Adventure Magazine

Issue 228. camping/tramping issue

Issue 228. camping/tramping issue


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adventure<br />

where actions speak louder than words<br />

camping & tramping<br />

issue<br />

ISSUE 228<br />

OCT/NOV 2021<br />

NZ $10.90 incl. GST

Make your miles wild.<br />

merrell.co.nz<br />

Where the pavement ends, adventure begins.<br />

Prepare for everything in the ultra-rugged<br />

Merrell Agility Peak 4.

Paved paradise...<br />

The value of a walk, a stroll, a tramp, a<br />

hike has come into a clearer vision of<br />

late. Covid/Delta has a massive raft of<br />

negatives attached to it for everyone,<br />

but one thing it did do is get people<br />

walking. Sure, they may not have been<br />

out on overnight hikes or climbing<br />

mountains, but they were outside<br />

walking, not stuck behind a desk or<br />

in front of a screen, and felt the real<br />

need and the value of simply walking<br />

outside.<br />

The old adage in Joni Mitchell’s song<br />

‘You don’t know what you’ve got till it<br />

gone’ is very true. Take away the option<br />

of activities, add confinement, add<br />

uncertainty and you soon see the value<br />

in a simple walk.<br />

The actual clinical value is extremely<br />

well documented and the simple<br />

benefits of an hours walk per day; will<br />

burn calories, strengthen muscles,<br />

maintain flexibility and strengthen your<br />

cardiovascular. It can even lower your<br />

blood sugar and one research said<br />

that those who walked an hour per day<br />

lived up to twenty years longer.<br />

Another range of internal benefits to<br />

simply walking is that it clears the mind<br />

and connects us with nature, even in a<br />

city setting. It encourages conversation<br />

and gives creativity of thought.<br />

A few years back I had a subtalar<br />

fusion on my left foot (you can google<br />

that), the recovery was hard. I had all<br />

sorts of physical therapy, acupuncture,<br />

salty water injections and it remained<br />

painful and inflexible. I had resigned<br />

myself to it and its lack of use. Then<br />

my wife bought me a dog, a big dog,<br />

a dog that needs a walk. Even though<br />

uncomfortable, the simple process of<br />

walking, regularly, had huge remedial<br />

effects. To the point, I called the<br />

surgeon who had done the operation<br />

and suggested to him if his patients are<br />

slow to recover, tell them to buy a dog<br />

and walk!<br />

The truth is we could all do with<br />

walking a little more, but often we allow<br />

things to get in the way; family, work,<br />

weather, but during the lockdown,<br />

people took the time to walk and talk,<br />

what else are you doing to do right?<br />

Yet everyone who walked each day<br />

for exercise during lockdown, saw the<br />

value in it. The trick now is to maintain<br />

the momentum.<br />

Keep walking, strolling, hiking,<br />

tramping - welcome to the tramping<br />

and camping issue we know it will keep<br />

you motivated.<br />

Steve Dickinson - Editor<br />

Editor, Steve Dickinson and his motivation to walk...<br />

HIGH<br />



WEIGH<br />

YOU DOWN<br />

Lightweight, compact and comfortable.<br />

What’s most important to you?<br />

FIND A STOCKIST www.southernapproach.co.nz

page 08<br />

#228<br />

contents<br />

Image by Greg Knell Image by Derek Cheng<br />

Image compliments Barny<br />

page 14<br />

page 24<br />

08//Packrafting<br />

a beginners perspective<br />

14//Sinbad, Terror Creek<br />

and the 11 day weather window<br />

24//Exploring the Beaten Tracks<br />

and finding the hidden gems<br />

30//Self Discovery<br />

in the sand<br />

40//Mackenzie Country<br />

guided walks<br />

50//Four Days in the Pureora Forest<br />

a lesson in having good gear<br />

60//Greenstone River<br />

by packraft<br />

82//Camping<br />

why camp in the cold?<br />

freedom camping<br />

92//Travel<br />

top hikes in vanuatu<br />

plus<br />

70. gear guides<br />

96. active adventure<br />


www.facebook.com/adventuremagnz<br />

adventuremagazine<br />

www.adventuremagazine.co.nz<br />

Nzadventuremag<br />



yoUr AdventUre staRts Here<br />

23 Locations Nationwide - www.radcarhire.co.nz | 0800 73 68 23 | adventure@radcarhire.co.nz<br />





It was day three of a stellar week-long trip<br />

to Sinbad Wall in a remote part of western<br />

Fiordland. We had found a perch in a<br />

comfortable nook on the edge of one of the<br />

three Llawrenny Peaks, and settled in for<br />

lunch. We were roughly halfway to tomorrow’s<br />

objective - Terror Peak. The morning was<br />

spent lugging heavy packs up steepening<br />

grassy, then granite, slopes.<br />

For more on Sinbad and Terror Peak, see page 14<br />

From the left, Ben Grindle is stoked to have<br />

made it across Milford Sound without a life<br />

jacket, Camille Berthoux tries to smile through<br />

a cold she’s been fighting for days, Jimmy<br />

Finlayson looks energetic though would soon<br />

lie down for a siesta, Derek Cheng has clearly<br />

rushed into the shot after setting up the timer<br />

on the camera, and Sooji Clarkson shows off<br />

her alpine nutrition - peanut butter and dried<br />

mashed potato - while the middle Llawrenny<br />

Peak glistens behind us.<br />


Steve Dickinson<br />

Mob: 027 577 5014<br />

steve@pacificmedia.co.nz<br />


Lynne Dickinson<br />

design@pacificmedia.co.nz<br />


subs@pacificmedia.co.nz<br />


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


www.adventuremagazine.co.nz<br />

www.adventuretraveller.co.nz<br />

www.adventurejobs.co.nz<br />

www.skiandsnow.co.nz<br />

@adventurevanlifenz<br />


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

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

Whangaparaoa, New Zealand<br />

Ph: 0275775014<br />

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

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

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

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

<strong>Adventure</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong><br />

Whereever we go,<br />

our preferred car<br />

hire is...<br />

A NEW LOOK?<br />

This is the 40th year anniversary for<br />

<strong>Adventure</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> and it has gone<br />

through a lot of changes. A variety of<br />

different content focus, a reflection of<br />

what was acceptable and now what’s<br />

not. It has had a range of banner heads<br />

(the design of the title on the cover). You<br />

will have seen this issue has a new<br />

banner head. Well not really, we<br />

thought it would be good to be<br />

a little retro and bring back<br />

one of the older banner<br />

heads. This one is from<br />

the 90’s a combination<br />

of simplicity and<br />

subtleness.<br />

Looking back over the<br />

last 40 years there are<br />

some amazing changes,<br />

some issues carried<br />

adverts for cigarettes, fluffy<br />

leg warmers and orange coloured<br />

zinc. The first few issues in the 80’s<br />

were widely focused on a range of sport<br />

from swimming to sailing. As the years<br />

progressed and the cigarette ads became<br />

less, <strong>Adventure</strong> went through a series of<br />

different vibes, it became very ‘multisport’<br />

focused for a while, then a lot of biking,<br />

before it went back to a more generic feel.<br />

Pacific Media has produced <strong>Adventure</strong> for<br />

the last twenty years (we actually took the<br />

reins with issue 100) and we have loved<br />

every moment. The adventure industry is<br />

great to work with everyone from those<br />

doing different activities to those<br />

who import the products,<br />

everyone is passionate and<br />

enthusiastic and of late<br />

incredibly supportive.<br />

Covid has put a<br />

lot of strain on the<br />

adventure community<br />

but the majority of<br />

those involved do it for<br />

the love, not the money<br />

and it makes you proud<br />

to be able to showcase<br />

New Zealand, the places, and<br />

the people. We have no idea what<br />

the next 40 years looks like, you can only<br />

guarantee it will change but <strong>Adventure</strong><br />

<strong>Magazine</strong> and the people within its pages<br />

will still be there doing fun stuff.<br />

World Class Indoor Climbing<br />

First visit $25* then free for a week!<br />

Fantastic community, beginners<br />

welcome, boulder classes for all ages<br />

and abilities, inquire now.<br />

* Discounts for youths and own gear<br />

Student Mondays, entry $15<br />

www.northernrocks.co.nz<br />

@northernrocks.climbing<br />

Unit 17, 101-111 Diana Drive,<br />

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E N G I N E E R E D<br />

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



@ adventuremagazine<br />

@ adventuretraveller @ adventurevanlifenz


a beginners perspective<br />

By Jody Direen<br />

It's our first date in the outdoors. I'm doing my best<br />

to hide the near-crippling anxiety as we tramp<br />

our way up the side of a stunning yet seemingly<br />

sinister Westland river. You see, I like him, and<br />

the fact that he is brave enough to have paddled<br />

some of the gnarliest rivers in the world (in his<br />

kayak) and regarded as one of the safest 'bros'<br />

to be on the river with are attributes that attracted<br />

me to him in the first place. And now he wants to<br />

give me a look inside his world, from the safety<br />

of a packraft (of which I never knew existed until<br />

yesterday). I need to come to the party. Send help.<br />

From the edge of the river, the rapids sound far too<br />

loud for someone like me to encounter. Someone<br />

whose utmost fear has been strong-moving water<br />

ever since I was dumped by a freak ocean wave<br />

as a five-year-old, not knowing which way was up<br />

or down (for too long), until my father came to the<br />

rescue. That memory is the reason I've never been<br />

atop a motorless floatation device on a river until<br />

now. I'm minutes away from the put-in of a class II<br />

river that I will paddle on my own. I'm not ready to<br />

face my fear, but I never will be. It's time.<br />

I feel nauseous and weak with nerves as I unroll<br />

my raft onto the river stones and begin to inflate<br />

this foreign piece of equipment I somehow need<br />

to trust. How can something this light that rolls up<br />

to the size of a sleeping bag not get torn up by<br />

those rocks I'm inevitably going to crash into over<br />

the next hour? Amidst the emotional turmoil, I'm<br />

surprised at how the tiny electric pump inflates the<br />

boat in merely sixty seconds. I gain some comfort<br />

from seeing the inflated size of the boat in the<br />

flesh. Barny (Young) assures me they're stronger<br />

than they look. Maybe it won't be so bad as it<br />

does look stable.<br />

Barny kits me out in a dry-suit, lifejacket, helmet,<br />

throws me a paddle and gives me the safety brief.<br />

I pack my hiking bag into the boat (there is a T-Zip<br />

so you can store gear inside the pontoon). I place<br />

the boat onto the shallows of the river lip. My heart<br />

is pounding my hands are shaking. I question if I<br />

should even get in. Barny is already floating away<br />

in his overly desensitised-to-whitewater fashion,<br />

leaving me no choice but to commit.<br />

I take my first-ever stroke and immediately feel<br />

unqualified. It didn't position the boat where I<br />

thought it would. Panic rushes over me. I pull my<br />

mind together and take a second and third stroke<br />

and start to get the hang of how this boat behaves.<br />

At least on chill water, it seems un-flippable.<br />

As we near the top of the first rapid, which<br />

we checked on the walk-up, I have an inkling<br />

that even with zero experience, I have enough<br />

common sense and control that there's a good<br />

chance I'll get to where I need to go to keep myself<br />

safe and maybe even have some fun. If I don't line<br />

it up perfectly, I have some confidence it's stable<br />

enough to bounce me down anyway, without<br />

flipping (which means imminent death, to me, at<br />

this moment).<br />

"Remember to keep your raft pointed downstream,<br />

and if in doubt, paddle hard out, follow me,"<br />

Barny's words of wisdom shouted over the torrent<br />

of crashing water as we approach the first rapid.<br />

A sharp dog-leg to the left with another river<br />

channel running into it pushing the current across<br />

to where you 'don't want to be' with numerous<br />

small-ish boulders to navigate. As a beginner, not<br />

complicated at all!<br />

"Remember to keep your raft pointed downstream,<br />

and if in doubt, paddle hard out, follow me,"<br />

I muster up all the mind-power and courage I<br />

have and take on the challenge keeping my eyes<br />

on Barny. I use all my strength and stroke power,<br />

overcompensating, to ensure I keep on his tail.<br />

The rush of adrenaline hits as I paddle hard<br />

across-current, feeling the pull of the whitewash in<br />

different directions underneath me and doing my<br />

best to respond and correct the boat. I'm where I<br />

need to be. In the nick of time, I narrowly avoided<br />

the last boulder dropping down just to the left.<br />

"Oh my god, I did it," I felt a little bit like a rubber<br />

ducky in a washing machine, but I did it. I'm alive.<br />

I was in pure positive shock as the gushing water<br />

became an increasingly distant sound.<br />

Rob Hervey exploring the upper Hokitika<br />


At that moment, an intense feeling of achievement and<br />

excitement washed over me with the realisation that during a<br />

time I expected to be most-terrified, I felt free.<br />

"At that moment, an intense feeling of<br />

achievement and excitement washed over me<br />

with the realisation that during a time I expected<br />

to be most-terrified, I felt free."<br />

My first-ever rapid forced me into the most surreal in-themoment<br />

experience, so much so that momentarily, all<br />

despair had been wiped from my mind and dare I say it, I<br />

was now even a little bit excited for the next one. I realised<br />

how forgiving the packraft was. It could handle more than<br />

that without requiring any additional skill from me. It was<br />

more stable than I imagined. I began to let go and have a bit<br />

of fun with it as we continued down some easy I+ rapids.<br />

Now I get it. I get why some people live and breathe<br />

whitewater. It forces your senses alive because they have<br />

to be to give you the best possible chance of survival in<br />

situations that have the potential to result in death. White<br />

water is dangerous. Your response times are at an all-time<br />

high. Adrenaline takes you over, keeping you in flow with the<br />

river. How can it be that in that extreme environment, you<br />

can also be fearless? Is this one of the purest natural states<br />

of being available to humankind? You choose to make the<br />

river your friend because if you resist, it quickly becomes<br />

your foe. This philosophy crosses over into life; kayakers<br />

are some of the happiest, go-lucky, back-themselves people<br />

I know. They are masters at flowing with life.<br />

Two years since my first ever river trip, I've met many of<br />

Barny's whitewater buddies and unofficially conclude they<br />

all share these positive traits because they spend so much<br />

time in that graceful state the river beats into them. I believe<br />

it takes a unique type of human to paddle at the level Barny<br />

and his friends do. Packrafts give people like me, who will<br />

probably never jump into a white water kayak, an opportunity<br />

to get a taste of their experience.<br />

Packrafts are an innovative piece of adventure gear that has<br />

opened up an entirely new world of going deeper, exploring<br />

the stunning backcountry we have in New Zealand and<br />

offering a new way of getting to know myself. For this, I'm<br />

incredibly grateful. I could never have thrown myself into a<br />

grade II river for the first time (or many of the New Zealand<br />

adventures I've had since) if it wasn't for my trusty packraft.<br />

I've scraped down rocks, sticks and shallow rapids and not<br />

punctured my raft. They are incredibly durable, considering<br />

their weight. I also love the option of a self-bailing packraft<br />

as you are not trapped into the boat by a spray skirt. They<br />

are user-friendly and convenient, compared to their sister<br />

product, Kayaks. Kayaks are heavy, unstable and require<br />

significant training on flat water.<br />

Top left: Jody and Clarissa exploring Hooker lake ( one of NZ’s most popular tourist destinations from a new perspective )<br />

Bottom left: Jody exploring a hidden gem in her backyard<br />

Top right: Barny Young exploring the upper reaches of the Waiho river- flowing directly out of Franz Josef Glacier.<br />

