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Summer issue of Adventure Magazine

Summer issue of Adventure Magazine


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adventure<br />

where actions speak louder than words<br />

ISSUE 229<br />

DEC 2021/JAN 2022<br />

NZ $10.90 incl. GST<br />

summer<br />


The future is here.<br />

It’s asking us to be ready,<br />

to think bigger.<br />

To embrace the trail<br />

ahead and bring everyone<br />

with us along the way.<br />

Today, we celebrate our<br />

first 40 years by looking<br />

forward to the next.<br />

#MerrellFuture40<br />

Performance and lifestyle clothing and footwear for both Men and Women

Join us outside.<br />

If it’s outdoors, it’s Merrell territory.<br />





Finding the silver lining<br />

In July 2021 we moved our home and business from Auckland to<br />

Turangi, to bike, to hike, to ski, and to fish the winter season in the<br />

Central Plateau. Turangi is an awesome little town, nestled on the<br />

banks of the legendary Tongariro river and under the shade of the<br />

mighty maunga, Mt Ruapehu. It seemed like a great way to spend<br />

winter and it turned out a much better idea than we thought. In<br />

just a few hours the world as we knew it changed and the Delta<br />

variant arrived. We were lucky that we had made the move out of<br />

Auckland, sure we still had family back in lockdown and that was<br />

hard for everyone, but the fortunate decision to move south was<br />

stained by the fact that we could not go back into Auckland and<br />

see friends and family, we were isolated.<br />

Isolation, unlike lockdown, has a real positive side. It makes you<br />

focus and it makes you aware of where you are and what you<br />

have. It was hard to enjoy skiing knowing that our friends and<br />

family were locked down. We stopped putting images on social<br />

media and focused on doing what we could for those locked<br />

away; making sure we stayed in contact, sent happy surprise<br />

gifts, and tried to maintain a positive view; which for us wasn’t<br />

hard seeing our location and the fact that we weren’t locked down.<br />

We had stunning weather for most of winter which meant that<br />

we could ski, and tramp and fish. But knowing that in the ‘wink<br />

of an eye’ it could all be taken away, as the shadow of lockdown<br />

loomed, it made you savour every moment.<br />

We became very aware of the change in season, in the Central<br />

Plateau the seasons, unlike in the north, are very distinct. The<br />

bare branches of winter filled with leaves and then blossoms, and<br />

it went from mornings of minus ten to afternoons of thirty degrees.<br />

There is nothing good about Covid, it divides people, it ruins<br />

businesses, and it makes people sick. One thing it has taught<br />

everybody is that things can change and be taken away very<br />

quickly, and the adage of ‘living each day as if it is your last’ takes<br />

on a new meaning.<br />

But looking back over the last four months it has been a time<br />

of immersion; not just being able to do great activities but to be<br />

immersed in a region that is so diverse and changeable, the silver<br />

lining has been that this unique experience would not have been<br />

possible should we have been able to travel back to Auckland.<br />

This is our summer issue and the team here at Adventure truly<br />

hope that you all, everyone, have the summer you hope for and<br />

have been waiting to experience and many have earned.<br />

Have a great Christmas and an adventurous New Year see you all<br />

again in 2022!<br />

Steve Dickinson - Editor<br />

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page 14<br />

#229<br />

contents<br />

Image by Lynne Dickinson Self portrait<br />

Image by Tai Juneau<br />

page 26<br />

page 50<br />

10//Outdoor Sanity<br />

in a Covid world<br />

14//Four Wide<br />

in the Otago High Country<br />

22//The Coins of Judas<br />

photographic exploitation<br />

26//There and Back<br />

two sides of Mt Ruapehu<br />

34//Packrafting<br />

Aoraki/Mt Cook<br />

40//Tamatea Dusky Sound<br />

in the footsteps of Cook<br />

44//Summit Up<br />

sunset on Mt Ruapehu<br />

50//The Dunstan Trail<br />

more than just amazing engineering<br />

58//An Aquatic Adventure<br />

the art of fly fishing<br />

plus<br />

74. gear guides<br />

96. active adventure<br />


www.facebook.com/adventuremagnz<br />

adventuremagazine<br />

www.adventuremagazine.co.nz<br />

Nzadventuremag<br />



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Legendary Mark Matthews had an idea about<br />

double towing at ‘The Right’ in Australia, and at<br />

the same time he would shoot Taj Burrow from<br />

behind.<br />

From Russell Ord:<br />

“On this day both Mark and Taj started with a<br />

couple of warm-up waves, smaller, cleaner and<br />

user-friendly. However, it did not take long for<br />

Mark to say, “let’s go this one”. I could see this<br />

dark mutant beast coming from miles away<br />

and knew it was one of the biggest waves of<br />

the day. They both let go of the rope so there<br />

was no escape; they were at the mercy of the<br />

ocean. I documented a piece of history, the<br />

wave decided not to participate – it shut down<br />

violently. Taj made it to safer ground, however<br />

Mark got the beating of his life.”<br />

Re Bull Illume Finalist 2016 Photographer: Russell Ord Athletes: Taj Burrows & Mark Matthews<br />

Location: The right in Australia Category: Finalist 2016, Energy<br />

Words and images courtesy Red Bull Illume<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 />

Bivouac are proud to announce the opening of their new Queenstown store at Five Mile.<br />

www.bivouac.co.nz/bivouac-outdoor-queenstown<br />



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

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

Whangaparaoa, New Zealand<br />

Ph: 0275775014<br />

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

adventuremagazine.co.nz | NZadventurebike<br />

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Adventure Magazine<br />

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in a Covid World<br />

By Annabel Anderson<br />

The day was Tuesday, 17 August 2021. It was a stormy<br />

mid winter day that the Southern Lakes had been<br />

looking forward to all season after a lean winter on the<br />

snow front. Majority of the early winter storms had hit<br />

the eastern coastal pathway of the Southern Divide but<br />

with over half a metre of snow in the forecast it was the<br />

storm-riding day of the season and Treble Cone was<br />

pulsating with an energy that only happens a couple of<br />

times a winter when powder fever hits.<br />

As the front finally cleared allowing an hour and a<br />

half of visibility before the lifts shut that afternoon,<br />

anticipation was high for what the next day would bring<br />

as mountains across the Southern Lakes received the<br />

dump of the season.<br />

On the journey back to town, whispers began to spread<br />

about the re-emergence of Covid in the community after<br />

a 15 month hiatus in which New Zealand had enjoyed<br />

a somewhat normal life while the rest of the world<br />

had descended into chaos. The 6pm news briefing<br />

confirmed the worst and advised that the country was<br />

going into a snap lockdown from midnight that evening.<br />

In an instant, the tone of the town changed.<br />

Despair, grief, frustration and loss summarise the<br />

feeling that fell over the village that evening and in the<br />

days that followed as the magnitude of Delta kicked<br />

in as we all looked up at "what might have been". The<br />

usual winter stoke was gone, replaced with glances of<br />

acknowledgement of collective mourning as everyone<br />

began another round of playing ‘Go Home Stay Home’.<br />

It was as though candy had been dangled in front of our<br />

faces and then snatched away just as we were about to<br />

take the first bite. Unlike the lockdowns of 2020 which<br />

had an element of warning, this time the mood was<br />

different and it was stark.<br />

No matter where I’ve found myself situated in the world,<br />

or what situations I’ve found myself in, I’ve always<br />

managed to find a degree of calm amongst the chaos<br />

by gravitating to the outdoors. For the months of July-<br />

October in the Southern Lakes of the South Island the<br />

alpine playgrounds above the snowline spring to life.<br />

Add in a snap Lockdown game of 'Go Home Stay<br />

Home', the shutting down of the mountain playgrounds<br />

and all of a sudden I became extremely grateful for<br />

knowing what was accessible straight out the backdoor.<br />

Like a daily dose of medicine to maintain a degree of<br />

mental and emotional equilibrium, what was accessible<br />

from the doorstep and ‘local’ was a stark reminder of<br />

how important being outside was going to be to mentally<br />

survive another lockdown..<br />

Being in New Zealand is a lot easier than a lot of<br />

countries around the world when it comes to making<br />

the most of what lies down the street and well within the<br />

strict guidelines of permissible ‘outdoor recreation’.<br />

Sometimes this has been easy, sometimes it’s been<br />

more of a challenge. When I say challenge, I’m referring<br />

to time spent living in and amongst multi-level high rise<br />

buildings in foreign cities resembling concrete jungles.<br />

Amongst the everlasting grey haze of a London winter<br />

I discovered the hidden treasures of the city; a maze of<br />

secret paths that lead to wide open commons, hidden<br />

gardens and walkways that weave their path beside<br />

the river and interconnect like veins all over the city.<br />

These veins became my way of getting around, my daily<br />

commutes by bike and the places I would run to escape<br />

the oppressive nature of the concrete jungle.<br />

Fast forward to 2021 and we’ve been forced to rethink<br />

the meaning of outdoor recreation. When people once<br />

thought of it as getting into the hills, multi-day hikes,<br />

surfing empty waves on remote beaches and the like,<br />

the restrictions of lockdowns have forced a re-think.<br />

When you're confined to what you can access from your<br />

doorstep a pair of shoes and the footpath constitute the<br />

ability to remove yourself from your home/work/family<br />

environment to provide a much needed escape and a<br />

mechanism to cope in a world of daily unknowns.<br />

This ability to remove yourself, interact with your<br />

environment and re-enter allows us to return and show<br />

up as a better version of ourselves, especially when<br />

the unknown sees a natural rise in anxiety coupled with<br />

shorter fuses all around. An injection of oxygen through<br />

our bodies helps not only cleanse our airways, but also<br />

our minds and our emotional state.<br />

Many of us have known the benefits of the outdoors<br />

for a long time. Fresh air, the breeze on your face,<br />

sand between your toes, bird song, the rustling of wind<br />

through trees, water running over rocks and simply<br />

being able to escape from being around large crowds<br />

of people. For those that have long been drawn to the<br />

outdoors, an increasing amount of research has backed<br />

up these anecdotal benefits and has been shown to<br />

improve mood and focus and to help reduce stress.<br />



Combine time spent outdoors with physical activity, and<br />

the benefits increase substantially.<br />

If the cycle of lockdowns have sent us inside, we have<br />

begun to crave being outside more than ever.<br />

But do you really need ‘stuff’ and destinations to be able to<br />

reap the benefits of what outside has to offer? Simply put,<br />

the most accessible place is what you find directly outside<br />

your backdoor.<br />

When you’re not able to leave your local neighbourhood<br />

to recreate it’s incredible at how you can make the most<br />

of what lies on your doorstep. The simple act of walking<br />

or riding a bike instead of taking a car short distances will<br />

instantly elevate your mood.<br />

There is definitely a notion of needing ‘stuff’ to be able to<br />

enjoy the outdoors with demand for camping, outdoor and<br />

sporting equipment skyrocketing along with the demand<br />

for boats, converted vans, utes, roof top tents, caravans<br />

and motorhomes. In reality, all you need is yourself, a will<br />

to get outside and a commitment to make something out of<br />

nothing.<br />

A pair of sneakers represents freedom of walking and<br />

running, two wheels allows you to get from point A to B<br />

with less reliance on others and the chance to interact with<br />

your environment to help bring a sense of calm amongst<br />

environments of high pressure and stress.<br />

Lost<br />

by David Wagoner<br />

Stand still.<br />

The trees ahead and bushes beside you<br />

Are not lost.<br />

Wherever you are is called Here,<br />

And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,<br />

Must ask permission to know it and be<br />

known.<br />

The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,<br />

I have made this place around you.<br />

If you leave it, you may come back again,<br />

saying Here.<br />

No two trees are the same to Raven.<br />

No two branches are the same to Wren.<br />

If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,<br />

You are surely lost.<br />

Stand still.<br />

The forest knows<br />

Where you are. You must let it find you.<br />

Knowing that you’ll come back a better version of yourself<br />

with the ease of embracing what lies right outside your<br />

door while working in harmony with the seasons and the<br />

weather to do so.<br />

The harmonious interaction with nature that helps one<br />

self regulate when needed. Majority of this is far from<br />

adrenaline inducing but it also has no need to be.<br />

Previous Page: If you look, you shall find the magic of what lies on your doorstep or close to it. Make a little effort and reap the reward.<br />

Above: In the shadow of Aoraki Mt Cook mining the easterly puffs on Lake Pukaki in the fading light<br />

