Adventure Magazine


Issue 225 Survival Issue







APR/MAY 2021

NZ $10.90 incl. GST






it's often the little things that matter



The latest seven-day lockdown for Auckland

give us more time to evaluate and appraise.

No restaurants, no bars, no coffee shops,

no parties, no crowds, then add in a

Tsunami, to be fair, it was a tough week.

Sure, I know other places in the world have

it a lot, lot tougher. I am not a nay-sayer; I

agree and support the government’s stand,

but you did get a strong feeling of here we

go again.

I don’t want to take credit for this, (I heard it

on the radio while driving) but a life coach

was looking not at the silver lining of Covid,

but of the effect. He said in his opinion,

that Covid and the associated restrictions,

‘concentrated’ our life experiences. That the

inability to do whatever we chose, reflected

against what we could do. It has given us

a chance to evaluate what is important and

what’s not. What we need and what we

don’t. The value in walking with the family

on the beach compared with dinner in town.

Mountain biking your local area compared

to driving to the city. Even the loss of

income, people are looking and openly

saying ‘how much do I really need to live’.

What’s the value and loss against earning

less but getting more time.

Sure once the restriction are lifted, we will

slowly go back to swilling ten-dollar extra

soy double shot, no sugar, cinnamon lattes.

But hopefully we can take forward some of

the experiences we have chosen because

of the restrictions forward to our unrestricted

life and recall the value of a walk on the

beach or the hand shake of a friend.

This issue is our survival issue and when

talking to some of these people a common

thread is that you ‘don’t know what got till

it gone’. Brodie Selene comes to mind,

he finished the Coast to Coast at 16, was

tramping and surfing and involved in surf

lifesaving and then overnight his world

disappears. I read this heartfelt story and

thought if it happened to me, I could say I

had a good run. But Brodie was 16, he was

just getting going on life and it was ripped

away from him (you can read the rest). But

he talks about missing all the stuff he could

do and how much value it had.

Maybe looking to the future we can look

and value that which we so easily take for


I’ll leave you with a story from a friend who

lives in the USA, he is older, 75, and lives in

a part of LA where there is a high density of

Covid cases. Last week he got the vaccine,

this week he hugged his grandchildren for

the first time in a year.

The little things are often the most valuable

and maybe, just maybe, Covid has taught

us not to take them for granted.

Steve Dickinson - Editor




Steve Dickinson

Mob: 027 577 5014


Lynne Dickinson



Ovato, Ph (09) 979 3000

Digital, Hardcopy, Web, Social




NZ Adventure Magazine is published six times a year by:

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Ph: 0275775014

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Image by Jules Domine/Red Bull Content Pool


page 22

page 42

page 84



08//Defying Death

Aniol Serrasolses

16//Godzone Chapter 9

The one that nearly got away

22//Rachel Māia

Learning to do more with less

26//Lucy Olphert

If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you

30//Di Drayton

Turning a terrifying fall into an opportunity

36//Going Solo on the Abel Tasman

Sometimes you just need to be on your own

42//Brodie Seelen

Not content to simply survive

52//Remy Morton

I get knocked down, but I get up again


You thought Covid was bad

84//Surviving Siberia

with Bridget Thackwray and Topher Richwhite


68. gear guides

80. subs

96. active adventure










we ARE climbing

It's all about perspective. Godafoss waterfall, Northern Iceland


It'a all about perspective. Aniol

Serrasolses, has spent his life hunting

waterfalls just like this.

Goðafoss is a waterfall in the very

northern remote part of Iceland, and it’s

very cold.

The origin of the waterfall's name is not

completely clear. In modern Icelandic,

the name can be read as "Waterfall of

the Gods” it is impressive enough to be

just that!

The water of the river Skjálfandafljót, falls

from a height of 12 metres over a width

of 30 metres. It’s cold, it is dangerous,

and that for Aniol is the attraction.

The cover image is taken from the top

of the waterfall, looking down as Aniol

takes the drop, the other is taken from

a vantage point of distance. Both look

intimidating and that is the draw from a

kayaker like Aniol.

You can read the full story about this

man’s passion in this issue on page 08.


When it comes to a Bloody Mary,

a flavourful burst of savouriness is

paramount. Snacking while drinking

one is even more important so lavishly

garnishing a Bloody Mary cocktail with

what is on hand is influential on the overall

experience. A tasty tipple to imbibe on

and highly recommended especially for

survival of intrepid adventures.

1 jigger (60mls) Vodka

3 jigger spiced tomato passata with

olives, gherkins, salt, pepper, Kaitaia fire,

worchester sauce - whizzed up in the


Shake with ice and serve over more ice

in a jar with a reusable straw. Stack with

an over the top garnish that includes giant

stuffed jalapeno olives, sauteed prawns,

an organic gherkin, and mint.

Approx 6g per serve

Follow Sue on Instagram: @cocktailontherock

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Alec McCallum sends

Dr Strangelove (32) second go

Photo: Tom Hoyle

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Aniol Serrasolses

To defy: by definition...

1 : to confront with assured power of resistance.

2 : to challenge to do something considered impossible.

In the adventure community you don’t have to look far to find good survival

stories. Kiwi kayaking legend Mike Dawson writes for us on a regular basis,

and I knew he would have been in some tight situations, so I asked him. His

response straight away was ‘if you wanna talk to someone who knows how to

survive talk to Anoil’. So we did!

You grew up in Catalonia, Spain, not

the white-water kayaking capital of

the world. How did you get involved

with white water kayaking? We got

introduced to the sport by random luck.

We used to ride our bikes to school

daily, on those trips we happened to

ride next to our local river, the TER.

Once in a while we would happen to

see a few people riding their kayaks

in the rapids… My brother was super

impressed and decided to join them

during the weekends. An entire year

passed quickly, he dropped every

other sport he used to play and

focused only on kayaking. By then I

got intrigued as well and decided to

give it a try… I was instantly hooked.

I used to play waterpolo and football

at the time, but I dropped both and

started kayaking as much as possible.

We built little trailers that we attached

to our bikes so we could go kayak on

our own after school.

You take part in both competitive

and expedition kayaking. What do

each offer you and do you have

a preference? I like competitions

because they make me focus and train

towards a goal but they’re definitely

not the main reason why I kayak. I

see them as another aspect of my

sport, the working side of what I do.

Expedition kayaking and filming is the

fun part for me. The side of kayaking

where I can get really creative,

discover incredible locations and push

the limits of the sport.

White water kayaking is termed

an extreme sport, filled with risks.

How do you help to mitigate the

risks involved in your expeditions?

Whitewater kayaking at the highest

level is definitely one of the scariest

sports in the game. Preparation, many

years of experience, making good

calls, having the skills is what keeps

you alive.

You often kayak in remote parts of

the world and even more remote

rivers. What is the draw to these

out of the way places? The draw

is to kayak/experience places where

nobody has been before. To push the

boundaries of what’s possible, get out

of your comfort zone so you can really

see what you’re made of. To have

good times with friends, to see the

beautiful world we live in. “The world is

a book and those who don’t travel read

only one page”

Even with the best preparation,

white water kayaking can have

some extreme consequences if

things do not go to plan. Can you

tell us about that? Unfortunately

kayaking is a pretty nasty sport when

it comes down to the consequences of

messing up a line. I’ve broken my back

twice, ribs and shoulders… I’ve seen

a friend die. I’m very aware of what’s

in play.


Aniol Serrasolses descends Keyhole Falls near Pemberton, Canada

Image by Eric Parker / Red Bull Content Pool ADVENTUREMAGAZINE.CO.NZ 09

Aniol Serrasolses descends Site Zed on the Stikine River near Dease Lake, Canada

Image by Eric Parker / Red Bull Content Pool


kayaking at the

highest level is

definitely one of

the scariest sports

in the game.

Preparation, many

years of experience,

making good calls,

having the skills

is what keeps you

alive. "


When have things not gone to plan? Many times…

I've been lucky to make it out alive every single time.

Many friends can’t say the same unfortunately. It’s

crazy because the river can be super forgiving in

super extreme situations and other times it’s a killer on

locations you wouldn’t think they were that bad… you

need to be prepared at all times.

And how do you “get back up again” after a nasty

injury? You just learn and move on. You do your

rehab, rebuild your confidence and don’t dwell on the

negatives. Life will always keep punching you in the

face, nothing can be perfect for too long, it’s all about

not giving up and getting back up whatever it takes.

There are few in the world who can kayak the way

you do. We now get to see what it is like thanks to

Go Pro dropping off a 100+ foot waterfall. But can

you take us through that moment. What do you feel

when approaching the edge of an abyss? Scouting a

100 foot waterfall is nerve wrecking. You imagine all the

possible outcomes. Your speed, your line, the impact,

the hazards… everything needs to be planned.

When I am approaching the edge of the abyss the

nerves are gone and all my self is focusing entirely on

my strokes, body posture, speed… as soon as my mind

wonders somewhere else I’m fuck%&, that’s what I love

about waterfalls / running big rapids. They demand all

of your attention and focus. Nothing else in the world

matters during those seconds.

The way down is amazing.. happens really quick but

the few seconds of freefall are absolutely unreal. One

you’ve hit the bottom and you roll back up a feeling of

excitement invades your body. It's the ultimate feeling

of accomplishment, thankful for the experience and for

being at the bottom of a 100 footer unhurt.

What is the most challenging destination you have

kayaked and what has made it so unique? The

Amazon in Colombia. The river itself was mostly flat

water but had some huge rapids as well. Our goal was

to kayak all the way to Brazil through the Apaporis River

but our trip got cut short on the 1000 km mark. We got

in a situation with FARC (Frente Armado Revolucionario

Colombiano) who detained us and had us captive in

their camps in the jungle for a few days… luckily we

were able to talk it out and they let us free after 5 days.

What is the most dangerous situation you have

been in and what made it so? There’s been a few to

just name one… I've been in car crashes, I’ve fallen off

a 30 meter waterfall blind following some mates, I’ve

been locked in the Stikine Canyon, forced to jump on a

class V river using my watershed dry bag as a floatation

device so I could chase my kayak after a bad swim. I’ve

been stuck in my kayak for over 10 minutes under a

log… I’ve had plenty of swims over my life. Sometimes I

feel like I have a star over my head for having survived

so many.

For most athletes, a sponsorship with Red Bull is

the ultimate reward. Can you tell us a little about

the need for sponsors in the field of kayaking and

the significance of being sponsored by Red Bull?

Redbull is the ultimate sponsor, specially for us who

practice minority sports where there’s very little money

to be made. I am one of the very few who can make a

living out of kayaking and for that I am very thankful.

Aniol Serrasolses during his run in the finals

of the Adidas Sickline Extreme Kayak World

Championships at Oetztal, Tirol

Image by Dean Treml/Red Bull Content Pool


"The draw is to


places where

nobody has been

before. To push

the boundaries of

what’s possible, get

out of your comfort

zone so you can

really see what

you’re made of."

Aniol Serrasolses runs a set of waterfalls on the Keldua river, eastern Iceland.

Image by Eric Parker / Red Bull Content Pool









AWAY By Penny Simpson

It was always going to be


GODZone Chapter 9 was

the first New Zealand North

Island edition of the world's

largest expedition-length


When the active volcanic

plateau and thermal region

of Rotorua was announced

as the host location at

the end of Chapter 8,

teams worldwide readied

themselves for an adventure

of a lifetime.

It was a scramble to gain a

racing spot with a sell-out

field of 95 team spots gone

in less than 24 hours.

"Each year, it's a battle for

teams to gain a slot, and

it is the first major step for

competitors on their journey

to GODZone. Rotorua was a

real drawcard, and everyone

wanted to experience it."

But the journey proved to

be trickier when the New

Zealand borders shut in

March 2020 due to Covid-19.

“We juggled like every other

event in the country and

eventually pushed out from

November 2020 to March

2021 in the hope the border

situation would improve. By

September, we had to wave

goodbye to our international

teams and settle for a

Kiwi-only field with the

introduction of support crews

to make life that little bit

easier for teams.”

Five days out from the event,

Auckland went into Covid

Level 3 lockdown, throwing

Auckland-based competitors

and the event into a spin.

“We had planned the event

to be deliverable in a Level

2 scenario,” says Bates.

“Fortunately, with great

assistance from the Rotorua

Lakes District Council and

New Zealand authorities, we

could pivot enough to deliver

it as nearly every other major

sporting event in the country

was cancelled.”

GODZone Chapter 9 will go

down in the history books as

the one that nearly got away.

Compare the size of the people to the extent of the terrain and it may give an

insight into the scale of this event.



Dubbed an ultimate edition of

GODZone from the get-go, Chapter

9 was a real step-change for

GODZone competitors given its

North Island locale.

“Significant native forest, some hot

and cold lakes, and interesting,

complex river systems,” says Bates.

“The full-length course traversed

666km of terrain, the longest

GODZone course by far and an

extremely challenging target for

most teams to finish within the eight


“At times, teams were immersed

in the bush with minimal visibility,

wondering where the next exact

topographical feature would

emerge – at other times, they were

staggered by the view. It was an

epic display of this great central


The highlight and surprise of the

course that no-one was expecting

was the Mohaka River packraft,

followed by an 88km across the

Kawaka and Kaimanawa ranges.

“Those two stages that will no doubt

live long in the memory – maybe

for the incredible views and pain of

over 6000m vertical of ascent,” says

Bates. “Our expected winning time

for the PURE event was just on five

days, and that's what team Avaya

achieved in world-class style.”


GODZone Chapter 9 Stages

Stage 1: a 40km MTB through

Whakarewarewa Forest to Western

Okataina Trail and Lake Rotoiti.

Stage 2: a 68km trek and pack raft

between Lakes Rotoiti, Rotoehu,

Rotoma, Tarawera, and Rotomahana

Stage 3: a 134km MTB towards Lake

Aniwaniwa, then the iconic Moerangi

Mountain Bike Trail to Whirinaki trails.

Stage 4: a 24km Rogaine and

challenging navigation in the Whirinaki

State Forest.

Stage 5: a 70km MTB through the

Kaingaroa Forest logging trails to Pamu/

Rangitaiki Station.

Stage 6: a 54km trek and packraft

through the Te Iringa Track and down the

Mohaka River.

Stage 7: a 88km traverse across the

Kaweka and Kaimanawa ranges

Stage 8: A short 27km MTB on Tongariro

River trail to Waiotaka.

Stage 9: A 57km kayak on Lake Taupo

to Kinloch.

Stage 10: A 56km short MTB to Lake


Stage 11: a 13km packraft on beautiful

little Lake Ohakuri.

Stage 12: a 38km MTB through the

iconic Redwoods in Rotorua to the finish





Nathan Fa’avae, Chris Forne,

Sophie Hart, and Stu Lynch

of team Avaya clocked up

their fifth win of GODZone,

the world’s largest expedition

adventure race, in five days

four days, twenty-three hours,

and 25 minutes.

"The start of the race was

a bit interesting because of

Covid level 2 teams set off in

intervals, and we were in the

last wave. We just did our own

thing on that first bike stage

and were quite surprised to

reach the front of the field

pretty quickly."

He said the trek was one of the

big highlights of Chapter 9.

“The native bush trek was

incredible and a fantastic route

to experience. It’s as good as

it gets as far as New Zealand

hiking goes. I was really

enjoying it, but tough to have

as part of a stand-alone event

like this.

The world-class team has

an impeccable track record

at GODZone, winning every

chapter they have raced in

together, including Chapter 1

-Milford Sound, Chapter 2 – Mt

Cook, Chapter 3 – Kaikoura,

Chapter 4 – Wanaka, and

Chapter 9 – Rotorua.

Chris Forne has won an

additional three GODZone's

racing as the captain of other

teams, including Chapter 5

Tasman, Chapter 7 Fiordland,

and Chapter 8 in Canterbury.

Former All Black captain Richie

McCaw also raced in fine form

alongside high-profile Coast

to Coast champions Simone

Maier and Dougal Allen to

claim second place. Theo

Wordsmith was the team's


“ It was a classic battle for

second and third position

between Richie McCaw’s team

iSport and Queenstown’s Tiki

Tour team of George and Tom

Lucas, Mike Kelly, and Kym

Skerman," says Fairmaid. "It

came down to who had the

most horsepower and desire

to take the second spot, and

that was McCaw and his isport

team - a job well done after his

6th position back at Chapter 7

in Fiordland.”






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rentals and sales.