Right: From mild to wild the Westcoast has it all<br />



The rest of my trip as a virgin-river-girl consisted of a<br />

portage around a grade III rapid that flowed by a fallen tree<br />

and a couple of other big rapids (well, my standard of 'big')<br />

that scared me. I completed the river - amazed at what I<br />

had achieved. Although I had convinced myself I was going<br />

to flip at some point, I didn't.<br />

It's no wonder packrafting is one of New Zealand's fastestgrowing<br />

adventure sports. People are now running class IV<br />

in them, pioneering first descents and using them to access<br />

remote backcountry biking, skiing, fishing and climbing<br />

zones. Carrying an animal out after a successful hunt just<br />

got a whole lot easier. Fastpacking just got faster, with<br />

floating out taking less time than walking.<br />

My personal favourite use of my packraft is adding a new<br />

dimension to hiking trips. Especially when the dreaded,<br />

long walk out (on the same track you came in on) is now<br />

replaced with a float out, giving you a new perspective.<br />

I find myself opting for hikes where that dimension is<br />

possible, noting how perfect New Zealand's backyard is for<br />

embracing this sport. There are endless options; they don't<br />

all have to be river-related. We take ours almost everywhere<br />

and explore alpine lakes, cross rivers (that would be<br />

otherwise dangerous on foot), cross lagoons to access<br />

different parts of New Zealand's coastline and use them as<br />

a base for fishing. We even took them to Fiji and explored<br />

coral reefs. They double as a comfy sleeping mat too!<br />

Barny loves being on the river and, I love hiking. As a<br />

couple, packrafting has allowed us to find a happy medium<br />

where we can go into the outdoors together and embrace<br />

"As a couple, packrafting has allowed us to find a<br />

happy medium where we can go into the outdoors<br />

together and embrace a double faceted adventure<br />

leaving us both recreationally satisfied."<br />

a double faceted adventure leaving us both recreationally<br />

satisfied. Even though what we do together on the river is<br />

less extreme (by miles) than what he is used to, he still gets<br />

his fix and enjoys showing me around his world, otherwise<br />

less achievable in a kayak.<br />

Life is too short to pass up the opportunity of having a<br />

packraft in your adventure kit. This beautiful invention has<br />

allowed me to have some of the most epic experiences ever<br />

and access places I never thought possible. They are worth<br />

their weight in gold.<br />

Above: Kayaker turned Packrafter Ryan Lucas being Dazzled by some Gorge-ous Westcoast scenery.<br />



HIKE,<br />





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<strong>Adventure</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong>.<br />


SINBAD,<br />


and the 11-day weather<br />

window in Fiordland<br />

By Derek Cheng<br />

The deluge hit in a sudden moment.<br />

I had been fairly calm—and reasonably<br />

dry—hundreds of metres up an overhanging<br />

rock face in a remote part of Fiordland. And<br />

then, like opening the door to a tsunami, I<br />

was drenched.<br />

My fingertips clung ever-tighter to small,<br />

moss-covered nubbins of rock, as the<br />

sheer shock of what was happening left me<br />

gasping and cussing in equal measure.<br />

And I thought of the camera and two lenses<br />

in my flimsy, lightweight pack. A fall might<br />

unleash a force strong enough to snap<br />

the thin pack straps, sending the camera<br />

tumbling towards certain demolition, were<br />

much smaller on top-rope.<br />

I had little option but to scrunch my face<br />

between my shoulder blades and weather<br />

the storm.<br />

“Welcome to Sinbad,” I thought.<br />



I had somehow wrangled my way into this<br />

Sinbad mission as the seventh wheel. Not<br />

your ordinary climbing misfits, it included<br />

many who were among the country’s<br />

strongest, or who’d been there before:<br />

Jimmy, Sam, Sooji, Ben, Camille and<br />

Josh.<br />

I’d only read stories about the legendary<br />

300m overhanging face at the head<br />

of Sinbad Gully. It was early season,<br />

but enthusiasm was high due to an<br />

unprecedented weather window.<br />

"His paddle was two singles held<br />

together with masking tape, but too<br />

much force simply spun the raft<br />

rather than propelling it forward...<br />

which made his estimated arrival<br />

time somewhere around 400 years."<br />

Our transport options to the river mouth<br />

at the base of the gully still left the trip<br />

in doubt until we were actually on our<br />

way. There was one sturdy double raft,<br />

one borrowed kayak, and a number of<br />

$20 Warehouse rafts that may or may<br />

not have floated all the way to the river<br />

mouth.<br />

But one should never underestimate how<br />

helpfully pathetic Ben can look. Seated in<br />

a raft that suited someone half his size,<br />

Ben pushed out into Deep Water Basin<br />

trailing a second pitiful-looking raft loaded<br />

with his pack. His paddle was two singles<br />

held together with masking tape, but too<br />

much force simply spun the raft rather<br />

than propelling it forward. He proceeded<br />

to employ a gentle flick on each side while<br />

holding his body as steady as possible,<br />

which made his estimated arrival time<br />

somewhere around 400 years.<br />

This all tugged the heart-strings of some<br />

giggling guys aboard a fishing vessel,<br />

who promptly offered us a lift. We<br />

accepted. Fifty metres from where the<br />

Sinbad River meets Milford Sound, we<br />

dropped our questionable rafts—loaded<br />

with our packs—off the back of their<br />

fishing boat, professed our eternal thanks,<br />

and dived into the pristine water. Soon we<br />

had escaped the onslaught of sandflies<br />

on the shore and were marching up the<br />

DOC track, which led to a dry river bed,<br />

a series of slabs, and then up a steep,<br />

densely-shrubbed spur.<br />

It was basically dark by the time we<br />

arrived at the rock bivvy, a few hundred<br />

metres from the base of the wall. After the<br />

arduous approach, it wasn’t surprising<br />

when everyone was dead to the world the<br />

following morning—except for Jimmy, who<br />

had already packed for a day of ropesoloing<br />

when I stirred from my slumber.<br />

We were soon at the base of Rainmaker<br />

(grade 23). Jimmy had already climbed<br />

these pitches and so left me to do<br />

the leading, and I happily obliged,<br />

linking pitches up a long corner and<br />

climbing straight up a crack through an<br />

overhanging bulge.<br />

The climbing was exhilarating enough, but<br />

the setting turned the dial up to sublime.<br />

There remained a considerable amount of<br />

snow in the top plateau in early January,<br />

which the sun melted into a curtain of<br />

falling water. With an overhanging wall,<br />

this leaves you with the impression of<br />

questing up a rock face hidden behind<br />

the veil of a waterfall. And with the sun<br />

out, any glance behind you is met with<br />

banners of rainbow colours.<br />

We made it about halfway up the wall<br />

before abseiling down. In the meantime,<br />

the others had approached the wall but<br />

the snowmelt had become too intense.<br />

The lesson had been learned, and the<br />

following morning we all started at an<br />

earlier hour.<br />

Jimmy, Sam and I headed up Rainmaker<br />

again with the intention of topping out. I<br />

followed their leads on the lower pitches,<br />

lugging up my camera and two lenses in<br />

my flimsy, lightweight pack.<br />

The water runoff from the snowmelt had<br />

reached epic proportions by the time we<br />

reached the upper pitches, but I hadn't<br />

anticipated having to cling on mosscovered<br />

edges while weathering a soulshuddering<br />

deluge.<br />

Previous Page: Sooji Clarkson reaches high on the upper pitches of Rainmaker (23), Sinbad Wall, amid rainbow splashes and a veil of water<br />

falling from the snowmelt above<br />

Above: Josh Cornah runs aground at near the mouth of Sinbad River, having kayaked across Milford Sound from Deep Water Basin.<br />


Top: From the top of Sinbad Wall, Jimmy Finlayson surveys the tops of Mitre Peak, Mt Tutoko and Mt Madeline behind it, and<br />

Llawrenny North on the right.<br />

Botttom: The crew awakes at our bivvy spot by Lake Terror.<br />



“The contents of my backpack cost more than any<br />

of the five vans I’ve owned,” I thought as I scratched<br />

around in vain for a decent hold. With the pump about to<br />

overwhelm, I squeezed all my insides together, grasped<br />

some crappy sloper, squeezed tighter, and then hucked<br />

high to what happened to be a reasonable hold.<br />

"“The contents of my backpack cost<br />

more than any of the five vans I’ve<br />

owned,” I thought as I scratched<br />

around in vain for a decent hold.<br />

With the pump about to overwhelm,<br />

I squeezed all my insides together,<br />

grasped some crappy sloper,<br />

squeezed tighter, and then hucked<br />

high to what happened to be a<br />

reasonable hold."<br />

Pulling over the top was like stepping through the gates<br />

of paradise. Soggy and damp, with weary fingers and<br />

forearms, I emerged from a shaded face to a flat, grassy<br />

ledge in the glorious, windless sunshine. Fears of my<br />

falling camera were forgotten as I gazed out at the<br />

Llawrenny Peaks, the spine of rock extending west of<br />

Mitre Peak, and the shy heads of Pembroke, Tutoko and<br />

Madeline.<br />

A short scramble led us to a plateau complete with a<br />

lake and perfect rock ledges, and some skinny-dipping<br />

and sun-soaking was in order before heading back down<br />

via a steep gully.<br />

The following morning, we shouldered heavy packs and<br />

headed up grassy slopes to the Llawrenny Peaks. The<br />

views were immense: countless peaks all around us<br />

and textured ridgelines leading southeast to Lake Ada<br />

and the Arthur Valley. Terror Peak, tomorrow’s objective,<br />

rose prominently on the southern ridgeline, gentle snow<br />

slopes hugging the edges of her base.<br />

Ben Grindle abseils down the top<br />

part of Sinbad Wall, a 300m-high<br />

overhanging face of granite in a<br />

remote part of Fiordland.

The sky the following dawn, as we awoke<br />

from our bivvy on the shores of Lake Terror,<br />

was speckled with candy floss-coloured<br />

wisps of cloud. The approach to Terror Peak<br />

was a straight-forward scramble up slabs<br />

and along a jagged ridge, followed by an<br />

abseil to sunny, north-facing slopes.<br />

Our two teams forged up neighbouring lines,<br />

ours starting up a rib of rock to a quartztopped<br />

pillar—Terrorfirma (21). The next<br />

pitch had some of the most unique rock I’d<br />

ever seen, a steep face of diagonal tiles<br />

of different shades of rosy pink. It was so<br />

unique that I paused mid-pitch to snap a<br />

photo, but the climbing was also superb;<br />

each reach was met with perfect finger<br />

slots.<br />

Meanwhile Sooji, more intrigued by a steep<br />

face to her right, headed off into virgin<br />

territory, eventually cutting across a face to<br />

an exposed perch. Our paths converged at<br />

the top. Another windless, perfect day. More<br />

views of the immense grandeur of glaciated<br />

Fiordland, and another reminder of our<br />

comparatively minuscule existence.<br />


Top: Jimmy Finlayson and Ben Grindle taking the easy way down towards Lake Terror, with Terror Peak beind it.<br />

Left: Sooji Clarkson heads towards an unclimbed face on Terror Peak.<br />

Bottom: A serene picnic spot for lunch, with Terror Peak on the left and two of the three Llawrenny Peaks on the right.<br />


We headed back to Lake Terror at our<br />

own paces. I reached the bivvy spot<br />

as howls of delight rang out from the<br />

direction of the lake. A rush towards them<br />

revealed a beaming Jimmy, seated on a<br />

solitary iceberg in the middle of the lake.<br />

“Bring something to sit on and to put<br />

your feet on,” he advised as I dived in.<br />

The water was, not unexpectedly, rather<br />

refreshing.<br />

"The brain can fire new neural<br />

networks when it experiences awe,<br />

but does it ever become depleted if<br />

there are so many such encounters in<br />

quick succession?"<br />

It was evening by the time we started<br />

back up towards Sinbad. The light<br />

wrapped us in a soft embrace as we<br />

climbed over the Llawrennys to a view of<br />

rocky ridges and, beyond them, bands of<br />

fluffy cloud shading the Tasman Sea. We<br />

hurtled and glissaded down snow slopes<br />

and, with tired legs, strolled up and down<br />

slabs until we reached the plateau at the<br />

top of Sinbad.<br />

The next morning found us sitting at the<br />

edge of the wall, wrapped in sleeping<br />

bags and awaiting the sun’s first kisses.<br />

Ben and Camille then abseiled down the<br />

top half of Rainmaker, while Jimmy, Sooji<br />

and I played on the top pitch of Dropzone<br />

(24, A1) - a steep arête and face in an<br />

exposed, magnificent position. It was with<br />

some resignation when, that evening, we<br />

abseiled to the valley for what we knew<br />

was one final sleep before leaving this<br />

wild, enchanted place.<br />

The week had been a series of brain<br />

explosions at the sheer momentousness<br />

of everything: the endless peaks and<br />

valleys as far as the eye can see to<br />

the ocean; the intricate patterns in the<br />

rock, including bands of quartz and<br />

diagonal pink tiles; glorious movement<br />

up an overhanging wall behind a water<br />

curtain amid splashes of refracted light;<br />

the laughs and howls of joy and iceberg<br />

annexation. The brain can fire new neural<br />

networks when it experiences awe, but<br />

does it ever become depleted if there<br />

are so many such encounters in quick<br />

succession?<br />

Disbelief at our weather fortunes<br />

continued the following morning with yet<br />

another clear sky. Jimmy took it upon<br />

himself to dry out the week’s worth of<br />

collective poo, and then wrapped it up—<br />

twice—before shielding it in a plastic<br />

container.<br />

At one point on the walk out, a distinctly<br />

scatological odour seeped out from<br />

Jimmy’s pack, prompting understandable<br />

alarm. A quick check revealed that the<br />

first seal had ruptured—hence the sound<br />

of sloshing—but the plastic shield had not<br />

yielded, which was good enough to keep<br />

going without having to revisit the whole<br />

enterprise.<br />

There remained the small matter of<br />

whether our rafts would deliver us all back<br />

to Deep Water Basin. Ben’s masking<br />

taped-paddle still meant he could barely<br />

create any forward momentum. Jimmy<br />

simply started backstroking his arms<br />

while holding a single paddle in each<br />

hand. This entailed lying on his back in<br />

the raft and putting his pack on top of him<br />

as he stroked, leaving him defenceless as<br />

sandflies ravaged his bare legs.<br />

Somehow, in a perfectly timed finale, we<br />

all made it back as the last light of day<br />

faded, capping a week of sunshine and<br />

nine days of no rain in Fiordland.<br />

The next day was also rainless, and,<br />

adhering to the unspoken rule about<br />

not resting when the sun is out, Sam<br />

and I climbed the 10-pitch route Pipe<br />

Dreams (21) on Moir’s Mate. But when<br />

the following day was also cloudless, we<br />

considered our appetites for adventure—<br />

and our brains’ capacity for new neural<br />

sparks—sufficiently satiated.<br />

In an effort to find a non-climbing activity<br />

worthy of the events of the previous<br />

week, we drove to Te Anau and ate a<br />

bucket of ice cream.<br />

Above: Jimmy Finlayson finds peace on a solitary iceberg in the middle of Lake Terror<br />


we ARE climbing<br />

John Palmer at Sunnyside, Wanaka<br />

Photo: Tom Hoyle<br />

For over thirty years Bivouac Outdoor has been proudly 100% New Zealand owned and committed to providing<br />

you with the best outdoor clothing and equipment available in the world. It is the same gear we literally stake our<br />

lives on, because we are committed to adventure and we ARE climbing.<br />

Supporting Aotearoa's Backcountry Heritage<br />





finding the hidden gems<br />

Long time contributor and keen<br />

outdoor enthusiast, Vicki Knell,<br />

shares with us the secret to finding<br />

the hidden gems on some of NZ's<br />

well known tracks.<br />



Isthmus Peak<br />

Looking for an alternative to the<br />

Instagram famous Roys Peak, you<br />

can’t go past Isthmus Peak. Both are<br />

within an easy drive from Wanaka,<br />

and maybe the 30-minute extra drive<br />

means the Isthmus Peak track is<br />

slightly less travelled.<br />

Location: Lake Hawea, South<br />

Island<br />

Distance: 16km return via same<br />

track.<br />

Average walking time: 5 – 7 hours.<br />

Terrain: The track is a vertical climb to<br />

the peak at 1385m high. The trail offers<br />

stunning views of Lake Hawea for the<br />

duration of the ascent. Upon reaching<br />

the peak, you are rewarded with views<br />

of Lake Wanaka and the Southern Alps<br />

stretching as far as you can see. The trail<br />

is an advanced walking track, however<br />

we did come across people running it.<br />

Vic's tips: Either side of winter expect<br />

ice and snow. The appeal of this trail was<br />

that there were very few people on it, and<br />

we were rewarded with exceptional views<br />

for pretty much the whole hike.<br />

Track: Located off the western side<br />

of Lake Hawea.<br />

As with any altitude walking, make sure<br />

you are prepared with plenty of food,<br />

water and for sudden changes in weather.<br />

Previous Page: Isthmus Peak offers stunning views of Lake Hawea. Top: Footsteps leading to Isthmus Peak in the distance<br />