Images by Nathan Secker<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 />




Otago's high country<br />

By Tai Juneau<br />

Tai Juneau is a freelance<br />

photographer and digital marketer<br />

who specializes in lifestyle and action<br />

content. Tai spent his entire life in<br />

the outdoor community either in the<br />

mountains or by the ocean. He was<br />

born in the Eastern Sierras of the US<br />

and raised in New Plymouth, New<br />

Zealand. He recently retired as a ski<br />

racer who spent time on the New<br />

Zealand Ski Team before racing for<br />

Colorado Mountain College in the<br />

western NCAA circuit.<br />

Tai currently splits his time between<br />

Oakura, New Zealand and Steamboat<br />

Springs, Colorado. His freelance work<br />

includes landscapes, architecture/<br />

real-estate, product, and sport/event<br />

photography.<br />

Old Friends<br />

“It's only about 3-4km. Should be at the<br />

hut by about noon” said Nick.<br />

“Sounds great, I am excited about a<br />

New Zealand Hut trip” I reply.<br />

“I am taking it easy on my ankle the<br />

physio says to only go on even terrain<br />

and no carrying weight,” says Nick. It<br />

has been a long time since I had seen<br />

Nick and just under a decade since we<br />

ski raced at Coronet Peak together. The<br />

great thing about old friends is that you<br />

pick up exactly where you left off. It's<br />

like you never left them. Nick and I both<br />

share a passion for the mountains, but<br />

little did we know how much work we<br />

had set out in front of us.<br />

Website: www.taijuneau.com<br />

Instagram: @taididjuneau<br />



Snow Capped Sunrises<br />

The coffee is hot and after a ski-deprived lockdown,<br />

everyone is raring to go. The early 2000s Subaru<br />

station wagon is loaded with ski equipment, tramping<br />

gear, and boys, rolling four deep. We drive alongside<br />

the lake soaking in the morning sunrise. The clouds<br />

finally clear and colors light up the surrounding snowcapped<br />

mountains. We find our exit, divide up the<br />

supplies, and before I know it we are heading up the<br />

steep mountain track.<br />

It Begins<br />

The initial climb is steep, so steep that there is a clear<br />

set of waterfalls tumbling down the rocks. The 4wd<br />

switchback changes into a narrowing trail which leads<br />

to the base of a waterfall. Dead end. We backtrack<br />

onto a faint, aggressive trail that involves a healthy<br />

amount of bushwhacking. The debate whether<br />

one should attach his ski boot to the pin binding<br />

backward with the boot hanging down or to click in<br />

the traditional position to avoid sticks in your boots<br />

becomes a hot topic. Boot shells downward is the<br />

winner on the day.<br />

The bush slowly thins and Otago's high alpine<br />

tussock begins to show itself. As time passes the<br />

climb becomes riskier as now there are cliff bands<br />

below us with little to no organic matter to latch onto.<br />

Not long after we encounter an endless boulder<br />

field. With a 20kg pack, each step must be carefully<br />

chosen as a simple slip may lead to a twisted ankle or<br />

a solid 2-3 metre fall into a hole.<br />

A Lonely River<br />

Four hours pass and we find ourselves on a plateau<br />

with spectacular views. The morning light bounces<br />

off the mountain tops and contrasts greatly with the<br />

glacier lake below. Up ahead we get a clear view of<br />

a stunning high alpine valley with a wandering river<br />

leading to the waterfalls below. The terrain here is<br />

flat, and progress is quick. We leap across the river<br />

and begin the climb towards the saddle. The climb<br />

isn’t as steep, but the tussock is slippery. We slog<br />

upwards and the four of us converge at the saddle.<br />

We cross from the north aspect onto the south-facing<br />

ridge which holds fresh snow. Great news, it is finally<br />

time to ski!<br />

Saddle Sores<br />

Luckily for us, the snow stays cold, and the<br />

conditions are exceptional for skiing. Each turn<br />

snaps around without much effort. On the way<br />

down we spot our humble dwelling. It is an old<br />

1920’s stone hut with a door that must be about<br />

5ft tall. The luxuries of our accommodation<br />

include a fireplace, a rock table, and a single<br />

four mattresses sleeping platform. What was<br />

supposed to take 3-4 hours to get here instead<br />

took 7½ hours. Nothing a cheeky Parrotdog Beer<br />

and late lunch can’t fix.<br />

We unload camping, cooking, and sleeping<br />

supplies. The boys rally and we take off up the<br />

hill looking to catch some sunset turns. On our<br />

way down we observe the exposed basin filled<br />

with rocks, chutes, couloirs, and open faces. Our<br />

progress is much faster with light packs. We scope<br />

out some long lines above the saddle we had skied<br />

and the snow looks phenomenal. We reach the top<br />

before our shadows are too long and the sunset is<br />

beginning to reach its peak. Matt and Kit both scope<br />

a tasty-looking chute that has gold rays dancing off<br />

the center of it. It looks like a ripper. Nick as per usual<br />

seeks more action up further in seriously big terrain.<br />

"On the way down<br />

we spot our humble<br />

dwelling. It is an<br />

old 1920’s stone<br />

hut with a door that<br />

must be about 5ft<br />

tall. The luxuries of<br />

our accommodation<br />

include a fireplace,<br />

a rock table, and<br />

a single four<br />

mattresses sleeping<br />

platform."<br />

Previous Page: Enjoying some spectacular views on the way.<br />

Above: The hut, somewhere in western Otago.<br />

Right: Cold conditions allow for exceptional skiing.<br />



The golden hour passes as Matt pulls into the<br />

chute creating a horizontal cut across the top to<br />

mitigate possible avalanches. We hear nothing<br />

but a scratch of edges. This southwest-facing<br />

section has already refrozen and the snow<br />

screeches underfoot. Not the most favorable<br />

conditions, but Matt skis it like a champ. He<br />

flows left to right until he has completely exited<br />

the approx 300m of vertical. Nick seeks a<br />

different chute which to get in requires passing<br />

over a few rocks in a dangerous no-fall zone.<br />

He tiptoes through the exposure and clips in on<br />

top of a more forgiving and chalky south-facing<br />

line. He rips long drawn-out turns through great<br />

conditions. As the sun sets, Kit and I begin to ski<br />

a south-facing slope with chalky snow. Our smiles<br />

are big as we ski down with the light dropping<br />

quickly. Our next stop is dinner at the hut.<br />

Checked-In Whenever<br />

We were all feeling the solid 12-hour day of<br />

slogging both on and off-snow, but each of the<br />

few turns we had were worth it. Not long after<br />

clicking out of our skis, we are sharing our<br />

dehydrated meals, chicken curry has never taste<br />

so good. Sneakily Nick cracks open a mulled<br />

wine which managed to sneak its way into his<br />

pack. After a cheeky couple of wines, the boys<br />

are almost lights out standing up. We jump into<br />

our beds one at a time as there aren’t more than<br />

two square metres of usable space inside the<br />

hut. Once we are all in our sleeping bags, we<br />

are four wide packed like Weetbix in a box, but<br />

never happier.<br />

Round 2<br />

In less than the blink of an eye, it's 6:00 am. We<br />

start the day with a quick round of porridge, as<br />

the sunrise begins to peel down the mountain<br />

tops. We set off deeper into the basin with our<br />

eyes on a spiny-looking couloir topped with icecovered<br />

rocks. The couloir from top to bottom<br />

is narrow, steep, and has a huge overhanging<br />

rock face on one side. Naturally, most people are<br />

deterred when they see obstacles like these, but<br />

not this group. Our adrenaline begins to rise as<br />

the crampons and ice axes come into play.<br />

The Creepy Craggy Couloir<br />

The group decides to boot pack up the guts as<br />

there is no easy access into the couloir from the<br />

top. Conditions seem stable with a frozen layer<br />

underneath and about 20cm of fresh snow on<br />

top. We transition quickly and before long we<br />

enter the bottom section. Looking up I can see<br />

the boys Nick, Kit, and Matt creeping into the<br />

terrain one huff at a time. The rock overhead<br />

feels like it nearly spans the whole chute. The<br />

climb continues to get steeper and steeper.<br />

Nearing the top, the terrain is extremely steep<br />

but luckily there is a wind lip that sits just below<br />

the top. The boys pull up.<br />

At the peak the boys guess the slope angle to be<br />

pushing 50-55 degrees. The transition to ski at<br />

the top is careful and precise. One mistake could<br />

mean a solid 300m tumble down across a rockridden<br />

path to the bottom of the couloir.<br />

Nick leads the charge.<br />

" This southwest-facing<br />

section has already<br />

refrozen and the snow<br />

screeches underfoot.<br />

Not the most favorable<br />

conditions, but Matt skis<br />

it like a champ."<br />

Above and right: Hiking up so we can ski down<br />



"We saw wild landscapes, skied during sunset,<br />

found fantastic snow, got our adrenaline pumping,<br />

and had great yarns."<br />

Once clicked in he begins to slide towards the<br />

center. Hop turns are the first choice for turns<br />

when the terrain is this steep. The first one always<br />

brings your heart rate up. You’re wondering if your<br />

equipment is dialed in. You hope that your skis<br />

will stay on, but you never know.<br />

Nick executes his first hop turn without a hitch<br />

and quickly makes his way down the guts. Next,<br />

Matt then followed by Kit. Each has a slightly<br />

different technique but manages to make easy<br />

work of the terrain. We all agree the snow was<br />

perfect. It is rare to find such favorable conditions<br />

in the backcountry. The excitement from such<br />

a feature has caused great curiosity about the<br />

surrounding mountains. We transitioned back<br />

towards the uphill gear and set off for a final lap<br />

around the side of the peak we had just skied.<br />

Final Lap<br />

We boot pack up another chute ensuring we<br />

beat the spring thaw that was forecasted. The<br />

top brings to a large outlook with the surrounding<br />

mountains are towering over the glacier lake<br />

below. Time to crack a well-deserved cold one<br />

with the boys!. The Parrotdog brews from Welly’s<br />

have never tasted so good.<br />

At this point with great snow, extreme steep<br />

skiing, and a few thousand metres of vertical<br />

under our belts we all feel extremely satisfied.<br />

The post lockdown jitters have been given the<br />

boot and anything from here is a bonus. For our<br />

last run, we scope a few more features we want<br />

to ski on the way down and are stunned as we<br />

find the best snow yet. 30cm of straight beautiful<br />

cream. We ski back to the hut and pack up. A<br />

four-hour trek down the valley to the car and<br />

we’re done. I bag on Nick telling him there is no<br />

way that the hike was only 4km.<br />

The trip couldn’t have gone better. We saw wild<br />

landscapes, skied during sunset, found fantastic<br />

snow, got our adrenaline pumping, and had great<br />

yarns. I would just give caution to the next guy<br />

for any trip with Nick is likely to be twice as far as<br />

what he thinks, but it will be worth it.<br />

Left: Creating fresh lines<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


photographic exploitation?<br />

By Steve Dickinson<br />

There is possibly no greater betrayal than that of the<br />

kiss planted by Judas Iscariot after the last supper in the<br />

garden of Gethsemane. This smacker on Jesus’ cheek,<br />

this insignificant act of affection, condemned Jesus and<br />

eventually Judas to death. Judas received 30 pieces of<br />

sliver, most likely 30 shekels, about $3.50 – a price he<br />

eventually tried to return, but overwhelmed with remorse<br />

he hung himself. The 30 pieces of silver he earned bought<br />

the land he ultimately was buried, in as he was not deemed<br />

worthy to be buried with ordinary people. I am sure there is<br />

a moral there but that is not our path.<br />

"Then one of the twelve, named<br />

Judas Iscariot went to the chief<br />

priests and said, "What are you<br />

willing to give me to betray Him to<br />

you?" And they weighed out thirty<br />

pieces of silver to him. From then<br />

on, he began looking for a good<br />

opportunity to betray Jesus."<br />

Matthew 25.14-16<br />

The ‘coins of Judas’ refer to the price that we are happy<br />

to receive to sacrifice that which is close to our heart, that<br />

which we hold special, that which is uniquely ours, and that<br />

which to some may deem priceless but to others is worth<br />

little more than 30 pieces of Pharisee’s silver.<br />

There is debate and aggressive dispute over the exploitation<br />

of our natural environment and the activities that go on<br />

within it. On one side ‘locals’ who don’t want to share, don’t<br />

want the crowds, who simply don’t want the exposure.<br />

On to the other side of the scale you have the magazine,<br />

video, YouTube, social media, etc who all want to display<br />

the beauty of that environment and the fun that can be had.<br />

And somewhere in the middle between ‘keep it quiet’ and<br />

‘show the world’ is the photographer trying to capture those<br />

moments of splendour.<br />


Top: Photographers are everywhere in Hawaii<br />

Above: Our editor, Steve Dickinson, in the blue t-shirt at Teahupoo in Tahiti during Code Red 2011

Yet some of those photographers are seen as the Judas<br />

willing to sell out some special place for 30 pieces of silver<br />

(actually a lot less). But is that really likely? Is not the<br />

photographer’s first passion the same as that of the locals?<br />

Talk with any professional photographers and they will<br />

regale you with tales of abuse, projectiles, slashed tyres<br />

and even death threats. Yet it is those photographers that<br />

are willing to risk much to get that great shot, whether that’s<br />

bobbing around in a boat shooting 30 ft waves, or scaling a<br />

mountain to shoot a climber, or hiking for days lugging kilos<br />

of camera gear just to get that one sunset shot.<br />

For example: In 2010 I was asked to shoot Mel Bartels<br />

(famous Hawaiian surfer) on the infamous West Side of<br />

Hawaii, I was advised by a local North Shore photographer<br />

and good friend not to go and definitely don’t take ya<br />

camera gear, the locals don’t like the exposure. His parting<br />

comment when I said I was going to go was, that he would<br />

see me in hospital later. I spoke with Mel on the phone,<br />

and she assured me it would be fine and that the localism<br />

was “blown out of proportion by the haoles and the pussies<br />

on the North Shore”.<br />

We arrived early, the sun slowly rising, the surf pumping.<br />

Mel and her girlfriend Teddy met us in the car park. As I<br />

extracted the 600m lens and tripod from the back of the<br />

rental car, the traffic was brought to a halt by a colossal<br />

oversized 4x4 cruiser stopping in the middle of the street,<br />

rocking back and forth on its over gelled suspension.<br />

The window wound down and the black tinted space was<br />

replaced by a heavily tattooed elbow the size of half a cow.<br />

Out of the open window, a large Hawaiian man looked at<br />

me and smiled (or snarled I wasn’t sure which).<br />

I was paralysed like a rabbit in the headlights in the glare<br />

of his mouthful of gold teeth, the difference between a<br />

grin and a snarl became and internal confusion on how<br />

to respond. The voice boomed down, “Bra what dah ya<br />

fink ya doing eh?” Before I could reply Teddy embraced<br />

me around the shoulders and replied, “he cool bra.” I felt<br />

trapped between two large immoveable forces. There was<br />

a moment of silence, a raise of the eyebrows, a nod, and<br />

the deep beats faded as the window went up and the 4x4<br />

drove off with the two Rottweiler’s in the back barking with<br />

no sense of rhythm but with the same snarl-grin scenario.<br />

I looked at Teddy she smiled raised her eyebrow and<br />

laughed, “homies”. Not really sure what that meant but I<br />

presumed it was under control. A wise man would have<br />

seen the writing on the wall that even before I had left the<br />

car park someone had confronted me.<br />

To cut a long story short the rest of the day followed<br />

exactly that same scenario. All day Hawaiians, both large<br />

and small, would come and aggressively asked me to “f&^k<br />

off Haole”, “what ya fink ya doin Haole”, “you got a death<br />

wish bra?” To which my ever present body guard would<br />

remind them I was here to shoot a local and they would<br />

reluctantly simmer down.<br />

At one point nature called and my bodyguard needed to<br />

use the public convenience, she replaced herself with<br />

one of the largest humans I have ever seen. While he<br />

sat in front of me the number of those who said anything<br />

dropped away to nothing. However, the nasty evil stares<br />

still continued till my new mentor then decided to address<br />

the stares with a “what ya lookin at brah? Steve with me.”<br />

Eventually my bodyguard enclave grew to a small posse,<br />

Top: Roys Peak, one of NZ most instagram famous spots. Image by Ondrej Machart<br />


