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How quickly things can change
I decided to go to the Central Plateau for a few days biking, hiking
and fishing, but first dropped my son off at the airport and headed
south. The following morning, I woke and felt a bit hungover, but
had only a few beers with the neighbours. This wore on and I was
lethargic, and had a bit of a headache, evidently called a mailize.
As evening drew on my temperature soared, accompanied by
shaking, a sore throat and vomiting. This happy experience lasted
for about two days, then slowly passed. My weekend trip was now
extended to ten days of isolation.
How quickly things can change!
As my covid symptoms subsided, at the other end of the island,
what I considered had died with rugby politics and apartheid,
exploded outside of parliament. My views on the vaccine and
mandates had nothing to do with how disappointed I was to see
the escalation of violence and destruction. I am all for democratic
protest, I support people’s right to choose but regardless of where
you stand on mandates or politics, it was heart-wrenching to see
kiwi police in riot gear and kiwi protesters setting fire to tents,
throwing rocks and bottles at the police. This is not who we are.
How quickly things can change!
As the Wellington protest drew to its disappointing conclusion,
on the other side of the world, Vladimir Putin and the Russian
government decided to invade Ukraine. Once again regardless of
your politics nobody wants to see this type of world aggression.
To make it worse was Putin’s statement, which was an unmasked
subtle nuclear threat, when announcing the military operation in
Ukraine, he said: "Whoever tries to hinder us ... should know that
Russia's response will be immediate. And it will lead you to such
consequences that you have never encountered in your history."
This was followed by US President Joe Biden’s aggressive
response: He stated the US had “an unwavering resolve that
freedom will always triumph over tyranny". In an hour-long
address to lawmakers in the US he said: "Putin's war was
premeditated and unprovoked. He rejected repeated efforts at
diplomacy. He thought the West and NATO wouldn't respond. And
he thought he could divide us here at home." He - added: "Putin
was wrong. We were ready!”
Russian nuclear forces are now on high alert, a world that has
been nuclear-free for what seems like forty years suddenly is now
threatened with mass destruction on a scale as Putin says, ‘has
never been seen before’.
How quickly things can change!
Now that all may seem dire, and in keeping with the survival
issue, but my point here is ‘’things change quickly’’; your health,
your country and even the world. So, it is paramount for us to be
in the present. Do not put things off till tomorrow, or till retirement,
or till you have more money, or till you have more time or you
are fitter. Get out and enjoy, experience, embrace every moment
available to you. Our only non-renewable asset is time, and the
time for us all to live and experience all that life can offer is now.
Adventure magazine is full to the brim with activities, adventures,
and experiences; it is our hope that you will be motivated to get
out and do as much as you can, live for the now!
On a final, more positive note: as covid still impacts us all, as the
protestors look for other platforms and as Russia makes the world
unstable. It won’t be forever. Things change quickly!
Steve Dickinson - Editor
your Adventure starts with Us
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22//Dance with the Devil
34//Mt Taranaki Summit
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BEHIND THE COVER
It is very rare to see Kelly Slater show
emotion. However, this moment, as he
clinched his 56th career win, was like no
other. Kelly has not only survived a 35 year
professional surfing career, he has blitzed it.
But what made this moment so special? Less
than a week after this photo was taken, Kelly
Slater turned 50 years old, quite an anomoly
in the world of professional surfing. Up against
a field of athletes, most of who were not even
born by the time he won his first few World
Titles, Kelly showed he still has what it takes
to hold the number one spot in the world,
despite his chronological age.
Kelly's rare public display of emotion goes to
show the depth of his dedication to a sport
that he has excelled in over four decades.
A rarely emotional Kelly Slater after he beats Seth Moniz in the Final at the Billabong Pro Pipeline
on February 5, 2022, making him No.1 in the world, a week before his 50th birthday.
Photo by Brent Bielmann/World Surf League
For more on the ultimate survivor that is Kelly
Slater, see page 10.
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08//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#231
@ adventuretraveller @ adventurevanlifenz
“Some people call me
obsessive, or driven,
or lucky or whatever,
I’m all of those things,
shouldn’t we all be?”
When we think of survival we think of the life and death situations, which Slater has faced his
whole surfing career, but the flip side of that is surviving a sport geared towards youth in an
ever-changing environment, and not only surviving a 35 year career but dominating a sport like
no other athlete on earth.
On the 6th of February 2022, Slater paddled out into giant waves at Pipeline; it was his 32nd
year on the World Tour and 32nd season surfing at Pipeline. Kelly Slater, a week away from
turning 50, has been competing on the World Tour of Surfing since 1988. He won his first World
Title in 1992 at this very wave when he was 20 years old, before nearly every other competitor
on the tour this year was even born.
Early in the competition Kelly faced 22 year old wild card, local Hawaiian, Barron Mamiya. At
the time Barron was born, in January 2000, Kelly had already won 6 World Titles. So could the
almost 50 year old cut it against the young Hawaiian born, Pipeline local?
For the first half of the heat it looked like Barron was going to be the new blood to replace
the old, but with just seconds to go, and needing a 7.18 to win, the ocean provided and Kelly
pulled into a huge barrel scoring a 9.23 to take the win putting him into the quarter finals. Even
Kelly was quick to acknowledge the new generation chomping at his heels. “Barron is the next
generation out there, it’s just a pleasure to surf against him.” And for a little insight into the
secret to his success. “I don’t know what to chalk it up to, except for spending my life in the
Kelly went on to win the event against a 24 year old Seth Moniz, whose father had competed
against Kelly in the early years of his own career. Kelly’s win made him the most decorated
Pipeline surfer of all time, winning there 8 times in his 30+ year career, first in 1992 and finally in
2022, with 11 World Titles in between.
So how has Kelly managed to survive so many years at the top of his sport? He joined the
World Tour in 1988 and in his 30+ year career, spanning 4 decades, he has been ranked in the
top ten for all but 6 of those years.
Kelly paddles out at the Billabong Pro Pipeline,
Image Brent Bielmann/World Surf League
10//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#231
AVERAGE PLAYING CAREER
5 years - Major League Baseball
5 years - NBA
6 years - NHL
7 years - NFL
32 years - KELLY SLATER
At time of print
Kelly taking the drop at the Billabong Pro Pipeline,
Image Brent Bielmann/World Surf League
12//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#231
KELLY RESULTS FROM PIPELINE OVER THE YEARS
WORLD TOUR 2022
AGE OF COMPETITORS ON
Along with some fortunate physical statistics, a
true passion for the sport and a winning mindset,
the secret to Kelly’s survival is his ability to study,
analyse, revise, adapt, develop and learn from
others and his own mistakes. He is a walking
encyclopedia, whose knowledge of surfing and the
ocean is simply second to none.
Physical Stats: Within every sport there seems to
be an ideal body height, shape and weight most
suitable to that sport. Kelly happens to have the
right physical characteristics to make surfing an
ideal choice. However, although born with a good
platform, Kelly has dedicated his life to eating
healthy and working on both his physical and
Passion for surfing: There is little doubt about
his passion for surfing. He began surfing at a very
young age, an almost escape from a difficult family
situation and in his own words, “I was lucky, a lot
of people get addicted to pills, but I got addicted
to surfing.” He still surfs more than almost anyone
else, purely cause he loves it.
Winning mindset: Kelly exhibits an incredible
focus and realises the importance of opportunity.
No matter how far behind he may appear, he
believes there’s always an opportunity for triumph.
“Most anything I’ve ever set my mind to, I could
Study: Kelly is always studying; the ocean, his
equipment, what works, what doesn’t. Listen to him
talk post heat and he can discuss each break in
detail, knowing how the shifting patterns will affect
the behaviour and therefore the potential of each
wave. His knowledge of the ocean is second to
none. “Your surfing can get better on every turn,
on every wave you catch. Learn to read the ocean
better. A big part of my success has been wave
Analyse: No matter who Kelly is surfing against or
what the conditions are he is constantly analysing
each situation. “Well I’m always working on
everything constantly. I never take the approach
that I’m doing as well as I possibly can… I always
think there’s more and I think if you don’t have that,
you are not driven to be better.”
Revise: Kelly once admitted to that fact that he
kept a log of every heat that he lost and would write
what he did wrong. This way he would be sure not
to make the same mistake.
Adaptability: In Kelly’s four decades of surfing,
he has been a part of revolutionary changes in
surfboard design and witnessed the arrival of the
aerial surfing generation. For him to stay relevant
he has had to adapt. “I look at it now, and my
surfing that won my first title would probably only
be good enough to get me 30th place in today’s
competition. It’s not even comparable.”
Develop: Kelly has continued to develop as an
individual. He began making his own fins, and
then his own boards. He spent years developing
his own wave pool, and then gave up a lucrative
sponsorship deal to develop his own clothing
brand. “Some people call me obsessive, or
driven, or lucky or whatever, I’m all of those things,
shouldn’t we all be?”
Fearless: Kelly once remarked, "A Formula One
Driver once said. “You are never as real as when
you might die.” That fear creates an intense focus,
an intense presence. It defaults you to the place
you should be at all times, present, here, not
distracted. It’s like a drug..." Apart from salt water
crocodiles, there's not much that he fears.
Although some names have stayed at the forefront
of their chosen sport, very few have continued to
compete at the elite level against athletes decades
younger than them. Surfing is seen as a youthful
sport and unlike games such as tennis and golf,
the professional surfer is often placed in life
threatening situations when faced with big waves of
consequence, so it’s not just about keeping up with
the physical fitness required to be a professional
athlete but also the mental fortitude needed to take
the risks associated with surfing.
So what’s next for Kelly Slater? As I was writing this
Kelly was wearing the yellow jersey (showing he
was ranked number one in the world) and had just
paddled out at 20ft Sunset. Interestingly enough,
by the time we went to print the yellow jersey had
changed hands three times; from Kelly to the
shoulders of the 22 year old wild card, Barron
Mamiya, who had come so close to taking out Kelly
at Pipeline, and then to 24 year old Kanoa Igarashi.
At time of print Kelly is still ranked number two in
“I don't mind being
put out to pasture. If
someone's going to
make me look silly on
a wave they're gonna
have to be surfing
pretty good. ”
11x World Champion, Kelly Slater on the road to claiming the win and the yellow jersey
Image Tony Heff/World Surf League
Words by Paige Hareb - Images by Lauren Murray
After travelling around the world to
many beaches for the last 15 years
to being “stuck” in New Zealand for
the last two years, I decided to make
the most of my homeland since there
were still so many places I hadn’t
explored. I find that quite common
with Kiwis, always travelling the
world but not their own backyard.
16//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#231
Previous page: Lone camper admires the saddle
Above: Bivvy spot for the night
Right: Walls of schist everywhere you look
With the New Zealand surfing Nationals being held
in Westport in the South Island, I decided now was
the right time to take the opportunity to explore more
of the South. So three weeks prior to the Nationals
I jumped in my newly purchased 4WD truck with a
slick looking Kiwi Camping Tuatara hard shell rooftop
tent. I met Lauren Murray (pro photographer and avid
hiker) in Wellington, we drove onto the Inter-islander
ferry and our South Island adventure had begun!
Of course with my surfboards packed, I was planning
to head to surf breaks on the east and west coast
and do a bit of a loop of the South Island, driving
down the east and up the west. With Lauren being
a keen hiker and always exploring to get “the shot” I
knew we would be squeezing in a few hikes on the
road trip too.
After checking out the Milford Sound area we pulled
into the Gerturde Valley carpark, about 98 km along
the Milford Road from Te Anau. I hopped out of the
car and checked the sign with all the info, the first
words my eyes were drawn to were “experienced
hikers only”. My instant thought was “ah damn I’ve
only done a handful of medium hikes, I’m not sure I’m
prepared for this”. Then Lauren cut my thoughts short
with “Sh*t yeah! I’m so excited! Let’s do this!”
Most people do this 4-6hour return trip as a day hike
but Lauren, being the experienced hiker out of the
two of us, had all the gear including a tiny lightweight
tent, so yes, I was a little nervous this was going to
be my first ever overnight hiking experience (in a
tent) at the top of a random mountain! The first part
was super cool, starting from the bottom of the valley
and walking through a tiny little track surrounded by
lots of green shrubs. Looking up towards where we
were headed, it felt like we were in the centre of a
I felt this hike had a plethora of variety in terrain.
Starting with thick vegetation, then over 500m-1km of
small to medium size rocks where you really had to
concentrate where you put every step. After crossing
a small river under a waterfall, it then opened up to
scoria, then to huge open faced, steep rock slabs
with some parts having and needing heavy metal
rope to help you up and down. I could definitely see
how if it was wet, ice or a lot of snow that it would be
super dangerous to do. Up and over the ledge we
finally came upon the black lake and chatting with
one passing hiker who was brave enough to have a
quick skinny dip in it.
Another 200 metres or so of navigating more steep
rock faces and some huge rocks, before back
onto half dirt/shrub tracks, we eventually came to
Gertrude’s Saddle! The 360 view was amazing,
looking back down the valley was pretty incredible,
then spinning around 180 to look over another valley
through to Milford Sound. It was a moment’s thought
of “where the hell am I? I feel so small!”
18//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#231
"This was by far
one of my best
Lauren and I got super excited
that we had finally made it to the
top, started hooting and hollering
like little kids and stripped off our
sweaty hiking gear into some
warmer clothing to prepare for the
night. Then walking up a tiny hill to
feel a little embarrassed by the way
we acted as we realized that there
were half a dozen of other people
up there with the same idea as us to
stay the night.
With the sun setting we explored
around the saddle searching for the
best, flattest and most comfy spot to
set up our tent. In between shrubs
and rocks we managed to find a
small area to set up with of course
an awesome view to fall asleep and
wake up to. We were up at 6am,
packed up quick and had to make
an 8am boat to explore the Doubtful
Sounds, so going down was super
quick and rushed but this was by
far one of my best adventures yet.
I would definitely do this one again
and recommend to most people
wanting a hike and an adventure of
Getrude Saddle Facts:
7km return trip (4-6 hrs)
Essential safety (DOC)
Only attempt this track if:
1.You are fit and experienced – on
the route you will have to:
• scramble up steep rock
• avoid wet rocks
• cross rivers
• avoid hazards by following
2. The track and weather conditions
are good on the day.
3. You have the right equipment,
including a personal locator beacon.
DANCE WITH THE DEVIL
By Jamie Hareb
“You will never be the same again.” These
words reverberated through my head from my
work colleagues as I was given a farewell. I
have come to understand that as humans we
are in a constant state of change. But on that
last evening, I never quite realised the rites of
passage that I was about to embark on.
I swatted over maps in fine details with my
manager at Franz Josef Glacier Guides. We
discussed all options on the desired route,
emergency procedures, communication
checkpoints and how to use PLB (Personal
Locator Beacon). Everything was set in place.
‘Now the only thing to it, is to do it’.
