

www.adventurejobs.co.nz<br />

www.adventuretraveller.co.nz<br />

"The line it is drawn<br />

The curse it is cast<br />

The slow one now<br />

Will later be fast<br />

As the present now<br />

Will later be past<br />

The order is<br />

Rapidly fadin'."<br />


TAIAO<br />

www.adventuremagazine.co.nz<br />

Digital, Hardcopy, Web, Social<br />



Bob Dylan wrote this song in 1964, a year<br />

of seeming new beginnings, and hope. The<br />

world was intrigued by space travel, which<br />

was growing fast; civil rights in America<br />

were under scrutiny as race riots gripped<br />

big cities across the US; the Civil Rights<br />

Act of 1964 was signed into law; Boxer,<br />

Cassius Clay, became Muhammad Ali and<br />

the heavyweight champion of the world;<br />

then President Lyndon Johnson cast a dark<br />

shadow over the year by escalating the U.S.<br />

involvement in the Vietnam War. There was<br />

a lot going on.<br />

2020 was our 1964, a year of change, not<br />

a lot of it good. Climate change became a<br />

focus with the Australian bush fires ravaging<br />

the country and burning a record 47 million<br />

acres; the death of George Floyd in the US<br />

sparked a wave of peaceful and sometimes<br />

violent demonstrations and riots across the<br />

world to demand an end to police brutality<br />

and racial injustice with Black Lives Matter,<br />

and Donald Trump was impeached for<br />

the first time and his absurdity continued<br />

throughout the year.<br />

But the cherry on the cake was COVID-19.<br />

On January the 9th the World Health<br />

Organization announced that a deadly<br />

coronavirus had emerged in Wuhan,<br />

China. In a matter of months, the virus had<br />

travelled the world to more than 100 million<br />

people, resulting in at least 2.12 million<br />

deaths (as of 25/1/21). It was a year of<br />

struggle, job losses, stress, sickness, lock<br />

downs, travel bans and isolation. You heard<br />

it a lot, people were hanging out for a new<br />

beginning, ‘roll in 2021’.<br />

I for one would say, "do not pin you hopes<br />

on a year, it’s just a date”, but 2021 did<br />

arrive. Donald Trump was voted out of office<br />

and the world let out a collective sigh of<br />

relief. Vaccines are arriving and, in many<br />

countries, already available. There are now<br />

the beginnings of travel bubbles with the<br />

first flights from the Cook Islands arriving<br />

last week. There is a sense of normality in<br />

the wind, a light at the end of the tunnel.<br />

I am sure our challenges are not over, and<br />

we need to be as vigilant as ever, but the<br />

times they are a’ changing’ for the better.<br />

Welcome to 2021, we are looking forward to<br />

sharing it with you.<br />

Steve Dickinson - Editor<br />

EDITOR & <strong>ADV</strong>ERTISING MANAGER<br />

Steve Dickinson<br />

Mob: 027 577 5014<br />

steve@pacificmedia.co.nz<br />


Lynne Dickinson<br />

design@pacificmedia.co.nz<br />


subs@pacificmedia.co.nz<br />


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


www.adventuremagazine.co.nz<br />

www.adventuretraveller.co.nz<br />

www.adventurejobs.co.nz<br />

www.skiandsnow.co.nz<br />

@adventurevanlifenz<br />


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

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

Whangaparaoa, New Zealand<br />

Ph: 0275775014<br />

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

adventuremagazine.co.nz<br />

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Adventure starts with Rad<br />


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and dry quickly, protect your feet from debris and grip on slick terrain.<br />

23 Locations Nationwide - www.radcarhire.co.nz | 0800 73 68 23 <strong>ADV</strong>ENTUREMAGAZINE.CO.NZ | adventure@radcarhire.co.nz 01

page08<br />

Image compliments of Expedition Earth Image by Lynne Dickinson Image by Steve Dickinson<br />

Image by Mike Dawson<br />

page 14<br />

page 36<br />

page 84<br />

02//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#<strong>224</strong><br />

#<strong>224</strong><br />

contents<br />

08//Hiking<br />

The 3 Passes Route, Southern Alps<br />

14//Flight Tales<br />

Queenstown to Milford Sound<br />

18//West Coast Wilderness Trail<br />

Eric Skilling shares the experience<br />

28//The Milford Track<br />

Tired legs, looming deadlines and a Christmas adventure<br />

on the world's finest trail<br />

36//Home Grown<br />

Rotorua, feel the spirit<br />

46//Olivine Ice Plateau<br />

Extreme camping trip<br />

54//Bike Tales<br />

The Queenstown Bike Trail<br />

60//Mt Aspiring<br />

Climbing in a shrinking weather window<br />

66//Adventure travel<br />

Vanuatu<br />

84//The giant sand dunes of Te Paki<br />

with Bridget Thackwray and Topher Richwhite<br />

92//Vanlife<br />

The pot of gold<br />

plus<br />

70. gear guides<br />

83. subs<br />

96. active adventure<br />


www.facebook.com/adventuremagnz<br />

adventuremagazine<br />

www.adventuremagazine.co.nz<br />

Nzadventuremag<br />


#<strong>ADV</strong>ENTUREMAGAZINE<br />

Join us in this flavour fuelled adventure!<br />

www.dcbrewing.co.nz<br />



In 2017, a age 22, Australian Remy Morton's<br />

incredible MTB career almost came to an abrupt<br />

end. Whilst riding in Belgium he miscalculated<br />

a 24m jump and landed on his chest. He<br />

woke up a month later with a broken neck, a<br />

complete set of broken ribs, sternum, shoulder,<br />

collarbone, hip, all broken or dislocated. The<br />

official count of his injuries tallied at 20 broken<br />

bones, two collapsed lungs and a pair of<br />

ruptured kidneys. The doctors said his injuries<br />

were consistent with someone who had fallen<br />

off a three-storey building. Like everything<br />

Remy does it was caught on film https://www.<br />

youtube.com/watch?v=cR2BCOBrTrc<br />


Remy's accident happened in July 2017 and<br />

by December of that year he was back racing<br />

again. That sentence needs repeating: six<br />

months after a horror crash that almost killed<br />

him, one that the doctors thought would leave<br />

him unable to walk for the rest of his life, Remy<br />

Morton was racing bikes again. In 2019 he went<br />

back to Belgium and completed the same jump<br />

safely. See the full story in our survival issue<br />

due out April 2021!<br />

Remy Morton makes the cover of our hike & bike issue as he performs during filming of Red<br />

Bull Sound of Speed in Queenstown<br />

Photographer Credit: Graeme Murray/Red Bull Content Pool<br />


2021 has started on a high for Kiwi adventure entrepreneur<br />

Robert Bruce, who proposed to his partner of two years Josefine<br />

Pettersson at the end of a 280km hike, earlier this month.<br />

Robert is the founder of Got To Get Out, an award winning social<br />

enterprise outdoors group that gets Kiwis active via organised<br />

adventures, to improve the mental and physical health of Kiwis.<br />

From the 1st to 10th January<br />

2021 Bruce and Pettersson<br />

were on a multi-day hike from<br />

Cape Reinga to Waitangi<br />

following the Te Araroa Trail,<br />

when he surprised her - and<br />

the other hikers - by dropping<br />

to one knee on the final day.<br />

Bruce, who is thrilled she<br />

accepted his proposal, says<br />

"she can hike, mountain bike,<br />

drive a bus, and most of all is<br />

happy to spend ten days in a<br />

tent with me. She's a keeper!"<br />

The group of Got To Get Out<br />

hikers were initially shocked,<br />

and then cheered and hugged<br />

the newly engaged couple<br />

after witnessing such a special<br />

moment.<br />

Pettersson is a Swedish<br />

national who's been in New<br />

Zealand for two years. In<br />

this time she has worked<br />

for Mt Ruapehu and most<br />

recently been an integral part<br />

of Got To Get Out, arranging<br />

adventure logistics, operations<br />

and assisting the planning of<br />

their many trips. Bruce and<br />

Pettersson share a love of<br />

Nepal, where they have both<br />

trekked extensively, including<br />

together to Mt Everest Base<br />

Camp and Island Peak in 2019.<br />

The wedding itself will take<br />

place when borders allow<br />

Swedish families to visit New<br />

Zealand.<br />

Bruce and Petterson are in the<br />

early stages of planning an<br />

"outdoor chic" relaxed wedding,<br />

which they hope to host in<br />

nature with many of their<br />

hiking friends, and animals in<br />

attendance.<br />

Congratulations from us all<br />

here at Adventure Magazine!<br />


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06//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#<strong>224</strong><br />

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hikING<br />

TALES<br />

3 passes route: Southern alps<br />

By Mike Dawson<br />

In the heart of the Southern Alps of New<br />

Zealand lies one of the absolute transalpine<br />

classic trekking routes; the 3 Passes. It<br />

is revered by many as one of the great<br />

backcountry hikes the country has on offer. Its<br />

remoteness and reliance on perfect conditions<br />

means many a trip is sent back due to high<br />

water and wild weather. This January we set<br />

out to experience one of the classics.<br />

It was nothing out of the ordinary for this part of<br />

the country, but the visibility was minimal as we<br />

pulled off SH73. The windscreen wipers were<br />

raging against the barrelling rain as we stared<br />

out of the windscreen up the somewhat wet<br />

and stormy looking valley of the Waimakariri<br />

River. Barely able to make out our route in<br />

the distance, and reliant on the somewhat<br />

promising weather report, we decided to head<br />

up with the idea of turning back if it didn’t<br />

improve. We loaded our full packs on our backs<br />

and set off embarking on a classic NZ Alpine<br />

route, the 3 Passes.<br />

Our route would see us traversing Harman,<br />

Whitehorn, and Browning passes. This route is<br />

a challenging hike, encompassing 3 mountain<br />

passes, endless river crossing and some wild<br />

backcountry terrain. The trip begins with wet<br />

socks immediately, the first river crossing of the<br />

Waimakariri River right out of the carpark, sets<br />

the scene instantly. As you work your way the<br />

4-5 hours up to Carrington Hut the magnificence<br />

of Carrington Peak start to emerge through the<br />

foggy skyline. From here the true nature of this<br />

‘walk’ begins to emerge. The track heading up<br />

the White River is the first test. If your party in<br />

unable to get across the river here, it’s likely that<br />

the future river crossings will be impassable.<br />

Wise advice.<br />

A helping hand is always welcome on one of the<br />

countless river crossings especially navigating<br />

08//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER the Cronin THAN Stream. WORDS/#<strong>224</strong>

Above: Martina Wegman emerges from the clouds crossing over the Whitehorn Pass. / Right: Crossing over Browning Pass is the crux of<br />

the crossing. A high alpine route immersed in the mountains.<br />

Once you’re over the White River, the ascent begins<br />

instantly climbing up the Taipoiti River towards Harman<br />

Pass. It’s starting to get pretty wild and remote. Countless<br />

river crossings and scrambling over an endless stream<br />

of large boulders up through a tight gorge. Eventually the<br />

gorge opens up into the magnificent basin, surrounded with<br />

waterfalls and the most spectacular scenery right below<br />

Harman Pass. A moment to take it in before a short tussock<br />

bash takes you up and over the pass.<br />

With Harman Pass engulfed in cloud, the team wolfed<br />

down a quick feed just in time to see the cloud part and<br />

expose where we were. An incredible view down Mary<br />

Creek towards the Taipo – not our route – instead we<br />

headed South-West gaining more elevation upward towards<br />

Whitehorn Pass, the alpine crux of the route. Eventually the<br />

path becomes snow as we reached the edge of the snow<br />

field of Whitehorn Pass. Here it’s important to take care<br />

of the steep icy slope ensuring the team watched out for<br />

crevasses.<br />

As the cloud crept back in blanketing the pass in a thick mist<br />

we worked quickly through the exposed area, scrambling<br />

up the loose rocks to the Whitehorn Pass. With no chance<br />

of a view we dropped into the Cronin Stream and began<br />

the descent down out of the alpine area. As we dropped the<br />

temperature warmed and the skies cleared exposing the<br />

magical spot we were exploring. Huge peaks towered above<br />

us, waterfalls cascading off giant bluffs. It was spectacular.<br />

A few hours of sliding down alpine scree, wandering through<br />

scrub and tussock saw us arrive at the Park Morpeth Hut,<br />

an epic little hut on the edge of the Cronin Stream and<br />

Wilberforce Rivers. The Hut Book here goes back to 1999,<br />

full of history and legendary back-country names.<br />

10//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#<strong>224</strong><br />

What a spot - The Harman Hut at the confluence of the Harman River<br />

and the Arahura River.<br />

Rewarded with some incredible views from the top of Browning Pass,<br />

looking back towards the East Coast.

Feeling more relaxed after descending out of the<br />

cloud and into the Cronin Valley heading downstream<br />

to the Park Morpeth Hut.<br />

"This was the crux of<br />

technical hiking of the<br />

route. A steep zig zagging<br />

trail up through a rocky<br />

and loose terrain"<br />

We woke on day 3, downed a Radix breakfast and headed out of<br />

the hut to be greeted by clear blue skies. The weather gods had<br />

played ball and we were treated to some beautiful weather. From<br />

Park Morpeth Hut we headed West up the Wilberforce towards<br />

Browning Pass. This was the crux of technical hiking of the route.<br />

A steep zig zagging trail up through a rocky and loose terrain. An<br />

hour of slogging up the hill and the entire crew was sitting on the<br />

edge of the world looking back on the East Coast and ready to<br />

drop off the Western Side of the Alps.<br />

We’d crossed the 3 passes and from here it should be plain<br />

sailing down to the road end, or so we thought. Following the<br />

head waters of the legendary Arahura River we descended<br />

quickly towards the Harman Hut and onwards to the Styx Saddle,<br />

crossing the Styx saddle and into the Styx River proper. A night<br />

and the luxurious Grassy Flats Hut before starting the final few<br />

hours down the Styx.<br />

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Not long into the final walk the track disappeared into a sea of<br />

huge landslides and slips. Completely washed out. The river was<br />

high meaning the riverbed was impassable, so we started to go<br />

high, bush bashing and clambering our way through the wild West<br />

Coast Bush. Many hours and muesli bars later we arrived at the<br />

Styx Valley Carpark. Tired but stoked – Grateful to have been<br />

granted a passage through one of the historical classic transalpine<br />

crossing routes.<br />

3 Passes Alpine Route<br />

Total Ascent: 2795<br />

Approximate distance: 53km<br />

NB* Styx Track currently closed due to landslips.<br />

Images shot on Canon R5.<br />


flying<br />

TALES<br />

flight tales<br />

"Anyone who has walked<br />

the Routeburn would<br />

know the absolute wonder<br />

of those places, usually<br />

only accessible by foot, yet<br />

here we were, hovering<br />

a few hundred feet above<br />

them and being able to<br />

share them with Steve<br />

from the air."<br />

By Lynne Dickinson<br />

I’m not a fan of helicopters.<br />

I have a real sense of vulnerability being miles up<br />

in the air surrounded only by a metal casing large<br />

enough to house the few inhabitants. However,<br />

what causes my fear is also the thing that makes<br />

helicopter rides so incredibly exciting.<br />

We left the base of The Helicoper Line at<br />

Queenstown airport and headed straight towards<br />

the West Coast. Our final destination was to be<br />

Milford Sound, however as they often say, it’s all<br />

about the journey. I have a couple of places in New<br />

Zealand that I hold very dear to my heart, one of<br />

them being the Routeburn.<br />

I had been fortunate enough to walk the<br />

Greenstone Valley and the Routeburn 5 years ago<br />

with my best friend and it is an experience I have<br />

been talking about to Steve (my husband) ever<br />

since. The day before the helicopter ride we had<br />

visited the lower reaches of the Routeburn with<br />

Canyon Explorers and I had been pointing out<br />

landmarks to him in an effort to share my previous<br />

experience. So you can imagine my excitement as<br />

our pilot, Callum, explained that we would be flying<br />

up the Routeburn track and proceeded to point<br />

out significant landmarks along the way. Anyone<br />

who has walked the Routeburn would know the<br />

absolute wonder of those places, usually only<br />

accessible by foot, yet here we were, hovering a<br />

few hundred feet above them and being able to<br />

share them with Steve from the air.<br />

Still in awe from seeing the Routeburn from the air,<br />

I didn’t think much could top that, yet as we flew<br />

over a ridge it seemed the whole of the Southern<br />

Alps appeared in front of us. Huge mountainous<br />

peaks were visible from every direction and<br />

glaciers and ice flows surrounded us. Callum kept<br />

us informed along the way, pointing out significant<br />

landmarks and kept my mind distracted from<br />

feeling vulnerable.<br />

That was until we began circling the glacier, looking<br />

for a place to land. We felt so close to the soaring<br />

peaks, yet we landed on the ice with ease.<br />

Stepping out on the glacier we were struck by the<br />

stillness and serenity. Despite the fact that the<br />

helicopter blades were still whirling, the glacier<br />

offered a calmness that we are often lacking in the<br />

fast pace of our everyday lives. We explored the<br />

area around us, taking photos and just taking in the<br />

majesty and the peace on the ice before getting<br />

back into the helicopter for the remainder of the<br />

ride to Milford Sound.<br />

The drive into Milford Sound is one of the most<br />

impressive welcoming sights into any place I know<br />

and arriving by air was even more spectacular.<br />

As we descended into Milford Sound, Mitre Peak<br />

stood guard over the fiord like a guardian sentinel,<br />

it is the quintensional Milford vista but everytime I<br />

see it I still have the feeling of grandeur that you<br />

don't feel in many places.<br />

The last time we were in Milford Sound had been<br />

in 2018, when we had struggled to find a car park<br />

amongst the tourist buses that descended on the<br />

Sounds every hour. So we were surprised this time<br />

to arrive at the terminal to a similar stillness that we<br />

had experienced on the glacier. The car parks were<br />

empty of tour buses and only a handful of visitors<br />

milled around waiting for their boat. It was a stark<br />

reminder of the effects that Covid have had on our<br />

tourism. On one hand I felt privileged to be here<br />

with so few people, in one of the most impressive<br />

parts of New Zealand and on the other my heart<br />

broke for the business that had been affected by<br />

the world pandemic. I can only encourage you to<br />

get out and support New Zealand tourism, not only<br />

will you be able to experience places without the<br />

number of visitors, but you’ll be doing your bit to<br />

help these companies stay alive.<br />

Right: Our birdseye view of the Routeburn Track - if<br />

you look close you can see the huts on the hillside<br />

14//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#<strong>224</strong> <strong>ADV</strong>ENTUREMAGAZINE.CO.NZ 15

Top left to right: The view coming into Milford Sounds by helicopter / Bowen Falls, Milford Sound / Lynne and Steve onboard Mitre Peak tours<br />

Below: Landing on the glacier in the middle of summer, a surreal experience<br />

"Despite the fact that<br />

the helicopter blades<br />

were still whirling,<br />

the glacier offered a<br />

calmness that we are<br />

often lacking in the fast<br />

pace of our everyday<br />

lives. "<br />

16//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#<strong>224</strong><br />