ound by the care of the skinny Haole and a cooler of<br />

longboard beer at which stage I felt suitably comfortable.<br />

As the day drew to an end a larger human than my large<br />

human bodyguard approached the group. He stood off<br />

at a distance and with the silent communication of nods<br />

and eyebrow lifting one of my posse decided to check him<br />

out. As obviously part of the large human club there was<br />

a quite a discussion and then eventually my large human<br />

came and asked “hey Brah, my man wants to make sure<br />

you won’t name the beach in ya snaps.” I assured him that<br />

we never named the beach and with a multitude of clever<br />

handshakes and a famed shuker to myself, he walked<br />

away assured that the most popular beach on the West<br />

Side of Hawaii (with the most obvious of landmarks) would<br />

not get editorial mention in a magazine on the other side of<br />

the world.<br />

Photographers will risk a lot to get an image, whether<br />

that is putting yourself a personal risk by putting yourself<br />

in crazy situation (have another look at the cover of this<br />

issue and see where the photographer is!) or by exposing<br />

yourself to the local’s wrath. We all watch YouTube, we all<br />

have social media, we all buy magazines, (you are reading<br />

one now), we all want the eye candy, the wow shot of a<br />

place or action. Do photographers really understand that<br />

by taking images you risk the exploitation of some areas?<br />

Of course we do, and any that are responsible do all they<br />

can to mitigate that risk of over exposure.<br />

But to dig below the surface, localism is not really<br />

based purely on “if you don’t live here you can’t surf<br />

here, walk here, climb here”, it has a basis in greed.<br />

Sure there may be some locations that have become<br />

overwhelmed by exposure, Roy’s Peak, Tongariro<br />

Crossing etc. but generally those wow images that you<br />

see are not easy to get to, nor are they easy to take. Most<br />

are really inaccessible, so the cost of exposure it low.<br />

Regardless, people get heated under the guise of the<br />

“poor environment”. What we really have is people in white<br />

pointy hats saying, “this is mine and I don’t want to share”.<br />

To be honest localism is an embarrassment, it is a<br />

reflection of an attitude of greed and indulgence. Imagine<br />

if any other sport decided that if you don’t live here you<br />

can’t play, that if you are not local you can’t fish, hunt, ski,<br />

play rugby, you can’t participate. We would be up in arms<br />

screaming with righteous indignation. Most places are<br />

uncrowded for a good reason; they are too far, too hard to<br />

get to and anyone who arrives there should be welcomed<br />

for making the effort, not ridiculed because they don’t have<br />

a bach nearby.<br />

But as you turn these pages, you will see we don’t always<br />

name places, and our photographers will continue to risk<br />

life and limb to bring you that OMG shot. If you want to<br />

find those special places, those uncrowded environments,<br />

the ‘locals only’ places – get in your car, pull on ya boots,<br />

pick up your pack. Go old school; check the weather,<br />

check maps and go look and if you get there by hard slog<br />

and good luck, but you get met by a group of angry locals<br />

with an attitude of “if you don’t live here, you shouldn’t be<br />

here” then f*&k em, you have earned it!<br />

Top: Melanie Bartels, while on the World Tour of Surfing in 2009<br />



Two sides to Mt Ruapehu<br />

By Lynne Dickinson<br />

Images by Lynne and Vicki Knell<br />

When my friend called to see if I wanted to head out on an<br />

overnight hike on Mt Ruapehu, my first reaction was, “absolutely”,<br />

followed closely by “what if the skiing is good that day?” The<br />

issue with hiking in an alpine environment, is that you really want<br />

a clear weather day, which is also what you need for a great day<br />

skiing.<br />

So as everyone enjoyed the last of the spring skiing, we managed<br />

to head off for a couple of overnight hikes in the surrounding trails<br />

and would thoroughly recommend them both.<br />

Both overnight huts were on the Round the Mountain Track, which<br />

is as it sounds, a track that circumnavigates Mt Ruapehu. You<br />

can walk the track in either direction and to do the whole track,<br />

(66.2km loop) which takes between 4 – 6 days, with 6 huts to<br />

choose from and various campsites available or you can choose<br />

to do part of the track with access points from Whakapapa Village,<br />

and off the road to Tukino and Turoa. You can also access the<br />

Round the Mountain Track from a few feeder trails off the State<br />

highway 1, Highway 47 and from Horopito.<br />



Hike one: Mangaehuehu Hut<br />

Two days, one night<br />

9km one way – approximately 6 hours return<br />

This hut is best accessed from the Ohakune Mountain Road, at<br />

the 11km mark, with parking available at the track entrance. The<br />

sign indicated that it was just under 9km to the hut and for the<br />

first few kilometres you follow a well maintained track through the<br />

bush. Within minutes you cross the first of many bridges before<br />

gently climbing out of the bush onto an impressive boardwalk<br />

that meanders through the wetlands. From here, on a clear day,<br />

you can see the lifts of Turoa. The trail then heads back into the<br />

beech forest and down to Waitonga Falls.<br />

The 39m falls are the highest in the Tongariro National Park and<br />

if you only have a few hours it’s worth the walk just to this point<br />

and back again.<br />

After the falls, the track becomes a little more rustic and is<br />

littered with swing bridges and the occasional river crossing.<br />

Although the river had a steady flow when we were there due to<br />

the spring melt, (we could cross without getting our feet wet), you<br />

needed to keep a look out for the orange markers on the other<br />

side of the stream to know where the track went as this was not<br />

overly obvious at first glance.<br />

Previous Page: The lifts at Turoa Ski Field were visible in the background.<br />

Top: Waitonga Falls / Insert: Well maintained boardwalks through some of the Dr Seuss like trees<br />


The thing that really impressed me about this hike was<br />

the variety. We passed through dense beech forest, open<br />

wetlands, numerous rivers, waterfalls, rocky gully’s and<br />

stunted trees like something from a Dr Seuss book and<br />

finally to the open tussock fields that I was more familiar<br />

with in this area.<br />

You can walk to Mangaehuehu Hut in 3 hours but allow<br />

yourself longer to enjoy the numerous scenic spots along<br />

the way. Mangaehuehu Hut is an 18 bunk serviced hut<br />

with incredible views over the surrounding area. Due to<br />

its elevation (1285m) and the fact that we had a clear day,<br />

you can see for miles. The hut is well established with a<br />

fantastic pot belly fireplace in the centre of the hut and large<br />

picture windows allowing excellent views in every direction,<br />

(a real bonus when the sky turned the most intense red and<br />

rewarded us with an incredible sunset).<br />

If you wish to carry on further than the Mangaehuehu Hut,<br />

it’s another 5 ½ hours to the Rangipo Hut. We chose to<br />

stay put and head back the way we had come the following<br />

morning. Due to the time of year we saw very few people<br />

and were the only ones staying in the hut that night.<br />

"They say that variety is the spice<br />

of life, and this hike had plenty!"<br />

Inserts: Another swing bridge just before we reached the hut / Mangaehuehu Hut enjoying a spectacular sunset<br />

Bottom: Crossing one of the many rivers<br />


Hike two: Rangipo Hut<br />

Two days, one night<br />

5 km one way to Rangipo, approximately 4 hours return<br />

Access to this section of the Round the Mountain Track is from<br />

Desert Road, via the Waihohonu Track (a full day hike) or from the<br />

4WD access road to Tukino Ski Field. We took the latter, and have a<br />

new found respect for the local skiers, who drive this road to access<br />

the ski field.<br />

This side of the mountain is in stark contrast to our first hike, the<br />

track for most of the way is sparce of vegetation and very exposed<br />

to the elements. According to DOC it is the only true desert<br />

landscape in the North Island, with features of vast plains of windswept<br />

sands and volcanic rock.<br />

The first significant landmark, and challenging section of this part of<br />

the track is crossing the Whangaehu River lahar path, an area with<br />

great historical significance in New Zealand, being responsible for<br />

the 1953 Tangiwai Disaster. There are plenty of signs warning you<br />

that you are in the area and they are somewhat ominous. “Do not<br />

stop”… “Do not enter if you hear a loud roaring noise upstream.”<br />

It does make for a rather nervous crossing, not only does it come<br />

with some potential lahar danger, the terrain itself is also quite<br />

challenging, with large rocks and valleys to clamber over and<br />

under as well as a single person bridge in the middle. However, the<br />

scenery here is spectacular, particularly the view of the mountain on<br />

a clear day.<br />

Although only 5km to the hut, the terrain is varied with lots of ups<br />

and downs. The trail is largely unformed but well-marked, mostly<br />

rocky with large tracks of fine scoria, making our poles invaluable.<br />

Rangipo Hut is a serviced 20 bunk hut facing east and sitting at an<br />

altitude of 1556m. It’s perched on the southern edge of the desert<br />

looking out to the Kaimanawa Mountains and Desert Road. The<br />

positioning of this hut offers impressive sunrises on a clear morning,<br />

worth getting up early for, and a vast night sky. Reading the hut<br />

book, with tales of stormy nights and blizzard conditions, it reminded<br />

us that clear weather is not always a guarantee.<br />

"Extreme lahar risk, next 400m.<br />

Do not stop in this area.<br />

Do not proceed past here if you<br />

hear a loud roaring noise upriver"<br />

If you are lucky enough to get great weather, you can climb the<br />

rocky outcrop directly behind the hut, and the mountain will reveal<br />

itself.<br />


Insert left page: Rangipo Hut / Above: Crossing the Whangaehu River lahar path<br />

Above left: Warning, warning, move throught this area quickly! / Right: Stopping for a quick snack once we were clear of danger<br />


Sidewalks: Waihianoa River Gorge.<br />

About 45 minute further on from the Rangipo Hut<br />

you come across the Waihianoa Gorge, one of the<br />

mountain’s largest valleys. It’s an impressive sight;<br />

it is steep (it drops nearly 200m in just over 300m<br />

and climbs another 150m) and the ground uneven<br />

to say the least. It’s bleak, exposed and somewhat<br />

intimidating and makes you realise the force of<br />

nature. It takes approximately an hour to cross what<br />

is referred to by some as “the Grand Canyon,” which<br />

upon seeing I can understand why.<br />

One of the advantages of visiting as a day trip was<br />

that we did not need to cross as we were heading<br />

back at to the Rangipo Hut, so we were able to<br />

explore at our own comfort and appreciate the<br />

grandeur from up high.<br />


"The beauty of these two hikes was that we could access two<br />

very contrasting environments on Mt Ruapehu, enjoying some<br />

of the highlights of the Round the Mountain track, within a short<br />

period of time. This also meant we were able to take advantage<br />

of a small weather window for each hike."<br />

Above: Waihianoa River Gorge, one of the mountain's largest valleys - see if you can spot the swing bridge in the valley floor below.<br />



Aoraki/Mt Cook<br />

By Jody Direen<br />

There was no better time to book my first trip to<br />

Mount Cook Village.<br />

At a time when the Hooker and Tasman Valleys<br />

would typically be sprawling with tourists from all<br />

over the world exploring the majestic lands that<br />

lay below Mount Cook – instead, the odd group<br />

of New Zealanders (like me) were about, filling up<br />

their adventure cup in their homeland. It was hard<br />

to see mostly empty cafes, carparks, hotel rooms<br />

and businesses downsized. But I was grateful for<br />

the opportunity to explore the true heart of the<br />

Southern Alps with its sub-alpine hikes and glacial<br />

lakes with my partner Barny Young and a couple<br />

of our good friends without competing for carpark,<br />

café, track and view point space. Now knowing how<br />

accessible and mind-blowing this place is I can only<br />

imagine how busy it must get in peak season, when<br />

international borders are open.<br />



After previously postponing our mid-winter adventure<br />

to Mount Cook due to a bad weather outlook, we<br />

finally set off from my parent’s house in Wanaka on<br />

a crisp mid-July morning, picked up a pair of snow<br />

chains and headed for the mighty land. We knew we<br />

had at least one or two days of fine weather before<br />

snow was forecast on our four-day escape. We were<br />

fine with this because it meant we would get the best<br />

of both worlds; fine sunny days to hike high and Mount<br />

Cook village in full snow mode – yes please!<br />

I used to drive the road between Wanaka and<br />

Christchurch a lot but since relocating to Franz Josef<br />

Glacier on the West Coast over two years ago, this<br />

might have been my third trip through the Lindas Pass<br />

and boy did it put on a show! Laden with glistening<br />

snow, it was a picturesque blue bird day and I knew<br />

we were in for a treat. I couldn’t wait to set my eyes on<br />

Cook.<br />

We turned off the main highway onto the dead end<br />

and famously photographed road that leads to the<br />

base camp of Mount Cook. Finally, I was in my own<br />

un-trodden travel zone and it felt good. The road<br />

meandered along beside high-country stations with<br />

the occasional homestead, woolsheds, shearers<br />

and shepherds houses on one side and Lake Pukaki<br />

casting its ice-blue waters up towards the headland on<br />

the other – a glorious drive.<br />

Out of nowhere we pop up and over a rise and there<br />

she goes – you definitely can’t miss it – the sheer<br />

magnitude and beauty of Mount Cook is breathtaking.<br />

And we were still a fifteen-minute drive from the<br />

village, the sense of adventure kicks in.<br />

Our hiking packs are ready to roll - full with our<br />

Kokopelli pack-rafts from Pack raft New Zealand,<br />

extra wool layers, hat, gloves, balaclava, dry-suit, first<br />

aid essentials, food, water, life jacket and paddles. It’s<br />

10am so our plan is to bee-line for the Hooker Valley<br />

carpark - hike to Hooker Lake and pack raft with the<br />

sleeping monsters (icebergs) or possibly paddle up<br />

the lake to the Hooker Glacier terminal.<br />

Previous page: Jody Direen and Clarissa Turner enjoy the spectacular Hooker lake from a new perspective.<br />

Above: A sunset float on lake Tasman is well worth adding to the adventure bucket list.

