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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 />

QUEENSTOWN<br />

MILFORD SOUND<br />

SOUTHERN ALPS<br />

WEST COAST<br />

ROTORUA<br />

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

FEB/MAR 2021<br />

NZ $10.90 incl. GST<br />

HIKE & BIKE...


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 />

HOMEGROWN TAIAO<br />

TAIAO<br />

www.adventuremagazine.co.nz<br />

Digital, Hardcopy, Web, Social<br />

BUILT FOR HIKING .<br />

DRAWN TO WATER .<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 />

ART DIRECTOR<br />

Lynne Dickinson<br />

design@pacificmedia.co.nz<br />

SUBSCRIPTION ENQUIRIES<br />

subs@pacificmedia.co.nz<br />

DISTRIBUTION<br />

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

OTHER PUBLICATIONS (HARDCOPY AND ONLINE)<br />

www.adventuremagazine.co.nz<br />

www.adventuretraveller.co.nz<br />

www.adventurejobs.co.nz<br />

www.skiandsnow.co.nz<br />

@adventurevanlifenz<br />

PUBLISHERS<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 />

THE CHOPROCK<br />

Performance summer hikers<br />

For days spent around water, the capable Choprock is designed to both drain<br />

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 />

FOLLOW US ON<br />

www.facebook.com/adventuremagnz<br />

adventuremagazine<br />

www.adventuremagazine.co.nz<br />

Nzadventuremag<br />

JOIN THE CONVERSATION<br />

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

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

www.dcbrewing.co.nz<br />

@deepcreekbrewingco


BEHIND THE COVER<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 />

ORIGINAL<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 />

SHE SAID YES!<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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@ adventuretraveller @ adventurevanlifenz


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 />

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


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 />

For more than 30 years our sleeping bags have set the<br />

standard within climbing and mountaineering communities.<br />

Carefully balancing our heritage with innovation, we’ve<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 />

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


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 />

DISCOVER NZ’S CYCLE TRAILS WITH <strong>ADV</strong>ENTURE SOUTH NZ<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 />

28//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#<strong>224</strong> <strong>ADV</strong>ENTUREMAGAZINE.CO.NZ 29


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 />

#MOVEYOURWORLD


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 />

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HOMEGROWN<br />

ROTORUA<br />

ROTORUA<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 />

OUR RECOMMENDATIONS:<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 />

48//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#<strong>224</strong> <strong>ADV</strong>ENTUREMAGAZINE.CO.NZ 49


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 />

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


"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 />

EXPLORE<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 />

54//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#<strong>224</strong> <strong>ADV</strong>ENTUREMAGAZINE.CO.NZ 55


"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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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


CLIMBING<br />

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<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 />

OFFICIAL GEAR SUPPLIER<br />

STORES NATIONWIDE<br />

www.bivouac.co.nz<br />

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


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 />

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


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


FEED YOUR ADDICTION<br />

Like a ‘perfect storm’, we have seen a dramatic growth and<br />

development in online stores over the past 5 years. Now as we are<br />

made to keep our ‘distance’, online, ecommerce takes on a whole<br />

new meaning and value. We are dedicating these pages to our client’s<br />

online stores; some you will be able to buy from, some you will be able<br />

drool over. Buy, compare, research and prepare, these online stores are<br />

a great way to feed your adventure addiction while you are still at home.<br />

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 />

MTOUTDOORS<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 />

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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 />

WWW.BIVOUAC.CO.NZ<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 />

WWW.BIVOUAC.CO.NZ<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 />

WWW.MACPAC.CO.NZ<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 />

WWW.BIVOUAC.CO.NZ<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 />

WWW.OUTFITTERS.NET.NZ<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 />

WWW.OUTFITTERS.NET.NZ<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 />

WWW.MACPAC.CO.NZ<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 />

WWW.BIVOUAC.CO.NZ<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 />

WWW.OUTFITTERS.NET.NZ<br />

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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 />

MUSHROOM BOLOGNAISE - VEGAN:<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 />

CHOCOLATE BROWNIE PUDDING: Our<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 />

WWW.BACKCOUNTRYCUISINE.CO.NZ<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 />

WWW.BACKCOUNTRYCUISINE.CO.NZ<br />

Deep creek undercurrent<br />

AWARD WINNING PILSNER<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 />

WWW.DEEPCREEK.CO.NZ<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 />

WWW.DEEPCREEK.CO.NZ<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 />

WWW.SUNSAVER.CO.NZ<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 />

WWW.SUNSAVER.CO.NZ<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.co.nz


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 />

WWW.GOODBYE.CO.NZ<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 />

WWW.SOUTHERNAPPROACH.CO.NZ/HELINOX/<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 />

