where actions speak louder than words
where actions speak louder than words
NZ $10.90 incl. GST
the human touch
It's all about the people you meet - Adventure Magazine's
"away team" in Tahiti
I have been fortunate enough to have
travelled my whole life, with my family
as a child and as an adult. It has always
been a significant part of my work, firstly
surfing, then diving, then photography,
then a mixture of all of that was simply an
People often ask ‘what is the best, the
most beautiful place you have ever been?’
There is an extensive list of amazing and
unique places that this job has taken us
to. Right now, as I am writing this, I am in
Rarotonga on the foreshore under a palm
tree; the sky is blue and clear, the trade
winds warm around 15 knots, and here
the reef edge is close to the beach, so we
have crashing waves, it’s impressive.
But there are a lot of equally beautiful
places in the world, all very different;
some hot, some cold, some green, some
desolate, but what is it that makes them
unique? The simple answer is ‘people’.
I have stayed at some stunning resorts
and could not wait to leave because the
people were just not …. Well, not nice.
And I have stayed at resorts like Friendly
Bungalows on Tanna in Vanuatu, where
the lady who met us had no teeth but a
very gummy smile, the rooms were made
entirely of natural materials, and the only
manufactured addition was the toilet.
As we arrived at our room, our toothless
guide stamped on the veranda floor, and
we heard scuttling, and she smiled and
whispered, ‘Micky Mouse’. She asked us
if we would like crayfish for dinner, and
of course, we did. We sat on handmade
chairs at a handmade table eating freshly
caught crayfish, which had been cooked
to perfection, but had been cut up into
tiny little pieces, as had all the vegetables
(remember, the lady had no teeth!)
While we were at dinner, a family of four
adults arrived from France, obviously
upset and demanding to be taken to
another resort as this was not up to
their standard. If they had given it just
a few moments, they would have seen
how utterly remarkable and unique the
place was; the people, the setting, the
jungle, and the black sand beach, all in
the shadow of Yasur volcano. The rooms
were comfortable and clean, the food –
(although cut up small) was delicious,
and the people could not have been more
friendly and welcoming.
That is what makes somewhere special;
not the five stars on the review, not the
fluffy towels, or Sky TV, or a well-stocked
mini-bar (but that can help.) What makes
any destination, any resort, and any
holiday special is the people.
It’s less about the white sand beach and
more about the smiling face, it is less
about the scenery but more about those
you meet. A memorable travel experience
is one with that human touch, that
Lastly, travel is a two-way street. As we
branch out around the world and we meet
people who are caring and welcoming,
we, too, have a responsibility to be
welcoming. As the world shares its magic
with us as we travel, so we need to be as
enthusiastic and welcoming to those who
arrive on our shores.
We live in a fantastic country, and it is no
wonder so many people want to come
here and experience what we have, but
remember, it’s the people that make it
unique, and that’s where we can all play
our own small part!
Steve Dickinson - Editor
your Adventure starts with Us
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Images by Mike Dawson
YOUNG NEW ZEALAND AND NORWEGIAN EXPLORERS COMPLETE EPIC JOURNEY TO THE SOUTH POLE
They've endured waves of ice, high altitudes, extreme
winds and punishing sub-zero temperatures and late
yesterday the Antarctic Heritage Trust’s Inspiring Explorers
ExpeditionTM team have reached the South Pole.
The expedition set off from Ronne Ice Shelf on 18
November. Each member skied almost 1,000km journey
towing their equipment on a sledge behind them.The
Inspiring ExplorersTM team was Auckland firefighter and
medical first responder Laura Andrews (28); two-time
Olympian and coach of the New Zealand canoe slalom
team, Mike Dawson (35); and Norwegian intelligence
analyst Marthe Brendefur (31).
A typical routine was skiing for an hour at a time for up to 12
hours a day, camping on the ice overnight. Mike Dawson,
both exhausted and beaming with pride could hardly put his
feelings into words.
“It’s overwhelming to be here. It was a surreal feeling seeing
the South Pole marker after such a long journey. Compared
with my white water adventures, this was a long slow burn,
every day walking towards that goal for 50 days.”
Guided by Norwegian polar guide Bengt Rotmo from
Ousland Explorers and led by Antarctic Heritage Trust
Executive Director Nigel Watson, the 50 day expedition
followed the Messner Route from the Ronne Ice Shelf, on
the Weddell Sea side of Antarctica, to the South Pole.
Full story next issue...
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CONTENTS:TRAVEL ISSUE #236
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Words and photos by Derek Cheng
I winced in agony. I’d tumbled down a part of the
trail that was, embarrassingly, not difficult. In my
haste to rush towards a tantalisingly delicious
300m-wall of orange-streaked limestone, I’d
rolled my ankle—badly. As I waited for the pain to
subside enough to stop clenching my eyes shut,
I knew it was probably best to head back to camp
But we were on the road, in a remote part of
Spain, for the first time since the world was
gripped in the Covid pandemic. We had driven a
day to arrive at Mont-Rebei, a dramatic canyon
with imposing 300m walls of limestone rising up
on both sides of a river. And we were time-limited,
having to return our rental car to Barcelona in a
couple of days.
In other words, it was a ‘carpe diem’ scenario.
Having had my share of unexpected accidents, I
was prepared for such scenarios, and was soon
swallowing ibuprofen and tramadol pills. It was
another half hour to the base of the cliff, and
by the time we arrived, there were already six
climbers ahead of us. We weren’t very prepared
for this, having been told that Mont-Rebei was a
‘no picnic’ climbing destination, and would likely
be deserted. (We later learned that we’d arrived in
the middle of a national four-day holiday weekend,
hence the crowd.)
Luckily, the last climber in the conga line gave us
a map for a nearby route - called Delfos - which
we humbly accepted. We scrambled higher to
arrive at the base, my ankle by now having burst
from the swell-gate. But with tramadol vibes
humming through my veins, we started up the
It was soon obvious that this was ‘adventure
climbing’, a euphemism for climbing loads and
loads of fragile rock. Climbers tend to prefer solid
rock, given that the last thing they want is to pull
off a handhold and be airborne, with nothing but
the rope to prevent them from free-falling to the
ground. We were happy to quickly pass the only
other party on the route, thankful they hadn’t
accidentally thrown any rocks on us from above.
The limestone cliffs of Siurana are known for
6//WHERE ACTIONS demanding SPEAK technical LOUDER climbing THAN on tiny WORDS/#236 holds
"There’s enough rock in Spain to
last a lifetime. There’s actually
enough in Catalonia alone, in
northeast Spain, with famous sites
Siurana and Margalef."
The route traverses some tricky terrain
where you don’t want to touch any
part of the cliff that doesn’t have chalk
on it; this at least indicates handholds
that have been used and are yet to
be pulled from the cliff. It culminates
in two beautiful corners - where you
literally have to climb through a tree or
two - before topping out onto a glorious
By then my ankle was well fat, with my
limp becoming increasingly pronounced
during the 90-minute descent. But it
was worth it, so worth it, in fact, that
I repeated the ankle punishment the
following day when we climbed Diedre
Gris, the route we'd wanted to do on day
one. ‘Diedre’ means corner and, after
an airy and exposed traverse, the route
basically follows an enormous corner
for hundreds of metres. Again, the rock
was of ‘adventurous’ quality, but the
movement was thrilling. At one point, we
had to negotiate a giant flake of rock by
following its edge, hand over hand, as
tierra firma growled hungrily from below.
Having successfully seized the days, we
left Mont-Rebei the following day - but
not without a particular kind of mishap
that threatens any adventurous travel
story. The first indication I was facing a
poo-tastrophe was when I emerged from
the tent that morning; somehow lying in
a sleeping bag keeps the poo-situation
under control. I’d already let my partner
Rachel take the bog-roll that morning,
telling her that I needed to go too but
she could go first.
I started packing up our things inside
the tent - sleeping bag, sleeping mat,
pillows. As soon as I stood up, my
situation declared itself far more urgent
than I’d realised. ‘I should busy myself,’
I thought to myself. Bowels are easily
distracted, aren’t they? I collapsed
the tent, collected the pegs, rolled
everything up. She’s been at least 10
minutes, and she knows I have to go.
Where is she?
8//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#236
I thought to myself, ‘I could just go
somewhere, dig a hole in the dirt and
do my business, and then wait for her
to return and hand me some bog-roll
while I'm still squatting.’ But what an
undignified start to the day! No. I am not
a passive player in this. I have agency.
I’ll take a load to the car, collect another
bog-roll, and do my business.
It’s amazing how much more urgent the
poo-situation became in the few minutes
it took to walk through the forest to our
car, parked by a dirt road. I’d already
pulled my long-johns to my knees, in
case I was about to be ambushed, by
the time I reached the road. I popped
the trunk, found some toilet paper,
shuffled quickly a few metres from
the car, and unloaded. It couldn’t wait
another second. I hated such scars on
the roadside, though, so mid-unloading,
I hobbled - my long-johns still hugging
my calf muscles - to the other side of the
road. (Please let no cars drive by at this
moment.) I ambled clumsily up a small
rise to find somewhere more suitable for
It was then, squatting in my new
position, that I saw it: The Horror.
I’d pooped on myself. The evidence
was plainly seen between my sock
and my flip-flop. Actually, there was
a shitty stain on my long-johns, too.
Something repugnant of my own making
had dropped onto my calf and then
somehow squished itself between my
heel and jandal.
At this point, I heard Rachel near the car
and called out a warning to her. ‘There’s
poo near the car!' When I’d cleaned
myself up as best I could, I joined her
and explained what had happened,
and my gross underestimation of how
desperate the situation was. It was
hilarious, in hindsight, to picture her
all this time relaxing on the hillside,
transfixed at the reddening horizon as
the day dawned, inhaling the splendour
of the outdoors with no worries - or
haste - to consider.
Such was the frenzied urgency gripping
me that I’d dropped my first bomb right
by the car’s trunk without even realising.
Before we drove off, I made sure to grab
a stick and flick it from the roadside, lest
anyone stand on it.
Like everyone else, I’d put all travel
plans on hold while the pandemic
gripped the world and borders were shut
down. As they opened up again, I was
itching to resume my old dirtbag life,
and Europe was top of the list. After a
summer in Chamonix, France, sampling
the magnificent granite towers of the
alps, Rachel and I headed to Spain, a
country famous for its sport climbing.
There’s enough rock in Spain to last
a lifetime. There’s actually enough in
Catalonia alone, in northeast Spain, with
famous sites Siurana and Margalef. The
former is a series of orange and grey
limestone cliffs weaving up a valley to
the top, where the remains of an 11th
century Arabic castle sits. The climbing
is technical, steep, and typically with tiny
holds to wrap your fingertips around. The
latter is pocketed conglomerate, often on
extremely steep terrain where sometimes
you’re using the tip of a digit or two to
lift most of your body weight. But these
sites, deserving as they are of their
reputations, were expectedly crowded.
Thankfully, a Catalonian friend in
Chamonix had provided us with an
east-to-west road trip to less frequented
spots, the first of which was Montgrony,
at the foothills of the Pyrenees. An
ancient site with a religious sanctuary
literally carved into the side of the
limestone cliff, this was a gorgeous
setting to test our tufa-climbing prowess.
The walls are decorated with curved
columns that often have to be pinched,
lobster-style, a kind of climbing of which
New Zealand has little. We stayed in an
old refugio nearby, a massive cottage
with a stone floor and a fireplace - a
perfect, and free, base.
Some of the hardest climbs in the world are in Margalef, with its steep walls of pocketed conglomerate
Montgrony offers tufa-blessed limestone, a nearby stone cottage to hang out in,
and a religious sanctuary literally carved into the cliff
Above: The ruins of an ancient Arabic castle sit stop the
limestone cliffs of the Siurana valley.
Next on the list was Coll de Nargo, a small
mountain hamlet to the north of its more
famous neighbour Oliana, which is home
to some of the world’s hardest climbs. The
countryside around Nargo is littered with
limestone crags. We sampled a couple, and
then headed to a cliff-line called Perles, where
we found some bolted multipitch lines of
excellent quality, as well as some single pitch
climbs under an enormous rock arch.
Spain is not known as an international
destination for multipitch climbing, but it has
an abundance. Our next stop, Roca dels Arcs,
near the small town of Villanova de Meia, is
a cliff of limestone 250m high and several
kilometres across. The route we climbed, El
Senor de los Bordillos (translation: the guy
in the kerb), turned out to be deceptively
difficult, weaving through a roof and then up
vertical terrain with nothing but razor-edge
holds to cling to. At the base of the cliff, after
descending, some French climbers directed
us to a nearby monastery at the top of a hill,
a perfect place to pitch a tent and wander
through some ancient ruins.
The next valley over contains the Terradets
canyon - again, a lifetime of climbing here -
and from there we headed to Mont-Rebei, a
place so alluring that we returned once we’d
driven to Barcelona and grabbed another
rental car. (For some reason, it’s cheaper to
rent for 30 days than for 60, so we drove back
and swapped cars after 30.) In the spirit of our
Spanish travels so far, we slept in an old stone
cottage under Cap de Ras, the eastern part of
the same cliff line, and finished our multipitch
adventures on a climb called El Tercer Hombre
(translation: the third man). The climb has the
luxury of being fully bolted, and finishes on a
difficult, vertical face with long moves between
At the summit, we surveyed the arid, orangespeckled
beauty in all directions. A few ancient
towers could be seen in distant hilltops, where
tiny mountain hamlets survive on goat farming
and tourist visitors. The pace of Spanish life
had been far less frenzied - poo-trastophe
aside - than the mountains around Chamonix.
But, as we discovered, that doesn’t mean
there isn’t much multipitching adventures to be
had: several lifetimes’ worth, in fact, if we only
had several lifetimes at our disposal.
10//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#236
Main image: Chris Baker stretches while climbing ‘The
death of the sponsor’ (7b+, 26) in Siurana
Words by Jenny Hodder
Big Risk Equals Big Reward, Right?
I was not raised to embody the “big risk equals big
reward” mindset, but it’s a way of living I’ve adopted
as I’ve aged– for better or for worse (depends on
who you ask). Over the course of my early 20’s, I
embarked on a turbulent journey of trial and error,
testing the reliability of this philosophy, however
frivolous the “testing” might’ve been. It’s worked both
in my favour and against me. Each time it’s worked
in my favour, I’ve experienced richness I wouldn’t
have without the risk and stacked another brick on the
stature of my self-trust. Each time it’s worked against
me, I uncovered lessons that were crucial to the
journey and laughed at my misguided mistakes.