Insert: Greg on top of the world with Lake Wanaka in the background<br />


North West Circuit Rakiura<br />

If you are looking for more<br />

challenge and solitude to that<br />

offered by the 3 day Great Walk,<br />

located on Rakiura, the North-<br />

West Circuit is next level tramping.<br />

Rakiura is far enough from home<br />

to leave all worries behind, rich in<br />

history and cloaked in the flora and<br />

fauna of NZ as it was pre-humans<br />

– just waiting to be explored and<br />

rediscovered.<br />

Location: Rakiura/Stewart Island<br />

Distance: 125km loop track<br />

Average walking time: Allow 9 –<br />

11 days<br />

Track: This advanced tramp can<br />

be started from Oban.<br />

Terrain: Although steep, varied<br />

and muddy, muddy, muddy,<br />

the reward of this tramp is in<br />

its variety. Each day offered<br />

different challenges, but we<br />

were rewarded with sweeping<br />

views of the Southern Ocean,<br />

and surreal experiences seeing<br />

kiwi on the tracks during the<br />

day. On top of this, the huts are<br />

positioned in unique locations and<br />

were a welcome site after long<br />

and challenging days. Rakiura’s<br />

weather is unpredictable, with rain<br />

falling on about 275 days of the<br />

year. Strong westerly winds are<br />

frequent and mud is widespread,<br />

thick and often knee deep on the<br />

track.<br />

Vic's tips: Water taxi access can<br />

get you to the first couple of huts<br />

to save you road walking. You can<br />

cut a day off the end of the tramp<br />

by catching the water taxi from<br />

Fresh Water Arm.<br />

Depending on the time of year, you<br />

can find yourself completely alone<br />

on the track. We saw no-one for<br />

4 days, leaving us feeling like we<br />

were the only people on earth.<br />

Experience, good gear, and<br />

well-planned food is essential to<br />

complete this track, along with a<br />

heavy dose of resilience and a<br />

pocket full of jetplanes!<br />

Top: Bungaree Hut, an example of the stunning hut locations on this track.<br />

Inserts: Just before the long descent into East Ruggedy Hut / We made it, longest day to Big Hellfire Hut, mud, mud and more mud!

Travers/Sabine<br />

The Travers/Sabine is a circuit<br />

trail, with a variety of side trips<br />

along the way. Our initial intention<br />

was to complete the circuit, taking<br />

in a trip to Lake Angeles. However<br />

upon meeting a local tramper we<br />

followed his suggestion to take<br />

an alternative route via Hopeless<br />

Hut and Sunset Saddle. This less<br />

travelled route appealed to us<br />

because we got the opportunity to<br />

spend time above the tree line and<br />

enjoy stunning views.<br />

Location: Nelson Lakes<br />

Distance: Variable depending on<br />

trails chosen, however the circuit<br />

itself is 80km.<br />

Average walking time:<br />

To complete the circuit it is<br />

recommended 4 days minimum,<br />

but to fully enjoy the trail allow 6 –<br />

7 days.<br />

Track: The start of this track is in<br />

St Arnaud, 1 hour 30 minutes from<br />

Nelson or Blenheim.<br />

Terrain: A meandering trail starts<br />

along the edge of Lake Rotoiti<br />

and follows the Travers River up<br />

the valley to Poukirikiri/Travers<br />

Saddle. Every 45 minutes or so<br />

the track is punctuated by bridges,<br />

numerous stream crossing and<br />

endless spots where the bush<br />

opens into picture perfect glades.<br />

The closer we got to the tree line<br />

the more avalanche zone signs<br />

we came across, which was great<br />

motivation to keep up the pace.<br />

The most challenging section was<br />

from Hopeless Hut, over Sunset<br />

Saddle to Angeles Hut. This should<br />

only be undertaken if the weather<br />

is right and you are a confident<br />

hiker.<br />

Vic’s Tips: An absolute must for<br />

this trip is a visit to Angelus Hut for<br />

the stunning vista.<br />

This is such a beautiful area, if<br />

you have limited time there are<br />

possibilities for single overnight<br />

trips from St Arnaud, either walking<br />

or by water taxi.<br />

"Whether it's a challenging<br />

multi-day tramp or day<br />

trip, you can find solitude<br />

and the magesty of our<br />

beautiful outdoors. "<br />


Above: Campsite on the edge of Rotomaninitua / Lake Angelus<br />

Right: Ascending from Hopeless Hut to Sunset Saddle


in the sand<br />

By Cath Wallis<br />

Images by Leo Francis, Race International<br />

Cath Wallis is an Australian ultra-endurance athlete<br />

who has completed some of the world’s most<br />

iconic foot races – from the back of the field. Her<br />

passion is encouraging those who do not consider<br />

themselves “athletes” to follow their wildest<br />

adventure dreams…<br />


My feet slip with every step. Moving with the soft sand beneath.<br />

Struggling to gain traction and push forward. And yet I must. Force each<br />

step; push with the poles to achieve forward motion. This is the desert,<br />

and as much as it forces me back, I must resist.<br />

My first foray into desert foot events was in this same spot. The<br />

Australian Simpson Desert in 2017. A late comer to this sport at age 41,<br />

I had only recently discovered the joy of trail events, having completed<br />

a 100km single stage event in my hometown. I was looking for the next<br />

challenge and a one-week desert ultramarathon seemed perfect. It was<br />

as far away from my ‘normal’ life, working in an office, as you could get.<br />

Here, in a place 2000km from the nearest city, requiring two days travel<br />

just to get here, was a desert gateway town with only 100 residents,<br />

leading into one of the harshest deserts in the world.<br />


Lining up on that start line was the most<br />

terrifying experience of my life. Would I<br />

be able to cross this desert? Would I be<br />

worthy of this challenge? The event began<br />

with nearly all 100 residents there to see<br />

us off. A loop of the town to the cheers<br />

of the crowd and then into the desert.<br />

Crossing dune after dune, punctuated only<br />

by flat sections with ankle-breaking rocks<br />

known as gibber plain. The heat radiating<br />

from the sand as the sun rose higher,<br />

reaching over 40 degrees in the exposed<br />

terrain. Completing a marathon distance<br />

before crossing the stage finish and<br />

sleeping our first night under the stars,<br />

sharing a tent with two strangers who<br />

would later become friends.<br />

Desert running has this mystique<br />

around it. People imagine lithe young<br />

athletes moving gracefully across the<br />

sand at great speed. Men like Moroccan<br />

champion and seven-time Marathon des<br />

Sables winner Rachid El Morabity. And<br />

women like Canadian Isabelle Sauve or<br />

Swede Elisabet Barnes. And there are<br />

definitely those people out there. But<br />

the vast majority out here in the desert<br />

are ordinary people, doing something<br />

special. Walking is not shunned here, but<br />

welcomed. According to the 4 Deserts<br />

Series organisers, Racing the Planet,<br />

only around a third of entrants in 250km<br />

desert ultramarathons run the entire event.<br />

Another third alternate between running<br />

and walking, and a full third walk the<br />

distance.<br />

For me, I came to this sport almost by<br />

accident. Middle aged and totally nonathletic,<br />

I was looking for a sport that could<br />

bring great personal reward despite more<br />

commitment than skill, and in the trail<br />

running community I found my place. A sport<br />

where, other than a tiny elite, everyone is<br />

competing against themselves and who<br />

genuinely desire to see others succeed.<br />

Where in that moment when you feel<br />

you cannot take one more step, another<br />

competitor will walk with you and urge you<br />

forward. And on another day, in another<br />

moment, you will do the same for them.<br />

So we continued on - with hues of red<br />

and orange in the sand like fire at sunset.<br />

Gradually my mind settled from fear<br />

to awe. The vastness of the space. An<br />

ancient landscape, the country of the<br />

Wangkangurru Yarluyandi people, exuding<br />

an aura of calm. A timeless place in which<br />

petty human concerns are reduced to<br />

insignificance.<br />

While each person comes here for a<br />

different reason, crossing this desert<br />

generates deep and long-lasting bonds.<br />

We each take on our own race, against<br />

our own time and meeting our own<br />

demons in the process. And yet, there is<br />

a shared experience here. Of hardship,<br />

of the harsh beauty of this place. Shared<br />

pain, shared jokes, shared joy. I knew<br />

no one as I crossed the start line. By<br />

the end of a week we are friends for<br />

life. Sixty competitors, now firm friends,<br />

making their way across the last section<br />

of desert towards the finish line. At a pub.<br />

A cold beer passed to each as we finish<br />

our desert adventure. The quintessential<br />

outback Australian experience.<br />

After my first foray into desert trail events,<br />

I was hooked. I discovered there are<br />

desert ultramarathon options across the<br />

world and my list of dream events grew<br />

longer and longer. I headed to the Oman<br />

Desert Marathon and Race to the Wreck<br />

in Namibia, before COVID sent me back<br />

home to the Australian desert.<br />

Deserts have this reputation of being<br />

empty places. Of vast nothingness.<br />

But they are far from empty. In Oman,<br />

I shared the desert with camels and<br />

lizards. In Namibia with ostrich and zebra<br />


and leopard, and tiny beetles that followed my foot<br />

placement at every step. The sand moves endlessly,<br />

shifting the ripples on the surface, erasing any record of<br />

human endeavour.<br />

I think only 40% of desert running is physical. The rest<br />

is mental. The heat (or the cold at night), the sand, the<br />

distance – it can drain you quickly and if your mind is<br />

not in the right place, it can beat you. When you prepare<br />

for one of these events, you need to get ready for the<br />

moment that your mind tells you that you cannot go on.<br />

And you need to practice telling your mind to shut up.<br />

For me, in those moments when it all seems too much,<br />

too hot, too far - I stop. I stop and take a long look<br />

around me. Focusing on the landscape. The shape<br />

of the dunes, the movement of lizards or insects. The<br />

vast sky above me. And how grateful I am to have<br />

the opportunity to be in such a special place. And that<br />

gratitude resets my mind. And I gulp some water, grab<br />

my poles, and head off again across the sand.<br />

What kind of people come here to run or walk in the<br />

desert? People seeking that epiphany moment, that<br />

opportunity to find what is important to them. To put<br />

themselves to a physical and mental test. That breaks<br />

down their fears and their ego, and that leaves them at<br />

peace with themselves.<br />

Desert events often have very special endings. At the<br />

end of my crossing of the Namib desert, on Rat Race<br />

International’s “Race to the Wreck”, you reach a point<br />

where the sea used to be. Shells and whale bones jut<br />

out of the former seabed. And then, as you move further<br />

west, the wreck comes into sight. The Eduard Bohlen,<br />

twisted metal rusting in place, a full kilometre now from<br />

the sea. You run down past the wreck to cross the finish<br />

line, to receive your medal, and feast on fresh Walvis<br />

Bay oysters and pink champagne.<br />

I would love everyone to have a desert foot event<br />

experience. And so, when I found myself headed once<br />

more to the Simpson, as the event Ambassador for<br />

the Simpson Desert Ultra, I wanted to bring a team.<br />

Eighteen women from around Australia answered a call<br />

to step out of their comfort zone and come with me to<br />

the desert for the first time. They are scientists, and art<br />

therapists and teachers. Small business owners and<br />

nurses, and mums. Some literally starting from “couch<br />

to ultra”. Others thinking Parkrun was their limit, but now<br />

testing themselves across as many as 100km of sand in<br />

a single stage.<br />

And now we make our way across the desert. Through<br />

sand, and gibber and clay pan. In heat and cold. It<br />

is brutal and it is beautiful. There is no certainty in<br />

finishing, but there is the knowledge that our lives will be<br />

forever changed by this place.<br />

For more about Cath’s adventures in the desert, head to<br />

www.DiscoverInteresting.com<br />



DROP<br />

Tauranga Taupo Falls<br />

Words by George Snook images by Mike Dawson<br />

After two hours hiking with our kayaks on our backs, the crew and I heard the first<br />

sounds of the 80 foot, 24 meter high Tauranga Taupo Falls beckoning us down into its<br />

gorge. We arrive at the bottom of the falls and spend the next 30 minutes admiring the<br />

falls and surroundings, we eat our not so fresh delicacies that we had purchased at<br />

the bakery that morning and attempt to solve the puzzle of this waterfall. Checking the<br />

landing and take off, deciding which stroke will be our last, where our boat will be placed<br />

and at which angle. We spent an hour scouting the beast, looking for the safest passage<br />

down. Once we have planned out our optimal descent and put safety precautions in<br />

place for all the possible outcomes, it's time to make the call.<br />

I can visualize my line, I am confident in my ability and my team. I made the call to go<br />

first. With the help from my team we managed to hoist my kayak up a 100 foot vectical<br />

bank and then lower me back down 20 feet onto the top of the waterfall. Before I get into<br />

my kayak I visualize my line one last time and try to calm myself and my mind to make<br />

sure that my focus is solely on the task at hand. While entering my kayak and the water<br />

I find myself stranded with one leg in my kayak and one leg on the rocks, the only thing<br />

holding me from floating away and off the waterfall. Before my mind had enough time to<br />

tell my body to move, I was up to my arms in water. Holding on to the rocks with one arm<br />

and my boat with the other. I pull myself up the bank and climb into my kayak safely. I<br />

spend the next minute refocusing and calming my mind from the disturbance moments<br />

before.<br />

It's time. I sound my whistle to let the team know that within the next 30 seconds I will<br />

appear at the top of the waterfall, slip through the tight squeeze of the gorge walls and<br />

begin the fall. I enter the main flow of the river, line up the top of the waterfall, place my<br />

last stroke and fall.<br />





a survivors story<br />

This article was written for the Federated Mountain Clubs<br />

of NZ (FMC) and published in the Accidents Column for the<br />

November 2010 issue of their Backcountry magazine.<br />

FMC is a non-profit organisation formed in 1931, which<br />

advocates for the wise management of outdoor recreation and<br />

the environments it takes place in. You can support FMC by<br />

joining up online: www.fmc.org.nz/join<br />

The Backcountry Accidents Column, in one form or another,<br />

has been a feature of FMC publications since 1938. To<br />

subscribe to the print version of their magazine, please visit<br />

www.fmc.org.nz/aboutbackcountry.<br />

Area: Mt Whitcombe, central Southern Alps<br />

Activity: Trans-alpine mountaineering<br />

Survivors: Four experienced New Zealanders<br />

Date of Incident: February 2002<br />

Summary: A fit, experienced, well-equipped<br />

party of four began a trans-alpine trip of the<br />

Lord Range commencing with a summit climb<br />

of Mt Whitcombe from the Evans Valley.<br />

They followed an intricate rock and glacial<br />

route to a high alpine camp on Mt Whitcombe’s<br />

northwestern slopes, in preparation for a<br />

summit attempt. However, over the next four<br />

days a weather bomb hit. Extreme conditions<br />

dumped over one metre of snow and caused<br />

significant, near irretrievable damage to the<br />

alpine tents.<br />

At sea level on the West Coast, the same<br />

conditions also caused significant havoc<br />

including reports of a dog that was picked up<br />

by a twister in Hokitika and deposited several<br />

hundred metres away.<br />

On day four, with no let-up in the conditions,<br />

the party retreated in white out conditions back<br />

down their ascent route to the Evans Valley.<br />


Review by Jonathan Kennet<br />

Weather: The mountains of New<br />

Zealand are subject to weather<br />

extremes which are not always<br />

accurately predicted. Significant<br />

amounts of precipitation can fall in short<br />

periods causing snow at any time of<br />

year, rapidly rising rivers, avalanches<br />

and accelerated snow melt. Near winter<br />

conditions can prevail in any season as<br />

a result.<br />

Mount Whitcome was named after John Henry Whitcombe who was a surveyor for the<br />