CRAFTED FOR A REASON!<br />

INTRODUCING THE NEW FIRESTICK<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 />

WWW.RADIXNUTRITION.COM<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 />

WWW.RADIXNUTRITION.COM<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 />

WWW.RADIXNUTRITION.COM<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 />

WWW.RADIXNUTRITION.COM<br />

*GAS NOT INCLUDED<br />

PRIMUS IS AVAILABLE THROUGH ALL GOOD OUTDOOR RETAILERS NATIONWIDE!<br />

FOR MORE INFORMATION GO TO WWW.MOUNTAIN<strong>ADV</strong>ENTURE.CO.NZ


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 />

WWW.RAB.EQUIPMENT<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 />

WWW.SOUTHERNAPPROACH.CO.NZ/SEA-TO-SUMMIT/<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 />

WWW.SOUTHERNAPPROACH.CO.NZ/<br />

SEA-TO-SUMMIT/<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 />

WWW.BIVOUAC.CO.NZ<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 />

WWW.RAB.EQUIPMENT<br />

GMO<br />

BPA<br />

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


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 />

STRONG & LIGHT<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 />

WWW.MACPAC.CO.NZ<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 />

WWW.MACPAC.CO.NZ<br />

Designed to make light work of tough alpine terrain in variable conditions<br />

b obo.co.nz/salewa<br />

FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT WWW.MACPAC.CO.NZ


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 />

WWW.MERRELL.CO.NZ<br />

SALEWA MENS MOUNTAIN TRAINER 2<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 />

WWW.BOBO.CO.NZ/BRANDS/SALEWA<br />

salewa WOMENS ALPENROSE 2 MID GTX<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 />

WWW.BOBO.CO.NZ/SALEWA<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 />

WWW.MERRELL.CO.NZ<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 />

WWW.MERRELL.CO.NZ<br />

SALEWA MOUNTAIN TRAINER LITE GTX<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 />

WWW.BOBO.CO.NZ/BRANDS/SALEWA<br />

TARGHEE III MID Men’s<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 />

WWW.KEENFOOTWEAR.CO.NZ<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 />

WWW.KEENFOOTWEAR.CO.NZ<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 />

WWW.MERRELL.CO.NZ<br />

salewa MOUNTAIN TRAINER 2 GTX<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 />

WWW.BOBO.CO.NZ/SALEWA<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 />

WWW.BOBO.CO.NZ/SALEWA


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 />

WWW.OUTFITTERS.NET.NZ<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 />

WWW.OUTFITTERS.NET.NZ<br />

SUBSCRIBE<br />

AND BE IN THE DRAW TO WIN THIS INCREDIBLE PACK FROM<br />

EDMUND HILLARY<br />

THE LEGEND<br />

CONTINUES<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 />

WWW.BIVOUAC.CO.NZ<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 />

WWW.SOUTHERNAPPROACH.CO.NZ/OSPREY/<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 />

WWW.SOUTHERNAPPROACH.CO.NZ/OSPREY/<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 />

EDMUND HILLARY BADGE BEANIE:<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 />

EDMUND HILLARY SCARF:<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 />

YES I’D LIKE TO SUBSCRIBE<br />

VISIT<br />

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


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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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 />

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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


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While 2020 certainly presented many<br />

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Taking time to focus on yourself and your<br />

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Becoming a certified scuba diver starts<br />

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Diver course includes three main parts:<br />

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<strong>ADV</strong>ENTUREMAGAZINE.CO.NZ 91


THE POT OF GOLD<br />

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 />

YELLOW - GOLD COAST QLD<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 />

LIGHT GREEN - COROMANDEL<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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GREEN - CAIRNS QLD<br />

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 />

BLACK - RAGLAN BLACK SAND<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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in presenting the best choice for a Taupo<br />

Motel. A short walk to central Taupo with an<br />

array of shops and eateries. Try some local<br />

kiwi flavours and some Must Do activities to<br />

maximise your Taupo visit.<br />

Acapulco Taupo Motor Inn has a range of<br />

accommodation choices that can sleep from<br />

1 to 8 guests. Some Motel rooms have a spa<br />

Pool or spa bath. All Motel rooms have air<br />

conditioning.<br />

Bed and Breakfast<br />

Budget Lodge Accommodation<br />

Self-Contained Motel Units<br />

Packages available for skiing and Tongariro Crossing<br />

Check through our accommodation choices<br />

to match your needs to the best Acapulco<br />

Motor Inn room or apartment.<br />

www.adventurelodge.co.nz | 0800 621 061<br />

A: 19 Rifle Range Road, Taupo 3330 | T: +64 7 378 7174 | F: +64 7 378 7555 | M: +64 21 800 118<br />

E: stay@acapulcotaupo.co.nz W: www.acapulcotaupo.co.nz


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