The track is wide and well groomed (although it was icy in<br />

places) and almost impossible to get lost. I wore my hiking<br />

boots but in hindsight wish I opted for my lighter Salomon<br />

trail runners - the ground is so even. The track twists and<br />

turns and gently undulates. There are three impressive<br />

swing bridges to cross – these were track highlights for<br />

me! The rivers flowing underneath are full of energy and<br />

excitement because with each one you know you are<br />

getting closer to the source. It took 40 minutes to hike in<br />

with reasonably heavy packs (allow perhaps one hour).<br />

The track reaches a high point just as the full landscape<br />

of Hooker Lake comes into focus. The Hooker Glacier can<br />

be seen creeping up the mountain in the far distance and<br />

the icebergs float effortlessly, dotted randomly around the<br />

lake. The mothership that is Mount Cook hovers like a<br />

giant. The moment cultivates a feeling of scared respect<br />

for our mountains. The overwhelming size and presence of<br />

the surrounding alps as well as the ‘knowing’ of lives lost<br />

beyond where we are gives way to the realization of how<br />

vulnerable we are as humans. This is their home, not ours.<br />

We just have to hope that when we venture deeper than<br />

the well-groomed tracks like Hooker Lake, we are met with<br />

favorable conditions.<br />

If you’re looking to access one of the most beautiful,<br />

unique, yet isolated places you’ve ever seen on foot with<br />

the least amount of physical effort and time investment -<br />

the Hooker Valley track is it. To put this into perspective, on<br />

the West Coast, it would take an advanced multi-day hiking<br />

mission to access an ice-lake with similar characteristics.<br />

Lucky for us, we didn’t have to paddle far off-shore to get<br />

a closer look at the seemingly peaceful ice bergs. The lake<br />

is longer than we imagined so we decide to leave the ‘full<br />

length of the lake paddle’ for summer. It’s prudent to have<br />

plenty of daylight hours up your sleeve when exploring the<br />

full length of the lake. This is because typically ice lakes<br />

are lined with unstable moraine walls which can collapse<br />

at any moment therefore once you’re in the middle of the<br />

lake, to get back to land you really want to paddle back to<br />

the put in (as opposed to the side which might be the closer<br />

option). If a head wind comes up, this may take longer<br />

than you planned. In case you’re planning on giving this<br />

adventure a go and integrating pack rafting into your Mount<br />

Cook trip, I should give you the safety brief.<br />

"The perspective from the water<br />

of the surrounding nature is<br />

outstandingly different than when<br />

you are limited to land."<br />

Hypothermia is likely on the water if you are not prepared<br />

with the correct clothing - a dry suit is a must. The water<br />

temperature sits around 2 to 3 degrees and if you fall out its<br />

important you know how to self-rescue. There is risk of ice<br />

falling off the glacier terminal at any time which can cause<br />

waves down the lake. Similarly, icebergs can roll at any<br />

time and cause a huge amount of energy and water force<br />

up from deep under (enough to flip a boat) therefore a safe<br />

distance needs to be kept.<br />

Safety brief over.<br />

It’s achievable for anyone with outdoor experience and<br />

common sense to explore close lying bergs from the put<br />

in (just like we did) and oh my, is it worth it. I can’t quite<br />

put into words the feeling within when having a close<br />

encounter with an ice berg, but I’ll give it a go. Surreal yet<br />

grounding. An enlightening and I want to say… almost<br />

spiritual experience, one I could not have had if I didn’t<br />

have my trusty Kokopelli pack raft to explore at a new level.<br />

The perspective from the water of the surrounding nature is<br />

outstandingly different than when you are limited to land.<br />


We spent 40 minutes paddling around the ice bergs, taking it<br />

all in. Barny even run a class III rapid on a river releasing from<br />

Hooker Lake. Before long, the sun started to cast shadows so<br />

we packed up, hiked out and checked into Aoraki Court Motel.<br />

Accommodation wise, we wanted a touch of luxury to return to<br />

after our daily activities and after reading reviews we narrowed<br />

the options down to the Hermitage Hotel or Aoraki Court<br />

Motel. The Aoraki Court Motel had better reviews and was<br />

better value so we chose that. In doing so we sacrificed views<br />

of Mount Cook for views of Mount Sefton and it was worth<br />

it. The views were exceptional - it felt like we were the only<br />

dwelling in the valley plus we had a bigger room, a full-sized<br />

spa tub and our own kitchen so we could cook - winning!<br />

That evening we planned to do a sunset paddle on Tasman<br />

Lake so we set off at 3pm. After a 30-minute hike we arrived to<br />

crystal clear reflections and WAY more icebergs than we ever<br />

imaged to see in one body of water in New Zealand. We had<br />

heard there had recently been a major glacial carving off of the<br />

Tasman terminal face and they had all floated down to the putin<br />

end of the lake. Well, they were right! We spotted a couple<br />

of bigger bergs around 1km up the lake so we decided we<br />

would venture a little further out than what we did at Hooker.<br />

It was definitely cold at that time of the day and a layer of<br />

ice started to freeze on my pack-raft which was un-nerving<br />

however it didn’t lose any inflation (we spent time blowing<br />

them up whilst they were in the water to ensure they were at<br />

full capacity in the cold environment before paddling off). I was<br />

thankful that the water running down my paddle froze before it<br />

reached my hands as we floated towards our goal.<br />

We worked hard to reach the destination and after 15 minutes<br />

we arrived. These ice bergs made the ones on Hooker look<br />

like popsicles. It was an incredible experience being out there<br />

on sunset. Complete silence, stillness and peace eludes<br />

you yet you know that in any moment that could change<br />

because of the incredibly unstable environment we are in.<br />

The odd crack could be heard and although you would deem<br />

an iceberg to be not-living, somehow there was life. We are<br />

sitting almost in the middle of the lake and as my toes start to<br />

go numb - I call it, time to head back to shore.<br />

I’m excited to get back to Mount Cook. It is a special place<br />

and I hope that every Kiwi and person that visits New Zealand<br />

gets to experience what we did. I deem it impossible to make<br />

memories at Mount Cook you will forget. I recommend adding<br />

the new dimension of an ultra-light pack-raft to experience<br />

all the area has to offer from the water-level perspective<br />

as well as on land. Waiver; do not attempt this with a $99<br />

rubber ducky from The Warehouse! If you’re thinking about<br />

purchasing a pack-raft I highly recommend the Kokopelli<br />

Rogue R-Deck from Pack-raft New Zealand. I love mine and<br />

take it on most hiking adventures – it allows me to explore<br />

alpine lakes, cross rivers that would otherwise be dangerous<br />

on foot, float down chill rivers (after hiking up) – although<br />

some of their pack-rafts are rated up to class IV whitewater if<br />

that’s more your thing! They even make for a great sleeping<br />

mattress!<br />

Adventure is endless in New Zealand when you integrate a<br />

pack-raft into your kit.<br />

Above: Barny couldn't resist the urge to paddle a couple of rapids flowing out of Hooker lake.<br />



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In the footsteps of Cook<br />

By Vicki Knell<br />

In early July 2020 we received this message from our good mate Bob -<br />

‘We’re doing it!...wanna come too? Chopper into Dusky...play and explore...passage up to Breaksea<br />

and Doubtful...get some stories...connect with magic NZ...exit via Lake Manapouri 5 days 4 nights...<br />

ditch the pre xmas madness https:www.wildfiordland.co.nz<br />

There was no hesitation, we were in boots and all. We felt privileged to be included in the group of<br />

10 Bob was putting together and very lucky to have the resources to afford the trip - it’s not cheap<br />

but we knew it was going to be one of those trips of a lifetime and it was worth every penny.<br />

Little did I know that I would lose my Dad in November, a month before our December departure<br />

date, making this trip all the more poignant. Even though he wasn’t joining us, looking at maps of<br />

Dusky Sound and pouring over the Wild Fiordland website I think Dad had been just as excited as<br />

we were about our upcoming adventure.<br />

Our trip began at the Fiordland Helicopters Te Anau hangar. Here we met with Fiona Lee - one of<br />

the owners of Wild Fiordland with 20+ years living and working in Fiordland and Kim Hollows, owner<br />

and pioneering pilot of Fiordland Helicopters. We were entering the realm of Fiordland legends.<br />

The excitement among our team was palpable - who doesn’t love a helicopter flight and what a way<br />

to start the trip! Armed with last minute instructions from Fi and having been introduced to Scotty<br />

Milsted who was to be one of our guides for the next 5 days, we loaded up into 2 choppers.<br />

The flight took us over Lakes Te Anau and Manapouri and with clear weather we were treated to<br />

extensive views of the Manapouri hydroelectric power project. We also got a close look at mountain<br />

ranges including the Dingwall, Merrie, Kilcoy and Braan. Spiralling down into Supper Cove and the<br />

mouth of the Seaforth River it was hard to see where we were going to land as dense bush reached<br />

right down to the water. The skill of the pilots meant we were able to land on a wooden platform no<br />

larger than the size of a beach towel!.

Out in the bay sat Breaksea Girl, at 60 ft this steel ketch was to<br />

provide ample space both above and below deck for our group<br />

of 10. We met skipper and co-owner of Wild Fiordland, Brian<br />

Humphrey, and immediately felt we were in good hands - Brian<br />

is a marine engineer with 10 + years experience sailing in and<br />

around the Sounds. Breaksea Girl is very obviously his and Fi’s<br />

pride and joy. We were also introduced to Kim Reichle who was<br />

not only an amazing chef but shared a wealth of knowledge and<br />

personal experience of NZ flora and fauna with us during our 5<br />

days together. A canadian with a kiwi heart.<br />

Supper Cove was really turning it on for us - not a breath of<br />

wind and the sun was out in full force - so the late morning was<br />

spent exploring the Seaforth River in sea kayaks and making<br />

the most of the fine weather with the traditional leap from the top<br />

deck roof into the cold sound waters. In the afternoon we set off<br />

leaving Supper Cove and cruising the 9 Fathoms Passage, Paget<br />

Passage around the Useless Islands into the Basin where we<br />

anchored for our first night. Looking at a map does not give a true<br />

indication of the vastness of Dusky nor the number of islands,<br />

inlets, bays or coves. At every turn we were treated to scenery<br />

that was mind blowing and a growing sense of how this place<br />

could get under your skin was becoming more apparent.<br />

Our next 4 days were spent exploring the many gems that Dusky<br />

offers. One of the highlights was landing on the hallowed ground<br />

of Pigeon Island at Richard Henry Landing. Little evidence<br />

remains of New Zealand's first wildlife ranger's habitation.<br />

However, with the knowledgeable guidance of Scotty, the story<br />

of Richard Henry, his life on Pigeon Island and the exploits of<br />

the curator and caretaker of Resolution Island beginning in<br />

1894, came to life. Having just cruised the surrounding waters<br />

we developed immense admiration for the resilience Richard<br />

Henry had for the back and forth sailing of his dinghy Putangi.<br />

From 1894 for the next 14 years Henry single-handedly moved<br />

well over 700 birds including roa, kiwi, and kākāpo. He released<br />

most of them onto Resolution Island and Five Fingers Peninsula.<br />

Sadly his efforts ended in despair when stoats swam to the<br />

islands in 1900. He would surely be heartened now, to witness<br />

the successful work undertaken by the Kākāpo Recovery Team<br />

on Anchor Island.<br />

Taking the tender into Pickersgill Harbour and landing to walk<br />

into Astronomer Point was also a highlight. With rata branches<br />

hanging out over the water we could imagine Cook's ship<br />

Resolution backed into the cove and pulled alongside. Notes from<br />

Lieutenant Pickersgill record his finding of this anchorage - ‘After<br />

getting into this passage we opened one of the most inchanting<br />

little Harbours I ever saw; it was surrounded with high Lands<br />

intirely cover’d with tall shady trees rising like an amphitheatre;<br />

and with the sweet swelling Notes of a number of Birds made the<br />

finest Harmony.’<br />

Kim had previously spent time with the Kākāpo Recovery Team<br />

as a volunteer so it was such a pleasure to land on Anchor Island<br />

and venture into Kākāpo country hearing about her first hand<br />

experiences with these delightful and very special taonga. The<br />

walk in from Luncheon Cove to Lake Kirirua took us through bush<br />

with a pre-historic feel and while highly unlikely, the possibility of<br />

coming across a rare Kākāpo was enough to fill us with a quiet air<br />

of anticipation.<br />

Back on board every meal was a culinary delight - the seafood<br />

provided by Scotty’s efforts included crayfish and paua all cooked<br />

to perfection by Kim. Of note is the conservation code adhered<br />

to by Brian. Fi and their crew who operate under a ‘no take-out’<br />

policy with respect to fishing and ultimately practise the ethos of<br />

‘protect and preserve’. Only ever enough kai moana is gathered<br />

to have a feed on that day.<br />

From Dusky we ventured out past Breaksea Island, up the west<br />

coast and into Doubtful Sound. After our last night together we<br />

made our farewells to the crew of Breaksea Girl and headed back<br />

to Te Anau via a bus ride and boat trip across Lake Manapouri.<br />

Our 5 days on Breaksea Girl had been the elixir everyone in our<br />

group of 10 was after. In the footsteps of Cook and his crew we<br />

too ate like kings, got out for decent walks, enjoyed evenings<br />

around the guitar, shared stories, read and at times just sat and<br />

soaked up the surrounding beauty. We came away with a greater<br />

appreciation for Dusky Sound / Tamatea - it’s conservation story<br />

and fascinating history. A very kiwi trip of a lifetime - Dad would<br />

have loved it.<br />

Previous page: The tiny landing platform at Supper Cove - our arrival point in Dusky Sound<br />

Above: Dusky Sound in all its beauty<br />


Inserts top row: Wet Jacket Arm, Moanauta - where waterfalls, misty skies and thousand metre tops converge. / Breaksea Girl - our home for<br />

the next 5 days / The team ready to load outside Fiordland Helicopters Te Anau hangar<br />

Bottom row: Soaking up the sun and the never-ending views on the front deck / More crayfish anyone / Pickersgill Harbour - in the footsteps of<br />

the Resolution crew.


Sunset on Mt Ruapehu<br />

Words by Paige Hareb, Images by Lauren Murray<br />

Being an avid skier and snowboarder<br />

since I could walk, I’ve always loved<br />

the mountains but as I grew older<br />

and became a pro surfer to follow<br />

the summer around the world for the<br />

past 14+ years, I naturally spent less<br />

and less time in the snowy hills. So<br />

something that I’ve had on my bucket<br />

list since I was a young tacker, now at<br />

the ripe old age of 31, I finally ticked the<br />

Ruapehu summit off.

T’was Labour weekend, the last weekend that Mount<br />

Ruapehu could possibly be open before the end of<br />

the snow season. Lauren and I were heading there<br />

no matter what to try and make the most of a skimpy<br />

snow season in between weather and yip, you guessed<br />

it, Covid levels. We were just hoping for the classic<br />

dodgy, four seasons in one day forecast to be wrong.<br />

To begin our great weekend mission, we drove halfway<br />

up Tukino field and decided to spend our very first night<br />

in our brand new Kiwi Camping tent 1200m+ above<br />

sea level. The 4WD road up felt like we were on a true<br />

adventure and waking up to desert-like views, no wind<br />

and the sun shining; we instantly knew today was the<br />

day!<br />

Lauren Murray, a professional Adventure photographer<br />

who had also just finished her avalanche safety course<br />

was all in for this adventure with me. Feeling super<br />

confident with my skiing skills, I had done minimal<br />

hiking and mountaineering so did still feel a little like a<br />

fish out of water. Or should I say I felt like a surfer out of<br />

the ocean. Lauren’s confidence and ‘go-get-em’ attitude<br />

made me more comfortable about this mission ahead<br />

of us. The only downfall about going with a professional<br />

photographer is they have a sh*t load of cameras and<br />

camera gear to carry but as you can see, it was well<br />

worth it for the photos we did get.<br />

As well as cameras, we made sure we were extra<br />

prepared. Growing up with Mt Taranaki in my backyard,<br />

I’ve seen all its flaws and heard of many hikers getting<br />

caught out because of the weather conditions changing<br />

within minutes or lack of gear. So with that in the back<br />

of my mind, we packed many thermal layers and<br />

jackets. As well as three sets of crampons (I had a set<br />

that fit my ski boots and a set that fit my hiking boots).<br />

Ice axes, snacks, as well as a gas canister to boil some<br />

water for our new favourite lightweight hiking food;<br />

a delicious vegetarian spaghetti bolognese made by<br />

LocalDehy.<br />

We had heard mixed reports of whether Whakapapa<br />

or Turoa was the easiest way to get to the summit.<br />

After a couple of days snowboarding at Turoa during<br />

the season, we decided to head to Whakapapa purely<br />

because we hadn’t been to that side this year. I’m so<br />

glad we decided that side though because apparently<br />

the gradient isn’t as steep as the Turoa side and<br />

because I chose to skin up on my skis, it made it way<br />

easier. Lauren hiked the whole way in her crampons.<br />

Both great options. Before heading up we tried to do<br />

some research and studied a topographic map and<br />

talked to the Whakapapa Ski Patrol to plan our route<br />

up.<br />

Hopping off the highest West T-bar at about 3:30pm we<br />

began our trek up and over the glacier knob ridge and<br />

towards the dome. After multiple stops for breathtaking<br />

views, snacks, layering clothes and facetiming friends<br />

halfway up the mountain, we finally thought we were<br />

there. Well, Lauren thought we were there. With a<br />

disappointed tone in her voice she said “Yip, this must<br />

Previous page: Paige at the summit<br />

Inserts left: Paige chose to skin up in her skis / Insert right: Lauren hiked in her crampons<br />