We joined Mitre Peak tours for a 2 hour<br />

boat trip around Milford Sound, with<br />

Kahurangi running commentary keeping<br />

us informed with his wealth of information<br />

on the area. One of the things about the<br />

whole trip was the sense of scale. It’s hard<br />

to realise how large and formidable the<br />

mountains are, both in the air and whilst on<br />

the ocean, without something to give them<br />

scale. It’s not until you see another boat in<br />

the distance that you realise just how huge<br />

the surrounding landscape is.<br />

As well as Mitre Peak, the other main point<br />

of interest in Milford Sounds is Stirling<br />

Falls, which drops an impressive 155m<br />

(Maori name for this place was Piopiotahi<br />

after an extinct native bird) into the<br />

sounds below. Having kayaked the area<br />

previously, we had witnessed first hand the<br />

strength of the water and watched as tour<br />

boats nudged their bows as close to the<br />

waterfall as they could get. So as our boat<br />

veered closer, we left our prime positions<br />

at the bow and headed inside. We watched<br />

from behind the glass as the uninitiated<br />

scampered for our “prime” seats, not<br />

realising that within seconds they would be<br />

drenched.<br />

When the boat ride was over we headed<br />

back to the helicopter for the flight back<br />

to Queenstown. The ride back took us<br />

further south over the Milford Road and<br />

the Homer Tunnel and over Greenstone<br />

Valley, the start of my hike 5 years ago. I<br />

felt incredibly blessed to have experienced<br />

these places both by land and by air, and<br />

one I would thoroughly recommend.<br />

Thanks to the following:<br />

The Helicopter Line www.helicopter.co.nz<br />

Mitre Peak tours www.mitrepeak.com<br />

Destination Queenstown<br />

www.queenstownnz.co.nz<br />

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ikING<br />

TALES<br />

West coast wilderness trail<br />

By Eric Skilling<br />

Amongst all the off-road cycle trails in New<br />

Zealand none can offer the unique spectacle<br />

of the West Coast’s native forests, rivers, and<br />

lakes, bordered on one side by the Southern<br />

Alps and the Tasman Sea on the other. After<br />

spending five days on the Adventure South<br />

West Coast Cycling Tour, I am hooked on the<br />

hassle-free cycle touring that a guide can offer.<br />

There is so much to see and do in this beautiful<br />

part of New Zealand, and the expertise and<br />

experience of Adventure South made it easy to<br />

do plenty in five days.<br />

We completed the 133 km Wilderness Trail<br />

plus an extra 100km was added because,<br />

to quote our guide “we pick the best bits (of<br />

the trail) and add other great bits”. Apart from<br />

the cycling we found the time to experience<br />

the Treetop Walk, Hokitika Gorge, Punakaiki,<br />

Porarari walk and a very sobering memorial<br />

to the Buller mine disaster alongside the Grey<br />

River near Stillwater.<br />

It was a pleasure to cover so many kilometres<br />

on dedicated cycle tracks away from the tar<br />

seal and traffic, and a privilege to enjoy the<br />

beautiful surroundings as well. The many<br />

gorges, streams and waterfalls could be heard<br />

long before we saw them, their waters ranging<br />

from deep blue, turquoise to dark bronze<br />

in the wetlands. Describing the sun setting<br />

over the Tasman sea cannot do justice to the<br />

kaleidoscope of colours and is something<br />

everyone should experience for themselves.<br />

Personally however, my most enduring<br />

memories will be cycling with fellow<br />

adventurers on the section from Ross to<br />

Hokitika, cheered on by grey warbler, tomtit<br />

miromiro and tui. This would come second<br />

only to the section from Lake Kaniere to<br />

Kumara, both of which must be covered in<br />

more detail.<br />

Totara Bridge<br />

Image by Jason Blair<br />

<strong>ADV</strong>ENTUREMAGAZINE.CO.NZ 19

"We soon found yourselves<br />

back in native bush, this time a<br />

wetland fed by the outflow from<br />

nearby Lake Mahinapua"<br />

Image by Jason Blair<br />

Ross to Hokitika<br />

As early as day one we were introduced to the<br />

variety of landscapes we would witness over<br />

the next five days. The 33km ride from the<br />

historic mining town of Ross to Hokitika has an<br />

unriveld diversity of scenery and vegetation. We<br />

enjoyed this section of the trail so much that we<br />

managed to repeat the last 10km or so twice<br />

more over the next two days, thanks largely to<br />

the logistical skills of our guide.<br />

The first half of this section follows the straight,<br />

gentle gradient of the old tramline through<br />

farmland and coastal scrub with the sound of<br />

the distant Tasman Sea. The trail continues<br />

along the old tramline as it disappears into lush,<br />

mixed podocarp forest, crossing over buried<br />

railway sleepers and many bridged creeks,<br />

and noticeably more birdcalls. Within a few<br />

kilometres it emerges into sunlight again and a<br />

patch of tall spindly eucalyptus.<br />

Thankfully, and we soon found yourselves<br />

back in native bush, this time a wetland fed<br />

by the outflow from nearby Lake Mahinapua.<br />

We stopped on a small bridge crossing the<br />

dark Mahinapua creek lined with flax, cabbage<br />

trees and tall grasses while milfoils and other<br />

long-stemmed plants weaved with the current.<br />

Mesmerising. A few kilometres later the trail led<br />

us back into the bush, this time less dense and<br />

filled with tree fern. We meandered along the<br />

smooth, very professionally groomed tracks in<br />

dappled afternoon sunlight.<br />

Once we had crossed the Hokitika river we<br />

headed out to Sunset Point in bright sunshine,<br />

temperatures in the mid-teens and the Tasman<br />

Sea sparkling in a gentle onshore breeze. To<br />

the south the mighty Aoraki Mt Cook and La<br />

Perouse struggled to impose themselves in the<br />

summer haze. Stunning. If this was cycle touring<br />

on the West Coast, then why had I not heard of<br />

this gem long ago?<br />


Challenge: Cycling from Lake Kaniere to Theatre Royal Hotel, Kumara<br />

Cycling the Wilderness Trail can be as challenging as you want it to be.<br />

Day 3 for us began at Lake Kaniere and climbed to the 317 metre Kawhaka<br />

Saddle and onto our accommodation at the classic Theatre Royal Hotel<br />

at Kumara. Sixty kilometres of mostly off-road riding in bright sunshine.<br />

A reasonable challenge in anyone’s eyes but worth every kilojoule of<br />

effort. We rode alongside the Arahura River, up some very cyclist-friendly<br />

switchbacks and into a podocarp forest filled with ancient Kahikatea which<br />

was crossed by plenty of refreshingly cool and crystal-clear streams. The<br />

track designers have successfully given cyclists of almost any ability the<br />

chance to experience these memorable landscapes.<br />

Since 1992<br />

Since 1992<br />


Insert left page: Fresh faces at Ross, the start of our 5-day cycle tour<br />

Above: The beautiful warm waters of Lake Kaniere<br />

Right: The 500 metre treetop walk alongside Lake Mahinapua<br />

Images by Eric Skilling<br />

Lake Kaniere<br />

It would be remiss of me not to mention the lakes. Cycling<br />

to Lake Kaniere from Hokitika is a pleasure all its own - a<br />

gentle cruise through more native bush, alongside the<br />

man-made Kaniere Water Race dating back to 1875,<br />

emerging at the lake. Personally, I was surprised at how<br />

large an expanse of water it is, spectacularly surrounded<br />

by bush clad hills with a couple of rugged alpine peaks<br />

standing over the hills at the southern end. I was also<br />

pleasantly surprised at how warm the water was in mid-<br />

January. This is a smaller but lot quieter (more waka, less<br />

motor) version of Lake Brunner, and another reason I will<br />

return to the West Coast.<br />

Fully supported Cycle Trail tours: *West Coast Wilderness Trail *Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail *Otago Central Rail Trail<br />

*Tasman Great Taste Trail...and more. E-bikes available<br />

Book online: adventuresouth.co.nz | 0800 00 11 66 | info@adventuresouth.co.nz<br />

Fully supported Off the bike Cycle Trail tours: *West Coast Wilderness Trail *Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail *Otago Central Rail Trail<br />

There are many other points *Tasman of interest Great to Taste keep Trail...and everyone more. E-bikes available<br />

busy. Book online: adventuresouth.co.nz | 0800 00 11 66 | info@adventuresouth.co.nz<br />

The 500-metre treetop walk alongside Lake Mahinapua<br />

places you 20 metres up into the canopy, amongst<br />

ancient rimu and kamahi, and then up another thrilling 27<br />

metres to the top of the tower for views to the lake. Selfguided,<br />

the walk provides an informative brochure which<br />

accompany marked stops along the elevated walkway.<br />

The memorial to the 65 men and boys who perished in<br />

the Brunner mine disaster of 1896 made quite an impact<br />

on all of us. Over 180 children lost a father, 37 wives<br />

lost husbands and 14 elderly parents lost their only<br />

breadwinner. The hardships are strikingly illustrated at<br />

the memorial and go some way toward recognising the<br />

hardships these folk endured and the contribution they<br />

made to the economic success of early New Zealand.<br />

500 metre treetop walk alongside Lake Mahinapua<br />

<strong>ADV</strong>ENTUREMAGAZINE.CO.NZ 23

• A five minute bike ride to the West<br />

Coast Wilderness Trail<br />

• 18 quality units<br />

• Close to restaurants, supermarket<br />

and the Westland Recreation Centre<br />

• Safe secure lockup for bikes<br />

• Book direct for best price<br />

p: 03 768 7199<br />

e: greymouth@bellavista.co.nz<br />

w: www.bellavista.co.nz<br />

Unforgettable surroundings. Unmatched comfort<br />

Rainforest Retreat Deluxe, Franz Josef Glacier<br />

Luxury accommodation set amongst lush native bush<br />

Summer season specials:<br />

Book direct for exclusive deals, visit our website<br />

www.rainforest.nz/specials or call us on 0800 873 346<br />

Bella Vista Greymouth<br />

“The perfect place for your overnight stay”<br />

The day spent at the pancake rocks<br />

at Punakaiki was never going to be<br />

long enough. The coastline changes<br />

dramatically after Greymouth, from<br />

wide sandy beaches littered with<br />

huge driftwood logs, to a series of<br />

rugged rocky bays and cliffs where<br />

the locals are raging war to keep<br />

their land from the invading Tasman<br />

Sea.<br />

Views from the road are impressive<br />

but the surge pool at Punakaiki must<br />

be one of the best places in New<br />

Zealand to get close to the power of<br />

the Tasman Sea. Even in small seas<br />

the boom of waves crashing against<br />

the cliffs would make anyone feel<br />

slightly vulnerable.<br />

After the energy of the surge pool<br />

several of us chose a more sedate<br />

walk along the Porarari river and<br />

swim under the swing bridge before<br />

heading to Punakaiki Resort, our<br />

accommodation for the last night.<br />

The rooms from this hotel must have<br />

one of the most stunning vistas<br />

available. Set against a cliff, almost<br />

every room has a view across the<br />

rock-strewn beach to the sea. A<br />

perfect place to sit back and treat<br />

yourself to one of those dramatic<br />

west coast sunsets.<br />

Guided Cycle Tours<br />

At this point I must acknowledge<br />

the skills and expertise of our<br />

guide. From taking all the hassle<br />

out choosing accommodation and<br />

restaurants, providing bikes, snacks,<br />

water, and a bike repair service, a<br />

guide takes all the stress out of the<br />

logistical nightmare of getting to and<br />

from trails. Daily itineraries were<br />

changed based on interests, weather<br />

and even wind direction.<br />

Hassle-free cycle touring means the<br />

only decision is whether to enjoy<br />

that cool refreshing beer on the<br />

deck of the Beachfront Hotel before<br />

or after a shower. My personal<br />

recommendation would be to do both<br />

– the view out across the deck to the<br />

beach is not to be missed.<br />

The other priceless benefit of touring<br />

is the opportunity to share unique<br />

experiences with other like-minded<br />

people who start out as strangers<br />

and end up as friends. I have always<br />

found the folk who join these cycling<br />

tours share an interest in adventure,<br />

appreciate the uniqueness of the<br />

experience, and enjoy the banter and<br />

camaraderie that inevitably develops.<br />

TranzAlpine Railway<br />

Travelling by train on the return<br />

journey is a treat. Travelling on<br />

the TranzAlpine from Moana to<br />

Christchurch made me feel a touch<br />

guilty at the thought that our guide<br />

was driving the van and bikes back<br />

on his own. They are such a relaxing<br />

way to soak up exclusive views of<br />

the huge glacial valleys, wide braided<br />

rivers and viaducts that will have you<br />

staring in disbelief.<br />

A well-stocked café and comfortable<br />

seats make staying awake in the<br />

tunnel a bit of a challenge, but a trip<br />

to the open-air carriage and breathtaking<br />

sights soon take away any<br />

apathy. My only regret on this tour<br />

was why it had taken me so long<br />

to get here, and plans are already<br />

underway to return.<br />

Approaching Greymouth<br />

Image by Jason Blair<br />

Sunset from the beach at Punakaiki Resort<br />

Approaching the end of the trail at Greymouth<br />

Thanks to the following people for such an<br />

incredible experience:<br />

Adventure South<br />

www.adventuresouth.co.nz<br />

Beachfront Hotel Hokitika<br />

www.beachfronthotel.co.nz<br />

Theatre Royal Hotel Kumara<br />

www.theatreroyalhotel.co.nz<br />

Punakaiki Resort<br />

www.punakaikiresort.co.nz<br />

Treetops walk<br />

www.treetopsnz.com<br />

TranzAlpine<br />

www.greatjourneysofnz.co.nz/tranzalpine<br />

Punakaiki Tavern<br />

www.punakaikitavern.co.nz<br />

<strong>ADV</strong>ENTUREMAGAZINE.CO.NZ 25

last great mountaineering challenge<br />

Words and Images by Red Bull<br />

Ground-breaking mountaineer<br />

Nirmal ‘Nims’ Purja MBE has<br />

attained an incredible new worldrecord<br />

by summitting K2 as part<br />

of a collaborative team in the<br />

depths of winter. Until now, it was<br />

a record that was believed to be<br />

impossible to accomplish and<br />

was famously known as the ‘last<br />

great mountaineering challenge’.<br />

On January 16, 2021, at 5pm<br />

local time the former Gurkha and<br />

UK Special Forces operative<br />

and his team, along with Team<br />

Mingma G and one mountaineer<br />

from Team SST, officially<br />

became the first mountaineers to<br />

ever summit K2 in winter. A huge<br />

feat for the Nepalese climbing<br />

community.<br />

The whole team waited and<br />

then stepped onto the summit<br />

together while singing the<br />

Nepalese national anthem.<br />

The mountaineers climbed the<br />

Abruzzi route.<br />

Purja said: “What a journey.<br />

I’m humbled to say that, as a<br />

team, we have summitted the<br />

magnificent K2 in extreme winter<br />

conditions. We set out to make<br />

the impossible possible and<br />

we are honoured to be sharing<br />

this moment, not only with the<br />

Nepalese climbing community<br />

but with communities all across<br />

the world. Mother Nature<br />

always has bigger things to say<br />

and standing on the summit,<br />

witness to the sheer force of<br />

her extremities, we are proud<br />

to have been a part of history<br />

for humankind and to show that<br />

collaboration, teamwork and<br />

a positive mental attitude can<br />

push limits to what we feel might<br />

be possible. Thank you for the<br />

support we’ve received from<br />

people all around the globe, it<br />

gave us fire in our chest to make<br />

this goal a reality.”<br />

Standing 8,611m above sea<br />

level, K2 was the only 8,000m<br />

peak in the world that had never<br />

been climbed during winter.<br />

In fact, it was considered by<br />

many to be an impossible task<br />

due to the inclement weather<br />

conditions.<br />

Attempts on the mountain are<br />

normally made in July or August,<br />

during the warmest periods;<br />

only 280 people had reached<br />

the summit of K2 in a favourable<br />

Spring climbing season,<br />

compared to 3,681 who have<br />

made it to the top of Everest.<br />

On January 18, 2021, Purja<br />

explained he’d climbed K2<br />

without supplementary oxygen.<br />

"K2 winter was a beast<br />

of a challenge. I firmly<br />

believe that a feat of<br />

such caliber is never<br />

possible if you don’t<br />

have a purpose or if it is<br />

only aimed for your own<br />

self glory.<br />

I have always known<br />

what my mind and body<br />

are capable off. To lay it<br />

out straight, on my previous evolutions I had been carrying<br />

oxygen from 8000m and above, but I was personally<br />

satisfied with my work efficiency up to 8000m. It was my<br />

choice and I had my own reasons and ethos.<br />

It was a tough call this time inorder to make that decision<br />

whether to climb with or without supplementary oxygen<br />

(O2). Due to the weather conditions and time frame, I<br />

hadn’t acclimatised adequately. I was only able to sleep as<br />

high as Camp 2 (6,600m). Ideally climbers need to sleep<br />

OR at least touch Camp 4 before heading for a summit<br />

push. Lack of acclimatisation, developed frost bite from<br />

the first rotation and slowing down other team members,<br />

risking everyone’s safety, were the key uncertainties<br />

associated.<br />

The safety of my team is and always have been my top<br />

priority above all. I have lead 20 successful expeditions<br />

so far and all my team members have returned home the<br />

exact way that they had left home i.e. without loosing any<br />

fingers or toes.<br />

I took a calculated risk this time and I pressed on without<br />

supplementary O2. My self confidence, knowing my body’s<br />

strength, capability and my experience from climbing the<br />

14 x 8000ers enabled me to keep up with the rest of the<br />

team members and yet lead."<br />

<strong>ADV</strong>ENTUREMAGAZINE.CO.NZ 27

HIKING<br />

TALES<br />

Tired legs,<br />

looming deadlines<br />

and a Christmas<br />

adventure on the<br />

world's finest trail...<br />

The Milford Track<br />

Words and photos by Derek Cheng<br />

Steph Jones makes her way to Mackinnon Pass, the highest point on the Milford Track, as rain sweeps up the valley behind her.<br />

“If you’ve got any sprint left in you,<br />

go for it.”<br />

Steph and I were 1500m from the<br />

Glade Wharf, the head of Lake Te<br />

Anau, and she was imploring me to<br />

leave her behind. We'd run some 60<br />

km in the last nine hours, including<br />

1800m of elevation, and we were<br />

late for the last boat leaving the<br />

wharf for civilisation.<br />

But it was Christmas Day. Would<br />

there be some Christmas magic in<br />

the air? Would the boat captain—<br />

knowing of two runners on their<br />

way—decide to wait for us?<br />

I was utterly exhausted, but I<br />

"sprinted" across the pristine<br />

grounds of Glade House, a private<br />

lodge. A slight uphill as the trail reentered<br />

the forest triggered a flurry<br />

of heaving and guttural grunting. I<br />

cried out at the first glimpse of the<br />

lake, not in delight at the discovery of<br />

a waiting boat, but in case a captain<br />

who’s about to leave might hear it<br />

and wait a tad longer.<br />

My legs were aflame. The lungs<br />

were screaming. The tank was<br />

empty. Hazy hope was the only thing<br />

driving me onwards.<br />

The Milford Track is touted as the<br />

finest hike in the world. It spans 53.5<br />

km from Sandfly Point, at the edge<br />

of Milford Sound, to Glade Wharf on<br />

Lake Te Anau. It’s a trophy for trail<br />

runners, not just for the distance and<br />

the scenery, but also the logistical<br />

challenges.<br />

It entails two boat rides, the first<br />

being a 10-minute trip from Deep<br />

Water Basin in Milford Sound to<br />

Sandfly Point. Making the second<br />

ride—from Glade Wharf to Te Anau<br />

Downs, on the main road—is the<br />

crux. Missing it means hiking over<br />

Dore Pass, a 1200m climb up and<br />

over inhospitable terrain, followed by<br />

hitch-hiking from the roadside.<br />

Then there are the fitness demands<br />

and the forecast, which wasn't ideal:<br />

steady rain, with snow at the highest<br />

point—Mackinnon Pass. We could<br />

have waited for more agreeable<br />

conditions, but why not celebrate<br />

Christmas Day, which also happened<br />

to be Steph’s birthday, with an<br />

adventure?<br />

There were four of us at the boat<br />

ramp at 7am on Christmas morning,<br />

which dawned with surprisingly clear<br />

skies and cool, crisp air. Two of our<br />

quartet were dubious about making<br />

the 4pm boat at Glade Wharf, so<br />

they arranged to run a section and<br />

then return to be collected from<br />

Sandfly Point a few hours later.<br />

Steph and I had no such<br />

reservations, breaking into a quick<br />

trot that seemed easy to maintain,<br />

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Above left: The trail winds through the beech forests of Fiordland. Above right: Steph Jones and the author at the start of the Milford<br />