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p: +64 7 348 4079 | w:



Learning to do more with less

Images compliments @break.theresistance

I knew very little about Rachel Māia when I was asked to interview her for

this issue of Adventure Magazine. I knew she was from Whanganui, I knew

she was a mother of three, I knew she had injured her leg rock climbing

when she was just 16 years old, and I knew she had gone on to become a

successful NZ para-athlete and below the knee amputee, but I didn’t know

anything about Rachel as a person.

However, now I feel very fortunate to have taken a look inside her world; the

challenges, the trials, the heartbreak and her resolve to live her life to the


Can you tell us a little about growing up and how you got into climbing

when you were younger? My family moved a lot throughout my childhood,

and I struggled with no real sense of belonging, to both people or places.

Climbing was a sport at my second High School, when I was 16. It was a

place where we all learned labels don’t apply. You were not 'a cool kid' or

the 'new girl'. You were a climber. You dropped your bags at the door and

climbed. We were an eclectic group that wouldn’t necessarily find ourselves

sitting together at lunch time, but for the first time I felt like I really completely

belonged somewhere that felt like home.

How did/do you feel towards the climbing centre for being negligent

in their safety equipment? It’s never really occurred to me. I don’t think

about it. Life feels brutal sometimes, but I love who I have become through

it all and if I went back in time, was given the same scenario and knew the

outcome, I would still let go.


" When you hear negative labels often

enough you eventually begin to wear them

like a comfortable old sweater.”

" Showing up for me is learning to get up,

day after day, come as I am, be fully in the

moment, feel all the feels, and let it flow.”

After the fall you were unable to walk

for a long while, can you tell us a

little bit about your recovery? Initially I

had major reconstruction surgery on one

ankle, including bone grafted from my hip

with some gnarly metal. The other ankle

was also broken, but I could weight-bear

on that one to use crutches. I spent two

weeks in Hospital in Christchurch then

when I returned to school in Southland

with two legs in below the knee casts I was

determined that I didn’t need a wheelchair.

I crutched 10 blocks to the school bus,

missed getting a seat, and I refused to ask

anyone to stand up for me, so I balanced

standing on one broken foot for the 15km

bus ride into town, changed to the city

school bus and then went to class. By the

end of the day I was too stubborn to admit

it had absolutely broken me and I did the

whole thing in reverse. That afternoon I

let my mum order a wheelchair and I spent

the next maybe three months in it. I didn’t

love it but I made lots of jokes and just

tried to stay positive.

I had 9 surgeries prior to amputation but

I was never able to claw my way back to

sports like football. I was never able to

tramp or explore far. Every surgery gave

me back a chance at connecting with

small outdoor things and being engaged

with the people around me because I

could join in. Then I would slowly lose

that and have to go through the grief

process of becoming less mobile, the

anxiety of wondering if I would fully get

it back, the loss of my sense of self and

feeling disconnected, surgery, recovery,

repeat. For nearly two decades. I asked

twice for an amputation, and by the time

they said yes 20 years after the accident,

I could have dropped a chainsaw on it

myself if the surgeon had said no again.

Jokes. Maybe.

You have talked about feeling a lack of

inclusion in your recovery journey and

the cruelty of society growing up with

a disability. Can you tell us more about

that. It seems to me this is something

harder to survive than the injury itself.

It’s easy to say “I broke two ankles at

the same time.’" It’s harder to say “I feel

broken”. It’s even harder still to admit

that we see ourselves as ‘broken’ or

‘damaged goods’ and that we need help.

When you hear negative labels often

enough you eventually begin to wear

them like a comfortable old sweater.

When I was 16 I was told by an adult, "if

you were a horse, I’d shoot you myself."

Later as an adult myself I heard, "you’re

just a fucking cripple, I’m not attracted to

you anymore." By this point I had spent 2

decades letting the negative voices in my

life rent space in my head. There came

a point where I had to shake myself to

wake up and push back. I had to decide

those label’s don’t fit, choose my own

internal dialogue, and challenge so called

limitations. And that’s the hard, hard,

road. That’s the road that leaves you

feeling battered. Learning to retrain your

own sense of worthiness whilst choosing

not to hold on to hurt or trauma, this is

by far more difficult than learning to walk

again or cutting a leg off. Climbing was a

place where, like when I was 16, I could

drop my bags and baggage at the door,

and be free to be me. No labels.

You wondered if you “could you

do more if you had less?” Can you

explain this and what it meant in your

decision to amputate. I could see I

was losing years that could be spent

exploring. Amputation was letting go of

what can’t be fixed and moving on in the

hope that a new reality, less, would give

me more adventure.

What was the biggest fear about going

back to climbing real rock when you

recently visited ? A big fear was that I

wouldn’t be ‘good enough’. Coming from

the world of international competitive

sport climbing, performance and sending

things clean the first time, no error, with

the world watching and your country's

pride on the line, had been the entire

focus of my learning and training and

I had lived and breathed that. Being

able to accept ‘failure’ is not final and

understanding the concept of a project

outdoors was hard. Now though, hooked.

Take me back!

It was emotional watching the video

“Back to Real Rock” of your first climb

back on a real rockface. Can you

explain the emotion/fears you felt at

the bottom of the rock face? Frustration

at myself for not making it happen twenty

years ago. Fear that I wouldn’t be any

good. But I felt an overwhelming sense of

coming home, a whisper of new freedoms

and adventures.

What did it mean to get back into

climbing real rock again after so many

years? It was another step in proving

to myself that we get to choose our own

home, our own pathways, our own limits

and our own labels.

You said that “success is just showing

up”. Can you explain what that means

to you? I’ve learned I don’t have to wait

until I feel ‘better’ or less battered or less

pain or more confident, or less stressed

or stronger or more powerful or more

enduring or less fearful. Showing up for

me is learning to get up, day after day,

come as I am, be fully in the moment, feel

all the feels, and let it flow.

You are a Macpac ambassador, can

you tell us what this means to you?

I love that Macpac has it’s history in New

Zealand. I love that my kids are proud

to be a part of the Macpac family too.

And I love that each time I get to put one

new piece of gear on the gear shelf it is

a suspense filled promise to myself to

thrash it and watch it endure while I get

to make memories. I love that when I

compete internationally I’m taking a little

part of New Zealand’s history with me.

What’s your favourite piece of Macpac

equipment?I don’t go outdoor climbing

without the Macpac C3 Trekker poles to

assist. And I am pretty much always in

Eyre Tank Top either outdoors or indoors.

If you could go back in time what

advice would you give your younger

self? I would tell her not to sit in her fear,

because it goes nowhere. To trust herself

more. And I would tell her she is worthy

when she feels broken and worthy when

she feels strong.

You obviously suffered a lot for a

long period of time. Did you learn any

techniques to deal with that? Selftalk.

I write a mantra on my mirror in my

bathroom and I wake up and start the day

visualising it and repeating it to myself

until it feels real. No one has the right to

rent space in your head, but to set those

negative voices aside you do need to

make the positive ones scream at you.

Turn up the volume on the good stuff!

Make it louder.

What’s your future plans or projects

you are looking forward to? The

competitive climber in me still wants to be

world number one in paraclimbing. And

outdoors I am working on lead. This is

another whole new mind bend of learning

not to sit in my fear. The prosthetic foot

is never a secure point of contact so

clipping feels way more treacherous than

it used to! But the more I use the Evolv

climbing leg the more it’s beginning to

feel a part of my body, not just something

I wear. Climbing in many ways has

been a big part of rehabilitation and will

continue to be.

I’m also working toward more public

speaking. There is power for others in

our stories and I love those opportunities.

Follow Rachel @rachelmaianz



Shared Adventures








By Lucy Olphert

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Ultrarunning—what kind of

person runs 100 miles - FOR


Besides chronic sleep

deprivation, eating on the

run, alfresco toilet stops and

slogging through many many

miles, ultrarunning is a form

of strategic suffering - even

more so when you live with a

condition known as Freiberg’s

infarction, resulting in a

permanent fracture in your foot!

It appears to go far beyond a

desire to stay thin or healthy.

Who are these people, and

what does their radical hobby

say about them?

I became obsessed with these

questions after losing a bet at a

hen’s party 12 months ago and

running a 50km ultramarathon

completely untrained just four

days later. Despite the odd

niggle and ache, my body held

up and I surprisingly had a

rather good time. I came away

from this experience eager to

push the limits a bit further.

Which is how I found myself

lining up for the famed yet

feared Tarawera Miler. A ultra

endurance race involving a

165km circumnavigation around

9 of the 14 lakes in the Rotorua

district before eventually

returning back to civilisation

some 36 hours later! In theory it

sounded like an above average

way to spend a weekend...

“Who are these people, and what does their

radical hobby say about them?”

Except what conversations

does one have with themselves

for THAT long?

Unless you've done one, it's

virtually impossible to know how

your mind (and body) will react

to running such a long way −

like you can be driving along

one day and it strikes you, 'I

don’t even want to drive 100

miles, how on earth am I going

to run that far!”

So why would I want to endure

such an event? Ultimately, to

see if I could! I have long been

inspired by those who seek

to push themselves beyond

their perceived limits. In ultra

running, time on your feet is

key. The infarction in my foot

would be a huge barrier but I

was weirdly intrigued to see

how far I could push it.

I also decided to seek out an

external motivation, opting to

run a fundraiser alongside for

Lifeline Aotearoa, a mental

health charity with a specific

focus on increasing awareness

and understanding of suicide

prevention in New Zealand.

Saturday 13th February, 2021 -

It’s race day!

2.15am: After a sleepless 8

hours of tossing and turning it

was an almighty relief to finally

get cracking. The next 45

minutes flew by as I donned my

running costume, scoffed down

some cereal, squeaked out a

poop, and psyched myself up

with a rousing playlist.

3.00am: En route to the start

line, my faithful crew in tow. I

shut my eyes for the 25 minute

drive, desperately hoping for a

miracle power nap.

3.30am: We arrive at Te Puia

on schedule. I duck away for

one more nervous poop before

making my way to the start line.

3.45pm: A powerful haka

followed by a few choice words

of encouragement by the race

director and commentator set

the tone for the gruelling day

ahead. Every nerve, muscle

and fibre in my body felt alive.

I hug my crew one last time,

switch on my head lamp and

prepare for the mammoth task


4.00am: The resounding blast

of the horn sounds and we

are off through the winding

trails of Te Puia’s spectacular

geothermal valley. There is a

stickiness in the air and beads

of sweat quickly started to roll

down my face as the course

shifted into single lane tracks

fraught with tree roots and

natural drop banks.

4.45am: The endorphins have

well and truly kicked in and I’m

buzzing, but hold a conservative

pace knowing the shallow

depths of hell may try to grapple

with me later in the course.

5.15am: I rounded the corner

to the sweet sound of bells

ringing, signalling the first aid

station on the course! Yippee!

For those unfamiliar to ultra

running, these are exactly what

they sound like. Aid stations

are a runner’s lifeline. They are

beacons of hope that turn these

long distance races into 8-15km

kilometre increments. Visualise

smiley faced volunteers and

a smorgasbord of jet planes,

potato chips, peanut butter

and jam sandwiches, flat coke,

bananas, oranges, electrolytes,

and sometimes if you’re lucky,

even pizza!

This may sound like a glorified

picnic but running for long

periods of time burns a butt

ton of calories and it is vital

you keep cramming them in if

you want to avoid the dreaded

“runners wall.”

8.30am: Despite the lack of

sleep, my mind and body still

feel great as I flew into the

Buried Village aid station to

the cheers from my kickass

crew. This was the first of six

compulsory checkpoints on

course and the first of my five

drop bags! These drop bags

can contain anything you like

from snacks to spare socks,

shoes, treats you name it!

Legend has it, ultra running

guru Camille Heron stashed

and smashed multiple beers

Find a stockist:


NZ Hunter Adventures Mountain Clothing Partner

“If you go through life afraid of failure you’ll

never attempt anything”

amongst drop bags in her

impressive victory of the 2019

Tarawera Miler!

9.15am: Not long after Buried

Village I entered the Tarawera

forest trail and encountered

my first major blunder.

Unfortunately I severely

underestimated the steepness

and technicality of this section

and quickly found both my pace

dropping back significantly.

12.28pm: I arrive at Lake

Rotomahana, the first of two

boat crossings and a welcoming

reprieve for my poor feet which

were starting to suffer the

effects of the 8.5 hours already


2.20pm: The heat is stifling and

I’m now a sweaty, blistery mess

as I stagger into Rerewhakaaitu

nearly 1.5 hours later than

planned but importantly, still

ahead of the 4pm cut off. It’s

a huge relief to see my crew

and an even greater relief to

plunge my feet into the ice cold

foot bath they had thoughtfully

prepared. My spare pair of

socks and shoes also get the

call up.

2.45pm: It’s a brief 7km to the

next station. Five minutes into

this leg however I am instantly

regretting the lack of cushioning

in the new shoes. My infarction

begins to rear its ugly head,

haunting me with each step...

4.00pm: I’m back into my

faithful Hoka’s and bid farewell

to my crew - the last time I

would see them until Outlet, the

third checkpoint on course and

a mere 43km away! Thankfully

my foot has calmed down and I

now have a new buddy to keep

me company. Introducing Paora

Raharara aka Gumboot man.

A former Black Power member

who turned his back on a life

of crime four years ago and

decided to run the entire race in

GUMBOOTS for a kids charity.


After more than 12 hours on the

trails, the banter with this good

bugger was just the remedy I

needed. My body surges back

to life and we crack forward with

a newfound vengeance.

8.30pm: The sun is well and

truly on its way out. By my

calculations we are less than

2km away from Puhipuhi station

and what would ultimately

signal the halfway mark! The

wide forest trails bring with them

a steady gradient, reducing

my legs to jelly. I calculate how

many hours I probably have

left— and immediately wish I

hadn’t. I know that as bad as

things feel now, they will feel

worse later, especially after


9.00pm: After what felt like

a lifetime, we finally rounded

the corner and crawled in to


Puhipuhi. I sunk into the nearest

chair whilst the volunteers

spring into action, refilling our

flasks, taping limbs and even

giving Paora and I a brief

shoulder massage!

9.15pm: We are back on the

trail with just 21km until we

reach the Outlet. It is pitch dark

by now but the heat from earlier

in the day has cooled and the

body is feeling good again.

11.30pm: Running a 100

miler race is like living all the

emotions of a lifetime in one

day. One minute you're on top

of the world. The next minute

you’re at rock bottom. Not long

after we passed Titoki - morale

high and just 6km from Outlet,

my foot once again started

to come apart. I hobbled on

hoping desperately the storm

would pass but at some point

around midnight, I realised that

things were most definitely

no longer alright. I was now

clocking 30 minute kilometres

and limping badly. Deep down

I knew that even if I kept going,

the clock would catch up to me,

and I would be cut from the

race anyway. I urged Paora to

go on. One of us had to make

it to that darn finish line and my

chances were looking slim.

1.15am: Sadly, after 21 hours

and 103km on the trail I was

forced to call it a day.

As gutted as I was to DNF, I

have learned over the years

that failure is just as much a

part of the game. If you go

through life afraid of failure

you’ll never attempt anything!

Paora crossed the finish line in

35:39:39, just inside the event

cut-off of 36 hours. It was an

emotional moment for both of

us and I will forever be grateful

of this legend’s company

throughout the last 10 hours of

my race.

This experience will be etched

in my mind forever. It taught

me the limits of my body and

reinforced the power of the

mind. The equation is relatively

simple: find something that

challenges you and go there!

It makes life a meaningful and

wild experience. For you it may

not be an ultramarathon - and

that’s ok. Whatever option you

choose, a life highlight awaits!

To donate to Lifeline visit:


Race for Life proudly

supported by:

•Seaview (2018) Limited

•Kiwi Double Glazing Tauranga


•Peak Performance Massage

•Nothing Naughty


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BOP: Whakatane Great Outdoors, Taupo: Outdoor Attitude, Wellington: Dwights Outdoors, Motueka: Coppins Outdoors,

Nelson: PackGearGo, Kaikoura: Coastal Sports, Christchurch: Complete Outdoors, Greymouth: Colls Sports,

Hokitika: Wild Outdoorsman, Wanaka: MT Outdoors, Queenstown: Small Planet.


Distributed by Outfitters 0800021732



Turning a terrifying fall

into an opportunity

by Derek Cheng

It looked like a harmless ledge covered in leaves.

It had been a wet day, and Di Drayton went to stand on a

leafy part of the track before leaping over a wet rock. But

there was nothing under the leaves except for a 15m drop

into Lake Taupo.