This philosophy goes alongside my foremost agenda
of “figure out what makes me happy and just do it.”
One risk led me across Canada, 7 000 kilometers
away from my network of friends, my family, and my
home near the ocean. I left the people, life, and culture
that was familiar to me for a community I had no idea
how to be a part of and a life among mountains I had
no idea how to live. The reward: the life I wanted to
live (in Sun Peaks, British Columbia).
Mahalo My Dude rider getting air on Sundance Mountain, summer 2022
“Once the fear
dissolves, the stoke
of feeling weightless
takes over and you
question why you
didn’t start biking
Mahalo My Dude rider getting air on Sundance Mountain, summer 2022.
This summer, I translated “big risk
equals big reward” to mountain biking in
the Sun Peaks Bike Park. Here’s what
• Always evaluate the risk and
determine the impact of the
• The reward does not always
balance the risk.
• If the risk is riding a trail you’re not
ready for and the reward is your
own satisfaction or a fist bump,
you’ll probably discover what it
feels like to go OTB (over the
• “I’m just going to send it,” isn’t
viable reasoning for a risk on your
• Lastly, the voice of your risk will
often be your ego telling you you’re
better than you are, don’t listen to it.
Sweat, Callouses, and Fatigue.
Late July sun melts over the soft, inviting
mountains that encircle Sun Peaks. It
trickles through thick greenery lining the
trail beneath my bike and dyes the air
gold. Laughing and eccentric chaos fill
the plumes of golden air. I narrow my
field of vision so the only thing within it
is the soil laden surface of my favourite
flow trail, Stella Blue. Mindfully inhaling
and exhaling, I breathe with the smooth
transition of each jump and berm.
Clouds of earthy dust gather in my wake,
a layer of buttery sunshine spreads over
my goggles, and I gulp down traces of
wildflowers in the air. The world feels
suspended in a moment – the kind I’ve
been chasing for my whole life, but
never knew how to create. Turns out I
needed to buy a bike and ride the Sun
Peaks Bike Park.
Pools of sweat soak the inner padding
of my helmet, my calloused hands are
cramping with fatigue. If you’ve never
biked before, I’m sure it all sounds
exhausting and intimidating, and
honestly it is; but I’ve never felt so close
to flying. Once the fear dissolves, the
stoke of feeling weightless takes over
and you question why you didn’t start
“In Sun Peaks,
North of 20 years ago, Sun Peaks OGs
and core mountain bikers initiated the
beginnings of a legendary bike park.
Scraping trails into Tod Mountain by
hand, they didn’t realize they were
foraging the path to a world-class
downhill biking experience.
Rider Jenny Hodder on Canada Line,
14//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#236
“No matter where I
go, a fraction of my
heart will always
lay among the soil
on Stella Blue in
the Sun Peaks Bike
Lacee Smith whizzing through wildflowers on
Tod Mountain, summer 2022.
Photo: Dylan Sherrard.
16//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#236
Rider Jenny Hodder on Canada Line, summer 2022.
In its beginning era, the bike park
reflected the heart and soul of what
mountain biking was at the time –
gnarly and rowdy. Legendary trails
like Steam Shovel, Gnar-Boom, and
Insanity One are notoriously known in
Sun Peaks for their calibre of difficulty
and are trails that attract riders who
push their limits. Years unfolded and
with each one, the Sun Peaks Bike
Park evolved. In the time leading up to
this summer, the bike park experienced
significant growth and the approach
became “come one, come all.”
The staff and riders behind each
chapter of the bike park’s development
were fueled by their insatiable passion
for riding. They laid blueprints and dug
trails with a vision to elevate riding
and make Sun Peaks the best place
to do it. Fast forward to June, 2022.
The Sun Peaks Bike Park is now “built
for progression” and the diversity of
terrain is dialed for both beginners
and pros. After a $1.5M investment,
the bike park expanded onto an
entirely separate mountain, opened a
second summer chairlift, and added 19
kilometers of new downhill terrain.
Riders now have the freedom to
explore all three mountains in Sun
Peaks on their bikes. As I rode the
new trails on Sundance Mountain this
summer, it was common to overhear
remarks like, “That was the best blue
flow trail I’ve ever ridden” (referencing
the oh so magnificent Stella Blue).
The Risk That Wasn’t a Risk at All.
The ambiguity of the unknown is
unsettling; it is for me at least. As much
as I seek spontaneity, I struggle with
lack of structure and the element of
not knowing. Prior to moving to Sun
Peaks, there was little about my life
that was unpredictable. I worked,
went to the same local pubs, and
consistently saw the same people.
Leaving that predictability behind
for something so foreign felt like a
significant risk. Now, I watch the sun
sink behind the mountains after a day
in the bike park. I ride the chairlift to
embark on an alpine hike after work.
I’ve discovered skills and passions
etched into mountain culture that
have become integral to my quality of
life. I’ve experienced the support of
The “big risk” of moving to Sun Peaks,
wasn’t really a risk at all – it brought to
light a piece of my identity that I didn’t
know I was missing. No matter where
I go, a fraction of my heart will always
lay among the soil on Stella Blue in the
Sun Peaks Bike Park.
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Summit all all three peaks with daylight to to spare.
Sun Peaks. Where you belong.
First hike in the Dolomites, Italy, to Refugio re Alberto
On world-class winning wave at Nias, Indonesia
Image by WSL
Words by Paige Hareb, Images by Lauren Murray
I’ve been a pro-surfer, and a
self-proclaimed pro-traveller for
over 14 years now. Sitting here
reflecting on the last six months
of my travel, I’m feeling a lot of
gratitude. After semi-deciding and
semi-being forced to stay in NZ
for two whole years because of
the pandemic, I felt it was time to
make the most of travelling again.
Ironically, the week before
I started my first adventure
overseas, I got Covid for my
birthday, June 6. My week of
isolation just finished in time for
me to fly out to Indonesia for two
I had contests at Krui and Nias,
which were amazing! The finals
day at Nias has been a real
standout moment for me this
year, the waves were absolutely
pumping, the best I’ve ever had
for a contest! The win there
made it that much sweeter too.
My travel agent was telling me
not to do it before South Africa
because she didn’t think I would
get my boards in time. I’d always
wanted to go there so I just
ignored her and risked it. I’m so
happy I went, it paid off. It was
the very first time I’d travelled
alone to an event and stayed by
myself, maybe I should try doing
that more. All I wanted to do was
keep getting through more heats
just to surf perfect waves with no
one out. Two weeks in Indo and
I was already head over heels
in love with travelling again.
Next stop the United States of
much I missed
I didn’t realise how much I
missed travelling. I was in
California for the US Open at
Huntington Beach, but I stayed
on for a few months with my
girlfriend and pro-photographer,
Lauren Murray, exploring
the area, and hiking through
Big Pine Creek, the Grand
Canyon, Yosemite, Joshua Tree,
Colorado and Big Sur. America is
such a big country with so much
to do, I think it will always be in
the top 10-holiday list for me.
Next we headed to Italy, I had
never been there before so
wanted to do the classic tourist
thing and visit Venice before
we headed to the Dolomites in
Northern Italy. We did several
hikes here as well as one just
across the border in Austria. The
hiking ‘Huttes’ in Italy and Austria
were very impressive, positioned
in some crazy, amazing spots in
After a quick competition Near
Lisboa, Portugal and an even
quicker road/surf trip South to
Algarve, a place that seemed a
bit like a Bali destination for the
UK and other Europeans.
With a quick overnight in
Denmark (another new fav city
of mine), we then headed to the
Faroe Islands. A self-governing
archipelago, part of the Kingdom
of Denmark, that I had only just
heard of and had no idea where
it was or what to expect. I felt
lucky to be there because not
many people get to go there.
The landscape was amazing,
waterfalls everywhere and huge,
steep cliffs dropping straight into
the wild sea. I managed to fit a
surf in there too, it was small but
Right: A grand view in the Grand Canyon.
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Iceland, cool and cool.
"It felt a little scary
being the out in such a
it’s definitely got a lot of potential, and I left there
already wanting to go back and explore more. It
reminded me a lot of New Zealand.
As if I didn’t think our trip could get any cooler (pun
intended), we headed to Iceland. It’s always been a
country on my bucket list so I could barely contain
my excitement about going there. We were lucky
enough for Happy Campers to give us their latest
4WD camper van for 10 days. It wasn’t their winter
yet, but it sure felt and looked a lot like winter still.
We pretty much drove around the whole country,
exploring waterfalls, hikes, the f-roads, thermal
pools and of course the beaches. I had always
wanted to surf the famous right-hander there,
surrounded by the snow-covered mountains.
I was warm in the water with all the right gear. The
wave was small but so perfect and fun. It felt so
surreal and a little bit scary being the only one out
in a huge bay, the snow all around was amazing. It
was such a unique experience I will never forget.
We were lucky enough to see some of the Northern
lights too. I would definitely recommend a trip to
Iceland, I promise you I will be going back there.
I then spent a week in Anglet, France visiting my
French brother and sister, who stayed with my
family throughout the first lockdown in NZ. France
is always a good place to visit, one of my alltime
favourite countries. Possibly one of the only
countries I would consider living in. I love their food
and way of life in the South of France.
Right: Lago di Sorapis, another hike in Northern Italy.
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Clockwise from top left: A quick but beautiful hike up from a family
cabin in Colorado, USA. / Chasing waterfalls in Iceland. / Stayed the
night up by this swing bridge in Austria, first day was all rocky, next
day was covered in snow.
I then headed back to Brazil for another competition. I
always moan about flying all the way to Brazil, but once
I’m there, I do enjoy it, it’s one of those countries that have
seemed to slowly grow on me over the years.
A new contest then came up in Taiwan. I had never been
before, this year felt like it was my year to go to as many
new countries as possible, so the decision to fly straight
there from Brazil was pretty easy, even though it took 50+
hours. I didn’t really know what to expect there, but I was
very impressed. The water and weather were very tropical,
the waves were very consistent and fun, oh and how good
was the food! I think it could be my new destination instead
of Bali. A lot of similarities but a lot fewer people in the water
Last but not least, to finish the six months of travel, Hawaii.
I was meant to have my last competition there but with
the horrible exchange rate USD to NZD and the high
accommodation rates there, it just wasn’t feasible to stay for
so long. However, we did still manage to fit in a few days on
Kauai island, an island I hadn’t been to before. It was small
to drive around with huge Jurassic park-like scenery but I
think I still prefer either Maui or Oahu. It was nice to finish
the six months of travel in somewhere that was tropical and
actually felt like a holiday and slightly closer to home, which
we were nearly ready for.
Follow Paige on:
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WITH CHRIS MCLENNAN
This image of an Eagle Hunter in action was taken in
the remote Altai mountains of Mongolia whilst running
one of my photography expedition workshops. For
this image I lay flat on the ground to get the lowest
possible angle. This gives the feel of extra power to
the horse galloping directly towards the camera as it
dominates from above. The low angle also allowed me
to show less of the ground directly in front of and behind
the horse which in turn gives the perception of even
shallower depth of field helping to isolate the horse, rider
and eagle from the backdrop.
Careful choice of camera settings were in play here. I
needed high enough ISO to ensure a fast shutter speed.
I shot relatively wide f stop which gave shallow depth
of field but also allowed a bit of a buffer for focus and
the different elements in the image to be sharp. I use
continuous focus and locked onto the eye of the rider. It
was a real bonus to have a catchlight in the eagle's eye
and the horses hooves off the ground throwing dust and
stones around for a bit of added drama.
Nikon Z9, Nikkor 180-400mm lens at 390mm
ISO 800. f 6.3 for 1/2500 second
Chris can help you to perfect your photographic skills
whilst seeing some of the most spectacular subjects on
the planet. Chris McLennan leads photo expeditions in
Mongolia as well as Africa, Alaska, Svalbard and Papua
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GUTSING IT OUT ON
THE MOTATAPU TRAIL
AVOIDING NOVEMBER SNOW IN
Words and images by Eric Skilling
“Who would choose to walk this
trail?”, I found myself asking out loud
even though there was nobody within
earshot. Perhaps if you were a multiday
adventure-racer, training for one of
those endurance events. Perhaps if you
really liked walking alongside exposed
tussock - lots and lots of tussock. Or
perhaps you had just had a knee or hip
reconstruction and felt a need to test
the success of the operation.
Okay, maybe I was still grumpy after
the disappointment of cancelling a third
attempt to tackle Gillespie Pass and
get my first look at Lake Crucible. In
the face of a rapidly worsening weather
forecast we had sought the advice of
the charming and informative folk at
the DOC centre in Wanaka the day
before we were to set out to Makarora.
“I wouldn’t go there! You need to
stay east of the divide” was the very
disheartening but very prudent advice.
Motatapu is not an easy tramp. It
doesn’t promise close-up views of
alpine peaks or glacial lakes, or mile
after mile of tranquil beech forest.
Walking alongside fence lines and the
odour of fresh livestock dung has a way
of taking away that wilderness feel but
nevertheless this trail is a challenge
worth accepting. Where else can you
climb well over 3,000 metres in 3 days,
only lose it all again without the reward
of reaching a single peak.
By the time we reached around 1,100
metres on the first day, almost 200
metres short of Jack’s saddle at 1,275
metres, my enthusiasm had reached
a low ebb. It was uncomfortably hot,
which made me doubt the accuracy of
the weather forecast that had got us
here in the first place. Our group of 5
was stretched out along the exposed
track as it meandered around steep
ridges and dived into damp gullies, but
always it went up again - a long way up.
To make matters worse, we knew we
would lose 500 metres before reaching
that day’s destination. This was a slog.
But it got better, a lot better. Later that
day five sweaty trampers would round
the final ridge and the longed-for sight
of the Highland hut. The effort involved
in reaching that point would have
made the most dilapidated shelter look
magnificent, but this hut must rate as
one of the most amazing settings for a
Andrew searching his way through the tussock on the lightly formed track
Sited on a sloping basin, with its
back to an amphitheatre of towering
mountains, it faces northwards, giving
views down the rugged V-shaped river
valley of the Highland creek to snowtopped
peaks of the Harris Mountain
range. Providing shelter for many
adventurers since 2008, including a
steady stream of Te Araroa trekkers,
the cabin was in great condition. It
has been well designed with plenty of
space to accommodate the 12 people it
was intended to lodge.