Track, looking much less haggard than we did at the end.<br />

Right: Steph Jones enjoying a view of Mackay Falls<br />

and one which, we decided, would give us more than<br />

enough time. We even visited Mackay Falls and Bell<br />

Rock, the former an impressive cascade, the latter a<br />

rock lump that’s been hollowed out and flipped upside<br />

down by the river forces of several decades.<br />

The first section follows the banks of the Arthur River<br />

up an immensely glaciated valley. Every so often, it<br />

opens up to reveal imposing granite walls and steep,<br />

verdant valleys, a reminder of the dramatic weather<br />

forces—it rains about seven metres a year—that<br />

shape New Zealand’s most rugged landscape.<br />

After downing some scroggin and electrolytes at<br />

Dumpling Hut, 18 kilometres in, we soon arrived at<br />

the turn-off for Sutherland Falls, the country’s highest<br />

waterfall. Without much thought, we both agreed that<br />

we had a substantial cushion of time. What if they’re<br />

the most exquisite falls in the history of humankind,<br />

and we didn’t go?<br />

The path crossed undulating terrain before arriving<br />

at the 580m-high falls. The thunderous sound at the<br />

base is akin to the lift-off of the most gargantuan<br />

space shuttle, while the sheer impact of the water on<br />

the rocks at the base is enough to send a stiff breeze<br />

under your jacket and into your chest.<br />

Returning to the main trail about 50 minutes later, we<br />

now faced the steep ascent through Clinton Canyon<br />

to Mackinnon Pass. Spirits were high, despite the first<br />

spits of rain, as we power-walked past kidney ferns,<br />

mountain daisies and Mt Cook buttercups.<br />

At the top of the pass, as the clouds closed in and<br />

snow flurries started falling, we realised that the rest of<br />

the day might not be the leisurely stroll we anticipated.<br />

But we still thought that three hours for 25 km of<br />

downhill was very doable.<br />

The path down, however, was rocky, and care had to<br />

be taken to avoid face-planting. And by the time the<br />

track levelled out to a gentle downhill, The Wall had<br />

materialised: the point in an ultra-run when the face<br />

starts to grimace with every step.<br />

Flowing conversation turned to silence as we ground<br />

down the kilometres. Every time we passed a post<br />

telling us how far we had to go, we quietly calculated<br />

the required pace. It became clear we weren’t going<br />

to make it unless we could suddenly start running four<br />

minute-kilometres. Hope shifted from making it by 4pm<br />

to having a boat captain willing to wait for us simply<br />

because it was Christmas Day.<br />

With about three kilometres to go, Steph verbalised<br />

The Wall with two simple words: “My legs.”<br />

“… are machines,” I replied in an effort to summon<br />

some encouragement. But my own legs were on the<br />

verge of collapse, and I couldn’t help but add: “Tired<br />

machines.”<br />

We pressed on. As we crossed the last bridge and the<br />

grounds of Glade House, we couldn’t help but notice<br />

the crisp, white linen on luxurious beds. It was from<br />

here that the final sprint was on. Visions of a boatmaster,<br />

beaming with delight as we ran into view, kept<br />

the legs pumping right to the end.<br />

There was no boat, of course, or even a hint of a<br />

boat’s wake to suggest a recent departure. It was<br />

4.45pm, and the wharf was predictably silent. Steph<br />

and I collapsed into a mix of joy and disappointment,<br />

as well as relief that we didn’t have to run anymore.<br />

It didn’t take long to decide that Dore Pass was a<br />

no-go. We’d seen it from the track, its steepness<br />

prompting a non-family friendly phrase from both of us.<br />

Our legs could barely endure anything more than slow,<br />

feeble steps, so we hoped—declared, even—that<br />

Glade House would revive our faith in the Christmas<br />

spirit. I had my credit card with me. No price was too<br />

high to allow us a shower and a bed.<br />

We staggered back to the lodge, removed our shoes<br />

and entered a warm dining room with a freshly-stoked<br />

fireplace. We explained our predicament to the<br />

manager, Walter, but he put us firmly in our place.<br />

“It’ll cost you $3000” were the first words out of his<br />

mouth, followed by a stern sentiment of “no, under no<br />

circumstances”. Steph played the birthday card, but<br />

this was a man who lacked an ounce of Christmas<br />

cheer. When Steph jokingly inquired about any spare<br />

30//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#<strong>224</strong> <strong>ADV</strong>ENTUREMAGAZINE.CO.NZ 31

Rain clouds hover over the Clinton Valley as Steph Jones makes her way down.<br />

steaks, he replied earnestly that they only<br />

had venison and salmon, pre-ordered<br />

from Queenstown, for a precise number<br />

of guests.<br />

I considered further ways to convey<br />

our desperation, to plead for some<br />

compassionate flexibility, but Walter’s<br />

resolve was unshakable. Steph looked<br />

longingly at a steaming kettle on the<br />

counter. Tea was not offered. Nor was<br />

water. We left, utterly deflated.<br />

Outside the lodge, some more<br />

sympathetic workers explained that the<br />

lodge operated via DOC concessions and<br />

wasn't permitted to host anyone who just<br />

waltzed in. They seemed almost willing<br />

to sneak us into the staff quarters for the<br />

night, but we knew there was nothing left<br />

to do but walk a further 3.5 km to Clinton<br />

Hut.<br />

As we did, we discussed all the ways<br />

we would have happily rewarded Walter<br />

with Christmas well-wishes and bottles of<br />

single malt every year, had his response<br />

been more charitable.<br />

Just as our Christmas hopes seemed<br />

thoroughly extinguished, the trampers at<br />

32//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#<strong>224</strong><br />

Clinton Hut restored it—gloriously. We<br />

hobbled in to the random and wonderful<br />

sight of two of our friends, who cooked<br />

us a dehydrated beef teriyaki meal and<br />

then gave us cashew nuts and dark<br />

chocolate. Complete strangers offered us<br />

gourmet potato chips, a vegan sausage<br />

with mashed potatoes and peas, and<br />

extra clothes including magnificently thick<br />

woollen socks for the night.<br />

Andrea, the DOC warden, welcomed<br />

us with so much warmth that she must<br />

have studied Walter’s disposition in<br />

order to convey its antithesis. She had<br />

spare bunks and blankets, and we were<br />

welcome to them, as long as we promised<br />

to sort the bill later. (DOC charged us<br />

$150 each for the night, a stiff penalty for<br />

our visit to Sutherland Falls.)<br />

The morning offered further proof of the<br />

awesomeness of human beings. We<br />

were given cinnamon and raisin porridge<br />

and vanilla chai tea—enough to joke<br />

about running back to Sandfly Point. We<br />

reciprocated their generosity by taking out<br />

everyone’s rubbish.<br />

The morning boat was due to arrive at<br />

Glade Wharf at 1130am. As we slowly<br />

walked back, we hatched plans to punish<br />

Walter. Hide rubbish in every room in<br />

the property? Leave a scatological gift<br />

where he’d least expect? Sneak into the<br />

kitchen and lick every piece of venison<br />

and salmon?<br />

The devil caricature of Walter was, of<br />

course, a convenient fantasy. He was<br />

just doing his job, and the nuances of<br />

his response were amplified by our own<br />

fatigue and unrealistic hopes. Walter was<br />

dutifully vacuuming the dining room as<br />

we walked by, and he gave us a friendly<br />

wave, which we returned.<br />

There was no boat at the wharf when we<br />

got there, but we were 18 minutes early.<br />

It soon appeared and, after it docked,<br />

the staff gave us scorched almonds and<br />

blueberries. Steph’s partner, they told<br />

us, had been in touch and was waiting<br />

patiently at Te Anau Downs.<br />

It had been a Christmas—and, for<br />

Steph, a birthday—to remember. The<br />

adventure had tested our limits, treated<br />

us to stunning scenery, and had briefly<br />

obliterated our faith in the Christmas<br />

spirit—only to then see it refreshingly<br />

revitalised.<br />

Featuring all-new, patented FormKnit technology, the AirZone<br />

Trek’s iconic carry system offers world-class comfort and<br />

ventilation. Whether you’re feeling the heat on dusty tracks or<br />

picking up the pace hut-to-hut, the AirZone Trek helps you keep<br />

your cool.<br />


new years resolution<br />

these legs are made for walking<br />

What can you possibly say about 2020<br />

which does not involve a lot of expletives?<br />

It was certainly a year to remember. It<br />

is a known fact that the mere prospect<br />

of change does not sit well with many<br />

people and causes stress and anxiety,<br />

but 2020 saw us all change in many<br />

ways. We had to quickly adapt to a ‘new<br />

normal’, changing the way that we worked,<br />

socialised, travelled and engaged with<br />

people on a daily basis.<br />

It was also a year that made us reflect. It<br />

made us all sit down and think about what<br />

was truly important in life. It was more<br />

about family, friends and health and much<br />

less about material things. It was more<br />

about being ok and less about what we<br />

owned. Minimalism became the fashion<br />

and materialism walked out the door. We<br />

took to discovering our own backyards, to<br />

disconnecting from the everyday and to<br />

learning how to stop and breathe again.<br />

My annual holiday was always of the<br />

overseas kind, exploring new exotic<br />

locations and spending time with friends<br />

and family that tagged along with me. This<br />

year, alas it wasn’t to be. So after nearly<br />

12 months with no break, I too decided to<br />

take to the NZ outdoors and discovered<br />

the art of a walking holiday.<br />

I know. Walk and holiday often don’t tend<br />

to appear in the same sentence, (even<br />

I used to think that). But I can honestly<br />

say that having 2 weeks walking in the<br />

By Natalie Tambolash<br />

great outdoors was an experience that<br />

left me feeling relaxed and accomplished<br />

at the same time. For those that are a<br />

little sceptical, here is why I think walking<br />

holidays are a great idea.<br />

1. It’s a healthy travel alternative:<br />

“Mauri tū Mauri ora” – “An active soul is<br />

a healthy soul”. Walking is good for the<br />

heart, the mind and the soul. It helps get<br />

your muscles moving, your lungs breathing<br />

fresh air, lightens your mood, improves<br />

your sleep and you end up fitter after your<br />

trip then when you first started even if you<br />

are indulging.<br />

2. Walking is suitable for everyone:<br />

From those that are new to a walking<br />

holiday, through to those seeking their next<br />

challenge or ticking off their bucket list. No<br />

matter your fitness level or ability, there is<br />

a walk out there to suit everyone.<br />

3. It makes New Zealand affordable:<br />

Budget plays a key role for most of us<br />

when travelling and walking is a way to<br />

see the country without breaking the bank.<br />

There are many self-guided walks that are<br />

budget friendly providing everything you<br />

need and nothing you don’t whilst being<br />

fully organised for you.<br />

4. Freedom to choose the trip you want:<br />

Walking allows you to choose where you<br />

walk, when you walk and how you walk.<br />

Self-guided or guided walks exist around<br />

all regions of New Zealand, allowing<br />

you the freedom of choice and also the<br />

freedom to choose your own pace.<br />

5. Exploring remote locations and<br />

off the beaten path trails: There is so<br />

much beauty to be discovered throughout<br />

Aotearoa, some whose names resonate<br />

with us, and some that are unknown,<br />

remote regions ready to be discovered<br />

and explored. In a time where it is all<br />

about distancing, there are still plenty<br />

of ‘untrodden trails’ and picture perfect<br />

landscapes to be walked in NZ.<br />

6. Great for single travellers: Not all<br />

our friends, family or partners want to go<br />

walking with us. Some of them would<br />

rather stay at home than embrace the<br />

great outdoors. A guided walk is great for<br />

single travellers. You can join a guided<br />

departure knowing that you are walking<br />

with a group of like-minded travellers and<br />

potentially walking away with a new group<br />

of friends at the end of it.<br />

7. Allows you to reconnect and reflect:<br />

Our lives have become all too busy. Filled<br />

day to day with jobs, activities, lists and<br />

leaving us feeling like we must achieve<br />

everything and so much more. In the<br />

chaos that is life, we forget our own selves.<br />

We forget to take a breath and enjoy the<br />

moment. Walking allows us to reconnect –<br />

to ourselves, to nature and to being in that<br />

moment and reflect on where we are at<br />

and where we might be going.<br />

8. Provides a more in-depth experience:<br />

We all know that feeling of arriving at<br />

an unknown destination and sometimes<br />

thinking, ‘now what’. The best way to find<br />

and explore your surrounds is on foot. A<br />

walking trip is no different. It will take<br />

you to where often most other modes<br />

of transport cannot access. Exploring<br />

regions only reached on foot and giving<br />

you the chance of a more in-depth<br />

experience and exploration of an area,<br />

than simply driving through it or skimming<br />

past it. You become more involved with<br />

the area, the people in it and the quirky<br />

little items of interest that you find along<br />

the way.<br />

"It was also a year that made us reflect. It made<br />

us all sit down and think about what was truly<br />

important in life."<br />

9. It naturally provides social<br />

distancing: In a world that completely<br />

changed overnight and fear of being ‘too<br />

close’ became the normal, a walk allows<br />

for natural social distancing allowing you<br />

to maintain a distance between your fellow<br />

walkers (if you’re in a group) or between<br />

other walkers if you are self-guided.<br />

Sometimes, you will be the only one out<br />

there on the track.<br />

10. Allows you to throw time out the<br />

window: Walking is the perfect place to<br />

take your watch off. You have all day to<br />

walk, so why do you need a schedule or<br />

a watch to tell you what the time is. Take<br />

it off. Throw time out the window and just<br />

live in the moment. Eat when hungry, drink<br />

when thirsty and just enjoy the sounds<br />

surrounding you and the beat of your own<br />

rhythm.<br />

I discovered that these legs were made<br />

for walking and it is something I vow to do<br />

more of in 2021. Getting out into nature,<br />

listening to the sounds, appreciating the<br />

little things and truly allowing myself to<br />

disconnect from life and reconnect to<br />

myself was the best New Year’s resolution<br />

I could make for 2021. Will you join me?<br />

Don’t just do a good walk<br />

do a GREAT one!<br />





feel the spirit<br />

By Lynne and Steve Dickinson<br />

Image compliments of Volcanic Air<br />

The spectacular Hokitika Gorge<br />

Like any adventurer knows, if you are feeling lost,<br />

or need to get your bearings, you climb to the top<br />

of the highest tree or hill to gain some perspective.<br />

We were not lost, but we didn’t know what treasures<br />

were hidden in our surrounds and from the vantage<br />

point of our small float plane we were able to see<br />

for miles, literally. In one direction we could see<br />

Mt Edgecombe and glimpse White Island on the<br />

horizon and around us lakes littered the landscape.<br />

Holding guard over this incredible landscape, Mt<br />

Tarawera stood like a proud sentinel, the gashes<br />

and gorges in its side witness to its violent history.<br />

Mount Tarawera is the one of the most well-known<br />

features of Rotorua, although it is one of those<br />

places we often see simply as a backdrop to our<br />

lakeside adventures. There is a trail to the top of the<br />

mountain, but you are not able to hike this without<br />

joining a tour. At present the only way to access the<br />

1,111meter peak (or peaks) is either by flying with<br />

Volcanic Air (they do a helicopter ride to the top<br />

where you can get out and explore as well as the<br />

float plane ride, which we were on) or with Kaitiaki<br />

Adventures, who own the rights to the land access<br />

and run 4x4 and hiking tours to the summit.<br />

Tarawera, which in Maori translates to “burnt peaks”<br />

last erupted in 1886, killing over 120 people and<br />

burying the Pink and White Terraces beneath Lake<br />

Rotomahana. As we flew over the craters you can<br />

clearly see the fissure that runs for 17km, splitting<br />

the mountain in two, something you could only<br />

experience from the heights of a plane.<br />

As most of us explore New Zealand by road,<br />

and often just the main road, we have no idea<br />

of the gems often just hidden behind a hill or in<br />

a secluded valley. From our vantage point we<br />

could see small settlements dotted around the<br />

countryside, as our pilot, Simon explained the<br />

significance of each of the landmarks. We flew<br />

over steaming geysers and lakes so vivid in colour<br />

you would think they had been painted, places we<br />

simply did not know existed.<br />

We became humbly aware of how much of<br />

New Zealand is unoccupied, and those small<br />

communities that exist are unknown to most of<br />

us. Amongst the groomed dairy farms, and wild<br />

natural forests there are treasures just waiting to<br />

be discovered.<br />

"From the vantage point<br />

of our small float plane<br />

we were able to see for<br />

miles, literally."<br />

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Left to right: The landing strip / Our pilot Simon and editor Steve / Orakei Korako Geothermal area<br />