She plunged through the leaves, but seemed to slow

momentarily on the steep bank. She remembers grabbing

frantically at something, anything.

“I just grabbed and looked at my hand, and it was just dirt,”

she recalls. “Then I was in the lake.”

It’s been more than 16 years since that fateful day, which

may have had a more deadly outcome were it not for the

swift action of her friend and the heavy pack she was

wearing; the pack shouldered some of the impact and kept

her head out of the water.

She still broke her back and damaged her nerves in a way

that severely weakened her right foot and leg - but has since

become an ice and mixed climber, marathon runner, and a

New Zealand representative para-climber.

Climbing Spoon on Bringstinden, WI4, Senja

Island, Norway 2014 - Photo Aksel Sveum


She had been rock climbing

that day at Whanganui Bay,

on the eastern shores of Lake

Taupo, with her good friend and

climbing buddy Jono Clarke.

She had spent the day climbing

harder than she ever had and

was in high spirits, but that

was all about to come crashing


Clarke, who was about 10m in

front of her, heard her scream

and then crash into the lake. He

ran down the steep slope after

her, finding her gurgling and on

her back in shallow water.

“He pulled my head into his

lap so that I was out of the

water,” says Di, who is based in


“I had a lot of pain. I knew that

I'd broken a lot of ribs and

I couldn't really talk. It was

actually painful to breathe.”

The alarm was raised and

soon a boat arrived. She was

carefully lifted onto it via a large

piece of wood and taken to

shore, where a medic-helicopter

was able to land and take her to

Waikato Hospital.

“They actually didn't find my

back was broken for three

days,” Di says.

“At one point, they helped me

stand up on the side of the

bed, and they said, ‘Walk to the

top of your bed.’ But I couldn’t

move my legs. That's when they

checked my back.”

She had broken vertebrae in

her thoracic and lumbar spine,

leading to muscle paralysis

which made it almost impossible

to lift her right foot, or use her

right calf or medial gluteal


“I can’t high-step. I can’t tip toe.

Anything on a high shelf, I can’t

reach it.”

She spent six weeks in hospital,

followed by nine months of

recovery at her parents’ home in

Napier - firstly needing a walking

frame, and then crutches.

“At one point, they helped me stand

up on the side of the bed, and they

said, ‘Walk to the top of your bed.’ But

I couldn’t move my legs. That's when

they checked my back.”

Describing her slow but steady

progress, she says: “My walk

was just to the end of my

parents’ drive and back. Then,

one day, I crossed the road."

She returned to Wellington

when she was able to walk

independently and, with the use

of a plastic foot brace, she was

determined to try rock climbing

again - if only just to use some

of the new gear she had.

“I thought I might not climb

again, but I’d organised a

friend of mine to buy me some

climbing shoes while he was in

Europe, and I didn't want to tell

him I didn't need them.

“So I had this new pair of

climbing shoes, but my foot

wasn't strong enough to push

into the shoe. The toes would

just curl up.”

When she finally got the shoe

on and went to the indoor

climbing wall, she found she

couldn’t put any weight on her

right foot.

“It was frustrating at the start

because my foot didn’t work

well. But I had all these rules

about not sulking or complaining

about what I used to be able to


“It’s not worth wishing things

were different because that

doesn’t change anything.”

Slowly she learned to use other

muscles to compensate for

the ones she could no longer

use, and, less than a year after

her accident, she returned to

Whanganui Bay.

“It took me three hours to pack

my bag - I thought I was going

to die this time. But Jono kept

sending my silly text messages

to make me laugh.

“It was a good trip. The worst

part was seeing where Jono had

ran down after me, and knowing

he could have easily injured


Within 18 months of the

accident, Di had climbed routes

much harder than anything she

did before her fall.

“I wasn’t any stronger, but I was

thinking more about how I was

climbing. Previously I just did

a move without thinking about

it, but now I had to think about

inventive ways to do moves.”

Before the accident, she

had also been prepping to

try ice and mixed climbing,

a more extreme discipline of

climbing involving ice tools and


She didn't want her injuries to

deter that pursuit, but with an

unstable leg, she wasn't too

eager on the long approaches

to New Zealand’s technical

winter climbs. So she ventured


Her ice climbing adventures

took her to the US, Switzerland

and Norway. And as her mobility

improved over the years, she

became a frequent attendee

at the ice and mixed climbing

festival in the Remarkables,

where she has established a

number of new routes.

“I felt like I was more scared of

what I’d miss out on if I didn’t do


One of her new winter routes,

on Ruapehu, is called Nervous


"Every time you achieve

something, I feel like I'm a

person again, and Nervous

Connections is about things

working again.”

Then, five years ago, she came

across a game-changer: a

new brace that attaches to the

outside of the shoe, so it doesn't

touch the skin.

“This makes it way more

comfortable, but it’s also

mechanical. When your heel

strikes, it transfers energy to lift

the ankle to provide spring.”

First assent Nervous Connections, Ruapehu

Photo by Jono Clark

"Every time you achieve something,

I feel like I'm a person again, and

Nervous Connections is about things

working again.”

Di's old braces above

made climbing hard.

The new brace (image

right) worked so well

she was even able to

run, completing both

the Rotorua and Boston


Di's climbing boot in the Turbomed

Display at OTWorld Leipzeg Germany

First day standing at Waikato Hospital.

Photo by Ian Drayton. July 2004

Running the Boston Marathon

in 2018

Back where it all began: Eternity Road, Whanganui bay

Photo by Steve Minchin



Looking down to Ersfjord - Senja Island -

Photo by Johannes Eberhard

She ended up meeting with the makers of the

brace while travelling in Europe, and they gave her

a more aggressive version just for her.

“The day I put it on, I thought, ‘I can run with this.’”

So she did - firstly the 26km tussock traverse trail

race in the North Island’s central plateau, and then

the Rotorua marathon. In 2018, she ran the Boston


Di, who is an accessibility advisor for the IRD

and turns 50 next year, then set her sights on the

international climbing scene.

“I wanted to mix climb competitively against people

with similar injuries, and there was a move to get

mixed para-climbing started in Europe.

“So in the meantime, I started hassling [national

sporting organisation] Climbing NZ to include paraclimbing

in their competitions - which they did.”

She competed for three years and, in 2019, went

to France for the world championships, where she

came seventh in her mobility category.

“It was really cool. It was the biggest overhang I’ve

ever climbed,” she says of the event.

“The other women in my category, especially the

top three, were really amazing climbers. It's given

me a really clear idea of how much harder I need

to train.”

But Di’s competitive climbing aspirations have

been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Never one to remain idle, she is turning her mind to

other challenges.

“I’d like to climb Mt Aspiring. I can now move a

lot further than I used to and can do some longer

approaches again.

“I want to tackle some things on the bucket list I

thought I’d never get to do.”







By Eric Skilling

Sometimes you just need to be on your own.

Hiking puts a whole lot of perspective back into life. Apart from living for several

days with what you can carry in a backpack and experiencing the beauty and

diversity of the New Zealand wilderness, there are few more enjoyable or better

ways of sharing time with family and friends. Personally, I have found tramping has

helped make some new friends and cemented some long-standing relationships.

So tramping solo never been a priority for me, but when I was given the chance

to walk the Abel Tasman track, I decided it was time to step out on my own. This

track is undoubtably world famous, and visitors have raved about how much they

enjoyed the unique experience. Somehow, I had always felt I was missing out, and

now that I have been, I can confirm that that was true.

Heavy spring rains had given the Nelson region a good soaking over the two days

before I left Marahau on my way to Wairima Bark Bay, some 20km away. It was all

a bit eerie with dark skies, wind gusts and a track devoid of any people, but that

only added to the buzz I felt at the thought of spending a couple of days on my

own. A light drizzle was to hang around for the first few hours of the trip, but the

upside was that everything had that bright, varnished look, with beautifully clear

streams and plenty of noisy waterfalls.



Solitude at Abel Tasman National Park

Image by Tyler Lastovich

" I will always remember the bay for the

glorious sunrise the next morning. The

ridge to the east hid the exact moment

of first-light, but moments later the sun

appeared over the still, glassy bay and I

got to enjoy one of the finest sunrises I

can remember for a long time."

It wasn’t long before I had some

company even if it was only the first

of many weka encounters. A family

of five were crossing the track ahead

of me. Dad was full of confidence

and circled me a couple of times

obviously expecting some tasty

morsel before he decided there was

nothing for him and followed his less

brazen family foraging for real food

on their way down the gully.

Golden Sands

Abel Tasman does not have the

imposing rugged mountain peaks

and glacial valleys of the Fiordland

Parks, but the golden-sand beaches

make for a quite different but equally

spectacular experience. Within the

first hour of the walk, I heard the

slap-and-crash of waves hitting the

beach. Even though I had a good

eight hours of tramping ahead of

me the temptation became too great

and I headed down a short but steep

track towards Apple Bay.

That phrase “golden beaches” is so

over-used but there is no better way

to describe those beautiful bays. I

challenge anyone to resist those

clear waters – even in November.

My first swim of the season.

Shared with a paradise shelduck.

Refreshing. Liberating. Going solo

got an A+ at that stage.

Each of the many bays are lined with

those golden sands but each have

their own unique beauty. I reached

the semi-circular Anchorage Bay

just after midday. By then the wind

had dropped away completely, the

sky was trying to clear, and small

surf was gently sliding up and back

along the water’s edge. I got so

distracted by the serenity of it all that

I completely missed the turn-off back

onto the track and had to retrace my


Warima Bark Bay where I camped

that night is different again. A

small spit of sand with enough

Pohutukawa, flax and other coastal

plants to shade campers, a sandy

beach on one side and tidal estuary

on the other. I will always remember

the bay for the glorious sunrise the

next morning. The ridge to the east

hid the exact moment of first-light,

but moments later the sun appeared

over the still, glassy bay and I got to

enjoy one of the finest sunrises I can

remember for a long time.


Native birds are thriving in the Park,

and a shout-out must go to all the

folks who are doing such a great

job of keeping pests at bay. Project

Janszoon has been going hard for

well over a decade, and thanks the

perseverance of those involved

and many other volunteers and

professionals, the native birdlife

is thriving. The bush is full of the

cheerful sound of robin and tui,

with the regular appearance of the

cheekily charming piwakawaka.

One of my most blissful experiences

occurred early morning at Bark Bay.

I was lying back in my tent enjoying

the sound of waves slapping the

beach just a few metres away,

when a bellbird landed in the tree

just above me and began to greet

the day with its unique one-bird

orchestra of calls. A priceless

experience. Bellbirds are few and

far between but with the efforts of

so many they have more hope now

than they have had for some time.


The beauty of the Abel Tasman - Image by Ricardo Helass

Weka are abundant. Sometimes

annoyingly so. I had the pleasure

of having my lunch stolen off me at

Stillwater Bay, and holes pecked into my

tent cover at Observation Bay. It felt like

a weka or two had taken up residence

at every possible stop, waiting for the

opportunity to pilfer from the weary visitor.

It was only thanks to the cliffs at Stillwater

Bay and an almost flightless bird that I

managed to recover my lunch, but the

truth is I would not have it any other

way. Let us face it, they were here first

so just applaud their ability to adapt and

take advantage of our arrival. Kaka and

saddlebacks are also listed as birds to

look out for, but I never had the pleasure

of coming across either. Next time.

Side Trips

Missing the tide at Torrent Bay was a

blessing as it gave me the chance to visit

Cleopatras pool. A gentle walk through

cool forest alongside the Torrent river

leads to the rapids and several pools,

and the chance of a cool, refreshing fresh

water swim.

The DOC brochure has several

recommendations for side trips along the

way, although I chose to spend most of

my spare time enjoying the many bays.

Most of the bays are just a short walk

from the main track, and excellent stops

for a break, lunch, or a swim.

The Solo Experience

Abel Tasman was the perfect choice for

my first solo tramp. This is a genuinely

Great Walk, remote enough to offer some

pristine wilderness, but popular enough

to make it a relatively safe place to tramp

alone. It also helped that it was mid-

November, with longer days and warmer

seas and relatively quiet, so I got to enjoy

most of the trip with only the birds for


Going solo has its advantages. I got to

walk at my own pace and took the time

to appreciate everything around me. My

only stops were for several swims each

day and a quick lunch break which I took

when it suited me. Very self-indulgent

but entirely excusable. I made up time

by drinking as I walked, not stopping

for scroggin breaks and avoiding the

regathering that always happen at the

summits of each hill when sharing a walk

with a large group.

Personally, I found the tracks well

maintained and gently graded which

made it easy to pick up the pace. The

recommended hiking times were easily

achievable – perhaps they have been

set knowing that everyone will stop and

enjoy at least one of those magnificent

sandy bays.

But the verdict on the merits of tramping

on your own – as soon as I reached

civilisation I could not wait to get on the

phone and post on social media to share

the experiences of the previous two

days. So, nah, I think shared experiences

are just that much sweeter. It is no

coincidence that I enjoyed the walk so

much that I have since persuaded several

other friends to share the experience with

me in the next few months. However,

don’t get me wrong, it was a memorable

and unique experience, and finding

myself in the same situation again I could

be persuaded to go alone once more.


Thanks go to Macpac, Go Native, Keen and Jetboil.



Not content to simply survive

At 16 years old he became the youngest

competitor in the Coast to Coast event,

completing the 2 day individual event in

14 hours and 27 minutes. He loved it so

much that he signed up straight away to

compete again in 2021. Little did he know

that his world as he knew it would come

crashing down in less than two weeks


Brodie grew up in Tahunanui, Nelson,

in a family that enjoyed spending time

outdoors; whether it be camping in the

summer, going on tramps, mountain biking

or surf lifesaving. As a result he now

loves kayaking, rock climbing and getting

out in the mountains. He’s also a keen

sportsman, multisporter and surf lifeguard.

He’s into rowing, surfing, surf lifesaving

and plays basketball, underwater hockey

and volleyball. You get the picture? He’s

one active outdoorsy kid.


So, it was no surprise to his family

when he decided to enter the Coast

to Coast in 2020 and became the

youngest competitor in the two day

individual event. He loved the race, the

comraderie, the challenge.

“Growing up I have always done a lot

of team sports and I was looking for

a way to really push myself and see

how far I can go. After talking to a few

different people, one of my outdoor ed

teachers mentioned the Coast to Coast

and since then I knew I wanted to give

it a go."

After the gruelling Coast to Coast,

Brodie, not surprisingly, had a few

aches and pains, including a sore back.

Two weeks later, when the pain was

not healing, Brodie went for an MRI

scan……...the news was not good.

“After I had just had an MRI scan, I was

rushed upstairs, and was told to skip

the full waiting room and go directly

to the specialist. After sitting down the

specialist put his head in his hand and

I think that was the first time I knew

something really wasn't right.”

Brodie was diagnosed with extensive

cancer of the spine and pelvis.

“When I was first diagnosed with cancer

it didn't feel like there was much time

to think that I was in trouble, the next

3 weeks of testing went really fast and

I was always more focused on what

the next step was, rather than worrying

about what was really going on.”

After months of tests, diagnosis,

bone biopsies and many sleepless

nights, it turned out that Brodie didn’t

have cancer but a very rare (one in a

million) life threatening autoimmune

blood disease called Aplastic Anaemia.

Basically he had zero bone marrow left

and with his platelet levels so low he

was at risk of bleeding out. The good

news was that Aplastic Anaemia was

curable with a bone marrow transplant,

but the family were warned that there

was an 85% chance of survival.

“After the final bone marrow biopsy

result came back saying that I didn't

have cancer I had a rush of lots of

different emotions. I was thankful to

hear that it wasn't cancer but I still had

a concerned feeling as we were unsure

of what was really going on. I think the

moment I knew this would be a very

hard and long road ahead was the first

time I was sent down to Christchurch

for further testing. One day I remember

having to talk to all the doctors and

specialists for 3 to 4 hours about all the

different potential risks and the side

effects that chemo can have and as a

17 year old being told that you’re dying

and that the treatment could also kill

you was very confronting.”

"As a 17 year old being told that you’re

dying and that the treatment could

also kill you was very confronting”

Day of the transplant, December 11th, 2020 In hospital recovering, December 2020

Brodie competing in the 2-day Individual at the 2020 Coast to Coast



"His only hope of

survival was a bone

marrow transplant, and

fortunately Brodie’s 13

year old brother, Liam

was the perfect match.”