At the Karangarua River bridge, the sandflies
instantly made themselves’ known as I
disembarked the vehicle. Nothing else in the
world can make you move faster with intention
like that iconic West Coast feeling. It screams
that there no time to dwell on the moment or to
double check your equipment. Shut the door,
locked the car and I was gung-ho. As per all
journeys, I recited a karakia to give praise to the
whenua, to the atua (gods) for protection and
guidance on this hikoi. A calm reminder that I
was delving into a new space and there will be
numerous learnings along the way.
The planned mission included a 9 day solo
perpendicular traverse of the Southern Alps from
the West Coast to Mt Cook Village and back. I
intended to venture up the Karangarua valley,
overcoming 3 mountain passes and return over
the Copeland Saddle out to the road.
The next few days glanced by in a trance of
freedom and wander. It’s always amazing
observing what comes to your mind during times
of pure solitude. In my diary I had written lyrics
from a Fat Freddys’ Drop tune ‘you can change
your mind, but you can’t change your destiny’.
Ironically, on the 3rd day my desired path upriver
had been bluffed out and after a vicious attempt
at ploughing through dense bush, I was forced
to redirect up over Mt Howitt (1958m) and down
to the Horace Walker Hut. What a blessing
that was! It caused my new route to behold the
most epic, insane topography and exposure I
have ever encountered. Traversing the Douglas
glacier and up over the Douglas saddle into
the head of the Landsborough River. Despite
navigating the technical and gruelling terrain.
The sublime nature of these locations reinstates
those longing feelings for seeking wilderness
adventures that the soul craves.
Body was tired. Sleep was healing. A stunning
morning rose, but I was sluggish as I gathered
my gear together. There was one more mountain
ascent before making my way towards Mt.
Cook village. I summoned the energy and
barged up the Rubicon Torrent to the Spence
Glacier, relishing in the glory of a good sweat.
The sun poured over the glistening armchair of
surrounding mountains. Steadfast, I diverted
my route NW as I ventured up a shaded gully
towards Fyffe pass (2226m). Undetected from
my view above was Mt. Montgomery (2340m),
which was basking in the warming midday sun.
I must have been 300m from the top the saddle
when I heard the noise.
“CRACK! Just like
lightning snapping at
the surface. A loud sharp
noise pulsated down into
the 20m wide gut I was
CRACK! Just like lightning snapping at the
surface. A loud sharp noise pulsated down into
the 20m wide gut I was climbing in. I casted
my gaze above me, only to behold something
unfathomable. Like a dam bursting its banks,
a fierce wave of snow and ice congregated,
tumbling downhill. The deep roaring rumble
grew in volume as it cascaded over the ridge
22//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#231
An avalanche is a scary sight, even at a distance.
Image by Tatjana Posavec / Pixabay.com
1999 TO 2018,
I instinctively scrambled up to the highest
vantage point possible, 5-10m above the
bottom of the gully. Danger evaded me for
a brief moment as the ice train whooshed
through beneath me. “Oh epic, this is sick!
I should be videoing this” my mind voiced
at the new visual sensation. However, my
childlike joy was to be short-lived. The
penultimate waves of ice pulsed higher and
higher and whipped me off my feet.
Time went super slow. My mind was going
bonkers. I was now part of this turbulent
roller-coaster. I had recently completed an
avalanche awareness training and I didn’t
need a reminder of the gloomy outlook of
survival once caught in an avalanche.
“Oh shit, this is how people die”. I thought
as I looked at my trajectory below me
towards an outreached rock. “Oh shit, this
is how I die”. A head-on collision loomed.
Squash, crunch and smash I went into the
rock. My body, legs and arms got caught
in a sandwich of ice boulders. I thought
it was all over for me, I was at complete
mercy to the mountain gods. I presumed
that the power of the avalanche would
squish me into the wall like a pestle and
mortar, revealing my secret spice mix to
the mountain vultures. Or the river of ice
boulders would trap my bag or a limb to
hoist me down within its over-turning Ferris
wheel of destruction. My situation was
looking rather grim.
POOF! I couldn’t believe it when I opened
my eyes. I was staring up the mountain
with my feet in the air while still hooning
downhill. As surreal as it was, it was still
a mayday mission. I innately knew I had
to get the hell off this death circus, and
pronto. Somehow, I clambered back
around onto all fours and launched for a
close-by rock outcrop. Here, I clung onto
the rock hanging in suspension above
the avalanche for about a second. My
heart sunk as the rock suddenly dislodged
from its mother and I fell back on to the
motorway of ice. Feeling discouraged, but
fortunate as the speed was slowing down
as the slope flattened off. I fought hard to
wriggle and wrestle towards the edge of the
avalanche. A clearance of safety seemed
within reach. After what seemed hours, I
leaped back onto stable ground.
“ I had recently
training and I didn’t
need a reminder
of the gloomy
outlook of survival
once caught in an
How does one merely put into words
the feeling aftermath a dance with the
devil? It would be in the terms of bliss,
nirvana or heaven. Choose any or all of
the above. A comprehensive awakening
to dissolve all issues that one could have.
Nothing else could matter except the gift
of life, something forgotten through daily
normalities. Not that I was thinking of
anything. Just sat there, dripping in blood
gazing out into a wonder of the world.
The magic of those elegant mountains
draped in silky white cloaks whispering
the softest of sweet nothings that day.
The evanescence of sheer wild beauty
in that moment murmured melodies that
encroached the soul.
I didn’t need a doctor to tell me that my
body was impaired. I feared the worse
as I turned my attention to surveying the
damage. I was half-expecting to view a
bone sticking out of my leg, collarbone
to be snapped, rib cage to be crushed or
my foot to be twisted backwards beyond
recognition. Fortunate as I was to nullify
the extremes of these mind marauders, I
was still hurt. There was no hesitation to
understand that I had reached a moment to
press the big red button of the PLB. At that
moment, I had no idea what happens when
the SOS alert gets sent nor had I talked
to anyone that has pressed it before. A
light flashed every 2 seconds and that was
about it. Let the wait begin. I rolled out my
camp mat, pulled on my jacket, whipped
out some dark chocolate and engrossed
my last carrot in some luscious peanut
butter. I only had one thing on my mind that
was to remain with me forever ‘Mountains
are beautiful, but are not worth dying for’.
It took about 20mins for this ecstasy of
adrenaline to subside. It also aligned with
dark mooted clouds beginning to hug
the south-western mountain range. I was
aware of my position still on an avalancheprone
slope half-way up the mountain side.
Surrounded by a mountain barrier in all
directions except the down the extensive
river corridor. Which would estimate to be
a 60km hike for a full-bale body back to the
SH6 road. I had to start moving, to at least
to make a safe camp at a lower altitude
for the night. Gingerly, I tested out the
capability of my body’s facilities, or a lack
24//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#231
View of the Douglas neve adjacent to Mt. Sefton. Which hangs about the Douglas Glacier (covered in moraine).
Looking out to Mt. Thomson from the Douglas Saddle. Mt. Sefton lurking in behind.
“I was feeling
the great cardinal sin
of all ‘experienced’
continue to promise
ourselves and loved ones
to always return home
safely, avoiding risky
scenarios. Failing to do
so begs the commoners
to question a reckless
Jamie Hareb, Happy and lucky to be alive
of them. The results came in with one ok leg to
stand on and one good arm to put my weight on.
The other limbs faltered at any pressure. I can’t
say that I was moving any faster than a glacier,
never-the-less I was moving. I felt so determined
to overcome this unforgiving terrain that continued
to buckle me.
I vowed to get up straight away every time after
each fall I took. I possessively would set goals at
small distance intervals to reach, 10-15m at a time
before taking a short break to reassess a new
target. Slowly, but surely, I was making progress
Time flew by as I was fixated in survival. 2 hours
had gone by before I heard this weird buzzing
noise. It was getting louder and louder. Then I saw
it, a freaking helicopter! I suddenly remembered
(I had totally forgot) amidst my trance of gimp
walking that I called for an emergency pick-up. I
happily stopped dead in my tracks as it hovered
down to meet me at my level. A guy jumped out
and boosted me up into a seat. Whoa! What a
relief! They asked for any serious injuries and how
I was feeling. It almost seemed that the rescuers
were as relieved as I was. They saw where the
beacon was set off and thought they were in for a
3-day body retrieval mission. Those heavy words
lingered over me as I re-adjusted to my newly
safe scenario. Thus, I remained in contemplating
silence for the rest of the flight as the helicopter
navigated in between building storm clouds before
we eventually burst out to the coast.
Medical crews awaited my arrival at Fox Glacier
SAR (Search and Rescue) headquarters and
instructed that I was immediately transferred
to Greymouth Hospital. My manager at FJGG
was there, he had received the distress signal
of danger during his lunch break. Despite the
seriousness of the scene, he was stoked to see
me and pulled out his camera. “Smile”. I don’t
know how it happened, but a cheeky grin emerged
on my face in a reaction for the photo.
Arriving at the hospital was a real reality check.
I wasn’t cold but I was stuck in a frenzy of shock
that seemed to continue for next 24 hours. I was
feeling suspiciously guilty, having committed
the great cardinal sin of all ‘experienced’
mountaineers. We continue to promise ourselves
and loved ones to always return home safely,
avoiding risky scenarios. Failing to do so begs
the commoners to question a reckless maturity.
Why would anyone voluntarily risk their life just to
climb some hills? Around 6.30pm, a phone rang
back in Taranaki of an impending phone call that
no parent would want to receive. It was a nurse
from the Greymouth Base Hospital asking if she
was the mother of Jamie Lee Hareb. Luckily there
wasn’t fatal news but let’s just say it ruined her
26//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#231
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A LIFESAVING DEVICE?
A devise the size of a cell phone allows
people to travel into the outdoors with
some sense of security, knowing that if
something goes wrong, then help will be
not too far away. Working off satellites,
a personal locator beacon has better
coverage than cellphones and has helped
reduce the “search” in search and rescue.
Carrying a personal locator beacon can
help save lives and money. A simple
rescue operation can cost around $10,000,
however when it’s a search and rescue
operation the cost skyrockets into the
With any technology, there is the possibility
of misuse. There are plenty of stories
online of people activating their PLB for a
“quick ride home”. In New Zealand, misuse
of personal locator beacons can result in
as little as a warning up to a $30,000 fine.
In 2012, only 109 of the 1700 activations in
Australia were actual emergencies.
In 2013, a tramper was accused of
activating his PLB just to get a ride home.
After a thorough investigation it turned
out the tramper encountered more difficult
terrain than he had prepared for and it was
determined that he would have put himself
at great risk had he ventured further under
the conditions. He was cleared of any
There are a variety of devices for use in
an emergency; it is important to know how
to use them and also to remember to use
them ONLY as a last resort.
As with any rescue beacon, you must make sure you know how to
use it before you leave and that you have spare batteries or a way of
charging when you are out in the wilderness. Make sure it is always
on hand, rather than kept at the bottom of your pack, for easy access
in an emergency.
Personal Locator Beacons: PLBS
When activated the PLB will transmit your exact location to emergency
services, who will then do their best to get to you as soon as possible.
They are to be used for life threatening situations only.
Satellite Messenger Devices:
Use satellite systems to send messages or emergency distress
notifications. Good for remaining in contact with friends and family
or allowing people to route track your progress. Can also be used for
Similar to mobile phones but using satellites to connect with phone
networks. Can be used anywhere in the world provided you have
When to activate a beacon or satellite message?
If you have tried to use two way communications such as a phone or
radio to talk to emergency services and still feel you life is in imminent
danger, then your distress beacon should be activated.
What happens next?
A signal will be sent to a Cospas-Sarsat 406HMz satellite which
notifies the nearest ground station. This call is then relayed to the local
Rescue Coordination Centre which will arrange a search and rescue
operation. The speed and exact response will depend on your location
and circumstances. You must be prepared to survive in assistance
cannot reach you immediately.
Carrying a PLB has also helped perpetuate the notion that guaranteed
help is just one button push away, but the reality is that not everyone
can be saved…
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SURVIVING A CYCLONE
On December 13th 2012, local Kiwi, Laurie Miller was one
of three men sailing off the Philippine island of Dinagat,
when their 18 meter yacht, Katerina 1, began experiencing
some issues and taking on water. Winds were high, at 60
knots, a heavy 3m swell was running and with the motor now
waterlogged they were concerned the boat would go down
and take the liferaft with it, so they chose to abandon ship.
The three men set off an emergency locator beacon and along
with their two dogs they abandoned the boat and climbed
aboard the inflatable liferaft. With plenty of provisions aboard
along with the comfort of the locator beacon, the men believed
they would not have to wait too long before being rescued.
They initially dropped anchor to prevent the raft tipping but
during the first violent night they rolled twice losing their dog
Spotty along with most of the provisions. All that remained
was some flares and a second locator beacon.
The second night the raft rolled again and they lost the
second dog and the flares. The following day they set off the
remaining beacon. Conditions inside the raft were dire, in
such stormy conditions they were forced to urinate inside the
raft and were left sitting in urinated water up to their waist.
Despite the grim conditions, time seemed to pass quickly,
maybe shock or maybe they just nodded off but on day three
they spotted a ship in the distance. Without flares they were
unable to do anything to attract its attention. All three men
struggled, but Johnny seem to suffer more and became
delirious, trying to take his lifejacket off a couple of times, but
the other two secured him upright to stop him falling into the
It was not until the fourth day that they heard a motor; a local
fisherman had stumbled across the raft and rescued the
three men and they began the 100km journey back to land.
Unfortunately not all survived. Johnny, suffering from severe
dehydration and organ failure, was declared dead by the
So what went wrong? What happened to the locator beacon
signal? Where was the rescue?
Could the fact that the men were caught out in a tropical
cyclone that claimed the lives of 41 people have been avoided?
The question as to whether
or not they should have
abandoned the boat is possibly
easier to answer in retrospect.
The boat survived the storm
and washed up on a beach in
the Philippines relatively intact.
However, the decision was
made at the time thinking that
rescue would not be far away.
“The only time
I would use
a life boat is
when I have to
step up onto it.”
Sir Peter Blake
So what happened to the locator beacon signal? According to
the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, the two distress signals
were detected by them and they contacted the Manila Rescue
Coordination Centre, the people responsible for search and
rescue in that area. So why did they not respond?
Laurie later received information under the Freedom of
Information Act that indicated the Philippine Coast Guard did
not help the men because of the sea conditions due to the
cyclone and the fact that the raft was in shark-infested waters.
The fateful journey of Katerina 1
The Katerina 1 was later found relatively intact
WHAT'S GOING WRONG?
Drowning is the highest cause of
recreational death and forth highest
cause of accidental death in New
Zealand. We still had one of the highest
drowning rates in the OECD, ranked
8th, almost double that of Australia, and
five times that of the UK.
In 2020 the Water Safety Sector
Strategy was implemented, a joint
effort from a variety of water safety
organizations in the community with the
goal of reducing the water deaths in
New Zealand over the next five years.
2021 began well and until December
was on track to have a lower-thanaverage
year. However, 20 deaths in
December 2021 resulted in the same
number of drownings as the previous
year and the highest December
drownings since 1996. The Xmas
holiday period of 2021 - 2022 saw 14
people drown, the worst figure since
So where are we going wrong?