Main image: Our guide, Cabin, leading the way in Whakarewarewa Forest<br />

One such place was Orakei Korako<br />

Geothermal Park and Cave. As we<br />

descended upon Lake Ohakuri, it was<br />

impossible to imagine that we could<br />

actually land on this slither of water. We<br />

circled the narrow lake before descending<br />

between the trees and expertly gliding to a<br />

stop just alongside the dock at the Orakei<br />

Korako Geothermal Park and Cave.<br />

Orakei Korako is a highly active<br />

geothermal area located south of Rotorua,<br />

on the earliest known route from Rotorua<br />

and Taupo and it has been hosting visitors<br />

since the early 1900’s. The naturally faultstepped<br />

silica terraces that form the base<br />

of the geyser land are believed the be the<br />

largest of their kind since the destruction<br />

of the Pink and White Terraces.<br />

Last year, we visited the famous geyser<br />

lands in Yellowstone National Park, and<br />

watched as geysers bubbled and boiled,<br />

surrounded by hundreds of people all<br />

“oohing and aching” waiting for Old<br />

Faithful to blow. We had travelled 16<br />

hours by plane, driven 900km, paid an<br />

expensive entry fee and were squished in<br />

with noisy tourists drinking “double gulp”<br />

and scoffing hotdogs trying to get a peak<br />

of the bubbling geyser and we could have<br />

simply driven three hours south and seen<br />

the same thing.<br />

Orakei Korako is just one of the many<br />

geothermal hotspots in this region.<br />

Although you can do the 45 minute drive<br />

south from Rotorua, flying there with<br />

Volcanic Air in their float plane adds so<br />

much to the experience.<br />

As we could see from the air, Rotorua<br />

area is diverse and this creates a unique<br />

environment allowing for an array<br />

of outdoor activities to take place in<br />

such a small compact area. The most<br />

renowned adventure activity in Rotorua<br />

is its mountain biking. Wherever you<br />

look you’ll see people on bikes or bikes<br />

attached to the back or top of cars. The<br />

Whakarewarewa Forest is home to many<br />

international mountain bike events,<br />

including Crankworx, which Red Bull ranks<br />

as the #1 event to watch. This reputation<br />

can sometimes be intimidating to the<br />

average biker. However we were soon to<br />

find out that the park had something to<br />

offer everyone.<br />

We had arranged to go biking with one of<br />

the guides from Mountain Bike Rotorua,<br />

who have a base out at the mountain bike<br />

park in Waipa State Mill Road. We had<br />

limited time in the park and didn’t want<br />

to spend it hovering over a map trying to<br />

work out where we were. That’s definitely<br />

one of the issues I have with mountain<br />

bike parks, the trail maps seem less than<br />

easy to navigate when you are fairly new<br />

to the sport.<br />

Our guide for the day was “Cabin”, a local<br />

who had spent most of his youth following<br />

a professional career in mountain biking.<br />

In order to see as much as the park as<br />

possible (as well as the fact that our<br />

mountain bike fitness was a little shite)<br />

we ordered e-bikes. As I type this I can<br />

hear some of you hard core mountain<br />

bikers groaning, “that’s not real biking”.<br />

Well I used to think the same but as I have<br />

gotten a little older and a little slower I<br />

have become a convert.<br />

Our first stop with Cabin was to sit in front<br />

of the large trail map as he explained<br />

the park, its trails and its development.<br />

Rotorua has the most extensive mountain<br />

bike trail network in the country with<br />

approx. 200 trails in the region (and these<br />

seem to be growing daily), so you can<br />

spend a lot of time in here and not ride the<br />

same piece of dirt twice.<br />

We set off on the new Forest Loop<br />

perimeter track, which has been set up to<br />

be the “Tongariro Crossing” of mountain<br />

biking. When completely finished it will<br />

circumnavigate the park, making for<br />

a 40-50km grade 2 ride and take the<br />

Whakarewarewa Forest trail network over<br />

the 200km mark.<br />

As the trail began we entered the edge<br />

of the Redwoods, for me this was one<br />

of the highlights. There are few places<br />

in the world where the size and age of<br />

your surrounds gives you a real sense of<br />

grandeur, and the Rotorua Redwoods is<br />

one of those places. We followed this trail<br />

for a while but with limited time we turned<br />

off to access some different options. Cabin<br />

not only explained where we were and<br />

what was on offer but he also gave us<br />

some insights into biking from his lifetime<br />

of experience, just the odd tip now and<br />

again made all the difference, even just<br />

following his ‘line’ downhill helped.<br />

As with skiing, for more extreme tracks<br />

you need elevation and we climbed<br />

through the forest into more exposed<br />

sections of tracks and trails, thankful for<br />

the extra boost our e-bikes could provide<br />

on the uphill. Cabin pointed out landmarks<br />

and various trails and we explored some<br />

grade 3 tracks, with steep berms and<br />

a few bumps, and were surprised how<br />

well the e-bikes handled the terrain. For<br />

someone of Cabin’s experience, the e-bike<br />

would be totally redundant on the uphill<br />

and weight restricted on the downhill,<br />

however for us we noted no difference on<br />

the downhill and a complete difference<br />

(thankfully) on the uphill.<br />

The park itself is varied both in terrain<br />

and scenery, at times you feel like you are<br />

miles away from civilisation, cutting a path<br />

through narrow trails, and at other times<br />

you are biking through forestry access<br />

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oads and can see the town of Rotorua in<br />

the distance. There is so much variance<br />

and I think that is one of the things that<br />

makes this park so popular.<br />

As we finished our ride and arrived back<br />

in the car park area, Cabin took us back<br />

to the map to show us where we had<br />

ridden. We had covered a large area,<br />

although still only a small portion of what<br />

the park had to offer. He then showed us<br />

what we would have covered if we had<br />

been on a “normal” bike. The difference<br />

was surprising and put to bed any<br />

reservations I may have had about being<br />

on an e-bike.<br />

I wouldn’t say we were exhausted, but<br />

we were definitely ready for a beer. We<br />

had been told about “Secret Spot”, a<br />

recent addition to the Rotorua Mountain<br />

Bike base area. Hidden behind a wall<br />

that blends into the backdrop of the<br />

Whakarewarewa Forest you’ll find<br />

a unique hot tub experience. At the<br />

entrance as you walk through the<br />

waterfall, you know this has been created<br />

by adventure loving people with a special<br />

space to store your cleats.<br />

Once behind the “wall” you feel like you<br />

have stepped into a tropical paradise.<br />

Boardwalks weave through the native<br />

bush to uncover hidden treasures,<br />

whether they be cosy nooks to sit and<br />

enjoy a drink with your feet immersed<br />

in one of the “shinny dips” or one of the<br />

12 cedar hot tubs nestled in the bush.<br />

It really is a unique environment. The<br />

attention to detail and the attention to<br />

service is obvious the minute you walk<br />

through the door.<br />

Left: The hot tubs at The Secret Spot / Right: The infamous "skinny dips"<br />

We booked our hot tub, ordered a wine<br />

and went to get changed (the changing<br />

rooms are worthy of exploration even if<br />

you are not having a spa). By the time<br />

we were out our wines were waiting by<br />

our hot tubs next to the button you could<br />

press should you need to order another.<br />

We sat there warming our tired bodies<br />

and revelling in the unique secret spot<br />

that was in our own backyards. Having<br />

travelled a lot over the years I must say<br />

Secret Spot rivalled anything I have seen<br />

anywhere in the world. I just wished I<br />

lived in Rotorua as I am sure it would<br />

become my “local”.<br />

The people behind this innovation are<br />

adventurous Kiwi brothers, Keith and<br />

Eric. They grew up on a farm next to<br />

the Kaituna river; white water rafting,<br />

kayaking, hunting, biking etc and at<br />

the end of each adventure they would<br />

manage to find a hot stream in the<br />

bush or near a beach, a secret spot<br />

that only a few locals knew about. Keith<br />

explained how the Secret Spot came to<br />

fruition. “The idea actually came to us in<br />

a storm, as we froze while paddling the<br />

Whakatane river through the Te Urewera<br />

National Park in a Canadian canoe<br />

together and needed warm thoughts to<br />

keep us going.”<br />

After repetitive warm beers in a dusty<br />

car park at the end of a day mountain<br />

biking, they decided to create a secret<br />

spot of their own right at the base of their<br />

favourite mountain bike park. Five years<br />

later and their dream became a reality.<br />

You have to visit this place to appreciate<br />

it, it really is incredible. It’s hard to believe<br />

this spot was once the end of a gravel car<br />

park, the transformation is phenomenal.<br />

"I wished I lived in<br />

Rotorua, as I am sure<br />

the Secret Spot would<br />

become my local."<br />

The forest of Rotorua have been<br />

explored by foot and mountain<br />

bike for many years, and more<br />

recently the tree walk in the<br />

Redwoods allowed people to<br />

walk through the sub canopy<br />

and see what life looked like<br />

above the trees.<br />

Rotorua Canopy Tours took<br />

things one step further and<br />

created a tour through virgin<br />

native forest combining<br />

environmental awareness with<br />

swing bridges and ziplines.<br />

There is something very unique<br />

about seeing New Zealand’s<br />

virgin forest from above. We<br />

often look up to the canopy but<br />

to look down on it is like visually<br />

bathing in a sea of green. The<br />

zip lines, elevated platforms and<br />

rope swings high just add to the<br />

experience.<br />

We joined the Ultimate Tour, a<br />

three and a half hour experience<br />

which included 6 zip lines, a 50<br />

metre high cliff walkway and 3<br />

swing bridges in some of New<br />

Zealand’s oldest native forest.<br />

Along with our guides Kopi<br />

and Teagan we were joined by<br />

Cambridge couple, Martin and<br />

Carol. It was an intimate look<br />

at flora and fauna with a some<br />

adrenaline thrown in for good<br />

measure.<br />

From their base in Rotorua, it’s<br />

only a 15 minute drive to the<br />

forest, carefully cared for by<br />

the team at Rotorua Canopy<br />

Tours. Throughout the tour the<br />

staff kept us informed on our<br />

surrounds; what plants were<br />

growing, what wildlife could<br />

be seen, we were even able<br />

to feed a small black robin by<br />

hand. The company has been<br />

at the forefront of conservation,<br />

doing what they can to help<br />

the indigenous species in the<br />

forest. We were stunned to learn<br />

that each night, over 70,000<br />

native birds are killed in our<br />

native forests in New Zealand,<br />

by introduced predators;<br />

stoats, rats, possums being<br />

the main perpetrators. They<br />

also explained their trapping<br />

programme and how successful<br />

that had been in the region. It’s<br />

nice to know that the money you<br />

pay for a great days experience<br />

goes back into help preserve<br />

that wildlife for others to enjoy<br />

as well.<br />

The "cliff walk" on the Ultimate Tour with Rotorua Canopy Tours<br />

Martin and Carol cross one of the many swing bridges<br />

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Left: A unique way to experience the virgin forests around Rotorua<br />

Above: Heading out on the Lakeland Princess for a morning fishing.<br />

Inserts top to bottom: The quinessenatial "old sea dog", and skipper Tom<br />

It wasn't long before we were catching trout<br />

While I was fishing, Tom was preparing lunch<br />

Rotorua is also well-known for its<br />

lakes, and boast 18 in the region.<br />

So we couldn’t visit Rotorua without<br />

spending some time on at least one<br />

of them. Steve met Tom, the skipper<br />

of the Lakeland Princess, at the<br />

wharf at 8am sharp. Like all good<br />

fishing tales, I’ll let him tell the story<br />

in his own words…<br />

“Now I know that Tom won’t<br />

mind me referring to him as the<br />

quintessential ‘Old Sea Dog’ (well<br />

maybe not old but definitely a sea<br />

dog). I wanted to photograph the<br />

boat before we left but I could see<br />

Tom was a little hesitant; like a<br />

pretty girl in an ugly dress, might be<br />

the best way to describe her. Tom<br />

referred to her as ‘fugly’ but fugly<br />

or not, this 9 meter, three hulled<br />

cat, originating from the US, was as<br />

stable as a dining room table.<br />

I remarked that it looked like the<br />

wind was getting up to which Tom<br />

replied ‘good’. He then went on to<br />

explain that the offshore winds blew<br />

feed off the weed banks and into<br />

the deep water. We put two rods<br />

out with lures, 30m out the back of<br />

the boat on lead lines. Tom further<br />

explained that the water was only<br />

4m deep. He showed me on the<br />

sounder the weed beds and how we<br />

were tracking the edge of them.<br />

Tom had a story for every occasion,<br />

and he was super interesting to chat<br />

to. He told me he had been trained<br />

by a guy who had a ‘no fish - no fee’<br />

policy. I asked how often did that<br />

happen, to which he replied ‘never’,<br />

but sometimes we are out here for a<br />

long time. No sooner had the words<br />

left him mouth that we had a hit. He<br />

stopped the boat, reeled the other<br />

rod in while I played the trout to<br />

the edge of the boat. It was netted<br />

before being humanely ‘dispatched’.<br />

Tom then filleted like a master (he<br />

might have done it a few times<br />

before), salting and sugaring the<br />

fillets before leaving them to rest for<br />

the upcoming lunch.<br />

We cruised around the lake, not<br />

another boat in sight, and continued<br />

to reel in fish. Tom was quite happy<br />

for us to keep them but we put them<br />

all back as we already had enough<br />

for lunch. With about an hour left. I<br />

took the wheel of Fugly while Tom<br />

prepared the smoker. The cabin<br />

soon filled with the mouth-watering<br />

smell of slowly smoking trout.<br />

Tom laid out the lunch, a spread<br />

of salads, and croissants, plus the<br />

most delicious smoked trout I have<br />

ever tasted. Tom’s secret recipe<br />

(now no longer a secret) was two<br />

parts sugar to one part salt, using<br />

Pohutukawa sawdust instead of the<br />

standard manuka as it makes the<br />

fish taste sweeter, which it really<br />

did.<br />

We slowly cruised back to the wharf<br />

after what had been a fantastic<br />

morning seeing Rotorua from a<br />

different aspect. I had made a new<br />

friend, leant how to smoke trout the<br />

proper way and caught a bunch of<br />

fish, perfect.<br />

If you are going to Rotorua, go<br />

fishing or just go out cruising on<br />

the Lakeland Princess, you won’t<br />

regret it.”<br />

<strong>ADV</strong>ENTUREMAGAZINE.CO.NZ 43

Left to right: Relaxing in the Polynesian Pools before my spa treatment / The Redwoods nightlight treewalk<br />

Whilst Steve was catching our lunch, I headed to the<br />

Polynesian Pools and Spa for a treat of a different kind. The<br />

Polynesian Spa commands a prime piece of real estate, right<br />

on the shores of Lake Rotorua. My treatment began with a<br />

soak in the Deluxe Lake Spa pools, ranging in temperature<br />

from 38-41 degrees, each boating delightful views of the lake.<br />

The only sound was the gentle trickle of water cascading<br />

over the rocks as you moved. Signs asking for no music or no<br />

talking on mobile phones set the scene for a very relaxing and<br />

tranquil experience.<br />

The idea of a dip before a body treatment is to relax the<br />

muscles and really to get you in the zone for pampering, and<br />

they certainly did that. I had an early morning appointment<br />

which I would thoroughly recommend as it meant the pools<br />

were almost empty. I sat in the pools overlooking the lake<br />

wondering at the gulls swooping on a nearby outcrop before<br />

heading inside for my treatment.<br />

There are a variety of treatments on offer and the whole<br />

process from start to finish leaves you feeling pampered and<br />

calm. I was reluctant to leave the tranquillity of the spa and<br />

could happily have spent the rest of the day relaxing in their<br />

recliner chairs overlooking the lake, sipping on herbal tea.<br />

Rotorua is an area that has always been rich in Maori culture,<br />

and has built an international reputation as the cultural centre<br />

of New Zealand, however the many closed doors of cultural<br />

shows and centres stand as a stark reminder of the effects that<br />

Covid has had on this part of New Zealand. But despite their<br />

lack of international tourists, their catchcry “manaakitanga,”<br />

which loosely translates to mean “hospitality,” still rings true<br />

and we experienced this everywhere we went.<br />


Black Swan Lakeside Boutique Hotel: Perched on the edge<br />

of Lake Rotorua, this boutique hotel offers a luxurious, tranquil<br />

getaway with park-like gardens, complete with pool and spa pools<br />

overlooking the lake. Named after the black swans that you can<br />

hand feed from their jetty, this is somewhere that oozes intimate<br />

luxury. Owned and hosted by Arthur, his attention to service and<br />

detail is second to none. The restaurant on the upper level of the<br />

hotel offers fine dining and panoramic views of the lake.<br />

www.blackswanhotel.co.nz<br />

Regent of Rotorua<br />

This chic urban accommodation has a prime position in the heart<br />

of Rotorua on the corner of the popular “Eat Streat”. Offering 35<br />

rooms, a swimming pool and an award winning restaurant.<br />

www.regentrotorua.co.nz<br />

Terrace Kitchen<br />

Situated opposite the marina you’ll find a real treasure of a<br />

place. We had lunch at Terrace Kitchen on their private terrace<br />

overlooking the large back lawn. The atmosphere and setting<br />

were delightful, as was the food and service.<br />

www.terrace.kitchen<br />

We would like to thank all those people who helped make this trip<br />

so memorable. For more information on everything there is to do<br />

visit www.rotoruanz.com<br />

Lakeland Princess Fishing Charters<br />

www.lakelandprincesscharters2019.simdif.com<br />

“Escape ordinary”<br />

Caring luxury | Local flavour | One of a kind<br />

We finished our time in Rotorua with a trip back to experience<br />

the Redwood Nightlight treewalk. The Redwoods Treewalk is<br />

the longest suspended walkway in the world, consisting of 28<br />

elevated swing bridges and platforms. At night it turns onto a<br />

magical scene as thousands of lights flicker through the trees<br />

create a truly unique experience.<br />

I would encourage you to put Rotorua on your visit list and<br />

come and explore the multitude of things there are to do in this<br />

little piece of Kiwi paradise.<br />

44//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#<strong>224</strong><br />

Volcanic Air<br />

www.volcanicair.co.nz<br />

Mountain Bike Rotorua<br />

www.mtbrotorua.co.nz<br />

Secret Spot Hot Tubs<br />

www.secretspot.nz<br />

Rotorua Canopy Tours<br />

www.canopytours.co.nz<br />

Polynesian Spa<br />

www.polynesianspa.co.nz<br />

Redwood Nightlights<br />

www.treewalk.co.nz<br />

1191 Pukaki Street, Rotorua<br />

p: +64 7 348 4079 | w: regentrotorua.co.nz

hiking<br />

TALES<br />

Olivine Ice Plateau<br />

By Mike Dawson and Alex Hillary<br />

We were somewhere in the dense bush of New<br />

Zealand’s wild West Coast; battling the unrelenting<br />

undergrowth, sweaty, bleeding and tired… but stoked.<br />

Despite knowing where we were geographically, we<br />

felt lost in the wilderness. The countless dead ends<br />

encountered as we searched for a route amongst the<br />

bluffed-out ridges, landslips or cliffs. This emulated<br />

the description of type 2 fun, a challenge that seemed<br />

to be never ending. It was tough going We crashed<br />

through the forest, our pace slowed to a mere 0.5km/<br />

hr. It’s brutal. We’re dehydrated and hungry, but we’re<br />

out here in our element getting amongst the very<br />

best of what New Zealand has on offer as part of our<br />

‘Extreme Tramping’ trip.<br />

7 days earlier, in a rush of logistics and gear we’d<br />

set out on an epic Covid inspired adventure into the<br />

heart of New Zealand backcountry. As the Air NZ bird<br />

descended into Queenstown, we got our first glimpse<br />

of the terrain we were heading into. Our trip was<br />

ambitious, but one that had been loosely spoken about<br />

although never planned and with international travel off<br />

the cards we decided to look a little closer and explore<br />

our backyard. We were embarking on a traverse<br />

through the Olivine Wilderness Area to Neil’s Beach on<br />

the West Coast ‘when we arrived’. The 2 of us, myself,<br />

Mike Dawson, and Alpinist Alex Hillary, were out on<br />

a bit of a mission to journey to the hallowed ground<br />

of New Zealand adventure in the heart of the remote<br />

untouched and isolated wilderness zone. A place filled<br />

with stunning scenery, steep terrain and home to many<br />

good adventures.<br />

This trip had a few moving parts; land in Queenstown,<br />

pack as much Radix into our packs as possible, sort<br />

pack rafts with Queenstown Packrafting and get to<br />

Glenorchy. It couldn’t have been an easier start into<br />

the elusive Olivine. We’d barely bought a Ferg Burger<br />

before Huw and Harry from Queenstown Packrafting<br />

had tee’d up our logistics and kit and had us standing<br />

at the start of the Routeburn Track on dusk ready to<br />

get amongst it.<br />

The route from the Forgotten River Bivvy on the final<br />

approach to the Olivine Ice Plateau. It’s a wild part of<br />

New Zealand.<br />

<strong>ADV</strong>ENTUREMAGAZINE.CO.NZ 47

The Forgotten River Bivy providing home<br />

for a few days.<br />

"It’s a paradise<br />

out there, albeit,<br />

made up of brutal<br />

and unrelenting<br />

country."<br />

Alex Hillary checks out the top of the Andy Glacier on the Olivine Ice Plateau.<br />