Right: Lauren working her magic


e it but it’s just still frozen over”. I’m not sure if she was<br />

delirious after hiking for two hours with a 10kg+ backpack<br />

but I almost believed it too. In my head I was thinking, I<br />

can’t have hiked all this way to not even really see it. We<br />

questioned our route up and had actually accidentally got<br />

side-tracked, veering to the left and going around the dome<br />

instead of up and over it. We ended up above the summit<br />

plateau, which to be fair, could quite possibly pass as a big<br />

frozen lake or crater. With sunset nearing, we both became<br />

adamant that we had to keep exploring to find the reason we<br />

were up there in the first place. 400 metres further, just over<br />

and around a little hill, with the light going golden we had<br />

finally made it to the crater!<br />

With relief that we had not only made it to the top, but more<br />

importantly in time for Lauren to work her magic with the<br />

light and her cameras. After admiring our location, devouring<br />

our snacks and LocalDehy dinner we still hadn’t finished our<br />

adventure. We raced the sun as it was quickly setting and<br />

nearly 8:30pm with us on top of Mt Ruapehu. With nerves and<br />

excitement we strapped our snowboard and skis to our feet<br />

and started cautiously skiing down the mountain hooting and<br />

hollering with one another with a couple of stops to appreciate<br />

that we were the only two people on the entire mountain<br />

crazy enough to ski down by a phone torch. We managed<br />

to ski over three quarters of the way down before the spring<br />

snow changed to a rocky mountain trail. Quickly changing<br />

from ski boots to hiking boots and now carrying the extra<br />

weight of our skis, snowboard and boots; it was now pitch<br />

black but it was luckily a perfect starry night that made the<br />

last 30 minute trek down nicer but definitely not easier.<br />

Making it back to our car at just after 9pm we were completely<br />

exhausted but so high on an adrenaline rush. We talked<br />

about it for days! To summit up (pun intended) both ticking it<br />

off our bucket list but we already want to do it all again!<br />

Top: Not a bad spot for dinner<br />

Inserts top to bottom: Our delicious dinner from Local Dehy - The first night in our new Kiwi Camping tent 1200m+ above sea level<br />




More than just amazing engineering<br />

A lot has been written about the development of the Dunstan Trail and the canter-levered tracks that<br />

suspend over Lake Dunstan. However there was so much more to this bike track than a marvel of<br />

engineering.<br />

Despite Covid disrupting travel for many in the country, the Dunstan has already recorded a record<br />

number of visitors since it opened in May 2021, all keen to enjoy either all, or part of the 57km trail.<br />

Beginning in Smiths Way, Cromwell, the trail follows the Clutha River arm of Lake Dunstan into old<br />

Cromwell town then circles the Kawerau River arm out towards Bannockburn before turning south east<br />

towards Clyde. Although a grade two ride most of the way, with some grade 2-3, this is no “easy” trail.<br />

The path is narrow in places and with numerous blind corners and steep drops to the river below, it does<br />

offer a challenge for the more adventurous.<br />

Having flown into Queentown for a quick visit, we hired bikes from Bike It Now! in Clyde. We drove out<br />

to their headquarters where we were fitted with our bikes before being driven back into Cromwell to start<br />

the ride. The trail actually starts at Smiths Way and bikes through Pisa Moorings towards Cromwell. It’s<br />

a flat (grade 1) 16km ride alongside the river with the highway on one side, however we missed this part<br />

and began at Old Cromwell village, meaning we had just over 40km ride ahead of us.<br />


Cromwell to Bannockburn Inlet: 7km, grade 2<br />

The trail wove along the banks of the river, lush with trees and vegetation; this<br />

section an easy meander along well formed trails. As we neared Bannockburn,<br />

we crossed under the bridge, and evidence of the areas wineries became<br />

visible as we biked alongside vineyards and olive groves. Make sure you give<br />

yourself plenty of time as there are numerous places you can stop along the<br />

way. Unfortunately it was still rather early in the morning for a wine, and also<br />

rather early in the ride.<br />

Bannockburn Inlet to Cairnmuir Gully: 11.3km, grade 2-3<br />

We reluctantly biked past Carrick Winery and onto the other side of Lake<br />

Dunstan and back towards Cromwell. As you turn away from Cromwell towards<br />

Clyde, the terrain becomes wild and stark, and this is where the engineering<br />

becomes evident.<br />

On the Dunstan Trail, looking out towards Clyde<br />


The trail is either hanging from the rock, cut into<br />

the rock or cut right through it. The banks are stark<br />

except for an abundance of wild thyme and the<br />

ever present lupins clinging to the rocks. Along this<br />

section you will notice (if you keen an eye out) for<br />

the drainage tunnels (there are 13 of them) that were<br />

drilled into the hillside in the mid 1990’s in attempt to<br />

alleviate landslips into the Clutha River. You will know<br />

when you reach the gully as this is where you’ll find<br />

the coffee and burger barges moored up against the<br />

side of the trail, a welcome sight.<br />

Cairnmuir Gully to Halfway Hut: 8.4km, grade 2-3<br />

We eased our way past the crowds at the coffee<br />

stop towards the Cairnmuir Ladder, an aptly<br />

named section of the track that if it wasn’t for the<br />

switchbacks, would require a near vertical climb.<br />

Although you may feel like grinding it out to the top,<br />

make sure you take time to stop and enjoy the view<br />

halfway up, it’s also the perfect excuse to take a<br />

breather. From here you can see most of the trail you<br />

have ridden along as well as the stonework faces of<br />

the Cairnmuir slide that was built to protect the river<br />

from a major landslide. The top of this section is the<br />

highest point on the track so the ride down was loads<br />

of fun. Towards the bottom we crossed Hugo Bridge,<br />

a narrow swing bridge traversing the gorge below.<br />


Above: Hartley Bridge Bluff<br />

Left hand page from top left: Hugo Bridge / Micah taking note of the warning signs<br />

Cairnmuir Ladder, a series of switchbacks making for an easier ascent<br />


Halfway Hut to Dunstan Arm Rowing Club: 10.7km,<br />

grade 2-3<br />

We thought we had completed the major climb on the ride<br />

but after halfway hut the trail climbed again, this time without<br />

the aid of the switchbacks. Luckily once you reached the<br />

peak, the ride was downhill again all the way to the edge<br />

of the lake where there were plenty of places to stop and<br />

have a swim or just picnic beside the lake. Although we were<br />

eager to race ahead at this point, the trail was narrow in<br />

places and it was a balancing act between letting it rip and<br />

proceeding with caution.<br />

The rest of the ride followed an undulating track along the<br />

river until we reached the Dunstan Arm Rowing Club and the<br />

Clyde Dam, NZ’s third largest hydro dam.<br />

Dunstan Arm Rowing Club to Clyde Heritage Precinct:<br />

3.5km, grade 1<br />

The ride back into Clyde was along the roadside past the<br />

lower reaches of the dam and into what is considered “old<br />

Clyde”. It had been an incredible day, the temperature had<br />

hit the 30’s and we had been wowed with the variety on the<br />

trail and the views along the way. We finished the day with a<br />

well deserved ice cold beer in the tavern next door to Bike It<br />

Now! A perfect end to a perfect day.<br />

The Dunstan trail offered a real variety<br />

in both terrain and scenery and should<br />

be on everone's to do list.<br />

The trail can be completed in either<br />

direction but after speaking to someone<br />

who had biked it both ways, they<br />

recommended starting in Cromwell<br />

and finishing in Clyde. We found that<br />

most of the people on the track were<br />

biking in that direction so the chance<br />

of running into people biking the other<br />

way was less, however for safety sake<br />

it is imperative to “keep left” while biking<br />

when visibility is limited.<br />

Above: Looking back towards Cromwell, you can see the stonework faces of the Cairnmuir slide, which was designed to protect the river<br />

from a major land slide, which could overwhelm the Clyde Dam, a short distance downstream.<br />


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CLUTHA<br />

MATA-AU<br />

RIVER 172km by bike<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. The following four trails<br />

can be combined for 172km of stunning riding<br />

along the winding banks and mighty gorges of<br />

Central Otago’s Clutha Mata-au River.<br />

ROXBURGH GORGE TRAIL: This trail is one of Central Otago’s<br />

most visually spectacular rides. Scattered with remnants of the<br />

gold rush, you’ll head deep into the remote Roxburgh Gorge<br />

from Alexandra to the Lake Roxburgh Hydro Dam. To ride the full<br />

trail, you’ll enjoy a jet boat transfer between Doctors Point and<br />

Shingle Creek. Distance: 21km + 12km jet boat transfer<br />

CLUTHA GOLD TRAIL: The Clutha Gold Trail continues along the<br />

emerald waters of the Clutha Mata-au river and along an old branch<br />

railway line to Lawrence. Brimming with gold mining history, this<br />

easy trail is the perfect way to immerse yourself in the stunning rural<br />

and riverside scenes of Central Otago’s Teviot Valley.<br />

Distance: 73km<br />

LAKE DUNSTAN TRAIL: The new trail on the block, the<br />

Lake Dunstan Trail weaves it’s way along the shores of Lake<br />

Dunstan from Smith’s Way to Cromwell’s Heritage Precinct.<br />

It then heads through Bannockburn’s wine country and into<br />

the remote Cromwell Gorge before finishing in the quaint<br />

township of Clyde. Distance: 55km<br />


Popular with locals, this sheltered trail follows the true right of the<br />

river, joining Clyde and Alexandra. Mainly single-track with some<br />

small undulations and boardwalks, it’s a great alternative to the first<br />

section of the Otago Central Rail Trail. Distance: 12km<br />


Self-Guided – The Trail Journeys team have you covered<br />

with self-guided cycling services across Central Otago.<br />

info@trailjourneys.co.nz | trailjourneys.co.nz | 0800 724 587<br />

Fully Supported – Ride these Central Otago trails and more on a<br />

fully supported group tour with Adventure South NZ.<br />

info@adventuresouth.co.nz | adventuresouth.co.nz | 0800 00 11 66




The art of fly fishing<br />

Words by Steve Dickinson - Images by Lynne Dickinson<br />

My earliest memories are fishing with my dad on English rivers, catching coarse<br />

fish like roach, rudd and perch. We then moved to New Zealand, and I soon<br />

discovered the joy of sea fishing and I still love it today. But twenty years ago we<br />

bought a property on the banks of the Tongariro river, and I was introduced to<br />

trout fishing.<br />

Trout fishing is not like any other fishing, the results are often small and modest<br />

by comparison to other fishing. Yet there is so much to learn and understand<br />

and it is more like hunting than fishing, it’s more of an adventure.<br />

New Zealand both North and South Islands are intertwined with a plethora of<br />

available trout streams, rivers, dams and lakes. There are numerous websites<br />

and books that outline where the most accessible are and how to access them.<br />

There is nothing more exciting than driving up to a river access not really<br />

knowing what to expect. Some rivers are right there, others you have to tramp<br />

sometimes for days to get to. (It is important if you are crossing private land to<br />

ask permission).<br />

Recently a mate and I smashed through bracken and up a small goat track for<br />

what seemed hours following the hardly used trail not really sure if we were<br />

going in the right direction. Then as we crossed a low ridge line, we looked down<br />

on a crystal-clear river on a large bend no deeper than a foot. And we could see<br />

the silhouettes of the trout from where we looked down. We approached the<br />

river ‘stealthy’; these big boys don’t get to hear a lot of footfalls. On the sandy<br />

bank for as far as you could see in both directions you could not see a footprint,<br />

not a sign of mankind. As per our custom we sat, we watched, and we whispered<br />

rather than just jumping straight in. Just using our go to flash back peasant tail,<br />

and keeping a low profile while casting, first cast big rainbow, second cast big<br />

rainbow, third cast big brown. Catching the fish is the bonus and it does not<br />

always work out so well, but when it does come together there is nothing like it.<br />

I am no tramper, I find it boring, but if you add trout fishing to that I’ll happily<br />

spend all day walking the banks of a river casting a fly, hunting the fish for<br />

kilometres. It is so much less about gathering food (but trout do taste good if<br />

cooked correctly) but it is more about the experience, more often than not I find<br />

myself sitting on the bank just looking at what an amazing place we live in, and it<br />

is right on our front door.<br />


My dad used to tell me to slowdown when fishing, typically you’d<br />

catch a fish and rush to pull it in. He would say “this is what you<br />

have been waiting for all day now enjoy it, take you time”. With fly<br />

fishing it’s not just the catching it’s the whole adventure experience. I<br />

recently went out on to some back water with a friend who was once<br />

a full-time guide. We split up he caught and/or lost about fifteen fish,<br />

whereas I caught and/or lost five. As we sat on the bank at the end<br />

of the beat, he said, “you need to slow down”, he told me, “you need<br />

to spend more time on each section, don’t rush through so quick and<br />

your hit rate will go up.” The next day I did just that and he was 100%<br />

correct. But slowing down is what adventure fly fishing is about. You<br />

are not burleying up and simply cranking in big snapper. You are<br />

out in the whole experience from the planning to the travel, to the<br />

discovery, to the environment and then hopefully a few fish.<br />

It does not always work out but the more effort you go to to find<br />

somewhere a bit more remote the better the hit rate. Fish do not<br />

really like people, sure at times you will look down and there will<br />

be one swimming by your boot, but a good example is my<br />

local river the Tongariro, during the last level 4 lock down.<br />

Within a week (because no one was fishing) the numbers in<br />

the shallows doubled, then tripled and as soon as you could<br />

fish for them again – they went back to their normal holding<br />

patterns.<br />

You can pull up to a river get out and stand in the same spot<br />

all day and you will have fun; you will catch fish. BUT you will<br />

also be missing the experience of adventure fly fishing, it is<br />

like having a three-course meal instead of just nibbling on the<br />

entrée.<br />

If you are going to adventure fly fish, you need to gear up for<br />

it. The big heavy, neoprene waders are great for the cold local<br />

rivers, as long as you are not walking too far or having to climb<br />

over stuff. The super cheap plastic waders are thin and light<br />

weight but tend to be uncomfortable, hot and hard to walk in.<br />

If you intend to adventure fish, then invest a pair of lightweight<br />

quality waders and they will make the whole experience a lot<br />

more fun. The second major bit of gear is your boots. These<br />

are more like hiking boots compared to the neoprene waders<br />

and easy to walk in and safer. There are hundreds of options,<br />

material style and sole type. Personally I have been using the<br />

Patagonia River Salt Wading Boots with Vibram® Megagrip<br />

sole a compound specially developed for grip on both wet and<br />

dry surfaces some people add studs, I don’t as a lot of places I<br />

fish have hard round stones which tend to make you slip. The<br />

rest of your gear is about the conditions, rain, sun, wind, and<br />

also where you are going.<br />

Like any hike make sure you tell people where you are<br />

going do not rely on cell phone coverage as it is not always<br />

available. There are a few excellent safety kits on the market<br />

which are a good idea in case of an emergency.<br />

My last piece of advice is enjoy. Its not always about catching<br />

the fish, its about where you are, who you are with (even if you<br />

are alone), and the simple joy of being outside.<br />

Previous page: Fishing on my local, the Tongariro River<br />

Top: One of the joys is finding a hidden gem / Insert: The other joy is catching (and most times, releasing) these beautiful fish<br />




MADE<br />

IN<br />


S H O P | E P I C C O F F E E . C O . N Z<br />

N E W<br />

Z E A L A N D<br />



Seeking adventures<br />

"We like to think this book will inspire people to get out<br />

there and adventure in this ever-increasing digital world."<br />

Growing up on the family farm in rural Waiuku, twins, Amber and Serena Shine,<br />

found their shared love of the outdoors early in life. After leaving school they<br />

both trained in the army before heading the Australia to work in the mines. With<br />

the money they earned, they travelled the world embarking on some incredible<br />

adventures from working in a Bolivian animal sanctuary to being dog-sled tour<br />

guides in Italy.<br />

As with any adventurous lifestyle, it does come with its risks, and they have both<br />

had their shares of injuries and discomforts, from extreme mosquito bites to<br />

broken backs.<br />

There is not a lot these ladies have not achieved; they have competed in the<br />

world’s highest marathon on Mount Everest, walked jaguars in the Amazon,<br />

sailed treacherous seas, navigated ice falls and raced 322 km on a dogsled.<br />