Well firstly we have a love affair with
the water; over 3 million people visit
beaches, 1.5million go boating, over
1.1 million participate in swimming
and more than 630,000 go fishing.
There are also over 20 million visits to
public swimming pools. Despite the
best efforts to educate and change the
culture around water safety, 2021 was
still a tragic year in and around our
Two of the specific goals of the strategy
were to reduce the overall deaths but
specifically to half the number of men
dying in our waters and totally eliminate
the deaths of toddlers. Despite their
best efforts, in 2021 men still made
up over 80% of water fatalities and 5
toddlers lost their lives, up from the 5
A surprising statistic was that three out
of ten New Zealanders cannot swim or
float in the ocean for more than a few
minutes. Our can-do attitude is also
seen as a problem when it comes to
safety in the water. There is a distinct
difference between being able to swim
and the skill and fitness required to
swim, particularly if you are in rough
waters or you are beginning to panic.
Currently there is a pressure on
the government to make swimming
lessons free for children, historically
schools had swimming pools and
children were taught to swim at
school. That rarely happens these
days as schools move away from
the risk of having pools. Swimming
lessons are expensive and outside the
financial reach of many kiwis, thus the
push is to have swimming lessons for
free at community pools. This has yet
to be ruled on.
Despite being surrounded by water,
our knowledge of the oceans
and rivers is poor. With 78% of
beachgoers unable to recognise a
rip it’s not surprising that they get
into trouble. So often the calm water
(that often indicates a rip is present)
is where people believe it is safest to
swim. It could not be further from the
Our knowledge of rivers is equally
poor, this year, 6 of the 14 people who
died this holiday period did so in our
rivers. The education around rivers is
not as widely shared and a tranquil
slow moving river can present many
dangers that users are unaware of.
The good news
Despite a terrible start to the year,
New Zealand’s statistics have
improved. In 1985 there were 163
preventable drownings in our waters,
fortunately this has halved since
then. Almost half of the deaths at the
beginning of this year were in rivers, a
sign that maybe New Zealanders are
not so aware of the dangers of these
often tranquil looking waters.
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SAD BUT INTERESTING STATISTICS (FROM THE WATER SAFETY SECTOR STRATEGY)
Each year, on average, over 100
people die by drowning in NZ waters,
and up to 80 of these deaths are
preventable. On top of this, over 170
are hospitalized as a result of water
Males are four times more likely to
drown in New Zealand, making up 84%
of total drownings.
On average, six infants under five
years old drown each year and a further
34 are hospitalised. 87% of these
deaths are attributed to inadequate
adult supervision. 52% of preschool
deaths occur at home.
Maori make up 14% of the population,
but 23% of those who drown. 90% of
Maori who drown are men.
Socioeconomic status and ethnicity
also have an impact on drownings,
with higher drowning rates occurring in
lower socioeconomic groups, in ethnic
minorities and in rural populations.
Beaches (22%), rivers (20%) and
offshore (19%) are where the greatest
number of drownings occur.
The largest number of drownings are
immersion incidents (33%) where the
victims had no intention of being in the
Boating (at 22% of preventable deaths)
claims the second greatest number of
lives and almost three quarters (73%)
of those that drown in a boating incident
are not wearing lifejackets.
Swimming makes up 21% of
preventable drownings and a further 39
hospitalisations per year. The majority
of swimming deaths (39%) occur at
Statistics are based on the five year
average of preventable drowning
Image by Ayyub Jauro/Pexels
KIWI IN NORWAY
WHAT COULD GO WRONG?
By George Snook
Earlier this year I travelled to the land
of the midnight sun, more commonly
known as Norway. A practical trip that
was pulled together with minimum
resources. After competing at the Junior
World Championships, I heard that
some of the best white-water kayakers
in the world were on their way North and
on route to a white-water theme park
that is Norway.
In the span of 3 hours, I managed to
organize myself a kayak and car ride to
Norway from Switzerland. After another
few calls with the Norwegian embassy,
I was allowed to enter the country if I
met their covid regulations. Fast forward
a few weeks and I have found myself
in the closing week of my Norwegian
white-water holiday. It had been the trip
of a lifetime, but the rivers had run dry,
and paddling became rarer. Fortunately,
in the last week we got lucky. A friend
of mine notified us that there is a 60-
foot waterfall only two hours away that
should be flowing. That next morning,
we hit the road early and were on our
way to hopefully find something special.
We arrived at the waterfall, and we were
stoked with what we found. An amazing
clean 60-foot waterfall.
But this waterfall was not all sunshine
and rainbows, there were hazards that
we had to consider. We prepared and
planned and then it was time to paddle.
We all suited up and headed down
ready for some free fall. After filming my
friend crush the line it was my turn.
I launched into the river from the gorge
wall, paddled around above the waterfall
for five minutes to warm up my body
and then proceeded to give the “good to
go” signal. Everyone was in position. I
visualized my line one last time and then
took to the falls. The impact from hitting
the water below was heavy but nothing
out of the ordinary for larger waterfalls.
A few seconds had passed since I had
landed, and I knew that I was upside
down at the bottom of the waterfall.
Recalling back my knowledge from
scouting the waterfall not long before
I remember that at the bottom of the
waterfall there is a small pool that
encloses the landing zone of the
waterfall. The exit of this pool was
smaller than ideal and created a
recirculating “pocket” that wanted to
hold my kayak and I stuck. I attempted
some rolls as I knew that I would be
able to paddle out of the pocket if I was
up the right way. After multiple attempts
at rolling up the kayak, I figured out
that half of my paddle had snapped,
unfortunately, it was the half that I used
to roll the kayak up.
My mind froze for a split second, and
it was like I was watching a movie that
had been fast-forwarded. I saw the
worst-case scenario play out in my
head at super speed. It did not end well.
My brain clicked back to reality and
luckily, I knew what to do to avoid that
situation. It happened automatically. My
right hand released and moved to the
left-hand side of
the paddle; my
left hand followed
in the opposite
meant that the left
half of my paddle,
the half that was
still intact, was
now on the right
side of my body.
This allowed me
to use the force of
froze for a
and it was
like I was
had been fastforwarded."
the paddle blade to roll up the kayak. I
had now made it up, but I was still in the
pocket. With what was left of the paddle
I pulled myself out from the pocket and
into the safe pool below.
At the time I didn't think too much about
what had just happened apart from that
I was happy to be able to act quickly
and accordingly to get out of the sticky
situation, but later on, I realized that the
situation that I was in was actually a
lot gnarlier than I had thought, it was a
wave of delayed panic.
I was later told that another kayaker
from Germany had once got stuck in
the same spot and after swimming out
of his kayak spent 45 minutes in the
pocket holding onto a rock wall. Luckily,
his rescue team managed to get a rope
to him, but it showed just how hard it
was to access by a safety crew. If you
were stuck there without a boat, it would
have been near impossible to swim out.
I know how dangerous that little but
unforgiving pocket can be.
Follow George Snook @georgesnook
MT TARANAKI SUMMIT
ON A PERFECT DAY
Words and images by Eric Skilling
I was standing on the top of the perfect cone-shaped volcanic peak, looking down
2,518-metres to the West Coast of Taranaki. Around me, everyone had that priceless wideeyed
look of achievement on their faces. None more satisfying than the sense of triumph I
had felt at that moment.
After six attempts over more than two decades I had finally made it to the top of Mt
Taranaki, and in clear weather. Three earlier attempts had been spoilt by the weather even
before reaching the end of the scree slope. Another attempt was frustrated by impassable
ice-covered rocks just a few hundred metres short of the summit. When I made it to the top
a few years ago, we had fought a bitterly cold, almost gale force wind and the clouds had
blocked all views. That had been a miserable and very tense experience.
34//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#231
A glorious sunrise as we made our way up towards "The Lizard"
more than two
decades, I had
it to the top of
Mt Taranaki in
This time it was so different. Having set out before dawn, we had enjoyed a glorious
sunrise before reaching the summit mid-morning. The day was near perfect - the sky
above was a cloudless deep blue, with a cool refreshing breeze.
Gazing eastward from the top, the horizon was broken by the sharp point of Mt Ngauruhoe
and Mt Ruapehu’s jagged ridge line. To the north, we looked down to the tiny clearing of Mt
Egmont Visitors Centre some 1,500-metres below us. Then onto the shark-tooth shaped
Paritutu Rock and the famous Power Station Chimney of New Plymouth.
Low scattered cloud was drifting in from the south and west, but you could still make out
the coastline curving its way around to the grey green of the distant South Island. Sure,
it would probably be clearer mid-winter with an icy-dry southerly breeze, but that would
mean ice-axes, crampons and a lot more layers. Give me a little summer haze any day.
As it was it would have been zero-degrees up here at dawn and there was still ice in the
small crater as we approached the final rocky crest.
Low cloud rolled in as we made our way back to the scree slope
Climbing this landmark peak is such an exhausting pleasure, and an experience you will
relive for a long time. Climbing nearly 1,400-metres up from the Visitor Centre, there is
some shade in the first hour but expect to spend most of the 7 to 8 hours exposed to the
sun, so carry plenty of water. A mixture of scree, rock and stairs, this is a climb that will see
even the fittest using up some serious calories.
All stages of the track are steep and equally, if not more challenging on the way down,
especially for the tired and weary. A rescue operation was in full swing as we descended
after someone had fallen going down the stairs.
However challenging, it has been a feat successfully accomplished by many and should
be pursued by many others. Plus, when you return, you get to enjoy an ice-cream or hot
coffee at the Visitor Centre before retreating into your car.
of the track
if not more
the way down."
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ON A LESS THAN PERFECT DAY
Mt Taranaki is the North Islands second highest mountain and thousands of trampers hike the
Summit Track each year. In the summer, Mt Taranaki is still a strenuous climb, but in winter it has
the added challenges of snow, ice, bad weather and avalanches. A helmet, crampons and ice axe
are essential as well as the ability to use them. Snow is present year round but snow cover is at its
lowest in the peak summer months of Jan – April. The average daily summer temperature ranges
from 1-7 o C.
Since records began, there had been over 80 deaths on Mt Taranaki, the second most deadliest
alpine environment behind Aoraki/Mt Cook.
Although winter has seen the most fatalities, autumn is also considered treacherous; to the
untrained eye conditions may seem ideal, however a thin coating of ice called verglas often covers
the upper reaches, making climbing exceptionally challenging even with crampons and ice axes.
The most deadliest day was in JULY 1953 when 6 people fell to their deaths.
A DEADLY WEEKEND
Case study: Labour weekend 2013
Labour weekend 2013, ten climbers, with varying degrees of experience, set
out to climb Mt Taranaki’s East Ridge.. The chain of circumstances that lead to
fatalities in the outdoors are often referred to as lemons, a metaphor that comes
from the old-style fruit slot machines; if you pull the lever often enough you might
hit the jackpot. In the context of risk in the outdoors, the jackpot can be a fatal
accident. So what were the lemons?
All climbers arrived to the Alpine Club Lodge, a 60-90 minute climb from the car
park, late that evening between 11.15pm and 2am so most did not get to sleep
until 2am. Those wanting to climb the East Ridge were told to be up around
5.30am. The remainder were going to climb the North Ridge.
It began as a bluebird day when they left the lodge at 7.30am, expecting the
circuit to take about 6 hours. No one rechecked the forecast before they left,
even though they knew bad weather was approaching. At 11.15am, around 500m
from the summit, the face steepened to 45 degrees so ropes were needed for a
short stretch. With limited ropes their progress was slow.
Two experienced climbers unclipped and free-climbed to the summit with the use
of ice axes and no tether. By the time they reached the summit it was 3.15pm
and they could see bad weather approaching so they descended back to the
group and advised them to turn back.
The remaining group had split into two, with four slightly ahead
of the others. This group made the fateful decision to keep climbing and
return down the North Face. They did not reach the summit till 8.30pm and by
now one of the group was showing signs of hypothermia. As a result they slipped
hitting one of the other climbers sending them 150m down a sheer ice face. One
of the remaining climbers hurried down to see if they were still alive. Injured but
able to walk the two continued down together leaving the other two just metres
below the summit to descend together.
Above: The joy of reaching the narrow ledge
just below the final short climb to the summit
Inserts: Nearing the top of "The Lizard"
Tongariro National Park just visible peaks to
"If you pull
the lever often
might hit the
jackpot. In the
context of risk
in the outdoors,
can be a fatal
38//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#231
With worsening signs of hypothermia the two
dug a shallow trench and called the lodge to
let them know they were marooned on the
mountain only 200m below the summit, by
now it was 11.30pm.
A rescue team set out from the lodge at
12.30am, but blizzard like weather forced them
to retreat just 150m from the trapped pair.
The following morning helicopters were equally
thwarted by the gusting wind and as ground
searchers were also unable to reach them due
to the ferocity of the weather.
By the time search and rescue reached the
pair two days later, one had already died, and
the other passed away shortly after.
Lack of sleep: With some climbers not arriving until 2am the night
before the tramp, they had as little as three hours sleep.
Lack of experience: Although some of the group were experienced
climbers, others were not experienced enough to climb the East Ridge.
This slowed the whole groups progress.
Poor weather conditions: The weather forecast was deteriorating and
all climbers were aware, however they chose to risk climbing in a small
clear weather window. As a result the conditions on the mountain were
icy and difficult.
Lack of equipment: The group did not have a gear checklist and did not
carry enough technical equipment or emergency equipment and having
to share meant the groups progress was slowed down even more.
Lack of time monitoring: Having a set turnaround time is something
that helps keep people safe, however the turnaround time of midday was
not monitored and the group that got home safely did not turn around
until 4.30pm whilst the remaining four pushed for the summit.’
Lack of leadership: When tramping with a group of independent
climbers, you still need to have someone who will be responsible for
decision making. This did not happen.
By NZ Mountain Safety Council
New Zealand's extreme landscapes laced with its pure beauty is the
lure for adventurists, trampers and day walkers to explore what it
has to offer. With the addition of our country's volatile weather, it can
make an outdoor experience both exciting and with its risks.
There are many essential survival items
that people must carry and one important
item that often doesn’t make the pack
is the emergency shelter, says the NZ
Mountain Safety Council (MSC).
Packing an emergency shelter doesn’t
mean carrying large amounts of additional
gear, it’s about assessing the type of trip,
the expected terrain and the forecasted
weather, which narrows down the
appropriate form of emergency shelter.
MSC alpine advisor Tom Harris'
experiences with search and rescue,
glacier guiding and work in Antarctica,
have given him a personal insight into the
importance of an emergency shelter. "It’s
easy to think that nothing will happen to
you, but if someone gets injured or the
weather changes dramatically, which is
common in New Zealand, there is a high
likelihood you’ll need to hunker down,” he
says. "If there is any chance of high winds,
rain, or cold conditions where you’re going
and there’s no guarantee of getting help or
getting out fast, then an emergency shelter
is a must have."