Canterbury Provincial Council in 1862. Whitcombe, along with Jacob Lauper a Swiss<br />

Guide, were tasked with investigating a pass at the Rakaia headwaters 4.6 kilometres<br />

(2.9 mi) east of the mountain. During this expedition, in which the pair were ill-prepared,<br />

Whitcombe was swept into the Taramakau River and drowned. This tragic event resulted<br />

in Julius von Haast naming the pass along with the mountain, Mount Whitcombe<br />

Jonathan Kennett recalls his narrow getaway off Mt Whitcombe with<br />

Johnny Mulheron, Geoff Spearpoint and Eric Duggan.<br />

“Are we ready?” Geoff shouted. “Yes.” “Right. Let’s go!” And in unison the four of<br />

us sprang into the worst storm of my life.<br />

It was either: jump into the bergschrund next to our precarious campsite ledge,<br />

and freeze; or escape to more sheltered ground, lower down. The second<br />

option involved retracing our steps through shitty rock bluffs and around deep<br />

crevasses – difficult enough in fine weather. I’d spent hours lying in the pit<br />

anxiously tossing the two options back and forth, trying to ascertain which gave<br />

the better chance of survival. The team consensus was for escape. Definitely<br />

escape.<br />

Packing the tents took about one minute. Thick rods of ice coated the guy<br />

ropes. We snapped the ropes, hastily pushed out the poles and stuffed the tents<br />

into our packs. Leaving the guy ropes sticking out of the ground our campsite<br />

looked like the scene of an alien abduction.<br />

At the edge of the ledge, we furiously dug through fresh snow to find good<br />

abseil anchors. “Just like old times,” yelled Johnny. And I smiled, because it<br />

reminded me, just when I needed reminding, that we knew the drill, and that<br />

gave me enough confidence to relax and enjoy the buzz of climbing – despite<br />

the awesome maelstrom around us.<br />

Geoff went first: to go down and set up a fixed rope around a narrow ledge.<br />

Beyond that we negotiated a crevasse maze, in whiteout. Bowed heads and<br />

swirling snow. That’s when the GPs helped, but only once we set the right<br />

function! Then came the bluffs, where my main worry was laid to rest – the<br />

sequence of northerly rain closely followed by a southerly blast had frozen all<br />

the loose rocks solidly together. solid rock in the southern Alps – what a rare<br />

treat.<br />

The final abseil was huge. We tied two ropes together, tossed them down into<br />

the mist, and wondered if they would reach the bottom. At the top, the main<br />

anchor was hardly bomb- proof. I tried to guess who was the heaviest – the<br />

‘load tester’ in the group. Hard to say: could be Eric; could be Johnny. Then<br />

down we went, one carefully after the other. And it held.<br />

The joy and relief upon regrouping at the bottom was like a drug. We’d dropped<br />

into a sheltered valley that afforded safe(ish) travel all the way down to smyth<br />

Hut four or five hours away. Later that afternoon, as we passed one of our<br />

earlier campsites, I wondered what would have happened had we taken a<br />

mountain radio, rather than just an EPIRB to save weight. Perhaps, with daily<br />

weather forecasts we would not have climbed up into that storm on the third day<br />

of our eight-day trip. Travelling light poses a risk. The longer the trip, the bigger<br />

the risk. sure, it was a buzz, but I hope to never push it that far again.<br />

Heuristic Traps: can contribute to<br />

experienced parties pushing the limits<br />

more than they would normally do as<br />

individuals:<br />

• The parties perceive their experience<br />

is greater than the sum of each of the<br />

individuals.<br />

• Experienced groups can be more<br />

lackadaisical in the trip planning,<br />

resulting in gear being left behind or<br />

duplication of equipment.<br />

• Consensual leadership can result in<br />

casual decisions with no single person<br />

taking ultimate responsibility.<br />

• These factors have no bearing<br />

whatsoever on the objective danger a<br />

party faces.<br />

Alpine Camps: should be set up with<br />

due care, taking into consideration<br />

objective dangers such as exposure to<br />

rock or ice fall, flood routes, lightning<br />

strikes and escape routes. Tents need<br />

to be secured for the worst conditions<br />

even if pitched during calm weather.<br />

This includes building rock walls (take<br />

these down when you depart to leave<br />

no trace). Securing a camp in calm<br />

conditions is much easier than doing<br />

so in a storm and a poorly secured tent<br />

faces greater risk of damage. Always<br />

consider a back-up shelter, whether this<br />

is a nearby rock biv or schrund. Have<br />

a snow cave started and shovels at the<br />

ready in preparation for the worst.<br />

Storms can destroy tents so be<br />

prepared for escape. All in this party<br />

were fully clothed and packed, ready<br />

for imminent evacuation.<br />

Escape Routes need to form part of<br />

your trip planning, enabling at least one<br />

option in the event of an incident. In this<br />

case, because of the intricate route, the<br />

party escaped by retracing their steps.<br />

Strong navigation skills and use of<br />

the ‘track-back’ function of a GPS unit<br />

facilitated their retreat.<br />

Teamwork: is vital in extreme<br />

conditions where delay results in<br />

increased risk of hypothermia. Each<br />

party member worked to their strength<br />

in the different areas such as navigation<br />

and rigging ropes. Teamwork resulted<br />

in minimal delays.<br />


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<strong>Adventure</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong><br />

supporting local<br />

business<br />




Known for its diverse rugged landscapes, challenging alpine<br />

terrain, contrasting golden grasslands and vivid turquoise blue<br />

lakes, the Mackenzie is often overlooked by its neighbouring<br />

regions Westland and Central Otago when it comes to<br />

accessible tramping. The region is a hot spot for alpine club<br />

members and experienced climbers, but there’s so much<br />

more to this stunning part of the country than just technical<br />

mountaineering.<br />

We sat down with local Mackenzie guides Cristina Simpkins<br />

(Tekapo <strong>Adventure</strong>s) and Elke Braun-Elwert (Alpine Recreation)<br />

to chat about their favourite guided walks in the region, and<br />

what makes living in this part of world so remarkable.


Born in Christchurch, Elke spent more of her childhood in Lake<br />

Tekapo where her father was a mountain guide. She learnt to ski<br />

at two and a half on the back lawn under the watchful eye of her<br />

eager dad. She’s climbed and skied throughout the New Zealand<br />

alps for most of her life, and has spent numerous seasons ski<br />

instructing in Switzerland, and has ski guided in Japan and<br />

climbed in Peru.<br />

Her parents founded Alpine Recreation together in 1981. They<br />

were the first outdoor adventure company in New Zealand to<br />

offer ski touring using cross-country and telemark skis. Over the<br />

years they have won numerous tourism awards for eco-tourism,<br />

quality and natural heritage.<br />

With that type of upbringing, naturally Elke's whole life has<br />

revolved around the outdoors. She now lives in the region with<br />

her family where she is lucky to be able to introduce people to<br />

the mountains she loves and grew up in.<br />


(2 OR 3 DAYS)<br />

Enjoy a sense of isolation and freedom<br />

as you get "above it all" in the Two<br />

Thumb Range, Te Kahui Kaupeka<br />

Conservation Park.<br />

The 2 or 3-day Tekapo Trek takes<br />

place in the foothills of the Southern<br />

Alps, to the east of the Main Divide,<br />

where both weather and landscape are<br />

gentler. A private hut is used, reached<br />

after 3 hours hike up from the carpark,<br />

at the head of Lake Tekapo. We climb<br />

Beuzenberg Peak, 2073m, on Day 2<br />

and enjoy grand views all along “Snake<br />

Ridge” out over the Mackenzie Basin<br />

and Lake Tekapo, and at the same time<br />

get an impressive view of the main<br />

peaks of the Southern Alps, including<br />

the East Face of Aoraki/Mount Cook<br />

and Mount Tasman.<br />

The evening light of the Mackenzie High<br />

Country as it bathes golden tussock,<br />

snow-capped peaks and the turquoise<br />

of Lake Tekapo is pure magic. The<br />

climb of a 2070m peak is a rewarding<br />

adventure, especially when topped<br />

off by the return to a cosy mountain<br />

hut, where you can savour the sun<br />

set, while sipping a pre-dinner drink.<br />

Evening entertainment is provided by<br />

a star-studded sky - one of the clearest<br />

and darkest skies in the southern<br />

hemisphere.<br />

This trek is suitable for families,or those<br />

relatively new to tramping, or older<br />

trampers, wanting to take advantage<br />

of lighter packs, a bookable bunk and<br />

the benefits of a knowledgeable guide,<br />

who can take care of everything from<br />

equipment, safety back-up, logistics<br />

to cooking. It takes 6 hours to hike the<br />

12km return from the hut at 1300m,<br />

along the curving Snake Ridge up to<br />

Beuzenberg Peak, the highest point<br />

of the Te Araroa Trail. For younger<br />

children this day can be shortened,<br />

because you still get great views all the<br />

way along Snake Ridge, without having<br />

to go all the way to the top.<br />

Those who only have two days to<br />

spare, and have the energy, can opt to<br />

come back out to Tekapo after the peak<br />

climb on Day 2. Those who can afford<br />

the time can relax and enjoy a second<br />

night at 1300m, before returning to<br />

civilisation about 1pm on Day 3.<br />


Duration: 2 or 3 Days<br />

Operates: November - April<br />

Abilities: see Alpine Recreation<br />

website for fitness and experience<br />

requirements<br />

Info: www.alpinerecreation.com


(2 DAYS)<br />

Ever wanted to follow in Sir Edmund<br />

Hillary’s footsteps and climb up high,<br />

close to Aoraki? If you’re sure-footed<br />

and fit now’s your chance to have an<br />

awe-inspiring mountain experience.<br />

The Aoraki Mount Cook Trek is a<br />

challenging 2 day trek up to the<br />

private Caroline Hut on the Ball Ridge,<br />

straight opposite the awesome 2000m<br />

high Caroline Face of Aoraki Mount<br />

Cook.<br />

Day 1 you climb 850m through rugged<br />

terrain above the Tasman Glacier<br />

up to Caroline Hut. Day 2 you will<br />

descend back into the Tasman Valley.<br />

Trekking time will be about 6-7 hours<br />

each day. You need to be OK with<br />

negotiating some steep, rugged and<br />

partially untracked mountain terrain.<br />

This trek will give you a rewarding<br />

high mountain experience of this<br />

beautiful area. Caroline Hut is in a<br />

stunning location, straight opposite<br />

the awesome Caroline Face of<br />

Aoraki, New Zealand's highest ice<br />

face (2000m high). It is the only<br />

concessionaire-owned hut in Aoraki/Mt<br />

Cook National Park and provides one<br />

of the few opportunities for foot access<br />

to a high-alpine, bookable hut in this<br />

mecca of the Southern Alps.<br />


Duration: 1 Night, 2 Days<br />

Operates: Mid-November – end April. In winter it becomes a very<br />

challenging snowshoeing trip.<br />

Abilities: Suited for those with previous tramping experience.<br />

Special notes: The guide will look after route-finding, ensure you are<br />

properly equipped and cook dinner for you. Non-perishable food is<br />

already at the hut, as are sleeping bags and firewood. Your packs will<br />

contain just your own clothes and some fresh items to take to the hut.<br />

Info: www.alpinerecreation.com


Cristina and her partner Ben run Tekapo <strong>Adventure</strong>s, a<br />

small family-owned guiding business specialising in remote<br />

backcountry hiking, mountain biking and 4WD experiences. They<br />

live in the region – Cristina is Canadian and Ben is Kiwi. They’ve<br />

spent over 15 years together living and breathing wilderness<br />

adventures in the Southern Alps and British Columbia.<br />

When it comes to the Mackenzie, they were attracted to the vast,<br />

wide-open spaces, and BIG backcountry, often wondering what<br />

lies within those snowy peaks and hidden alpine valleys that<br />

always look so mystical from the shores of Lake Tekapo. “I am<br />

in awe every day of our surrounds – the Mackenzie is one of the<br />

few places in the world where photos don’t do the region justice.”<br />

Many of the valleys around where they live are hard to<br />

access, or you need to go through private land which can<br />

make it challenging for visitors to really experience the true<br />

‘legendary Mackenzie’. Over the years they’ve established great<br />

relationships with high country station landowners, allowing<br />

them to offer guided walking experiences to some of the region’s<br />

remote, private backcountry.<br />


TOUR (2 NIGHTS, 3 DAYS)<br />

A new hut to hut hiking experience on Glenmore Station's<br />

private high country spans over 50,000 acres and neighbours<br />

Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park. This hike is everything you<br />

think of when you think of the unique Mackenzie landscapes:<br />

mountainous backcountry, rock steep scree slipes, U-shaped<br />

valleys carved by glaciation, waterfalls, glaciers, moraines,<br />

tussock-clad terraces and braided river systems. The<br />

environment is also home to some of New Zealand’s most<br />

endangered nesting birds.<br />

The tour starts with a remote 4WD journey up one of the braided<br />

river valleys to the western shores of Tekapo, known as The<br />

Cass. It feels almost Himalayan-like as you venture deep into the<br />

headwaters of the Cass River. Giant moraine walls with multicoloured<br />

scree and large alluvial fans span across the walls of the<br />

valley. From here you can see the impressive Leibig Range which<br />

sits just east to the Southern Alps. The glaciers, unique geology<br />

and ecology that formed in this part of New Zealand are simply<br />

remarkable.<br />

It’s not unusual to come across a herd of merino meandering<br />

through the tranquil blue river waters – their graceful movements<br />

seem at odds with the harsh landscapes.<br />

The tour stops to explore old Boundary Keepers Huts and you<br />

learn about the rich history of the early pioneers that farmed<br />

in this unforgiving part of the country. There’s no better way to<br />

describe it than iconic ‘New Zealand’.<br />

The 4WD journey ends approximately an hour away from the<br />

historical Memorial Hut where the tramp begins along the valley<br />

floor. Crossing icy waters of the Cass, you ascent to the first hut<br />

for the night: Lady Emily. With a steep but inspiring hike through<br />

tussock backcountry and rolling streams you arrive at the cute<br />

and cosy new 8 bunk hut.<br />

After a home-cooked venison stew and a wine (or two) enjoy<br />

the night skies and the milky way in the world’s largest dark sky<br />

reserve.<br />


The next day you travel up and over a saddle to find New Zealand’s<br />

highest whiskey bar. Whiskey Hut is perched at 2200m and the 2 bunk<br />

red hut is filled with some of the world’s finest whisky – but how can this<br />