Taking a moment to think about our route down to Lake Williamson and out route out to the West<br />

Coast through the gorge.<br />

The Route: The Olivine is somewhat<br />

sacred. It’s the argued home to the<br />

mountains of the gods. It’s a place of<br />

wilderness and the wild terrain that goes<br />

with it, big mountains, bad weather and<br />

many failed trips. Choosing the right<br />

route can make or break a mission to<br />

the Olivine. It’s a paradise out there,<br />

albeit, made up of brutal and unrelenting<br />

terrain. It’s a place where short<br />

distances turn into day-long ordeals and<br />

the ‘should be all good from here’ never<br />

quite eventuates into reality.<br />

Off we went, clambering into the Beech<br />

Forest and quickly moving from the<br />

pristine Routeburn Track, over the<br />

Sugarloaf Pass and into the Rock Burn.<br />

Alex and I began to joke that just getting<br />

to the foot of the Olivine Ice Plateau<br />

with our brutally full packs would be a<br />

challenge. 33kgs in total draped on our<br />

shoulders, laden down with gear for<br />

our multi discipline traverse. Climbing<br />

gear, ice gear, rescue equipment, camp<br />

equipment, camera kit emergency<br />

equipment, and that’s all before we get<br />

to the essentials such as food. Off we<br />

went, towards the Barrier Range.<br />

From here we disappeared into the<br />

backcountry following the slowly<br />

diminishing track through Theatre Flat,<br />

over Park and Cow Passes before<br />

dropping into the head waters of the<br />

Olivine River and the Wilderness Zone.<br />

Entering the Wilderness Zone made<br />

us feel instantly more remote as we<br />

floundered around attempting to follow<br />

the Olivine river. Up until now it’s been<br />

relatively easy going, but the river is<br />

elusive as it disappears into gorges,<br />

rapids and deep pools. For hours we<br />

swam, climbed and negotiated our way<br />

downstream constantly crossing it’s<br />

crystal clear but freezing cold water from<br />

side to side.<br />

For 13hrs we battled our way down,<br />

climbing around rapids and gorges or<br />

hike-swimming through the pools, the<br />

first tough section of the route we’d<br />

chosen. We found ourselves negotiating<br />

some difficult terrain and working our<br />

way slowly to the confluence with<br />

the Forgotten River and an epic little<br />

camp spot right on dusk. Early the next<br />

morning we started the journey into<br />

the Forgotten and the higher up we<br />

wandered into the valley, it was evident<br />

this place had in fact been forgotten.<br />

The sheer magnitude of the place,<br />

it’s beauty and remoteness, truly<br />

untouched. The mountain ranges<br />

began to surround us, climbing steeply<br />

into the sky before being engulfed in<br />

rain and fog as horrific weather slowly<br />

descended into the valley and set in<br />

for the night. Up ahead the Olivine Ice<br />

Plateau tried to break through the thick<br />

cloud. We clambered through the wet,<br />

Dinner time in paradise.<br />

slippery and steep tussock sections just<br />

enjoying the place! Finally we’d arrived<br />

at our destination, but all we could do<br />

was wait.<br />

Camping out at the base of the Olivine<br />

Ice Plateau in a historic Bivvy was a<br />

well needed respite from the raging<br />

storm outside, and the stiff muscles from<br />

the walk in. This place was incredible,<br />

a giant boulder wedged into the side<br />

of the mountain creating a dry and<br />

sheltered ‘bush hotel’. We ate, relaxed<br />

and recovered from our previous 3 days<br />

constantly peering through the clouds<br />

to try and make out the Plateau some<br />

1000m above.<br />

From here we were heading into the<br />

alpine area, over the Forgotten River<br />

Col after climbing up the final 1000m<br />

and working our way through the maze<br />

of cliffs, bluffs, snow and streams. The<br />

walk up was all time. As we got higher,<br />

the sun began to burn off the thick cloud<br />

and we could suddenly see where we<br />

were. High up above the Forgotten<br />

River Valley, the silence of nature<br />

occasionally pierced with the sounds of<br />

avalanching ice and the crunch of snow<br />

under our crampons. Climax peak to the<br />

East towered over the Thunder Glacier,<br />

the Memorial Icefall ahead and our route<br />

North-West down the plateau towards<br />

Futurity Rock.<br />

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The weather was bluebird and clear. The<br />

clouds had dissipated, and we were in<br />

paradise as we began crossing the Plateau<br />

slowly, roped up and constantly on watch<br />

for hidden crevasses. The high clouds<br />

circled above and began threatening to<br />

deteriorate as we arrived at the edge of<br />

the plateau. We’d successfully crossed<br />

over, but the challenge was still ahead.<br />

We stood on the edge of Futurity Rock,<br />

as the horizon dropped off the edge of the<br />

world down toward Lake Williamson far<br />

below. We began working our way down<br />

the couleur towards the Willamson River<br />

and the outflow of the Andy Glacier. As<br />

we descended towards the bushline of the<br />

west coast we were constantly greeted<br />

with massive drop offs, steep tussock lined<br />

slopes, creeks and other tricky sections. We<br />

traversed high above the cliff that flanks lake<br />

Williamson before slowly dropping down to<br />

the wild West Coast and it’s relentless bush.<br />

The entire way we were in the presence of<br />

the most incredible view of the Andy Glacier.<br />

From here the physical work began. It was<br />

going to be a slog fest through some dense<br />

and rugged forest. We started down the<br />

Williamson River and into the Arawhata<br />

River. The hours slowly turned into days as<br />

we spent the next 3 days fighting with the<br />

land. The toughest section, without a doubt<br />

was our route through 10hr Gorge. An epic<br />

piece of whitewater on the Arawhata River<br />

at the edge of the Wilderness Area. We<br />

stayed low to scout it, a decision that led<br />

to the torment of steep gullies, landslides,<br />

bluffs and some ‘extreme tramping’. Many<br />

hours later the gradient of the river slowly<br />

subsided and we jumped in our packrafts<br />

and started kayaking out to Niels Beach and<br />

with-it civilisation 50kms away.<br />

The Olivine Ice Plateau slowly emerging from behind the<br />

lingering cloud as we get ready to head up and across.<br />


"After 2 brutal days smashing through the<br />

bush, Alex Hillary enjoys the relaxing float<br />

down the Arawhata to the West Coast."<br />

The food Ordeal: Getting to the Olivine is as much of the<br />

challenge as getting across it. Its’ sheer remoteness and<br />

with access only permitted by foot our expedition was faced<br />

with a real problem, weight. On a trip like this the bare<br />

minimum of equipment required to stay safe and energized<br />

is phenomenal. We needed a product that could provide high<br />

quality, high performing nutrition to function in an exposed,<br />

remote and energy sapping environment. Radix was the<br />

perfect addition. The highest of quality nutrients combined<br />

with an incredible weight: calorie equation. We needed<br />

performance out of our food and the expedition range<br />

provided. 30+ meals were packed into the bottom of our<br />

packs bringing our total pack weight to just over 33kgs – It<br />

was going to be tough going.<br />

Risk Exposure: On a trip of this magnitude, surrounded by<br />

high exposure situation constantly, safety is no accident. It’s<br />

important to be prepared for whatever can happen. You’re<br />

remote and isolated traversing through some of the most<br />

rugged and wild big country of the New Zealand wilderness.<br />

Our journey saw us traveling by water, over ice, abseiling<br />

through rivers, using a roadmap of alpine creeks and fighting<br />

our way through the bush.<br />

It’s vital to carry the right equipment, keep hydrated and<br />

constantly fuelled. Our daily routine included ensuring we<br />

broke for a Radix lunch to keep the energy up but make<br />

sure we didn’t become clumsy or make mistakes late in the<br />

day. An Inreach or Spot is a must if you’re heading out on<br />

the mission. It’s also important to make sure you have a first<br />

aid kit, emergency blanket and sleeping bag. Weather adds<br />

to the mix. Any travel in the NZ Alpine is constantly battling<br />

the ever-changing weather situations and this trip was no<br />

different. Crossing the Ice Plateau our eyes were constantly<br />

watching the changing skyline to beat the encroaching front.<br />

To battle the weather it’s important to have the right gear<br />

especially when you’re heading out into the bush.<br />

This trip was multiple days of beautiful but tough trekking,<br />

enjoying the best NZ has on offer, miles from anywhere. In<br />

the end we solved the puzzle of the plateau with a solid plan,<br />

a very lucky weather window, some stamina and supplies,<br />

and it was all-time.<br />

This trip was supported by Radix Nutrition, Pivotel Satellite,<br />

Ortlieb, Queenstown Packrafting, Hillary Collection & Canon.<br />

HIKE<br />

PADDLE<br />


www.packraftingqueenstown.com<br />

Packrafting<br />

Queenstown<br />

specialises in small<br />

group packrafting<br />

adventures,<br />

instructional courses,<br />

rentals and sales.

BIKING<br />

TALES<br />

Vista just past Ghost Lake Hut<br />

the queenstown bike trail<br />

By Lynne Dickinson - Images by Steve Dickinson<br />

Officially opened in 2012, the Queenstown Bike Trail is one<br />

of New Zealands’ 22 Great Rides. With a network of over<br />

130km of off-road trails, it provides a safe and sustainable<br />

way to explore the Wakatipu Basin from Queenstown,<br />

through Arrowtown and out to the vineyards of Gibbston<br />

Valley.<br />

The beauty of the trail is its diversity, you will find something<br />

to suit every level of experience and fitness and it really<br />

showcases the beauty of the region. Regardless of the trail<br />

you choose you will experience stunning mountain vistas,<br />

turquoise lakes, rivers and swing bridges.<br />

With so many riding options to choose from we relied on<br />

the experts from Around the Basin to help us out. Based<br />

in Queenstown, their team know the trails well and were<br />

able to help us make a choice on the best option for our<br />

group. After a little discussion we decided to shuttle out to<br />

Arrowtown and follow the trail back to Queenstown, with a<br />

few side stops along the way. More on that later…<br />

Heaven’s Door<br />

Crossing the Arrow River<br />

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"The beauty of the trail is<br />

its diversity"<br />

So we started our journey in picturesque Arrowtown, the<br />

historic gold mining town that sits alongside the Arrow River.<br />

Considered one of the most picturesque settlements it's<br />

the perfect spot for a pre-bike coffee or a bite to eat before<br />

heading off on the trail.<br />

We were riding a mixture of mountain bikes and electric<br />

bikes and although I was at first reluctant to use an e-bike,<br />

I am now a definite convert. You can ride the whole way<br />

without using the electric assistance, but seriously, why<br />

would you. When we came to a slight hill or a more steeper<br />

incline, all you have to do is press a button and you are<br />

turbo charged up the incline. Perfect. What it allows is for<br />

compatibility within your group, regardless of your fitness or<br />

experience level, you are all able to enjoy the ride together.<br />

Apart from the incredible scenery, while on the Queenstown<br />

Bike Trail you feel like you are miles away from civilization,<br />

when in reality the main road is never far away. We set out<br />

from Arrowtown alongside the Arrow River before turning<br />

back towards Queenstown riding along the Kawerau River.<br />

The trail was challenging enough to keep us peddling yet<br />

gentle enough to allow us to enjoy the numerous sights<br />

along the way. The trail crosses some impressive swing<br />

bridges making for a great riding experience.<br />

At one point the trail veered away from the Kawerau River<br />

and we found ourselves crossing the Shotover River via the<br />

historic Shotover Bridge. The area is rich in history with the<br />

bridge dating back to 1871 and offers incredible views over<br />

the shotover river. The original bridge was washed away in<br />

1878 and later replaced in 1915. The bridge, which is now<br />

only open to foot and bike traffic, is 172 metres long and an<br />

impressive 16 meters above the river below.<br />

From here we rejoined the Kawerau River and biked along<br />

the stony river bank where the twists and turns of the river<br />

have created stone beaches and perfect access for fishing,<br />

kayaking or a dip if you don’t mind the cold water. Be careful<br />

of the current, the colour of the water is incredibly inviting,<br />

yet the water is both cold and fast flowing in places.<br />

We eventually reached the Kawerau Falls Bridge with the<br />

sight of Queenstown in the distance. It was really the first<br />

time we had felt like we were near civilisation in the whole<br />

trip. We crossed the old historic 90 year old Kawarau Falls<br />

Bridge, that has been maintained alongside the fancy new<br />

expressway and biked down for our first real stop of the day.<br />

This is one of the things I absolutely love about the<br />

Queenstown trail. There is not only incredible scenery but<br />

there are also plenty of fantastic places to stop along the<br />

way. We were heading to the Three Miners Cellar door at the<br />

Hilton Hotel where we were meeting the hostess and winery<br />

owner, Kirstin for some wine tasting. We left our bikes at the<br />

door and before long we were relaxing with a glass of wine<br />

in hand listening to the story of the Three Miners Vineyard.<br />

Quite an interesting tale and worth a ride out to hear all<br />

about it.

equip<br />

yourself!<br />

our recommendations<br />

During our stay in Queenstown we resided at the Dairy<br />

Private Hotel, a unique boutique hotel in the centre of<br />

Queenstown, an easy walk to all amenities and wonderfully<br />

hosted by Maria. www.naumihotels.com We also ate at some<br />

pretty amazing places. Check out our recommendations...<br />

Boardwalk<br />

Around The Basin aim to give any level of rider the opportunity<br />

to experience Queenstown’s stunning trails by helping them<br />

choose the ride most suited to their ability with as much or as<br />

little support as desired along the way. In addition to bike rental<br />

they offer winery bike tours and bike and shuttle packages<br />

between Queenstown, Arrowtown, Gibbston and Jacks Point –<br />

these self-guided rides are perfect for the independent rider. For<br />

those that prefer a complete package with full care and attention<br />

throughout the entire ride their supported Bike The Bridges or<br />

Basin Explorer tours are the ideal choice. These supported tours<br />

can also be fully guided for that extra personal experience.<br />

www.aroundthebasin.co.nz<br />

Boardwalk: In one of the best locations in Queenstown you’ll find<br />

Boardwalk, situated on the upper level of Steamer Wharf. The views from<br />

the restaurant are spectacular and overlook the water where the TSS<br />

Earnslaw docks with the mountains creating a spectacular backdrop in<br />

the distance.Before you rush upstairs to the main event, visit the Oyster<br />

Bar underneath the main restaurant serving freshly shucked oysters and<br />

champagne. The only way to describe it is decadent! However it is a great<br />

prelude to what is on offer upstairs.<br />

The main restaurant upstairs offers an ever evolving menu of seafood<br />

and meats created into a contemporary meal experience. The<br />

environment is serene and although it offers a fine dining experience, it’s<br />

not a place with any pretence. You will fit in whether you are in jeans or<br />

you’ve gone all out and got dressed up. The wait staff are attentive and<br />

the wine menu extensive.<br />

www.boardwalkqueenstown.nz<br />

The Boat Shed Cafe & Bistro<br />

Three Miners Cellar Door<br />

The entrance to Flame Bar and Grill and their bombe Alaska dessert<br />

Taking a break alongside the Kawerau River<br />

Refreshed we got back on our bikes and headed back to the other side of the<br />

bridge and cruised on to lunch at The Boat Shed Cafe & Bistro. Nestled on the<br />

shores of Lake Wakatipu, it was a perfect spot to both enjoy the view and the food<br />

but also to reflect on our fantastic day before the final few kilometres back into<br />

town.<br />

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equipoutdoors.co.nz<br />

62 Killarney Road,<br />

Frankton, Hamilton,<br />

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P: 0800 22 67 68<br />

E: sales@equipoutdoors.co.nz<br />

People often confuse mountain biking with ‘extreme’, and it can be. However, it<br />

can also be a spectacular way to see a region, the smells, the sounds, all those<br />

small ingredients to go to make a great trip. You see a lot of Queenstown touring<br />

in a car but you will get to really ‘experience’ it on two wheels.<br />

Lunch at The Boat Shed Cafe & Bistro<br />

We started in Arrowtown and followed<br />

the Arrow River Bridge ride before<br />

turning onto the Twin River ride towards<br />

Queenstown. Here we crossed the<br />

bridge to the Hilton for wine tasting at<br />

the Three Minors before joining the Lake<br />

Wakatipu ride back into town.<br />

The Boat Shed Cafe & Bistro:<br />

Nestled on the northern shores of<br />

Lake Wakatipu, the Boat Shed sits<br />

on the waters edge and food is as<br />

good as the view. The lake, the<br />

mountains, the rugged little wharf<br />

all go to create a very comfortable<br />

friendly environment. The food,<br />

(The Boat Shed’s words not mine)<br />

is “good food- well done’ and I think<br />

that sums up the ambience of the<br />

place. The menu is not huge but<br />

everything on it looked excellent.<br />

For those of us who had not been<br />

before we were very aware not to<br />

get ‘food envy’ and there was a lot<br />

of discussion with the friendly staff<br />

as to what to order. A great place for<br />

a casual lunch!<br />

www.boatshedqueenstown.co.nz<br />

Three Miners Wine tasting<br />

at the Hilton: As part of our<br />

mountain bike trip we visited the<br />

cellar door of the Three Miners<br />

situated inside the Hilton Hotel.<br />

It’s a clever move to have the<br />

cellar door of the actual vineyard<br />

is on the banks of the Clutha<br />

river. Three Miners Vineyard was<br />

mined for gold in the 1860's. The<br />

Three Miners wines take their<br />

names from this historic land<br />

use. There was obviously more<br />

money in wine than gold! We<br />

met Kristin Wright the ownerand<br />

she took us through a range of<br />

their wines, it was delicious. The<br />

setting in the Hilton is plush,<br />

comfortable and intimate. We<br />

got to know Kristine and found<br />

out how a professor came to<br />

own a vineyard. E had the Three<br />

Miners legacy explained and<br />

bought wine. We liked it so much<br />

we went back the next day and<br />

did it all again.<br />

www.threeminors.com<br />

Flame: From the moment<br />

you walk in the doors Flame<br />

is bursting with vibrancy and<br />

it was packed (so book).<br />

The open kitchen is alive<br />

with action and flames, you<br />

don't need to look at the<br />

menu to see the food is good<br />

because the smell alone is<br />

divine.<br />

It is always great to meet<br />

the owner of a successful<br />

restaurant as success is<br />

not just served up on a<br />

plate it needs to be earned<br />

by hard work and passion.<br />

Jonathan Bisley had both of<br />

those attributes in buckets.<br />

His passion for what he<br />

had created and was still<br />

creating was contagious. He<br />

told us about the staff, the<br />

history, and the significance<br />

of the rhino on the wal, but<br />

mostly he told us about the<br />

food, where the meat came<br />

from, how it was cooked<br />

and how the standards were<br />

maintained.<br />

I have eaten ribs everywhere<br />

in the world, they are my<br />

‘go to food’ but never have<br />

I eaten any as good as<br />

what Flame has on offer.<br />

We foolishly suggest that<br />

Jonathan order for us and as<br />

plate after plate of the most<br />

delicious food flowed from<br />

the kitchen, we realised<br />

we had bitten off more than<br />

we could chew - but it was<br />

‘oh so good’ As the evening<br />

came to a close Joanathn<br />

arrived with a “Flame”<br />

bombe Alaska dessert - and<br />

bombe Alaska shaped like<br />

a flame that was then set<br />

alight. It tasted as good as it<br />

looked, superb!<br />

www.flamegrill.co.nz<br />

For a full list of activities visit Destination Queenstown www.queenstownnz.co.nz<br />