Aside from being a member of the MSC
team, Harris has years of personal
experience in the great outdoors. On
personal tramping trips, Harris and his wife
prefer to use a tent to avoid busy huts, and
for more privacy and route flexibility, with
the additional bonus of it doubling as an
But Harris says a tent is not the only form
of emergency shelter out there. There are
plenty of options out there for all kinds of
For those going solo, a well-designed
bivvy bag has similar multi-use benefits,
Harris says. It offers the flexibility to
stay outside of huts, but also acts as an
excellent emergency shelter in a pinch,
he says. These are particularly good in
challenging environments such as windy
locations where it is tough to pitch a tent,
or when alpine climbing where flat space
can be an issue.
"Tarps or flys are great, but have a bit of
setup required, such as needing walking
poles or trees to setup and don’t help
as much with breaking the wind. This
will work well if your route mostly stays
below the bushline, but it won’t help you
much at all in exposed areas. If you’re not
interested in a tent, fly or bivvy bag, or if
you’re tramping as a larger group, a bothy
bag would be my pick. They aren’t too
expensive, are incredibly easy to pull out
and get shelter, are compact and light, and
may fit bigger groups."
Harris recalls one of many guiding trips
he was leading on Fox Glacier where the
weather turned enough for the group to
need shelter. "I pulled out the bothy bag
and we all hopped inside to have some
lunch and take a break. Immediately the
group morale lifted, and that lightweight,
compact shelter turned a potential
nightmare trip into an awesome memory
MSC suggests that emergency shelter
is part of any standard tramping kit,
alongside other important survival items
such as a first aid kit and communications
devices. These should be carried even on
day trips if you are going solo or to remote
parts of the country.
"A shelter is just one of
the many useful items to
consider in your pack, it
is hard to think about the
what-if situations, but as
many experienced trampers
know, anything can happen
You can find out a lot about which shelter
suits you best by looking online at reviews,
asking fellow trampers and talking to
the staff in your local retailer. It is also
important to understand how your setup
works and to test it at home before you go.
Store this in an easily accessible part of
your pack. A shelter is just one of the many
useful items to consider in your pack, it is
hard to think about the what-if situations,
but as many experienced trampers know,
anything can happen out there.
Things to consider when setting up:
Setting up a shelter in an emergency situation has its
challenges, however if there is time, consider the following:
Choose a site:
• On well-drained ground above flood level
• Sheltered from wind – in the bush or in the lee of
ridges and rocks
Avoid setting up:
• Under dead trees or large epiphytes (plants that
grow on branches), which might fall in windy or wet
• Under possible rockfall or in avalanche path
• On mosses that may fill with water during rain
• In a river bed, on an island in a riverbed, or in a gorge
where rising waters could flood your camp
• When it is very cold, you may want to choose a
campsite above the valley flats to avoid the coldest air
that will gravitate there during the night.
If you’re unsure on what other items to take with you, you can start with a gear list by using the MSC Plan My Walk app which
will help you start planning a safe trip in New Zealand's outdoors, or jump on mountainsafety.org.nz for further information.
PACKING FOR THE WORST PAID OFF
“We had everything we needed to be
safe,” Vanessa Bridge said in January last
year as she reflected on being rescued
from Fiordland’s remote Dusky Trackafter
activating a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB).
After breaking her ankle three days into
the challenging eight-day expedition,
Vanessa and her partner, Andy Reid, both
from Auckland, were thankful their “bloody
heavy packs” had emergency shelter and
surplus food, two important items they
would have needed for an unexpected
lengthy stay in the isolated outdoors.
The 84km Dusky Track is no mean feat,
as described on the Plan My Walk app
and website it's a difficult but rewarding
remote track, between Lake Hauroko and
Lake Manapouri, for the well-equipped,
advanced tramper. Vanessa, a keen
cyclist, and Andy, an adventure racer, both
slotted into that category, being fit and
It was a late January afternoon when
the couple began the steep descent to
Loch Maree hut, through forest covered
by a dense tree canopy. “Unfortunately,
Vanessa slipped on a branch and broke
her ankle,” Andy said. "From there we
decided that it was unlikely she would be
able to proceed, so we set up camp.”
They pitched their emergency shelter,
a small tent, and Vanessa rested in it in
her sleeping bag while Andy went to the
hut, about 1.5hours away, to collect some
water and make an unsuccessful call
attempt from his satellite phone.
He then left a note at the hut detailing their
situation before returning to Vanessa at
about 9pm. The pair, both in their early
60s, made the decision to activate the
beacon shortly before 7am on Thursday as
Vanessa knew her situation wasn’t critical
and was able to manage her pain levels
with medication overnight.
“Because we were under the canopy, we
were thinking the signal might not get out.
It was the first time we had used one.”
Just over an hour later they heard the
hum of the helicopter overhead, and Andy
waved his orange jacket in a small gap
amongst the tree canopy for the rescue
team to spot them. The couple were
winched up separately and taken to the
Te Anau Medical Centre by ambulance
waiting for them.
Andy says the decades of outdoor
experience gave him and Vanessa comfort
in the situation. “But without a PLB I would
have felt more nervous as it’s very remote.
. . it’s one of DOC’s hardest tracks.”
The couple had decided to take a small
tent as emergency shelter, especially after
reading an alert on the DOC website that
mentioned the quick rise of the rivers along
the track raising the possibility of having
to set up camp to wait for the river level to
drop, he says.
“I think there’s always the trade off with
the weight that you carry. For an eight
or more-day tramp, the pack was bloody
heavy, maybe about 20kg. We probably
had bought more food than we needed but
if for some reason the PLB didn’t work, we
would have been grateful for that,” Andy
The couple were very thankful for the
efficient, life-saving effort by the Southern
Lakes Helicopter crew.
42//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#231
RAB SILTARP 2
Lightweight and versatile Cordura 30D nylon
2-3 person tarp. Offers a multitude of setup
options, reinforced guy points and central lift
point for support. Packed size: 25 x 16cms.
OUTDOOR RESEARCH ASCENTSHELL BIVY
Bluesign approved AscentShell x Pertex Shield Air Diamond
Fuse 3L provides drastically improved breathability leading
to less condensation. Ideal for alpine pursuits and extreme
weather. 528g (479g without pole).
MONT ADVENTURE EQUIPMENT
MOONDANCE 1FN TENT
Freestanding 1-person tent designed for winter-grade
weather protection. 25% more internal floor area than the
average 1-person tent with an internal vestibule for waterproof
protection of your gear, steep walls and a wide ridge pole
across the roof for extra space. 1525g
KEA KIT: OUTDOOR SURVIVAL SYSTEM
Be fully prepared for your next adventure with KEA KIT.
The compact, modular and durable survival kit that includes
everything you need & nothing you don’t.
RAB GROUP SHELTER 2 PERSON
A lightweight, wind and waterproof highly visible
polyester 1-2 person shelter designed for
emergency use or rest stops. Creates your own
micro-climate in poor weather conditions.
A superlight, packable, re-usable,
windproof and waterproof Polyethylene
bivi bag for emergency situations.
Packed size: 12 x 6cms
"Tenkara is like
trout; like a
It is a balance
FISHING FROM HEAVEN
Words Steve Dickinson | Images By Lynne Dickinson
A few years back on a hiking trip up the Mohaka River, as we pitched our tent and
sat on the bank in the evening, the trout started to rise, plucking floating bugs off
the surface as they drifted downstream and swirled in the current’s eddies. We
didn’t have a line or a rod but wished we did. On our return I started to investigate
light-weight trout fishing gear and to simplify the process and I discovered Tenkara.
I was introduced to it via Patagonia, the clothing company that has a strong sideline
in trout fishing thanks to the founder Yvon Chouinard who simply passion for
the sport. I started to find out that the rods are extremely light and compact and
that Tenkara fishing originated in Japan more than 400 years ago. This style of
fishing started with traditional fishermen in the mountain streams of Japan who
found it an effective method of catching fish in the local freshwater streams.
The Japanese the word ‘Tenkara’ literally means ‘Fishing from heaven’ or fishing
from the skies or empty sky with ‘Kara’ meaning empty and ‘ten’ meaning sky.
Tenkara is still a rare method of fishing among freshwater mountain anglers in
Japan even now, the most common method now used is bait. It was believed that
it was the Samurai that started tenkara but that is not correct. Samurai did fish, but
they used a more aggressive jigging technique (as you would expect!). Tenkara was
largely unknown outside Japan until 2009, when Daniel Galhardo returned from
a trip with a tenkara rod in his bag, it was introduced to the states and since has
slowly seeped worldwide.
Surpising the size of the fish you can land with no reel
Originally the rod was simply a bamboo
cane rod, but unlike modern western
bamboo rods, it wasn’t split and stuck
back together as used extensively in
coarse fishing, it was simple a bamboo
pole, like the quintessential Huckleberry
Finn fishing poles. Obviously in Japan
bamboo is readily available and light.
Because of its light weight, traditional
Japanese fishermen were able to use
very long bamboo rods and reach
as far as needed without the need to
develop reels or extended line or casting.
Although there are similarities between
tenkara and traditional fly fishing the two
techniques developed independently of
each other, with tenkara being purely
Japanese in origin however there are
some similarities to coarse fishing in
Europe with the likes or a roach pole
which was a similar method.
Tenkara fishing can be seen as a
streamlined alternative to traditional
fly-fishing. The equipment is designed
to directly concentrate on the fly and
catching of the fish, very similar to a
high rod technique when fly fishing.
Like a lot of Japanese culture there is
an elegance and simplicity to Tenkara
that has a strong appeal not just in its
convenience but in its presentation or
the fly. There are also other advantages
of using the long tenkara rods as a long
rod allows for precise placement of the
fly on small pools avoiding casting in
cramped areas and the inevitable tangles
in overhanging bushes, the long rod
presentation allows for holding the fly in
place on the other side of a current. As
any fly fisher man will tell you the drift is
all important. The drift, how the fly either
on the surface or below flows through the
water naturally will always be important
in catching trout. The main advantages
of using the long tenkara rod is precise
control for manipulation of the fly drift and
Recently I went to a back water river
which was very tight and shallow but
full of fish. On my first trip I took a
traditional rod and reel, and fishing was
at best difficult, at worst impossible, plus
because it was so shallow and so clear
the fish spooked easy. But the following
day I added my tenkara set up to my
gear and happily fished for hours with no
loss of gear (other than being snapped
off by a big boy). Tenkara simply made
the presentation easy and because of the
lack of movement the fish did not spook
You could literally be Huckleberry Finn
and go cut a long piece of bamboo add
some line and a fly and you would be
tenkara fishing, however the modern
tenkara rods are very long and flexible
rod (usually telescopic which makes for
ease of carrying and pack down into
itself). The rods normally range from 3.3
to 4.5 metres (11 to 15 ft) long. 3.6 m
(12 ft) is common. Although rods were
originally made of bamboo, they are now
made with carbon-fibre or fibre-glass.
They also have a handle similar to flyfishing
rods that can be made of wood
or cork. Plus, a loop at the end of the
rod to attach the tenkara line. There is a
specific way to bring out a tenkara rod,
you hold the opening of the rod in your
hand and slowly bring out segment by
segment linking each segment firmly, my
13ft foot rod has 13 separate sections.
The same thing applied when collapsing
the rod into itself.
Tenkara line: As in fly-fishing, it is the
tenkara line that propels the weightless
fly forward. In tenkara, the traditional and
most commonly used line is a tapered
furled line (twisted monofilament), of the
same length or slightly shorter than the
rod. The main advantage of tapered lines
is the delicate presentation and ease of
casting. Alternatively, a tenkara "level"
line can be used. Level lines are specially
formulated fluorocarbon adjusted to the
desired length as they maintain the same
diameter throughout their length. Tapered
lines are typically easier to cast and
preferred by people getting started with
tenkara, whereas level lines tend to be
lighter (slightly harder to cast) but can be
kept off the water more easily. But once
you have the tenkara line regardless
of what type it is simply a case of then
attaching normal fishing line to the end.
The traditional tenkara line has a loop
of braided line at its thicker end. This
braided line is used to tie the tenkara line
46//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#231
"Tenkara is pure simple fishing, a rod, a line
and a fly and it all packs down compactly and
is easy to carry anywhere."
directly to the tip of the rod. I felt that the
loop on my tenkara rod was not secure
enough and had it removed and replaced
by my local fishing store the loop was both
super glued and whipped on.
Tippet: This is the same as a regular
fly-fishing tippet just shorter and is used
to connect the fly to the line. Usually
between 30 cm (12 in) and 1 metre (3 ft 3
in) of tippet is added to the end of the line,
personally I used about a meter and a half
of tippet and found it both easy to control
and simple to use. In Japan the tippet is
referred to as "hea" (for hair), due to it
being the thin part of the process.
Tenkara fly: Artificial flies are used in
tenkara fly-fishing. These are tied with
thread, feathers and sometimes fur as
just as normal
hackle wet fly is
used. In Japan
it is known
flies, in that the
hackle is tied facing forward. That is the
purest way of fishing Tenkara, however I
have simplify used traditional flies bought
form the local fishing store. Both dry and
wet flies and have used both a dropper rig
(dry fly and small beaded nymph) plus and
traditional nymphing set up with a small
bomb and nymph the only difference you
don’t really need an indicator as you are so
attached to the movement of the line.
Whenever you talk Tenkara you nearly
always get the same reaction. ‘’How’s
that gonna work on bigger fish in New
Tenkara rods are designed to handle more
stress that you would think, if you do not
have the option of a reel or line drag then
you have to use the next option, you head.
You need to fight the fish on your terms,
learning to fish smarter not harder.
Firstly, use the heaviest tippet you think
you can get away with and buy good
product don’t skimp on the line. Fishermen
spend thousands of dollars on rods and
reels and getting to some fish heavy
location only to baulk at the cost of good
line and try to save twenty dollars, don’t.
That’s the business and you don’t want it
to let you down.
Tenkara rods are made to be bent, so get
the butt of the rod to the fish front as soon
as possible, ‘remember show em your
butt’’, pointing the butt of the rod at the
fish will help you handle most of the fish’s
But the time will come when they move
and you need to be prepared to move with
them, it pays to use common sense if you
are fishing a wider deeper river and big
boy decides to go for the other bank, don’t
put yourself in peril by following, it’s only
a fish. Try to weigh up all the alternative
before you get
a fish on, and
you won’t be
faced with a
Try to keep
angle at the fish
as with normal
fly fishing. All
of the normal
apply to landing
a fish bigger
fish, keep side
pressure on and be directive.
Lastly, and this is only something I have
read about, should a fish be getting the
better of you it is suggested that you
drop the rod in the water! The weight of
the water will keep the hook in place but
because there is not rod stress on the fish,
they will return to their holding place and
you can simply go back, pick up you rod
and start again. Like I said, I have never
tried this, but it might work well in low
running, narrow rivers.
Fly fishing has been described as a dance
with trout, if that is so then Tenkara is
ballet, it is simple, delicate, and effective.
My journeys into the back hills have been
a discovery of small rivers and stream
many of which do not even have a name
but surprisingly in the middle of nowhere
a tiny mountain stream will still carry trout.
