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W W W . N Z T R A V E L M A G A Z I N E . C O M

INSIDE & MORE Lots of great stories and adventure inside





By Rachel Gillespie



ADVENTURE Brando Yelavich Wildboy Adventures

Fine Art Prints



Getting more women out doing more cool shit in NZ with Senka Radonich by Rachel Gillespie

“You can, you just have to believe it and be willing to hold on for the ride that goes with stretching through your current way of thinking.” Doing a story like this on a woman you have so much respect for is actually pretty cool part of having your own magazine, I have worked with and become friends with Senka since 2006 so it’s fair to say we know each other pretty well, she is one of a very small number of people that I would hand my business over too and even my bank account. She is in my top 3 business associates for this magazine I have engaged to help me with my business model, so if you are looking for someone who really gets shit done, Senka is your girl, outside of that she runs really friken epic adventures, that are fun, but also give ladies the confidence to spread their wings into all sort of activities they may not otherwise have tried. Because I am a free spirit adventurer myself, I absolutely love what Adventure Girls offers and caught up with NZ Adventure Girl this month to share her story with you.

Tell us a little about yourself. I can remember the first time I wanted to get involved in the outdoor industry, like fully involved… I was in my early 20’s and applied to do my certificate in outdoor leadership, got accepted and then couldn’t do the course because I just couldn’t make it work at that time... I was gutted. It’s interesting though, that calling to get into the outdoors has never stopped and here I am about to turn 40 and I couldn’t imagine life without Adventure Girls, mountain biking and exploring. I feel like a typical kiwi gal… I grew up camping as a kid, played sports at school, loved doing team stuff, did brownies and girl guides and couldn’t wait for school camp. But I never really got into adventure

stuff until I found mountain biking in my early 20’s and it turned my life around. I’d gotten into the partying scene in Auckland… most weekends were back to back dance parties, little sleep, and drinking and taking drugs. One night I nearly ended up in hospital from going too hard out. Those moments make ya rethink things. Then a few weeks later a girlfriend invited me to go mountain biking at a place called Woodhill. I pushed my bike more than I rode it and came back smiling from ear to ear. I was hooked… I kissed the partying scene goodbye and bought my first mountain bike. I remember it being a red hard tail bike… lol. Being out in the forest, riding my bike with my mates… that’s my happy place. Nothing else exists when you’re on a sweet section of trail… you, mother nature and your bike. Adventure Girls was first launched a few years later in 2004 after seeing how few women there were getting out giving mountain biking a go.

as an onsite first aider, to email marketing, to mountain bike guiding, to team building facilitation and I’m sitting at the hospital bawling my eyes out… I’ve just lost my mum suddenly to pneumonia. In one week we lost her. This has been the biggest wake up call of my life. I realised in that moment that life is too short to shit that doesn’t matter with people that don’t matter. So I quit the team building biz I was running and hating, and stepped back to take a long look at my life. After months of grieving and soul searching, I dropped a whole lot of bullshit and re-launched Adventure Girls for the second time. That calling after all those years was still there. I’d just buried it under a shit tonne of bull shit that I couldn’t do it, I didn’t deserve it, and fear. I had to dig deep and find the courage to not listen to not only the internal chitter chatter that told me I was crazy, but also those haters that didn’t think I should.

I was like.. oh hell no. There’s gotta be more women out there who, like me , wanna give this and other adventures ago.

And now…. here I am nearly 4 years on, selling out of 90% of my adventures months before hand, and with the launch of She’s A Force Of Nature, I’m helping women in the outdoor and adventure industries start and grow their own adventure based businesses too.

There wasn’t anything out there that did a range of adventures, they all specialised in one activity.

I really do feel like I’m living my dream. Running rad adventures and helping other women do the same.

But I was like, how rad would it be to have a bunch of adventure besties you can try a whole lot of new things with… and so Adventure Girls was born.

There’s such a massive growth in women’s only adventure and travel, and after 8 successful years of running adventures. It’s fair to say I’ve learnt a thing or two along the way.