<strong>ADV</strong>ENTUREMAGAZINE.CO.NZ 59


TALES<br />

Above: Sven Hansen and Patrick Hobbs spent 6 months preparing for their Mt. Aspiring Ascent. Good health,<br />

gym work, physio and massage were essentials.<br />

Right: Sven, Patrick, Will and James at the top of the buttress.<br />

Climbing Mt. Aspiring in a<br />

shrinking weather window<br />

Two good friends. Six months of preparation. A small weather window and only one day<br />

to summit Mt. Aspiring. Sven Hansen and Patrick Hobbs were determined to get the job<br />

done when they wanted to summit Tititea.<br />

By Sven Hansen<br />

At 3033m, Mt Aspiring is New Zealand’s highest<br />

peak outside of the Aoraki/Mount Cook region. It is<br />

often called the Matterhorn of the South, and it is an<br />

intimidating mountain of soaring rock and ice.<br />

Six months ago, Patrick posed the question.<br />

Somewhat naively, I said yes. It took months for<br />

the reality of this commitment to bite. Without much<br />

heavy walking or climbing in decades, it was obvious<br />

that a significant amount of training was required.<br />

Fear became my friend.<br />

Over four months, we set about more serious<br />

training with the support of friends and our wives,<br />

Sonya and Susan. At age 61, gym work, physio and<br />

massage became essential. Finally, it was time for<br />

the ascent.<br />

We meet James and Will from Aspiring Guides,<br />

based in Wanaka. They were friendly and somewhat<br />

sceptical of these two enthusiastic old geezers.<br />

Ready to dash if the weather clears, hope is crushed<br />

by low clouds. On the way back to Wanaka from<br />

weighing at the helicopter base, Will decided that<br />

some rock climbing would be in order. He marched<br />

us in our heavy alpine climbing boots, harnesses and<br />

helmets to a 10 m, grade 14 crack in a vertical rock<br />

face. “You must be kidding!” was all I could think.<br />

Nevertheless, we both scaled this test twice – albeit<br />

without grace. Our guides, though, seemed satisfied<br />

and sent us to bed for a 5 am start.<br />

After our helicopter ride at 6.30 am, we began<br />

crossing the Bonar Glacier. Pretty relaxing and aweinspiring<br />

as we march toward the looming monster<br />

of Tititea.<br />

Then we lightened our packs by storing our sleeping<br />

bags, extra food and gear, under some rocks, before<br />

starting our 1300m ascent to the top. We headed up<br />

an icy, endless slope toward the base of the North-<br />

West route. Now on all fours with ice-axes as we<br />

crawled up to the ridge. A glorious day. Magnificent<br />

views of our Southern Alps bloomed around us under<br />

an azure-blue sky.<br />

No rest for the climbers as we confronted the<br />

Buttress. She is intimidating from 50 km, let alone<br />

when you look straight up the jagged rock face.<br />

60//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#<strong>224</strong> <strong>ADV</strong>ENTUREMAGAZINE.CO.NZ 61

we ARE climbing<br />

Summit selfies at 3033 meters.<br />

This grade 13, massive ridge of rock is<br />

crumbling and black with hundreds of<br />

meters dropping off either side. We roped<br />

up to our guides, very focused, breathing<br />

slowly, and moved only one limb at a time.<br />

We spent two hours climbing vertical and<br />

fractured schist rock. Yet, it was glorious,<br />

calm, and warm. The views demand awe<br />

and attention.<br />

Eventually, we hit the snowy ramp, the<br />

last few hundred metres, leading us to the<br />

summit. Crampons and ice-axes got back<br />

on to trudge up a narrow ramp straight up<br />

the North-West ridge. We felt the altitude<br />

and struggled to control our breath as<br />

we creeped upwards. The extraordinary<br />

beauty continues to stop us in our tracks.<br />

Then, somewhat suddenly, we were at the<br />

top. It was a small icy platform with space<br />

dropping into eternity on every side.<br />

Absolutely jaw-dropping. One can see<br />

coast to coast and up and down the great<br />

peaks of Aotearoa. Mt Cook suggests that<br />

she too is there when we are ready. We<br />

have summited Tititea!<br />

Relaxing and absorbing a moment on<br />

the roof of our world was a rare delight.<br />

A light wind cooled us down. The colours<br />

so clear. The expanse so vast. The peaks<br />

endless.<br />

Too soon, it was time to head down. Have<br />

to get serious quickly. It was steep, and<br />

we had to move fast to get back to Colin<br />

Todd Hut. The ice was now soft, and we<br />

made good headway down the ramp.<br />

I was very conscious of the challenges<br />

of the Buttress wall below, it looked<br />

more threatening from above, my legs<br />

were tired, courage had to be found, and<br />

refocusing was required. Good to have<br />

expert guides.<br />

We picked our way down, enjoying<br />

two wonderful 30m abseils. Hundreds<br />

of meters of fresh air claw and suck at<br />

our boots. Then down to the glacier to<br />

collect our gear and back up to the hut.<br />

Unbelievably we have it to ourselves.<br />

Rest, food, camaraderie, and sleep are<br />

very welcome, after twelve hours on our<br />

feet.<br />

Thank you, Pat, James, Will, Aspiring<br />

Guides and our incredibly supportive<br />

partners Sonya and Susan. This is one<br />

we will not forget. We wonder what is<br />

next…<br />


Aspiring Guides is a long-time mountain<br />

guiding company that has been based<br />

in Wanaka for over 30 years. Aspiring<br />

Guides provides guided ascents of<br />

New Zealand's highest mountains<br />

and iconic peaks such as Mt Cook, Mt<br />

Aspiring and Mt Tasman as well as<br />

offering comprehensive mountaineering<br />

instruction, climbing courses and multiday<br />

wilderness hiking adventures in the<br />

spectacular NZ Southern Alps.<br />

Alec McCallum sends<br />

Dr Strangelove (32) second go<br />

Photo: Tom Hoyle<br />

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

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

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



www.bivouac.co.nz<br />


1. We’ve kept it beautiful for you.<br />

Vanuatu is famous for its untouched<br />

beauty. The Ni-Vanuatu people have<br />

a deep respect for the land – so you’ll<br />

find everything as nature intended.<br />

2. A great place for the whole family.<br />

Vanuatu is a place of connection, where<br />

amazing experiences are best shared.<br />

With so much to see and do – in a place<br />

where everyone is made to feel welcome<br />

– it really is the perfect family holiday (or<br />

extended family).<br />

3. Start living again<br />

It’s time to rediscover your passions and<br />

make up for the past year. And what<br />

better place than Vanuatu’s 83 islands of<br />

adventure? From swimming, diving and<br />

sailing, to hiking, cycling and horse riding,<br />

get out there and do the things you love.<br />

10 great reasons to save a<br />

spot in Vanuatu<br />

As we welcome in a new year, it’s time to<br />

start dreaming of better days ahead. If you<br />

plan to dive headlong into an overseas<br />

adventure, Vanuatu should be right up<br />

there on your shortlist. We’ve got all<br />

our COVID safe plans in place and look<br />

forward to welcoming you back when the<br />

borders open again. Here are 10 great<br />

reasons to answer the call of Vanuatu:<br />

4. Widen your circle of friends<br />

Many a lifelong friendship has been made<br />

between the Ni-Vanuatu people and our<br />

close neighbours in Australia and New<br />

Zealand. Our gratitude to every visitor<br />

supporting our country is reflected in<br />

every friendly smile and warm welcome.<br />


5. Discover ancient cultures and<br />

traditions<br />

Just because you can’t fly long haul<br />

doesn’t mean you can’t be a world away.<br />

A few short hours from NZ, Vanuatu offers<br />

a traditional way of living so very different<br />

to your own – with mystical kastom and<br />

culture at the heart of everyday life.<br />

To everyone eagerly dusting off their passport,<br />

If this last year has taught us anything, it is the value of human connection. We’ve all missed sharing good<br />

times with friends and family. And the thrill of exploring our beautiful world to meet new people.<br />

6. Make 2021 extraordinary<br />

Make 2021 a year to remember by planning all<br />

those amazing things you’ve been dreaming<br />

about but haven’t been able to do. Extraordinary<br />

adventures await in Vanuatu.<br />

7. Give your mind a holiday<br />

It’s time to sweep away all<br />

those negative sentiments<br />

and let your mind wander.<br />

Whether you’re floating<br />

downriver through a<br />

rainforest, kayaking between<br />

islands or hiking through<br />

waterfalls, Vanuatu offers<br />

many incredible ways to<br />

revitalise your spirit.<br />

As things start to return to normal, we’ve made sure our welcome party is ready and waiting. The people of<br />

Vanuatu have forged many strong bonds with our close neighbours in Australia and New Zealand, and can’t<br />

wait to invite you back. Nothing makes us happier than sharing our beautiful country with friends.<br />

So please keep us on your list when international travel is deemed safe for both you and us. We know a<br />

thing or two about how to let your hair down and throw yourself headlong into the moment – something<br />

we are all longing to do. You don’t always need music to dance.<br />

From our white sandy beaches to our pristine rainforests and rumbling volcanos, we have kept it beautiful<br />

for you. All our COVID Safe Plans are also in place, to ensure you can enjoy a safe, clean and caring Vanuatu.<br />

If it’s your first time to Vanuatu, we’d love to introduce you to our kastom and culture, natural wonders and<br />

relaxed way of life. And at the end of the day, talk about it over a drink or a shell of kava. You really don’t<br />

need to go far to experience a different way of living.<br />

8. Lets go<br />

Leap from a rope swing into a<br />

blue hole. Explore caves, dive on<br />

reefs and laugh with the locals.<br />

Stand on the edge of a live<br />

volcano. Life’s so much more fun<br />

when you learn to let go.<br />

We would love you to answer the call of Vanuatu in 2021. We think there is no better place to find your<br />

travel groove again. From everyone at the Vanuatu Tourism Office, we wish you happy travels and look<br />

forward to welcoming you to our islands very soon.<br />

Discover our islands of adventure<br />

at vanuatu.travel<br />

9. Laugh till your cheeks hurt<br />

Aside from natural wonders and breathtaking<br />

views, the most common sight here is the<br />

Vanuatu smile. It’s everywhere. Island life is<br />

filled with fun and good times – and it’s high<br />

time you joined the party<br />

10. Who needs a<br />

reason<br />

Who are we to tell<br />

you why you need a<br />

holiday? Whatever<br />

the reason for your<br />

getaway – whether<br />

it’s a romantic retreat,<br />

peace and quiet<br />

or an adrenaline<br />

adventure – Vanuatu<br />

offers something for<br />

everyone.<br />

<strong>ADV</strong>ENTUREMAGAZINE.CO.NZ 67


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 />

50 years. Shop now and<br />

never stop exploring.<br />

www.thenorthface.co.nz<br />

Gear up in a wide selection of durable, multifunctional<br />

outdoor clothing & gear. Free Returns. Free Shipping.<br />

www.patagonia.co.nz<br />

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, Adventure 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 />

Choose your perfect holiday accommodation from the<br />

largest selection of pre-serviced holiday homes, baches,<br />

and apartments available for rent in New Zealand. Book<br />

instantly online with Bachcare's real-time availability.<br />

www.bachcare.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 />

68//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#<strong>224</strong> <strong>ADV</strong>ENTUREMAGAZINE.CO.NZ 69

Xmas gift GUIDE<br />

Outdoor Research<br />

ActiveIce Spectrum Sun Gloves<br />

Innovative fabric that cools you<br />

as it wicks away perspiration and<br />

provides UPF 50+ protection from<br />

the sun's harsh rays. Fingerless with<br />

an anti-slip palm print. Extra length<br />

wrist for additional sun protection.<br />

RRP $44.99<br />


Black Diamond Storm 400 Headlamp<br />

Burly, water- and dust-proof compact housing for<br />

rugged adventures plus a maximum 400 lumens of<br />

bright light. Features include a secondary switch for<br />

easy mode selection, a 6-setting, 3-LED battery meter,<br />

three different coloured night vision modes, peripheral<br />

white lighting for close-range activities. 120gm<br />

(including 4 x AAA)<br />

RRP $99.99<br />


Macpac Sou'west PrimaLoft® Hooded Jacket - women's<br />

Designed for hiking, this synthetic jacket features PrimaLoft®<br />

Silver insulation with 70% post-consumer recycled content<br />

(PCR) for a great warmth-to-weight ratio in cold, damp<br />

conditions. This PrimaLoft® insulation is breathable, water<br />

resistant and packable.<br />

RRP $299.99<br />


Scarpa Vapor V Rock Climbing Shoe<br />

Asymmetrical, slightly down-turned<br />

shape and a medium-to-low angled<br />

toe box to strike a balance between<br />

confident smearing and refined toe<br />

power. Men’s and women’s specific<br />

models available.<br />

RRP $279.99<br />


Rab Arc Jacket<br />

Arc Jacket is a stretch waterproof<br />

jacket with pared-down features,<br />

designed as the ideal lightweight<br />

and easily packable jacket for<br />

multi-season active use.<br />

RRP $399.95<br />


Rab Momentum Pull-on<br />

The Momentum Pull-On is<br />

designed for those looking for<br />

that extra layer of protection in<br />

varied conditions.Made from<br />

durable, wind-resistant Matrix<br />

softshell with a UPF50+, this<br />

versatile layer protects from<br />

both the wind and sun while<br />

highly breathable Motiv side<br />

panels ensure full freedom of<br />

movement. Ideal for breezy<br />

MTB days.<br />

RRP $139.95<br />


Macpac Sou'west PrimaLoft® Vest — Men's<br />

Featuring PrimaLoft® Silver synthetic insulation and<br />

100% recycled fabrics, the Sou'west Vest offers<br />

strategic core warmth when the temperature cools off.<br />

Featuring a water repellent finish to help shed moisture.<br />

RRP $229.99<br />


Outdoor Research Performance Trucker Cap<br />

Go with the Flow! Breathable, lightweight,<br />

quick-drying cap with a comfortable FlexFit®<br />

110 construction and a floating, water-resistant<br />

performance. Just what you need to keep sun and<br />

water off your face or adventuring on water.<br />

RRP $49.95<br />


Rab Sawtooth Pants<br />

The Sawtooth Pant is an<br />

extremely versatile and<br />

lightweight softshell pant, using<br />

Matrix DWS fabric for high<br />

levels of wind resistance and<br />

breathability.<br />

RRP $239.95<br />


70//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#<strong>224</strong> <strong>ADV</strong>ENTUREMAGAZINE.CO.NZ 71

Back Country Cuisine<br />

CHICKEN CARBONARA: A freeze dried<br />

chicken and pasta dish, served in a creamy<br />

italian style sauce. Available in small serve<br />

90g or regular serve 175g sizes.<br />


Mushrooms with tomato in a savory sauce,<br />

served with noodles. Available in small<br />

serve 90g or regular serve 175g sizes.<br />

RRP $9.29 and $13.89<br />


take on chocolate self-saucing pudding,<br />

with chocolate brownie, boysenberries and<br />

chocolate sauce. Gluten Free. Available in<br />

regular serve.<br />

RRP 150g $12.89<br />


Primus Essential Trail Stove Set<br />

Sturdy everyday stove set – Compact – Sturdy<br />

This kit consists of the Essential Trail Stove and the 1.0L<br />

aluminium pot with frying pan. The pot can house both the<br />

stove and a 230g cartridge when not in use.<br />

Boiling time: 3:30min<br />

Output: 2500w<br />

Weight: 112g<br />

Dimensions: 108 diameter x 60 height<br />

RRP $149.95<br />

WWW.MOUNTAIN<strong>ADV</strong>ENTURE.CO.NZ<br />

NZ'S NO. 1<br />

<strong>ADV</strong>ENTURE<br />

MEALS<br />

Wherever your next<br />

adventure is about to<br />

lead you, we’ve got the<br />

goods to keep you<br />

going.<br />

Back Country Cuisine<br />

ICED MOCHA: Our mocha is made with<br />

chocolate and coffee combined with soft<br />

serve to give you a tasty drink on the run.<br />

Gluten Free. 85g.<br />

RRP $4.09<br />


Deep creek undercurrent<br />


ABV: 5.0%<br />

330ml Cans I 6 Packs<br />

50L Kegs I 30L Key Kegs<br />

Trophy for Best International<br />

Lager at the Australian<br />

International Beer Awards 2019!<br />

This New Zealand pilsner is<br />

derived from the traditional<br />

Czech style. Brewed with pilsner<br />

malt and cold-fermented with<br />

lager yeast; but that's where the<br />

tradition ends. We use all New<br />

Zealand hops and put most of<br />

them late in the brew to promote<br />

more hop flavour and aroma<br />

than you would expect from a<br />

traditional pilsner.<br />

Crisp and clean with a distinctive<br />

New Zealand hop character.<br />

Available in local liquor stores or<br />

supermarkets.<br />


Deep creek Señorita<br />

Chilli Hazy IPA<br />

ABV: 6.5%<br />

Señorita is our latest Hazy<br />

IPA creation.Beautifully<br />

smooth, with a fiery edge.<br />

This is one sexy brew.<br />

We've used a combination<br />

of both US and NZ hops,<br />

giving flavours of mango,<br />

passionfruit, and citrus,<br />

finishing with our very own<br />

chilli tincture to spice up<br />

your life. Chili flavor tends to<br />

set at the bottom, if you are<br />

looking for that really spicy<br />

taste, we recommend giving<br />

the can a good swirl around<br />

before emptying the last<br />

quarter or so.<br />


Primus Essential Trek Pot Set 1.6L<br />

Fits easily inside backpack<br />

Includes 0.6L pot and 1.0L pot plus a frying pan. All handle<br />

are removeable, can be configured multiple ways or can<br />

secure everything together when packed.<br />

Weight: 410g<br />

Dimensions: 117 diameter x 145 height<br />

RRP $149.95<br />

WWW.MOUNTAIN<strong>ADV</strong>ENTURE.CO.NZ<br />

Primus Firestick<br />

Trekking stove that fits in any pocket -<br />

Ultra-packable<br />

This stove is the new standard for<br />

compact outdoor stoves. Mount on top<br />

of any gas canister & fire it up with the<br />

single-handed use Piezo igniter.<br />

Comes with wool storage pouch.<br />

Boiling time: 3:30min<br />

Output: 2500w<br />

Weight: 105g<br />

Dimensions: 36 diameter x 103 height<br />

RRP $199.95<br />

WWW.MOUNTAIN<strong>ADV</strong>ENTURE.CO.NZ<br />

“First aid kit... on the go”<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<br />

up and your adventures<br />

wild.<br />

backcountrycuisine.co.nz<br />

<br />

<br />

Sunsaver Classic 16,000mAh<br />

Solar Power Bank<br />

Built tough for the outdoors and<br />

with a massive battery capacity<br />

you can keep all your devices<br />

charged no matter where your<br />

adventure takes you.<br />

RRP: $119.00<br />


Sunsaver Super-Flex 14-Watt<br />

Solar Charger<br />

Capable of charging your smartphone<br />

and USB gadgets straight from the<br />

sun, making it perfect for hiking,<br />

camping, or an emergency situation.<br />

RRP: $199.00<br />


Use coupon code: Balm<br />

Get a free Manuka Balm 12g handy<br />

tin and free NZ ship with purchase of<br />

$30 or more<br />


goodbye ouch sun balm<br />

Six years in development, outdoor<br />

guides and product makers John<br />

and Becky created a world first<br />

suncreen formulation. This is one<br />

you can rely on. With high water<br />

resistance, it will protect you in<br />

water environments and not run<br />

into eyes when you sweat. It is<br />

fully tested to the New Zealand<br />

sunscreen standard, certified<br />

natural by NATRUE and with<br />

its cocoa butter and coconut<br />

oils it smells amazing and<br />

glides over skin to give smooth,<br />

clear protective coverage. It<br />

is a water-free formula giving<br />

antioxidant support in efficient<br />

applications and small carry<br />

sizes for life outdoors.Available in<br />

supermarkets and health stores in<br />

New Zealand, or online at<br />


Helinox Chair Zero<br />

CHAIR ZERO will never<br />

make you choose between<br />

comfort and weight.<br />

Smaller and lighter than a<br />

water bottle, it's what your<br />

body craves at the end of a<br />

long day of trekking.<br />

•The lightest Helinox chair<br />

•Compact size &<br />

featherweight design<br />

makes for an easy carry<br />

•Easy to assemble with single shock<br />

corded pole structure<br />

•Frame constructed from DAC aluminum<br />

poles<br />

•Seat made from Ripstop Polyester<br />

•Backed by a 5 year warranty<br />

RRP $199.99<br />


A narrow flame fits small<br />

pots well and works better<br />

in windy conditions<br />

The pot support<br />

provides the flame<br />

with good wind<br />

protection<br />

NEW!<br />



A stove that fits in any pocket<br />

During our adventures, we pack and unpack our equipment many times.<br />

With that in mind, we have designed a series of products even lighter,<br />

smoother and more foldable to fit into the smaller pockets of our backpacks.<br />