It wasn’t long before all those things
that makes tramping so enjoyable
had begun clicking into place. After a
quick unpack and wash, a few of us
had gathered on the deck replete with
hot coffee and chocolate to watch the
valley darken and the snow on the
faraway peaks turn pink. That was one
of those priceless moments that makes
you forget the efforts of the day.
"Motatapu is not
an easy tramp. It
close-up views of
alpine peaks or
glacial lakes, or
mile after mile
of tranquil beech
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Shane on the steep and narrow descent to Highland Hut
Banter with a few mates over dinner,
making friends with travellers from
around the world, and then venturing
outside to enjoy a sparkling night sky
framed by the soaring peaks around us,
before heading back inside for the night.
Once out on the track again the next
day, I had begun to look at the terrain as
a challenge and not some masochistic
trail-blazers idea of a wake-up call for
the unfit, unprepared, or over-packed. I
began to appreciate the determination
involved in designing, developing,
and maintaining the track. Those
atmosphere-killing fences became
symbols of the resolve and endurance of
high-country farmers. Respect.
This is big country, big like Texas. In
the words of Geoff Chapple, founder
of the Te Araroa track “within the trail’s
wider landscapes, [you] may see it’s
human figures diminished by scale
and distance, yet in that reduction,
enhanced.” Each of the next 4 saddles
we crested became a stunning view into
a vast countryside with a thousand folds
and creases. Huge weather-beaten
boulders stuck out on the skyline
like ancient, ruined temples, or hung
precariously from the sides of the steep
ridges. Faraway peaks seemed to be
laid in a deceptively smooth looking
carpet of tussock. Streams snaked
across the gently sloping valley floor.
Energy sapping drops into gullies
became welcome sources of cool, clear
Over the course of the 3-days we
kept reminding ourselves this route
is graded “advanced”, and there was
plenty of debate about what defined
that term. It made sense that the track
would require a decent amount of
sweat. Expect plenty of scrambling on
the steep sections. The track ranges
from narrow to very narrow (or, as the
guide states – is “lightly formed”) and
occasionally disappears into foliage or
eroded away in many small slips. Some
hair-raising drop-offs will reawaken
the lapsing concentration, especially
on some downward ridges. There are
plenty of streams to cross and rivercrossings
All three huts - Fern Burn, Highland
and Roses were clean, well-insulated,
spacious, and well placed. Successful
predator management in the forested
sections must be congratulated, but
don’t expect many bird calls near the
huts or the open parts of the trail.
Be wary of the Spaniards –
appropriately named aciphylla horrida,
hiding in the huge tussock stacks along
"This is big country,
big like Texas. In
the words of Geoff
Chapple, founder of
the Te Araroa track
“within the trail’s
[you] may see it’s
diminished by scale
and distance, yet
in that reduction,
Highland Hut with the snow-topped Harris Mountains in the distance
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John making his way off the last ridge on the way to Arrow River Valley and Macetown
Fresh faced Steve and John in the forest on day 1
to quote, “an
to the nation”.
Shane feeling the heat on the way to Jacks Saddle
the traverse between Highland and
Roses hut. We must have endured
more stabbings from these unwelcome
native shrubs on that stretch than
the English in 1588. Matagouri are
flourishing alongside and in some
cases, on, the challenging segment
between Roses saddle and Macetown,
ready to snag any uncovered skin,
coats and packs.
All this was anticipated. The trail could
do with some TLC in places. There were
plenty of fallen trees to negotiate in the
few forested areas and a fair bit of bushbashing
around some eroded sections.
We all felt sympathy for the Te Araroa
folk who get to face these obstacles
with their heavier packs, often in poor
weather conditions, making for several
successive days of tough tramping.
Don’t plan to wimp out of the last
day from Roses hut or overcome
the logistical issues by crossing the
private station back to the Glendu Bay
car park. There is very clear signage
explaining that if you dare to cross into
the Station, you will be retracing your
steps back to the trail.
Weather forecasts for mountainous
regions are understandably unreliable,
but the general gist of the forecast
during our stay was for snow to 1600
metres, the height of Gillespie Pass
on our second day (in late-November),
which turned out to be accurate.
The long-range forecast was for
deteriorating conditions and the snow
level lowering to 1100 metres, which
also turned out to be accurate. The
blessing of heading east of the divide
was most of the foul weather only
reached us after nightfall, except for
the last day when we spent many hours
trudging in cold rain.
the final 10km stretch from Roses hut
with its 500 metres of climb over the
saddle and down again to Macetown,
followed by 15km of four-wheel track
across and alongside the river.
This turned out to be a very wise
decision. The stormy weather that had
dumped snow on Gillespie pass had
finally made its way off the mountain
range to unleash on us by the time we
reached Macetown. I believe a few
friendships would have been written
off had we pitched tents in the misty
rain, and then endured a night camping
out on sodden ground exposed to the
wind as it raged down the narrow Arrow
River valley. The historic significance
of this settlement will have to wait until
Our feet were numb with cold before
we had even managed less than 10
of the 23 river crossings between
Macetown and Arrowtown, with the river
rising each time we stepped into the
fast-flowing waters. Luckily for us we
reached the mountain bike track and its
bridges at that stage which saved us a
night camping out.
Arrowtown - what a wonderful place
to finish a trail. With the benefit
of hindsight this is a great spot to
celebrate and spend the night. The
logistical arrangements were already
difficult enough, so the option of an
overnight stop in Arrowtown never got
to be discussed anyway.
Motatapu is to quote, “an extraordinary
gift to the nation”. Unashamedly and
unapologetically demanding, it provided
us with a very different experience
to the nearby sub-alpine and higher
journeys, and one we will all reminisce
about for some time to come.
$440 per person
• Track transfers
• Coffee and cake on arrival at
On the Track Lodge
• 2 nights in comfortable chalet
• All meals (Day 1 dinner & dessert,
Day 2 breakfast, packed lunch & dinner
& dessert, Day 3 breakfast & packed
lunch). Vegetarian/vegan/gluten free
• Use of On the Track Lodge kayaks
and all other amenities, including a
*Upgrade to stay in the newly
renovated vintage train carriages
(with private bathroom).
Discover the hidden wonders of the Nydia Track, it is not as well known or
busy as the Queen Charlotte Track but just as beautiful.
The track takes you through coastal forest (rimu, nikau and beech) with
superb views and is suitable for people with a reasonable level of fitness,
boots are recommended and some of the streams are not bridged.
• Start from Havelock and take a shuttle to historic Kaiuma Bay, (4-5 hours).
• Dine then stay at On the Track Lodge in a comfortable chalet
or train carriage accommodation.
• Spend the next day relaxing at the lodge, kayaking or taking some shorter walks.
• The next day complete the rest of the tramp (carrying your freshly
prepared packed lunch) to Duncan Bay in time for another shuttle ride back to Havelock.
On The Track Lodge
Nydia Track, Marlborough Sounds
+643 579 8411 | firstname.lastname@example.org
The steep and narrow descent
Fortuitously we had planned to avoid
spending a third night camping at
Macetown. We had chosen to complete
I choose to use Jetboil, Macpac,
Backcountry Cuisine and Keen.
Words and images compliments of Red Bull
500m at 200m high in windy 50°C weather.
With the backdrop of the picturesque landscapes of Kazakstan,
Estonian Jaan Roose became the first person to cross the iconic
“fangs” on a slackline, limestone pillars that make up the Bozzhyra
tract, also known as the 'Sugar Castles' and were crafted by the
ancient Tethys Ocean, millions of years ago.
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we ARE climbing
Jaan Roose - Red Bull Content Pool
Roose took up slacklining 12 years ago and is well known for being the
first and only athlete to do a double backflip (legs) while, in 2019, he
won the World Slackline Masters in Munich, Germany.
The three-time world champion, who has also worked as a stuntman
in Hollywood movies like Assassin's Creed and taken part in a concert
tour with Madonna, is a world-record holder in many unusual locations.
After navigating a 28m line between Sarajevo skyscrapers last year,
Roose headed next to Kazakhstan where he made a difficult 500m
crossing at a height of 200 metres in 50°C with a strong wind.
The 30-year-old revealed: "Bozzhyra is a challenge and is one of
the most difficult, but at the same time, beautiful projects I have
ever undertaken. When I saw photos of Bozzhyra I was impressed,
but when I got here, I was blown away by the unearthly beauty of
the place. The fact there used to be an ocean here really fuels the
Many years ago, the Great Silk Road used to cross the Mangistau
desert region and one of the ledges, which resembles a fortress, is
even depicted on Kazakhstan's 1,000 tenge banknote.
Roose added: "It's just a fantastic place. I'm glad I visited it and saw
this unique location with my own eyes and was also able to combine
physical ability with the beauty of nature."
One of the group's main goals was to treat the unique nature of the
area with care, making sure they observed all ecological requirements
in the real historical location as the camera team spent five days in
Mangistau Region at the site to film their piece and open this unique
John Palmer at Sunnyside, Wanaka
Photo: Tom Hoyle
For over thirty years Bivouac Outdoor has been proudly 100% New Zealand owned and committed to providing
you with the best outdoor clothing and equipment available in the world. It is the same gear we literally stake our
lives on, because we are committed to adventure and we ARE climbing.
Talgat Amanbayev, Board Chairman of NC Kazakh Tourism JSC, said:
"Today, Mangistau Region is a priority tourist destination in Kazakhstan
and one of the top five in terms of overseas visitors for the year.
Mangistau is capable of becoming a real film-tourism centre, and as
such, we are always ready to support initiatives that give exposure to
its phenomenal beauty. At the same time, we will make sure it is treated
with the care and attention it deserves to help preserve it."
Supporting Aotearoa's Backcountry Heritage
36//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#236
Above Left: Camping out at Joshua Tree National Park
THE BEST OF
Before the world was in a semi-permanent state of
lockdown, we used to satisfy our #vanlife each year
exploring the States in our Roadbear RV. Over the
years we have covered some fairly extensive miles and
here’s our pick of the top places to go for an adventure.
Above: No hiding the joy of that first glimps of Yosemite
Joshua Tree National Park is in southern California (not far
from Coachella Valley) and named for the twisted, bristled
Joshua trees that litter the park.
Climate: Joshua Tree is located in a sub-tropical desert so
the winters are mild and the summers scorching hot with
temperatures reaching mid-late 30’s throughout the summer
Must do: Some of the best short hikes (around 1.5km) are
Hidden Valley, Barker Dam, Arch Rock, and the Discovery
Trail, all are very scenic.
Best time to visit: As this is desert country, the best time to
visit is during spring or autumn, when the temperatures are
more tolerable (they still range between 21-29 degrees C).
Why we loved it: The park was beautifully maintained and
the campsites truly unique. Parked beneath rugged rock
formations and Joshua trees, listening to wolves (might
have been coyotes) while watching the dark night sky was a
truly special experience.
“There can be nothing in
the world more beautiful
than the Yosemite, and
our people should see
to it that they are
preserved for their
children and their
forever, with their
majestic beauty all
~ Theodore Roosevelt
Taken straight from their website, Yosemite is descirbed
as “Not just a great valley, but a shrine to human
foresight, the strength of granite, the power of glaciers,
the persistence of life, and the tranquility of the High
Sierra.” Couldn’t have put it better myself…
The park is best known for it’s waterfalls and climbing
walls but with nearly 1,200 square miles there is so
much more to see from deep valleys, vast meadows,
giant sequoias and a vast wilderness area.
Climate: Yosemite experiences highs in summer up to
30 degrees celsius and in winter of 8 with temperature
dropping to 14 degrees in summer and into the minus
during winter. Most of Yosemite is covered in snow
between November and May.
Best time to visit: Anytime between May and
September means you will avoid 95% of the areas rain.
However, as with all USA’s national parks, the peak of
summer is always super busy so spring and autumn
make for an ideal time.
Above: Waking up to snowfall in Tioga Pass, Yosemite
Must do: Visiting Yosemite Valley goes without saying, but
if you have time, drive over Tioga pass (not open during
winter). You get another perspective of the area and the
scenery is just as impressive. We drove the pass during
September and woke up the following morning to snow
Why we loved it: The grandeur. It’s hard to describe but
driving into Yosemite Valley was awe inspiring. The granite
walls have to be stood beside for you to really appreciate
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Above: Cliff-nicking in Estes Park, Colorado
ESTES PARK, COLORADO
Estes Park in northern Colorado, is considered “basecamp” for
the Rocky Mountain National Park and the adventure capital of
the region. There is every outdoor activity available from hiking,
mountain climbing, mountain biking, rafting, fishing and skiing.
Climate: During the summer temperatures range from highs
around 23 degrees C and lows of 10 degrees. In the winter
temperatures range from 2 degrees to as low as -10.
PAGE & SURROUNDING AREA
Page is a city in Arizona close to some
spectacular scenic attractions: Lake
Powell, Glen Canyon Dam, Horseshoe
Bend, Antelope Canyon.
Lake Powell straddles both Utah and
Arizona and is a major vacation spot for
boaties and fishermen. Although Lake
Powell is officially an artificial reservoir
do not let that put you off. Lake Powell is
one of the most picturesque and intriguing
places we have visited.
Lake Powell’s main body stretches up
the Glen Canyon but has also filled over
90 side canyons. It also weaves its way
up the Escalante River and San Juan
River and merges with the Colorado
River providing access to many natural
geographic features, including Glen
Canyon Dam and Rainbow Bridge, (one of
the world’s largest natural bridges). Hire a
houseboat for a few days, it’s a great way
immerse yourself in the environment.
Climate: Lake Powell area has extremes
in temperature, dropping to a high of 8 o C
in January to a scorching 37 o C in July.
Horseshoe Bend: Just a short drive from
Antelope Canyon is Horseshoe Bend. It
is a part of the Colorado River that has
naturally created a horseshoe bend,
creating one of the most spectacular
landscapes in Arizona. Horseshoe Bend
is visible from high above the river bed,
just pay for parking and walk to the most
incredible viewing area. When we last
visited in 2016 there were no railings
and although it made for some incredible
photos they have since installed a barrier
at the main viewpoint. As of 2023, at least
17 confirmed deaths have happened
on the Angels Landing hike, and some
sources put that figure closer to 20. Most
of these were falls from steep cliffs.