be true? #nowhereelseinNZ.<br />

From here you head along a broad ridge overlooking the remote Jollie<br />

Valley where you can see the peaks of The Main Divide. The rocky<br />

ridge and scree run down to Tin Hut stream where you can take your<br />

boots off to cool in the fresh waters that cascade down off nearby<br />

glaciers and peaks. You are surrounded by grandiose mountains<br />

and herds of Himalayan Tahr. The night is spent at the incredibly<br />

comfortable Falcons Nest Hut, with a cosy log burner and authentic<br />

high country feel.<br />

After a solid breakfast and coffee, you’ll journey down the Tin Hut<br />

Stream to the final leg of the hike with a stop in for lunch in a nearby<br />

Oasis by the stream. The final descent into the Cass Valley has that<br />

home stretch vibe as we see the familiar sights of the braided river<br />

before a well-earned cold beer awaits.<br />



Duration: 2 Nights / 3 Days<br />

Starts: Lake Tekapo<br />

Operates: December- May annually.<br />

Special notes: March & April /<br />

incredible fall light & colours<br />

Abilities: moderate fitness levels &<br />

experienced hikers.<br />

Info: www.tekapoadventures.com<br />



(1 NIGHT, 2 DAYS)<br />

If you're short on time but would still like a taste of the<br />

Mackenzie Alpine Hiking Tour, you will love this shorter<br />

tramping trip to O’Leary’s Hut at Glenmore Station. Situated<br />

at 1700m this 8 bunk idyllic red hut is the newest addition to<br />

the station’s collection of private alpine huts.<br />

Start your journey on the shores of Tekapo, and set off<br />

up the Cass Valley for a breath-taking scenic 4wd tour to<br />

Waterfall Hut, dating back to 1916. The trek starts by climbing<br />

up a short and steep section of the side of a cascading<br />

waterfall gorge, before easing off to the start of a glacial<br />

carved hanging valley. From here it’s a pleasant day in the<br />

Mackenzie alpine backcountry, as the trek meanders through<br />

a rippling stream. Spaniards and tussocks line the route,<br />

gradually working its way up through an old glacial moraine<br />

where O’Leary Hut is perched amongst impressive peaks.<br />

Located just below the rugged Hells Gate mountain range,<br />

the words ‘awe-inspiring’ are top of mind.<br />



Duration: 1 Night, 2 Days<br />

Starts: Lake Tekapo<br />

Operates: November - May<br />

Abilities: Suited for moderate fitness<br />

levels & experienced hikers<br />

Info: www.tekapoadventures.com<br />

The location of the hut makes a great base to explore the<br />

outstanding scenery and you can do several walks in one<br />

day. A trip up to the Joseph Ridge offers stunning views of<br />

Aoraki/Mount Cook and surrounding countryside, and those<br />

after a gentler hike will enjoy the walk from the valley floor to<br />

the hut. At night you’ll enjoy the best naked eye stargazing in<br />

the region, in the world’s largest dark sky reserve.<br />

We really do live (and work) in paradise.<br />



posure<br />

X<br />

Adrien Petit, is 34 years old, from a<br />

small village near Annecy, France.<br />

He had the chance to grow up<br />

between lakes and mountains and<br />

this exceptional environment which<br />

naturally immersed him in mountain<br />

and extreme sports from the youngest<br />

age. He is now a finalist in the Best of<br />

Instagram by Lenovo.<br />

His image will now go through to the<br />

prestigious global photo contest, Red<br />

Bull Illume Image Quest.<br />

Adrien's winning photo features Antoine<br />

Force rolling down an empty green<br />

riverbed.<br />

Photographer: Adrien Petit, @petio.74<br />

Athlete: Antoine Force<br />

Location: Le Chéran, Haute-Savoie<br />

(74), France<br />



East from the summit of Mt Prongia



FOREST<br />

A lesson in having good gear<br />

By Eric Skilling<br />

This trip promised much and delivered<br />

plenty more, mostly good, but I would<br />

also be given a few sobering lessons.<br />

As a first-time visitor to Pureora Forest<br />

west of Lake Taupo, I was hoping to<br />

see one of those giant podocarps that<br />

were mere seedlings back in the 13th<br />

century, now said to be over 50 metres<br />

high. As always, I was also looking<br />

forward to the company of fellow<br />

trampers and a good workout. What<br />

better way could there be to achieve all<br />

of this than four days walking and living<br />

in one the largest remaining podocarp<br />

forests.<br />

Visiting the forest is a privilege<br />

everyone should enjoy. Within an<br />

hour of starting out we were straining<br />

our necks as we peered up into the<br />

canopy, debating whether we were<br />

looking up at a magnificent matai, miro,<br />

rimu or totara. The truth is the canopy<br />

was so high above us we couldn’t<br />

see the leaves which made it very<br />

difficult for us amateurs to confidently<br />

call any species. At night we had the<br />

pleasure of pitching tents in some of<br />

the most spectacular bush campsites<br />

anywhere. A perfect setting for some<br />

unique shared experiences and great<br />

memories.<br />

However, ‘always be careful what you<br />

wish for’, as the adage goes, and I<br />

would discover the challenge of a good<br />

workout got a lot more daunting for<br />

me when I had near trip-ending gear<br />

failure, made worse by carrying more<br />

than I needed and then losing a serious<br />

amount of energy stores to a daring<br />

rodent.<br />


"Lesson Two: Dehydrated food has improved out of<br />

sight and is a lot more practical than frozen meals."<br />

Just after midday we set off for the one-hour walk up the<br />

wide gravelled path and boardwalks to the top of Mt Pureora<br />

(1,165m). Within the first 100 metres one of the braces holding<br />

the straps to my quarter-century old pack snapped. I was<br />

fortunate enough to be at the back of the group, saving me<br />

becoming the brunt of some serious banter for years to come.<br />

Even more fortunately the pack was a vintage canvas Macpac.<br />

I dropped the pack fearing the worst, but quickly worked out the<br />

support straps at the top of the pack were holding, so while the<br />

pack would begin to slide down my back, the straps looked very<br />

capable of holding up for several days.<br />

A hundred metres further on, the second brace snapped. This<br />

was getting serious. I tightened the top straps and decided I<br />

would carry on and see how the packed coped during the walk<br />

up to the summit and reassess once we reached the top. I was<br />

resigned to the fact that there was the real possibility that my<br />

trip was going to end soon.<br />

An hour or so later we emerged from the still coolness of the<br />

forest into the sub-alpine scrub on the summit, with views of<br />

the central plateau and Lake Taupo stretching out to the east<br />

and south but the promised view of Mt Taranaki was lost in the<br />

summer haze. I indulged myself with the vista for a minute or<br />

so and then turned my mind to other things. I dropped my pack.<br />

The straps were holding well with no signs of any stress. The<br />

base of the two straps were solidly attached so no worries there.<br />

I was confident that it would hold together for more than 4 days,<br />

and if not, my repair kit had enough to carry me through. Lesson<br />

one: Buy good gear. Tick.<br />

There was one very relieved tramper in the group as we headed<br />

south off the summit on the way to Bog Inn hut, a couple of<br />

hours away. The short track off the summit is one of several in<br />

the forest that are no longer maintained by DOC. Waist-high<br />

scrub had overgrown most of the eroded, rutted track, so it was<br />

a pleasure to pop out onto the valley floor and the relatively<br />

expansive Timber Trail. Gravity had already begun its tireless<br />

work on my pack, as it began to sag down my back. I consoled<br />

myself that I had two full meals to empty out before the start of<br />

the next day’s journey.<br />

Bog Inn hut is picturesquely surrounded by ‘younger’ forest –<br />

closer to a century old, with few of the 800-year-old statesmen<br />

we had seen on the other side of Mt Pureora. Nevertheless, the<br />

site is so uniquely peaceful. The silence was quickly broken with<br />

the sound of tent poles clicking into place and sleeping mats<br />

inflating. We then converged on the table outside the hut for<br />

dinner and a serious bout of banter. I gratefully pulled out the<br />

steak and mustard casserole I had prepared and frozen the day<br />

before, grateful twice over -this was a great meal to have on the<br />

first night and secondly, I knew my pack would be about 1kg<br />

lighter tomorrow. Lesson two: Dehydrated food has improved<br />

out of sight and is a lot more practical than frozen meals. It was<br />

a real pleasure to have spent a night at this place.<br />

Day two was the challenge I was looking forward to taking on.<br />

Made a little more difficult for me as my pack slowly slid further<br />

and further down my back until I could feel the heat of a rash<br />

building up on my behind. No sympathy necessary, this was<br />

mostly self-inflicted.<br />

We averaged about 2 kilometres an hour on the track to<br />

Waihaha hut. Our progress limited by the track itself. The path<br />

was overgrown in many places so even with the help of wellplaced<br />

tree-markers we still found ourselves back-tracking<br />

several times. There are also a couple of steep gullies with<br />

loose footing underneath that could pose a serious challenge<br />

in winter. But this was summer, with lots of daylight hours, and<br />

we were led by experienced and very capable leaders, so we<br />

were never under any time pressures. Conditions were perfect<br />

for walking – the thick forest with its dense canopy kept us cool,<br />

and with little serious rain in the last few weeks the ground<br />

was firm underfoot except for the few gullies towards the end<br />

of the track. There was plenty of variety in plant life to enjoy as<br />

the bush changed from tall ancient podocarps to the younger<br />

regenerating forest and ferns. The streams were mostly dry or<br />

almost stagnant as we had expected, but we had stocked up<br />

with water at Bog Inn.<br />

Personally, day two was the day I gradually came to realise<br />

I seemed to have one of the heaviest packs in the group.<br />

With gravity now turning my pack into a bag dangling off my<br />

shoulders, I was forced to lean further forward to act as a<br />

counterweight. It must have looked odd, and I was using up<br />

some serious calories. Luckily, just as I said to myself “I am<br />

over this” I found yourself staring at the Waihaha hut, peacefully<br />

settled in a clearing ringed by thick bush. Lesson three: If you<br />

take dehy food you don’t need to take those heavy stainlesssteel<br />

pots and cooker. Stick to a light, efficient Jetboil.<br />

Tent site for the next two nights would be alongside the river.<br />

Stunning.<br />

About that rodent encounter? My go-too food is cheese. I carry<br />

enough cheese for daily lunches plus enough for 2 emergency<br />

meals and some to add to any dinners that need spicing up.<br />

Clockwise from top left: The team about to set off / Map of our tramp / Campsite Bog Inn / Story telling at the end of day one<br />

/ Erosion Waihaha River Day 4 / Towering podocarps lined the track / Our leader taking a break on day 3 / Waihaha Track<br />

disappearing on day 2 / Encountrers with bush lawyer on the Wihaha track<br />


175.5 175.6 175.7 175.8 175.9 176.0 176.1<br />

175.5 175.6 175.7 175.8 175.9 176.0 176.1<br />

Pureora Trip Waitangi 6 - 9 Feb 2020<br />

-39.05<br />

-39.00<br />

-38.95<br />

-38.90<br />

-38.85<br />

-38.80<br />

-38.75<br />

-38.70<br />

-38.65<br />

-38.60<br />

-38.55<br />

-38.50<br />

-38.45<br />

-38.40<br />

Waihaha Hut<br />

Bog Inn Hut<br />

First night - Kakaho Campsite<br />

-38.40 -38.45 -38.50 -38.55 -38.60 -38.65 -38.70 -38.75 -38.80 -38.85 -38.90 -38.95 -39.00 -39.05<br />

MN<br />

11/21/19<br />

20.8°E<br />

10 0 10 KM<br />

20<br />

5 0 5 10 MILES 15<br />

Scale 1:225383 Datum WGS84<br />

1,195 m<br />

300 m<br />

20.0 km40.0 km60.0 km80.0 km<br />


"Lesson four. If you see rat traps near your tent site,<br />

leave your food on a hook in the hut."<br />

Long story shortened, I arrived back at my tent after a<br />

refreshing swim in the Waihaha river to witness my food<br />

bag moving. I got to with a few feet of it before a large rat<br />

emerged from the bag, carrying said block of cheese over<br />

the riverbank and disappeared into a hole under a tree root.<br />

Gone! Several hundred calories lost. Lesson four. If you see<br />

rat traps near your tent site, leave your food on a hook in the<br />

hut.<br />

Regardless, it was an early night for me that evening, glad<br />

to settle back in my tent and doze off to the sound of the<br />

river. Another priceless experience. Mercifully day three was<br />

a relaxing day trip up Hauhungaroa track following the river<br />

with more towering matai… or was it miro… perhaps rimu?<br />

and including a relaxing lunch alongside the river, and then<br />

back to Waihaha hut, another swim, and a long, sociable<br />

dinner.<br />

The trip back to the pickup at Highway 32 on the last day<br />

was a gently rolling walk alongside the river on a track<br />

designed to be ridden by MTB. My day was made all that<br />

much easier for me with a pack lighter after the loss of 4<br />

days food and no cheese reserves. This is another one<br />

of those trips that will stay in my memory for a long time.<br />

Despite making it a lot more difficult for myself than I needed<br />

too, the unique campsites and towering forests will have me<br />

back here again soon. After doing some shopping.<br />

I choose to use the following products: Macpac, Back<br />

Country Cuisine, Keen and Jetboil.<br />

Main image: Waihaha hut, day four.<br />

Insert: Locals / dinner!<br />








to assist safe adventures<br />

Created from the motivation to inspire quality<br />

trip planning before heading out to explore<br />

Aotearoa’s hills, forests and mountains is the<br />

world-first trip planning app, Plan My Walk.<br />

The brand-new free app, developed by the<br />

NZ Mountain Safety Council (MSC), boasts<br />

convenience by bringing together the key<br />

information a walker needs when planning a<br />

trip outdoors, including track information, gear<br />

lists, alerts and weather forecasts. All of this<br />

can be shared with group members and an<br />

emergency contact.<br />

Aotearoa’s tramping culture is unique to this<br />

part of the world, from chatting to strangers in<br />

a hut, exchanging notes on track conditions<br />

to sharing experiences online or in stories.<br />

Our great outdoors is so much more than just<br />

a place to explore, it’s part of the fabric and<br />

culture of Aotearoa. This culture sits at the<br />

heart of Plan My Walk and is the driver for<br />

many of its unique features.<br />

Trampers on Robert Ridge, Nelson Lakes National Park - Image by Shaun Barnett

Image by Caleb Smith<br />

"The brand-new free app, developed by the NZ Mountain Safety Council (MSC), boasts<br />

convenience by bringing together the key information a walker needs when planning a trip<br />

outdoors, including track information, gear lists, alerts and weather forecasts. "<br />