With no bone marrow left and platelet

levels low, his only hope of survival was a

bone marrow transplant, and fortunately

Brodie’s 13 year old brother, Liam, was

the perfect match. So on 30th November

2020, the family headed to Christchurch

for Brodie to start his intensive rounds

of chemotherapy (the most aggressive

form there is) and on the 11th December

he had his bone marrow transplant. He

spent 26 nights in hospital and was finally

discharged on New Years Day, the best

start to a new year ever.

His mum explains. “Throughout this all

Brodie has been an absolute inspiration

to everyone around him, taking it all in his

stride, with his relentless positivity and

determination. He also organised a Shave

for a Cure at his school and had 28 friends

and staff join him in a massive outpouring

of aroha and support - collectively they

raised over $27 000 for Leukaemia

and Blood Cancer NZ which was pretty


Brodie is determined to get back to his

outdoor life as soon as possible. The

guys at Coast to Coast have transferred

his entry for this year to 2022 so that’s

something he’s looking forward to. He

also just signed up to do his first half

ironman this year, a year to the day of his

transplant on December 11th. Then he

hopes to follow this up with a full ironman

the following March to help raise funds for

the Bone Marrow Transplant Trust.

When speaking with Brodie and can’t

not help but be impressed by his positive

outlook on life and he speaks with a

maturity beyond his years…

It looks like your recovery is going well,

what do you put that down to? I believe

that mindset has a huge impact on our

lives. I think one of the reasons why my

recovery is going well at the moment is

because of the positive mindset I have

towards it. Don't get me wrong, there have

definitely been some very hard and tough

moments but what I think has impacted

me most is just taking it one day at a

time, focusing on future goals and staying


What’s the thing you have struggled with

the most? As a 16/17 year old, I wasn't

planning on missing half the school year

and spending my summer in hospital,

I think the hardest part of being unwell

has been the things I've missed out on. A

year ago I would spend most of my time

just outside doing things like training for

multisports or going on adventures with

a bunch of mates. To go from that to not

being able to do anything was definitely

a challenge and at times could be very


Have there been any positives come

out of this? I think as hard as it can be

sometimes, there has been a lot of good

to come from this. The support from the

community has been very humbling. In

November, I ran a fundraiser for Shave

for a Cure through school to raise funds

for Leukaemia and Blood Cancer NZ. 27

students and staff joined me in shaving

their heads at a full school assembly and

in under 2 weeks we managed to raise

over $27,000! In the future, I plan to do

more fundraising for two other incredible

organisations that I have been helped by:

the Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer

Service and Ranui House.

Brodie in the 2020 Coast to Coast is now looking forward to training for the 2022 event

Brodie stoked for his first surf - 80 days after his bone marrow transplant

Looking forward to getting back to the saddle

It has also given me more awareness

of serious health issues a lot of people

go through every day. Through this time

I have had the opportunity to connect

with some very inspirational people, the

likes of Jake Bailey and Aaron Fleming

as well as the incredible team of medical

professionals who have helped care for


What adventures are you missing the

most? I've always loved the water, it could

be surfing, racing around in the boats

with surf life saving or even kayaking but I

think the adventures I've missed the most

are the ones where I try something new. I

love getting outside my comfort zone as I

feel like it's one of the best ways to learn

new things.

Any advice for people facing similar

challenges? I think everyone faces their

own individual challenges in life. I'd tell

them that no matter what, you can beat

it. The saying “dream, believe, Achieve”

comes to mind. There will be some hard

times and it can be scary but there will

always be people around you to help push

you along when you need it. Coming up

with a list of things you want to do when

you’re well again can also be very helpful.

But most of all I'd tell them that the best

things in life start off with a challenge.

What has this year taught you? I think

it's made me realise how lucky I am to

be here. It has made me appreciate all

the small things so much more that I

might otherwise not have appreciated as

much. It's made me grateful for all the

opportunities I have had and above all

excited for what's to come.


No other region compares to the depth and breadth of raw elements

than Ruapehu. We’re talking about in-your-face nature that commands

attention. Carved by thousands of years of ancient lava flow and alpine

glaciers, the magnitude and magnificence of Ruapehu as a natural

wonderland will ground you and elevate you at the same time.

So as you breathe it all in, a heady mix of excitement and stillness,

you realise that you are perfectly at peace with where you are in the

moment. Earth, air, water, fire - the elements are calling, and this is

exactly where we belong.

Earth, air, water, fire –

elemental gateways to

awe-inspiring travel journeys


Treading lightly across Tongariro National Park (New Zealand’s

oldest national park) it is a common thing to be humbly awed

by the unsurpassed cultural and spiritual landscape of this

UNESCO Dual World Heritage Site. And as you venture further,

weaving through rural towns tucked between vast wilderness

and enchanting forests, the grace of Papatūānuku, Mother

Earth follows your every footstep.


From ever-flowing rivers to alpine lakes and spectacular

waterfalls, Ruapehu is a land with abundant waterways. A

significant element that bridges people and place, seek and you

shall find, a wonderful source of recreation and source of life.

Jet boat to the Bridge to Nowhere

A sacred natural resource and living entity, the Whanganui

River became the first river in the world to be recognised as

a legal person in 2017 – with guardians upholding the river's

environmental, social, cultural, and economic well-being. An

immersive experience like no other, take an unforgettable jet boat

journey upriver to the Bridge to Nowhere with Whanganui River

Adventures. And as you wind along deep river gorges and lush

canyons, surrender to the moment and absolute beauty of this life


Chasing waterfalls at Waitonga Falls Track

At 39 metres tall, Waitonga Falls is the highest waterfall at

Tongariro National Park. Wind your way through a well-formed

4km return track through mountain beech and evergreen

kaikawaka forest. As you follow the boardwalk, you’ll pass through

an alpine wetland area and weather permitting, take in some

breath-taking views of Mount Ruapehu. Mirrored against the

Rotokawa pools and suddenly it’s magic. Every step along the

Waitonga Falls Track is – so savour the journey there.

Forest bathing in Mangawhero Forest Walk

A term originating from Japan, forest bathing doesn’t involve

bathing in water. It’s a mindful practice immersed in the nature

around you, connecting with the elements to help boost your

well-being. Under a canopy of trees, let your footsteps slow and

senses awaken to the sights and sounds of the Mangawhero

Forest Walk in Ohakune. Bask in a lush native forest of kāmahi,

broadleaf and five finger with giant rimu, mataī and kahikatea

standing guard. Easily accessible from Ohakune Mountain

Road, this 3 km loop track is a leisurely short walk that’s also

popular with runners.

Discover hidden gems at Kakahi Glowworms

Something to experience after dark – intrepid travellers rise with

the sun and dance in the moonlight so don’t be surprised if you

start swaying at the sight of the entrancing Kakahi Glowworms.

A 20-minute drive from Taumarunui, this natural wonder near

the banks of the Whakapapa River can be found under a

canopy of native bush and between two cliff faces, where an

evening stroll becomes an ethereal experience.


Giver of light, bearer of heat, the fire element has a strong

presence in Ruapehu, a warmth you can feel in your bones.

Home to the Tongariro Volcanic Zone, fire breathes life into the

triple peaks of Mt Tongariro, Mt Ngāuruhoe and Mt Ruapehu -

the largest active volcano in Aotearoa.

Unearth ancient lava flows at Tama Lakes

An equally impressive alternative to the Tongariro Alpine

Crossing, the Tama Lakes Track is a 17 km return tramp that

takes about 5-6 hours to complete. With some of the oldest

lava flows on the slopes of Mt Ruapehu and Mt Tongariro

found at Tama Saddle, traverse a jaw-dropping landscape of

explosion craters, pristine alpine lakes, and volcanic terrain.

Tokaanu Thermal Walk and Hot Pools

Fire meets water at Tokaanu Thermal Pools. Soak in private

mineral hot pools and immerse yourself in the therapeutic

waters of natural thermal springs. Ranging from 39˚C to 41˚C,

the private hot pools are part of a larger complex which also

include an outdoor swimming pool. After a day in the elements

enjoying our greater outdoors, there’s no better place to

reinvigorate the senses. Pop around and enjoy the free

geothermal walk showcasing bubbling mud pits and steaming

mineral pools surrounded by picturesque native bush.


Surrounded by Tongariro National Park and Whanganui

National Park, the vast wilderness that sprawls across

Ruapehu makes our greater outdoors a breath of fresh

air. Take a deep inhale, and breathe in that crisp, clean

mountain air, like sunshine for your soul.

Journey into the clouds with Sky Waka

Rising, reaching, towards the air up there, journey into

the clouds with Sky Waka. New Zealand’s most unique

gondola experience, Sky Waka takes you on a 1.8 km

adventure across Tongariro National Park – one of New

Zealand’s most rugged and spectacular landscapes as

a UNESCO Dual World Heritage Site. As breath-taking

over the summer as it is a winter experience, no two

journeys on Sky Waka are ever the same. From sundrenched

volcanic rocks to snow-capped mountain

tops, the view is definitely better at the top.

Sunrise mission on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Watch magic in the skies unfold before your eyes with

a private guided sunrise hike on the Tongariro Alpine

Crossing with Adrift Tongariro. A pre-dawn start means

an incredible Dark Sky experience and a rare sighting

of Aurora Australis if your lucky stars align. Each guided

expedition is as unique as the sunrise, with each route

decided on the day as you venture out into the elements

for an epic sunrise on the Red Crater - topped off with

an alfresco breakfast on top of the world. For those

with limited time, 2-hr guided sunset tours are available


Start your adventure at




You don’t have to be a skier to enjoy a New Zealand winter.

While colder temperatures and shorter days can make it

easy to lock your bike in the garage and take up residency

inside, you may be surprised to hear many of the New

Zealand Cycle Trails are fully rideable throughout the winter


Winter provides a refreshing opportunity to experience some

of New Zealand's most stunning landscapes through a new

lens. Mountains come alive with fresh layers of snow, and

the often crisp sunny days are perfect for cycling, soaking in

steamy hot pools, indulging in mulled wine and hearty food,

or relaxing by a roaring fire.

Of course, winter weather’s not always butterflies and

rainbows, but getting outdoors sure beats sitting on the

couch. This is why Adventure South NZ have launched 2

new winter cycle trail trips for 2021.

The Winter Alps 2 Ocean Cycle and Winter West Coast

Wilderness are fully supported and include everything you

need for a stress free cycling holiday. This means a support

vehicle full of unlimited tea, coffee, snacks and hot water

bottles is never far away and if it gets cold, a short drive will

take you to your cosy accommodation.

Our e-bikes make it easy to beat the early sunset, or

standard bikes are available for those up for the challenge.

Don't save all your adventures for summer. In the words of

Adventure South NZ guides, “there’s no such thing as bad

weather, just bad gear”.

Winter West Coast Wilderness

5 days, Christchurch to


Inclusions: All accommodation,

e-bike hire, most meals, Treetop

Walkway entry, experienced

guides, snacks and hot drinks,

transport from Christchurch


Price $1995pp

Winter Alps 2 Ocean Cycle

6 days, Christchurch to


Inclusions: All accommodation,

e-bike hire, most meals, Tekapo

Springs entry, experienced

guides, snacks and hot drinks,

transport from Christchurch


Price: $2295pp

For more information on our winter cycle trips or 2021/2022 summer cycle

trips visit

Since 1992

Since 1992


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

*Tasman Great Taste Trail...and more. E-bikes available

Book online: | 0800 00 11 66 |

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

*Tasman Great Taste Trail...and more. E-bikes available

Book online: | 0800 00 11 66 |



"In 2019 Remy

Morton crashed

on a 24m jump

and broke 23

bones, punctured

both his lungs and

was told he might

never walk again."

Images by Graeme Murray/Red Bull Content Pool

"I get knocked down, but I get

up again, you're never gonna

keep me down."

This song could have been written

for mountain biker, Remy Morton,

he’s been knocked down more

times than he can remember, yet

he’s not learnt to take a softer

approach. As we went to write this

feature we reached out to Remy for

some additional input - he was slow

replying - he had broken both arms!

Born in the Gold Coast in Australia,

Remy was riding a PeeWee

motorcycle by the time he was

3 and started BMX riding and

competing, when he was just 4

years old.

According to his dad, Remy always

showed a no fear attitude. When he

was just 6 years old he took a nasty

tumble at his local BMX club and

instead of quitting, simply said, “oh,

I didn’t do that very well” and took

his bike back up to the top to do it

all again.

Remy became an exceptional

downhill rider, winning competitions

up and down the coast of Australia,

so he headed to Europe and

Canada with the family, racing in the

Junior World Cup series in 2015 and

2016. From here he gained a raft of

sponsorship and was on his way to

becoming a professional athlete.

It was in 2017, at Loosefest, a fiveday

freeride event in Belgium, that

Remy had the best day riding in

his life taking some of the biggest

jumps he’d ever seen. Unfortunately

he overshot the landing on the

final jump landing on flat ground.

His friends told him that he stood

up straight after signalling he was

all OK, but he was very far from it

and collapsed seconds later. He

remembers nothing after the fall,

waking up nearly a month later in

hospital in Belgium.

He had broken a total of 20 bones,

collapsed both lungs and ruptured

his kidneys, all in one single

mountain bike accident. The doctors

described the injuries as being

consistent with falling from a threestory

building and hitting the ground

at 75km an hour.

Remy spent the next month in an

induced coma and although he was

unable to remember anything after

the accident, he was plagued with

daydreams and nightmares. In the

daytime he dreamt he was a Red

Bull sponsored athlete/influencer,

travelling the world riding and

making big bucks. But in the nights

he suffered nightmares where

people were trying to murder him.

The nightmares were so real and

took place in “real places'' that even

now he struggles to visit certain

places as he is haunted by the

reality of his nightmares.

Right: Remy Morton in action in Queenstown, September 2020



"Incredibly only 11 weeks

after the accident he was

back in the mountain

bike park and a year after

the crash he was back in

Europe competing.”

As the doctors began to bring Remy out of the coma

they warned him he would not be able to ride again

and he’d be lucky if he could walk. However it did not

take long before Remy proved the doctors wrong and

was up and walking across the ward with the help of a

couple of nurses.

Unable to fly due to the damage to his lungs, he spent

the first 7 weeks in hospital in Belgium before he was

eventually given the all-clear to return to Australia to

continue his rehabilitation in his home country where

he had to relearn to walk, talk and eat.

Undeterred by his prognosis, Remy set himself a

goal to be back riding in 6 months’ time. This seemed

incredibly optimistic, however, Remy explained. “The

more positive I stay the faster I am going to heal – I

think a lot of it is to do with mindset, if I’m positive

about it my body will be positive about it.”

9 weeks after the accident, despite still being hardly

able to walk, Remy began to ride his bike up and

down the beach in Surfers Paradise. Incredibly only 11

weeks after the accident he was back in the mountain

bike park and a year after the crash he was back in

Europe competing.

With a few setbacks, including another leg break

while in Europe, it took a couple of years for Remy’s

confidence to return fully and he knew he had to

reattempt the jump that nearly killed him.

So in 2019 he returned to the site in Belgium with

his dad and prepared to take the jump again. After

spending months preparing, he got padded up, ready

to jump but decided something was not quite right.

He was wearing protective clothing but knew he had

no intention of crashing, so he changed into his street

clothes and headed for the jump.

You can’t help but wonder why anyone would want

to repeat a jump that nearly took his life, but Remy

realised that without overcoming this obstacle he

would never be able to get back to the level of riding

he wanted to achieve. Needless to say the jump was

clean and the crowd went wild, so to speak, and the

rest is history.

In 2020, Remy picked up the Red Bull sponsorship

that he had dreamt of during the days in his coma. He

has just finished filming the Sound of Speed, a unique

video shot in Queenstown. There is no chain on his

bike and no blaring music to accompany the action,

just the sound of tires on dirt. It is compelling watching

and shows mountain biking in its raw beauty. Check it

out here

Remy Morton performs during filming of Red Bull Sound of Speed

in Queenstown, New Zealand on November 6, 2020


"I don’t want to be a

competitor in the sport, I

want to change the sport.”

We fired a few questions to

Remy about fear, risk taking and


Fear – are you aware of it and

how do you handle it? Fear

is definitely a major issue that

I have to deal with on a daily

basis. Over the years it has

progressively gotten worse and

I definitely question myself a lot

today. Although one thing that

always takes any fear away is

getting on my bike and riding.

As soon as I’m going, it all

disappears.. it’s a fine balance in

trust and faith of my abilities.