The best time to photograph Horseshoe
Bend is either early morning or late
afternoon due to the angle of the sun.
Antelope Canyon: Known for its narrow
rock walls, smoothed by water and wind,
can be visited not far from Lake Powell but
you have to take a guided tour. Well worth
Above: Horseshoe Bend, Arizona
Above: Cliff jumping in Lake Powell
Why we loved it: Lake Powell and the surrounding area
is unique and incredibly different from anything we have in
New Zealand. The canyon walls are a vibrant salmon colour
and contrast against the green of the water. We spent a day
on the lake fishing for bass and exploring the canyon walls,
which also make for great jumping platforms.
Must do: This area is a climbers paradise but if you want to
experience the thrill of climbing without having the technical
knowledge, then via ferrata is an excellent option. Set up and
guided by Kent Mountain Adventure Center, the Estes Park Via
Ferrata climbs roughly 600 vertical feet and includes a traverse
with incredible views.
Cliff camping: If you want to take your experience a step further,
cliff camping is an option (but not for the faint hearted). Strapped
to a harness your rappel down to a small portaledge secured
to the cliff face where you will spend the night. An incredible
Best time to visit: The park is a year round destination, however
to experience the most the area has to offer, June to September is
your best option.
Why we loved it: Although busy during the summer months, this
town still holds a quaint feeling. It was also a great place to base
ourselves while exploring the Rocky Mountain National Park.
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The hoodoos of Bryce Canyon
Image by Ellis Dieperink
Not far from Zion is Bryce Canyon National
Park. The limestone rock formations, created
by erosion and rain, create an otherworldly
landscape, completely different to it’s
neighbouring Zion National Park. The tall
skinny spires of limestone are called hoodos
and Bryce Canyon boast more hoodoos than
any other place in the world.
Climate: Due of its high elevation, the
weather at Bryce Canyon through autumn,
winter, and spring can be highly variable,
snowstorms in October are not unusual.
From October to May, temperatures fall below
zero at night with the coldest period being
between December and February. Summer
temperatures reach the early to mid 20’s.
Must do: There are numerous hiking trails
in the canyon, and you can find something
to suit any level. We chose to explore the
canyon on horseback. Not only did that give
us a different perspective, it also allowed us
to cover a larger area of the canyon that we
could have achieved on foot alone.
Stargaze - Due to the limited light pollution
in Bryce Canyon, it is the perfect place for
stargazing. In 2019, the International Dark-
Sky Association designated Bryce Canyon
and International Dark Sky Park. Although
you can stargaze on your own, the park also
offers several ranger programs offering 20
minute constellation tours.
Best time to visit: Although the summer
months offer the warmest weather, Bryce
Canyon is pretty spectacular to see during
the winter months too. But if you want to
participate in the ranger activities then you’ll
need to visit between May and September.
Why we loved it: It was like nothing we
had seen before and as we explored on
horseback all the was missing was John
Wayne and a few Indians and we could have
been on the set of any cowboy movie.
On horseback is a great way to explore Bryce Canyon
Image by Danika Perkinson
ZION NATIONAL PARK
Zion National Park is located in the
South East corner of Utah, a state
known for its rich reddish and tancoloured
Navajo Sandstone that have
been eroded by the Virgin River.
Horse Ranch Mountain is the highest
point in the park at 2,660m, and Coal
Pits Wash is the lowest at 1,117m.
Climate: In the summer months (July-
September) temperatures average
around 30 0 C. Due to the nature of the
park, evening temperatures do drop
considerable even in summer (down
to 12 0 C). Winter months have higher
levels of rainfall (and snow). Spring
and autumn temps average around
20 0 C.
Must do: There are numerous hikes
in the area, the most famous are
the Narrows which is accessible to
everyone but as a result can get very
crowded, and Angels Landing.
The Narrows is an 8-15km round
trip, depending on how far you want
to walk, and you will be walking in the
water for most of the day. Good hiking
shoes are recommended
Right: The Narrows,
Zion National Park
Image by Karan Chawla
Angels Landing is a 8.6km roundtrip,
not for the faint of heart. It’s a
spectacular return hike and scramble
to the summit of Angels Landing, do
not go if you have a fear of heights.
It is considered one of the most
spectacular day hikes in the world.
The hike climbs up roughly 1,500
vertical feet along the narrow fin of
stone that reaches a top elevation
of 5,790 feet. There have been 13
known deaths from falls at Angels
Landing since 2000, so yes, this is a
hike to take seriously.
Best time to visit: To avoid
the crowds and the scorching
temperatures, visit in March, April,
October, or November. The busiest
time in the park is June and July with
over 500,000 monthly visitors.
Why we loved it: Walking in the
valleys of the rich red canyons of Zion
is a feeling I will never forget. It was
the first time that I really felt the power
and wonder of nature.
Both Zion and Bryce canyon offer great outdoor activities for all ages. For
canyoneering and rappelling, Zion beats Bryce. You'll find world-class hiking
in either Park, but in Zion you can find yourself hiking through streams or on
sandstone ledges, like Angels Landing – one of the scariest hikes in the world!
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Okefenokee is a haven for alligators and they seem to be everywhere! Above, the view from our punt...
"It’s a world
wonder — this wild
serves as a haven
and black bears,
ibises, bitterns and
~ Janisse Ray
The swamp straddles the Georgia-
Florida line, however access to
the swamp is from Georgia. The
Okefenokee Swamp is a shallow
wetland and is considered one of the
seven natural wonders of Georgia.
There are a few access points to the
swamp, we visited from Stephen Foster
State Park entrance where we hired a
Climate: This is a semi-tropical climate
zone with hot and humid summer
temperatures and winter temperature
drops to around 11 degrees C.
Must do: Hire one of the punts from
the visitor centre and explore the
swamp. You get given a map and then
self drive around the swamp. There are
so many alligators to see but also keep
an eye out for the other wild life in the
area; racoons, boars, otters and more.
Best time to visit: Between late spring
and early summer the weather is at its
best and plants are in bloom making
it a colourful and beautiful place. Also
the animals are more active this time of
year. To see the wildlife, early mornings
and late evenings are the best time.
Why we loved it: I have never seen so
many alligators in my life. They were
everywhere, they were massive, and
they were just swimming in the water
beside our small punt.
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Part of the thl global travel system
Words and images by Dion James
Phrases that are used to describe trout fishing in
Aotearoa are; adventure, peace, and tranquillity,
but not always in that order.
Walking along the quiet riverbank, you can
hear the subtle sounds of a trout feeding on the
surface. Your eyes now peer across the crystalclear
water for any sign of that wild, unsuspecting
trout. Yet it is easy to be distracted by the calm
whispers of the wind, bird songs and the subtle
noises found only in New Zealand's untouched
environment miles from nowhere. Even the snowcapped
mountains add to the distraction and make
up a stunning backdrop, yet you are focused on
After finally ensuring where the trout lies, you
make that cast and hold your breath. As you watch
a big trout rise to your floating fly, breaking the
surface water, mouth wide, all that serenity, in an
instant, turns to action!
Just as easily, you could find yourself on a calm
still-water lake surrounded by lush native forests.
The silence is deafening, and then across the oillike
water comes small bow waves towards your
fly as you slowly retrieve. Suddenly, the serenity
vanishes as quickly as your line tightens, the water
erupts as a trout breaks the surface, peeling the
line from the grasp of your hands, and the contest
begins. Trout fishing is that juncture position of
moments, sometimes hours of quiet serenity
impacted by moments of complete drama.
What I personally enjoy the most about hunting
trout is the challenge. Seeing a massive fish and
then planning, which could take half an hour or
so before I move in. Stalking in on it like a tiger
to a deer, getting into a position close enough to
get a cast and then delivering it. Sometimes you
only get one shot, and the cast must be pinpoint
perfect. Then once that is achieved, if you are
lucky enough for the fish to eat your fly, it all turns
to chaos. The fish thrashes around, and they will
take you for a wade and run down the river. Here,
it requires a lot of skill, experience and, as with
all fishing, a certain amount of luck. Eventually, if
you get the trout under some control and it makes
it to your net after the contest of the fight. Then
there is a moment of pure joy and satisfaction that
your planning, practice, skill and some luck came
together, which is absolute fishing gold!
Clockwise from top left: A back country rainbow trout taken in a prestine environment. / A tailing brown trout working the top for food
on a stillwater lake / A typical sight of a Rainbow trout as it rises to the surface for insects floating down stream./ My Great Uncle
Hoka Downs pictured with Zane Grey from the Book "Tales from an Anglers Eldorado"
These are just a few draw cards on the
sport of trout fishing and why I love it,
mainly the places it takes you and the
people you meet. Plus the skills it requires
and the challenges.
Plus, it is also a way of coming together;
fishing with buddies on annual trips is a
way of getting together with like-minded
mates. We also fish as a family, my wife
and children have caught trout fly fishing,
and my son Reign caught his first at 4
years old! It is not just the fishing but
sharing the environment and the beauty
of the places trout fishing can take you.
Plus, there is the bonus that trout is also
a culinary delicacy; you can't buy it here
in New Zealand. You have to catch it, and
on occasion, I’ll take some for the whanau
who enjoy it.
I was raised in a small forestry town east
of Rotorua, which was surrounded by
rivers and lakes. As a young fella, my
father used to take me out hunting deer
on the weekends. Then during the day
after school, I would bike down to the local
river searching for trout. My passion grew
each time I went out on an adventure
and even biked to locations nearly 30 km
away. We are fortunate here in Aotearoa
48//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#236
to be surrounded by stunning freshwater
fisheries. It’s no wonder New Zealand is
regarded as one of the top trout fishing
destinations in the world.
Trout fishing has been in my heritage for
well over a century. My great grandfather,
Morehu and my great uncle Hoka Downs
were once pioneers for guiding for trout.
They set up a business near Turangi,
where my mum’s indigenous side is from.
They started on family-owned land called
the Kowhai flats, perched on the mighty
Tongariro River banks. It is here they
guided the likes of the Duke and Duchess
of Wales and a famous American fishing
writer named Zane Grey, who mentions
my great ancestor Hoka Downs in his book
“Tales of an anglers Eldorado”. This book
is instrumental in putting the Tongariro
River on the world map as a mecca for
overseas fishermen to visit.
This fishing linage from my forebears led
me to be a trout fishing guide myself. I
was based out of Rotorua and did it for a
few years. I have helped tourists and kiwis
alike have an experience they will never
forget, from catching their first-ever trout to
catching their biggest. The joy of guiding
is not about catching fish (that does help),
but it is witnessing the pure joy and delight
from clients who were so thrilled to be
in that location and to catch their first or
biggest fish. That is something to cherish,
and I will have those memories forever.
Over the years of fishing and guiding, I
have formed some great relationships with
people who are now lifelong friends and
also a few top tackle companies. I became
a sponsored ambassador for a New
Zealand based family fishing company
called Kilwell Sports, which distributes
Orvis Fly Fishing rods and Scientific
Anglers fly lines. I am lucky enough to
test some of the very best fishing gear on
the planet, which in turn has helped me
significantly with my catch rates.
If you want to see more of what I capture
on my adventures from around the
country, you can find me on Facebook and
Instagram titled ‘Fueled by nature’.
WITH SEAN DAVEY
This is ex-world champion big wave surfer; Jamie
Sterling surfing at huge perfect Pipe.
"I’ve always preferred to “shoot differently” so I shot
this picture on a 600mm lens at just 1/8th of a second
at f32. It takes a highly steady hand to pan with the
action at such a slow shutter speed. Considering
that most photographers are shooting this at around
1/000th of a second, this exposure captures 30 times
more time and movement. Thus, it looks like he is
going so incredibly fast."
50//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#236
Go against the flow.
inspire & enable
Since it’s humble beginnings,
paddleboarding has grown to great levels
and is enjoyed by everyone of any age
and ability in just about every corner of
the globe, presenting an opportunity to
make it more accessible, more fun and
more inclusive than ever before. The aim
is simple. To help customers get out there
and do more of what they love, for longer.
Red Paddle Co’s mission is to inspire
and enable adventure through innovative,
environmentally responsible products
that never compromise on performance,
safety and reliability. Red carries out
extensive due diligence on all suppliers
to ensure quality and ethics go hand in
hand, ensuring products are responsibly
The Red range consists of 28 models of
inflatable paddleboards covering surfing,
touring, white water, travel, adventure and
family fun. It’s about making so many of
our lakes, rivers and beaches accessible.
Boards are designed for disassembly
for ongoing maintenance and hence,
longevity of your board. Red Paddle
Co have a customer experience team
dedicated to providing the best advice,
recommendations and solutions to help
keep your gear in tip-top condition.
Red have spent over 14 years learning,
refining and testing new techniques to
tailor precise performance and consistent
characteristics into their boards. Their
strategy is to always improve and better
the products, problem solve and overcome
barriers, test all products before launch,
never compromise on design which means
it must be the best.
Red Paddle Co boards are now sold
in over 60 countries worldwide and
their design approach ensures that the
boards are built to last and on average,
take 72 hours to build each and every
board. Award winning and patented
technology offers unrivalled performance
and stiffness, which is backed by
their worldwide 5-year warranty when
“You haven’t tried paddleboarding until you
have tried a Red”
Available throughout NZ from certified Red
Paddle Co retailers.
Our amphibious outcast is water friendly and friendly to water.
Transforming polluted water and air with BLOOM EVA,
a performance foam that uses 10% recycled algae biomass.
Available in many colours for Men, Women and Kid’s.
52//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#236
ironskinn Surf Pants AU$850.00
Get out on the water and live to tell the tale.
ironskinn makes world-leading ocean armor that is
tough, light-weight and flexible. Built to protect you.
Shark-bite, Foil and Reef Resistant Ocean Armor.
Merrell Hydro Moc $109.99
Built with the outdoors in mind, the Hydro
Moc has taken the world by storm. This
amphibious outcast is water friendly and
friendly to water. Transforming polluted
water and air with BLOOM performance
EVA. Made using advanced construction
techniques, this easy on / easy off shoe is
more durable than others of its kind.