We ran for nearly 4 years… running over 50 adventures, and over 300 women getting involved in anything from Horse Riding, Gun Shooting, Surfing, Mountain Biking and a truck tonne more.

So being able to share that knowledge to help other women turn their outdoor obsessions or adventure addictions into a thriving business is freaking raaaaad!

Then, I had to close it down when I lost everything in the property market crash. I was devastated! Fast forward to, 2013… I’ve done everything from working at Woodhill Mountain Bike Park

So much is about self belief and having the courage to follow through, and sometimes you need a cheerleader and a mentor to remind you, that you can. I know first hand what it takes to dig deep and move past your own limiting beliefs to create a thriving businesses.


Tell us a little bit about your Adventure Girls and what is your passion is behind it? Adventure Girls is all about getting women outdoors trying the things that they have always wanted to. As above and the What excites you most about the activities you offer specifically for women? So many of these adventures women have wanted to always do, but they just don’t know where to start, who to call, and then there’s trying to find someone to go with. Our adventures are rad… surfing, dirt biking, gun shooting, hiking, mountain biking. Things and place you have always wanted to, generally dominated by men. We’ve created a space where women feel confident to give it a go. That they aren’t gonna be the odd one out, that even at 40 you can find you new adventure addiction or outdoor obsession. That no matter your size you can.

We support, encourage and dish out plenty of high fives and woohoos. And at the end we always celebrate with lunch and bubbles. We’re all about the celebration, we don’t take ourselves seriously, and after safety, FUN is the key to all our adventures. We get to see amazing iconic places in NZ that more tourists have seen than we have. We get to escape the daily grind of life and have time totally for ourselves. What tips can you give to beginner Adventure Girls out there? JFDI - Just Fucking do it You will learn more getting out there doing it Have the courage to trust yourself. So much of life is about how you look at it. If you think it’s hard, or you can’t you’re right. You can choose how you want to see the World. Find a group of adventure besties that will support and encourage you. This will pull you forward in the times you feel like you can’t. Keep exploring, keep learning,


What can women expect when they come out with you to take away home A space that you can let go of the day to day responsibilities and put yourself first, and have some FUN! We’ll take care of you from start to finish, all you need to do is turn up with your can do attitude and we’ll take care of the rest. Equipment.. we got it. Instructors… all sorted. What to bring and wear, we’ve got you. Fun, high fives, and woohoos, there are tonnes of those. And lunch and bubbles to celebrate after… every single time!! You’ll head home with a sense of ‘hell yeah’, a boost in confidence that you can, tick things off your bucket list. Get to feel like you are in life not just watching it pass you by. What are the challenges you have faced in this industry? Interesting question. I can’t say I have faced challenges from the industry. I’m focused on what I am doing. Other businesses will do their thing. The great thing about what I do is work with local service providers to showcase their businesses. What were the unexpected things you found about trips around NZ? You really have to be prepared for anything when it comes to doing adventures in the outdoors… weather, food, safety, people’s fears on the day…. Setting clear expectations and deliveries helps. There’s a lot of managing people’s expectations. We do a lot to keep things super clear so they know what’s what. We have a private FB group only for adventure attendees, we link them to each other in that group for carpooling and we post a video a few days before the adventure to run through all the final details.