The in 2019, the twins were approached by the makers of Naked and Afraid, an<br />

extreme outdoor adventure (albeit naked). However, they both saw the mental<br />

and physical challenge as something right up their alley and set off to Africa for<br />

the show.<br />

Their latest adventure was to write a book about their experiences, and to share<br />

some of their most extreme achievements and the secrets behind their strength,<br />

endurance and approach to life. “We wrote this book as over the year’s people<br />

love hearing about our adventures and always want to hear more. Our stories<br />

inspired people to get more out of life and we often got the comment “I am going<br />

to bring my kids up like you” so we like to think this book will inspire people to<br />

get out there and adventure in this ever-increasing digital world. Throughout our<br />

adventures we kept diaries so we have an accurate account.”<br />

Of all their adventures, their favourite and closest to heart was summiting Mount<br />

Cook. NZ highest mountain is often a training ground for mountaineers and<br />

the fact that it was on home soil made it all the more special. “S: Climbing Mt<br />

Cook would be one of the more special ones being on home turf and NZ highest<br />

mountain.”<br />

Not all adventures are ones they want to relive. In 2015 Selena broke her back in<br />

a snoboarding accident and was not sure she would ever be able to walk again.<br />

“It doesn’t stop me from doing anything or limit me. However at times it does hurt<br />

but it’s nothing to dwell on, I’m just thankful I can still do any kind of adventure<br />

and keep fit working out.”<br />

Amber and Serena on the Kepler Track<br />


"Often, the more challenging an<br />

adventure is, the more satisfaction<br />

you get when you have completed it. "<br />

They have also had their share of dangerous<br />

encounters. “The leopards, hyena’s and other<br />

predators stalking us in the night in the African<br />

Wilderness still sends a shiver up my spine.”<br />

Not all their adventures have been together<br />

but they seem to have enjoyed those ones<br />

the most. “The majority of our adventures are<br />

together but there are plenty we have done<br />

apart too. We enjoy the same things, so when<br />

we can make it work, it is a lot of fun with the<br />

two of us adventuring together.”<br />

“Often, the more challenging an adventure is,<br />

the more satisfaction you get when you have<br />

completed it. Also, just experiencing new and<br />

different things makes every adventure unique<br />

and keeps the adventure spirit high.”<br />

Top to bottom: Dogsledding<br />

Skydiving<br />

Swimming with turtles in Hawaii<br />

On the summit of Mt Cook<br />





*Offer valid between 01-31 December 2021. Not valid in conjunction with any other offer.


Adventure Magazine<br />

supporting local<br />

business<br />


The "old" mountaineer<br />

No one knows the Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park like local<br />

guide and mountaineer Charlie Hobbs. Having lived and run<br />

his own successful adventure guiding businesses since 1989,<br />

his name is synonymous with the area.<br />

We sat down with Charlie to chat about his connection to his<br />

beloved alps, what the mountains give him, and why every<br />

kiwi must explore this special part of Aotearoa.<br />

"When the<br />

mountains speak,<br />

wise men listen."<br />

What drew you to Aoraki/Mount Cook?<br />

I was living in Timaru working as a tradesman in<br />

the early 80’s, spending my weekends and spare<br />

time in the mountains. I was working for the<br />

Mountain Safety Council and heavily involved<br />

with the local alpine club where I was also doing<br />

some instructing and helping club members.<br />

Something just clicked with me one day and,<br />

like many others, I thought “maybe I’ll become a<br />

guide”. I got the necessary guiding qualifications<br />

and moved up to Aoraki/Mount Cook which then<br />

led to numerous overseas guiding expeditions.<br />

The natural next step from there was to establish<br />

my own business where I could share my<br />

passion, knowledge, and genuine love of the<br />

area. I’ve never really looked back.<br />

What’s kept you there?<br />

The mountains are a spiritual place to be –<br />

they’re beautiful, they speak to me, I love<br />

working there. The glaciers are continually<br />

changing and ice structures remodelling; my<br />

office is never the same. You get up there and<br />

there’s no one around, it’s a truly special place.<br />

I’ve always loved the saying “when the<br />

mountains speak, wise men listen”. You can’t<br />

muck around in nature, you have to treat it with<br />

respect and listen to what she has to say. I truly<br />

believe if more people took heed of that, more<br />

people would make it home safely.<br />


Glacier Explorers is just one of many experiences in the region<br />

Tell us about the changes to the area over the years<br />

Environmentally I’ve seen some big changes over the last few<br />

decades. I’ve seen the glaciers recede dramatically since the<br />

80’s – some of the smaller ones in the park have melted back<br />

to nothing. On a slightly more positive note, there is some talk<br />

about glacial advancements soon and cooling, so I do hold<br />

some hope there.<br />

The other big change is the number of visitors. In the 90’s<br />

tourism was quite a magical time. We had a good number of<br />

visitors - many of them kiwis - who came and really enjoyed<br />

the Park. It was sustainable.<br />

In the last decade we’ve seen a huge growth in numbers<br />

– probably too much for our infrastructure. It was getting<br />

uncomfortably busy. With the borders closed, it’s like a return<br />

to the earlier days with distinct peak and shoulder periods, and<br />

much more sustainable numbers. You can now head out and<br />

enjoy some of the popular trails without the crowds. It’s a great<br />

time for kiwis to travel.<br />

Mass tourism wasn’t good for our local community and our<br />

environment didn’t like it – it was putting a lot of pressure on<br />

certain areas and it wasn’t good karmically. I’d like to see a<br />

more balanced approach and more manageable numbers<br />

when international visitors return.<br />

You offer some pretty amazing Aoraki experiences…<br />

Well in contrast to what we’ve just chatted about, my trips<br />

are all about taking small groups to special places that very<br />

few people can access. Whether it’s mountaineering, glacier<br />

snow-shoeing, kayaking, heli or glacier skiing, we like to be<br />

personalised and small.<br />

Kayaking: We’re the only operator on the Mueller Glacier Lake<br />

and it’s a place that people can’t walk to, and aircraft can’t fly<br />

over. You experience a magical “quiet zone” amongst the most<br />

incredible big vistas. On the Tasman Glacier Lake you can see<br />

big bergs the size that you’d normally only see in the likes of<br />

Antarctica or Alaska. You can paddle around the icebergs and<br />

experience something pretty unique with only a small number<br />

of people – it’s incredibly special.<br />


"My trips are all about<br />

taking small groups to<br />

special places that very few<br />

people can access. Whether<br />

it’s mountaineering, glacier<br />

snow-shoeing, kayaking, heli<br />

or glacier skiing, we like to<br />

be personalised and small."

Glacier Heli-Hiking and Snow Shoeing: Surprisingly, kiwis really<br />

haven’t discovered glacier heli-hiking or snow shoeing yet. It’s<br />

popular with international visitors but the domestic market hasn’t<br />

really caught on to fact that you can come and experience incredible<br />

glacial ice caves and formations without needing to know how to<br />

ski. It’s something I’d really like to see more kiwis do. You need to<br />

be able to walk but as most of its downhill, you don’t need to be<br />

physically fit. It’s a fantastic day out.<br />

Heli-skiing and glacier skiing: skiing the glacier has been popular<br />

with kiwis for decades. It’s an incredible experience and accessible to<br />

most intermediate skiers – the blue-green equivalent runs makes it<br />

great for most abilities and families. The words heli-skiing tend to put<br />

a lot of people off. They don’t realise that we can match runs to their<br />

abilities, and you don’t have to be an expert skier. Skiing in Aoraki/<br />

Mount Cook is an absolute bucket-list experience.<br />


Charlie Hobbs founded and is the chief<br />

guide for Southern Alps Guides which<br />

holds the highest international certification<br />

for mountain and ski guiding. Southern<br />

Alps Guides operate small personalised<br />

group guiding experiences in Aoraki/<br />

Mount Cook National Park. Charlie and<br />

his wife Mary also run the popular Old<br />

Mountaineers Café which pays tribute to<br />

the mountaineering history and pioneering<br />

spirit of the region. Visit www.mtcook.com.<br />

Local tips? What are the other must do’s in the National Park?<br />

The magic is being outside. There are so many walks in the region<br />

with great views of Aoraki and the glaciers. It’s an incredibly special<br />

and unique experience – there’s nothing quite like hearing the<br />

avalanches, particularly at lying in bed at night.<br />

You can obviously explore the glacier in the ways we’ve discussed,<br />

as well as by boat and 4WD. There’s a range of scenic flight<br />

providers if you fancy something a little less active.<br />

The DoC Visitor Centre provides an amazing history of the area. You<br />

could spend hours in there learning what this region is about; and<br />

The Hermitage’s Sir Edmund Hilary Centre is a must visit too. You’re<br />

really in the elements in the National Park so it’s good to have some<br />

places to hunker down if the weather is bad. We’re in the world’s<br />

largest gold dark sky reserve here and The Hermitage offer a great<br />

stargazing experience at night.<br />

Of course, I’ll always recommend a stop in at the Old Mountaineers<br />

Café for a bite to eat and genuine kiwi hospitality!<br />


Throughout my whole career as a<br />

professional surf photographer and more<br />

recently in the high-end world of VIP travel<br />

facilitation and adventure photography<br />

showing and shooting clients wildest<br />

adventures across the globe, I’ve always<br />

found the time for chasing storms in<br />

between, particularly around my own home<br />

on the Sunshine Coast. It’s a rush, you're<br />

completely alone and out in the elements<br />

witnessing mother nature’s full force. I live<br />

for chasing storms. I basically concentrate<br />

on a small stretch of coastline where I<br />

live smack in the middle of Noosa Heads<br />

and Coolum in QLD. Geographically it’s a<br />

fantastic place for summer storms as the<br />

sub-tropical location is perfect for creating<br />

spectacular lightning shows where the<br />

warm waters meet cooler southern winds.<br />

This night in particular, was a long burn to<br />

get this shot. I went out around 6pm and<br />

the initial storm dissipated. A secondary<br />

storm flared up where I planned this shot<br />

around 1am. The time in between that was<br />

useless; that’s the hard thing is sticking it<br />

out and not packing up. This is one thing<br />

that I used to do each day shooting surf, I<br />

would leave the beach on dark. You’d be<br />

surprised how many people leave and say<br />

when did you get that shot! “ahhh while you<br />

were on your 3rd Bintang or thereabouts?”<br />

The thing is with storm chasing is you can<br />

look at lightning trackers and apps but it<br />

never replaces local knowledge. I had a<br />

feeling the storm would reform and head<br />

out to sea up the coast as I’ve watched<br />

this happen many times growing up here.<br />

Achieving a shot where I can see the stars,<br />

storm clouds and foreground is what I’m<br />

always after. It just gives storms these<br />

perspectives and magical snapshot into<br />

what’s happening above and below. The<br />

best thing is you never really know what<br />

you’re going to get but you can plan to be<br />

around the right distance and location to<br />

achieve what’s in your brain. Of course,<br />

a lot of trips out storm chasing produce<br />

nothing apart from empty coffee cups and a<br />

sandy truck.<br />

Contact mick@mickcurleyphotography.com<br />

Insta – mick_curley_images<br />


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Mid GTX is a gateway to the great outdoors. Engineered from lightweight leather<br />

certified by the Leather Working Group, the versatile silhouette employs recycled<br />

polyester in the collar, mesh and laces. Equipped with our Achilles-cradling pull tab<br />

and grounded in a 50% soy-based sockliner, this waterproof hiker is outfitted with<br />

GORE-TEX footwear fabric with recycled textile to keep feet dry and comfortable in<br />

wet conditions. An innovative style that applies HOKA extended-heel geometry trail<br />

tested over 1,300 miles, the Anacapa Mid GTX utilizes a Vibram® Megagrip outsole<br />