Is your risk taking calculated

or instinct – what do you look

for when making a decision?

The more injuries I have the more

calculated I would like to think I’ve

become. To learn precision I think

it takes a lot of failure... I think

I’m pretty good at calculating my

risk/ reward values now ha!

Going downhill fast and

leaping over stuff obviously

does not make you fearful –

does anything? Spiders, cats ?

A lot scares me, but I’d prefer not

to think about those options, I’d

rather look ahead without those

in mind, you have to believe to

achieve !

The old saying what does not

kill you make you stronger – do

you think that’s true did your

major accident in 2017 focus

you on your career or distract

you? My bad accident in 2017

changed my whole perception

on life. It didn’t distract me from

what I wanted to achieve but it

definitely changed the direction I

was going in. You never realize

how much you have till it’s all

taken away... The values I learnt

whilst learning to eat, walk and

talk again are a lesson I hope

none of my friends ever have

to experience, but I really am

grateful that I had to go through

that experience.

A few decisions which were made

mentally and also a few physically

as certain body parts haven’t

healed as well as they once were,

my outlook on mountain biking

still remains the same:

“I don’t want to be a competitor

in the sport, I want to change the


Now I’m focusing on changing it

a different way than I had once


And I’m really proud and excited

for the future!

Injury list

Neck: c6-c7

Back: t4 and compressed disc

Collarbone: left x2

Shoulders: shattered left in 9


Sternum: x1

Elbow: left x1

Ribs: full rib cage

Wrists: right x2 left x1 + severe

radial nerve damage.

Hands: right x1

Hips: left broken and dislocated

Legs: right tib and fib

Feet: right x1 left x1

Kidney: ruptured x1

Lungs: both punctured and


There’s probably more haha.

That’s off the top of my head :)

Last thoughts...

I'd like to thank my parents Lisa

and Jim. And also redbull with

out their support I’m not sure

if I would be able to ride at the

level I am today.. they helped a

huge amount with my medical


Remy Morton in action during filming of Red Bull Sound of Speed

in Queenstown, notice there is no chain...



There are many age-old debates

still raging around the world. Which

came first, the chicken or the egg?

Vegemite or Marmite? Is Marvel

better than DC? Cycling or walking?

Should cereal be eaten with hot milk

or cold? Does the map say we turn

left, or turn right? World over, these

questions are far and wide and

often spark the most interesting of

conversations and heated debates

with the two or more people involved

in them. I bet right now you are

thinking about your answers, but is

it the same as your partners, friends

or colleagues, or is it a matter of

personal opinion and perception?

The debate over whether it is a

walk, hike, trek or tramp has been

a hotly contested subject in the

walking community. When does a

walk become a hike? Is it when

the terrain is perhaps rougher and

the walk harder going? In my mind

the definition of a trek is the easiest

to decipher – it’s something that is

more remote and longer than a hike.

But what was a hike?

Are you confused yet?

Let’s break it down according to the

consensus of our outdoor travellers

on what these words might mean.


Walk – a walk tends to be done

on defined tracks and reasonably

smooth surfaces without too many

obstacles in the way. Walking

does not tend to need special

equipment apart from a day pack

with the essentials and generally

walks are around regions where

accommodation is readily available.

Walks are shorter in duration and

able to be enjoyed by any age group

with relative fitness.

Hike – hikes tends to be longer and

harder walks that are usually on

trails through the mountains or trails

through bush or countryside terrain.

The trails are generally visible trails

but not the smooth surfaces of a

walk. Hikes tend to be longer than

walks and require proper equipment

and footwear as terrain and trails are

more rugged. Hiking tends to see

you move from lower to higher as

you progress and are generally more

undulating than a walk.

Trek – trek is used to define a walk

or hike which tends to be multiday,

remote, little in the form of

accommodation (generally camp

based) with trails that are either

partially visible, or not visible at

all and where altitude or other

rugged terrain and crossings may

be encountered. Treks require the

most specialised equipment and

will see you probably without a

shower for days on end. Treks are

generally in regions where other

forms of transport other than being

on foot are not possible and where

you tend to carry your own gear and


The most interesting of all is

tramping. Seems this is something

us Kiwi’s came up with to define

a walk in the bush and where the

Aussie’s would call it ‘bushwalking”.

Tramping – elsewhere in the world

it would be called backpacking,

rambling, hill walking or

bushwalking. Us Kiwi’s see it as

walking over rough terrain often with

a backpack and wet-weather gear

and needing to carry equipment

for cooking and sleeping. Did us

Kiwi’s not like the word ‘hike’ or did

we think this was a ‘walk’ but for us

outdoors enthusiasts?

Well we weren’t the only ones to

come up with our own terms. Here

are some more quirks from the

walking community:

Rambling – mostly used in the UK

is used for walking in the countryside

with many rambling clubs and groups

meeting to take part in this outdoor

pastime. Rambling was an outdated

English expression meantime to walk

without purpose, but Ramblers walk

with purpose and on defined routes.

Hill walking is also commonly used

for walking in the mountains and hills

in the UK.

Nordic Walking – now I am sure you

have seen them around. Walkers

with sticks! It evolved from a type of

ski-training out of the snowy season

and seems to not only have stuck but

become popular around the world.

Specially designed poles give more

power and support whilst walking and

a great all body workout.

Pilgrimage – this one is a walk with

purpose. Usually it can be defined as

a journey to an unknown or foreign

place. A journey of discovery. An

inner journey to find meaning in

oneself or nature. A pilgrimage tends

to be long distance, challenging

the body and the mind at the same

time and often leading to personal

transformation and development.

Whether you call it a walk or a hike

just make sure it’s a GREAT one!

Organised guided & self-guided walks or hikes.

Bringing the New Zealand outdoors

......a step closer to you!

0800 496 369

Most on a pilgrimage have a reason

for taking part and completing it

which stems deeper than simply a

love of walking and the outdoors.

I am sure the debate between what

makes a walk a hike or a hike a

tramp will be around for years to

come. I didn’t set out to answer

the question, rather to open the

discussions next time you think about

heading outdoors. Will you walk?

Will you trek? Just get out there and

experience nature at its best, on two

feet, and take it all in no matter what

you call it.





Let the kids lead the way

It's easy to keep an eye on them and

watching if they are tired, falling or

going in the wrong direction. Give

them time and permission to take a

closer look at the interesting things

along the way while giving them


Set up camp

If you are taking on a multiday-trip,

create a fixed camp and do smaller

missions each day. Staying in one

place gives the children - especially

younger ones - something familiar and

safe to come home to every day.


Reaching the end goal is not the most

important thing. Instead, focus on

keeping everyone happy here and

now. Think about alternative routes in

advance if the weather and wind (or

bad mood) put an end to the original

plans. And remember - it's not a

shame to turn around in good time.

It's better than risking an unpleasant

experience later. Do your part to

preserve the magic of the trip!

Where to go?

If you don't want to carry food, handle

logistics and do all the planning,

Wanaka based Aspiring Guides can

take you and your kids on one of NZ's

most memorable treks in Mt Aspiring

National Park.

The 4 Day Upper Wilkin trek is a

great place for a family holiday with

no stress. Logistics, food, planning,

guiding. Everything is sorted so that

you can enjoy some quality time with

your kids.

The beauty of the Upper Wilkin

Experience is that it can cater to a

range of abilities. A scenic helicopter

flight gets you into the remote Top

Forks Hut, where you're spending all

three nights. Each day you can hike in

a different direction. The Upper Wilkin

is known for its gorgeous glacial lakes,

dense forests, steep waterfalls, and

beautiful viewpoints. There is plenty of

time to stop and enjoy the scenery or

have a refreshing swim in the ice-blue

lakes as Lake Diana, Lucidus, and


Because there isn't a new daily

camping destination, you have the

flexibility to go as far and as hard as

you'd like or turn back early if needed.

You can even stick closer to the hut

and enjoy the riverside, playtime, and

good books.

After exploring the Upper Wilkin, the

trip ends with a fun jet boat ride back

to civilization.

In March and April, Aspiring Guides

offer 50 percent off kids on this trek.


more information.



Low Prices Everyday

We know that holidays should be quality time for everybody in

the family. But finding activities and trips to suit everybody is

tough. And before you know it, someone is hungry and needs to

run to the loo or forget the backpack. Here's a survival guide for

your family holiday.

By Aspiring Guides

Go easy!

Kiwi families like a challenge, but sometimes finding the right

adventure to keep both parents and kids happy can be tricky.

Will the route be too difficult? Will it be too easy? Tip number

one is to go easy! You do not have to go far, cook on a stove or

do a multi-day trek. Take it one thing at a time. Start with day

trips, small distances and long breaks.

Involve your children

Start by saying, "we are going on a trip together", instead of

"I will take the children on a trip". Let the children be involved

in the planning. Hear their opinion on everything from the

destination, activities, what to bring with you clothes, books

and food to what you can do along the way. Help the children

to visualize the trip for themselves before you take off. Tell

them about the terrain and what will happen along the way, for

example, where you can take a break.

Food prep

It's no secret that food, snacks and drinks have a huge impact

on your own and your childrens' mood, and you generally need

more than usual when you're out tramping. Plan your breakfasts,

lunches, dinners and drinks, and make sure you take more

than usual. Re-pack as much food as you can to save space.

Breakfasts can be everything from granola, porridge with nuts

to muesli bars or some fruit. If you're feeling fancy, you can

prepare pancake mix in a bottle and whip it up in the morning.

Wraps, sandwiches, crackers with cheese, veggies and salami

are great lunch ideas, and who can say no to a warm dinner

such as a stir-fry or your favourite one-pot pasta dish. Don't feel

limited about cooking in the outdoors. You don't have to live

off dehydrated food, and involving kids in outdoor cooking can

sparkle their interest for cooking at home.

Don't go hangry

Make sure to bring plenty of pocket snacks. Raisins, bliss balls,

fruit, nuts, muesli bars, lollies. Whatever works for you and your

children. A quick snack along the way is a

good distraction if your children are getting tired, and it will keep

them from being hangry - and you from being at ease.

"Involving your children gives them ownership of the

trip and can sparkle even more interest."

"Reaching the end goal is not the most important

thing. Instead, focus on keeping everyone happy

here and now."

Free NZ Shipping on

orders over $150 for


Members Earn Equip+

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62 Killarney Road,

Frankton, Hamilton,

New Zealand

P: 0800 22 67 68







Surviving a zombie apocalypse

And you thought Covid was bad!

I read a post recently on Facebook.

‘One day in the future you will reach

down into our coat pocket and pull

out a little blue mask and smile to

yourselves and think ‘2020 what

a year’. Then you’ll put your mask

back in your pocket, pick up your

machete and then wander out into

the zombie apocalyptic landscape’.

We have all said it, ‘Covid won’t

be the last pandemic, maybe the

next one will be worse’, but maybe,

instead of getting a cold you’ll get a

thirst for blood and then be destined

to wander the earth looking for

flesh… let us hope not.

But imagine my surprise when I

found on the world CDC website,

the very formal and serious ‘Center

for Disease Control’, a section on

Zombie Preparedness. I thought it

was a joke, but - it wasn’t!

The Pentagon developed a zombie

strategic scenario titled, “CONPLAN

8888” in 2014, and the Center for

Disease Control created a guide for

zombie preparedness in 2015. It

is not that these governing bodies

have been watching too much

TV and after season seven of the

Walking Dead, decided they better

get ready, but they did choose to

capitalise on the interest, because

the emergency preparedness,

whether it be zombies, Tsunami,

Ebola or Covid, remains pretty much

the same.

There are many types of

emergencies out there that we

should prepare for. Even a zombie

apocalypse. The first element with

being prepared is that you get it

done before you need it. There is

no point running around trying to

find a machete when the zombies

are already climbing through the

window. So whether it’s zombies,

pandemics, earthquakes, tsunami it

is better to be prepared.

Top of the list should be an

emergency kit. You can purchase

these already made up, but it should

include things like water, food, and

other supplies to get you through the

first couple of days before you can

locate a zombie-free zone (or in the

event of an any major issue it will

buy you some time until you are able

to make your way to an evacuation

area or civil defence designated


Below are a few items you should

include in your kit,

• Water (4 litres per person per


• Food (stock up on nonperishables)

• Medications (this includes

prescription and nonprescription


• Tools and Supplies (utility knife,

duct tape, battery powered

radio, etc.)

• Sanitation and Hygiene

(Antiseptic, soap, towels, etc.)

• Clothing and Bedding (a

change of clothes for each

family member and blankets)

and we suggest a survival


• Solar battery charger - For

phones, radio

• Important documents (copies of

your driver’s license, passport,

and birth certificate to name a


• First Aid supplies (although

your number is up if chewed on

by one of the walking dead, but

you can use these supplies to

treat basic cuts and lacerations

that you might get during an

earthquake or cyclone)

Once you have made your

emergency kit, you should sit down

with your family and come up with

an emergency plan. This includes

where you would go and who you

would call if zombies started to

shuffle down the street. You can

also implement this plan if there is

a flood, earthquake, fire, or other


Identify the types of emergencies

that are possible in your area.

Besides a zombie apocalypse,

this may include floods, tsunami,

or earthquakes. If you are unsure

contact your local civil defence for

more information.

Pick a meeting place for your family

to regroup in case zombies invade

your home…or your town evacuates

because of a Tsunami as coastal

towns did in early March this year.

Identify your emergency contacts.

Make a list of local contacts like the

police, fire department, civil defence,

neighbours to check on. Also identify

a contact that you can call during

an emergency to let the rest of your

family know you are ok.

Plan your evacuation route. Hungry

zombies and be pretty determined to

eat you so you need to act fast. You

need to plan where you would go

and multiple routes of escape, plus

how you are going to get here for

example it might pay to bike rather

than drive.

Lastly don’t be dumb. If there is a

pandemic and you are asked to

stay home – stay home. If there is

tsunami warning do not go down to

the beach to have a look – follow

civil defence warnings as if they are

100% correct and then hope that

they are not.

Get a Kit. Make a plan. Don’t be

dumb. Be Prepared.











The survival of adventure business and tourism in a covid world

Aspiring Guides Director Vickie Sullivan (operator):

In a world of cataclysmic change since March 2020 – Adventure

and tourism businesses have had to find a way to survive or

simply disappear which is a polite word for die. But one thing we

have seen is that the same tenacity that drives us to eke out a

living in the adventure and tourism industry, that same tenacity

has driven many to adapt, change and evolve. We asked a

number of businesses linked with Adventure Magazine how they

were coping with the challenges of Covid...

Rafting New Zealand Turangi (operator):

During 2020 we sought and organised rent relief, reduced our wages,

organised interest only terms on all our loans and worked really hard

to maintain staff and business morale, while maintaining our online

marketing presence. We foresaw the 2021 Winter season as the

"crux" period for business survival. Hence, we took measures in 2020

to attempt to successfully navigate this period. We personally sold our

house, so we as Managers of the business had the ability to reduce

our incomes if and when required. We have put our businesses base

and facility on the market as we look to rescale to the demands of a

reduced domestic market while also further reducing the businesses

fixed overhead costs and we are currently seeking alternative income

streams for the business by way of training initiatives.

The saying "Adapt or Die" is very much in the forefront of our mind

as we work to maintain and continue our award-winning tourism

business, which ironically this year, is celebrating its 30th year of

operation. God Willing, through being intelligent, resourceful and

adaptive, we can see out the effects of C19. NZ will be a much poorer

place if businesses like ours cannot.

World Expeditions (tourism):

We created a New Zealand

division. We had started the

process of a NZ division 2

years ago, but never had the

time or resource to get it up

and running as we needed

to create content, establish

trips, research and design

websites and structure for it.

Covid gave us the time and we

seized the opportunity to pivot

our thinking and to create our

NZ brand and launched it just

in time for the new booking

season in September 2020,

not only plugging a gap in our

own company, but plugging a

gap in NZ trip offerings.

" In just three weeks

Aspiring Guides had

put together a new

product line, created

a fun promotional

video, and launched

what is understood to

be the country’s first

ever virtual lessons for

mountaineering skills.

The concept was simple.

Learn more now so we

can play more later. ”

Vickie Sullivan

The first thing we did as a team was make a decision

that we would take up the challenge and work hard on

finding some new ideas and solutions!! Established in

1990, we’ve seen a lot of changes through the years,

but this was the biggest challenge we had faced in our

long history. Following the announcement that the

country would be ‘shutdown’ on the 26th of March 2020,

the team decided on the 27th of March to start work on

re-thinking how we could bring learning in the mountains

indoors! In just three weeks Aspiring Guides had put

together a new product line, created a fun promotional

video, and launched what is understood to be the

country’s first ever virtual lessons for mountaineering

skills. The concept was simple. Learn more now so we

can play more later.

