Adventure #231


Survival issue


where actions speak louder than words


APR/MAY 2022

NZ $10.90 incl. GST



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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

23 Locations Nationwide | | 0800 73 68 23 |

page 10



Image by Eric Berger/Red Bull Image by Eric Skilling

Image by Beilmann/WSL

page 34

page 78

10//Kelly Slater

the survivalist

16//Gertrude Saddle

exploring home with Paige Hareb

22//Dance with the Devil

avalanche survival

34//Mt Taranaki Summit

on a perfect day

40//The Often Forgotten Item

the emergency shelter


fishing from heaven

48//Alex Honnold

the soloist

52//E-mountainbike Adventures

using technology to access history

56//Trails of the Mackenzie

a paradise for connecting with nature

62//Legendary Mackenzie

your 2022 adventure bucket list

76//Adventure Travel

Japan | Tahiti | Rarotonga | Vanuatu


64. gear guides

96. active adventure






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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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Mob: 027 577 5014


Lynne Dickinson


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“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



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





































































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

mental wellbeing.

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

the world!

“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.


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

natural amphitheatre.

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!”



"This was by far

one of my best

adventures yet."

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

a lifetime.

Getrude Saddle Facts:

7km return trip (4-6 hrs)

Experienced trampers.

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.




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

climbing in.”

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

above me.


An avalanche is a scary sight, even at a distance.

Image by Tatjana Posavec /


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

completed an

avalanche awareness

training and I didn’t

need a reminder

of the gloomy

outlook of survival

once caught in an

avalanche. ”

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


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

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


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

evening plans.


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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.

Rescue Beacons

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

emergency situations.

Satellite phones:

Similar to mobile phones but using satellites to connect with phone

networks. Can be used anywhere in the world provided you have

satellite coverage.

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…




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

hospital staff.

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




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

year average.

A surprising statistic was that three out

of ten New Zealanders cannot swim or

float in the ocean for more than a few

14 people

drowned this

summer... were

their deaths


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.



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

based incidents.

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

fatalities 2010-2014

Image by Ayyub Jauro/Pexels




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

procedure. This

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

"My mind

froze for a

split second,

and it was

like I was

watching a

movie that

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






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.


A glorious sunrise as we made our way up towards "The Lizard"

"After six

attempts over

more than two

decades, I had

finally made

it to the top of

Mt Taranaki in

clear weather."

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.

"All stages

of the track

are steep

and equally,

if not more

challenging on

the way down."



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.



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

the east

"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



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

emergency shelter.

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

for all.”

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

out there."

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 for further information.



“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

seasoned trampers.

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.




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"Tenkara is like

dancing with

trout; like a

fishing ballet.

It is a balance

between delicate

and firm."



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

as bad.

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


"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

fly fishing.

Customarily a

special reverse

hackle wet fly is

used. In Japan

it is known

as "kebari"

literally means


haired hook.



Japanese flies

differ from

most Western

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

aggressive movements.

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

snap decision

you might


Try to keep

a 90-degree

angle at the fish

as with normal

fly fishing. All

of the normal

fly-fishing rules

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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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

solo climbing.

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

human achievement."

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.


Alex Honnold and Nicolas Hojas climbing Digital Crack (8a) on the Aiguille du Midi, Chamonix







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

bike adventures!

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

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


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.


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

road code.


Reviews from

millions of Tripadvisor

travellers place this

attraction in the top

10% worldwide.

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

and more...

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!



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.


(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.






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.



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 | | 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.



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

specific needs.

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

the boxes.

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.


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!

Stretch gaters

help to keeps

debris out of the

lace area

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

more cushioning

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

coming winter)


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

waste plastic.


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

spread out.

• 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

and feel.

• Waterproof: Thanks to a breathable KEEN.DRY waterproof

membrane that keeps out water.



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


• Gore-Tex

• Vibram

• 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

and Women.



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

Better Support

• Designed with an improved Kinetic Fit ADVANCED

contoured insole with cushioning pods in the heel and forefoot.

More Comfort

• Softer, plusher midsole foam and the famous Merrell Air

Cushion in the heel helps your feet to absorb shock.

Better Traction

• 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.

All Seasons

• 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.




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.



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.



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

and vegetables.

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



Just add boiling water for perfectly cooked pasta.

3.5 Health Stars

Sizes – Family 120g


sunsaver classic 16,000 mah solar power

bank $119.00

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.



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



fusion of JÄGERMEISTER’s

56 botanicals and intense cold

brew coffee.




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!






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.



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.



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

cycling, mountain

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

may be.

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.

Our Mission

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.


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

and more...

Excellent quality Outdoor

Gear at prices that can't

be beaten. End of lines.

Ex Demos. Samples. Last

season. Bearpaw. Garneau.

Ahnu. Superfeet.


Overnight the travel industry stopped

dead in its tracks, for over 2 years, thanks

to Covid!

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

just yet.

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

involved with.

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

in Nepal.


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


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

makes sense.

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 |

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




"Watch snow

monkeys bathe,

learn how to

prepare soba

noodles, dive

with sharks,

explore Asia’s

largest cave

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

each individual.

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

spring nearby.

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

brown tempura.

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.


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

snow thrill.

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



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


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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t r a v e l



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

choose from.

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.

Rarotonga’s Original

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.

est 2010



PH: 27877

t r a v e l



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

cultures you’ll



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

even love.


" 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. "



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

three months.

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

Manbush Trail.


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


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