for superior traction in uneven terrain.<br />


Members Earn Equip+<br />

Loyalty Points<br />

shop <strong>online</strong> or instore<br />

equipoutdoors.co.nz<br />

62 Killarney Road,<br />

Frankton, Hamilton,<br />

New Zealand<br />

P: 0800 22 67 68<br />

E: sales@equipoutdoors.co.nz

Macpac Pertex® MTB Shorts $199.99<br />

Fully-featured shorts designed for<br />

every kind of off-road adventure.<br />

Made with a durable Pertex®<br />

Equilibrium outer and padded<br />

detachable inner for customisable<br />

comfort and protection from the<br />

elements. Available in men’s and<br />

women’s sizes.<br />


Patagonia M’s Merino 3/4 Sleeve Bike Jersey $179.99<br />

From the first 100% Fair Trade Certified sewn<br />

mountain bike apparel collection, this highly breathable,<br />

jersey works for both ends of the thermometer, wicking<br />

moisture on hot days and providing extra coverage on<br />

brushy or chilly descents. Made from soft RWS-certified<br />

merino wool and recycled polyester.<br />



The Raid shorts are a fully featured<br />

softshell short in lightweight Matrix<br />

stretch double weave fabric, for trekking<br />

and hiking. With two zipped hand pockets<br />

and a zipped thigh pocket, these pants are<br />

a practical, lightweight option for sunny<br />

days in the hills.<br />


RAB PULSE SS TEE $79.95<br />

Lightweight and fast drying, the Pulse SS Tee is a<br />

versatile technical tee, ideal for multi-day climbing<br />

and trekking trips. Designed for active use, the Pulse<br />

SS Tee is a fast drying technical short sleeve tee with<br />

Polygiene® STAY FRESH odour control treatment.<br />

The Pulse SS Tee is made with lightweight Motiv<br />

fabric and microactive low bulk seams, for strength and<br />

softness next to skin. 30+UPF provides sun protection.<br />


RAB PULSE HOODY $99.95<br />

Lightweight and fast drying, the Pulse<br />

Hoody is a fast drying technical long sleeve<br />

hoody with Polygiene® STAY FRESH odour<br />

control treatment. Featuring a close-fitting<br />

hood and high collar to protect the neck<br />

and ears when you don’t want to wear a<br />

hat, this lightweight layer offers protection<br />

from the sun on long hot routes. Made with<br />

lightweight Motiv fabric, the microactive<br />

low bulk seams ensure strength and<br />

softness next to the skin, combined with<br />

30+UPF sun protection.<br />




The Momentum Shorts are light and robust with a quick dry<br />

time and full freedom of movement. From steep climbs up<br />

jagged peaks to traversing ridges, the Momentum Shorts<br />

are designed for covering greater distances at pace. Made<br />

from lightweight but durable Matrix double weave fabric<br />

they offer full freedom of movement when hiking, running<br />

or scrambling in the mountains. Treated with a DWR these<br />

shorts will repel water during light showers and dry quickly.<br />


Patagonia W's Mibra Tank $119.99<br />

A collaboration between climbers<br />

and the Patagonia design team,<br />

this tank combines active support<br />

with comfort and mobility. In soft,<br />

breathable recycled polyester/<br />

spandex jersey it features a built-in<br />

shelf bra, engineered support straps<br />

for unencumbered movement, and is<br />

Fair Trade Certified sewn.<br />

(Colour: Paintbrush Red, also in<br />

Plume Grey)<br />



Outdoor Research Helium Rain Jacket $299.99<br />

Uses Pertex® Shield with Diamond Fuse Technology to take<br />

durable lightweight waterproof protection to a new high. The jacket<br />

to pack when you are after shaving weight without compromising<br />

performance. Five times more tear resistant than the Helium II and<br />

lighter in weight, completely waterproof yet breathable and able to<br />

be stowed in its chest pocket. Comes in men’s and women’s cut, five<br />

sizes and multiple colours. 179g (men’s large)<br />


Knife Edge Jacket $499.00<br />

Add the lightweight Men’s Knife Edge Waterproof Jacket Shell to your pack<br />

for unexpected downpours during hiking adventures. The wind-blocking,<br />

weight-minimizing GORE-TEX® Paclite® Technology keeps you warm,<br />

dry, and comfortable. The 100% seam-taped fabric, attached hood, and<br />

adjustable drawstring hem will prevent leaks.<br />



Whether used as a fast-wicking first layer or a<br />

technical standalone mountain running top, with its<br />

textured Motiv single jersey fabric.It uses starshaped<br />

rather than circular yarn to increase surface<br />

area, improving the speed at which sweat can be<br />

drawn onto it. The regular fit, allied to the open<br />

structure of the knit, then encourages airflow to help<br />

quicken the drying process. The deep venting zip<br />

on the chest is bonded into the fabric to eradicate<br />

abrasion. With antibacterial Polygiene® odour control<br />

and a weight of just 80g, the Women’s Sonic SS Tee<br />

is performance-driven mountain running design at its<br />

most effective.<br />


Outdoor Research Helium Rain Pants $219.99<br />

Pertex® Shield with Diamond Fuse Technology<br />

for durable, lightweight, waterproof protection.<br />

Able to be stowed in its back pocket. Ankle zips<br />

allow for easy on and off and lace loops keep the<br />

pants anchored. Available in men’s and women’s<br />

cut and five different sizes. 189g (men’s large)<br />



lowe alpine AirZone Trail 35 $299.95<br />

The AirZone Trail 35 features a Fixed<br />

AirZone carry system with a breathable<br />

back to maximise airflow and keep you<br />

cool and comfortable. With a single<br />

buckle entry to the main compartment<br />

and a 35 litre capacity, there’s room for<br />

everything for a day’s hike or trek. Upper<br />

and lower side compression straps<br />

add stability, and a forward pull hip belt<br />

adjustment ensures the perfect fit.<br />


macpacGreat Walks Bandana $24.99<br />

A versatile summer essential<br />

illustrated with 10 Great Walks.<br />

Available in two colours and made<br />

from 100% cotton. Perfect on your<br />

face, in your pocket, or someone’s<br />

Christmas stocking.<br />


lowe ALPINE NIJMEGEN 6 $99.99<br />

Designed to accommodate a full day on the trail, the<br />

Nijmegen is a 6 litre belt pack featuring integrated twin<br />

bottles for easy-access hydration. The 6 litre capacity<br />

means there’s room for everything you need during a day’s<br />

walking, including integrated twin bottles. A rear zipped<br />

security pocket keeps valuables safe and zipped hip belt<br />

pockets give easy access to essentials on the move.<br />


ospray Talon Pro 30 | Tempest Pro 28 $349.99<br />

Heading out for a demanding day hike or light and<br />

fast overnighter? Either way, the Talon Pro 30 |<br />

Tempest Pro 28 is up to the challenge. Light but<br />

tough Nanofly® fabric keeps the weight in check. An<br />

injection-molded backpanel and continuous-wrap<br />

harness and hipbelt move with you over challenging<br />

terrain. This top-loading pack features a hydration<br />

reservoir sleeve, dual zippered hip pockets and<br />

attachment points for ice axes and trekking poles.<br />


lowe alpine AEON 22 $249.95<br />

The Aeon 22 is one of the most adaptable lightweight<br />

backpacks in the Lowe Alpine range. Anatomically shaped<br />

and adjustable, it moves with you, giving a comfortable and<br />

stable carry for multi-use, such as hiking, running or biking.<br />

A 22 litre backpack made with lightweight yet tough TriShield<br />

fabric, featuring top loading main entry with lid and a spacious<br />

lid pocket. Hydration compatible, the Aeon 22 features secure<br />

TipGripper walking pole attachments, ice axe loops, and<br />

double side compression for stability.<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 Adventure<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 />


marmot Trestles 15 Sleeping Bag (-9°C)<br />

$199.95<br />

The Trestles 15 is a reliable allpurpose<br />

bag for everything from<br />

weekend camping to days on the trail.<br />

SpiraFil LT high loft insulation, wave<br />

construction and 3D hood keep you<br />

warm and comfortable, while a long<br />

list of features gives you everything<br />

you'd expect from 40 years of crafting<br />

sleeping bags.<br />


marmot Never Winter Sleeping bag (-1°C) $499.00<br />

The Never Winter Sleeping Bag is ideal for warmweather<br />

camping and river trips—with added<br />

upgrades that’ll keep you comfortable even when<br />

you’re far from home. Its lofty 650-fill-power-down<br />

insulation and water-resistant Down Defender<br />

treatment will keep you warm and dry in mild<br />

conditions. After an epic day of adventuring,<br />

give your feet a rest in the roomy wrap-around<br />

footbox with a heater pocket. Stretch tricot baffles<br />

help keep the fill in place, while the nautilus<br />

multi-baffle hood with a drawcord and full-length<br />

two-way zipper with a draft tube limit heat loss.<br />

If the interior gets too warm, use the fold-down<br />

secondary zipper to get some air. Tuck small<br />

items into the internal stash pocket.<br />


kiwi camping Mamaku Trek 0°C<br />

Sleeping Bag $99.99<br />

The Mamaku Trek 0°C sleeping<br />

bag provides exceptional<br />

warmth on cold adventures. The<br />

semi-tapered design features a<br />

drawstring-adjustable contoured<br />

hood that packs down into the<br />

handy compression bag for easy<br />

pack and carry.<br />


kiwi camping mamaku Pro -5°C<br />

Sleeping Bag $109.00<br />

The Mamaku Pro is a lightweight<br />

-5°C sleeping bag designed for<br />

hiking and travel adventures with<br />

an exceptional warmth to weight<br />

ratio. Features a semi-tapered<br />

shape with silver thermal lining.<br />


exped Lite -5 Down Sleeping Bag (Medium) $599.99<br />

A highly compressible bag made with lightweight<br />

and refined inner and outer fabrics that feel<br />

velvety soft, a watertight construction and highperformance,<br />

800-loft European goose down<br />

(540g) fill for warmth and comfort during the<br />

night. Weighs less than a kilogram!<br />




BAG $599.95<br />

Designed for summer bivis and<br />

lightweight multi-day trips, the Alpine<br />

Pro 200 is a mid-weight down-filled<br />

sleeping bag that expertly balances<br />

warmth, weight and comfort. The<br />

Alpine Pro 200 offers protection and<br />

warmth at a minimum weight and<br />

pack size. Its mummy taper shape is<br />

roomy and comfortable, using durable<br />

and water-resistant Pertex® Quantum<br />

Pro, the Alpine Pro 200 is hand filled<br />

in Derbyshire with 650FP ethically<br />

sourced European Duck Down.<br />


Rab MYTHIC ULTRA 180 SLEEPING BAG $1,199.95<br />

The Mythic Ultra 180 redefines what it<br />

means to be ‘ultralight’. Using a worldfirst,<br />

heat-reflective fabric treatment called<br />

Thermo Ionic Lining Technology, this is<br />

premium protection for those counting every<br />

last gram.<br />

The award-winning Mythic Ultra 180 is one<br />

of the world’s most advanced lightweight<br />

sleeping bags. Though constructed with<br />

an exceptionally light ripstop 7D outer and<br />

filled with high-loft 900+ fill power European<br />

goose down. Weighing just 400g, the Mythic<br />

Ultra 180 is the ultimate expression of<br />

performance without penalty.<br />


Macpac Dusk 400 Down Sleeping Bag $499.99<br />

Perfect if you’re looking to step into your first<br />

down sleeping bag, we designed the Dusk<br />

to include everything you need to get out<br />

and explore. Both the outer and lining fabrics<br />

are recycled and bluesign® certified. The<br />

outer has a woven-through ripstop for added<br />

protection, and 410g of 600 loft HyperDRY<br />

RDS duck down provides cosy warmth.<br />


marmot Sawtooth Sleeping Bag (-9°C) $599.00<br />

The Sawtooth 15° Sleeping Bag blends just the<br />

right down warmth with just the right weight, plus<br />

a healthy measure of durability for all-around<br />

performance. Its lofty 650-fill-power-down<br />

insulation and water-resistant Down Defender<br />

treatment will keep you warm and dry. After an<br />

epic day of adventuring, give your feet a rest in<br />

the roomy wrap-around footbox with a heater<br />

pocket for added comfort. Stretch tricot baffles<br />

help keep the fill in place, while the nautilus<br />

multi-baffle hood with a drawcord and full-length<br />

two-way zipper with a draft tube limit heat loss.<br />

If the interior gets too warm, use the fold-down<br />

secondary zipper to get some air. Tuck small<br />

items into the internal stash pocket.<br />


Macpac Aspire 360 Synthetic<br />

Sleeping Bag $249.99<br />

Aspire 360s are our warmest<br />

synthetic sleeping bags. Suited<br />

to camping in wet conditions,<br />

perfect on road trips and holidays<br />

at the beach, and able to provide<br />

comfort in temperatures below<br />

freezing. Their tapered relaxed<br />

mummy shape balances warmth<br />

with comfort, the nylon ripstop<br />

outer fabric is treated with a water<br />

resistant finish, and two layers of<br />

recycled microfibre help to keep<br />

you cosy.<br />



jetboil STASH Cooking System $299.95<br />

The Lightest and Most Compact<br />

Jetboil Ever. We know your dreams<br />

are big and ambitious. Which is why<br />

we designed the all-new Stash to be<br />

lightweight and compact, maximizing<br />

your pack space without sacrificing<br />

that iconic Jetboil performance. At<br />

7.1 oz or 200 g, the .8L Stash is 40%<br />

lighter than the .8L Zip.<br />


jetboil Micromo $329.95<br />

Ultralight with ultra cooking<br />

control. The MicroMo balances<br />

streamlined and travel-friendly<br />

weight with uncompromising cooking<br />

performance. Cold-weather reliability<br />

and a wind-blocking shroud are<br />

integrated into our most lightweight<br />

and low-profile design with premium<br />

regulator simmer control.<br />


sea to summit Aeros Premium Pillow $64.99<br />

A luxurious high-performance pillow without the weight and<br />

bulk. Perfect for travel and camping where you can risk a<br />

couple more grams for a great night's sleep. The pillowcase<br />

construction allows the outer shell to retain maximum softness<br />

while still being supported by a high strength TPU bladder.<br />


Kiwi Camping 1.2L Collapsible Turbo Pot $74.99<br />

The Kiwi Camping turbo pot is a lightweight<br />

addition to your adventures weighing at only<br />

450gm with a 1.2L boiling capacity. Perfect for<br />

hot drinks and freeze-dried food and collapses<br />

to 50mm.<br />


Gasmate Turbo Butane Stove & Pot Set $139.00<br />

For quick boiling when you need it! A super<br />

lightweight aluminium stove with stainless<br />

steel burner, piezo ignition, stabilising feet and<br />

accessories all packaged in a mesh carry bag.<br />


Kiwi Camping 350ML Thermo Tumbler<br />

The iconic double-walled Kiwi tumbler! A<br />

staple for adventures big and small. Enjoy<br />

your favourite drinks hot or cold with the<br />

easy-sip lid with vacuum rubber seal.<br />


Explore Planet Earth LED Area Light Kit<br />

The EPE Area Light is a lightweight but<br />

powerful 2400 lumen light perfect for camping<br />

or outdoor settings after sundown. Includes<br />

2.5m extension pole, ground stake and padded<br />

carry case.<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 />



Marmot Tungsten 2P $549.00<br />

Ready to adventure with you mile after mile, the freestanding Tungsten<br />

2-Person Tent blends durability, roominess, and a livable design. Strategic<br />

clip placement offers more interior volume after a long day on the mountain.<br />

If a downpour approaches, the colour-coded "easy pitch" clips and poles<br />

make for a quick set up, and the seam-taped, catenary-cut floor and<br />

full-coverage vented fly add to its weather protection. Dual doors allow<br />

easy entry and exit with vestibule storage space around both doors. The<br />

lampshade pocket stows your headlamp and the included abrasion-resistant<br />

footprint round out the details that make life on the trail easier.<br />


Mont Adventure Equipment Moondance 2FN Tent $949.99<br />

Spacious 2-person, sub-alpine 4-season tent designed for winter-grade weather<br />

protection. It has the minimum packed size and lowest possible weight without<br />

sacrificing performance and is fast to pitch due to its rectangular shape and<br />

symmetrical pole hubs eliminating mistakes. This FN (Full Nylon inner tent)<br />

version is designed for the warmth, weatherproofness and protection from<br />

spindrift in snowy conditions. 2.1kg<br />


sunsaver classic 16,000 mah solar<br />

power bank $119.00<br />

Built tough for the outdoors and with<br />

a massive battery capacity you can<br />

keep all your devices charged no matter<br />

where your adventure takes you.<br />


exped Outer Space II Tent $899.99<br />

2-person tent which can be set up in multiple modes to adapt to the conditions<br />

and personal preferences. It features a giant, pole-supported front vestibule that<br />

easily shelters 3 people in camp chairs, a lightweight table and backpacks. The<br />

poles are on the outside of the fly and allow you to pitch the inner and outer tent<br />

in one go or pitch the fly only without the inner tent. 2.9kg<br />


Helinox_Chair-One_Blue $179.99<br />

The original Helinox chair remains the ultimate<br />

combination of comfort, lightweight packability and<br />

refined design.<br />

Built around Helinox’s proprietary DAC TH72M<br />

Aluminum Alloy frame, it supports up to 145kg but<br />

weighs under 1kg. Its comfort is legendary. The<br />

minimalist design is clean and streamlined. And it<br />

leverages a single-cord bungee system and simple seat<br />

sleeves that make set-up intuitive and fast.<br />


macpac Hiking Travel Chair $129.99<br />

This compact option packs smaller<br />

than most folding chairs, weighs just<br />

over a kilo, and comes with a carry<br />

case. Lightweight aluminium frame,<br />

600D polyester with PU coating,<br />

100kg weight limit.<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<br />

from the backpacking trail to the wilderness. In wet<br />

conditions, combine it with our Jungle Hammock Tarp<br />

for a sheltered, 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<br />

Aluminium buckles.<br />



The first thing you’ll notice is that the front label on their pouches have changed<br />

for the better by adding Health Star Ratings and energy, protein, fat and carbs<br />