What are your favorite spots to take your ladies, if you could pick your top 5? TONGARIRO: Tongariro Alpine Crossing. It’s one of the world’s top ten must do day walks and for a very good reason. From red Mars like terrain to blue lakes that pop against the shingle and dirt. Anyone who’s done it will understand the contrast that is the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Put it on you NZ adventure bucket list for sure. PUREORA FOREST: Timber Trail - From the moment you ride onto this trail, you can feel the rest of the world just fade away. 84 kms of fun mountain biking goodness over two days, taking you deep into the heart of Pureora Forest and over 35 bridge crossings, including 8 large suspension bridges. EPIC RANGITOTO: Rangitoto Sunset Kayak - Forget the ferry. We’ll use paddle power to take us over to one of Auckland raddest volcanos, and climb to the summit without anyone else around and watch the sun set over Auckland city’s skyline. And to top it off we get to sit on the shore line and enjoy a tasty BBQ before kayaking back by moonlight… BREATHTAKING. Seriously amazing!!! BALI: 8 Day beginners Surf Adventure - Sunshine everyday, massages every second day, 5 surf lessons with your own instructor, epic food… what is not to love about this place. You can dial up anything you want and have it delivered or you can get amongst the crazy roads on a scooter. Either way this is the country of contrast. PIHA: Canyoning Adventure - Tucked in at Waitakere Ranges at Piha are the KiteKite Falls, and the start of a hidden playground! Walk through lush rainforest, to the top of your descent into the canyon with a series of abseils, before entering a narrow volcanic gorge, with its hidden pools, caves and jumps. I’ve walked to KiteKite Falls a number of times, but seeing the same forest from this perspective in the water… mind blowing! Out of the activities you run which do you love the most? OMG…. the most. That’s like trying to say

which child do you love the most. They are all so rad for so many reasons. I will never tire of seeing women come back from their first mtb ride with the same grin as I had, the shooting adventure is an adrenaline filled day that you just can’t do anywhere else, the SUP Adventure is glorious on a sunny still day on the lake and Bali … oh Bali… that place changes people on a deeper level. Ultimately I love running all of my adventures because of what it does for the women that come along. Whether it’s finding their brave again, or finally doing that thing they have always wanted… you can’t help but come back pumped to do it all again next weekend.

What is your quote or mantra do you live by? Life’s too short. Do the stuff thats matter to you with the people that matter to you. Losing my mum suddenly when she was 61 was the biggest wake up call that I’ve had. Adventure Girls exists again because of her. I see it as the gift in her passing. You can, you just have to believe it and be willing to hold on for the ride that goes with stretching through your current way of thinking. The more that you embrace the parts you want to hide the more you come home to a fuller expression of you. And in doing this less fucks will be given on what other people have to say. Run your own race and do what’s right for you. FIND OUT MORE DETAILS ABOUT THE ADVENTURES AT She’s A Force Of Nature Helping women in biz in the outdoor and adventure industries start and grow their dream adventure based biz. Watch the vid for free here:

MEET SENKA RADONICH I’m Senka, and I’m all about getting women outdoors to do more cool shit.

property portfolio and then lost everything in the property market crash.

In 2004 I quit working for the corporates and became a serial entrepreneur and colaunched my first business and never looked back (ok, maybe once or twice if I’m being totally honest).

From these lessons and a sh*t load more I have learned first-hand how to overcome anxiety, low self-esteem and that inner critic to get myself back into a place of being totally ok with who I am.

I’ve helped my share of women find their sense of adventure along the way, and for the most part of it, I’ve had a tonne of fun. Seeing a person’s face light up in that moment they move into seeing something is possible for them… that’s gold!

I now use those lessons, my love for getting out and trying new thing, woven together with my skills as an NLP Master Practitioner to have fun with women like you that are ready to have more fun and adventure in your lives… can I get a HELL YEAH!

I’m no stranger to failure or set backs though. I’ve been married and divorced, struggled with my weight and self esteem, and built a