We were pleasantly surprised by how positive, receptive

and supportive our clients were of the idea! The

lessons are not designed to replace outdoor learning

and experiences but rather spend the time in ‘lockdown’

learning some of the theory behind the mountains

and have some fun doing that ‘face to face’ with our

experienced guides in an enjoyable and relaxed

way.” Our new online courses covered avalanche

theory, mountain weather, navigation, and more! This

approach provided a great opportunity for our past and

new clients to engage directly with our very qualified

guides to upskill from the comfort of home. The online

courses proved to be a great new product line and

are something we will now continue into the future.

However, as we can now get back out there, we all

know deep down that real is better than virtual, so that's

what we are doing.

The future of NZ tourism may be changing, but for

Aspiring Guides, one thing remains the same: a passion

for taking people on adventures in amazing backyard.

With the opportunity for Kiwis to tick home-turf

objectives off their bucket lists, the team hope they’ll be

able to share this passion with more NZer’s and make

the most of 2021 and beyond.

Nomad Safaris Queenstown (operator):

David our Director has a quote he would like

included: “I believe it is premature to be talking

survival or recovery. Currently the language

from the Government is increasingly negative

towards a trans-Tasman quarantine free travel

arrangement. Without this boost to numbers

arriving in Fiordland, southern lakes, west coast

and Kaikoura, survived will be used in the past

tense preceded with the words, did not. “

I remember the 1980s well, the early

days of River Valley. White water

rafting is what we then did, and up

to recently, rafting was still a critical

part of our business. In those days,

we did not even identify with being

an "adventure" business. The term

Adventure Tourism had not yet been

coined as an identifier for that whole

segment of activities that we are

now familiar with. A component of

the tourism industry that presently

includes rafting, kayaking, sky diving,

bungy jumping, mountain biking, zip

lines and much more.

Driving the growth of this industry

over the last three decades has been

the increase in overseas tourists. A

common perception for the type of

customer might be that these people

were all young backpacker types.

While many were, this is certainly not

the whole story. Instead, the adventure

tourism industry's customers wanted

to experience all that New Zealand

had to offer. This desire often involving

participating in exciting activities in

beautiful surroundings.

Many of the operators in the adventure

tourism sphere are, or were, small to

medium-sized family businesses such

as River Valley. This was especially

true outside of the Queenstown area.

The industry has always had a certain

glamour with images of people doing

exciting, adventurous things at the

heart of much tourism advertising.

Beneath the glamour of beautiful

photos, the operators were doing

okay. Few fortunes were being made,

but adequate livings were, while

thousands of people, often young,

found employment.

And then the coronavirus came along.

I don't have the information for others,

so I can only share our experience

here at River Valley. Overnight we

lost between 85% and 90% of our

clientele. Staff numbers, including

working family members, dropped

from 25 to 10 (most of the latter being

working family). Income fell through

the floor. Profit is a distant memory.

We thanked Saint Jacinda for wage

subsidies and signed up for any other

government help that was on offer.

Part of that offer was some help with

strategic planning. I do not think at

that stage any of us, except a few

pandemic experts, really knew what to

expect or what this new world would

look like. Consequently, in retrospect,

our planning was based more on

tweaking our existing business model

with the expectation that give it a year

to 18 months, everything would be

moving back to normal. Early in the

planning process, we decided that we

would not close or mothball our lodge,

roll up and store the boats in a dark

corner, or sell the horses or find longterm

grazing. As much as possible,

we would stay open and keep paying


Now is the time for an admission.

We found that, other than the financial

difficulties, we quite like not having

hordes of people. We like having

the time to spend talking to guests

and having more one on one type

of experiences. We like having the

mental space to think about the future

of River Valley. We have discovered

again just what is important to us as

individuals, be that family or long term


These quiet times have made us

relook at our priorities and values

and how we express them through

our business. Making all these

likes, values and priorities into a

profitable business model will be more

challenging and take some time, but

we feel we are on the right track. I

don't think we have had anything less

than a 5-star review for months, so

it would appear our guests like the

change as well.

Our focus now is concentrating on the

niches. This is in stark contrast to our

previous position of trying to be all

things to all people.

Having time to return to our base

values has reaffirmed our commitment

to mother earth, papatuanuku, and

our relationships with other people.

"We presently have this

opportunity to remodel our

industry as a force for good.

Good for our guests. Good for

the environment. Good for local

communities, and finally good

for those who own and work

within those businesses.”

A River Valley experience needs to

stand apart from others, not above,

not necessarily better, but certainly

different. The ideas we have are not

fixed, still being somewhat fluid, so

they are subject to change as we try

various plans and discard those that

do not resonate. Some ideas may not

withstand the passage of time.

I am of the school that thinks that

the tourism industry as we knew it is

never coming back, and that is not

necessarily a bad thing. We presently

have this opportunity to remodel our

industry as a force for good. Good for

our guests. Good for the environment.

Good for local communities, and finally

good for those who own and work

within those businesses. We can be

regenerative. We can make things


Will this journey be easy? No.

Will this journey be worthwhile? I think


Brian Megaw

River Valley Lodge






The average rule of thumb is that you

cannot last more than 3 to 4 days

without water. You can last for weeks

without food, but water is the top

priority. The other prime ingredient of

water is that it needs to be clean. Clarity

alone is not enough to assume the

water is pure.

Even fresh water from a tap can contain

harmful nasties like microorganisms,

viruses and chemicals. These nasties

can either cause you to be sick within

hours or build up in your system over

time like the heavy metals causing

issues to your health later on in life.

So how can you filter/purify


There are many ways to filter/purify

water on the go. Single-stage filters are

one method of filtration and two and

three-stage filtration is a combination

of two or three methods. The more

methods combined; the more harmful

nasties are removed from the water.

Single-stage methods.

• Boiling water: (Easy to do if you

have a heat source but does not

remove dissolved substances,

suspended sediments, or heavy


• Hollow fibre: (Quick and easy

to use, filters microorganisms and

large particles but not viruses and

dissolved substances and it can get


• UV Light: (Easy to use but runs

on batteries and doesn't remove

dissolved substances.)

• Activated Carbon Filters:

(Absorbs most dissolved substances

and some bacteria but limited


• Chemical Tablets: (Easy, able

to do large volumes but only kills

microorganisms and removes nothing


• Ceramic Filters: (Able to do large

volumes and removes bacteria but

not able to filter viruses and dissolved


Water-to-Go has created drink bottles with a 3-stage filter that purifies the

water. Their 3-stage filter (1 traditional and 2 nano) technologies are combined

in one filter cartridge to remove up to 99.9999% of microbiological and harmful

contaminants from freshwater.

The three technologies that Water to go filter use are:

• Mechanical filtration with a very small pore size

• Activated carbon

• Hydrostatic electrical charge which absorbs

dissolved substances and reduces pore size

even further to enable very small viruses to be


Once the filter is activated you can fill it up from any

tarn, stream, lake, DOC tap, or puddle and it purifies

the water as you drink. Ideal for everyday use, hiking,

biking, fishing, travel, and your survival kit for the

day a disaster happens. The filter has been tested

from labs around the globe and used by people and

companies who want the knowledge that they will be


The bottle come in 2 sizes and 3 shapes.

The Go! 500ml bottle is small and lightweight great for

that urban environment. It comes with a 130l filter.

In the 750ml range, the Classic and the Active bottles

both come with a 200l filter. The Active is the only

filter bottle that is designed for most bike drink bottle


All come with a flip lid to reduce cross-contamination

protecting the mouthpiece and are BPA free. The

200l filter is equivalent to over 266 single-use plastic

bottles and works out to 20 cents a litre.

Find more information at



Gasmate High Output Cooker & Pot Set

Cooking on the go. Monitor and control the

temperature easily. All parts pack away into the

20L aluminium stock pot, then into the carry bag.

RRP $249.00


black diamond Stride Headlamp /

Strobe Light

Versatile, lightweight strobe light that

attaches to any standard headlamp

for rear illumination and visibility in low

light conditions. It also functions as a

standard headlamp or as a visibility

beacon on a backpack, bike or dog.

Switch between red and white LEDs

with the option of solid or strobe

lighting. Comes with an elastic strap

for stand-alone functionality. USB

recharging. 35g.

RRP $69.99


SteriPEN Classic 3

Patented handheld water purifier uses

ultraviolet light to kill up to 99.9999% of

all waterborne bacteria and 99.99% of all

viruses. Pre filter included. Takes four AA

batteries. Purifier life 8000-litres Output

1-litre/90sec Weight 225g.

RRP $199.99


water to go

500ml water bottle with unique 3-in-1 filter

technology that eliminates up to 99.9999%

of all Bacteria, Viruses, Chlorine, Fluoride

and Heavy Metals leaving you with safe,

healthy water.

Filter lasts for 130 Litres

60 days use at 2L/day

Weighs just 98 grams

BPA Free

Filter 100% recyclable

Available in a range of colours

RRP $64.99


Edelrid Rescue Canyoning Knife

Rescue and rope knife for cutting rope and

webbing when climbing/canyoning.

Ergonomically-shaped handle with finger

hole. Light and compact.

RRP $99.95


ortovox Avalanche Rescue Set 3+

All the top products combined into one set that can

save lives in an avalanche emergency.

Includes: 3+ Transceiver, Badger shovel and Alu

240 probe.

RRP $799.95


Survival Kit Company First Aid Tramper Plus

First Aid Kit for 3+ people going tramping for a few

days. Contains all the essential safety products.

Comes tightly packed in a sturdy,

zipped case.

RRP $79.95


Sunsaver Super-Flex

14-Watt Solar Charger

Capable of charging your

smartphone and USB gadgets

straight from the sun, making it

perfect for hiking, camping, or an

emergency situation.

RRP: $199.00


water to go 750ml ACTIVE Bottle

The filter is an ideal deal for hiking, camping,

international travel, and emergencies, it

allows you to take any non-salt water from

a stream, river, or tap and filter it instantly.

Once the filter is activated and your bottle is

full you are ready to drink! No need to keep

removing the lid and filter until your ready to

fill your bottle again.

RRP $89.99


Black Diamond revolt

Now running on our new modular BD 1800

rechargeable battery, the Black Diamond ReVolt 350 is

a powerful, versatile and rechargeable headlamp that

has now been fully redesigned. The ReVolt 350 can run

on standard AAA batteries in addition to the included BD

1800 Battery.

RRP $129.99


kea kit

KEA KIT is a compact, modular survival

system to suit any adventure. Including

everything you need and nothing you don't to

help you survive and thrive in the wild.


Sunsaver Classic 16,000mAh Solar

Power Bank

Built tough for the outdoors and with a

massive battery capacity you can keep all

your devices charged no matter where

your adventure takes you.

RRP: $119.00


Outdoor Research Helium Bivy

A perfect shelter for solo fast-andlight

adventures. It features durable,

waterproof, breathable Pertex® Shield+

fabric, a clamshell opening with a No-

See-Um mesh so you can breathe

freely without letting the weather

or insects inside and an optional

single pole you can leave

behind or take for overhead

space. 459g.

RRP $299.99


Black Diamond Storm

Featuring a more compact design, updated user

interface, and a multi-faceted optical lens design that

saves battery life and provides 400 lumens of powerful

light, the Storm 400 is still the burly, fully-sealed

waterproof and dustproof headlamp ready for any

rugged adventure.

RRP $99.99


kiwi camping Rover Queen 10CM Self-

Inflating Mat

10cm thick mat with compressible foam that

easily inflates with a 3-way valve. Generous

queen size, 2010mm long and 1500mm wide.

Weight 7kg.

RRP $379.00


Rab Mythic Ultra

The Mythic Ultra 180 redefines

what it means to be ‘ultralight’.

Using a world-first, heat-reflective

fabric treatment called Thermo Ionic

Lining Technology, this is premium

protection for those counting every

last gram.

RRP $1099.95


exped Waterbloc Pro -5 Down

Sleeping Bag

Lightest water-repellent sleeping

bag in the world! Welded Pertex®

Quantum Pro shell, a proportional

differential cut and 850 fill-power

down insulation for efficient warmth

even in wet and humid conditions.


RRP $999.99


exped SynMat UL Sleeping Mat


Comfort and warmth, ultralightweight

and compressible.

Stable baffle construction with

top and bottom laminated highly

compressible microfibre filling, a

new anti-slip GripSkin coating and

Exped's FlatValve Technology.

Comes with Schnozzel Pumpbag

UL (60g) for easy inflation. 183cm x

52cm x 7cm. R-Value 3.3. 450g.

RRP $219.99


nalgene Tritan Wide-Mouth Bottle – 1L

A best seller, super durable and leakproof.

These wide-mouth impact resistant bottles

will withstand the most

rugged conditions. BPA free and

dishwasher safe. Hydrate or Die.

RRP $29.95


jetboil stash

The Lightest and Most Compact

Jetboil Ever. We know your dreams

are big and ambitious. Which is why

we designed the all-new Stash to be

lightweight and compact, maximizing

your pack space without sacrificing

that iconic Jetboil performance. At

7.1 oz or 200 g, the .8L Stash is 40%

lighter than the .8L Zip.

Weight: 200g | Power: 4,500 BTU/h

(1.52 kW)

RRP $299.95


jetboil fuel

Jetpower fuel contains a blend of propane and isobutane.

Propane provides higher vapour pressure to the

fuel which means better performance in cold weather.

Fuel efficiency translates to weight, space, and money

savings. Since Jetboil is up to twice as efficient as

conventional stoves, you can take half as much fuel on

your trip, thus saving weight.

RRP $7.99 - $16.99


kiwi camping Country Cooker Double Burner

Made from high-quality cast iron with brass controls,

this country cooker outputs 21,000 BTU to cook meals

efficiently. Complete with 1.2m hose and QCC regulator.

RRP $79.99


marmot Winter 650+ Fill Down

Sleeping Bag (-1)

The Never Winter Sleeping Bag is ideal for

warm-weather camping and river trips—with

added upgrades that’ll keep you comfortable

even when you’re far from home. Its lofty

650-fill-power-down insulation and waterresistant

Down Defender treatment will keep

you warm and dry in mild conditions.

RRP $499.00


marmot Helium 800+ Fill Down

Sleeping bag (-9)

Remarkably light and compact, the Helium

Sleeping Bag delivers impressive insulation

during three-season backpacking and

mountaineering treks.

RRP $1199.00


kiwi camping Morepork 1 Deluxe Swag

Designed with 2 storage vestibules and 2 entrances,

porch for added shade, 320g polycotton ripstop walls,

400g heavy-duty PVC floor, 5cm high-density foam

mat, 12.9kg pack weight and ‘no-see-um’ mesh.

RRP $499.00


kiwi camping Tuatara 2.5 x 2.5 Awning

Offers 6.25m² of covered area for sun or rain

protection. 200g polycotton canvas awning, twistlock

design, adjustable height and mounts directly to

existing roof rack.

RRP $399.00


kiwi camping Morepork 1 Swag

Complete sleeping system. Zip-open

ventilation ports, 320g polycotton ripstop

walls, 400g heavy-duty PVC floor, 5cm

high-density foam mat, 7.8kg pack weight

and ‘no-see-um’ mesh.

RRP $399.00



merrell Ridgevent Hybrid Vest

Be warm and dry with a blend

of 65% responsibly sourced

waterproof goose down and 35%

Primaloft. Your go-to layer of

warmth with innovative BackVent

technology that is designed to

vent while wearing a pack on trail

and also look smart off the trail.

Available in Women’s and Men’s


RRP $299.00


Macpac Nitro Polartec® Alpha®

Pullover — Men's

Made to maintain warmth in the

mountains, the lightweight Nitro is a

versatile mid layer that works best when

you’re pushing your limits. It’s made from

insulation designed for the U.S Special

Forces — who required superior warmth

and incredible breathability for active use

— and it’s available in sizes up to 2XL.

Also available in a women’s style.

RRP $169.99


marmot Featherless Hybrid


The light-weight Men's

Featherless Hybrid Jacket

will keep you warm and dry in

chilly, damp weather without

weighing down you or your

pack. 3M Thinsulate

Recycled Featherless

Insulation is made with 75%

recycled loose-fill fibres that

feel just as warm as 700 fill

power down, but still perform

in wet conditions. DriClime®

Bi-Component lining wicks

away moisture to keep you dry.