Red Paddle Co Sport Range $2,199.95 - $2,499.95
For paddlers who are looking for speed and
performance, the Sport Inflatable SUP Range offers a
step up from the Ride family - available in a choice of
colours….purple or classic blue. Imagine how excited
you'll feel unrolling your new board in anticipation of
enjoying the open water.
Red Waterproof Cool Bag 18 & 30L
With thermal lock insulation and Armour
Tech fabric, drinks stay colder for longer,
keeps water out, ice frozen for up to 72
hours and a tension system secures the
bag to your board.
Red Pro Change Robe Evo $349.95
Uniquely breathable with the softest lining,
moisture wicking and super warm yet
lightweight providing maximum warmth
whilst outdoors, this premium robe
ensures users stay dry and warm.
This is UNLTD.
• FULL FLAVOURED NON-ALCOHOLIC IPA
• 13 calories per bottle/can, one of the
lowest-calorie beers on the market.
• low in carbs, rich in vitamin b12, vegan
friendly and low gluten
• brewed with a special brewing technique
that restricts the alcohol to a tiny 0.5%
ABV, but keeps the flavour at 100% proof.
54//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#236
Red Waterproof Kit Bag 40 & 60L
A waterproof duffel and backpack,
with stitched and taped seams,
heavy-duty straps and pockets
made from strong rip stock material
that is abrasion resistant.
New Zealand’s first online store solely dedicated to
Non -Alcoholic adult drinks. No matter your reason...we’ve got you covered:
Beers - Wines - Spirits - RTD’s - Ciders - All delivered to your door.
TO SAVE LIVES
cotopaxi Travel Cube Bundle – Del Día $99.99
Made with repurposed materials, these
simple organisers store clothes, toiletries,
and other must-have items. Receive all
three travel cube sizes in one colourful
sunsaver classic 16,000 mah solar power bank $129.00
Built tough for the outdoors and with a massive
battery capacity you can keep all your devices
charged no matter where your adventure
30% (typ) smaller 7 year battery life
cotopaxi Bataan 3L Hip Pack – Del Día $69.99
Travel easy this summer & keep your
necessities secure and close at hand.
Made from 100% repurposed fabric,
each Bataan is sustainably designed.
exped Centrum 30 Pack $169.99
Sleek, minimalistic pack designed
for urban commuting. Ergonomically
padded shoulder straps and a fine
thermo-molded back for comfort.
Features include a top zip that
opens to two spacious mesh
pockets and a laptop sleeve sized
for 15" notebooks.
Crocs Classic Realtree $99.99
Wildly comfortable clog offering
the signature comfort of Croslite
material with the rugged style of an
authentic camouflage print. Wide,
roomy footbeds with heel-hugging
straps. Croslite material for
maximum lightweight cushioning.
Crocs Classic All Terrain Clog $109.99
Rugged lug outsoles with enhanced
tread for increased traction and support.
Adjustable turbo heel straps for a
snug, accommodating fit. Easy to clean
Croslite foam material and quick to
dry. Available in more colours.
66 channel GPS
– Fast accurate positioning
The World’s Most
RAB escape kit bags 50, 70 and 90 litres $169.95-$199.95
Focusing on lightweight durability, the Escape Kit Bags are durable, have a
water repellent outer, a tough Ballistic base to withstand the rigours of travel
and feature a handle that converts to a harness for easy haulage.
osprey Ultralight Packing Cube Set $59.99
Make it easier to organize and pack
your gear when travelling so that you
can spend more time enjoying your
• Convenient grab handle
• Zipper secures contents
• Set includes a small, a medium and a
• Available in two colours
Find a Stockist:
osprey Arcane Card Wallet $49.99
Our Arcane Card Wallet, with six
dedicated card slots and a central
slot for folded bills, features the same
beautifully sustainable and durable
fabrics our Arcane Family is renowned
for. Its thin design keeps a low profile,
so you can ditch any bulky wallet that's
been weighing you down. Constructed
with a recycled polyester fabric that
is refined to the touch yet durable for
Find a Stockist:
osprey Ultralight Roll Organizer $49.99
Whether you’re outdoors for an
afternoon hill walking or on a monthlong
expedition to the far-flung
reaches of Nepal ensuring your kit is
organized and protected is essential.
Find a Stockist:
30% (typ) smaller 10 year battery life
5 year warranty 406-link via
Lowe alpine Escape Tour Bag 55 + 15L
The Escape Tour is a rear-access,
loaded with features 55-litre
backpack and detachable 15-litre
daypack, offering volume and
flexibility making adventure fun,
safe and simple. Unisex options
Chickfly Bamboo Leggings High Rise
or Low Rise (USD $119.00)
Chickfly leggings are made
with soft, strong, stretchy
and sustainable bamboo
fabric, coloured with organic
dyes. Our patented fly is held
together by tension, creating
a seamless, flattering, soft,
and easy-to-use feature in the
most comfortable and stylish
black legging that every
woman needs not only for
style but for convenience and
rescueme PLB1 $589.98
Wherever you are, at sea, on land,
the rescueME PLB1 provides the
reassurance that global emergency
services can be alerted by the press of
The rescueMe PLB1 can be operated
with a single hand in even the most
challenging situations. A simple springloaded
flap covers the activation button
preventing inadvertent use. rescueME
PLB1 works with the only officially
recognised worldwide dedicated search
and rescue satellite network (operated
by Cospas Sarsat). As this is funded by
governments there are NO CHARGES
to use this service.
Available through all leading sports and
recreation retailers and online.
kiwi camping Mamaku Trek 0°C Sleeping Bag $119.00
The Mamaku Trek sleeping bag is ideal
for trekking or camping adventures. The
semi-tapered design features a drawstringadjustable
contoured hood that packs down
into the handy compression bag for easy
pack and carry.
kiwi camping Rover Lite 3cm Self-Inflating Mat $109.00
Compact to pack and carry, the Rover Lite selfinflates
in minutes. The tapered design can fit in
a sleeping bag, 1830mm long and 550mm wide.
sea to summit Aeros Ultralight Pillow $59.99
The Aeros Ultralight pillow has been
refined from three design principles to
be light, compact, and comfortable.
• Curved internal baffles create
contours that cradle your head
• Inflate pillow in a couple of breaths
with the multi-function valve
• Easily secured to any Sea to Summit
sleeping mat through the Pillow Lock
Find a Stockist:
Klymit Insulated Static V $259.95
A comfortable backcountry pad
providing winter insulation and allseason
comfort, the Insulated Static V
packs light and small, and delivers an
R-value of 4.4.
exped ULTRA 7R Mummy Sleeping Mat $369.99
Insulated with responsibly-sourced down
for comfort on your adventures yeararound.
Lightweight, compact packed
size, a recycled 20D ripstop face fabric
and 9cm-thick chambers. Certified carbon
neutral by myclimate 183cm long.
R-value 7.1. 620g
Kiwi Camping Pukeko Hiker Tent $249.00
A spacious hiker tent that’s easy to pitch and
keeps you warm and dry even in the worst
conditions. Featuring dual pitch design, 4000mm
aqua rating and tri pegs.
Kiwi Camping Weka 2 Hiker Tent $339.00
Kiwi Camping's most popular hiker tent with double-sided entry, sturdy
vestibules, and a user-friendly design. With a fly that handles rain and
snow, the Weka 2 is perfect for hiking adventures.
58//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#236
exped Trekkinglite -5 Down Sleeping Bag $549.99
Excellent warmth-to-weight ratio and
a minimal packed size for extended
adventures from spring through to autumn
and an excellent choice for cold sleepers
in summer. Supple, durable shell, a
next-to-skin comfortable lining and 580g
of 700-fill, high-quality European duck
down insulation. Proportional differential
cut, multi-chambered footbox, and plush,
adjustable draft collar. 1150g
sea to summit Expander Liner $59.99
The Expander liner is made from a
premium stretch knit poly-cotton, making
it super stretchy and even warmer than a
standard cotton weave liner.
• Premium stretch knit fabric that can
expand twice its width.
• Luxuriously comfortable to sleep in.
• Extends the life of a sleeping bag by
keeping it clean
• Anti-Microbial protection keeps liner
fresh, hygienic and odour-free
• Double folded and reinforced seams
• Easy care, machine washable
• Standard rectangular shape
Find a Stockist:
kiwi camping boost lED light with Powerbank $89.99
Bright LED light with power bank to illuminate
your tent and charge devices on the go.
Features 11 light modes including SOS
signal, built-in magnets and hanging hook.
Klymit pillow x $59.95
A supportive, ultralight and
comfortable camping pillow,
featuring the self-centering
X design which positions
and cradles your head for
supportive, stable comfort.
GLERUPS HONEY RUBBER AND BLACK RUBBER SHOE $189.00
When you are camping, you need a shoe that is
good on all surfaces including inside the tent or
the hut. Made from 100% natural wool, glerups
provides an instant comfy at home feeling. They
are light, versatile, and well worth the space in
your backpack. Get natural, get cosy and get
yourself some glerups.
Gasmate Turbo Butane Stove & Pot Set
For quick boiling when you need
it! A super lightweight aluminium
stove with quick boil technology,
piezo ignition and accessories
all packaged in a handy mesh
Vango Krypton UL2 Tent $999.99
2-person tent for extreme adventures,
suitable for the harshest of conditions.
Free-standing, strong geodesic
construction. Offset height allows room
for sitting and streamlined, wind-shielding
shape. Twin doors. Packaged weight 2.1kg
60//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#236
merrell Moab 3 $229.00
For over a 15 years, the Merrell® Moab has been the choice of hikers when a
choice needs to be made. Famous for its out-of-the-box comfort, durability and
all-purpose versatility. The new Moab 3 features a new more supportive insole,
a softer more cushioned midsole, and a best-in-class Vibram® outsole. This
newest generation is the most environmen-tally friendly Moab ever, utilising
recycled materials in construction.
merrell Bravada 2 Eco $239.00
This women-specific hiking favourite is made even more eco-friendly
with added recycled content throughout. Treat your feet to a trail-ready
versatile hiking sneaker that hugs the ankle. Made with a sticky rubber
sole and rock plate, it provides underfoot confidence and safety on all
types of hiking terrain.
SALEWA WILDFIRE CANVAS $279.90
The breathable recycled cotton and hemp canvas upper is protected
by a full 360° TPU rand. Our 3F system with nylon-coated Kevlar®
cables provides additional support and greater stability at the heel, while
ensuring a precise fit. The dual density eco Ortholite® footbed promotes
superior cushioning, and the Pomoca outsole offers secure grip during
light hiking approach activities.
Fit: STANDARD / Weight: (M) 305 g (pictured) (W) 256 g
SALEWA ALP TRAINER 2 GTX $369.90
The Alp Trainer 2 GTX has a suede leather and stretch fabric upper
with a protective rubber rand for protection against rock, scree and
debris. Featuring a GORE-TEX® Extended Comfort lining for optimal
waterproofing and breathability. The EVA midsole provides superior
cushioning and excellent comfort for a technical shoe. Climbing Lacing
right to the toe allows for a more precise fit, while the Vibram® Alpine
Hiking outsole covers a wide spectrum of mountain terrain.
Fit: STANDARD / Weight (M) 470 g (pictured) (W) 370 g
SALEWA WILDFIRE 2 $329.90
Engineered for technical terrain, the Wildfire 2 is a lightweight, agile and
precise tech approach shoe with a breathable recycled synthetic mesh
upper, and a 360° protective rand. It’s equipped with climbing lacing for
fine adjustment in the toe-area and a lateral net system with Kevlar®
cables for better overall performance and sensitivity. The POMOCA®
outsole with Butylic compound rubber is designed for precision and
sensitivity in mixed mountain terrain and ensures good grip on rock in
both dry and wet conditions.
Fit: STANDARD / Weight: (M) 355 g (W) 305 g (pictured)
SALEWA MOUNTAIN TRAINER LITE MID GORE-TEX® $329.90
Made for alpine hiking and long backpacking routes – our lightweight,
comfortable and supportive mid-cut boot performs well on rock and
technical terrain. The waterproof, breathable GORE-TEX® lining makes it
ideal for 3-season use, from higher activity levels in summer, to rain, mud
or lingering snow.
Fit: WIDE / Weight: (M) 565 g (W) 465 g (pictured)
SALEWA RAPACE GTX $579.90
The Rapace GTX is a lightweight mountaineering boot with a hard-wearing
nubuck upper with waterproof breathable GORE-TEX® protection. The
3F System provides ankle support, flexibility and a perfect fit. Our Bilight
TPU technology and Nylon + 27% Fiberglass in the midsole ensures an
ergonomic hold and allows the use of semi-automatic crampons. There’s
a full rubber rand for protection against rock and scree, and the Vibram
WTC outsole has an aggressive tread pattern that gives good traction yet
provides a natural feel and secure grip on mixed terrain.
Fit: WIDE / Weight: (M) 740 g (pictured) (W) 615 g
62//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#236
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pppppprrrrrrrroooooooodddddddduuuuuuucccttttttttsssssss ttttttttoooooooo iiiiiiiimmmmmpppppprrrrrrrroooooooovvveeeeeeee tttttttthhhhheeeeeeee hhhhhuuuuuuummmmmaaaaaannnnnnnn
cccoooooooonnnnnnnnddddddddiiiiiiiittttttttiiiiiiiioooooooonnnnnnnn,, iiiiiiiinnnnnnnnsssssssppppppiiiiiiiirrrrrrrreeeeeeee aaaaaaddddddddvvveeeeeeeennnnnnnnttttttttuuuuuuurrrrrrrreeeeeeee,, aaaaaannnnnnnndddddddd
mmmmmoooooooovvveeeeeeee ppppppeeeeeeeeooooooooppppppllleeeeeeee ttttttttoooooooo ddddddddoooooooo ggoooooooooooooooodddddddd.
Exppppppllloooooooorrrrrrrreeeeeeee fuuuuuuurrrrrrrrtttttttthhhhheeeeeeeerrrrrrrr tttttttthhhhhiiiiiiiisssssss sssssssuuuuuuummmmmmmmmmeeeeeeeerrrrrrrr wiiiiiiiitttttttthhhhh oooooooouuuuuuurrrrrrrr
eeethiiccaaalllly ddeeesssiiggneeedd Paaaccksss & Baaaggsss..