So come join the fun… can’t wait to see you out there! Senka xx





W W W . N Z K I W I A D V E N T U R E S . C O M

Rachel Gillespie Glenbrook Station, Mackenzie

New Zealand - So by David Boon - Travel in Pixels Before working as a commercial travel photographer, I often would make lists of escapes. Paris, Africa, Spain, Italy and it goes on. For years I left New Zealand in my back pocket. It’s so close and flights are cheap, I will head across later. So I found myself and friends slowly pushing back the idea of going here. It just goes to show how wrong this was. Episode 1 One autumn day, two of my closest friends decided to move back across to the South Island. That really put it on the map for a visit. Next thing I knew a group had planned a month snowboarding and discovery that really made me wish I could come. So I did something stupid. Sold my car and booked leave to finance a reckless few weeks of fun. I do not regret it whatsoever. Queenstown blew me away even from arrival. The plane dipped below clouds to reveal mountains either side of us and a runway at the end of a stunning valley. Blue shimmering water in the lake and snow tipped trees lining the rough raw cliff faces. We based ourselves in Arrowtown, which is a short drive from Queenstown away from the crazy tourist town. Spending almost the whole time Boarding on mountains Cardona and the Remarkables. The diversity of runs and the lack of trees made it a nice intro to the snow addiction. Once hooked on adrenaline from the slopes; bungee, jet boating, sky diving, horse riding and paragliding took over. With only breaks for walks through the amazing landscape, incredible food (ferg-

burger am I right?) and to occasionally check the bank balance to see how much of that car money was left! A trip full of adrenalin, fun and holiday that I’ve treasured for years.

Episode 2 A few years cycled by with my photography career starting I scored my first international gig. Adventuring to the North Island of New Zealand working with a travel company. Now the north misses out on a lot, mountains, many of the extreme sports and word of mouth. The north boasts one of the best locations in New Zealand, Hobbiton. A fantasy story came true, getting a private tour wandering one of the most famous movie sets of all time. It was so exciting and thrilling as a true nerd of all things Tolkien. Spending a week in the North changed my mind, it has many stunning locations that get missed out on, Waitomu Caves, the smelly geysers of Rotorua and stunning coastline. Very luckily I got to follow this with a William Patino workshop on the South Island, which highlighted and filled in all my south Island musts. Milford Sound, Tekapo, Flight landing on glaciers in Mount Cook Park and so much more. If you’re into photography at all, connecting with Will and his local knowledge will guarantee a successful trip and of course stunning memories to take away or sell as prints... Even if you have a bit more time and want to do it yourself, hiring a van and travelling to all these amazing locations and hikes is really easy with the influx of tourism here.

close, left last There are 3 more episodes from here 3, 4 and 5. All in one year for every season for different reasons. Ive been lucky enough to photograph adrenaline activities, Landscapes, Food and Hotels. All of these have one thing in common, they somehow take your breath away.

New Zealanders from all my experience strive to give you the best time of your life. In a place that they cherish for good reasons. From the marketplace dinner at the top of the QT, local wineries, the trip to the “jurassic Era� in Milford Sound I would not hesitate to say all Aussies (well everyone) should take a holiday close to their backyard in New Zealand.

Milford Sound

Just the Tip



Milford Layers

That Tree




Milford Falls



Meet David David Boon is a professional photographer and Creative Director based in Sydney New South Wales, Australia. Leaving his path of Engineering behind he has followed his passion of art and discovered talent in photography. Starting his career in Travel media in just 2 short years David has travelled over 27 countries to date working with magazines, services and tourism companies.

From working with charities in Kenya bringing to light ways to assist; to teaching and photographing in the rugged New Zealand Landscape. Fashion in Paris, Japan and Milan. Directing and Producing documentaries in Iceland and Africa. All the way back home in Australia working on Commercial Advertising, Portrait and Wedding photography. His skills are equipped to capture the moments you want to display. With love in portraiture this makes up the majority of his work with creative and commercial portraiture being the day to day work. Plus smiles are guaranteed, usually just from him playing the fool. He also has access and uses top of the line equipment including his workhorse a 100 megapixel medium format Hasselblad H6100, Olympus OMD and Profoto studio lighting. With a desire to continually push the creative edge and provide world class photography, David will break the glass wall of the normal to make the mundane look amazing.