per pouch. They have also improved the readability of our back labels.<br />

Back Country Cuisine is available at leading retailers.<br />

For more information or to find your nearest stockist visit:<br />

www.backcountrycuisine.co.nz<br />

tasty chicken mash $9.49 - $13.99<br />

With smoky flavoured freeze dried chicken, cheese<br />

and vegetables.<br />

3.5 Health Stars - Gluten Free<br />

Available small serve (90g) or regular (175g)<br />


Apple & Berry Crumble $13.19<br />

A sweet mix of freeze dried apples and berries topped<br />

with a delicious gluten free cookie crumb.<br />

3 Health Stars - Gluten Free<br />


TIRED<br />

LEGS?<br />

WE'VE GOT A<br />


THAT.<br />

INSTANT PASTA $4.89<br />

Just add boiling water for perfectly cooked<br />

pasta.<br />

3.5 Health Stars<br />

Sizes – Family 120g<br />


Epic coffee Drip Filter’s<br />

Single from $2.99, 10 Pack from $24.99<br />

Your favourite new adventure essential – specialty coffee,<br />

roasted in micro-batches and loaded into adventure-proof<br />

drip filters. Proceeds from every product sold are donated to<br />



Guilt free dinning since 98!<br />

backcountrycuisine.co.nz<br />

<br />

<br />

Hey Piña 440ml: Post Fermentation<br />

Fruited Sour 4.5% ABV $8.99<br />

For decades the pineapple, or 'Piña',<br />

in Spanish, was South America's<br />

precious little secret. The now<br />

famous sweetness blends sublimely<br />

with the vibrant raspberry, balanced<br />

with zesty lime.winter.<br />


Mango Tango 440ml: Post Fermentation<br />

Fruited Sour 5% ABV$8.99<br />

Mango Tango is a magical fusion of<br />

tropical flavours. Mango and Passionfruit<br />

form an elegant connection, embracing<br />

with a vibrant and playful expression of<br />

aromas. Sweet and sour perfection.<br />


Berrylicious 440ml: Post Fermentation<br />

Fruited Sours 4.5% ABV $8.99<br />

Packed full of Blackberries, cherries<br />

and raspberries. Berrylicious is vibrant<br />

and juicy, with a perfect mix of sweet<br />

and sour berry flavours, balanced with<br />

light tartness and subtle floral and<br />

earthy overtones.<br />


Tread light.<br />

Sleep soft.<br />

Dusk 400<br />


Whether you’re looking for your first down sleeping<br />

bag, or upgrading your setup for adventures on<br />

the horizon, the new Dusk 400 provides feel good<br />

warmth that doesn’t cost the earth.<br />

• 3°C comfort rating<br />

• bluesign® certified recycled<br />

fabrics throughout<br />

• Ethically-sourced 600 loft<br />

HyperDRY RDS duck down<br />

Aside from the essentials, a relaxed mummy fit<br />

balances warmth and room to move. Elastic mat<br />

attachments and concealed cords provide nightlong<br />

comfort, and an internal zipped pocket<br />

ensures you can keep small items close.<br />

Available in standard, women’s and large sizes.<br />

macpac.co.nz | 36 stores nationwide


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

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

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

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

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

drool over. Buy, compare, research and prepare, these <strong>online</strong> 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 />

Adventure 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, Adventure Tents,<br />

Packs, Sleeping Bags and more.<br />

www.equipoutdoors.co.nz<br />

Our Mission<br />

To bring like-minded adventurers together for epic journey’s<br />

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the classic art<br />

the concept of surfing across the face<br />

of the wave on a smaller board (still at<br />

least 9-10 ft). Copeland and Stoner also<br />

helped locals to make copies of their<br />

boards, introducing modern surfing and<br />

surfboards to New Zealand. These new<br />

surfing techniques put more emphasis<br />

on the surf conditions, causing surfers<br />

to go in search of better locations and<br />

conditions to hunt for breaking waves<br />

that peeled off rather than crashed<br />

straight to the beach. Basically, this was<br />

the birth of surfing, but it was all still<br />

longboarding<br />

Sure the shortboard era came and<br />

stayed, but in the background,<br />

Longboarding still managed to tick<br />

along. There came a full resurgence in<br />

early 1990 as surfers saw the value and<br />

appeal of the longboard.<br />

The art of Longboarding is timeless, it is<br />

an art. They say that longboard surfing<br />

is a state of mind. An idealized stage of<br />

mindfulness.<br />

In the 1960’s surfing arrived in New<br />

Zealand not surfing as we know it but<br />

Longboarding. A few clubies were playing<br />

with hollow surf skis but not until 1959<br />

did two Americans come in New Zealand<br />

and kicked alive a revolution and a<br />

culture.<br />

However, surfing has always been a part<br />

of Māori culture, the practice was called<br />

whakahekeheke. It was carried out using<br />

a variety of craft, including boards, or<br />

kopapa, and even bags of kelp, but the<br />

Christian missionary ‘killjoys’ put a quick<br />

stop to that.<br />

Surfing came back into focus following<br />

a tour of New Zealand by the Hawai'ian<br />

surfer Duke Kahanamoku in 1915 at Lyall<br />

Bay Surf Life Saving Club, in Wellington.<br />

Where he gave demonstrations to locals<br />

on how to surf and by the 1920s and<br />

1930s, New Zealanders were surfing<br />

using solid wooden boards or hollow<br />

ones mainly for surf lifesaving.<br />

Surfing was utilized in the Surf Lifesaving<br />

movement, which used heavy hollow<br />

longboards to paddle through the surf<br />

and rescue people.<br />

Up until this point, surfing consisted<br />

of riding the wave in a straight line<br />

directly to the beach. In 1958, two<br />

American lifeguards, Bing Copeland<br />

and Rick Stoner, came to stay at Piha<br />

Surf Lifesaving Club and introduced<br />

There are more longboarders in the<br />

world than you might think. Some of them<br />

are not full-time ‘loggers’; they own a<br />

respectable ‘quiver’ of boards, and when<br />

the surf is smaller, and other surfers are<br />

sitting on the beach the longboarders can<br />

enjoy the smaller waves as much as, the<br />

more powerful ones.<br />

The 1990s kicked off the nostalgia<br />

period, and the classic longboard<br />

shapers started getting back to the old<br />

designs. Shapers like Roger Hall from<br />

Surfline in Ruakaka who had never left<br />

his roots in Longboarding began a new<br />

era in longboarding New Zealand and<br />

started to come up with some innovation.<br />

Currently, he is designing board with a<br />

wing keel that does not require a fin!<br />

.<br />

There is less rip and tear on a longboard<br />

than a shortboard, but there is still a<br />

range of moves to be made and refine.<br />

Nose riding, tip riding, helicopters,<br />


cross-stepping, trimming, turning<br />

manoeuvres, tube riding and the<br />

classic hang ten.<br />

The original riders used to say that the<br />

essence of Longboarding is style.<br />

The simple joys of Longboarding is<br />

that you will just catch far more waves<br />

than anyone else on a shortboard no<br />

matter the size but in particular when<br />

it is smaller. You get to enjoy the pure<br />

essence of surfing just like Duke<br />

Kahanamoku and just enjoy the glide.<br />

You will get more days on the water<br />

– you can always find somewhere<br />

smaller if it is too big, but you will be<br />

having far more fun than anyone else<br />

when its small. It is difficult to explain,<br />

but when you feel a longboard<br />

glide over the water, it is an entirely<br />

different feel to that of a shortboard, it<br />

is ageless and mesmerizing.<br />

If you have had an injury or just<br />

getting a few years under your belt<br />

then longboard is for you, it is more<br />

comfortable to paddle, easy to catch<br />

waves, more straightforward to stand<br />

and everything is at a slightly slower<br />

pace.<br />

Longboarding is also an excellent<br />

tool for the beginner for all the same<br />

reasons; easy to catch waves, easier<br />

for balance and now with the new soft<br />

top range the issue of wiping out has<br />

fewer repercussions.<br />

It really is about getting back to the<br />

roots of surfing, why you did it in the<br />

first place. Every surfing knows what<br />

it was like when he caught his first<br />

wave and stood up even if only for<br />

a few seconds and Longboarding<br />

takes you back to that moment.<br />

It’s not about hassling for waves of<br />

shredding waves; it’s about the fun<br />

and comradery of it. Those images of<br />

surfing in the early 60s with 6 guys all<br />

on the same wave they were having<br />

a ball. On a longboard, you can<br />

forget the need to big airs and radical<br />

manoeuvres and immerse your soul in<br />

the love of surfing again.<br />

But like all sports you can cruise, or<br />

you can push yourself to learn some<br />

of the critical manoeuvres, the most<br />

thrilling of which is ‘riding the nose’<br />

there is nothing more capitation then<br />

having ten toes over the nose of your<br />

board, and all you can see looking<br />

down is water rushing by.<br />

If you already surf get a longboard<br />

to enjoy those smaller days and if<br />

you don't surf, this summer get a<br />

longboard and head to the beach,<br />

go somewhere where it's small and<br />

simply enjoy the glide!<br />




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Guide to diving<br />


Vanuatu is best known to divers around the world<br />

for the wreck of the SS President Coolidge, but as a<br />

diving destination, there is much more to Vanuatu’s<br />

underwater world. Encircled by, and in common with,<br />

its Pacific Ocean neighbours Fiji, New Caledonia and<br />

the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu has rich coral reefs, a<br />

wealth of wrecks and some great snorkelling too. It<br />

is also home to the only underwater post office in the<br />

world. (Seriously.)<br />

Huge caverns and drop offs, abundant marine<br />

life, beautiful bright corals, giant sea fans and<br />

world-famous wrecks all contribute to Vanuatu’s<br />

reputation as a diving destination. It is also one<br />

of the best places for divers to see dugongs. The<br />

landscape beneath the water mirrors that found<br />

above: mountainous terrain with plunging cliffs,<br />

grottoes and overhangs, huge caves and intricate<br />

interconnecting underwater tunnels and chasms<br />

formed by frozen lava.<br />

Vanuatu is an island archipelago consisting of approximately<br />

82 relatively small islands. The main islands from largest<br />

to smallest are; Espiritu Santo, Malakula, Efate (home to<br />

the capital Port Vila), Erromango, Ambrym and Tanna. The<br />

islands are volcanic in origin and as a consequence, Vanuatu’s<br />

shoreline is mostly rocky with fringing reefs and little continental<br />

shelf, dropping rapidly into the ocean depths. This gives rise<br />

to some exciting diving on reefs and walls, as well as some<br />

excellent snorkelling opportunities, particularly on Tanna.<br />


Vanuatu became independent as recently as 1980, being<br />

jointly administered by France and Britain, and named the New<br />

Hebrides prior to that. Being an allied territory, it supported a<br />

large American base during WWII and we have them to thank<br />

for the wrecks of the SS President Coolidge, the USS Tucker<br />

and Million Dollar Point.<br />

Where to Dive…<br />

There are three main regions for diving in Vanuatu; Efate,<br />

Espiritu Santo and Tanna.<br />



he island of Efate is surrounded by very pretty fringing<br />

reef, a few wrecks and a stunning cavern called the<br />

Cathedral, with stand-out dive sites including Owen’s<br />

Reef on Tranquillity Island and West Side Story near<br />

Hideaway Island Resort.<br />

Diving Port Vila is easy, with a range of operators to<br />

choose from, each of which pick up and return divers<br />

to their hotels. Many of the best dive sites are only<br />

minutes away. Diving is well supervised and varied,<br />

with several wrecks, bommies, drop-offs and caverns in<br />

the protected waters of the bay.<br />

Port Vila is a good place to try diving for the first time,<br />

with a Discover Scuba Diving experience, or even<br />

learn to dive and get the Open Water Certification. With<br />

operators such as Big Blue, lessons can often start in<br />

the pool of your chosen resort, before you venture into<br />

the ocean.<br />

Introductory dives at Hideaway Island Resort and<br />

Tranquillity Island are usually done in the clear,<br />

protected shallows of the lagoon.<br />

More experienced divers can dive deeper at sites<br />

such as the Semele Federesen – the wreck of an<br />

inter-island trader which lies with its propeller at<br />

40m, or the Cathedral, an impressive tall narrow<br />

cavern stretching down to 28m.<br />

There is the wreck of the 1874 built sailing ship<br />

Star of Russia, a three masted sailing ship in<br />

36 meters of water. An island trader scuttled<br />

in the harbour Konanda, and the ex-Qantas<br />

Sandringham flying boat Tasman.<br />



Diving Espiritu Santo is synonymous with diving the SS<br />

President Coolidge, but it’s not the only dive in town. Wreck<br />

diving options also include the infamous Million Dollar<br />

Beach and the USS Tucker, and for coral lovers, there’s<br />

plenty of fringing reefs, drop offs and coral gardens to<br />

explore.<br />

Being home to the world’s largest, most accessible wreck<br />

in the world, Santo is popular with technical divers, using<br />

their skills to plunge the depths of the SS President<br />

Coolidge. This 33,000-tonne converted luxury liner sank<br />

during WWII after hitting a (friendly) mine, and now rests<br />

in depths of 21 to 70 metres. The impressive wreck is<br />

one of the most exciting wreck dives in the world, that is<br />

accessible to recreational divers.<br />

If you want to see the whole wreck, you’ll need between 10<br />

and 15 dives, and technical diving allows divers more time<br />

to explore the seemingly endless corridors, hidden alcoves<br />

and cavernous cargo holds.<br />

Other technical dive sites around Santo include Million<br />

Dollar Point where you can explore the famously dumped<br />

WWII equipment in depths of up to 50m.<br />

Dive Centres on Espiritu Santo, provide technical dive<br />

training and support both open circuit and rebreather<br />

technical divers, with a range of gases and equipment<br />

available for hire.<br />

For those seeking coral reefs, there’s Ratarata Reef and<br />

two at Tutuba Island, with good chances of seeing resident<br />

turtles, barracudas and other passing pelagics, plus<br />

Cindy’s Reef, off Aore Island, which provides easy reef<br />

diving with good visibility.<br />

TANNA<br />

Diving Tanna is very different from diving Port Vila or<br />

Santo, as Tanna is a more remote volcanic island – with<br />

an active volcano. Diving Tanna, you will experience<br />

crystal clear water, colourful hard coral reefs and an<br />

amazing topology of swim throughs and blue holes.<br />

The diving on Tanna also offers shear vertical walls with<br />

pelagic action including reef sharks, turtles, schools of<br />

yellowfin tuna and barracuda as well as the wreck of a<br />

small cargo boat.<br />

One of the most unique aspects of diving in Tanna is<br />

the vast amount of easily accessible swim-throughs and<br />

caves. Some so small you question whether it’s possible<br />

to squeeze through, but the local dive guides at Volcano<br />

Island Divers know this fringing reef like the back of their<br />

hand and expertly weave through it.<br />

When to dive<br />

Diving is possible year-round in Vanuatu, with water<br />

temperature varying between 24ºC - 29ºC depending on<br />

the season, with the warmest months from January to<br />

May and the coolest in August. There is also a distinct<br />

difference in water temperature from north in Santo, to<br />

south, at Tanna. Rainy season runs from December to<br />

March, however with steep drop offs this does not affect<br />

visibility.<br />





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