Outdoor Research Women’s Echo Printed
Slim-fit, made with moisture-wicking,
breathable, quick-drying recycled
fabric and features long sleeves and
hood, with pony port. Odour control
technology, anti-chafe flat seam
construction and a UPF 20
sun protection rating.
cotopaxi Do Good 5-Panel Hat $49.99
A classic five-panel hat made from 100% cotton. It shares
our Do Good mission to make an impact, and inspires
others to do the same.
MERRELL Tencel Long Sleeve Tee $99.00
Your anything but basic, basic long
sleeved tee made from plant-based
Tencel fibers for a super soft luxurious
feel, moisture wicking, anti odour and with
UPF protection to keep you outside or
moving for longer.
Patagonia PFC-Free Torrentshell Jacket $249.99
Simple and unpretentious, Patagonia's trusted
Torrentshell 3L Jacket uses 3-layer H2No®
Performance Standard technology for exceptional
waterproof/breathable performance, all-day comfort
and long-lasting waterproof durability. What's
more, this season, all Torrentshell products have
been redesigned to be fully PFC-free. Fair Trade
Certified sewn, this travel staple is available in W's
and M's styles in a wide range of colours.
RAB Arc Eco Jacket $469.95
The waterproof and breathable Arc Eco Jacket is made with recycled
Pertex® Shield Revolve and featuring an adjustable mountain hood,
drawcord hem, A-line chest pockets.
64//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#236
RAB Nexus Pull-on $139.95
The Nexus Pull-on is a staple go-to,
lightweight technical mid-layer made with
Thermic stretch fleece for mobility and
comfort with a YKK® chest zip and pocket.
ONE FOR THE ROAD - proceed with caution amber
This all season medium-bodied lager
showcases both malt and hops. It follows
with a toasty malt character with only a
subtle hop bitterness.
FEED YOUR ADDICTION
Like a ‘perfect storm’, we have seen a dramatic growth and
development in online stores over the past 5 years.
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.
Waterfront accommodation on Nydia Track, Marlborough, NZ
Meals bursting with flavour, combined with home compostable
packaging, means you really can have it all in the mountains.
Designed by ‘foodies’ for maximum plant-based deliciousness
and wrapped in earth positive, lightweight, packable pouches.
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:
Building versatile and reliable gear so you
can adventure with purpose.
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.
Temerature. Taste. Transport.
Hydroflask, more than just a water bottle.
Norsk designs and builds ice coolers that without fail,
will not fail. Perfect for your hard out adventures.
Free shipping within New Zealand.
Living Simply is an outdoor clothing and equipment
specialty store in Newmarket, Auckland. Your go-to place
for quality footwear, packs, sleeping bags, tents,
outdoor clothing and more.
Our mission is to produce
the best quality beers
possible across a range of
flavours and styles and to
have fun doing it!
Gear up in a wide selection of durable, multifunctional
outdoor clothing & gear. Free Returns. Free Shipping.
glerups shoes, slippers
and boots are known for
their exceptional comfort
and unique design.
Over the years we have
perfected the wool mix
by blending Gotland
wool with quality wool
from New Zealand
Fast nourishing freeze dried food for adventurers.
Stocking an extensive range
of global outdoor adventure
brands for your next big
adventure. See them for travel,
tramping, trekking, alpine and
lifestyle clothing and gear.
Specialists in the sale of Outdoor Camping Equipment, RV,
Tramping & Travel Gear. Camping Tents, Adventure Tents,
Packs, Sleeping Bags and more.
Sustainably designed outdoor gear that fuels both
adventure and global change, by dedicating a
percentage of revenues to nonprofits working to improve
the human condition. www.cotopaxi.com
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.
Our very own online store where
you will find hard goods to keep you
equipped for any adventure.
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
New Zealand’s first online
store solely dedicated to
Non Alcoholic adult drinks.
t r a v e l
A GREAT WAY TO SEE THE WORLD
Do you LOVE waking up on the water?
Want to see a different place every day
on your holiday? Want to spend a week
with a group of like-minded individuals?
As a diver do you want uncrowded,
pristine dive sites?
Sounds like liveaboard diving is the
way to go for your next dive holiday.
Liveaboard diving (where you live
on the boat you dive from) offers the
ultimate dive experience, with up to 5
or 6 dives per day including night dives.
In general the boats have a range of
double or twin share accommodation,
full dive facilities, nitrox and are the way
forward for real dive enthusiasts!
The best way to try liveaboard diving is
to try a shorter trip somewhere like the
Great Barrier reef in Australia. There
are 4, 5 and 8 day itineraries on various
boats from Cairns and Port Douglas.
These trips explore dive sites further off
the beaten track like The Cod Hole and
the renowned Ribbon Reef and will give
you a taste of what liveaboard diving is
Sa Pa - Image by Aaron Joel Santos
Once you have whetted your interest
with one of these closer trips it may
be time to explore further afield.
Most liveaboards are between 7 – 10
nights and there is a huge variety of
destinations and boats!
Where you choose to head all
depends on what kind of diving you’re
interested in, below is a summary of
the best sites around the world:
Wreck diving – Truk Lagoon, The
Thorfinn is a legendary boat based
in Truk lagoon. Truk is where a huge
Japanese fleet was ambushed in
WW2 and has an incredible range of
The Solomon Islands has Bilikiki
liveaboard and the Solomons Master,
both of which are based out of
Honiara. The diving is a mix of coral
gardens, remote dive sites and WW2
wrecks. Once again there is a vast
range of wreck diving opportunities
including Kennedy’s PT boat, aircraft
wrecks and both shallow and deep
What better way to explore the ocean than on a
liveaboard boat - Image by Marcelo Ogato
Muck diving, small creatures, coral gardens
–Micronesia which is close to the equator,
doesn’t get the big storms like much of the
South Pacific, so the dive sites are incredible.
Indonesia offers Komodo, The Forgotten
islands and Raja Ampat which all have remote
dive sites with extraordinary nudibranch action,
beautiful coral gardens and unique wildlife.
Big Pelagic fish and open water diving – the
legendary Galapagos has a mind blowing
range of species to be seen on one dive
trip. There are many boats operating out of
Galapagos, so you just need to find one which
will suit your budget and time frame. Palau is
also well known for sharks, mantas, turtles and
Remote dive sites – If you really want to
get off the beaten path French Polynesia has
some incredible experiences. Generally with
smaller ships and sailing catamarans these
expedition style craft offer itineraries from
Tahiti to Rangiroa, the Tuamotos’s and the
Society islands. There is also diving available
in Antarctica for the really intrepid diver. The
Hondius has itineraries which offer hiking,
sea kayaking and diving on their Antarctic
Papua New Guinea is another serious
destination where I wouldn’t want to be living
ashore, but a dive boat is perfect and Febrina
and Oceania are two liveaboards which have
almost cult status in the dive fraternity. These
boats have a range of itineraries which make
the most of the local weather conditions.
So if you wish at add a little adventure to your
diving, if the call of a more dive lifestyle holiday
appeals to your sense of Adventure. The a live
about could be right for you.
If the idea of a before breakfast dive, or a late
night after dinner dive appeals a liveaboard
might be for you!
bugdreamer.com | Marcelo Johan Ogata
Experts at adventure travel since 2000
Your dive travel specialists, with over 20 years
experience ensures you have a fantastic
trip, crafted by people who really care.
New Zealand owned and operated
"We live what we sell"
0800 623 872
70//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#236
v i e t n a m
Distance from New Zealand
By air from Auckland
Vietnam Fishing Boat
Image by Aaron Joel Santos
Kayaking Trang An Ninh Binh
Image by Christian Berg
Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a
country in Southeast Asia, at the
eastern edge of mainland Southeast
Asia, Vietnam borders China to the
north, and Laos and Cambodia to the
west. It shares maritime borders with
Thailand through the Gulf of Thailand,
and the Philippines, Indonesia, and
Malaysia through the South China Sea.
Vietnam’s location and topography
create a tropical monsoon climate.
The country’s climate is variable.
The north has quite a severe winter,
with a pleasant spring, and hot,
rainy summers and autumns. In the
highlands, the climate is extreme, with
very hot summers and occasional
snow in the winter. In central Vietnam,
Rebecca Rusch & Huyen Nguyen on the Ho Chi Minh
Trail - Image by Josh Letchworth/Red Bull Content Pool
Sa Pa - Image by Aaron Joel Santos
summers are typically hot and sunny.
Lăng Cô in the north is hotter in
summer and cooler in winter, while Da
Nang and southern cities have milder
conditions. The southern climate is
hot and sunny, with frequent rains in
June and July, and a cool, dry season
from December to February.
• Cultural activities
• Rock climbing
• White water rafting
• War tours (surprisingly
Best time of year to travel
Vietnam is suitable for travel throughout the
year, however the best time is during their
winter (December to March). While in summer
(June to September), which is the rainy
season, there are often thunderstorms, but the
price will be cheaper. So, the best time really
depends on your needs.
Accommodation is diverse, with a wide
range of options - hotels, resorts, hostels,
and homestays. There are luxury hotels and
unique homestays specifically near key tourist
attractions which are rally popular
• There are a lot of scams in Vietnam
so book any tours in advance or with a
• Although you won’t have to worry about
malaria in the major tourist areas of
Vietnam, Dengue fever and the Zika virus
aren’t uncommon. Make sure to use good
bug spray every day.
• If purchasing be prepared to haggle its all
part of the cultural process
• Do not drink the tap water and keep your
mouth shut in the shower and use bottled
water when brushing your teeth.
• You need to be aware, carrying large
sums of money is not a good idea, be
aware of scams, don’t put yourself at risk.
• Similar to the other Southeast Asian
countries, local merchants in Vietnam
are more willing to accept cash, since
credit cards are more likely to be stolen
and swiped in this region. The USD is
the most popular and the most readily
convertible currency in Vietnam, and the
exchange rate is one of the best.
Home to a tiny island
community of 212 people
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v a n u a t u
TAKE THE LEAP
Distance from New Zealand
By air from Auckland
Pentecost Island in Vanuatu is
known around the world for Naghol,
a land-diving ritual conducted by
the men of the island and open for
visitors to see between April and
June. There are three key sites
where this takes place, and the tour
you take will impact which site you
visit (though similar rites, each site
is slightly different in its setting). It’s
what the popular activity of bungee
jumping is based on, and brings
people to witness it year after year.
Beyond Naghol, Pentecost has
much to offer year-round, from
cascading waterfalls and rich
cultural diversity. You’ll be exposed
to the traditional way of life, from
kava tastings to experiencing the
warm hospitality of locals in village
guesthouses that are scattered
along the island’s coastline.
How to experience Naghol
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.
Naghol, or land diving, Pentacost Island
Vanuatu is a country in
the southwestern Pacific
Ocean, consisting of a
chain of 13 principal and
many smaller islands.
• Cultural activities
• All water-based sport
Best time to visit:
Vanuatu weather is
typically great all year
round however conditions
are generally at their best
from April to October when
the weather is fine and
temperatures are warm
yet comfortable, averaging
between 18 degrees
Celsius and 28 degrees
10.00am Pentecost Island
What is Naghol, and when is it?
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
Why take a tour?
A tour will make your Naghol
experience far smoother. Tours will
depart in the early morning from
Port Vila (some also depart from
Luganville) to fly you to Pentecost,
where you'll then be driven to one
of the sites for the land diving.
Many tours will also include lunch.
The tours will also ensure that
appropriate fees are paid by a 'fixer'
from your tour company to the
traditional land owners where you
are observing Naghol.
Check out Vanuatu Eco Tours who operate a fantastic 3 day/2 night tour to the Naghol:
Day Trips are operated by: www.airtaxivanuatu.com and www.unity-airlines.com
For further information please visit: www.vanuatu.travel
Enjoy the warm hospitality of
Hiking Diving Culture
Go explore at vanuatu.travel
74//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#236
s a m o a
ebikes at Falealupo
Don't spend your health on
your career," we were advised
at a lecture on health for
CEOs. The final challenge
was: “You can all write
business plans. This time write
a life plan."
My response was my 50/50
plan: spend 50% of my time
running adventure tours
around the world, 50% as a
business and IT consultant
with some additional time
studying risk management.
And to achieve this by the time
Kayaking in Antarctica. amongst
the brash ice.
I was 50. I was then 49 and
had became bored with the
repeating cycle of challenges
in winning and delivering
complex IT projects.
Our holidays had always
involved cycling, tramping
and rafting adventures. Now
that the kids had left home, I
had been forced to look wider
for willing participants, and
the trips had become more
extreme. I enticed my running
club mates into a month-long
adventure in South America,
By Ross Bidmead
where we ran the Inca Trail,
cycled into the Amazon and
swam with the pink dolphins.
The trip was extreme in
terms of physical and mental
effort, but also rewarding
watching the group extended
themselves and grow.
Frances, my wife, was
comfortable with the reduced
income and pleased with the
thought of a less stressed
husband. However, she
pointed out that this was 150%
of my time commitment.
Distance from New Zealand
By air from Auckland
13° 45' 29.92"S.
172° 06' 17.16"W.
Our first commercial trip,
chartering a yacht and sailing
to Antarctica to explore with
the kayak, was an exuberant
introduction to the new
lifestyle. The trip began with
an extreme stress test. Our
yacht, Spirit of Sydney, was
knocked down by a wave on
the preceding voyage. The
damage, including a bent mast
and destroyed electronics
and heating systems, had
necessitated a stay in the
Falklands for repairs. Our
group arrived in Ushuaia,
Building our house and workshop
was all hands on deck. Ross in
Argentina, to find the yacht was still
a day away from limping into port.
Decidedly concerned about the large
amounts I had been paid by each trip
member and what I would do if we
couldn't sail, we improvised exploring
the nearby National Park.
Once Spirit arrived, the crew worked
magic, provisioning the yacht, and
replacing much of the electronics in two
days. A stormy crossing of the Drake
Passage bonded our group, and as the
seas calmed, a cooking competition
developed as we sought to bake the
best bread and cook the best meals
when our watches corresponded with
galley duties. The Antarctic peninsula
exceeded our expectations as we
kayaked amongst whales and leopard
seals, spent a day in a remote penguin
colony and camped out on a glacier.