The concept of the app was triggered<br />

by the results of on-going in-depth<br />

incident analysis conducted by MSC<br />

over the last five years. It clearly<br />

indicated that a concerning number of<br />

trampers who either sustain an injury,<br />

require search and rescue assistance,<br />

or tragically never make it home, are<br />

mostly avoidable prevented or their<br />

seriousness reduced. The solution was<br />

thorough trip planning and preparation,<br />

and sound decision-making while out<br />

in the hills, MSC Chief Executive Mike<br />

Daisley said.<br />

“It’s really easy to underestimate the<br />

importance of quality planning and<br />

preparation, there are lots of little<br />

things that can be easily overlooked, or<br />

if you’re new to tramping how do you<br />

know where to start and how do you<br />

effectively make a trip plan.<br />

“When combined these small gaps in<br />

planning can have a big impact on your<br />

safety, conversely, it’s often the little<br />

details that go a long way to improving<br />

your safety,” Daisley said.<br />

The research found that being<br />

‘unprepared for the weather conditions<br />

caused 12% of tramping related<br />

search and rescues (SAR), a ‘lack<br />

of warm layered clothing and/or a<br />

waterproof jacket’ caused 13%, and<br />

an ‘overambitious choice of route, lack<br />

of sufficient fitness and taking longer<br />

than expected to reach the destination’<br />

caused 30% of tramping related SAR,<br />

over a seven-year period from 2012 to<br />

2019.<br />

Through these insights, combined<br />

with several other bespoke research<br />

projects which explored the subject of<br />

‘trip planning and preparation’, MSC<br />

considered a range of prevention<br />

solutions that could effectively reduce<br />

safety incidents that were caused by<br />

ineffective planning which ignited the<br />

Plan My Walk spark. Now that Plan My<br />

Walk is live, Daisley and the MSC team<br />

are excited by its potential.<br />

With over 1000 tracks all with<br />

MetService weather warnings and<br />

watches, weather forecasts, track<br />

information, tramper reviews and<br />

suggested gear lists, it’s easy.<br />

Combined with the ability to create a<br />

trip plan, including a daily schedule,<br />

add trip notes, documents and group<br />

members, you can easily save your<br />

plan and share with others, like your<br />

trusted emergency contact.<br />

“PMW is a world-first product that<br />

we believe has very real potential to<br />

improve the safety of thousands of<br />

people, which perfectly aligns with our<br />

vision and overall purpose,” Daisley<br />

said.<br />

Download the app, Plan My Walk, from<br />

your preferred app store, or check it out<br />

online at www.planmywalk.nz. Select<br />

a track, enter your trip dates and find<br />

alerts, an interactive gear list, weather<br />

forecast and much more. Create a trip<br />

plan, assign an emergency contact,<br />

share it and you’re ready to go!<br />

A new app version will be released<br />

mid-October, as at the time of<br />

publication MSC are deep into another<br />

round of development to add a range<br />

of new features and functions, all of<br />

which have come from user feedback.<br />

If you have questions or comments,<br />

feel free to get in touch with the team<br />

at MSC. Your input is hugely valued,<br />

and we encourage users to tell us<br />

about their experience using the app.<br />

Plan My Walk has been built for<br />

trampers, by trampers, and we're 100%<br />

committed to adding new features that<br />

make planning better!<br />


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

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

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

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

your cool.<br />

www.rab.equipment<br />

Available now from Lowe Alpine specialist stores throughout NZ.<br />

Hunting and Fishing New Zealand stores nationwide. Auckland: Living Simply, Waikato: Trek & Travel, Equip Outdoors,<br />

BOP: Whakatane Great Outdoors, Taupo: Outdoor Attitude, Wellington: Dwights Outdoors, Motueka: Coppins Outdoors,<br />

Nelson: PackGearGo Kaikoura: Coastal Sports Christchurch: Complete Outdoors, Greymouth: Colls Sportsworld,<br />

Hokitika: Wild Outdoorsman, Wanaka: MT Outdoors, Queenstown: Small Planet, Invercargill: Southern <strong>Adventure</strong><br />

Online: dwights.co.nz, gearshop.co.nz, equipoutdoors.co.nz, outdooraction.co.nz, mtoutdoors.co.nz, completeoutdoors.co.nz,<br />

huntingandfishing.co.nz, smallplanetsports.com,trekntravel.co.nz, outfittersstore.nz<br />

Distributed by: Outfitters 0800 021732<br />



RIVER by Packraft<br />

By Mike Dawson<br />

With the continual rise of Pack Rafting<br />

taking over New Zealand’s remote and<br />

inaccessible waterways we decided to<br />

throw some rafts on our backs and head<br />

out into the wild for some backcountry<br />

fun. Nestled amongst some of New<br />

Zealand’s most beautiful landscapes<br />

flows the magical Greenstone River. A<br />

river surrounded by snow-capped peaks,<br />

beech forest and just the most epic of<br />

scenery. Teaming up with Queenstown<br />

Packrafting and a few of the lads to<br />

head out on a trip that we hoped will<br />

have it all. The perfect intermediate pack<br />

rafters dream, multi day. Something<br />

close to Queenstown with the feeling<br />

of remoteness. The Greenstone is that<br />

place.<br />

Jumping into the van at the Queenstown<br />

Airport, the team was diverse. A mixture<br />

of those that had paddled for years and<br />

those that hadn’t. The atmosphere was<br />

alight, fired up for some freedom and a<br />

good time in the hills. A few pies deep<br />

for a late breakfast and the discussions<br />

slowly encroached into the seriousness<br />

of the ‘Polar Blast’ currently barrelling<br />

across the lower South Island covering<br />

the mountain tops with snow. As the<br />

Greenstone River is located between<br />

the Thomson, Alisa and Livingston<br />

Mountains, it was bearing the brunt of<br />

the heavy rains. Access is via a long<br />

walk across the Greenstone Caples<br />

Great Walk or from the West with a short,<br />

steep slog from the Milford Road. We<br />

opted for the jaunt over Key Summit from<br />

the Divide, into Lake McKellar and the<br />

Greenstone Valley.<br />

Every pack rafting mission begins with a bit of a hike. The crew loaded up walking<br />

in from the Main Divide on the Milford Road to the source of the Greenstone River.

The heavy rain and a top up overnight kept the Greenstone River at the perfect level for endless wave chains and some must make ferries.<br />

The Main Divide Carpark quickly became<br />

a scattering of equipment synonymous<br />

with any pack-rafting trip. To any<br />

onlooker we must have looked overly<br />

optimistic to be able to fit this garage<br />

sale of equipment somewhere in our<br />

packs. Moments later we were locked<br />

and loaded, leaving in a cloud of yarns<br />

and laughs ready for the good times.<br />

The route was along the Western side of<br />

the well-established, frequently walked<br />

Greenstone and Caples tracks meaning it<br />

was light work and fairly quick travel over<br />

the edge of the summit and down to the<br />

water. Once we reached the Lake and the<br />

headwaters of the Greenstone, we got<br />

kitted up and headed towards the river.<br />

More famous for the incredible fly fishing,<br />

the upper stretches of the Greenstone<br />

River rarely get paddled. Fortunately<br />

for us the continual downpour meant<br />

a higher lake level and enough water<br />

flowing out of Lake McKellar minimising<br />

our walking and maximising our paddling.<br />

The river sets off with a relaxed tone.<br />

Dense Beech Forest blankets the edge<br />

of the river, almost falling into the water<br />


Inserts: Arriving at the lake and getting sorted for the 50km ahead. / Gabe making sure the raft is fully pumped before heading on downstream<br />

Alex Hillary taking in the most epic of sunrises early on Day 2 as we make our way down to the lower gorges. / Gabe enjoying getting amongst it.<br />

creating a border of stunning greenery.<br />

The flow was moving quite rapidly,<br />

constantly descending without to many<br />

rapids. Almost like a canal, making the<br />

biggest danger at this stage of the trip the<br />

constant fear of rounding a blind corner<br />

into a cesspit of trees as we made our<br />

way through the upper reaches of the<br />

Valley.<br />

We were moving quickly, helped along by<br />

the rising river. Before we knew it, we had<br />

arrived at the first gorge, right on dusk.<br />

The flow growing now into quite a raging<br />

torrent, the gorge boxed in a bit before<br />

we arrived above a blind horizon line and<br />

the sky was getting dimmer and darker<br />

as we approached a mid-winter dusk. A<br />

quick yarn leads to the decision not to<br />

blindly descend further into the gorge in<br />

darkness, but instead opt for some river<br />

rock climbing and a quick portage around.<br />

An overnighter at the majestic Greenstone<br />

Hut meant we awoke at the top of an<br />

epic section of class 4 white-water. In the<br />

morning after a quick scouting mission,<br />

we broke the team in half, with 3 electing<br />


With snow settling on the mountains, then brisk temperature of this magic winters day meant fire was essential once the pack down began.<br />

Below: Harry heads down to the river as dawn light slowly reveals the extent of the overnight snow high in the mountain ranges surrounding us.<br />

to portage while 3 returned upstream and dropped into the<br />

Greenstone Hut Gorge. Overnight the rain had been insistent<br />

and unrelenting leading to huge flows in the morning. Dropping<br />

into the gorge we were greeted with 3km of stonking big water<br />

class 4. The scene was set with a burley swim as a boil threw<br />

one of our pack-rafts upside-down. A quick rescue and gear<br />

recovery as we continued downstream slowly working our way<br />

through some epic rapids. Huge waves, long fun rapids and<br />

tonnes of fist pumps had the 3 of us stoked as we re-joined the<br />

crew downstream.<br />

From here the boogie water between the gorges was getting<br />

fluffy and fun. Huge waves with the river flowing at a rough<br />

guess close to 80-100 cumecs. We were moving fast now, as<br />

the river descended further to Slips Flat and the Third Gorge.<br />

Again, we were met with continuous white-water, boils, huge<br />

wave chains and tonnes of laughs as we all fell into the river.<br />

Fortunately, all the swims were quick and easy.<br />

Regrouping with the entire team for a quick lunch before we all<br />

jumped on and paddled together for the final kilometres through<br />

the epic last gorge. From here it was a couple of kilometres to<br />

the confluence with the Caples River, but the whitewater was<br />

unrelenting. Huge waves, some brutal and challenging ferries<br />

made for an eventful last couple of kilometres. The Caples<br />

River added more juice to an already juicy river and after a few<br />

more swims we found ourselves at the takeout all stoked on an<br />

epic mission.<br />

If you’re into pack rafting this is a must do, but before heading<br />

out check out the DOC webpage for alerts about the track and<br />

huts and be sure to check the flows before heading into the<br />

Greenstone. For more information touch base with Huw @<br />

Queenstown Pack Rafting.<br />














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RIVER 172km by bike<br />

with Trail Journeys<br />

Central Otago rapidly became a bucket list<br />

destination for cyclists after the opening of the<br />

iconic Otago Central Rail Trail in 2000. Since<br />

then, a number of new bike trails have popped<br />

up in the region, meaning there’s now even<br />

more reason to visit.<br />

The following four trails can be combined for<br />

172km of stunning riding along the winding<br />

banks and mighty gorges of Central Otago’s<br />

Clutha Mata-au River.<br />



This trail is one of Central Otago’s most<br />

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Distance: 21km + 12km jet boat transfer<br />


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Brimming with gold mining history, this easy trail<br />

is the perfect way to immerse yourself in the<br />

stunning rural and riverside scenes of Central<br />

Otago’s Teviot Valley.<br />

Distance: 73km<br />



The new trail on the block, the Lake Dunstan Trail weaves<br />

it’s way along the shores of Lake Dunstan from Smith’s<br />

Way to Cromwell’s Heritage Precinct. It then heads through<br />

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Distance: 55km<br />


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Popular with locals, this sheltered trail follows the true right of the<br />

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Distance: 12km<br />


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cross-layer was designed<br />