Tenkara is pure simple fishing, a rod, a line
and a fly and it all packs down compactly
and is easy to carry anywhere.
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48//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#231
Words and images courtsey Red Bull
Alex Honnold is a professional rock
climber whose free-solo ascents of
America’s biggest cliffs have made
him one of the most recognized
and followed climbers in the world.
Honnold is distinguished for his
uncanny ability to control his fear
while scaling cliffs of dizzying heights
without a rope to protect him if he
falls in a climbing style called free
In 2017 Honnold completed the first
and only free-solo of El Capitan’s
“Freerider” route (5.13a, 3,000 feet),
hailed by many as one of the greatest
sporting achievements of our time.
Free Solo' the film documenting this
climb, won the Best Documentary
Feature at the 91st Academy Awards.
The two-part 'Alex Honnold: The
Soloist VR' immerses viewers
alongside the 36-year-old Californian
as he exhibits the talent that has
captivated people globally. The film is
only available for Oculus TV, on Meta
Quest VR headsets.
The film, which was shot over two
years by award-winner producer
Johnathan Griffith of 'Everest VR:
Journey to the Top of the World' -
uses the latest in high-resolution 3D
360° to capture Honnold in some of
the most remote and wildest locations
VR Producer Johnathan Griffith
added: "After seeing how audiences
were enthralled by Alex in Free
Solo, we thought that VR could bring
people even closer to being on the
wall with Alex as he continues to
push the boundaries of the sport and
Alex Honnold soloing Desert Gold at sunrise, Vegas
The three-part series 'Making the
Soloist VR' on Red Bull TV, follows
the production team and provides an
inside look at the challenges faced with
shooting VR in these environments.
Honnold, filmmaker Jon Griffith and
a group of climbers take us through
the journey, struggles and rewards of
creating such a film.
Episode 1 follows Honnold to Yosemite,
home of the fearsome 7,573 ft (2,308
m) El Capitan, and Red Rocks.
The action then switches to Europe
where Honnold teams up with Swiss
mountaineer Nicolas Hojac to tackle
tough Dolomites free solo climbs.
Episode 2 culminates with Honnold
and Hojac battling a snowy and wet
summer to free solo American Direct
on the Aiguille du Dru in Chamonix and
the Kuffner arete on Mont Maudit – the
Cursed Mountain – the second-highest
peak in the Mont Blanc Massif.
As shooting in the mountains means
uncontrollable circumstances, every
aspect revolved around the crew’s
ability to handle themselves in complex
and often dangerous situations. While
they were documenting the stars of
the climbing world, the team had to
have a high level of mountain skills
themselves, and put together a support
crew that can keep up with Honnold.
Leading the artistic vision of this
behind-the-scene series was Director
Renan Ozturk, and helping the
team navigate the high alpine was
professional mountaineer Nico Hokjac.
Ozturk works on getting great images;
both on film and stills, while Hojac’s
principal job is to rig the cameras and
keep the team safe.
Honnold explained: "For anyone
wanting to take a deeper dive into the
world of free solo climbing, The Soloist
VR is the perfect opportunity to do so
from the comfort of your own home.
Viewers come along for the ride as we
climb some of the most beautiful rock
faces on earth."
Nicknamed Alex “No Big Deal”
Honnold, the Medical University
of South Carolina, in Charleston
conducted a functional MRI scan
in 2016, which showed little to no
activation in Honnold's amygdala which
is responsible for fear responses.
Of Sacramento, California, Honnold's
most celebrated achievements include
the first and only free-solos of the
Moonlight Buttress (5.12d, 1,200 feet)
in Zion National Park, Utah, and the
Northwest Face (5.12a) of Half Dome
(2,200 feet), Yosemite, California. In
2012 he achieved Yosemite’s first
“Triple Solo”: climbing, in succession,
the National Park’s three largest faces
- Mt. Watkins, Half Dome and
El Capitan - in under 24 hours.
50//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#231
Alex Honnold and Nicolas Hojas climbing Digital Crack (8a) on the Aiguille du Midi, Chamonix
USING TECHNOLOGY TO ACCESS HISTORY
Words and images by Duncan and Andy / Bike it Now!
In the 1800s gold miners experienced the adrenaline of
finding gold in the Central Otago hills and mountains.
With advances in E-Mountain Bike technology we are
able to travel their paths, access their history, and
experience adrenaline of our own through day mountain
In the heart of Central Otago you can find the E-Bike
specialists of Bike it Now! Cromwell, and Bike it Now!
Clyde. These are the places for all your biking needs.
Bike it Now! have a huge array of E-bikes for every rider,
and their knowledgeable and qualified staff will find you
your next bike - because at Bike it Now! - it’s all about
Our adventure starts from the door of Bike it Now!
Cromwell. The ride from Cromwell to Bannockburn is
a great warm up on the first six kilometres of the Lake
Dunstan Trail. This new 42km cycle way, starting in
Cromwell takes in the stunning scenery of the Cromwell
Gorge, and finishes in Clyde. In fact, you can ride from
Bike it Now! Cromwell to Bike it Now! Clyde on the trail.
E-bikes are the popular choice of bike for this day trip and
the teams at Bike it Now! at either end of the track can
sort you out with the best bike to power you on this ride.
We, however, are after more of an adventure, and keen
to head into the hills, so at the Bannockburn Bridge we
head south towards Bannockburn, the heart of the desert.
The hills of Bannockburn are littered with stories of the
past. The land has been changed by hand and water,
and what is left offers some exhilarating mountain biking
Our first stop is the Bannockburn Sluicings. The
Department of Conservation calls this area a “desert
made by water.” and not naturally. The terrain in which
we are playing has been shaped by the miners who toiled
in these hills. The Slucings of Bannockburn showcase
the mighty power of water that was harnessed to carve
out the hillside. It is the mighty power of the high torque
motors on our bikes that allow us to easily climb through
and over the left over tailings to access fun turns, great
views, and a landscape more reminiscent of the wild west
than what we would normally expect in Aotearoa.
The balance of the controlled
power and suspension on these
E-mountain bikes gives us a
smooth ride up and over the rocks
that would normally have stopped
us in our tracks, and speed up
the short and steep inclines that
offer the views into the man
made canyons. How the men of
history changed this landscape
with their limited technology is
mindblowing. Accessing it on the
E- bike technology that is changing
mountain biking is also mind
"The balance of
bikes gives us
a smooth ride
up and over the
rocks that would
stopped us in our
The E-mountain bikes the team at Bike it Now! have on
offer are all electric assist. Electric assist simply means
that the bikes amplify the power the rider puts in while
peddling. So for us, the motor doesn’t work unless we do!
We might be flying up these hills on our new 90 newtonmetre
of torque supercharged legs, but we are still puffing
at the top, and that keeps the adventure feeling like an
The bikes are not only built to handle the ups, but on the
rocky drops, tight corners and flowy downs they handle
with the fun we would expect from any top of the range
full suspension mountain bike. Rolling the rocks isn’t a
problem up or down.
Further up and into the hills behind Bannockburn and
the ruins of Stewart Town lie the remains of Carricktown.
52//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#231
Marcella and Chantel descending through the tailings
Craig nearing Carricktown, Lake Dunstan and Cromwell in the background.
Marcella and Chantel passing by the ruins of Stewart Town.
The views from this historical settlement are well
earned, and normally only tackled by mountain
bikers with something to prove, and time on
their hands. We don’t have to toil here like the
miners who lugged up their tools in order to dig
the kilometres of water races into the hills. The
bikes Duncan and the Bike it Now! team have
for sale allow riders to purchase bikes that have
the power to meet their riding goals, so we have
bikes that have the power to climb these steep
hills without slowing down. With a 250 watt motor
that allows the bike to sustain power over long
periods of time, and an amp controller to increase
peak power when needed, it doesn’t take long
to climb to the spot where we are eye level with
kāhu cruising on wind currents. Normally, it’s at
this point that the fun begins, but the smoothness
of the ride up is going to be hard to beat.
The descent is longer, faster, and more
variable than the short tight turns of The
Sluicings. The way our bikes handle the ride is
confidence inspiring. We get to the bottom with
adrenaline rushing. With the battery technology
improvements of the past few years, even with
the bikes on turbo up the hills, our bikes still have
plenty of charge left in them for the cruise back
into Cromwell. We’ve had a great adventure, and
a good workout, but thanks to the motor we still
have plenty of charge left in us too.
Marcella and Chantel overlooking the Slucings and Tailings from the
bygone mining era.
*The weather of Central Otago can be varied
and extreme. Always ride prepared with suitable
clothing, water, and food. Check the conditions
before riding, and follow the mountain bikers’ off
54//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#231
millions of Tripadvisor
travellers place this
attraction in the top
Come cycling in stunning Central
Otago and let the experts look
after all your needs.
> Lake Dunstan Trail
> Otago Central Rail Trail
> Roxbourgh Gorge Trail
Call the experts at Bike It Now!: 0800 245 366
Clyde Bike Shop and Tour office open 7 Days
Cromwell Bike Shop open 7 days
Bike It Now!
TRAILS OF THE MACKENZIE
The Mackenzie is New Zealand’s largest intermontane basin – an elevated
plateau ringed by mountains in every direction, including the mighty
Aoraki/Mount Cook. The region is known for its stunning landscapes
which change each season, and its tri-colour palette: turquoise lakes,
white snow-capped mountains and golden grasslands.
With such dramatic landscapes and the boundless pristine dark sky
reserve above, it’s no wonder the Mackenzie is a paradise for connecting
with nature. From short walks to multi-day trails, here’s a few of our
favourites to help you explore this spectacular part of the country.
BEN ŌHAU & GRETA STREAM
(Image by Hollie Woodhouse)
16km loop. Near Twizel.
The Ben Ōhau and Greta Stream return near
Twizel is a true hidden gem, taking in the summit
of Ben Ōhau, views of ancient riverbeds, and
Ōhau, Ruataniwha and Pūkaki lakes. The track
runs through Greta Valley, past castle-like rocky
outcrops and golden tussock-clad mountains,
alongside pure (drinkable) mountain streams.
Wander among rare native beech forests to epic
views across Lake Ōhau, nestled in the shadow
of the Southern Alps. Pop into Greta Hut for some
local history before heading home.
56//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#231
FLANAGAN PASS TRAIL (Below: Image by Tekapo Adventures)
23km. Near Twizel.
This trail near Twizel is in the Ruataniwha Conservation Park, a
37,000 hecatre park that encompasses the Ben Ōhau Range and
several valleys between Lake Pūkaki & Ōhau. The trail can be
walked, biked, and is suitable for horse riding. There is also access
to ski-touring in the basins at the southern end of the Ben Ōhau
Turn off SH8 onto Glen Lyon Road and start the trail from the
carpark just past the Pūkaki Canal bridge, heading to the Darts
Bush Stream Track. Branching off the track at the signpost takes
you on the climb up to Flanagan Pass at 1,225m. Enjoy wide
sweeping views across the Mackenzie Basin.
During the 1800s this trail was used as a route to Glen Lyon
Station. Telegraph poles from the 1940s are still located along the
track and once provided communication over Flanagan Pass to
You can descend from Flanagan Pass using the Dorcy Track, or
taking the diagonal track to the Greta Stream car park.
TWO THUMBS TRACK (Above: Image by Tekapo Adventures)
56.5km section of the Te Araroa Trail.
Near Lake Tekapo.
The Te Kāhui Kaupeka Conservation Park was opened back
in 2009, resulting from the tenure review of Mesopotamia and
Richmond Station pastoral leases. Mesopotamia was once
owned by English author Samuel Butler, the braided river and
hanging valleys providing inspiration for Butler’s satirical novel
‘Erewhon’. The Two Thumbs Track is the centrepiece of this DOC
estate, and is part of the Te Araroa Trail – the 3,000km route that
stretches from Cape Reinga in the north to Bluff.
It is recommended to walk the trail from north to south, starting at
the Bush Stream carpark on Rangitata Gorge Road. On day one
you have a short climb out of Bush Stream, and from there on the
trail is mainly downhill. You also get great views of Lake Tekapo
from the ridges on the descent. You can exit down the Roundhill
Skifield road, or continue along Boundary Stream to Lilybank
The park is popular with hunters, with plenty of tahr and chamois
around. The Stag Saddle is New Zealand’s highest horse
accessible trail, and also the highest point on the entire Te Araroa
Trail. There are four huts along the track, with Royal Hut being
aptly named due to a helicopter visit in 1970 from Prince Charles
and Princess Anne.
HOOKER VALLEY (Right: Image by Rachel Gillespie)
10km return via same track.
Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park.
While the three-hour return Hooker Valley Track is quite well
known, have you heard about the new old Hooker Hut? This
historic hut has just been rebuilt and is tucked away off the
famous Hooker Valley Track. The hut has a wood burner, eight
bunk beds, gas cookers, running water, and a pit toilet. This
hut is a great option for those with young children as it's only
950 metres from the well-maintained Hooker Valley Track. It’s
also bookable via the DOC website, giving families that much
needed security they’ll have a bed for all.
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SEALY TARNS (Image by Rachel Stewart)
5.8km Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park.
Dubbed the stairway to heaven, the Sealy Tarns Track
in the Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park is a must for the
fit adventurer. 2,200 steps take you straight up to the
freshwater lakes of Sealy Tarns, providing spectacular
views of the Hooker Valley and the National Park. The
track branches off from the Kea Point track in the village
and is steep with a total height gain of 600m. Those
wanting an overnight adventure can continue on the
alpine route for a couple of hours to Mueller Hut.
HOPKINS VALLEY TRACK (Above: Image by Shellie Evans)
21-35 km return via same track. Ruataniwha
Conservation Park, near Lake Ōhau.
This is an advanced tramping and mountainbike track with a
range of terrain: grasslands, shingle, beech forest and river
banks. There are six huts dotted along the valley. Following
SH8 south from Twizel turn onto Lake Ōhau Road. The
Hopkins Valley is at the end of the road, a total of 60km
from Twizel. Park at the Ram Hill carpark, or continue on to
Monument Hut if you have a 4WD vehicle.
RICHMOND TRAIL (Above: Image by Hollie Woodhouse)
13km one way. Near Lake Tekapo.
0800 22 44 75 | cyclejourneys.co.nz | 3 Benmore Place, Twizel
Over by Lake Tekapo is the Richmond Trail with sweeping
views of Lake Tekapo, the Godley Valley and surrounding
mountains. The trail is part of the Te Araroa trail – you can
walk or bike it (grade 4) and it offers unbeatable views.
The trail follows an old glacial terrace through tussocks
and patches of native vegetation. While the track is
graded easy, there are a few steep climbs (or descents,
depending on which way you walk it) above Boundary
Stream on the way back to Lilybank Road. This trail starts
and finishes in different places – half-way up the Roundhill
access road, or just past the Boundary Creek bridge.