Weight: 255.1g

RRP $349.95 (some previous

season colours reduced to



Rab Nexus Pull-on

Thermic stretch fleece, regular fit,

flatlock seams, YKK zips, deep venting

zippered chest pocket, double cuff,

raglan sleeves. 270g (m), 225g (w).

RRP $139.95



Rab Alpha Flash Jacket

Polartec Alpha fabric, insulates and wicks

moisture, slim fit, flexible fleece side panels,

Polygiene odour control, YKK zips, zippered

chest pocket, chin guard, flatlock seams, half

hem drawcord. 273g (m), 201g (w).

RRP $199.95


Rab kaon

Hybrid jacket with 70g of 800-fill power RDS-certified

hydrophobic European goose down in hood and body,

Stratos synthetic insulation in shoulders, cuffs and

hips. Ripstop nylon fabric, stitch-through construction,

YKK reverse coil chest pocket, YKK front zip, half hem

drawcord, stuff sack. 250g (m), 235g (w).

RRP $399.95


merrell Moab Speed Mens Black

The boot trusted by 50million feet now

made into a light hiker so you can go

faster. Using recycled materials in its

upper and a brand new technology in the

midsole to give you a lightweight ride that

lasts and lessens your impact. Available

in Men’s and Women’s colours. Goretex

version coming soon.

RRP $249.00


Scarpa Mescalito Approach Shoe

Designed for long approaches and more

technical scrambling providing comfort

on extended use. Vibram® Dynamis sole

with Lite Base Technology combined with

a dual-density EVA midsole. Vibram®

Megagrip outsole for maximum grip and


RRP $299.99


marmot EVODry Clouds Rest Jacket

Thanks to the Men's EVODry Clouds Rest Jacket,

you'll stay dry during multi-day rain spells at basecamp

and downpours on the mountain all year round.

3-layer Marmot® MemBrain® Eco fabric is waterproof

and windproof, and combined with a PFC-free DWR

(Durable Water-Repellent) finish and 100% seam

taping, offers complete leak-proof protection.

RRP $599.00


Macpac Amp Ultra 1.1 Running Vest

A technical trail running vest for athletes and

adventurers alike. Its 6-litre capacity (size M) provides

ample room for a hydration bladder, extra layers and

snacks, while a combination of elasticated and zipped

pockets keep small items secure. Both HydraPak

500ml soft bottles are included.

RRP $249.99


Macpac Fiord 1.1 40L Hiking


A lightweight pack that doesn’t

compromise on performance,

the Fiord 40 weighs in at just

1.1kg. Its combination of Titan

Grid and Cordura® fabrics

can handle almost anything

it’s thrown at, and you can

adjust its size by tightening the

compression straps or unrolling

the extendable top.

RRP $299.99


merrell Whisper Rain Jacket

This highly waterproof 4-way stretch jacket has

a 3-layer construction and silent and soft fabric

that feels as comfortable as a softshell so you

have zero distractions while out in nature. Rated

at 20K/20K and fully seam-sealed gives you

protection against the elements. Available in

Men’s and Women’s colours.

RRP $399.00


Patagonia Women's

Centered Tights

High-performance, stretchy

recycled polyester/spandex knit

fabric provides a compression

fit; wicks fast, dries quickly and

feels soft, with HeiQ® Fresh

durable odour control. Flattering

wide waistband features hidden

elastic to keep pants in place

as you move, while contoured

side seams are built for forward

motion and allow for ease of

movement, and low-profile

flatlock seams prevent chafing.

Fair Trade Certified sewn.

RRP $139.99


Back Country Cuisine


chicken and pasta dish, served in a creamy

italian style sauce. Available in small serve

90g or regular serve 175g sizes.


Mushrooms with tomato in a savory sauce,

served with noodles. Available in small

serve 90g or regular serve 175g sizes.

RRP $9.29 and $13.89


take on chocolate self-saucing pudding,

with chocolate brownie, boysenberries and

chocolate sauce. Gluten Free. Available in

regular serve.

RRP 150g $12.89


Back Country Cuisine

ICED MOCHA: Our mocha is made with

chocolate and coffee combined with soft

serve to give you a tasty drink on the run.

Gluten Free. 85g.

RRP $4.09


NZ'S NO. 1



Wherever your next

adventure is about to

lead you, we’ve got the

goods to keep you


Est. 1998 Back Country

Cuisine specialises in

a range of freeze-dried

products, from tasty

meals to snacks and

everything in between, to

keep your energy levels

up and your adventures


Deep creek REDWOOD: APA


ABV: 5.4%

A kiwi take on an American classic,

inspired by the Pacific Northwest.

Our everyday American Pale Ale has

both classic and modern American

hops with flavour and aroma ranging

from pine and citrus to tropical fruit.

All on top of a rich but dry malt

backbone. Full of flavour. Extremely


Available in all local liquor stores,

supermarkets and in our online store


Deep creek HAZE: Hazy Pale

ABV: 4.7%

This juicy pale ale is full of

Motueka & Mosaic hops, with

a hazy base of malted barley,

oats and wheat. Haze is well

balanced, with low bitterness,

light bodied and easy drinking

with flavours of mango,

stonefruit and orange. All the

flavour of a Hazy IPA, but

with a fraction of the alcohol

percentage, making it a great

sessionable alternative.

Available in all local liquor

stores, supermarkets and in

our online store


gu energy liquid energy

Introducing GU Liquid Energy Gels,

delivering the same portable and fastabsorbing

carbohydrates as our original

Energy Gel in a refreshingly light and smooth

liquid form. Each 100-calorie serving not only

delivers a great-tasting blend of complex

and simple carbohydrates, electrolytes,

and branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs),

it offers you an alternative form factor to

fine-tune your nutrition plan and give you a

powerful finish line kick just when you need

it. All Liquid Energy Gels are Vegan and

Gluten Free.

RRP Box of 12 $47.99, single sachets

$3.99 each


gu energy Roctane Energy Gels

Created for demanding training and

competition, GU Roctane Energy Gel stands

out from original GU Energy Gel with more

sodium, an electrolyte that aids in hydration,

and even more branched-chain amino acids

(leucine, valine, and isoleucine) that reduce

mental fatigue and decrease muscle damage

than our original GU Energy Gel.

RRP Box of 24 $143.50, single sachets

$5.99 each


gu energy Roctane Energy Gels

Created for demanding training and

competition, GU Roctane Energy Gel stands

out from original GU Energy Gel with more

sodium, an electrolyte that aids in hydration,

and even more branched-chain amino

acids (leucine, valine, and isoleucine) that

reduce mental fatigue and decrease muscle

damage than our original GU Energy Gel.

RRP Box of 24 $143.50, single sachets

$5.99 each


Radix Nutrition keto 400

Grass-Fed Lamb, Mint & Rosemary

These 400kcal meals are the ideal

option for someone on a low carb

diet. They feature 8g of carbs, 28g fat

and 24g protein.

RRP $12.90


Radix Nutrition performance

Mixed Berry Breakfast

Our Performance range is designed

to enable optimal energy levels,

muscle preservation, repair, recovery

and mental function.

RRP $8.50


Radix Nutrition performance 600

Mexican Chilli with Organic Beef

These 600kcal meals are the perfect

lunch or dinner option for hikers and

adventurers wanting to take their

performance to the next level.

RRP $14.90


Radix Nutrition EXPEDITION 800

Plant-Based Turkish Style Falafel

These 800kcal meals are designed

for extreme energy requirements.

They’re light weight, taste delicious

and suitable in all environments.

RRP $16.90






Like a ‘perfect storm’, we have seen a dramatic growth and

development in online stores over the past 5 years. Now as we are

made to keep our ‘distance’, online, ecommerce takes on a whole

new meaning and value. We are dedicating these pages to our client’s

online stores; some you will be able to buy from, some you will be able

drool over. Buy, compare, research and prepare, these online stores are

a great way to feed your adventure addiction while you are still at home.

Ultra lightweight running shoes, made by runners. No

matter where the trail takes you, Hoka One One will

have you covered.

New Zealands largest independent Outdoor and

Paddle store.

Never have a dead phone

again! Because now you can

charge straight from the Sun

with SunSaver. Perfect for

that week-long hike, day at

the beach, or back-up for any

emergency. Check us out at:

Specialising in

small group guided

packrafting trips and

courses from our base

in Queenstown New


Bivouac Outdoor stock the latest in quality outdoor

clothing, footwear and equipment from the best

brands across New Zealand & the globe.

Shop for the widest range of Merrell footwear, apparel

& accessories across hiking, trail running, sandals &

casual styles. Free shipping for a limited time.

Whether you enjoy

cycle trails, road

cycling, mountain

biking or walking,

Adventure South NZ

can help you to explore

New Zealand at

your own pace.

Full-service outfitter selling hiking

and mountaineering gear and

apparel, plus equipment rentals.

Specialising in ski & snowboard

touring equipment new & used;

skis, boards, bindings, skins,

probs, shovels,transceivers &

avalanche packs.

Whether you’re climbing mountains, hiking in the hills

or travelling the globe, Macpac gear is made to last

and engineered to perform — proudly designed and

tested in New Zealand since 1973.

Living Simply is an outdoor clothing and equipment

specialty store in Newmarket, Auckland. Your go-to place

for quality footwear, packs, sleeping bags, tents, outdoor

clothing and more.

Our motto is “Going the

distance” and we pride

ourselves on providing top

quality outdoor and travel

equipment and service

that will go the distance

with you, wherever that

may be.

Gear up in a wide selection of durable, multifunctional

outdoor clothing & gear. Free Returns. Free Shipping.

Offering the widest variety,

best tasting, and most

nutrient rich hydration,

energy, and recovery

products on the market.

Fast nourishing freeze dried food for adventurers.

Stocking an extensive range

of global outdoor adventure

brands for your next big

adventure. See them for travel,

tramping, trekking, alpine and

lifestyle clothing and gear.

Specialists in the sale of Outdoor Camping Equipment, RV,

Tramping & Travel Gear. Camping Tents, Adventure Tents,

Packs, Sleeping Bags and more.

Jetboil builds super-dependable

backpacking stoves and camping

systems that pack light,

set up quick, and achieve

rapid boils in minutes.

Supplying tents and

camping gear to Kiwis

for over 30 years, Kiwi

Camping are proud to

be recognised as one of

the most trusted outdoor

brands in New Zealand.

Reusable, BPA free water bottles containing a unique 3-in-

1 filtration technology providing clean safe drinking water

from any non-salt water source anywhere in the world.

Our very own online store where

you will find hard goods to keep you

equipped for any adventure.

Radix provides freeze dried

meals and smoothies made

with all natural ingredients.

These are perfect for

athletes and adventures

who care about their health

and performance. Gluten

free, Plant-based and Keto

options are available.

Get 10% off your first order online.

Excellent quality Outdoor

Gear at prices that can't

be beaten. End of lines.

Ex Demos. Samples. Last

season. Bearpaw. Garneau.

Ahnu. Superfeet.










• Five nights in a Premium Garden Suite

for two people

• Free use of kayaks, snorkelling gear,

beach towels and sun loungers.

• Daily Tropical Breakfast at Sandals


• Free scheduled daily activities at the

Beach Hut.

• Free Kids Club (for children aged 6-12).

• Daily guest welcome orientation on the



• Travel is valid 01 November 2021 to 31 May 2022

(with blackout dates from 25 Dec 2021 to 10 Jan


• Accommodation is subject to availability at time of

prize redemption.

• This prize is not transferable or redeemable for cash.

• International and domestic flights are not included in

this prize.

• This Prize cannot be combined with any live specials

and tactical campaigns in the market place and

cannot be booked via any travel professional or

travel wholesaler.

• All other expenses are the responsibility of the prize


• Pacific Resort Hotel Group strongly recommends the

prize winner purchases travel insurance at the time

of booking the prize accommodation.

TECH REVIEW: the power of protein

When you think of protein powders

you immediately visualize the musclebound,

singlet clad, gym junkie sipping

on a protein shake in an effort to get

“more buff”. Protein, after all, is the

building block for our bodies, helping to

build muscles, tendons and a multitude

of other organs.

But what about the rest of the

population? How important is

maintaining a good level protein to

the rest of us? Some of the benefits

of protein include: increased muscle

mass and strength, better bone health,

reduces cravings, boost in metabolism

and lower blood pressure.

The recommended daily intake of

protein is 0.8 grams of protein per kg of

body weight. This equates to:

60 grams for a 75kg sedentary man

48 grams for a 60kg sedentary woman.

But can we get enough protein from the

foods we eat?

The simple answer is yes, but that also

depends on many factors, including

appetite, age and exercise, to name just

a few.

Try the challenge:

We were really surprised when we took

up the challenge. We worked out - via

Google, how much protein we were

consuming in a day and then compared

it to what we should be taking on

board. We fell short! Try it yourself you

will be surprised. While upping our

protein levels each day we had a direct

increase in energy, that tired feeling

was gone and there was a drop in


Some of the highest protein-based

foods include chicken, eggs, lean

meat, fish and nuts, and most of us can

maintain our protein levels through our

everyday diet. But if we are excercising

more than normal, or our appetites are

smaller than average, it can be hard to

get the amount needed each day. This

is where protein powders can really


Where you source your protein from

makes a difference. Animal protein and

vegetable protein differ in the fact that

animal protein contains all the amino

acids the body requires, whereas to

gain the same benefits from vegetable

protein requires a little more balancing.

Types of Protein powder

Whey is the most common and popular

protein supplement. It is a water-soluble

milk complete protein, meaning it

contains all the amino acids that the

body requires from food. It is easily


Casein is a dairy protein, rich in

glutamine, an amino acid that speeds

up muscle recovery after exercise.

More slowly digested and better taken

at night.

Soy protein is an excellent alternative

to whey for people who do not eat dairy

and contains all the essential amino


Plant based protein often contains

pea or hemp protein and offer a good

alternative for vegans or those with

dairy or say allergies.

Things to be aware of with protein


Some contain a high level of added

sugars and therefore calories.

Do not allow protein powders to replace

eating healthy. They are a supplement

and should be used as such...

horleys EliTE

Ice, Ripped, Whey, Mass

Premium speciality range for

competing at your best.


ROCtane protein recovery

ROCTANE Protein Recovery Drink

Mix helps athletes rebuild, refuel and



ROCtane protein recovery

Clean, natural NZ whey protein



This year’s North Island Spirited

Women’s event kicked off on the beach

at Matapouri, northeast of Whangarei.

This increasingly popular all-women’s

adventure race has run annually since

its maiden event in Rotorua in 2016. It

moved to Taupo in 2017, Ohope in 2018,

Gisborne in 2019 and was scheduled for

Hawkes Bay in 2020 before the Covid 19

pandemic put the country into lockdown

and saw the event cancelled.

So, there was much excitement about

the return of the event this year to

Whangarei in early March and everyone

breathed a sigh of relief when Auckland

came out of their third lockdown just in

time for the event to take place without



I am not sure what it is that makes

adventure racing so much fun, but I think

it's because it has so little to do with

winning. Admittedly there are the teams

in there who are super fit and this is “their

thing” but most of the nearly 2000 strong

competitors are just everyday women,

drawn to get together with some mates

for a day of adventure.

Our team of four had been friends for

over 30 years and with our combined

ages totaling 215, we were in the

“masters” division and for us the

event was all about having fun. We

had entered the “short course” which

suggests a finishing time for the winning

team of 3 hours. From past experience

we’ve usually taken between 4-5 hours

so we set expecting to make it back in

Team Mis-Adventure L-R: Trudi Neill, Linda Lennon, Lynne Dickinson and Vicki Knell

Images by Photos 4 Sale ( /

time for the America’s Cup racing at

4pm. We should have known better…

The race started on the sand dunes in

Matapouri at 11am and after a short jog

along the beach we found ourselves

wading across the estuary to get to the

kayaks on the other side. By the time our

group had set off the tide was on its way

out but it was still waste deep. Images of

earlier teams showed them neck deep

with packs held high above their heads.