for extended versatility in shifting<br />

mountain conditions and is Fair<br />

Trade Certified sewn.<br />

Weight: M's: 326g. W's: 278g<br />


macpac Eva Short Sleeve Tee $59.99<br />

Eva Tee’s are made from a soft<br />

fabric blend that features drirelease<br />

technology to keep you cool. Silky<br />

soft and crease resistant, these<br />

lightweight tees have a loose,<br />

modern silhouette.<br />


outdoor research Echo Hoodie $89.99<br />

Made from the same moisture-wicking, breathable,<br />

quick-drying AirVent fabric as the rest of the bestselling<br />

Echo series but adds long sleeves and hood for<br />

extra protection. Features odour control technology,<br />

anti-chafe flat seam construction and a UPF 15 sun<br />

protection rating. Designed to tackle adventures in hot<br />

conditions.<br />


Outdoor Research Helium Wind Hoodie $179.99<br />

Technical wind shell made from durable, lightweight Diamond Fuse<br />

technology to take on any windy adventure. Other features include<br />

laser-perforated underarm vents to minimise heat build-up and a refined<br />

hood design that stays in place when you're moving at pace. Available in<br />

men’s and women’s specific versions.<br />


Rab Arc Eco Jacket $399.95<br />

The Arc Eco uses 3-layer Pertex® Shield Revolve. This<br />

waterproof and breathable fabric is constructed from 100%<br />

post-consumer recycled polyester. This means the jacket’s<br />

face fabric, membrane and backer are made up of a single<br />

polymer which makes it much easier to recycle at the end of<br />

its life. This revolutionary construction reduces the impact of<br />

production and improves the chances of closing the loop on<br />

polyester’s life cycle.<br />



Merrell Whisper Rain Shell Men’s - Lichen $299.00<br />

Whisper through the rain in a jacket that’s 100%<br />

waterproof, has 4-way stretch and revolutionary<br />

knit next-to-skin comfort. This version is updated to<br />

include recycled polyester and PFC free DWR finish<br />

for a more conscious choice. Available in colours for<br />

both Men and Women.<br />


Rab Xenon Jacket $349.95<br />

The Xenon 2.0 is insulated with quick-drying<br />

PrimaLoft® Silver, a lightweight, packable, and<br />

water-resistant insulation made from 100%<br />

recycled plastic bottle chips. it’s a high lofting,<br />

eco-friendly insulation.Ideal for tackling rugged<br />

terrain, the jacket uses a weather resistant,<br />

recycled Pertex® Quantum ripstop outer,<br />

finished with a fluorocarbon-free DWR.<br />


Outdoor Research Refuge Air Hooded Jacket $399.99<br />

Water- and wind-resistant jacket that helps retain heat while<br />

working and sweating hard using the adaptable VerticalX<br />

Air insulation that keeps you warm when you need it and<br />

rapidly moves moisture the moment you start to perspire.<br />

Features ActiveTemp, a thermo-regulating technology<br />

that keeps you cool, dry and comfortable on high-activity<br />

adventures. Available in men’s and women’s versions.<br />


Rab Kangri Jacket $699.95<br />

With a recycled outer fabric, the Kangri GTX is a robust<br />

and reliable hard shell built with 70D 3-Layer GORE-TEX.<br />

Designed with the avid all-weather adventurer in mind,<br />

the Kangri GTX is ideal for hillwalking, hiking, trekking<br />

and mountain scrambles.<br />


Rab Cirrus Flex 2.0 Hoody $299.95<br />

With its hybrid construction, comprising<br />

micro-baffles, synthetic insulation and<br />

stretch fleece side panels, it can be used<br />

as a soft, breathable midlayer for cold<br />

winter days or it can be thrown over a<br />

t-shirt for a lightweight warmth boost<br />

on chilly summer evenings at the crag.<br />

The stretchy Thermic fleece side<br />

panels are fluffy on the inside with a flat<br />

exterior, helping wick away moisture,<br />

while improving mobility for agile days<br />

in the hills. The Primaloft® Silver Luxe<br />

insulation, meanwhile, retains an even,<br />

down-like loft for reliable warmth, even<br />

in the wet.<br />


Outdoor Research Sun Runner Cap $44.90<br />

Wear with or without the removable,<br />

adjustable skirt. Attach to give you shelter<br />

from the harsh sun or remove when you just<br />

want a cap. It's made from lightweight fabric<br />

with UPF 30+ sun protection. The addition of<br />

mesh side panels allows a welcome air flow<br />

over the sides of your head.<br />


sunsaver classic 16,000 mah<br />

solar power bank $119.00<br />

Built tough for the outdoors<br />

and with a massive battery<br />

capacity you can keep all<br />

your devices charged no<br />

matter where your adventure<br />

takes you.<br />


sea to summit Overland Gaiter $69.99<br />

Incredible value, hard-wearing, easy to<br />

put on and easily adjusted, these gaiters<br />

are perfect for their namesake track and<br />

adventures beyond.<br />

• Great value bushwalking gaiter<br />

• Adjustable 50mm front opening<br />

• 450D ripstop Nylon<br />

• 316 stainless steel lace hook<br />


Charmate 12 Quart Round Cast Iron Camp Oven $125.00<br />

The Charmate 12 Quart Camp oven is perfect for<br />

camping. With thicker walls and base for consistent heat<br />

transfer, it’s pre-seasoned and ready to use.<br />


lowe alpine Manaslu ND50:65 $599.95<br />

The Manaslu ND50:65 is made with durable<br />

yet lightweight mini ripstop fabric, with a<br />

hard-wearing Nylon base. Side and internal<br />

compression straps, and forward pull hip<br />

belt adjustment ensure a stable carry and a<br />

comfortable fit, however heavy your load. An<br />

extendable lid increases the volume by an extra<br />

15 litres, while external daisy chain lash points<br />

allow external storage.<br />


lowe alpine AirZone Trail 35 $299.95<br />

The AirZone Trail 35 features a Fixed AirZone<br />

carry system with a breathable back to<br />

maximise airflow and keep you cool and<br />

comfortable. With a single buckle entry to the<br />

main compartment and a 35 litre capacity,<br />

there’s room for everything for a day’s hike<br />

or trek. Upper and lower side compression<br />

straps add stability, and a forward pull hip belt<br />

adjustment ensures the perfect fit.<br />


macpac Vamoose Child Carrier $499.99<br />

The Vamoose is harnessed with a wide,<br />

padded hip belt for effective weight<br />

distribution. The adjustable child seat,<br />

‘grows' with your child and helps to keep<br />

them secure. Made from durable fabrics<br />

with plenty of pockets for extra gear — it<br />

has a 19 litre storage capacity and a<br />

detachable day pack.<br />



kiwi camping Boost LED Light with Power Bank $84.99<br />

Bright LED light with power bank to illuminate your<br />

tent and charge devices on the go. Features 11 light<br />

modes, built-in magnets and hanging hook.<br />


macpac Moon Quad Folding Chair $169.99<br />

Designed for camping in comfort, the Macpac<br />

Moon Quad Folding Chair is circular in shape<br />

and heavily padded with a durable polyester<br />

fabric for all day relaxation. .<br />


macpac Hiking Travel Chair $119.99<br />

Comfortable and light, our hiking travel chair is<br />

ideal for camping trips with family or friends.<br />


sea to summit Jungle tarp $199.99<br />

Add our Jungle Hammock Tarp to your<br />

Jungle Hammock Set for a sheltered,<br />

bug-free suspended sleep.<br />

Made from water and abrasion<br />

resistant, lightweight 30 denier Ultra-<br />

Sil CORDURA® Nylon fabric with<br />

waterproof seams – double stitched and<br />

tape sealed, non-wicking anchor points<br />

with adjustable guy lines and siliconised<br />

outer surface with 2000mm waterhead.<br />


kiwi camping HS Tent Top Cargo Tray $839.00<br />

The Tuatara Tent Top Cargo Tray is designed to fit our<br />

Hard Shell Rooftop Tent to allow you to stow camping and<br />

adventure gear for your touring adventures.<br />


kiwi camping Tuatara 2.5 x 2.5 Awning $419.00<br />

Offers 6.25m² of covered area for sun or rain protection. 200g polycotton<br />

canvas awning, twist-lock design, adjustable height and mounts directly to<br />

existing roof rack.<br />


kiwi camping Tuatara SSC Rooftop Tent $2,599.00<br />

New Zealand’s first Blackout Rooftop Tent, the Tuatara Soft Shell<br />

Compact pops up and folds away in just 2 minutes. Includes<br />

telescopic ladder and heavy-duty 1000D PVC travel cover.<br />


kiwi camping Tuatara HS Rooftop Tent $5,699.00<br />

Hard-wearing and spacious, the Tuatara Hardshell is one of the<br />

lowest profile rooftop tents on the market. Includes heavy-duty<br />

frame, 7cm mat and 316 marine-grade stainless steel.<br />



Rab Ascent 500 $599.95<br />

The Ascent 500 is a hard-wearing<br />

high performing sleeping bag you can<br />

depend on for comfort and protection<br />

in mild to moderate conditions. Ideal<br />

for general purpose outdoor use,<br />

from bothy to bivvy, the Ascent range<br />

equips you for regular mountain<br />

adventures. Durable, tough, and<br />

reliably warm, the Ascent is especially<br />

suitable for those wanting to invest in<br />

their first down sleeping bag. Offering<br />

excellent value for the feature set,<br />

which is similar to that of the more<br />

technical Rab bags, this hard working<br />

piece provides protection and comfort<br />

on the hill or trail.<br />


Rab Mythic 200 $999.95<br />

Weighing in at just 475g the Mythic contains 200g of<br />

the highest fill power ethically sourced European Goose<br />

Down. Achieving an exceptional warmth to weight ratio,<br />

this bag retains all the features you need to stay warm<br />

and protected in a mountain environment. The tapered<br />

mummy shape with angled foot box gives a generous<br />

fit for the weight. Weight saving baffle construction<br />

prevents down shift, while the chambers are angled<br />

downwards in chevrons keeping the down over the<br />

centre of the body to ensure core warmth throughout<br />

the night. Each bag is hand filled in Derbyshire using<br />

Hydrophobic down developed in conjunction with<br />

Nikwax®<br />


Outdoor Research Bug Bivy<br />

Provides complete insect protection through the<br />

night. A single pole holds the mesh away from your<br />

face, keeping bugs at a distance, while the zipper<br />

opening seals out mosquitoes and other small<br />

insects. A waterproof floor keeps the moist ground<br />

from soaking through your bag. Features include<br />

sleeping mat straps, three stake loops, two guy-line<br />

loops and an internal mesh pocket. 454gm<br />


Patagonia 850 Down Sleeping Bag $749.99<br />

The streamlined bag has a minimalistminded<br />

design and a feature set that’s ideal<br />

for climbers, kayakers and backpackers<br />

who need an essentials-only kit. Fair Trade<br />

Certified sewn, it features Advanced<br />

Global Traceable Down, and nylon ripstop<br />

Pertex® Quantum. Weight: 734g<br />


sea to summit Jungle Hammock Set $299.99<br />

Perfect for humid environments, the Jungle Hammock<br />

Set comes with straps and can be used anywhere from<br />

the backpacking trail to the wilderness. In wet conditions,<br />

combine it with our Jungle Hammock Tarp for a sheltered,<br />

bug-free suspended sleep.<br />

Made using breathable, lightweight 70 denier ripstop<br />

Nylon, high-tenacity monofilament netting, Dyneema®<br />

webbing and corrosion-resistant anodised 6061 Aluminium<br />

buckles.<br />


ack country cuisine $9.49 - $13.99<br />

CHICKEN CARBONARA: A freeze dried chicken<br />

and pasta dish, served in a creamy italian style<br />

sauce. Available small serve (90g) or regular (175g)<br />

MUSHROOM BOLOGNAISE (Vegan) Mushrooms<br />

with tomato in a savoury sauce, served with noodles.<br />

Available small serve (90g) or regular (175g)<br />


back country cuisine<br />

CHOCOLATE BROWNIE PUDDING $13.19: Our take<br />

on chocolate self-saucing pudding, with chocolate<br />

brownie, boysenberries and chocolate sauce. Gluten<br />

Free. Available in regular serve (150g)<br />

ICED MOCHA $4.09: Our mocha is made with<br />

chocolate and coffee combined with soft serve to give<br />

you a tasty drink on the run. Gluten Free. 85g.<br />





Deep Creek Brewing - Basalt 440ml $8.99<br />

STYLE: HAZY IPA 6.5% ABV<br />

Inspired by one of the four guardians of<br />

Chinese Mythology, Basalt is packed with<br />

El Dorado, Mosaic and Idaho 7 Hops, with<br />

vibrant fruity hop flavours fighting against<br />

the dark of winter.<br />


Deep Creek Brewing - Antivirus 440ml $8.99<br />

STYLE: IPA 7.0% ABV<br />

A nod to our frontline health workers. They are our<br />

true everyday heroes. We will be donating 50c<br />

from every can sold and $25 from every keg sold<br />

to the Auckland Health Foundation. Made with<br />

Mosaic, Idaho 7 and Citra hops. Disclaimer: This<br />

beer will not cure any kind of disease.<br />


NZ’S NO.1 MEALS<br />



Find out<br />

more <br />

<br />

<br />

backcountrycuisine.co.nz/pouches<br />

Deep Creek Brewing -sentinel 440ml $8.99<br />

STYLE: HAZY IPA AVB: 6.5%<br />

This White Tiger Sentinel is inspired by one of<br />

the four guardians of Chinese mythology, which<br />

represents the autumn season. Enjoy the beautiful<br />

passionfruit and a sprinkling of guava taste!<br />


Deep Creek Brewing - Ukulele 440ml $8.99<br />


Time to relax. Break out the ukulele, find a<br />

hammock, and transport yourself to the tropics.<br />

The peach flavours play a sweet melody with<br />

ginger harmoniously elevating the flavour profile<br />

over the zesty lime finish.<br />



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Never have a dead phone<br />

again! Because now you can<br />

charge straight from the Sun<br />

with SunSaver. Perfect for<br />

that week-long hike, day at<br />

the beach, or back-up for any<br />

emergency. Check us out at:<br />

www.sunsaver.co.nz<br />

www.packraftingqueenstown.com<br />

Specialising in<br />

small group guided<br />

packrafting trips and<br />

courses from our base<br />

in Queenstown New<br />

Zealand.<br />

www.adventuresouth.co.nz<br />

Whether you enjoy<br />

cycle trails, road<br />

cycling, mountain<br />

biking or walking,<br />

<strong>Adventure</strong> South NZ<br />

can help you to explore<br />

New Zealand at<br />

your own pace.<br />

Full-service outfitter selling hiking<br />

and mountaineering gear and<br />

apparel, plus equipment rentals.<br />

Specialising in ski & snowboard<br />

touring equipment new & used;<br />

skis, boards, bindings, skins,<br />

probs, shovels,transceivers &<br />

avalanche packs.<br />

www.smallplanetsports.com<br />

Our motto is “Going the<br />

distance” and we pride<br />

ourselves on providing top<br />

quality outdoor and travel<br />

equipment and service<br />

that will go the distance<br />

with you, wherever that<br />

may be.<br />

www.trekntravel.co.nz<br />

Gear up in a wide selection of durable, multifunctional<br />

outdoor clothing & gear. Free Returns. Free Shipping.<br />

www.patagonia.co.nz<br />

Stocking an extensive range<br />

of global outdoor adventure<br />

brands for your next big<br />

adventure. See them for travel,<br />

tramping, trekking, alpine and<br />

lifestyle clothing and gear.<br />

www.outfittersstore.nz<br />

Specialists in the sale of Outdoor Camping Equipment, RV,<br />

Tramping & Travel Gear. Camping Tents, <strong>Adventure</strong> Tents,<br />

Packs, Sleeping Bags and more.<br />

www.equipoutdoors.co.nz<br />

Reusable, BPA free water bottles containing a unique 3-in-<br />

1 filtration technology providing clean safe drinking water<br />

from any non-salt water source anywhere in the world.<br />

www.watertogo.co.nz<br />

Our very own online store where<br />

you will find hard goods to keep you<br />

equipped for any adventure.<br />

www.pacificmedia-shop.co.nz<br />


Ultra lightweight running shoes, made by runners. No<br />

matter where the trail takes you, Hoka One One will<br />

have you covered.<br />

www.hokaoneone.co.nz<br />

New Zealands largest independent Outdoor and<br />

Paddle store.<br />

www.furtherfaster.co.nz<br />

Bivouac Outdoor stock the latest in quality outdoor<br />

clothing, footwear and equipment from the best<br />

brands across New Zealand & the globe.<br />

www.bivouac.co.nz<br />

Shop for the widest range of Merrell footwear, apparel<br />

& accessories across hiking, trail running, sandals &<br />

casual styles. Free shipping for a limited time.<br />

www.merrell.co.nz<br />

Whether you’re climbing mountains, hiking in the hills<br />

or travelling the globe, Macpac gear is made to last<br />

and engineered to perform — proudly designed and<br />

tested in New Zealand since 1973.<br />

www.macpac.co.nz<br />

Living Simply is an outdoor clothing and equipment<br />

specialty store in Newmarket, Auckland. Your go-to place<br />

for quality footwear, packs, sleeping bags, tents, outdoor<br />

clothing and more.<br />

www.livingsimply.co.nz<br />

Offering the widest variety,<br />

best tasting, and most<br />

nutrient rich hydration,<br />

energy, and recovery<br />

products on the market.<br />

www.guenergy.co.nz<br />

Fast nourishing freeze dried food for adventurers.<br />

www.backcountrycuisine.co.nz<br />

Jetboil builds super-dependable<br />

backpacking stoves and camping<br />

systems that pack light,<br />

set up quick, and achieve<br />

rapid boils in minutes.<br />

www.jetboilnz.co.nz<br />

Supplying tents and<br />

camping gear to Kiwis<br />

for over 30 years, Kiwi<br />

Camping are proud to<br />

be recognised as one of<br />

the most trusted outdoor<br />

brands in New Zealand.<br />

www.kiwicamping.co.nz<br />

Radix provides freeze dried<br />

meals and smoothies made<br />

with all natural ingredients.<br />

These are perfect for<br />

athletes and adventures<br />

who care about their health<br />

and performance. Gluten<br />

free, Plant-based and Keto<br />

www.radixnutrition.com<br />

options are available.<br />

Get 10% off your first order online.<br />

Excellent quality Outdoor<br />

Gear at prices that can't<br />

be beaten. End of lines.<br />

Ex Demos. Samples. Last<br />

season. Bearpaw. Garneau.<br />

Ahnu. Superfeet.<br />




Why camp in the cold?<br />

Story compliments of www.kiwicamping.co.nz<br />

First the question must be asked – why camp when it’s<br />

cold?<br />

Well, there are a few reasons, the first being – the<br />

stars! Shorter days and clearer skies mean amazing<br />

opportunities to see the stars so clearly you could touch<br />

them... or at least instagram them!<br />

The next reason – space – you won't be cramming into a<br />

campsite with a hundred other people on your doorstep!<br />

The next, and perhaps best reason, is the view. Very few<br />

people actually appreciate the true beauty of winter. Cold<br />

weather can make a place ethereal, like transporting<br />

yourself to a different world, a world that’s just for you,<br />

thus giving you epic bragging rights.<br />

That said preparation is key. Never be caught out by<br />

being under-prepared! It’s always best to know the area<br />

you're travelling too, make sure you're comfortable you're<br />

prepared for the environment and its climate (and a little<br />

bit more besides). Always check the Metservice to make<br />

sure you're not heading into anything risky and let people<br />

know where you're going.<br />




It seems obvious, but if you're sleeping out in 0°<br />

temperatures, and you want to be comfortable,<br />

make sure your sleeping bag is a -10° bag. It’s<br />

recommended to have a bag that’s rated at least<br />

5.5°C lower than the coldest temperature you expect.<br />

There is some confusion over 'comfort' vs 'limit' so<br />

here is a guide:<br />

• Comfort: The temperature an adult could expect a<br />

comfortable night’s sleep.<br />

• Limit: The temperature at which a standard person<br />

can sleep for eight hours in a curled position without<br />

waking.<br />

• Extreme: The minimum temperature at which a<br />

standard person can remain for six hours without risk<br />

of death from hypothermia (though frostbite is still<br />

possible).<br />

Fight the urge to snuggle deep into your bag, your<br />

breath will eventually create moisture, and therefore<br />

you'll get cold. Instead, tighten the draft collar (yes,<br />

that’s what it’s for!) and hood so your body keeps<br />

in the warmth and you can breathe easy! Lastly, a<br />

sleeping bag liner can add extra warmth too.<br />

A mattress is also incredibly important, if you're on an<br />

air mattress, you'll probably want to put something<br />

on top of it as a barrier to keep the warmth near you,<br />

rather than heating the cold air you're on. Failing that,<br />

you can put a foam mat between the tent floor and<br />

the mattress you're on keeping a barrier.<br />

TENTS<br />

Some tents are made for the side of a mountain in<br />

a blizzard, but most aren't. Carefully choose your<br />

tent to suit the location and conditions of where<br />

you are planning your adventure. If you are hiking<br />

or tramping, you’ll be wanting to carry a small,<br />

lightweight tent, like Hiker Tents. Smaller tents are<br />

also easier to put up quickly and heat.<br />

FUEL<br />

Both kinds; the wood and the food kind are really<br />

important. Hot food is essential to keeping up your<br />

energy and keeping your internal temperature steady.<br />

To heat water or food quickly, you can use a Gasmate<br />

turbo stove, it heats 500ml of water in 2.5 minutes.<br />

Boil in the bag meals are a good option and always<br />

take an extra fuel canister! If you're going down the<br />

more traditional route of a natural fire, then you'll<br />

need dry kindling or some fire-lighters. Remember,<br />

dry wood isn't always easy to come by, so always<br />

have a back-up plan!<br />


Polyprop is your friend. It keeps you warm, even if<br />

you're wet, and it’s easy to dry out. Wool will also<br />

keep you warm, even if wet, but it’s heavy if it gets<br />

wet, and almost impossible to dry out. Stay away from<br />

cotton. Synthetics or merino are also great thermal<br />

insulators. Layer up, from the base layer out!<br />


BACK COUNTRY CUISINE REVIEW - by Eric Skilling<br />

I have been a bit reluctant to try out freeze dried meals after a bad<br />

experience some years ago but I have always envied the high caloriesper-gram<br />