IN SEARCH OF THE PERFECT SHOE
By Lynne Dickinson
With an adventure race looming I was
faced with the daunting task of finding
myself a new pair of shoes in time for the
event. I’m a bit of a “jack of all trades,
master of none” type enthusiast. I do some
biking, some running, a bit of hiking and
a bit of adventure racing, and I wanted
something that would tick all the boxes.
But when I went shopping I found that
although there were so many to choose
from, and although many boasted similar
features, it was hard to find one to fit my
I did my research before I hit the retail
shops, asking around what other people
wore in a range of situations.
A friend who is an avid biker had recently
purchased a pair of trail shoes. Sue is
predominantly a mountain biker and
having spent years in clips, a recent injury
had made her change her pedals and she
needed some new shoes to suit. She was
looking for a more solid based shoe with
a good grip for pushing her bike through
steep tricky sections in the forest. She
purchased a pair of Salomon Wings Sky.
Another friend is an ultra runner, covering
a ridiculous amount of miles each week;
shoes are her lifeline, and her connection
to the ground. So I reached out to her to
see what she looked for in a trail shoe.
Jenny spends most of her time running,
so her needs were different again. She
wanted something lighter and more
flexible, however she was quick to point
out that no one shoe could do it all. As a
result she has different shoes for different
scenarios. She admitted to being a bit of a
Hoka girl, “I have Hoka Challenger ATRs
for the less muddy trails and Hoka Torrents
when I need more grip”, and for the super
muddy stuff, some Icebug Acceleratas.
So the secret is finding the shoe that
is right for you… My problem was that
I wanted one shoe that would do it all.
In adventure racing you need to bike,
hike, sometimes run and there’s always
a water activity such as kayaking, rafting
or paddleboarding. The terrain varies
depending on the location and there’s
always going to be times when you are
pushing your bike up a steep hill, it just
seems to come with the territory. But with
so many things I wanted my shoes for, I
had to choose the one that ticked most of
After trying on a variety of shoes in the
shop, I ended up choosing the Salewa
Ultratrain Shoe. These came highly
recommended from my husband mainly
due to the sole, which is made from
Michelin outdoor compound, excellent on
wet and slippery surfaces. Regardless of
the many technical attributes, these just
fitted MY feet perfectly. There is plenty of
room in the toes, the soles are grippy but
flexible, and the upper surface has plenty
of extra protection from the elements,
including a quick lacing system to help
keep rocks and dirt out. And to top it off I
absolutely love the colour!
So what should YOU look for when
choosing your trail shoe?
The sole needs to have a good grip, and
the depth of that grip will depend on the
terrain you intend to be moving over. If
you are mainly running on bush tracks
your needs will be different from someone
running on sand or over rocks. The type
of rubber used in the sole is important
too; good trail shoes will provide superior
traction in both wet and dry conditions.
Still on the sole, depending on what you
are planning to do will determine whether
you want a more rigid or softer flexible
Look for a good upper fabric that will
protect you from the extra wear and tear
from branches, rocks, dirt and water that
you are likely to encounter on a variety of
terrains. A good trail shoe will often have
extra reinforcements in the toe and heel
areas. The upper fabric needs to be more
durable than your average running shoe,
simply because it will likely be subject
to more elements. Many now will have
a waterproof element to the fabric, so
if that is a factor for you look for a shoe
constructed with GORE-TEX.
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One of the features I noticed in most trail shoes was the
shoe lacing system. Some come with a pocket that allows
you to tuck the loose end of the lace inside to prevent
them coming undone or getting caught. Others come with
a toggle system that allows you to loosen and tighten your
shoes with one swift pull.
Another feature is the heel drop, the amount of cushioning
under the heel. This will once again depend on the main
use of your shoe, if you intend to use them mainly for
running then look for a pair with a greater heel drop.
"Remember, there is
rarely a time when
one shoe will do it all,
so choose the one that
is best for your major
If you are in your shoes for a long time, the weight of them
can make a real difference, so check how they feel but
also how much they weigh.
So how do you know which one is right for you?
Firstly you have to know what type of trail or activity you
are likely to navigate. This is easy if you always run the
bush, for example, but it does get a little trickier when you
have a variety of terrains and uses.
One of the biggest mistakes I have made when buying
shoes in the past is getting them too small, especially for
when I am adventure racing. If you are going to be in your
shoes for a longer period of time your feet are going to
swell, so make sure you have enough room. If you have
the typical kiwi wide feet, then look for a shoe that gives
you more room in the toes, your feet will thank you for it.
Try on plenty of shoes, what may feel great on your feet
can feel totally different on someone else so let the shoes
do the talking. Some people prefer the feeling of a high
profile shoe, which can provide extra support around the
ankles, whereas others prefer a low profile style allowing
for more maneuverability.
Remember, there is rarely a time when one shoe will do
it all, so choose the one that is best for your major needs,
and you may just need to follow Jenny’s lead and have a
different shoe for each different occasion!
help to keeps
debris out of the
Quick lacing system makes lacing easy
and the neoprene cover keeps pebbles
and brances out of your shoes.
Extra features such as SALEWA’S 3F
system help to keep the shoe snug and
connected around your ankle
and Instep helping to keep out debris.
Look for a durable breathable
mesh or a waterproof fabric if this
is important to you.
Extra protection at the toe, sides
and heels helps to protect your
shoes from a variety of terrains.
A higher heel drop will provide
Look for a good grip on the soles,
and a lug suitable for your activity.
Salewa Alp Trainer 2 $299.90
This is a multipurpose all-round trail
walking / hiking shoe – at home on
groomed trails or something a little
higher up the mountain (NEW for this
hoka CHALLENGER ATR 6 $269.95
This adaptable, all-terrain shoe defies convention
— performing light on the trail and smooth on the
street, thanks to its midsole geometry and outsole
construction. Dynamically designed for versatile
traction, its distinctive outsole has zonal construction
to optimize grip and weight. Developed with broad,
closely spaced zonal lugs, the Challenger ATR 6’s
outsole delivers smooth transitions from one surface
to another. This season’s iteration utilizes recycled
UNIFI Reprieve yarn derived from post-consumer
merrell Moab Flight Eco Dyed - Mens/Womens $259.00
This version of the Merrell best-selling
cushioned trail runners is made with
solution dyed yarns, a process that uses
less water and energy compared to
traditional dyeing methods.
KEEN NXIS (woMen’s) $349.99
The faster you go, the farther you go, the more you’ll see. That
means more alpine hikes, more sunset views, and an extra-full
camera roll. Splash through every puddle, hop across rocks, and
slide through scree. Our lightest hiker to date with the KEEN
famous fit and all-terrain tread, NXIS is ready for whatever your A to
B looks like.
• Famous Comfort: Fit 18 years in the making, our original fit
holds your heel firmly in place while giving your toes room to
• All-Terrain Tread: Our proprietary horseshoe tread has deep
lugs for extra grip on any trail surface.
• Iconic Toe Protection: Move fast with confidence, not stubbed
toes. The split toe cap strikes a balance between protection
• Waterproof: Thanks to a breathable KEEN.DRY waterproof
membrane that keeps out water.
Available at WWW.KEENFOOTWEAR.CO.NZ FROM 1 MARCH 2022.
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Salewa ultra-train 3 $299.90
A lightweight, neutral, cushioned trail running
or walking shoe.
• Pomoca outsole
• POMOCA® S Path
• Stretch gaiter
• Anti-rock heel cup
• Reinforced Rand
• Motion Guidance
• Ortholite Footbed
• 3F System
merrell Moab FST 2 GTX - Mens/Womens $299.00
Experience out of the box comfort you
expect from Moab but with lighter and faster
athletic styling, a Goretex® waterproof
membrane and a Vibram® Megagrip®
Salewa Mountain Trainer 2 GTX $399.00
This is our most heavy-duty, robust
Trail, Backpacking shoe. This has the
same build as out Mountain Trainer Mid
GTX – just with out the mid cut upper!
• Stretch gaiter
• Reinforced Rand
• ORTHOLITE FOOTBED
• Climbing Lacing
• 3F System
Merrell Moab Speed - Women’s $259.00
The boot beloved by 50 million feet
is now made lighter and faster. The
Moab Speed is a hiking hybrid that
doesn't look like a hiker, available in a
ventilated version (available in stores
or online now) and a GoreTex version
(in stores nationwide, or by calling
us to request your size) for both Men
merrell Sprint V Leather - Men’s $249.00
Fire up all cylinders. This rugged casual shoe features
a full grain leather upper and extreme comfort for an
any day adventurer.
merrell moab 3 (men's & Women's) $219.00
The #1 hiking shoe in the world just got better. The Moab 3 is now
made more comfortable, with more eco-friendly material choices and
more stable with great grip for any trail. Launching worldwide soon
(NZ late April/early May).
Planet in mind
• Made with 100% recycled laces, lining and webbing
• Designed with an improved Kinetic Fit ADVANCED
contoured insole with cushioning pods in the heel and forefoot.
• Softer, plusher midsole foam and the famous Merrell Air
Cushion in the heel helps your feet to absorb shock.
• Built with Vibram® outsoles with new and improved biting lugs
that grip on varied terrain.
• Crafted with the protection of full grain leather and mesh uppers
with rubber toe caps for longevity on the trail.
• This version is ventilated. Weatherproof versions coming later
that are built with Goretex® and waterproof liners that will help
to keep your feet dry while hiking.
glerups The Shoe Honey Rubber - $189.00
Looking for some comfy shoes to take on adventure with you?
Made with 100% wool, glerups are the warmest and coziest.
It is like a hug for your tired feet and well worth the space in
your backpack. Relax and recover in glerups.
Outdoor Research Helium AscentShell Jacket $699.99
Fully seam-taped 3-layer jacket with Pertex Diamond Fuse
fabric, helmet-compatible hood with wire brim and HoodLock to
reduce volume, stretch underarm panels, external and internal
chest pockets, pack-friendly hand pockets, YKK Aquaguard
zippers, elastic drawcord hem. 326g (m), 298g (w).
patagonia Macro Puff $699.99
This ultralight hoody delivers high-loft, water-resistant
warmth due to its PlumaFill insulation, a revolutionary,
down-like alternative with all the benefits of a synthetic.
Fair Trade Certified sewn, it's available in a range of
colours, as well as a jacket variant. 363g.
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Explore Planet Earth ePE Comas Swag Bag
Designed for rugged adventures and oversized
for comfort. The EPE Swagbag features a hollow
fibre layered filling for superior thermal efficiency
when warmth is needed the most.
Kiwi Camping Mamaku Pro -5°C Sleeping Bag
The Mamaku Pro provides exceptional warmth
on cold adventures. The semi-tapered design
features a drawstring contoured hood that packs
down into the handy compression bag for easy
pack and carry.
Exped WinterLite -15 Down Sleeping Bag (medium)
Designed for cold-weather mountaineering and
harsh environments. Features a water-repellent,
breathable, windproof, lightweight shell with 850g
of 800-fill power goose down. Differential cut,
adjustable draft collar, 3D foot box. 1380g
kiwi camping Ruru 4 Hiker $439.00
The Ruru is a lightweight, easy-pitch hiker tent with a
semi-geodesic alloy frame. It breaks down into three
separate bags for hiking.
kiwi camping Intrepid Lite Air Mat
Weighing just 630g, the Intrepid
Lite is a compact and comfy
sleeping mat ideal for tramping,
hiking or hunting. Made from
310T Nylon Ripstop.
SteriPEN® Classic 3 $249.95
A sleek, ergonomic and easy to use
SteriPEN water purifier to keep you safely
hydrated by destroying over 99.9% of
waterborne microorganisms. Produces up
to 8000 litres of purified water.
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Jetboil Jetpower Fuel 100g, 230g & 450g from $8.99
Fuel efficiency translates to weight, space, and money savings. Since Jetboil is up to
twice as efficient as conventional stoves, you can take half as much fuel on your trip, thus
saving weight. A Jetpower fuel canister, with 100 grams of fuel, boils as much water with
Jetboil as competing stoves do with their big 227 gram canisters. The other big benefit is
space savings since Jetpower canisters nest conveniently inside the cooking cup.
jetboil STASH Cooking System $299.95
The lightest and most compact jetboil ever.
We know your dreams are big and ambitious.
Which is why we designed the all-new Stash
to be lightweight and compact, maximizing
your pack space without sacrificing that iconic
Jetboil performance. At 7.1 oz or 200 g, the .8L
Stash is 40% lighter than the .8L Zip.
Gasmate Turbo Butane Stove & Pot Set $139.00
For quick boiling when you need it! A super
lightweight aluminium stove with stainless
steel burner, piezo ignition, stabilising feet and
accessories all packaged in a mesh carry bag.
gasmate sika stove $41.99
The Sika Stoves provides a powerful 10,900
BTUs of cooking power and can support pans
130mm in diameter. Weighing just 103g, it
comes with it’s own plastic storage container.
BACK COUNTRY CUISINE:
The first thing you’ll notice is that the front label on their pouches have changed for the better by adding Health Star Ratings
and energy, protein, fat and carbs per pouch. They have also improved the readability of our back labels.
Back Country Cuisine is available at leading retailers. For more information or to find your nearest stockist visit:
tasty chicken mash $9.49 - $13.99
With smoky flavoured freeze dried chicken, cheese
3.5 Health Stars - Gluten Free
Available small serve (90g) or regular (175g)
Apple & Berry Crumble $13.19
A sweet mix of freeze dried apples and berries topped
with a delicious gluten free cookie crumb.
3 Health Stars - Gluten Free
INSTANT PASTA $4.89
Just add boiling water for perfectly cooked pasta.
3.5 Health Stars
Sizes – Family 120g
sunsaver classic 16,000 mah solar power
Built tough for the outdoors and with a
massive battery capacity you can keep all
your devices charged no matter where your
adventure takes you.
JÄGERMEISTER COLD BREW COFFEE
Inspired by the innovative,
everchanging drinks scene,
we instinctively knew how a
drop of Jägermeister and a
backbeat of cold brew coffee
could transform any night. The
enviable result? A brand-new
mix. JÄGERMEISTER COLD
BREW COFFEE. A unique
fusion of JÄGERMEISTER’s
56 botanicals and intense cold
deepcreek local ipa $3.55
With only 93 calories per can, this midstrength,
refreshing, low calorie IPA is
the perfect beer for the active lifestyle!
TRY OUR NEW
APPLE & BERRY
toa music in ear headphones $139.00
Toa Music. A game-changer in personal
audio. Clear sound, a tree in the ground,
sustainable construction, touch control"
and 5% support for local outdoor nonprofits.
Created by Kiwi adventurers.
Shackleton Blended Malt Scotch
Born from Adventure: Shackleton Blended
Malt Scotch is based on the spirit supplied to
the 1907 British Antarctic Expedition, expertly
crafted using a selection of the finest Highland
Single Malt Scotch Whiskies. Available at
various Liquor Retailers .
deejo ultra light knife
Ultra-light knife in Z40C13 stainless steel, black titanium
finish. Secure liner lock system decorated with fine laser
engraving. Belt clip. Solid blue beech wood handle slab.