The Antarctic trip occurred before I had
found a CEO to replace me, but in 2008
I handed over the reins. To celebrate,
Frances and I chose a warmer
destination and cycled independently
around Savai'i, Samoa, on a journey
of surprising discovery. My images of
the Pacific Islands mainly had been
formed by reading "Pacific Adventure"
by Willard Price, and I imagined and
hoped for pristine white sand beaches
beside crystal clear lagoons fringed
with palms and occasional simple
Our trip to Samoa was the least planned
and researched adventure we ever did,
and initially, we paid the price. The plane
landed at midnight at Faleolo Airport,
an hour from Apia. My quick glance at
a map before we left showed an airport
in Apia, but Fagalii Airport in Apia was
tiny, and all jets landed at Faleolo.
Eventually, we found a bus that would
take our bike boxes, and we made it to
our backpacker’s hotel by 2 am.
In the morning, we assembled our
bikes and started cycling towards what
we thought was the ferry terminal.
But the road ran out at the end of the
peninsula, and we sheepishly returned
to town to hunt down a better map.
Finally, on our way around noon, we
cycled in the midday heat back out
past the airport on the busiest road in
Kayaking through the mangroves out to the
Samoa to the ferry terminal. There
were no beaches along the way and
continuous villages on both sides. We
were tired and sweaty and beginning
to wonder if this was one of our better
Eventually, after a short ferry
crossing of the Apolima Strait, we
arrived at a small resort in Salelologa
on Savaii, just a kilometre from the
ferry terminal. The bar was humming,
serving unbelievably cheap drinks
to a mostly younger and lightly clad
clientele. After a long refreshing
swim, we relaxed on the covered jetty
as the sun set. It seemed perfect, but
the best was still to come.
Cycling out of Salelologa the next
morning was completely different
from the first day. There was very
little traffic on the well-sealed road.
We rode slowly in the morning
cool, admiring the numerous family
meeting fales [far-lays] set back
from the road behind immaculately
maintained gardens bursting with
colour. The road soon joined the
coast, and we cycled beside a
Descending Lemaire Island in
The Beach Fales at Lano had a slightly
abandoned look, with the dining fale
undermined by a recent flood. As we
wondered what to do, the proprietor
appeared and welcomed us. We quickly
unpacked and jumped into the warm
sea, getting out only to grab our masks
and snorkels to explore the numerous
coral outcrops teeming with fish. It was the
perfect place to gain confidence
in snorkelling, and we swam for an hour and
were lucky enough to spot a turtle.
Beach Fales are Samoa’s equivalent of
campgrounds. Located on village land and
usually run by a family, the fales have a
wooden sleeping platform, thatched or steel
roof and matting sides. The sea breeze
provides air conditioning and is far more
comfortable than tents. They cost less than
a basic campground cabin in New Zealand,
but the rental includes dinner and breakfast.
That night we were treated to a fiafia
(traditional show). The traditional dances
had similarities to kapa haka but somehow
felt more personal, and we felt privileged
to be allowed to participate. The fiafia
culminated with a siva afi or fireknife dance
where a traditional fighting axe with blazing
petrol-soaked rags tied to the handle and
blade was twirled at high speed. Drums
beat out a fierce tattoo at an ever-increasing
tempo, and the siva complexity grew with
the dancers spinning a knife in each hand. It
looked dangerous, and all the dancers had
new knicks and burns.
The rest of our cycle around Savaii
continued in the same way, with each night
at a stunning beach. We would cycle in
the mornings and swim and snorkel every
afternoon. The bikes also introduced us to
the locals who were always interested in the
bikes and where we were going.
The mountain bike track we are building from our base
76//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#236 ADVENTUREMAGAZINE.CO.NZ//77
Captivated by Samoa, we
immediately began offering guided
cycle trips there. At first, these
involved everyone bringing their
bikes, but I got tired of packing
them up at the end of each trip, and
we bought a small fleet of rental
bikes that we kept at a local motel.
It became known that we had
bikes, and requests for freedom
rentals increased without any real
intention or marketing. Before
long, we found we had 35 bikes in
Samoa and needed a better plan
and maintenance system.
Initially, we rented a motel unit for
three months, planning to only stay
for the peak season. But being
based in Samoa meant more time
to explore, and it wasn't long before
I had convinced Frances that we
should buy the local kayak tour
The kayaks provided an opportunity
to explore the coast better. We
had some challenging adventures
with friends and clients as we
discovered turtle breeding grounds,
offshore islands teaming with
seabirds, uninhabited islands with
palm-fringed lagoons and remnants
of an old leper colony. We even had
close encounters with whales.
With the kayaks, we needed
more storage space, so gradually
expanded over the next few years.
By 2019 we had 100 bikes, 25
kayaks, and permanent residency
in Samoa. Our part-time hobby
business had become a full-time
job for both of us.
Our focus had gradually changed
from running large, challenging
guided trips in the Himalayas and
South America to almost solely
Looking back over the last 16
years, it has been a continuous
adventure. Not just an adventure in
the outdoors but in understanding
a different culture and running a
business in a developing country.
Some events have been highly
demanding at the time but more
enjoyable on reflection. Building our
house involved navigating a different
building consent process, dealing
with an often minimal and constantly
changing range of building materials
and learning to work alongside local
builders. Desperately attempting to
float off the concrete floor before it set
under a baking sun on a 34-degree
day was as tough as a typical
adventure race day.
The rewards have included listening
to clients when they return from their
trips, often lots of little things went
wrong, as is inevitable in a developing
nation, but so often we would be told:
"it's the best holiday we have had".
I still love watching people as they
spot dozens of turtles or seeing them
step out of their comfort zones and
conquer their fears. Teaching one
of our young guests to snorkel and
watching her worry turn to amazement
as we floated over coral gardens
remains a cherished moment.
Sunset at Falealupo Beach
It has been satisfying to see our staff develop
new skills as guides and bike mechanics
while learning new ways to build, repair
and cook with different and often limited
resources. Although I still can't cook an umu
or efficiently husk a coconut.
The 50:50 Plan remains a goal. We expect a
hectic year with the country fully open after
Covid. Making time for new adventures will
require some discipline, but there are many
opportunities for new activities in Samoa and
many places to explore in New Zealand.
A perfect lunch swim spot
over the last
it's been a
Siva afi with two flaming knives while
the support band beat out an ever
Beautiful Samoa awaits you, and we are welcoming our international aiga
with open arms! Experience Samoa’s untouched beauty, unique cultural
experiences and rich heritage. Self drive, bike or stroll through the wonders
that make this island life one to cherish just like the locals do.
Contact Ross and Frances at: email@example.com to organise a custom tour or to join a group.www.outdoorsamoa.com
78//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#236
n e w c a l e d o n i a
c a l e d o n i a
New Calendonia is a water lovers paradise
For a destination offering a
range of activities to kick your
adrenaline into overdrive,
look no further than the
heart of the South Pacific,
New Caledonia. As an active
traveller in New Cal, you’ll
have access to a range of
activities, such as skydiving
over the stunning lagoon,
taking part in a series of water
activities, or testing your limits
on a strenuous hike, there is
a hot pick for every type of
Exploring New Cal on foot
New Caledonia is New
Zealand’s closest neighbour
and is accessible with a short
3-hour flight from Auckland,
making it the perfect
destination for a short active
Explore on foot
While hiking may not be the
first thing that comes to mind
for some when considering
New Cal for a holiday, the
range of walking trails from
beginner to expert will be
sure to convince you. Take
on the Mont-Dore trail that
will have your heart racing as
you traverse through a range
of terrains and finish off with
some of the best views of
Noumea. If you want more
of a challenge, tackle the 96
km long GR® NC1 hiking trail
that cuts across the southern
tip of the Grand Terre.
Divided into seven main
stages is estimated to take
a total of 6 days, and you’ll
enjoy the beautiful nature
Distance from New Zealand
By air from Auckland
while you hike through the
red landscapes of the Great
South to the lush Dumbéa
Other hot trails include the
mountain that overlooks
Noumea, Pic Malaoui (or
policeman’s hat) or if you’re
looking for a more peaceful
experience the Source trail in
Yaté is another great pick for
a shorter hike.
New Cal surf
Image by Oneye Production
Across the dirt on two wheels
The elevations across the main island
mean that New Caledonia is becoming
a top destination for biking enthusiasts.
Your pulse will be rising as you jump on
a mountain bike to take on the rough
trails of the mainland, known as the
Grand Terre. There are countless tracks
to discover on the west coast, from
Deva in Bourail to the paths traced in
the land of Koné, such as the Grande
Boucle of the Tango plateau.
As with hiking, the Great South is an
ideal spot for biking where there are
7 different bike trails laid out, ranging
from green pats under 5km to daunting
red and black trails extending from 10
Touch the sky
Not just your ordinary flight, the ultralight
aeroplane (ULM) flight is perfect
for those who want to taste the thrill and
enjoy the scenery all wrapped up in one
experience. Float above the heights of
the mountain chains and ranges where
you may even spot a bale of sea turtles
or the jump of a dolphin. Our pick is to
fly above the literal heart of the South
Pacific, the famous naturally formed
Heart of Voh on the North-West side
as you are wowed by the beauty of the
mangroves and the lagoon.
Kayaking at Plage Ouvea
Image by Escape Your Life
Horseriding is a great way to
explore the regions top attractions
Image by JC Robert
New Caledonia is a top location for biking
A WATER LOVER’S PARADISE
If extreme adrenaline is not
quite your thing, then choose
from the endless selection of
water activities that are set
to provide the rush you are
longing for. New Caledonia
boasts stunning scenery, great
conditions, and an abundance
of spots for water activities to
take place. For beginners try out
kayaking, not only will it get your
heart rate pumping, but you will
find yourself amongst the wild
nature of the lagoons. If you
want to kick things up a notch,
then kitesurfing might be the
activity to participate in. Not only
are the waters ideal for wave
riding but the opportunity to spot
fish, dugongs and other marine
species in the world’s largest
lagoon cannot be missed.
See New Cal on horseback
For an adrenaline rush that isn’t quite the norm,
partake in horseback riding. Horse riding in New
Cal is a great way to explore the region’s top
attractions that are more difficult to get to by car
or foot. Choose from a range of tours to suit the
adventure you would like to enjoy, whether it is
to stride past the wide-open plains where you
might also witness wild horses, gallop along
the water's edge, or indulge in some good oldfashioned
Glide above the forest
A top activity that is sure to raise the hairs on
your skin is zipping through the tree line of New
Cal, via a tree climb or zip line – the perfect
opportunity to see the land from a different
angle. Strap yourself in as you are catapulted
through the air with only a harness to support
you, the sense of freedom will be thrilling
enough! Don’t forget to look out for the wildlife
that can be spotted around you and in the lush
greenery you are travelling through.
Dive into your wild side
Those who want to dive deeper and explore
the depths of the lagoon will have an incredible
opportunity in New Caledonia. With abundant
wildlife on the reefs and a steady water
temperature all year round, it is an experience
like no other. A popular activity is free diving,
with many local courses available in the safe
and controlled environment of the Caledonian
lagoon. If diving is a little beyond your limits,
there’s an abundant number of locations that
are ideal for snorkelling. Follow the underwater
path at Ile aux Canards (Duck Island) or take a
dip with the fishes in the natural pool in Oro Bay
on the Ilse of Pines.
Plongee sous-marine - Image by Alize Diving Satosha Masuda
For more experiences to raise the pulse in New Caledonia visit: https://pulse.newcaledonia.travel/nz/top-experiences/
80//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#236 ADVENTUREMAGAZINE.CO.NZ//81
n i u e
Distance from New Zealand
By air from Auckland
Niue is an island country in the South
Pacific Ocean, 2,400 kilometres
(1,500 mi) northeast of New Zealand.
Niue is located in a triangle between
Tonga, Samoa, and the Cook
Islands. It is 604 kilometres northeast
of Tonga .
Formed by volcanic upheavals,
the island sits atop 100-foot cliffs
rising straight out of deep ocean.
All fourteen villages are situated
on a narrow terrace that encircles
the island. The interior consists of
a central saucer-shaped plateau,
-five meters higher than the terrace,
covered in ferns, scrub, and secondgrowth
There is no surface water except in a
few caves with small, brackish pools.
There are no surrounding protective
reefs or sheltered lagoons. Niue is
Scenic Matavai Resort Niue
The fishing is first-class
The climate of Niue is tropical, with
a hot, muggy and rainy period from
December to April and a cooler and
drier period from June to October,
during which the south-east trade
• Whale watching
Niue's unique landscape creates some impressive
swimming and diving holes
Best time of year to travel
The most popular time of the year to visit Niue
is July to October, when the humpback whales
are visiting. April, May and June are also a good
pick, because temperatures are comfortable
(average temperature 24°C).
There is one main resort, The Scenic Matavia,
and a few motels. guest houses and private villas
– be prepared to book as there are not a huge
number of rooms available.
• This is an island of 1600 people everyone
knows everyone, so it is relaxed, friendly
• The fishing in Niue is off the scale good
and a half day charter is the best fishing
experience you will ever get on the big blue
• The water in Niue, because there is
no runoff, is crystal clear and although
there are very limited beaches there
are some amazing swimming holes and
chasms. The chasms are very tidal but
there is a brochure you can get in your
accommodation that tells you the best time
to go and where, they are all different.
• Because the water is very deep close to
the island and no rain runoff diving in Niue
is some of the best in the world.
• You will not have access to roaming in
Niue. We suggest booking into some
accommodation with free Wi-Fi. If you will
need a lot of data, it’s worth purchasing a
data plan with Telecom Niue, Niue’s only
phone network and fixed internet operator,
some cafes and bars offer Wi-Fi as well.
There is a free Wi-Fi hotspot in Alofi only
allows you access to certain websites (so
don’t get too excited).
THE SCENIC MATAVAI RESORT
Imagine sitting back and watching the
incredible warming colours of a Pacific
sun set, cocktail in hand, as you tell
stories with friends about the day’s
adventures of swimming crystal clear
waters and exploring hidden caves
and chasms… In the South Pacific
hidden gem that is Niue, this dream
soon becomes the daily routine.
As the island’s only full service resort,
the Scenic Matavai Resort offers
the perfect place to unwind, with
the stunning clifftop location offers
uninterrupted views of a spectacular
ocean scape and stunning sunsets.