The design makes for<br />

a stove that is compact<br />

and as light as possible<br />

Our latest control valve<br />

allows for an extensive<br />

precise flame adjustment<br />

Radix Nutrition keto 400<br />

Grass-Fed Lamb, Mint & Rosemary<br />

These 400kcal meals are the ideal<br />

option for someone on a low carb<br />

diet. They feature 8g of carbs, 28g fat<br />

and 24g protein.<br />

RRP $11.90<br />


Radix Nutrition performance<br />

Mixed Berry Breakfast<br />

Our Performance range is designed<br />

to enable optimal energy levels,<br />

muscle preservation, repair, recovery<br />

and mental function.<br />

RRP $14.90<br />


Regulated valve<br />

for enhanced<br />

performance<br />

The minimalistic design<br />

with few parts makes<br />

the stove robust<br />

105g<br />

2500W<br />

03:30min<br />

1h 15min on 230g<br />

Ø 36 x 103mm<br />

piezo ignition<br />

1-2 people<br />

Essential<br />

trail STOVE<br />

Essential<br />

trek pot set 1.6L<br />

Essential<br />

trail stove set<br />

Essential<br />

trek pot 1L<br />

NEW!<br />

NEW!<br />

NEW!<br />

NEW!<br />

Radix Nutrition performance 600<br />

Mexican Chilli with Organic Beef<br />

These 600kcal meals are the perfect<br />

lunch or dinner option for hikers and<br />

adventurers wanting to take their<br />

performance to the next level.<br />

RRP $14.90<br />


Radix Nutrition EXPEDITION 800<br />

Plant-Based Turkish Style Falafel<br />

These 800kcal meals are designed<br />

for extreme energy requirements.<br />

They’re light weight, taste delicious<br />

and suitable in all environments.<br />

RRP $15.90<br />





RAB ARK Emergency Bivi<br />

Made with lightweight PE<br />

(Polyethylene), the ARK<br />

Emergency Bivi bag is wind and<br />

waterproof and reflects body heat.<br />

Super packable, folding down<br />

12x6cm in its stuff sack, and<br />

lightweight at 105g.<br />

RRP $19.95<br />


Sea to Summit Aeros Premium Pillow<br />

A luxurious high-performance pillow without the weight and<br />

bulk. Perfect for travel and camping where you can risk a<br />

couple more grams for a great night's sleep. The pillowcase<br />

construction allows the outer shell to retain maximum softness<br />

while still being supported by a high strength TPU bladder.<br />

RRP $64.99<br />


Sea to Summit Reactor Liner<br />

The Reactor adds up to 8°C of warmth to<br />

a sleeping bag or can be used alone as a<br />

warm weather bag. Our bestselling sleeping<br />

bag liner!<br />

•Adds warmth to a sleeping bag<br />

•Mummy shape with a box foot<br />

•Draw cord hood with mini cord lock<br />

•Packs into its own UltraSil® stuff sack<br />

•Lighter in weight, more packable than fleece<br />

•Machine washable<br />

RRP $99.99<br />



Exped Comfort -0 Down Sleeping Bag<br />

Extra roomy maintaining the thermal<br />

efficiency of a mummy bag, separate foot<br />

zip and side arm zip opposite the main zip<br />

lets allows both arms out without leaving the<br />

warmth of the bag. 3D footbox to keep your<br />

feet warm. 960gm (medium)<br />

RRP $599.99<br />


RAB Neutrino 200<br />

The Neutrino 200 is a light-weight,<br />

minimalist down-filled sleeping bag,<br />

designed for light-weight end uses,<br />

where warmth-to-weight is a prime<br />

concern.<br />

RRP $699.95<br />


GMO<br />

BPA<br />


TECH REVIEW: solstice tent range by macpac<br />

The new Solstice tent range follows the same<br />

design philosophy as Macpac's well-loved hiking<br />

tents - quality components, durable materials<br />

and considered features. Once pitched, these<br />

tents maximise livable space, airflow and<br />

internal organisation.<br />

Features include:<br />

• Easy to pitch<br />

• Freestanding design<br />

• A convenient "hanging inner"<br />

• Lightweight aluminium poles<br />

• Waterproof fly and floor<br />

• Durable duffel bag for storage<br />


macpac solstice 6<br />

A spacious family tent that sleeps up to six people, with an optional internal room<br />

divider for extra privacy. The Solstice 6 features air vents, a large back window and<br />

includes two extra poles to turn the front vestible into a shade awning.<br />

RRP $1399.99<br />


R A V E N 3 G T X<br />

macpac solstice 8<br />

A large, multi-room tent, which balances space with strength, stability and weight, the<br />

Solstice 8 is comfortable for four to six people or snug for eight. The tent features air<br />

vents and a large back window, and includes two extra poles to turn the front vestible<br />

into a shade awning.<br />

RRP $1899.99<br />


Designed to make light work of tough alpine terrain in variable conditions<br />

b obo.co.nz/salewa<br />


Juno Strap Women’s - Black<br />

The Juno is no ordinary sandal. Sink into cloud-like comfort<br />

with soft leather uppers and our COMFORTBASE footbed,<br />

the Juno will contour to the foot for all-day comfort while<br />

adding a touch of style to any outfit.<br />

RRP $239.00<br />



The men’s MTN Trainer 2 is a comfortable alpine shoe for<br />

technical hikes, via ferratas and treks. The leather upper has a<br />

full protective rubber rand for 360° abrasion resistance in rocky<br />

terrain and a breathable mesh lining. Our signature 3F system<br />

connects the instep area with the sole and heel for flexibility,<br />

correct fit and support; and the Vibram® outsole is engineered for<br />

prolonged heavy use.<br />

Fit: Standard / Weight: 438 g<br />

RRP $349.90<br />



Our Alpenrose 2 Mid GORE-TEX® is a dedicated women’s shoe<br />

with a specific, feminine design to provide waterproof, breathable<br />

protection for speed hiking and fast-moving mountain activities.<br />

It has a lightweight, robust, fabric upper and a GORE-TEX®<br />

Extended Comfort membrane. The Pomoca speed hiking outsole<br />

offers superior traction, it’s aggressive lugs, grooves and sculptures<br />

perform well in a wide range of terrain and weather conditions.<br />

Fit: STANDARD / Weight: (W) 366 g<br />

RRP $389.90<br />


Kalari Shaw Strap Women’s - Brindle<br />

Fit to keep up with your everyday with adjustable leather straps<br />

and our leather wrapped COMFORTBASE footbed, the Kalari<br />

Shaw sandal will contour to the foot for all-day comfort.<br />

RRP $209.00<br />


Merrell Choprock Shandal Men’s<br />

A performance summer hiker for days spent around water, the<br />

capable Choprock is designed to both drain and dry quickly,<br />

protect your feet from debris and grip on slick terrain.<br />

RRP $249.00<br />



Welcome to the lightweight version of our classic MTN Trainer.<br />

It has a robust fabric upper to ensure good wear resistance,<br />

while the GORE-TEX® Extended Comfort lining will keep<br />

you dry and comfortable. Climbing lacing allows you to finetune<br />

right down to the toe for greater precision in technical<br />

rocky terrain. Underfoot the shoe has a shock-absorbing EVA<br />

midsole, and a durable Pomoca outsole.<br />

Fit: WIDE / Weight: (M) 448 g (pictured) (W) 368 g<br />

RRP $339.90<br />



Out of the box comfort for your outside the box adventures.<br />

Our iconic hiking boot for men brings an updated look to<br />

all-terrain adventures. We carried over the fit, durability, and<br />

performance of our award-winning Targhee waterproof boot<br />

and took its rugged looks to a new dimension. Key features:<br />

• KEEN.DRY - A proprietary waterproof, breathable membrane<br />

that lets vapor out without letting water in.<br />

• METATOMICAL FOOTBED DESIGN - This internal support<br />

mechanism is anatomically engineered to provide excellent<br />

arch support and cradle the natural contours of the foot.<br />

Available: Key outdoor retailers across New Zealand.<br />

RRP $319.99<br />


TARGHEE III MID woMen’s<br />

The Targhee Boot is ready for any hike, anytime. Our<br />

iconic hiking boot for women brings an updated look to allterrain<br />

adventures. We carried over the fit, durability, and<br />

performance of our award-winning Targhee waterproof boot<br />

and took its rugged looks to a new dimension. Key features:<br />

• KEEN.DRY - A proprietary waterproof, breathable membrane<br />

that lets vapor out without letting water in.<br />

• METATOMICAL FOOTBED DESIGN - This internal support<br />

mechanism is anatomically engineered to provide excellent<br />

arch support and cradle the natural contours of the foot.<br />

Available: Key outdoor retailers across New Zealand.<br />

RRP $319.99<br />


Merrell Choprock Women’s - Blue Smoke<br />

A performance summer hiker for days spent around water, the<br />

capable Choprock is designed to both drain and dry quickly,<br />

protect your feet from debris and grip on slick terrain.<br />

RRP $249.00<br />



Our MTN Trainer 2 is a hard-wearing and versatile low-cut<br />

alpine approach shoe with a high-quality 1.6-millimetre suede<br />

leather upper and a Vibram® outsole. Its robust upper has a<br />

full protective rubber rand for 360° abrasion resistance in rocky<br />

terrain, plus a fast-drying GORE-TEX® Extended Comfort lining<br />

for durable waterproofing and optimized breathability.<br />

Our signature 3F system connects the instep area with the sole<br />

and heel for flexibility, correct fit and support, and the climbing<br />

lacing can be fine-tuned at the toe for greater precision and<br />

support in technical terrain.<br />

Fit: STANDARD / Weight: (M) 458 g (W) 396 g<br />

RRP $399.90<br />


salewa ALP TRAINER 2 MID GTX<br />

The Alp Trainer 2 Mid GTX has a suede leather and stretch<br />

fabric upper with a protective rubber rand. Featuring a GORE-<br />

TEX® Extended Comfort lining for optimal waterproofing and<br />

breathability, and customizable Multi Fit Footbed (MFF) with<br />

interchangeable layers allows you to adapt it to the unique shape<br />

of your foot; Climbing Lacing right to the toe allows for a more<br />

precise fit, while the Vibram® Hike Approach outsole covers a<br />

wide spectrum of mountain terrain.<br />

Fit: STANDARD / Weight (M) 552 g (W) 482 g (pictured)<br />

RRP $399.90<br />


Lowe Alpine aeon 27<br />

Constructed with lightweight<br />

yet durable abrasion-resistant<br />

nylon, coated in Lowe Alpine’s<br />

unique TriShield® which<br />

further increases durability<br />

and tear resistance.<br />

RRP $259.95<br />


Lowe Alpine Airzone Trail 35<br />

A proven single-buckle, top-loading<br />

entry combined with an extremely<br />

breathable and comfortable AirZone<br />

back system make this our most<br />

popular hiking pack off all time.<br />

RRP $269.95<br />







Edmund Hillary was a mountaineer from<br />

New Zealand who, with his climbing partner<br />

Tenzing Norgay, became the first to climb<br />

the world's highest mountain. Their ascent<br />

of Everest on 29 May, 1953 was one of the<br />

greatest achievements of the 20th century.<br />

Edmund Hillary (www.edmundhillary.com)<br />

is a premium lifestyle clothing label that<br />

embraces the pioneering spirit and the<br />

positive human values of Sir Edmund Hillary<br />

whilst creating longevity and authenticity<br />

into every product made. 2% of proceeds go<br />

to causes close to Ed’s heart – supporting<br />

Himalayan communities and youth outdoor<br />

education initiatives.<br />

exped Metro 30 Daypack<br />

Designed to be your everyday<br />

companion while being versatile enough<br />

to go for a day trip. It features a durable,<br />

water-repellent, bluesign®-certified<br />

fabric, a roll-top closure and an outsideaccessible<br />

padded laptop sleeve. A<br />

number of outside and inside pockets<br />

keep your other gear organised.<br />

RRP $159.99<br />


osprey Daylite Pack<br />

Lightweight, uncomplicated, durable and with<br />

a comfortable carry, Osprey’s Daylite pack has<br />

proven to be wildly popular. It continues to serve<br />

well as an add-on pack for traveling as well as<br />

standing on their own with their incredible versatility.<br />

RRP $99.99<br />


osprey Talon 22 | Tempest 20<br />

Whether you’re bagging peaks or bikepacking, the<br />

Talon 22 is the perfect carry solution. This lightweight<br />

pack features a breathable, close-to-body AirScape®<br />

backpanel and continuous-wrap harness and hipbelt<br />

that moves with you. Trekking pole, ice axe and bike<br />

helmet attachment points make this a truly multisport<br />

pack. Constructed with high-quality bluesign®approved<br />

recycled high-tenacity nylon.<br />

RRP $249.99<br />


KHUMBU DOWN PARKA: A replica of the parka<br />

worn by Ed Hillary in 1953. Our oversized down-filled<br />

Khumbu Parka Jacket is produced from a British,<br />

densely woven down-proof cotton, filled with the<br />

highest quality goose down with 450 fill power. The<br />

down is ethically sourced from Minardi Piume, one of<br />

the world’s most respected suppliers. The oversize<br />

design and roomy proportions enable the wearer<br />

more movement and the ability to layer-up in heavy<br />

winter cold conditions.<br />


Developed as a replica version of<br />

an original worn by Ed Hillary, it is<br />

produced in England from a very<br />

soft British lambswool yarn, and has<br />

a unique four seam construction for<br />

style and fit.<br />


Incorporating all the colours we can<br />

offer in the Edmund Hillary lambswool<br />

sweater range, and produced from<br />

super-soft lambswool.<br />


VISIT<br />


The giant sand dunes of te paki<br />

By Bridget Thackwray<br />

and Topher Richwhite<br />

The entrance to the Giant Sand Dunes in the Far North of New Zealand<br />

Topher and I have just picked up our<br />

new Expedition Earth companion,<br />

a Jeep Gladiator we have decided<br />

to call ‘Roman’. Named after a local<br />

Siberian man who escorted us up<br />

the Yamal Peninsula in early 2020,<br />

we’ve been working with sponsors<br />

from all over the world to build the<br />

ultimate off-road machine to join<br />

Gunther on future expeditions. As we<br />

wait for 30 countries between Russia<br />

and New Zealand to open their<br />

borders, we will be testing Roman<br />

here in New Zealand to refine his<br />

design and learn more about his<br />

ability.<br />

Straight from the RVE garage in<br />

Mount Wellington, we headed toward<br />

our first testing site, the Giant Sand<br />

Dunes of Te Paki.<br />

Reaching the most northern point in<br />

New Zealand is a drive that should<br />

sit high on every Kiwi’s road tripping<br />

bucket list. But visiting the Cape<br />

Rienga Lighthouse is about as<br />

eventful as one might expect. ‘It’s<br />

not about the destination, it’s about<br />

the journey of getting there’ rings<br />

very true on this adventure.<br />

At a first glance, one would assume<br />

4x4’ing on sand dunes wouldn’t<br />

require much experience. But in fact,<br />

Topher and I have had many close<br />

calls and learnt sometimes the hard<br />

way of how to navigate our way<br />

through these delicate landscapes.<br />

"Reaching the most northern point<br />

in New Zealand is a drive that<br />

should sit high on every Kiwi’s<br />

road tripping bucket list."<br />

RVE turned Roman into an expedition<br />

machine<br />

84//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#<strong>224</strong> <strong>ADV</strong>ENTUREMAGAZINE.CO.NZ 85

In Peru, during Leg 1, Topher and I<br />

were exploring the 1.2 million-acre<br />

Sechura Desert when we lost our tire<br />

tracks and had to rely on our GPS to<br />

navigate our way out of the inhospitable<br />

landscape. Our tire markings had acted<br />

as a sort of lifeline and without them we<br />

felt very vulnerable. Sand can be very<br />

unpredictable and in areas beneath dunes<br />

it can become very soft and sticky.<br />

Similar to scenes in the movies, animal<br />

skeletons and mirages began to appear.<br />

Our fuel gauge was steadily dropping<br />

and we had no idea whether our direction<br />

would be a safe route or not. Getting<br />

stuck in the sand this far from civilization<br />

could be life threatening.<br />

In February 2019, Leg 2, South Africa.<br />

We had just finished a refit of Gunther<br />

in Johannesburg so we wanted to test<br />

out Gunther’s capabilities before driving<br />

him north to London. We had heard of<br />

the Atlantis Dunes outside of Cape Town<br />

which were used by locals to push their<br />

4x4’s to the limit. When we arrived at the<br />

dunes we were surprised by their beauty,<br />

so Topher put his drone up in the air while<br />

I drove Gunther into the white silica sand.<br />

Because the sand has very little definition<br />

it’s quite hard to gauge how fast you’re<br />

driving. All of a sudden Topher bleated at<br />

me to stop the car! Through his drone he<br />

could see we were speeding towards a<br />

drop off which we managed to narrowly<br />

avoid flying off. At the speed we were<br />

going we would have nose-dived off the<br />

ledge and done serious structural damage<br />

to Gunther and his chassis.<br />

Topher’s drones have been our eyes in<br />

the sky and we have often used them to<br />

navigate our way out of tricky situations.<br />

We’d recommend packing one if you’re<br />

heading into a desert as you can always<br />

use them to find a way out.<br />

Sand dunes are constantly changing<br />

shape, size and position so you can’t<br />

assume following someone else’s trail is a<br />

safe route.<br />

1,500km north of Atlantis Dunes, and just<br />

one week later, we were deep within the<br />

Namib Desert. Here, similar to 90-mile<br />

beach in New Zealand, the beach is often<br />

used as an official road. Along the famous<br />

Namibian ‘Skeleton Coast’ there sits a<br />

paved roadway, but south you drive along<br />

the beach. The majority of this beach is<br />

walled in by what are recorded as the<br />

world’s highest dunes.<br />

When driving along a beach, checking<br />

the tide is always essential. However,<br />

checking the drive time should probably<br />

be as much of a priority. Heading up<br />

the coastline of Namibia took us much<br />

longer than we anticipated. Eventually<br />

Above: Lost in the Sechura Desert, Peru<br />

Below: Gunther on the arid coast of Namibia’s<br />

Skeleton Coast<br />

Right: The Atlantis sand dunes, North West of<br />

Cape Town<br />

the ocean began to lap Gunther’s tires<br />

and we made the decision to head into the<br />

dunes. These dunes were like nothing we<br />

had ever experienced. The sand was deep<br />

and untouched with mountains of unscalable<br />

dunes. We lowered Gunther’s air pressure to<br />

the point the car was screaming with alarms<br />

and began our challenging route back to<br />

civilization.<br />

86//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#<strong>224</strong> <strong>ADV</strong>ENTUREMAGAZINE.CO.NZ 87