meals, much lighter than what I usually carry in my pack.<br />


While making your hot cuppa before bed,<br />

put some hot (not boiling) water into a<br />

sealed plastic bottle and heat up your<br />

sleeping bag before getting in.<br />

Keep your drinking water from freezing by<br />

using insulated bottle pockets. It’s best if it<br />

has a non-spill straw or top, spills will mean<br />

wet clothes and that’s hard to fix!<br />

Choose lithium batteries instead of alkaline.<br />

Lithium is the only sensible choice in<br />

0° weather, so if you really need that<br />

headlamp to work, don't take alkaline!<br />

Snuggle – You're warmer if there’s two<br />

of you, so get up close! The less cold air<br />

coming up through the floor means you'll<br />

both be warmer.<br />

Keep your mobile phone in your sleeping<br />

bag with you, if it gets too cold, it may run<br />

out of power, and there aren't too many<br />

power sockets in the bush.<br />

Put tomorrow’s clothes in the bottom of<br />

your bag too. If you wear a base layer to<br />

bed, you can simply get dressed in the<br />

warm kit from the bottom of the bag.<br />

Tarp – so versatile! Put it under the tent<br />

as a barrier, put it in the vestibule to stop<br />

traipsing in mud and water, use it as an<br />

extra wind break or water barrier, sit on it<br />

around the fire.<br />

Keep your feet and head warm – now we<br />

sound like your mother! Your head and<br />

upper chest are five times more sensitive<br />

to temperature changes than other areas of<br />

our bodies, so keep them covered. When<br />

you get really cold, your body sacrifices<br />

the blood flow from the extremities first, so<br />

keep your feet dry and warm.<br />

So, after watching fellow adventurers tucking in on a recent multiday<br />

tramp, I put my prejudices away and packed some Back Country<br />

Cuisine for a mid-winter overnighter on the Tarawera Trail.<br />

My bad experience goes way back to a four-day trip taken almost two<br />

decades ago when apart from finding the taste quite average, I always<br />

finished the meal and then found myself looking around for the main<br />

course. As everyone knows good food and a good tramping experience<br />

go together. Spending several minutes trying to fork out microscopic<br />

particles from the bottom of a packet that you did not really enjoy, does<br />

nothing for morale.<br />

Well, I can truthfully say a lot has changed.<br />

Hats off to the Back Country Cuisine Chefs – later that day I still found<br />

myself scratching around with the fork into the corners of a packet of<br />

Roast Lamb and Vegetables, only this time it wasn’t because I was<br />

hungry but because it tasted so good! Not only does the food taste<br />

great, but I was full to the point of making a bit of an oinker of myself.<br />

To confess I did cheat a bit. I always pack a fresh vegetable, usually<br />

a carrot, which I cut into small pieces and boil with the water before<br />

pouring it into the bag. This time however the meal made the carrot<br />

taste better, instead of the other way round. I also enjoyed the meal<br />

looking over one of those priceless NZ scenes, a glassy-calm Lake<br />

Tarawera in the last of the twilight, with temperatures heading down<br />

to minus 2deg C. The meal was tasty, warming and most importantly,<br />

filling.<br />

Although I wasn’t hungry, I was tempted to try the Strawberry Ambrosia<br />

dessert, as it sounded so appealing. I boiled more water and filled the<br />

packet. By this stage it was too dark to see what I was eating but the<br />

chefs should be proud. A little later having done the dishes (a knife, fork<br />

and spoon) and feeling quite contented I lay back and did some star<br />

gazing. I was hoping to enjoy Matariki, but it was well hidden by the<br />

mighty Mt Tarawera. I didn’t really care. I was feeling so good I enjoyed<br />

the milky way instead before sliding back into the tent and the warmth<br />

of my sleeping bag.<br />

The following evening back in civilisation, instead of wasting time<br />

shopping, I enjoyed a three-course meal of the Malaysian Chicken<br />

soup followed by the Teriyaki Beef and Noodles which I had packed as<br />

emergency food. I finished the meal with the Banana Smoothie that I<br />

had intended to use while MTB the Redwoods. I did add another carrot<br />

to the Teriyaki, but I am an unashamed fan of Back Country Cuisine.




Story compliments of www.kiwicamping.co.nz<br />

Freedom camping or free camping is the practice<br />

of putting up tents or parking up campervans in<br />

public areas not designated for camping. Free<br />

camping typically means that freedom campers<br />

cannot access facilities such as clean drinking<br />

water, toilets (either flushing or long drop) and<br />

waste disposal facilities. Free camping appeals<br />

to campers, especially those on a tight budget<br />

because it offers the ultimate in 'cheap camping'.<br />

In New Zealand, freedom campers tend to use<br />

laybys, picnic areas and very remote spots.<br />

There are now around 420 ‘free’ campsites<br />

scattered around New Zealand that are<br />

designated by local councils and the Department<br />

of Conservation. Up until 2011 in New Zealand,<br />

it was much easier to find a free campsite as<br />

many of the councils didn’t see freedom camping<br />

as a problem and there weren’t as many rules.<br />

Then, around the time of the Rugby World Cup<br />

in 2011, the entire campervan rental fleet was<br />

booked out months in advance. Also around this<br />

time, there were some highly publicised cases<br />

of irresponsible freedom camping (going to the<br />

toilet in a public place, leaving rubbish in popular<br />

free camping spots etc).<br />


Unfortunately, free camping is<br />

having an increasingly negative<br />

effect on New Zealand’s clean,<br />

green environment due to the<br />

increasing volume of freedom<br />

campers – some of whom create<br />

litter problems, dispose of human<br />

waste inadequately and discharge<br />

grey water outside of dump stations.<br />

Free campers tend not to be popular<br />

with local residents but it doesn't<br />

have to be that way. To help keep<br />

New Zealand beautiful, avoid fines,<br />

and stay in the good books with<br />

the locals we've put together some<br />

helpful 'need-to-knows', best practice<br />

tips, and links to local council and<br />

government resources.<br />


From February 1st 2018, the national<br />

standards covering self-contained<br />

vehicles have been tightened. All<br />

motor caravans and caravans must<br />

be self-contained when staying<br />

overnight at locations where selfcontainment<br />

is required, this includes<br />

some DOC campsites (note some<br />

locations do not require campers to<br />

be self-contained, as a responsible<br />

camper you must check all signs<br />

at the location you are staying at).<br />

This means you need to be able<br />

to live in your vehicle for 3 days<br />

without requiring more water or<br />

dumping waste. The vehicle must<br />

have freshwater storage, wastewater<br />

storage, a rubbish bin with a lid,<br />

and a toilet that can be used inside,<br />

even when the bed is in place. If you<br />

do not have a vehicle with a selfcontained<br />

toilet, you will need to park<br />

near toilet facilities. Your vehicle hire<br />

company should have information to<br />

pass on about the type of vehicle you<br />

need.<br />

The confusing part for travellers is<br />

that different regions and Department<br />

of Conservation areas have different<br />

rules. To make sure you're aware of<br />

these differing rules, be sure to check<br />

in with local Isite Visitor Information<br />

Centres and DoC Visitor Centres or<br />

if you're still in doubt check out your<br />

local council information.<br />

To access an up-to-date list of<br />

Freedom Camping sites check out<br />

www.rankers.co.nz<br />


Freedom camping is not illegal in New<br />

Zealand, but local by-laws can specifically<br />

restrict it in certain areas and free campers<br />

not complying with notices can be fined. If<br />

you are free camping in New Zealand, do<br />

try to follow the guidelines below:<br />

• Make sure you park your campervan<br />

or pitch your tent in a safe area, well<br />

away from traffic. If possible, try to<br />

camp near to a public toilet block,<br />

where you can use the toilets and<br />

sinks (sometimes showers).<br />

• Keep your car or campervan doors<br />

locked at night.<br />

• Portable fuel stoves are less harmful<br />

to the environment and are more<br />

efficient than fires. In dry times of<br />

year, open fires may be prohibited in<br />

certain areas – be sure to check for<br />

fire restrictions. If you really have to<br />

make a fire, keep it small, use only<br />

dead wood and make sure it is out by<br />

dousing it with water and checking the<br />

ashes before you leave.<br />

• Improper disposal of toilet waste<br />

can contaminate water, damage<br />

the environment and is culturally<br />

offensive. Use disposal facilities<br />

where provided or bury waste in a<br />

shallow hole at least 50 metres away<br />

from waterways.<br />

• When cleaning and washing in open<br />

waterways, take the water and wash<br />

well away from the water source. As<br />

soaps and detergents are harmful to<br />

water life, drain used water into the<br />

soil to allow it to be filtered.<br />

• If you suspect water to be<br />

contaminated, either boil it for at least<br />

three minutes, or filter it, or chemically<br />

treat it.<br />

• Litter is unattractive, harmful to<br />

wildlife and pollutes water. Take all<br />

your litter with you, recycle what you<br />

can, and dispose of non-recyclables<br />

in the appropriate rubbish bins or<br />

refuse centres.<br />

• Camp carefully and respect the<br />

environment and other visitors – leave<br />

no trace of your visit, nothing but<br />

footprints as the old adage goes.<br />

• Check out NZ Tourism Guide for more<br />

info.<br />

Campermate.co.nz has a great free app<br />

available on IOS and Android which lets<br />

you know where the free campsites are<br />

while travelling around NZ. Check it out!<br />


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Top hikes in the Outer Islands<br />


Vanuatu’s outer islands offer more than<br />

just world-renowned snorkelling, remote<br />

beaches and palm trees, they’re home to<br />

some of the most spectacular, adrenalinepumping<br />

treks in the Pacific Islands. So<br />

grab your hiking boots and get ready for<br />

an adventure you’ll never forget.<br />

From an active volcano to the world’s largest banyan tree, this<br />

is an unmissable three-day trek on Tanna island in the Tafea<br />

province. Tanna island people are bare-foot walkers, and will<br />

guide you from natural hot springs surrounded by overgrown<br />

rainforest to white-sand beaches with pounding surf and volcanic<br />

black-sand planes.<br />

From the base to the summit of Mt Yasur is an easy to moderate<br />

3.5-hour round trip on foot across expansive ash plains. While<br />

there is an option to drive, we really encourage the hike! This is<br />

best done at night as you’ll have the opportunity to witness the red<br />

glow of lava under a dark night sky.<br />

Mt Yasur is one of Vanuatu’s most dramatic booming visitor<br />

attractions – the volcano is a female deity and she is revered by<br />

the people of Tanna Island with many cultural stories revolving<br />

around her power. As such visitors walking up the volcano pay<br />

an entrance fee that is shared with the community. For more<br />

information visit or chat with the good folks at Entani who manage<br />

the volcano visits.<br />



This four-day hike will take you from the east<br />

of Malekula to the west, hiking over lush and<br />

mountainous terrain, into remote island villages,<br />

and through farmland and rivers. Make sure<br />

you pack suitable wet weather gear for this hike<br />

and sturdy waterproof hiking boots or hiking<br />

sandles. The last thing you want is wet socks<br />

for four days! There will be guides to carry your<br />

backpack.<br />

On day one, you’ll hike 1.5-2 hours from Unua to<br />

the dense bushland in Melken, ascending only<br />

10m, easy!<br />

On day two, you’ll hike for 7 hours from<br />

Melken to Mt Laimbele, ascending 650m and<br />

descending 170m. From this breathtaking<br />

rainforest you’ll get a glimpse of the volcanoes<br />

on Ambrym, a neighbouring island. You’ll likely<br />

spend the evening eating bush-tucker around a<br />

fire, before retiring to your mat on the floor of a<br />

handmade bush hut.<br />

On day three, expect another 8-hours of walking<br />

from Mt Laimbele to Lebongbong, with similar<br />

terrain to the day before. Keep your eyes peeled<br />

for wild cattle and birdlife. You’ll be treated to<br />

seasonal bush food, likely nesowong, which is<br />

a meal made from bush banana, water taro and<br />

coconut milk.<br />

On the final day, day four, you’ll hike 9-10 hours.<br />

It’s a day of descent (1140m!), so get those<br />

hiking poles and knees ready. You’ll pass by<br />

several banyan trees - giants of the forests,<br />

with roots that envelop their trunks. You’ll also<br />

see a giant waterfall, explore a spring in a cave<br />

and visit a nakamal (a traditional meeting place)<br />

before bunkering down in the village of Yawa for<br />

a shower and a comfortable bed.<br />



If you’ve got a few days in Port Vila, the hike up Nguna<br />

island’s highest extinct volcano (Mt Taputaora, 593m) is a<br />

must-do. You’ll need to catch a ride from your accommodation<br />

on Port Vila to Emua Wharf before catching a boat over to<br />

Nguna in order to start this hike.<br />

It begins slowly, with a gradual incline, passing through small<br />

villages with children who will run out to greet you. The final<br />

leg is hard, and steep. You’ll be exposed to the sun and it’ll be<br />

hot. Make sure to wear a hat!<br />

As you summit the volcano, you’ll be treated to expansive<br />

views across the Shepherd Islands to the north, and south to<br />

Efate. Afterwards you’ll be offered a buffet lunch by the beach<br />

and a snorkel along the Nguna coastline to cool off.<br />



This three-day coast-to-coast traverse through wild<br />

bushland extends from the north east to the north<br />

west of Malekula Island. It’s a strenuous hike, but a<br />

rewarding one. You’ll have the unique opportunity to<br />

be introduced to the Big Nambas territories and be<br />

totally removed from the modern world that you’re<br />

used to.<br />

Don’t expect electricity and flushing toilets, expect<br />

huge smiles and generous spirits. Revel in the<br />

villages built almost entirely from bamboo and palm<br />

thatch. At the end of the three-day trek, jump into the<br />

Pacific Ocean to cool off on Malekula’s west.<br />

On the island of Gaua lies one of Vanuatu’s most remote and<br />

active volcanoes. This three-day adventure involves crossing<br />

Lake Letas in a rigger canoe before a steep, exposed climb up<br />

to the rim of Mt Garet. It’s only an hour up to the top, but it’s a<br />

difficult one, so get your walking sticks ready and keep your<br />

feet firmly on the path despite moments of terror.<br />

You’ll have the opportunity to camp in small bungalows at<br />

Victor’s Camp, right on the lake. Victor’s a vivacious and jovial<br />

character who’ll tell you stories under dim lamplight, share<br />

shells and shells of kava (watch out!) and, together with his<br />

wife, feed you until you’re as full as can be.<br />

On the hike back down, you’ll visit Vanuatu’s highest waterfall,<br />

Siri Waterfall, which boasts a 120m drop. This is a wet walk,<br />

so make sure you’ve got sturdy hiking sandals or boots.<br />

Vanuatu hopes that Lake Letas becomes a Unesco world<br />

heritage site.<br />





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