11 CM CLOSED / 20.5 CM OPEN
hydroflask 24oz (710mL) Lightweight
Wide Mouth Trail Series: Topaz, Slate,
Obsidian, Clay $99.99
Our Lightweight Trail Series flasks
are 25% lighter, making it easier to
take your hot or cold drink wherever
your adventure takes you.
pacsafe RFIDsafe V100 RFID Blocking Bifold Wallet $60.00
This sporty looking wallet keeps your cash and cards safe
from unauthorised transactions with its RFID blocking
material. It has 9 card slots, a zip-secure cash sleeve and
comes with an adjustable cut-resistant wrist strap to ensure
it stays with you.
Quest bike trailers $1995 inc GST
Designed and engineered in the
Southern Alps of New Zealand, it will
take you on and off the road carrying
all the necessities to have a great time
exploring our beautiful cycle trails or on
that epic overseas adventure.
FEED YOUR ADDICTION
Like a ‘perfect storm’, we have seen a dramatic growth and
development in online stores over the past 5 years. Now as we are
made to keep our ‘distance’, online, ecommerce takes on a whole
new meaning and value. We are dedicating these pages to our client’s
online stores; some you will be able to buy from, some you will be able
drool over. Buy, compare, research and prepare, these online stores are
a great way to feed your adventure addiction while you are still at home.
Never have a dead phone
again! Because now you can
charge straight from the Sun
with SunSaver. Perfect for
that week-long hike, day at
the beach, or back-up for any
emergency. Check us out at:
Experts at adventure travel since 2000
We live what we sell!
Whether you enjoy
cycle trails, road
biking or walking,
Adventure South NZ
can help you to explore
New Zealand at
your own pace.
Our motto is “Going the
distance” and we pride
ourselves on providing top
quality outdoor and travel
equipment and service
that will go the distance
with you, wherever that
Gear up in a wide selection of durable, multifunctional
outdoor clothing & gear. Free Returns. Free Shipping.
Stocking an extensive range
of global outdoor adventure
brands for your next big
adventure. See them for travel,
tramping, trekking, alpine and
lifestyle clothing and gear.
Specialists in the sale of Outdoor Camping Equipment, RV,
Tramping & Travel Gear. Camping Tents, Adventure Tents,
Packs, Sleeping Bags and more.
To bring like-minded adventurers together for epic journey’s
fuelled by top-notch coffee. All while supporting the things
we care about and restoring nature.
Our very own online store where
you will find hard goods to keep you
equipped for any adventure.
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Ultra lightweight running shoes, made by runners. No
matter where the trail takes you, Hoka One One will
have you covered.
Unlock your adventure horizon with Packraft New Zealand.
Online supplier of Kokopelli packrafts, accessories and
adventure inspiration. Shop online or contact us for expert
advice for everything packrafting; hike-raft, bike-raft, hunt-raft,
whitewater, fishing, canyoneering, urban and travel.
Bivouac Outdoor stock the latest in quality outdoor
clothing, footwear and equipment from the best
brands across New Zealand & the globe.
Shop for the widest range of Merrell footwear, apparel
& accessories across hiking, trail running, sandals &
casual styles. Free shipping for a limited time.
Whether you’re climbing mountains, hiking in the hills
or travelling the globe, Macpac gear is made to last
and engineered to perform — proudly designed and
tested in New Zealand since 1973.
Living Simply is an outdoor clothing and equipment
specialty store in Newmarket, Auckland. Your go-to place
for quality footwear, packs, sleeping bags, tents, outdoor
clothing and more.
Offering the widest variety,
best tasting, and most
nutrient rich hydration,
energy, and recovery
products on the market.
Fast nourishing freeze dried food for adventurers.
Jetboil builds super-dependable
backpacking stoves and camping
systems that pack light,
set up quick, and achieve
rapid boils in minutes.
Supplying tents and
camping gear to Kiwis
for over 30 years, Kiwi
Camping are proud to
be recognised as one of
the most trusted outdoor
brands in New Zealand.
With stores in Clyde and
Cromwell, Bike it Now! is
your access point to the
Central Otago Bike trials: T
> Lake Dunstan Trail
> Otago Central Rail Trail
> Roxbourgh Gorge
Excellent quality Outdoor
Gear at prices that can't
be beaten. End of lines.
Ex Demos. Samples. Last
season. Bearpaw. Garneau.
YOU NEED A TRAVEL SPECIALIST
Overnight the travel industry stopped
dead in its tracks, for over 2 years, thanks
So now, more than ever, as you start
to look at your travel plans, you need
someone on your side to make sure your
adventure travel goes smoothly, because
we are not over the bumps in the road
Now, more than ever before, you need
a travel agent who actually knows what
they are talking about; someone who
has real experience both as a travel
expert and in the activities you want to be
Phil and Katie Clark, Mad about Travel,
are passionate about helping people live
their dreams; whether its heli-skiing in
Canada, diving in Truk Lagoon or hiking
NOW MORE THAN EVER
With over 22 years of travel experience,
there aren’t many places they haven’t
skied, dived or hiked. Add to that,
travelling as a family of four for the past
ten years, means they have a unique
insight on how families travel and what
makes family travel fun, interesting and
most of all easy.
In this new, post Covid 19 climate,
using a travel expert is more important
than ever! Border requirements are
constantly changing, along with flight
schedules, testing rules and vaccination
requirements. As part of the Travel
Managers Group (TMG), “Mad about
Travel” is backed by the might of the
Flight Centre group. This means their
information is up to date, their airfares
and accommodation rates are the best
available and their accounting and backoffice
systems are second to none.
Mad about Travel can help you plan your ultimate ski trip
Using a travel expert means you can
develop a relationship with someone
who knows where you have been
and what you like. Even if you enjoy
researching travel and hunting out great
accommodation options, your travel
expert will often be able to book the same
properties at the same or better rates,
with favourable terms and extras (like
free breakfast, refundable terms and
Also, your travel expert will find you the
best travel insurance to look after you and
your family which covers the activities
you’re doing; skiing, mountain biking and
sailing can all require special insurance.
When things go wrong is when your travel
experts value really comes to the fore.
In this covid world things go wrong all
the time and quickly. You just call them
and speak to a real person, someone
76//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#231
who wants to help you rather than waiting
for hours on hold to an airline who really
couldn’t care less! Flights, transfers and
accommodation are easily fixed using direct
access tools and you can get on with your
Now more than ever using a travel expert
Mad about Travel’s by-line is “we live what
we sell”. There is not a better endorsement
for an Adventure based Travel specialist!
Call them to plan your next adventure.
Mad about Travel
+64 22 151 0198 | 0800 623 872
Phil@madabouttravel.co.nz | email@example.com
Above: Let Mad about Travel help
you plan your bike adventure to NZ,
Canada and the USA.
Image by Greg Rosenke
We are MAD about TRAVEL!
Experts at adventure travel since 2000
Book your next adventure with
Mad about Travel!
We are here to
look after you.
"We live what we sell"
0800 623 872
t r a v e l
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learn how to
system, go ice
fishing or try
fat biking in the
While for many, adventure screams
adrenalin rush, danger and high risk,
Japan National Tourism Organization
(JNTO) has redefined ‘adventure’ in
terms of leaving your personal comfort
zone – whatever that may look like for
The fresh approach means visitors
can look to do something different,
feeling challenged emotionally or
spiritually and exploring an area of
interest that may never have registered
before. Adventure means ‘escape’
on a whole new level – an escape
from the everyday, a chance to push
yourself beyond personal limits and an
opportunity for reinvention.
The Japanese archipelago offers
endless opportunities to explore. In
the north, Hokkaido offers large scale
national parks, wild coastlines, rare
fauna and the heritage of Ainu culture.
Nagano, less than an hour from
Tokyo, features striking alps, yearround
trekking, world-class skiing and
canyoning. Head south to Okinawa
for scuba diving, cruising uninhabited
islands and the warmth of the local
Ryukyu culture. Here are some more
adventure suggestions that are found
all over Japan.
Camping/Glamping – Deer watching
and open-air hot springs in World
Heritage Site: With Japan’s variety
of climates and changing seasonal
landscape there are many locations to
set up a tent and immerse yourself in the
great outdoors for both beginners and the
more experienced. Deep in the forests
of Shiretoko Natural World Heritage Site
and National Park in eastern Hokkaido is
Rausu Onsen Campsite. This unique site
allows visitors to spot native fauna like the
Ezo deer and then relax in an open-air hot
Canyoning – Explore canyons carved
out over millions of years: There are a
number of places to experience canyoning
in Japan, including in Hokkaido and
Nagano, but some of the best canyoning
can be found in the nature-rich area of
Minakami in Gunma Prefecture. There is
no better way to seek adrenalin inducing
summer thrills than in the fast-flowing
waters from Japan’s Northern Alps that
have over millions of years carved out
Kamoshika Canyon, creating smooth
slides and deep pools. Descend a
15-meter waterfall using ropes, then swim,
slide and jump down canyon walls, all with
the help of an experienced guide.
Caving – Go caving in one of Asia’s
largest cave systems: Japan harbours
several mystical, ancient caves. Okinawa,
known as a diving destination, offers a
magical and exotic cave diving experience
in its famed Blue Cave. Additionally, one
of the largest and most beloved collections
of caves in Asia is found on Okinoerabu
Island in Kagoshima. The large cave
system attracts spelunkers from all over
the world to explore a 1.2 km illuminated
section of the cave, with milky stalactites
and emerald-green pools.
Climbing – Experience the spectacular
seasonal beauty from on high: Did
you know 70% of Japan is made up of
mountainous areas? That may be why
climbing is so popular in Japan as it offers
a wealth of trekking and rock-climbing
locations, with incredible views of a
changing natural landscape. Mt Myogi in
Gunma Prefecture is a rewarding climb
for the adventurer looking for a challenge.
There are an assortment of rock
formations and swathes of natural beauty
that showcase the colours of the season.
Culture – Try on, and learn about the
ritual around the kimono: Travelling
across Japan, you will find regional
traditions and differences offering a
unique tapestry of traditional performing
arts and long-established customs. In
Hokkaido, learn about one of Japan's
indigenous peoples, the Ainu; study the
ways of the ninja in Shiga; try karate in
Okinawa; observe mesmerising kagura
performances in Miyazaki or learn about
the Ama free-divers in Mie. Dressing in a
kimono is a ritualistic process that is well
worth a try on your next visit. Put yourself
in the hands of an expert at Ryoan—a
kimono shop in Shizuoka City, established
in 1965. The English-speaking owner will
help you pick out a kimono, dress you, and
explain the history of the garment.
Cycling – Ride along a scenic lake:
Japan is lined up and down with scenic
cycling routes, including world-famous
tracks such as the Shimanami Kaido
which connects Shikoku to Honshu. Lake
Tazawa, the deepest lake in Japan, is one
of Tohoku's most scenic spots year-round.
In the warmer seasons, cyclists from
around the world gather to explore the
numerous beauty points that line its 20 km
course. There are plenty of bikes available
to rent nearby so that you can enjoy an
unforgettable trip while cycling beside the
stunning cobalt blue lake.
Diving - Dive with a swarm of
houndsharks in Chiba: As an island
nation that stretches over 3000 kilometers
long, Japan boasts several diving sites
along its long coastline. This underwater
world is populated with a diverse variety
of marine creatures. The southern coast
of Chiba Prefecture's Boso Peninsula,
jutting out into the Pacific Ocean, is a
prime location for diving, surfing, fishing,
and other marine activities. The Ito-
Tateyama area is one of the few places in
Japan where divers can experience the
‘shark scramble’, a swarm of hundreds of
banded houndsharks. There are also large
populations of red stingray, bulgyhead
wrasse and longtooth grouper.
Fishing – Try your luck ice fishing
amidst the snowscapes of Mt
Akagi: Japan is both mountainous and
surrounded completely by water, offering
various fishing locations in which to test
out any number of fishing methods. Lake
Akan in the Akan-Mashu National Park
in Hokkaido and the Japan Alps near
Gifu and Nagano are both famous for fly
fishing, while Okinawa and the Ogasawara
Islands are perfect for deep-sea fishing.
Climb Mt. Akagi, one of the Three Famous
Mountains of Gunma Prefecture, to the
frozen Lake Onuma, where you can take
part in traditional smelt ice fishing. Cut a
hole in the ice and dangle string to catch
a fish and if you are lucky enough you can
bring your catch to a nearby restaurant to
have it deep-fried or turned into golden
Food & Drink - Make soba noodles in
the birthplace of Japanese buckwheat
noodles: A tour of Japanese dining offers
glimpses of Japan's climate, aesthetics
and even religious values. Try making
soba in Nagano Prefecture, one of the
most famous areas for the buckwheat
noodle dish. Soba was likely first made
in Nagano, and pristine water and local
buckwheat make its noodles particularly
delicious. There are many specialty shops
around the region today, a handful of
which offer soba-making experiences.
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Snow monkeys, rafting, food, skiing, hiking and kayaking... Individually all great reasons to visit, all together they help make
Japan the perfect adventure destination...
Hiking and Walking - Travel Nagano's
ancient pilgrim paths: Japan’s diverse
terrain is well worth exploring on one of
the many scenic walks and hikes. You
will encounter countless mesmerising
landscapes of majestic mountains,
endless seas filled with drift ice, ponds
of different hues of blue and picturesque
gorges. One of the highlights is the
guided tour along the Togakushi Kodo in
Nagano—an ancient pilgrimage route.
The 10-kilometer route connects the five
shrines on the slopes of Mt. Togakushi that
are a traditional centre for Shugendo, a
form of mountain worship. Along the route,
view 400-year old cedar trees and wander
through the wetlands on a boardwalk built
to blend in with its surroundings.
Kayak/SUP - Enjoy a kayaking tour
around a candle-shaped island:
Kayaking is a relaxing way to leisurely
drift across the scenic waters that can
be found throughout Japan, from Lake
Biwa, the largest lake in Japan, to the
Kushiro-shitsugen and its diverse wildlife
population to Lake Kawaguchi and its
spectacular view of Mt Fuji. Rosoku-jima,
or ‘Candle Island’, located near Dogo
Island in the Oki Island chain, is a large
rock pillar that juts straight out of the water.
At sunset, the sun appears to illuminate
the tip of the pillar like a lit candle. Enjoy
from a sea kayaking tour or sunset cruise.
The Oki Island chain is characterized
by pristine nature and beautiful rock
formations, making it a breathtaking area
to view from the water.
Ski and Snowboarding – Or….take
to the slopes on a fat bike!: The highquality
powder snowfall in Japan is
the envy of skiers and snowboarders
worldwide. There are many resorts to
be found in well-known places such as
Hokkaido's Niseko and Nagano's Hakuba.
Nagano's Togari Onsen Snow Resort is
a ski resort with a 2500m long course
that accommodates both beginners and
experts alike and boasts Japan's only
‘snow-bike park’. Load a fat bike (a bike
with oversize tyres to accommodate
extreme terrain) into the ski lift on your
way to an exhilarating ride down the
specially designed 800m course, with
slopes and trees that the wide tires
navigate easily, to have a different kind of
Surfing – Surf where the pros do
on Japan's surf island of Niijima:
Surrounded by water, Japan boasts worldclass
waves and beaches used for major
surfing events as well as hidden spots that
offer a more private surfing experience.