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The only convertible truck of its kind on offer in the world,<br />

the Jeep Gladiator is built on the rich heritage of tough,<br />

dependable Jeep trucks with an unmatched combination of<br />

rugged capability and authentic Jeep design.<br />

With inherent design cues from the legendary Jeep Wrangler,<br />

the Gladiator utilises a variety of ways to optimise ride,<br />

handling and sound characteristics while optimising fuel<br />

economy even while towing. Utilising a body-on-frame design<br />

and featuring a superbly engineered five-link suspension<br />

system, the Jeep Gladiator delivers on capability, comfort,<br />

and passenger safety - including over 70 standard and<br />

available safety features.<br />

As the latest iteration in a 40 year history of Jeep Trucks,<br />

the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon features the legendary 3.6-litre<br />

Pentastar V6 Petrol Engine, ZF 8-Speed Automatic<br />

Transmission and class leading Rock-Trac® 4x4 system.<br />

Remove the three-piece hard top roof and lightweight doors<br />

to truly enjoy your ultimate New Zealand Open Air Adventure.<br />


"I guess we can say that<br />

Roman is now broken in,<br />

and ready for more New<br />

Zealand adventures! "<br />

Roman heading north on 90-mile beach, on route to the Giant Sand Dunes<br />

To reach the Te Paki Giant<br />

Dunes here in New Zealand, you<br />

must drive along 90-mile beach.<br />

Because of this we recommend<br />

giving your car a thorough wash<br />

of its undercarriage afterwards.<br />

Even if it doesn’t seem salty, it<br />

will be.<br />

The best way to explore the<br />

dunes is to turn the journey into a<br />

loop, so that the entire day you’ll<br />

be exploring new terrain.<br />

Refuel in Kaitaia so that you have<br />

a full tank of gas before heading<br />

towards Ahipara. There, you will<br />

find the most southern entrance<br />

onto 90mile beach. Drop your<br />

tire pressure, turn your vehicle<br />

north and enjoy the next hour<br />

and a half of New Zealand’s most<br />

famous highway!<br />

Just a kilometer shy of the end of<br />

the beach you will begin to see<br />

the giant sand dunes of Te Paki<br />

appear on your right. Just as they<br />

begin to appear you should begin<br />

to notice a trail leading toward<br />

them through low lying scrub. Be<br />

prepared to scratch the side of<br />

your vehicle for this next 300m<br />

trail. Eventually, you will come<br />

out beneath the dunes. Here you<br />

will be out of reception, and most<br />

likely completely alone. You’ll be<br />

wanting to drop your tire pressure<br />

further. Remembering our<br />

experiences from Peru, South<br />

Africa and Namibia, enjoy with<br />

caution! You may also be lucky<br />

enough to sight wild horses.<br />

Exit the dunes on the same<br />

scratchy trail you entered, and<br />

continue for 2km up 90-Mile<br />

beach. Before the end of the<br />

beach, you’ll come to a wide<br />

riverbed. This is Te Paki stream,<br />

which leads between the sand<br />

dunes back to the paved road.<br />

It also provides you with 3 km<br />

of fun! Windows up, look out for<br />

delicate wildlife and enjoy!<br />

Eventually you’ll come across the<br />

paved road which you can follow<br />

for an hour and a half back to<br />

Kaitaia. Once you reach Kaitaia<br />

you’ll find air for your tires and a<br />

car wash.<br />

I guess we can say that Roman<br />

is now broken in, and ready for<br />

more New Zealand adventures!<br />

<strong>ADV</strong>ENTUREMAGAZINE.CO.NZ 89


Looking to embark on a new adventure<br />

in 2021? Becoming a PADI certified diver<br />

is the perfect way to jump start the New<br />

Year. In addition to learning an impressive<br />

new skill, you’ll have the opportunity to<br />

experience the magic of the underwater<br />

world.<br />

While 2020 certainly presented many<br />

challenges, it also showed us the<br />

importance of connecting with nature –<br />

for our physical and mental wellbeing.<br />

Taking time to focus on yourself and your<br />

connection with nature, while completing<br />

an epic certification course is something<br />

we can all see value in as we begin the<br />

New Year.<br />

PADI – The Way the World Learns<br />

to Dive: As we make our way through<br />

2021, PADI is committed to providing<br />

opportunities for people around the world<br />

to seek adventure and save the ocean.<br />

Becoming a certified scuba diver starts<br />

with the PADI Open Water Diver course<br />

– the most recognized scuba certification<br />

in the world. PADI Instructors around the<br />

world undergo rigorous training to ensure<br />

that each and every course is both fun<br />

and safe. A PADI Open Water Diver<br />

certification allows you to seek adventure<br />

anywhere there’s water, like a passport to<br />

the underwater world!<br />

Adventure Doesn’t Have to Wait: PADI<br />

eLearning allows you to complete the<br />

online portion of the Open Water Diver<br />

course at your own pace through our<br />

easy-to-use interactive program. Then,<br />

you can connect at any time with a PADI<br />

Dive Centre or Resort to complete your<br />

in-water training. eLearning not only<br />

offers added flexibility, it also reduces the<br />

amount of time you’ll need to spend at<br />

the dive centre.<br />

Completing the PADI Open Water<br />

Diver Course: The PADI Open Water<br />

Diver course includes three main parts:<br />

Knowledge Development, Confined<br />

Water Dives, and Open Water Dives.<br />

Knowledge Development (which you<br />

can complete via eLearning) covers the<br />

principles, concepts, and terms you need<br />

to know for dive safety and enjoyment.<br />

In order to complete your Confined Water<br />

Dives and Open Water Dives, you can<br />

use the PADI Dive Shop Locator or the<br />

PADI Adventures App to connect with a<br />

dive shop.<br />

In the pool, you’ll learn and practice<br />

scuba skills with your PADI Instructor<br />

during your Confined Water Dives –<br />

putting your knowledge to the test and<br />

breathing underwater for the first time!<br />

Then, you’ll move on to an open water<br />

dive site (ocean or lake) to complete<br />

four Open Water Dives. As a PADI<br />

Open Water Diver, you’ll be trained to a<br />

maximum depth of 18 metres, and will be<br />

qualified to dive in conditions as good as,<br />

or better then, those in which you trained.<br />

It’s just the beginning of a lifetime filled<br />

with dive adventures.<br />

Interested in Freediving? If you’ve<br />

always wanted to enter the underwater<br />

world quietly, on your own terms, staying<br />

as long as your breath allows, then<br />

freediving is for you. Taking the PADI<br />

Freediver course is your first step toward<br />

discovering why freediving is such a<br />

popular way to explore beneath the<br />

waves.<br />

The PADI Freediver course consists<br />

of three main phases: Knowledge<br />

Development, Confined Water Dives,<br />

and Open Water Dives. Knowledge<br />

Development (which you can complete<br />

via eLearning) covers the principles,<br />

concepts, and terms you need to know<br />

for freediving safety and enjoyment.<br />

Then, you’ll connect with a PADI Dive<br />

Centre or Resort to complete Confined<br />

Water Dives in a pool – learning breath<br />

hold techniques as well as static and<br />

dynamic apnea. Open Water Dives<br />

at a local dive site will allow you to<br />

practice free immersion, constant weight<br />

freedives, and proper buddy procedures<br />

with your PADI Freediving Instructor.<br />

Ready for More Adventure? Dive In!<br />

Whether it’s scuba diving or freediving<br />

(or both) that interests you, becoming<br />

a PADI certified diver is the perfect way<br />

to seek adventure in 2021. Earning a<br />

PADI Open Water Diver certification or a<br />

PADI Freediver certification will certainly<br />

provide you with infinite possibilities for<br />

adventure, near and far. We look forward<br />

to seeking adventure and saving the<br />

ocean with you in 2021 and beyond!<br />

For more information: www.padi.com<br />

<strong>ADV</strong>ENTUREMAGAZINE.CO.NZ 91


By Jessica Middleton<br />

"Let's search for that pot of gold" I used to<br />

repeatedly plead to my parents as a kid whilst<br />

meandering through the green valleys of New<br />

Zealand. There is no shortage of rainbows in<br />

Aotearoa - being the land of the long white<br />

cloud and those hazy days of rain. These were<br />

the beacons of light urging me to travel to<br />

all these different destinations, but will I ever<br />

make it to the rainbows end? I became fixated<br />

on finding out the answers. As you can imagine<br />

I was devastated to learn I would never<br />

physically reach that destination via travelling,<br />

until I did.<br />

Travelling between New Zealand and Australia,<br />

I can visually tell you I have travelled to all<br />

colours of the Rainbow. Travelling via van cuts<br />

the cost of accommodation which allows you to<br />

spend longer in each destination and explore<br />

more of what these colourful spots have to<br />

offer. Vanlife travel is perfect for photography<br />

lovers, quit being held back in a tour group,<br />

you call the shots if you want to stop and taste<br />

the rainbow. Your travel plans can be flexible<br />

as there are generally many camping site<br />

options on offer, although it's advised to check<br />

before arriving at your destination. Be sure to<br />

download the WikiCamps NZ and AUS app<br />

where you can plan your trip to suit your travel<br />

needs, whether that be freedom camping or<br />

locations with amenities. Here are my favourite<br />

vanlife destinations in the rainbow spectrum of<br />

course :<br />


It doesn't have the name gold in it for no reason. With the sun<br />

beaming an average of 300 days per year you can say Gold Coast<br />

glows and is considered a year-round visited destination. Worldrenowned<br />

for its sandy surf scaped coast it is best enjoyed watching<br />

the surfers at sunrise whether at Burleigh Heads or Snapper Rocks.<br />

We recommend going for a surf excursion yourself and hire a board<br />

at Currumbin Alley. Nestled in a bay you could say the pot of gold<br />

was once here and has poured out silky soft gold dust creating this<br />

long stretched coastline. Gold Coast is a place suited for everyone,<br />

families and all.<br />

Good to know:<br />

• There are many incredible waterfalls to visit in nearby<br />

Springbrook and Lamington National Park<br />

• Take a short drive to the famous Byron Bay.<br />

• Loaded with bars, restaurants, and amusement parks you'll be<br />

sure to have your entertainment needs met.<br />

OUTBACK ORANGE - Alice Springs Northern Territory<br />

Australia’s Northern Territory is the home of the real outback known<br />

for its hot climate and where the surroundings have been painted<br />

with a burnt orange glaze. If you can make the trek to Australia's<br />

most famous landmark you will be astonished how incredible Uluru<br />

lights up as the sunsets.<br />

Take a short drive to explore through West Macdonnell and Elsey<br />

National Park where you can visit gorges and swimming holes.<br />

Other points of interest to get your orange on in the Northern<br />

Territory would include, Kakadu NP, Litchfield NP, Mataranka<br />

Springs, and the Devil's Marbles.<br />

Good to know:<br />

• Start your days earlier due to the heat or try travel here<br />

between May through September.<br />

• Bring a brush and shovel to wipe down your vehicle inside and<br />

out as the orange dust does like to stick around.<br />

• Remember to bring cool water, and a portable shade shelter if<br />

you are outside and exploring.<br />

• Australia now has the largest wild population of camels, be<br />

sure to look out for them.<br />

Red - Karijini, Western Australia<br />

Orange - Northern Territory, Australia<br />

Gold - Gold Coast, Queensland<br />

Pastel Greens - The Coromandel Peninsula,<br />

North Island NZ<br />

Deep Green - Daintree Rainforest - Cairns,<br />

Queensland<br />

Aqua Blue - Coral Bay / Ningaloo Reef,<br />

Western Australia<br />

Purple - Wanaka - The Lupin flowers &<br />

Lavender Fields<br />

White - Queenstown South Island NZ<br />

Black - Raglan, North Island NZ<br />

Note: If you are travelling between the North<br />

and South Island of New Zealand you can<br />

take your vehicle or van via ferry between<br />

Wellington and Nelson.<br />

RED- KARIJINI Western Australia<br />

Karijini is an ancient wonder bursting with rich red coloured rock<br />

formations that have been naturally carved by erosion for over<br />

2.5 million years. Contained in Western Australias second-largest<br />

national park we consider it a must-visit oasis where you can<br />

cool off by plunging into the many deep icy pools throughout<br />

a multitude of simply gorgeous gorges. Located very inland of<br />

Australia it is best to visit these hidden jewels between May -<br />

September when the temperatures are a little cooler and dry.<br />

If you are looking for that sizzling fire red then be sure to take a<br />

hike through Hamersley Gorge, Weano Gorge, Knox Gorge, Dales<br />

Gorge - Fortescue Falls / Fern Pool, Hancock Gorge, or Joffre<br />

Gorge.<br />

Good to know:<br />

• There are no Crocodiles! You can swim at peace here.<br />

• Once in the National Park the roads leading to the gorges are<br />

very bumpy due to coarse gravel you will need to travel very<br />

slowly if in 2WD and have a spare tyre.<br />

• We would consider staying 4 nights to make your travel<br />

worthwhile.<br />


Surrounded by verdant farmlands and beautiful coastal drives<br />

the Coromandel Peninsula is a little Haven located at the<br />

North point of New Zealand. Pastel jade shrubs are scattered<br />

along the cliffside and make great framing opportunities for<br />

photography when capturing this exquisite landscape and<br />

islands nearby. Be sure to check out the iconic Cathedral<br />

Cove and dig your own thermal spa bath on Hahei beach. We<br />

would also recommend venturing down to the laidback town of<br />

Whangamata for a surf and bite to eat.<br />

92//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#<strong>224</strong> <strong>ADV</strong>ENTUREMAGAZINE.CO.NZ 93

AQUA BLUE - CORAL BAY NINGALOO Western Australia<br />

If your looking for a getaway from the hustle and bustle look no<br />

further than Western Australias isolated Coral Bay. Coral Bay<br />

is a laidback seaside location and due to the low rainfall, these<br />

pristine beaches are kept looking super clean with their striking<br />

white sand and azure blue waters. Truly a marine paradise,<br />

where giant snapper and coral reef greet you meters from the<br />

shoreline. We recommend booking a day trip where you can<br />

dive with Manta Rays, dolphins, turtles, and in the right season<br />

even Whale Sharks!<br />

• Limited Camping throughout peak season we recommend<br />

booking accommodation ahead.<br />

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Boasting the oldest continually surviving tropical rainforest in<br />

the world this is one you will want to be engulfed in. Mossman's<br />

Gorge in particular contains an abundance of tropical green<br />

goodness and hosts a safe sheltered swimming hole where the<br />

river flows over large granite boulders.<br />

The Daintree rainforest is an Australian Jungle loaded with palm<br />

trees, ferns emerald green vines and epic wildlife, be sure to<br />

look out for the prehistoric Cassowary or take a guided tour and<br />

cruise down the Daintree River to spot the crocodiles. We would<br />

recommend adventuring up to cape Tribulation one of the few<br />

places in the world where the rainforest meets the reef.<br />

Good to know:<br />

• Cairns is best visited between May - October avoiding the<br />

cyclone and flooding season.<br />

• Be wary of crocodiles and abide by safety signs<br />

• Book a trip out to snorkel or dive the world heritage site The<br />

Great Barrier Reef. Some of the fish here hold the entire<br />

rainbow throughout their scales.<br />

• Drive through the Atherton Tablelands for waterfalls hikes<br />

and lush forests.<br />

WHITE - QUEENSTOWN - South Island NZ<br />

The adventure capital of New Zealand. Throughout the winter<br />

months from June - October Queenstown provides striking<br />

white snow-laden slopes which consist of four fields the closest<br />

being only a 20minutes drive from the Town Centre. If you don't<br />

have room in your van for ski gear the perk is you can hire it<br />

locally from one of the ski fields.The views of the snowcapped<br />

mountains are breathtaking whether you are on them or parked<br />

up in the van with a hot cuppa taking it all in.<br />

Relax after an adventure fueled day and treat yourself to a welldeserved<br />

muscle soak in the Onsen Hot Pools for a luxurious<br />

experience.<br />

You must bring thermals and plenty of snow socks.<br />

Travel with extreme caution as there can be ice on the roads.<br />

Bring a good pair of sunnies, the snow is stark white and<br />

extremely bright.<br />


Home to volcanic black sand beaches, a unique sighting that<br />

makes for epic drone shots. If you are looking for a drive away<br />

from crowds check out Ruapuke and Ngarunui beach in Raglan<br />

where public transport is limited. Being situated on the West<br />

Coast take the opportunity to watch the sunset over the ocean<br />

and remember during the day to wear jandals to avoid scorching<br />

your feet.<br />

Take your van for a spin and check out the pitch-black Waitomo<br />

caves which are lightened by thousands of blue glow-worms.<br />

It will have you feeling like your in the movie Avatar, just try not<br />

to have a case of the giggles when in the rowboat of silence<br />

as it echoes throughout the cave. Can or cannot say this has<br />

happened to myself and a friend.<br />

• Drive to the nearby Bridal Veil Falls.<br />

• Climb Mount Karioi an extinct, forest-clad volcano with<br />

summit views over the Tasman Sea<br />

• Support local businesses and enjoy organic produce and<br />

markets.<br />

Throughout summer the wild Lupin flowers hug the lakes<br />

and river systems of the beautiful South Island New<br />

Zealand. These vibrant pinks and purple hues pop creating<br />

remarkable photography shots as these tones are not often<br />

prominent in nature. Spotting these beauties is a stand-out<br />

sign reminding you in life to stop and smell the flowers.<br />

The Wanaka Lavender fields host many species of lavender<br />

which are geometrically presented in a perfect purple<br />

plantation. It's hard to take your eyes off these carefully<br />

maintained and manicured lavender lines and puts you into<br />

a dream state. My dad gifted me a bottle of pure lavender<br />

oil from here, every time I prepare for bed at night the<br />

sweet scent transcends me back to these lilac beauties. I<br />

recommend purchasing one of these pocket-sized potions to<br />

take on your van travels.<br />

• Luckily both the Lupin and Lavender are in season<br />

at the same time and can be enjoyed from October -<br />

February<br />

• Take your van for an excursion and visit Queenstown,<br />

Arrowtown, Glenorchy, Mount Aoraki, Milford Sound,<br />

and Mount Aspiring National Park.<br />

I found the pot<br />

of gold through<br />

travelling to all<br />

these nature spots<br />

via van but would<br />

like to remind<br />

everybody that it<br />

truly is treasure to<br />

treasure. Please<br />

respect all land,<br />

by leaving nothing<br />

but footprints and<br />

ensuring you are<br />

using reef-safe<br />

sunscreens. Lets<br />

keep it colourful.<br />

<strong>ADV</strong>ENTUREMAGAZINE.CO.NZ 95

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