Adventure #236

Feb-Mar 2023 Travel issue

Feb-Mar 2023 Travel issue


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where actions speak louder than words

where actions speak louder than words


FEB/MAR 2023

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




23 Locations Nationwide | www.radcarhire.co.nz | 0800 73 68 23 | adventure@radcarhire.co.nz

Images by Mike Dawson


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...


Steve Dickinson

Mob: 027 577 5014



Lynne Dickinson



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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

and rest.

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

summit ridge.

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?


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

my deposit.

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

tiny holds.

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.


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

I learned:

• 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

biking sooner.

“In Sun Peaks,

we’re passionate

about mountain


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,

summer 2022.


“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.


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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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

surf competitions.

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

America baby!

"I didn't

realise how

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

the mountains.

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.


Iceland, cool and cool.

"It felt a little scary

being the out in such a

huge bay."

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.


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

when surfing.

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:









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

New Guinea.


FB: facebook.com/Chris.McLennan.Photography

IG: chris_mclennan1






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

night’s stop.

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

doesn’t promise

close-up views of

alpine peaks or

glacial lakes, or

mile after mile

of tranquil beech



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

refreshing water.

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

to evaluate.

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

wider landscapes,

[you] may see it’s

human figures

diminished by scale

and distance, yet

in that reduction,


Highland Hut with the snow-topped Harris Mountains in the distance


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

"Motatapu is

to quote, “an

extraordinary gift

to the nation”.

Unashamedly and



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

another visit.

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.


package from

$440 per person

(twin share)

Package includes:

• 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

meals available)

• 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 | stay@onthetracklodge.nz


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.


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




Above Left: Camping out at Joshua Tree National Park

















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

children’s children

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

covered surrounds.

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

their size.


Above: Cliff-nicking in 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 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.

Must see:

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

the money.

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.


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 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!


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

botanical garden

serves as a haven

for alligators

and black bears,

woodpeckers and

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.


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

the trout.

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


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’.

Dion uses:







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."





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

registered online.

“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.



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

from $329.95

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.


• 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.


Red Waterproof Kit Bag 40 & 60L

from $249.95

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.




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

takes you.






The World’s

smallest PLB

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



for safe


The World’s Most

Compact Emergency

Position Indicating

Radio Beacon

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

large cell

• 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

everyday wear.

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

satellite to

Emergency Services


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

a button.

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.



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.



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

carry bag.


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



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.



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



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



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)



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)



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



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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

Hoody $119.99

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.



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

ale $7.95

This all season medium-bodied lager

showcases both malt and hops. It follows

with a toasty malt character with only a

subtle hop bitterness.


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

and more...

New Zealand’s first online

store solely dedicated to

Non Alcoholic adult drinks.




t r a v e l



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

all about.

Mantas Shrimp

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

wreck dives.

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

large fish.

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




v i e t n a m




Distance from New Zealand


By air from Auckland



GPS Location



Vietnam Fishing Boat

Image by Aaron Joel Santos

Kayaking Trang An Ninh Binh

Image by Christian Berg

Georgraphic Location:

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

• Caving

• Diving

• Rock climbing

• White water rafting

• War tours (surprisingly


• Boating

• Biking

• Hiking

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

Locals tips:

• There are a lot of scams in Vietnam

so book any tours in advance or with a

reputable supplier.

• 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



v a n u a t u





Distance from New Zealand


By air from Auckland



GPS Location



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.

Adventure activities:

• Cultural activities

• Exploring

• Diving

• Fishing

• Surfing

• Sailing

• All water-based sport

• Biking

• Hiking

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

the locals

Hiking Diving Culture


Go explore at vanuatu.travel


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.

GPS Location



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

yellow shirt.

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

native huts.

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

turtle lagoon.

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

sparkling lagoon.

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


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

Samoa tours.

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

"Looking back

over the last

16 years

it's been a



Siva afi with two flaming knives while

the support band beat out an ever

increasing tempo.

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: office@outdoor.co.nz to organise a custom tour or to join a group.www.outdoorsamoa.com


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

adrenaline junkie.

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



GPS Location



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

to 33km.

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



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

cowboy culture.

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/


n i u e




Distance from New Zealand


By air from Auckland



GPS Location



Georgraphic Location:

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

very exposed!

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

winds prevail.


• Diving

• Whale watching

• Fishing

• Biking

• Hiking

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.

Locals tips:

• This is an island of 1600 people everyone

knows everyone, so it is relaxed, friendly

and quiet.

• 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

wobbly stuff.

• 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).


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.



A room with a view


a r o t o n g a

t o n g a



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

bike ride.

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

it is.

Did I say it was hot?

It was hot, as the sun beat down, we

started our trip to circumnavigate the island

of Rarotonga.

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

hundred fires.

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

living soul.


Distance from New Zealand


By air from Auckland



GPS Location



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

seeing tourists.

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

literal translation

is actually “May

you live a long and

fulfilling life.”


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

coral reef.

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.

Adventure activities:

• Diving

• Fishing

• Surfing

• Any water-based sport

• Boating

• Biking

• Hiking

Locals Tip:

• 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


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

T+682 21621 | T+682 78881 | T+682 58375

E info@oceanescaperesort.com | www.oceanescaperesort.com


+682 74844 | +6427 3852555 | holiday@rarotongabeachapartments.com







Distance from New Zealand


By air from Auckland



GPS Location



Georgraphic Location:

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

• Diving

• Fishing

• Surfing

• Any sort of water activity

• Boating

• Biking

• Hiking


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.

Locals tips:

• 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

for life.

• 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


Tahitian Adventures

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 | info@skotel.co.nz

+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.





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