Niijima Island is one of Japan’s most
popular surf islands, with long, white
beaches and beautiful, milky blue seas.
The island has hosted the world’s best
surfers as part of the Pro Tour WCT.
Niijima Island is technically part of Tokyo
but is located in the Izu Islands south of
the metropolis, accessible by high-speed
ferry and small plane.
Wildlife Watching - Bathing snow
monkeys in the scenic mountains
of Nagano: A variety of astonishing
wild animals can be found in Japan's
diverse natural environment, including
Hokkaido's wild bears, the enormous
whales splashing in the waters of Okinawa
and Nagano's hot-spring-bathing snow
monkeys. At Jigokudani located within
the borders of Joshin’etsukogen National
Park, wild Japanese macaques (snow
monkeys) saunter out of the snowy forest
and slip into a steamy hot spring, relaxing
in their natural habitat and forge an
incredible memory for those watching.
For more information visit:
t r a v e l
NOT JUST FOR HONEYMOONS!
Tahiti is, without doubt, one of the most beautiful
places on earth, the water, the beaches, the
mountains, and the lagoons. You can see why
it is the quintessential place to get married or
go on your getaway honeymoon. However, it
has the reputation of not only being beautiful,
but expensive! Yet most destinations can be
expensive if you stay at costly places, but they
don’t have to be, and Tahiti is no different.
Ok, Tahiti is not Bali, but it does not need to break
your bank balance either. There is a range of
good priced yet beautifully located hotels, the
is an ever-growing number of Air BnB homes,
which when you look online are often beautifully
situated and cost effective. Over the last ten
years or so, there has been real growth in
boutique smaller properties called ‘’pensions’’,
like a guesthouse. These are normally a familyrun
businesses many located in more secluded
locations, where you can have a room, or a
house, which often comes with a boat (for surfing,
diving, fishing) and the family will also feed you.
It is a full immersion experience that gives you a
taste of the Tahitian lifestyle and local knowledge
which if linked in with activities like surfing or
diving that local knowledge is priceless.
Apart from romantic weddings and honeymoons,
Tahiti is also seen as a lazy lay on the beach or
by the pool with a cocktail, which you can do, but
it has a lot more to offer:
Hiking in Tahiti, lush vegetations, waterfalls, historic sights and amazing views!
Above: Tahiti's warm, clear water makes for perfect diving conditions all year.
Top Right: Not all the waves in Tahiti are huge- Ask Paige Hareb, New Zealand's top surfer. There are great waves all over Tahiti.
Bottom Right: The wharf to Teahupoo's Bonjouir pension.
The DIVING in Tahiti is amazing, it is not
known for its sponges and coral, say like
Fiji, but it has a reputation for large pelagic
fish, barracuda, sharks, stingrays, manta,
even whales in the correct season. The
water clarity is superb and of course, it’s
warm. Most of the islands offer some
professional scuba experience, surprisingly
some of the more remote islands like
Fakarava offers Professional PADI dive
operators simply because people will travel
the extra distance because the diving is so
Hand in hand with quality scuba diving
is FREEDIVING. With the growth of
freediving worldwide, Tahiti has become
a mecca for freedivers – as mentioned in
the diving section there is a plethora of
pelagic fish in Tahiti, all close to the reef
edge and easily accessible. Spearfishing
is a full-time occupation for many
Tahitians, as fish is the prime source of
portion. So, Tahitians know where all
the best spearfishing places are, where
to go on what tides and in what season
SURFING in Tahiti has a world reputation,
but unfortunately to the masses, Tahiti
is only known for Teahupoo the massive
wave on Tahiti-Iti. There are numerous
YouTube clips of Teahupoo and massive
sets rolling in but don’t let this put you
off, there are only a handful of surfers
who feel comfortable in these conditions.
However, there is surf all over Tahiti, the
main island, and the smaller islands. They
are predominantly reef breaks, however,
there are several beach breaks. Some
of the reef breaks are within paddling
distance of the shore, some not. Staying
at a pension is a great way to get into the
local surfing scene, the family will take
you out to the best reef – determine your
ability and put you in the right spot to have
the most fun. If not staying at the pension
it pays to get a surf guide, there are many!
Tahiti is a ‘PADDLE NATION’ on any given
day on any lagoon you will see locals
paddling, mostly va’a (same as our waka
ama) or paddleboards and even sea
kayaks. There are numerous places to
hire from and a lot of the hotels offer free
use of equipment. Some hire places do
offer sea kayaks but it’s not sea kayaking
as we know it in New Zealand, there are
options for sea kayaking excursions on
the other islands. Word to the wise if you
are going to hire a paddleboard, kayak or
a va’a, stay away from the surf and stay
away from the pass in the lagoon (the
gap in the reef). The tide rips out through
these passes, on an outgoing tide and
you would not be able to paddle against
the amount of water heading out to sea,
so where it goes you go!
Not all activities in Tahiti are on or in the
water there are some breathtaking and
historical sites and adventure that lie
inland; Waterfalls, mountain peaks, lush
valleys, and ancient ruins, there is a lot to
be explored, on foot, HIKING.
There are guidebooks available, and
most hotels will have an information desk
you can ask or simply hunt online. But
as always, it’s best to get a guide. A lot
of the tracks are hard to find, some you
need a permit for and some on custom or
private land. Most guides will offer a 4x4
option to get you to the right start point
so that you can get the most out of your
on-foot experience. For a taste of what is
available go to https://tahititourisme.com/
The paradigm that Tahiti is expensive and
for weddings and honeymooners, is a
concept of the past. There are affordable
places to stay, to eat, and to fully
experience what Tahiti and her islands
has to offer.
To see what is available visit
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Boutique Sister Resorts
The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Lagoonarium
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• On Rarotonga’s southwest sunshine coast | Sizzling sunsets
• Extensive free activities - stand-up paddleboarding, snorkelling (all-tide), kayaking, tennis, gym,
beachfront swimming pool, learn to dance the hula, make a lei, play the ukulele, husk a coconut
• Kids & Teens Stay + Play FREE (to 16) | Free Moko Kids Club (4-11) | Free Teen Zone (12-16)
• Captain Andy’s Beach Bar & Grill l Function + conference facilities
• SpaPolynesia | Seventh Heaven All-Inclusive + Over The Moon Wedding Packages
• Sister resort to adjacent Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach
+ Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island Resort (both adults-only)
Slip off your watch, your shoes, your cares and immerse yourself in Paradise
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toll free 0800 727 686 | P (+682) 25800
www.TheRarotongan.com (Live Chat avail.)
t r a v e l
YOUR ADVENTURE AWAITS
Are you dreaming of holiday with the perfect balance of
relaxation and water sports action? Then the Cook Islands is
calling your name. Rarotonga, the country’s capital, is a Mecca
for water sports activities.
Snorkeling, kayaking and paddle boarding are the most
accessible and most popular activities that you can do with
in an hour after landing in Rarotonga. There are many great
spots located directly out your front door, but be sure to check
for any safety concerns or warning signage around passages.
You can hire all your snorkeling and paddling equipment from
various businesses such as KiteSUP, Adventure Cook Islands
and Captain Tamaʼs. If you want a special and unique paddling
experience try a guided night paddle tour or paddle board yoga
Guided snorkeling trips are recommended for 1st time snorkels
or for the more experienced snorkeler wanting to venture into
open, deep water. There are many companies to choose from,
some even offering sea scooters.
For the adrenaline seeking traveler you have kitesurfing and
wing surfing lessons, diving courses or game fishing charters to
Head over to the East side of the island of Muri Beach for
the best spot to pick up the ever growing sport of kitesurfing
and wing surfing. What is wing surfing? Wing surfing is best
described as the greatest aspects of windsurfing and kitesurfing
combined together. Think of a kite sail without strings and the
Above: Rarotonga offers world-class diving
Left top to bottom: Wing surfing is perect with the Rarotongan trade
winds - Image courtesy of KiteSup
Night time paddleboarding
Rarotonga is the perfect place to learn a new water sport.
Adventure Water Sports Centre
wind surf sail without the mast. Wing surfing is not supposed to
replace windsurfing, kiteboarding or surfing. It's a complement,
an addition and an alternative. Wing surfing is very easy to get
into and ideal for light winds when kitesurfing is not possible.
Although it was conceived to be used with a foil board, it can
also be for riding stand-up paddle boards (SUP), windsurf and
kiteboards, and even skateboards and snowboards.
Most people require at least 3 lessons of kitesurfing or wing
surfing to go from zero to hero so be sure to book in at the
start of your holiday. Lessons are constructed in 2 hour time
blocks over three days so you can plan other activities around
your lessons. Muri is the ideal learning spot with its clear,
shallow, and warm waters and reliable S.E. Tradewinds from
May-October. Gear hire is also available for experienced kiters/
Dive Centres offer introduction courses for the beginners well
as 2 tank dives for certified divers. All deep sea diving trips are
boat-based and most of the dive sites are just ten minutes from
the departure point. There are plenty of options for the beginner
to advanced including drop offs, coral gardens, night dives,
lagoon dives and family diving experiences (8 years and older).
Up to 60 meter visibility, 73 types of live coral, and hundreds of
fish species, Rarotonga is an ideal place to experience diving.
Don’t leave it for your last day as you can’t dive with in 24hr
of flying. Diving is good year round, but for an added highlight
humpback whale migration season is July-September.
KITESURF & WINGSURF LESSONS - NIGHT PADDLE
SUPYOGA - SNORKEL TOURS - GEAR HIRE
PH: 27877 firstname.lastname@example.org www.kitesup.co
t r a v e l
THE SURVIVAL OF KASTOM AND CULTURE
Kastom and culture forms Vanuatu’s identity. Its why Ni-Vanuatu are present in the now. It’s
why they are grounded and content. A cultural experience is on offer to any travellers. It can
be felt in an interaction in a local food market or a visit to a kava bar, right through to wandering
through a village in a remote outer island.
As raw as it is diverse, Vanuatu’s culture (known as ‘kastom’ in Bislama, the language spoken
in Vanuatu) can be experienced through your everyday interactions. It’s the lifeblood of the
country, and the further you go from the trail, the more diverse the range of cultures you’ll
experience. Whether you’re looking to visit a cultural village on one of the main islands, or stay
in a village bungalow on one of the outer islands, sharing a meal with locals or marvelling at
Naghol, you’ll find yourself coming face to face with a rich culture which is in many cases, still
rather unaffected by the outside world.
" It’s the
lifeblood of the
country, and the
further you go
from the trail,
the more diverse
the range of
SAND DRAWING -
Sand drawing (or sandroing in
Bislama) is a ni-Vanuatu artistic
and ritual tradition and practice,
recognised by UNESCO as a
Masterpiece of the Oral and
Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
If you want to know everything
about sandroing, the best person
to learn from is Edgar Hinge at
the National Museum in Port Vila.
Passionate about the artform, he
can initiate you in this challenging
art. Children enjoy it as much as
Sandroing is deeply rooted in
many of Vanuatu’s cultures. Epi,
Paama, Malekula, Ambrym,
Pentecost, Ambae, Maevo and
Mota Lava all have their very own
ways of practicing sandroing. It
is considered to be an ancient
way of sharing information. For
centuries, it has been an efficient
way to communicate messages
between communities – and to
leave messages behind. But
there is much more to it. Great
dexterity is needed to perform a
sandroing in a single, continuous
gesture. Mistakes are not
allowed, and you must redo the
entire drawing if you make one.
Each drawing is symmetrical,
leading some to consider
sandroing to be a genuine
method of mathematical training.
There are a number of wellknown
designs such as the
turtle. But each sandroing often
also hold several meanings at
once, and can symbolize deeper
meanings as well: life, death and
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" In some parts of
men who reach a
certain age must
go through a rite
of passage in order
to be recognized
as a man by their
As on most islands of Vanuatu, in some
parts of Malekula, young men who reach
a certain age must go through a rite of
passage in order to be recognized as a
man by their community. The Neimangi-
Lewen kastom is a rite of passage
undertaken by seven clans on Malekula
Island. Some of the clans taking part this
year are the Botket clan, Neval, Tasbol,
Nesiryen and Nepang.
Originally, the Neimangi-Lewen lasted for
one year, and during this time, the young
men would go through ‘kastom training’ to
master various skills in order to graduate
as men in their society. These days, most
young men are required to attend school
in order to get an education. Because of
this, the one year of hiding is no longer
possible and instead, young boys are
taught the kastom during school breaks.
Once they are considered to be ready for
the next step, they are sent into hiding for
During the three month long hiding period,
the young men are first taught all the
songs of the old kastom ways and stories.
These songs have specific purposes and
meanings for different occasions such as
weddings and other kastom ceremonies
that are part of life on Vanuatu’s second
largest island. They are then taught bush
knowledge: which trees are good for firemaking,
when is the right time to plant
different crops by watching the moon,
how to study flower blooming patterns
to predict the harvest ahead as well as
seasons and also learn sand drawing
as well as memorizing the songs that go
along with them.
Another important set of skills that are
taught is bushcraft — how to survive in the
bush alone by hunting and scavenging.
Each young man must learn the art of
bow and arrow making and master the
weapon. Most importantly each boy
becomes fluent in their local tongue along
with all these other skills before the end
of the training where communities and
villages come together to celebrate in
the Neimangi-Lewen kastom ceremony.
Visitors are often invited to attend and
take part in the cultural festivities. During
the ceremony, feast making and custom
dances take place throughout and visitors
can even take part in the Nevinmatuo
which is the bow and arrow competition.
The Neimangi-Lewen kastom ceremony
celebrations will be held this year in
December near the village of Melken in
southeast Malekula. From here, festival
goers can also plan to hike the famous
NAGHOL, otherwise known as land
diving, is a rite of passage for the men
of Pentecost Island. It's the inspiration
for modern-day bungee jumping and
is what Pentecost is famous for. We’ve
compiled a quick cheat sheet to help
you with planning your trip, whether it
be as a day trip or multi-day visit.
Locals say that Naghol started from a
time when a woman was running from
her husband and was chased to the top
of a coconut tree. She jumped off (with
vines attached to her legs) and survived
and he followed, yet did not survive.
Naghol marks the start of the yam
harvest season, with the better jumping
resulting in better yams. It's not
specifically a ceremony that occurs for
tourists, though it draws visitors from
around the world to witness the marvel
that is Naghol.Tours to Pentecost Island
to experience Naghol take place on
Saturdays in the months of April to
June. These day tours coincide with the
rite of passage taking place (because
the vines are strong for the ceremony to
take place after the wet season).
For more information go to www.vanuatu.travel
92//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#231
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We also do tours around the North Island | www.southaucklandshuttles.com | email@example.com | 0800 300 033 (Toll free)
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The Old Nurses hOme
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This historic renovated building in Reefton allows you to enjoy the stunning
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