The Scenic Matavai Resort offers the
perfect place to unwind
Boasting a swim up pool bar, alfresco
dining and a range of evening
entertainment options, the resort is a
popular place for hotel guests, other
visitors and locals alike.
The resort is perfectly positioned to be
able to take in the myriad of activities
on island, and is right next door to
Niue Blue, one of the island’s premier
diving operations. Various tours leave
right from the resort door, and it is only
a few minutes drive from the township
and some of Niue’s most popular
walks and swimming spots like the
Limu Pools and Avatele Beach.
Within the resort, guests can enjoy a
range of settings from tropical gardens to
poolside to the privacy of their own balcony
with a view. Rooms are spacious, cool and
well equipped to ensure that whether the
day has been packed with adventure, or
chilled by the pool, there is a comfortable
place to rest your head and be ready for
the next day in paradise.
All of this relaxation is just a click away
with Scenic Matavai Resort. It is quick and
simple to book online… plus you receive
an additional discount for booking direct
and the opportunity to see exclusive offers,
deals and the added reassurance for any
changes or cancellations you may need to
make should anything arise.
If you are looking for the ultimate getaway
to recharge mind, body and soul then look
no further than to the tropical and tranquil
surrounds of the island of Niue. Just over
3 hours from Auckland and a world away
from the hustle and bustle of city life.
J U S T A C L I C K A W A Y
A room with a view
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a r o t o n g a
t o n g a
BIKING THE ISLAND
Biking allows you to explore the many secluded beaches the island has to offer.
It’s hot, it’s sticky, it’s sunny, did I say it’s
“Let’s ride around the island” she said.
She could see by the look on my face that
all the planets were not aligned for a 35km
Trying to up its appeal, she added “we’ll get
An hour later we are standing outside
Ride Raro. Sandy, not the beach but the
delightful in-store person, ran us through
the ‘how too’. We have E-bikes and pretty
much understand how they work but we
listened intently to the briefing. Seats and
helmet adjusted we peddled away not
really knowing what to expect.
As with most travel the closer you can get
to the local community the more enriching
Did I say it was hot?
It was hot, as the sun beat down, we
started our trip to circumnavigate the island
We started off at Ride Raro base just near
the city market, the word CITY conjures
up a range of metropolis images, but think
in terms of a few cars, a few stressed
chickens and a man with an arm full of
coconuts biking up the middle of the road.
I would not normally suggest anyone ride on
the road, but in Rarotonga it’s like riding on
the footpath, possibly a little bumpier in parts.
The first thing that strikes you on a bike
as opposed to car, a taxi, or a bus, is the
smell, every second tree is a frangipani,
there are pungent tropical scents from
flowers to ripe mangos, lunches being
cooked over BBQ’s and smoke for a
DID I say it was Hot!
Within half an hour we came to a public
white sand beach. Across the road was
a store selling beer, the sun beat down,
the water called to us, and the beer tasted
amazing. We rested the bikes against a
banyan tree, laid on the white sand beach,
swam in the sea and never saw another
Distance from New Zealand
By air from Auckland
Stopping at Club Raro on our way round
the island for a wee cocktail!
A bike gives you a degree of
independence, and an E-bike makes
it easy, it’s like a vesper with big
wheels, you can go anywhere you
want, and we did. We swam, laid in
the sun then dried off and headed
There is a main road that runs
around the island, but there is a
secondary road behind it. It’s a
little rough, but you get an insight
into island life; people wave, dogs
look – no one barks, chickens are
everywhere, its lush and green and
the air is thick, there is little breeze
yet it’s still comfortable. Nothing
is flash, some of the houses are
ramshackle, but there is washing
everywhere, and the garden and
lawns are perfect.
Every other house has its own
cemetery, their own memorial, many
are nicer than the homes, most are
beautifully kept, whitewashed with
beautiful gardens and fresh cut
flower in vases.
I think that self-biking is the best way
to see Rarotonga, its flat, it safe,
there are beaches, and markets and
stores and restaurants and bars.
As with all roads you need to be a
little careful but the local are used to
We had only hired the bike for
the day but we could have kept it
overnight if needed. However, biking
at night in Rarotonga is not highly
recommended due to the lack of
lights and footpaths.
Exploring the inland trails
Memorials to lost
loveones graces many
Club Raro on the north-eastern
shores of Rarotonga
"“Kia Orana” is
the greeting used
to say “hello”.The
is actually “May
you live a long and
Rarotonga, is the largest island in the
southern group of the Cook Islands.
The island is volcanic in origin and
has a rugged interior rising to 652
metres at Te Manga (which you can
walk up). Surrounding its mountainous
core is a plain, a raised fringing coral
reef covered with sediment. The
island itself is fringed by a protective
Best time of year / seasons:
Overall, the shoulder months of April, May,
September, and October are a great time
to visit as the weather in these months
is usually the perfect balance of warm
temperatures and dry skies. During July to
October bring the humpback whales.
Accommodation varies from 5 star hotels, to
back-packers, homestays and everything in
between. We based ourselves at Club Raro;
with comfortable rooms, an amazing
reef side setting, great service, an awesome
restaurant and bar, close to everything and
priced not to break your bank balance.
• Any water-based sport
• Eat and go shopping at Punanga Nui
Market & Muri Night Markets
• If you want to rent a car or a scooter you
will have to purchase a local licence, but
the local bus service is good.
• Always eat the fresh fish.
• Climb Te Rua Manga (The Needle)
Biking the island allows you to find your own piece of paradise
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Ocean Front Villas open out onto a
private deck, white sandy beach and
uninterrupted views to the horizon
Ocean View, two-story Villas are spacious and
beautifully decorated, incorporating modern
living and keeping he fresh ocean feel alive.
While biking round the island we
discovered Ocean Escape Resort & Spa,
so we popped in and booked an afternoon
massage for the following day.
The new Eco-resort had come highly
recommended from some locals, so
we booked in for their 75-minute pure
indulgence massage. One of the things
that contributes to their unique massage
experience is the use of bespoke100%
Organic Essential Oils menu, the expertise
of the therapists, but, also the environment,
and Ocean Escape Resort & Spa scored
highly on all fronts.
As one of Rarotonga’s top spas, they
offer a full range of pampering packages,
which is outlined on their website,
includes massages, facials, pedicure, and
Ocean Escape Resort boasts a unique
Ocean water swimming pool, with a
coral reef (the only one of its kind on
Rarotonga) This pool is replenished daily
from the ocean tides, and it is chlorine and
chemical-free, just like the ocean.
The eco-friendly experience is at the core
of the resort, from the sanitation and solar
power to grey water keeping the gardens
green. Even the drinking rainwater is safe
and beautiful to drink, unlike much of
A phrase you will often hear linked to the
resort is ‘sustainability and luxury all rolled
into one.’ As the name suggests, Ocean
Escape Resort & Spa is right on the beach
and everything about the resort reflects
that, from the colours, the 12 villas and
resort stylish layout.
Each Villa has its own private balcony with
a day bed, either stepping directly into the
saltwater pool or the coastal beach.
You can sleep to the sound of breaking
waves and in season you can closely
watch humpback whales migrating just
a short distance from the sandy casual
beach lounge area.
Not far away is the renowned Muri Beach,
where you can snorkel over the pristine
coral reefs and interact with the marine life.
Or you can explore the densely forested
landscapes dotted with volcanic peaks.
This eco-friendly, adults-only oasis (16+)
is a haven for sun-soaked days, serenity,
and is perfect for couples seeking a
boutique getaway escape.
BJ’s Tapas Bar will be opening soon,
presenting another first in Rarotonga,
bringing a top shelf cocktail bar,
complemented by dishes with a fusion
of local and Mediterranean Tapas style
Rarotonga’s Premium Bike shop | Sales, Service, Rentals | Road , Comfort, Mountain and E bikes
Resort & Spa
Ocean Escape Resort
Rarotonga's Newest Eco-friendly boutique resort! 12 Casual-luxury villas offering an Adults-only holiday Escape.
1 Ara Tapu, Turangi Village, Rarotonga, 3385, Cook Islands
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+682 74844 | +6427 3852555 | email@example.com
AND HER ISLANDS
Distance from New Zealand
By air from Auckland
Tahiti and The Islands of Tahiti, also
known as the Society islands (of which
there are 14 main islands) are in the
southern part of the Pacific Ocean.
Commonly referred to as The Islands of
Tahiti, French Polynesia is a collection
of 118 islands and atolls scattered
across an impressive nautical surface
area the size of Western Europe. Still,
these tiny islands—many of which
remain uninhabited—make up a total
landmass of only 4,100 sq. km
They are roughly the same distance
from California as they are from
Australia. Tahiti itself is the largest of
the Society Islands of French Polynesia
which has a population of 275,918
The population of the islands is
concentrated in the coastal regions and
becomes increasingly sparse towards
the mountainous centre of the islands.
The main island of Tahiti (Iles du Vent),
where 50% of the inhabitants live, is
also home to the capital of French
Polynesia, the city of Papeete.
The Matavai Hotel, Niue
The fishing is first-class
Tahiti, the main islands is often referred
to as the Queen of the Pacific. A circle
of majestic peaks crowns the island
of Tahiti, towering over the ocean.
The mountainous interior shelters
deep valleys, clear streams, and high
waterfalls. The flat coastal lands,
edged with a rugged coastline, is
home most of the island's population.
Papeete, the capital city, and gateway
to the region, boasts world-class
resorts, spas, fine restaurants, and
endless shopping at the markets,
pearl shops, and boutiques. Each of
the other outer islands has something
unique to offer, Bora Bora with is
stunning lagoon, Raetia, the birthplace
of Polynesia has a rich culture, each
island has something special, too long
to list here.
Best time of year to travel
The best time to visit Tahiti is between May
and October. Although the temperatures are
pleasant year-round, Tahiti's winter season
has less humidity. Tahiti only experiences
two distinct seasons: Winter which brings
less rain and pleasant temperatures while
the summertime – November through April
– can be quite hot and humid (especially
December), and often rain.
• Cultural activities
• Any sort of water activity
Accommodation in Tahiti is varied from some
of the most amazing resorts and hotels in the
world to pensions(homestays). Pensions are
very family focused and you can be housed
and fed and escorted or just left on your own.
There are also air BnB type options and a
variety of hotels and motels to fit every budget.
• The best way to eat in Tahiti is not in your hotel but at
the local Roulette, these are basically food carts that
pop up at night at local carparks, shopping areas etc –
just look around at night and you will find them or ask
locals. They are inexpensive and the food is great, the
way to pick the best one is to choose where the most
locals are eating.
• The local raw fish is always specular – try the local dish,
poison cru (raw fish and coconut).
• If you are lucky (or maybe not) try the fafaru – you
can’t really buy it, but locals might share it with you.
It is basically fresh fish served in a fermented sauce
(fermented is a nice word for rotten) taste a lot better
than it smells. You will get major kudos for eating it.
• Bread (which is amazing) cheese, wine, beer is all
inexpensive, buying readymade baguettes at the local
store (they are everywhere) is a great inexpensive lunch
• Don’t surf in Tahiti on the reef breaks unless you know
what you are doing. There are a few beach breaks that
are safe for everyone. If surfing for the first time in Tahiti
it would pay to get a guide – with a boat.
• There are a lot of tourist options in Tahiti, but anything to
do with water is worth the experience. The diving is off
the scale in terms of big fish, sharks, barracuda, manta
rays etc. Even the snorkelling can be amazing.
• Fishing is great close to the main city, on the island
of Moorea, 30 mins by ferry from Papeete is Moorea
Fishing Adventures (www.mooreafishingadventures.
com). Captain Matahi will show you an amazing day,
they have great success and know how to catch fish, a
great way to spend the day on.
• Any of the island are worth a visit, but if you stay in
Papeete it is only a short ferry ride to Moorea.
• Further north, by plane Bora Bora is the quintessential
tropical paradise and a visual experience to remember.
• If you ever thought about getting a tattoo, get it in Tahiti
– it is a huge part of their culture, and they have some
of the best tattooist in the world – don’t ask for Donald
Duck! But choosing from any of the cultural patterns or
simply asking them to create will be a great memento
• Internet coverage is pretty much
throughout Tahiti but can be patchy,
some hotels and resorts have free
Wi-Fi, but a better option is to get a
portable router called Tahiti Wi-Fi. These
can be booked in advance, picked
up at the airport or delivered to your
accommodation – these work great
everywhere and are portable.
A typical pension home accommodation
Outrigging in the calm waters of the
Tahiti has the stereotype of being every
expensive, which it can be as it has some
of the most exclusive resorts in the world,
whole islands in fact dedicated to one or
two visitors. But as with all destination
if you choose with care where you stay,
how you travel and what you eat, it can
be very cost effective. Be prepared, it is
not Southeast Asia, but cost should not
limit your decision to see one of the most
beautiful places on earth.
Tahiti is world famous for its surfing
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With 118 islands to explore, getting ‘lost’ in the
Islands of Tahiti sounds like the perfect adventure.
A l p i n e R e s o r t
Terrace Restaurant & Bar Open daily
Tongariro Alpine Crossing Shuttles from the door
Backpacker to Superior Family Accommodation
Alpine Hiking Gear Hire on-site
Skotel Alpine Resort | SkotelAlpineResort
Ngauruhoe Place | Whakapapa Village, SH 48
www.skotel.co.nz | firstname.lastname@example.org
+64 7 892 3719 | 0800 756 835
The Old Nurses hOme
Welcome to The Old Nurses Home Guesthouse
© Grégoire Le Bacon
This historic renovated building in Reefton allows you to enjoy the stunning
Victoria Conservation Park with access to outstanding bush walks, historic
mining sites, and withing walking distance to the famous Inangahua River and
some of the best fishing for trout in NZ. White water raft or kayak the exciting
rivers in the area. Reefton offers a perfect base for MTB riders to explore The
Old Ghost Road from Lyell through the ranges to Seddonville on the West Coast.
where actions speak louder than words
to your door
Feed your adventure!
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Same shop & family since 1988.
Order online: www.localdehy.co.nz
FOOD FOR THE HILLS HILLS
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Caring luxury | Local flavour | One of a kind
Mountain bike clean up area and a secure mountain bike storage area available
1191 Pukaki Street, Rotorua
p: +64 7 348 4079 | w: regentrotorua.co.nz
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