Crossing the finish line 6 hours,

40 minutes after we started

The water activities are always one of

our strengths and we blasted this section

in good time, ticking off the checkpoints

along the way before heading to our

bikes for the next leg of the race. The

bike section took us up into the farmlands

behind Matapouri and out to the northern

beaches of Woolleys Bay, Sandy Bay and

Sheltered Bay. Although hilly in places,

the ride was made sweet by the incredible


From here we left our bikes for the

“trekking” section of the event. Searching

for clues over the farmland made for hard

work. We zigzagged up hills, following the

ruts left by the sheep and goats to keep the

cramps out of our calf muscles and quads.

Before long we were back on our bikes,

heading to the mystery activity, which is

always one of the highlights of adventure

racing and in particular, the Spirited

Women’s Race. This year we had to jump

fully clothed into the ocean and swim to

7 buoys which each contained a letter

and make a word out of them. By now our

brains were a little scrambled so it took us

a wee while to work out the word they were

looking for was OCTOPUS.

Then it was back on our bikes to Woolleys

Bay and the final hiking leg back to

Matapouri Beach. By the time we crossed

the finish line we had been on the go for 6

hours 38 minutes with the Americas Cup

done and dusted for the day.

Being out on the course for that long and

all crossing the finish line smiling, says

something about our teamwork. I read a

quote that described excellent teamwork

as, “when a group of people work together

cohesively, towards a common goal,

creating a positive working atmosphere,

and supporting each other to combine

individual strengths to enhance team

performance.” That was us to a tee.

When our results came in the following

morning, we saw we had placed 14th out

of 124 teams with the winning team coming

in after 5 hours 31 minutes. Not bad a for

a bunch of friends who were just out for a

“fun day”.

Anyone who has not yet done an adventure race, I would thoroughly recommend you sign up for one now. It’s a great way to stay

fit, or a good excuse to get fit, and it is so much fun. The 2022 Spirited Womens’ Adventure Race will be held in the Hawkes

Bay and the South Island event is to be held in Wanaka. Entries open June 1st. Check out




By Bridget Thackwray and Topher Rickwhite

We began our journey into the Yamal peninsula from

Salekhard, a small Siberian shipping port sitting on the

polar boundaries of Russia’s Arctic Circle. Strategically

positioned in the delta of the Ob river, Salekhard

is completely inaccessible by car outside of winter

months. The only way in or out of the Yamal region

is to wait until the rivers have frozen thick, forming

‘Russian snow roads.’


Having battled our way through the

scorching deserts of Northern Africa

and the length of the Americas the year

prior, we were feeling confident we

could tackle Siberia’s snow roads in

our now well-equipped Jeep ‘Gunther’.

The Yamal peninsula, which translates

to 'End of the World' is ranked as

having the world’s most volatile

weather pattern so solo driving is

extremely risky. We were accompanied

by a local guide called Roman and his

Jeep which sat on over 20" wide tires.

We carried an extra 160 liters of fuel

on the roof of Gunther. This would be

enough fuel to get us to and from our

destination as well as some extra for

our Webasto engine heaters which

would keep us and our engine from

freezing. Outside temperatures were

fluctuating between -25C and -50C.

After two excruciating days of plowing

through thick snow and ice, we crawled

into our camp at 3am. We were

greeted by two men cloaked head to

toe in reindeer hide who ushered us

into their Chums for some tea.

The Nenet people do not bathe during

the winter months. There is limited

ventilation inside the chum to prevent

heat loss, so with a family of 4 living,

cooking and sleeping inside the tent

with their family of dogs, we were

greeted with a very strong odor. With

a wood burning stove in the center of

the chum, the inside is a comfortable

temperature. The floor of the chum is

tundra earth with a few reindeer hides

to sleep upon.

Exhausted after our long drive, we

managed to catch up on some muchneeded

sleep. We found ourselves

waking up in the night with the

dogs inside our sleeping bags, also

escaping the cold.

Our time with the Nenets was spent

ice fishing through the 3-meter-thick

ice sheets upon the Ob River, keeping

an eye on their 400+ herd of reindeer

and learning about their traditions and

beliefs. With their population sadly

decreasing, the Nenet people and their

culture will soon be lost.

The Nenets live without any internet

or cellular connection to the outside

world, so we were completely unaware

of the dramatic developments that

were happening with Covid. After a

week and a half in Yamal we returned

to Salekhard, to find that Russia was

only 4 days away from closing its

borders. We received word from the

embassy in Moscow, letting us know

that almost all countries along our

Leg 3 route had now closed their land

borders. The situation didn't look


Our only option was to remain in

Northern Russia until the next winter

or drive non-stop to reach Moscow

and return home to New Zealand. With

so much uncertainty around borders

reopening, the latter option seemed

much more appealing.

After a 68 hour drive over ice, snow

and sludge, we arrived at Moscow

with a broken brake caliper, frozen

headlights and a permanently

damaged coccyx on Topher. We

parked Gunther outside Domodedovo

airport, in a long stay car park and

raced our way to the first flight heading

south that night. Still in our clothes

from the Chums, we flew all the way to

New Zealand unaware of the stench

we must have been carrying from our

time up north.

"The Yamal peninsula, which

translates to 'End of the World' is

ranked as having the world’s most

volatile weather pattern so solo

driving is extremely risky. We were

accompanied by a local guide called

Roman and his Jeep which sat on

over 20" wide tires."

Inside one of the chums

Yamal child with dead fox toy!

Driving the Yamal Peninsula


Aerial view of Yamal

Since being back in New Zealand, we have been

working on building our new Jeep Gladiator which

we will take on future expeditions. The car is named

'Roman' after our Siberian friend that guided us into

the Yamal Peninsula. We hope we will eventually

be able to have both Roman and Gunther in convoy

to complete our world expedition.


The only convertible truck of its kind on offer in the world,

the Jeep Gladiator is built on the rich heritage of tough,

dependable Jeep trucks with an unmatched combination of

rugged capability and authentic Jeep design.

With inherent design cues from the legendary Jeep Wrangler,

the Gladiator utilises a variety of ways to optimise ride,

handling and sound characteristics while optimising fuel

economy even while towing. Utilising a body-on-frame design

and featuring a superbly engineered five-link suspension

system, the Jeep Gladiator delivers on capability, comfort,

and passenger safety - including over 70 standard and

available safety features.

As the latest iteration in a 40 year history of Jeep Trucks,

the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon features the legendary 3.6-litre

Pentastar V6 Petrol Engine, ZF 8-Speed Automatic

Transmission and class leading Rock-Trac® 4x4 system.

Remove the three-piece hard top roof and lightweight doors

to truly enjoy your ultimate New Zealand Open Air Adventure.



With our new Jeep Gladiater, Roman

Featuring all-new, patented FormKnit technology, the AirZone

Trek’s iconic carry system offers world-class comfort and

ventilation. Whether you’re feeling the heat on dusty tracks or

picking up the pace hut-to-hut, the AirZone Trek helps you keep

your cool.




In our ever-changing world, imagine how empowering it would

be to take control of your finances and explore the new frontier

of buying, selling and saving.

Gaua Lake, Letas, Mt Gharat Volcano hike


Qoin digital currency will open an exciting new world for you.

It is innovative, progressive and easily transactional.


Be part of where the world is going and discover

a completely new way to shop.

Visit to find out more.

Torba Province is the northernmost province of Vanuatu, just

a half hour flight above Sanma Province. Torba is made up of

over 15 islands, which are divided into the Torres and Banks

Islands. Torba has an estimated total population of around

9,500 people who are friendly, welcoming and cannot wait to

show you their island home!

Relatively new on the international tourism scene, Torba

is Vanuatu’s best kept secret. Famous for its white sandy

beaches, world-class fresh seafood, unique culture and dense

rainforests, you can be sure that your visit to the northern

islands will be an experience you will never forget. Each

island is unique and offers its own adventure. Choose to visit

Gaua, Vanualava, Motalava, Rah or Loh Island – or island

hop between them all to get the ultimate Melanesian island


While there are no standard hotels in Torba, the island style

bungalows, home-stays, tours and activities on offer are high

quality and have been developed collaboratively by the local

community. In fact all tourism operations in Torba are Ni-

Vanuatu owned ventures! This means that when you visit these

islands you can be sure that your money is returned directly to

the community.

Gaua is the largest and second most populous island in Torba

and is known for it's stunning landscape. Boasting an active

volcano, Vanuatu's largest lake and highest waterfall - it's the

perfect destination if you're after an adventure!

As you fly in to airport you will see the rugged coastline and

dense jungle that covers most of the island - with small villages

and gardens dispersed through out. The majority of the island's

population live on the east coast, close to the airport, which is

the perfect place to start exploring the island.

The best way to see Gaua is by foot. Meet the locals and

wander through nearby villages or head out on a full day or

multi-day guided trek through untouched rainforests. Gaua is

also home to the world famous water music. This extraordinary

cultural practice is unique to the women of Gaua and is

not practiced by anyone else in the world. It's an amazing

experience that has to be seen (or heard) to be believed and

definitely isn't to be missed!

If you are looking for an adventure that offers pristine natural

environments and unique Melanesian culture, Gaua is the

island for you!


To everyone eagerly dusting off their passport,

Vanualava - Sulfur River on the way to Mt Sere'ama 2 - Image by Joel Johnsson

If this last year has taught us anything, it is the value of human connection. We’ve all missed sharing good

times with friends and family. And the thrill of exploring our beautiful world to meet new people.

Vanualava is home to Sola, the provincial capital of

Torba. Fringed by black sandy beaches and thriving

coral reefs, and home to rapids, rivers, waterfalls

and an active volcano, this island has far more to

offer than just business!

During your stay trek through old-growth bush,

snorkel on coral reefs, visit sea caves or one of the

nearby islands. While you are here make sure you

keep an eye out for one of the resident saltwater

crocodiles - decedents of the original four crocodiles

who escaped a passing missionary ship in the


Motalava is the island for you if you want to

experience true Melanesian hospitality.

The people of Motalava are a close-knit, welcoming

community who mostly live-in villages along the

island's coast. Away from the hustle and bustle of

everyday life, the community maintains a mostly selfsufficient

lifestyle getting what they need from their

surrounding environment.

This is the perfect destination for a home-stay style

experience - learn to weave, attend a church service

or go to a local nakamal, join in on the evening

fishing trip and visit a family garden to help pick fresh

fruit and vegetable, which will be used to create

a delicious Melanesian meal for you that night. If

you are lucky, you may even be able to join in a

community event in the main square!

The island itself is fringed by white sandy beaches

and clear lagoons teeming with blue starfish and

tropical fish. Coconut plantations, bright flower,

thriving gardens and jungle cover the land all way

to the island's highest point - Sleeping Mountain.

Motalava is just like the classic tropical islands you

dream of.


Rah is the smallest but most well-known island in the Banks

region, thanks mostly to British photographer Jimmy Nelson who

featured Rah in his Before They Pass Away series. This tiny

island has a population of 90 people and sits just off the coast of

Motalava. You can get to Rah from Motalava by Taxi-Canoe or by

wading across the channel at low tide.

Though it is located close to Motalava, Rah island maintains its

own distinct culture. Most famous is the Rah Island Snake Dance,

which is performed by the men in the village, accompanied by

traditional drums and kastom songs. To experience more of Rah's

unique culture you can visit the Rah Kastom Village, learn how

shell money is made and climb the famous Rock of Rah!

During your visit, you will be staying right on the beach and will fall

asleep to the gentle sound of waves. You can swim, snorkel and

fish straight from your bungalow and walk around the island at low

tide. Your host will be more than happy to accompany you and

give you a personal tour of the village!

Men wearing traditional attire perform the Sea Snake dance,

Ra Island, Banks Islands, Torba Province, Vanuatu.

Photo: Vanuatu Tourism Office/Nicolas Jupille & Louise Levrat

For more information of Torba Province, Vanuatu visit

As things start to return to normal, we’ve made sure our welcome party is ready and waiting. The people of

Vanuatu have forged many strong bonds with our close neighbours in Australia and New Zealand, and can’t

wait to invite you back. Nothing makes us happier than sharing our beautiful country with friends.

So please keep us on your list when international travel is deemed safe for both you and us. We know a

thing or two about how to let your hair down and throw yourself headlong into the moment – something

we are all longing to do. You don’t always need music to dance.

From our white sandy beaches to our pristine rainforests and rumbling volcanos, we have kept it beautiful

for you. All our COVID Safe Plans are also in place, to ensure you can enjoy a safe, clean and caring Vanuatu.

If it’s your first time to Vanuatu, we’d love to introduce you to our kastom and culture, natural wonders and

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

need to go far to experience a different way of living.

We would love you to answer the call of Vanuatu in 2021. We think there is no better place to find your

travel groove again. From everyone at the Vanuatu Tourism Office, we wish you happy travels and look

forward to welcoming you to our islands very soon.

Discover our islands of adventure



Where glorious mountain peaks melt into elegant white sand

beaches, the little paradise of the Cook Islands is home to

Pacific Resort Hotel Group. Whether you are looking for rest and

relaxation or an adventure of a lifetime, we offer the Cook Islands’

largest range of boutique resort accommodation for your next

tropical escape...


Images by David Kirkland and Cook Island Tourism


The Cook Islands are renowned for many things, amongst those

being one of the few countries in the world to remain COVID-19

free, lush green landscapes, crystal blue lagoons, the friendliest

people, and the perfect balance of adventure and relaxation.

While the borders have been closed to travellers for the past

year, the people of the Cook Islands have been hard at work to

ensure that the islands are looking better than ever (if possible),

and that all future visitors will be well taken care of when the

long-awaited travel bubble opens with NZ. In anticipation of this,

we thought we would share some of the best things to see and

do when you come to this little slice of paradise.

Only around a four-hour flight from New Zealand, the islands

have long been a favorite vacation spot for those looking for rest

and relaxation or adventurous thrills. With no building higher than

a coconut palm, no traffic lights, fast food or hotel chains; it is

often said that the Cook Islands is like Hawaii was 50 years ago

– beautiful and un-spoilt, but still with plenty to do and see.

You will land in Rarotonga, the largest island of the 15 Cook

Islands, and soon after arrival you can be kayaking, sipping

your first cocktail or relaxing by the pool at your resort. The main

island is only 32 km in circumference so there’s no traffic jams

here and with plenty of activities, restaurants, bars, things to see

and do, your days will be packed with adventure in the sun.

One adventure that awaits hiking enthusiasts, is the Cross

Island Trek spanning across the 16 km diameter of Rarotonga.

The trek is one if the most rewarding and challenging of those

in the Cooks and takes you from the north coast right over the

mountainous centre and back down to the south coast (or vice

versa) and along the way, will lead you to the top of Te Rua

Manga, otherwise known as ‘The Needle’ – a 413m high volcanic

point that sits in the centre of the island – perfect for a showstopping


Another fabulous feature of Rarotonga is the water sports with

a range of activities on offer, from deep sea diving, swimming

with turtles, kiteboarding, lagoon cruises, night SUP tours, and

kayaking… or just grabbing your snorkel and flippers, hopping on

a scooter, and finding your own fun at one of the many beautiful

spots around the island’s lagoons.

Only a short 45-minute flight from Rarotonga, the second most

populated island is Aitutaki, considered a ‘must do’ while in the

Cooks; with a lagoon so stunning it is widely known as the most

beautiful in the world. Offering an array of water sports from day

cruises, sailing, private charters to snorkelling. Another amazing

adventure to experience is the ever-popular bone-fishing, of

which excursions are offered by the many operators on the


The Cook Islands are also considered among the best

kiteboarding locations in the world, offering up perfect conditions

for lessons. The trade winds passing through the Cook Islands

between May to October, combined with the passing lowpressure

systems in the tropical belt (and the sandbars in

Aitutaki), make for ideal kiteboarding conditions for all skill levels.

Between July and October, you will also more than likely find

yourself whale watching as these friendly giants of the ocean

pop up so say hello while migrating close to the reefs of

Rarotonga and Aitutaki.

Whether you are looking for an adventure or a more relaxed

holiday, a picturesque beachfront resort in the Cook Islands

is the ideal base for your escape. Pacific Resort Hotel Group

operates three properties spread along a golden stretch of the

south east coast of Rarotonga; from the family friendly Pacific

Resort Rarotonga and Te Manava Luxury Villas & Spa on

famous Muri Lagoon, to the intimate adults only Little Polynesian

Resort which rests on the shimmering shores of Titikaveka

Beach. If visiting Aitutaki, it is home to the luxury 5-star Pacific

Resort Aitutaki, a multi award winning property where you will

find air-conditioned bungalows and villas offering uninterrupted

sweeping views across the lagoon from your very own private

sundeck, taking advantage of the absolute beachfront location.




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