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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
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
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16//Godzone Chapter 9
The one that nearly got away
Learning to do more with less
If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you
Turning a terrifying fall into an opportunity
36//Going Solo on the Abel Tasman
Sometimes you just need to be on your own
Not content to simply survive
I get knocked down, but I get up again
You thought Covid was bad
with Bridget Thackwray and Topher Richwhite
68. gear guides
96. active adventure
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02//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#225
we ARE climbing
It's all about perspective. Godafoss waterfall, Northern Iceland
BEHIND THE COVER
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
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
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.
SURVIVAL BLOODY MARY
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
To sign up for the weekly newsletter: www.cocktailontherock.co.nz
Alec McCallum sends
Dr Strangelove (32) second go
Photo: Tom Hoyle
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06//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#225
@ adventuretraveller @ adventurevanlifenz
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 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
08//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#225
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.
years of experience,
making good calls,
having the skills
is what keeps you
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
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
12//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#225
"The draw is to
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
14//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#225
14//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#225 ADVENTUREMAGAZINE.CO.NZ 15
THE ONE THAT
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
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
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
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.
16//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#225 ADVENTUREMAGAZINE.CO.NZ 17
THE ULTIMATE GODZONE:
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
Stage 5: a 70km MTB through the
Kaingaroa Forest logging trails to Pamu/
Stage 6: a 54km trek and packraft
through the Te Iringa Track and down the
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
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
18//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#225 ADVENTUREMAGAZINE.CO.NZ 19
CELEBRITIES ON THE
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
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
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
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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.
22//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#225
" 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.
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
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
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24//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#225
By Lucy Olphert
Poco Child Carrier
Main Fabric 210D
Deluxe Child Cockpit
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,
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
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: southernapproach.co.nz
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
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
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
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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
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
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
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•Peak Performance Massage
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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
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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
“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
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
“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
“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
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
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
Back where it all began: Eternity Road, Whanganui bay
Photo by Steve Minchin
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32//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#225
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
But Di’s competitive climbing aspirations have
been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Never one to remain idle, she is turning her mind to
“I’d like to climb Mt Aspiring. I can now move a
lot further than I used to and can do some longer
“I want to tackle some things on the bucket list I
thought I’d never get to do.”
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GOING SOLO ON
THE ABEL TASMAN
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.
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36//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#225
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.
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.
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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.
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
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
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.
40//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#225
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
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"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
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.
IN YOUR ELEMENT IN RUAPEHU
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 www.visitruapehu.com
KEEP YOUR WHEELS TURNING THIS WINTER
WITH ADVENTURE SOUTH NZ
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
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
For more information on our winter cycle trips or 2021/2022 summer cycle
trips visit www.adventuresouth.co.nz.
DISCOVER NZ’S CYCLE TRAILS WITH ADVENTURE SOUTH NZ
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: adventuresouth.co.nz | 0800 00 11 66 | email@example.com
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: adventuresouth.co.nz | 0800 00 11 66 | firstname.lastname@example.org
"In 2019 Remy
on a 24m jump
and broke 23
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
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
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
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"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
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
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 https://www.redbull.com/int-en/episodes/mtbraw-s2-e19
Remy Morton performs during filming of Red Bull Sound of Speed
in Queenstown, New Zealand on November 6, 2020
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"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
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
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!
Back: t4 and compressed disc
Collarbone: left x2
Shoulders: shattered left in 9
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 :)
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...
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IS IT A WALK? HIKE? TREK? OR TRAMP?
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.
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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
Well we weren’t the only ones to
come up with our own terms. Here
are some more quirks from the
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
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
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
After exploring the Upper Wilkin, the
trip ends with a fun jet boat ride back
In March and April, Aspiring Guides
offer 50 percent off kids on this trek.
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
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.
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."
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orders over $150 for
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P: 0800 22 67 68
60//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#225
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
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
• 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
• 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
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
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.
SURVIVE IN THE
TIME OF COVID?
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
The concept was simple.
Learn more now so we
can play more later. ”
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
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,
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
River Valley Lodge
WATER, WATER, EVERYWHERE
A DROP TO
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.
• 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
• 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 www.watertogo.co.nz
66//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#225
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.
black diamond Stride Headlamp /
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
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.
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,
Filter lasts for 130 Litres
60 days use at 2L/day
Weighs just 98 grams
Filter 100% recyclable
Available in a range of colours
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.
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
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,
14-Watt Solar Charger
Capable of charging your
smartphone and USB gadgets
straight from the sun, making it
perfect for hiking, camping, or an
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
kiwi camping Rover Queen 10CM Self-
10cm thick mat with compressible foam that
easily inflates with a 3-way valve. Generous
queen size, 2010mm long and 1500mm wide.
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
exped Waterbloc Pro -5 Down
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.
exped SynMat UL Sleeping Mat
Comfort and warmth, ultralightweight
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
marmot Helium 800+ Fill Down
Sleeping bag (-9)
Remarkably light and compact, the Helium
Sleeping Bag delivers impressive insulation
during three-season backpacking and
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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).
72//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#225
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).
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).
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Back Country Cuisine
CHICKEN CARBONARA: A freeze dried
chicken and pasta dish, served in a creamy
italian style sauce. Available in small serve
90g or regular serve 175g sizes.
MUSHROOM BOLOGNAISE - VEGAN:
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
CHOCOLATE BROWNIE PUDDING: Our
take on chocolate self-saucing pudding,
with chocolate brownie, boysenberries and
chocolate sauce. Gluten Free. Available in
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.
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
AIBA SILVER MEDAL 2018
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
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
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
RRP Box of 12 $47.99, single sachets
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
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
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.
Radix Nutrition performance
Mixed Berry Breakfast
Our Performance range is designed
to enable optimal energy levels,
muscle preservation, repair, recovery
and mental function.
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.
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.
76//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#225
FEED YOUR ADDICTION
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
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:
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
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 &
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
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.
78//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#225
TO BE IN TO WIN FIVE NIGHTS AT
PACIFIC RESORT RAROTONGA
IN THE BEAUTIFUL COOK ISLANDS
• 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
• Free Kids Club (for children aged 6-12).
• Daily guest welcome orientation on the
TERMS AND CONDITIONS:
• 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
• This prize is not transferable or redeemable for cash.
• International and domestic flights are not included in
• 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
• 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
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
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...
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
IT'S ALL ABOUT TEAMWORK
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 (www.photos4.sale / www.facebook.com/Photos4saleNZ)
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
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 www.spiritedwomen.co.nz
FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT WWW.MACPAC.CO.NZ
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.’
84//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#225 ADVENTUREMAGAZINE.CO.NZ 85
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
86//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#225 ADVENTUREMAGAZINE.CO.NZ 87
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.
JEEP GLADIATOR RUBICON
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.
88//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#225
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
BE PART OF WHERE
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In our ever-changing world, imagine how empowering it would
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Gaua Lake, Letas, Mt Gharat Volcano hike
THE LAST OF THE REAL ISLANDS
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Be part of where the world is going and discover
a completely new way to shop.
Visit qoin.world 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
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
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
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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 www.vanuatu.travel
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
THE WORLDS BEST KEPT SECRET...
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
COOK ISANDS | pacificresort.com
Images by David Kirkland and Cook Island Tourism
ADVENTURE IN THE COOK ISLANDS
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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