Check out our April and September Adventures with Jordan McInally of Undersoul Photography

NZ Photography Adventures & Workshops

Doubtful Sound Cruises

A Magical Getaway by Tracy Pepper

Doubtful Sound Cruises and Kayaks

When I think of traveling to Te Anau, I think, hard to get to, nothing to do unless you don’t mind being cold, wet and miserable. But when I was invited for the 24,856th time (that is an exaggeration) by my friend Clint Tauri, owner of Fiordland Cruises Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise and Te Anau Lakeview Kiwi Holiday Park & Motels I knew I needed to get off my backside and go. With cheap flights from Auckland to Queenstown, and transfers from QT airport with Tracknet Transport linking Te Anau to Queenstown airport three times daily, it was easier than I expected. Started in 1988, with just two vans at the time, Tracknet provided transportation from the holiday park to the great walks in the area. Twenty years and 20 vehicles later, today the company is managed by Nepia Tauri and includes transfers to Invercargill Airport as well. I caught the 4:40pm bus into Te Anau which took a little over two hours. I muttered a little to myself about the weather (it was cold, wet and drizzly) but there was no question that the scenery was beautiful, passing through hectares of sheep and cattle stations in lambing season. Baby lambs are adorable no matter what the weather. I arrived at the Te Anau Lakeview Kiwi Holiday Park & Motels at 6:30pm and was welcomed with that true South Island Hospitality. I was surprised at how large the facility was and the variety of accommodation they had on offer, 150 beds at the holiday park and an ability to accommodate approx. 1,200 guests a night including the camp sites. Operated by the family since 1963, it sits on 22 acres of pristine lake front property. Prices are exceptionally reasonable varying from $24 for campsites, $50 for single rooms, $80 for backpacker dorms, $82-$135 for cabins, $170-$180 for standard motel or $290-$396 for Delux Motel options. Alternatively, you can stay at the Edgewater Motel in one of their newly renovated units which the Tauri family purchased in 2005. It was a 20 min walk into the city centre and I was hungry. There are ample kitchen facilities but I didn’t bring any food. I asked the girls at the front desk where to eat. They listed off a number of delicious

sounding options, Te Anau is not short on good eats! But I heard that, La Toscana delivers, I was sold. Their Italian menu offers a large selection, whether it’s pizza or pasta you’re after, and the desserts I heard were outstanding, especially the cheesecake. Ask for the dessert of the day. When I couldn’t decide, the manager Matt Holland suggested I try one of each, pizza and pasta. I couldn’t argue. 20 minutes later, a generous portion of “Nonno” pasta with vodka flamed bacon, tomato, cream, parmesan, tobasco & penne and a “Chianti” pizza with real cranberry sauce, mozzarella, a generous helping of chicken, brie & rosemary arrived right to my accommodation. I didn’t have room for dessert! There was plenty leftover for breakfast. I woke up the next morning to clear blue skies and glorious sunshine. I boarded the Tracknet bus from outside the office at 8:30am where I met our chef, crew and driver, Caleb and the other guests on the cruise. We drove to a place called Pearl Harbour, named after a storm many years ago that apparently caused such damage that it looked like war. We boarded the Fiordland Flyer for a 45min journey across Lake Manapouri. That journey alone was spectacular. I had no idea how much better I was about to get. Our skipper, Clint Tauri himself, was waiting for us as we disembarked. We piled into a van and headed up over the hills with stops at some spectacular viewing spots. Clint told stories of the area and pointed out the unique flora and birdlife in the area. Purchased in 2000, the yacht, “Southern Secret” joined the family business. Fiordland Cruises Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise operates from September through to June, most of it’s clientele coming from Europe. It accommodates 10 guests with ensuite facilities and two crew. The Tauri family have banished Clint to skippering the yacht so he doesn’t come up with any more business ideas. He’s happy to be living the life he loves and showing people the beauty of Doubtful Sound and his beloved Te Anau which has five generations of Tauri’s. He’s an incredibly humble man, content in his corner of the world.



Within an hour of cruising the Sounds, Caleb our chef had served a wonderful buffet lunch with salads and freshly cooked crayfish tails. I’ve never tasted crayfish so juicy and sweet. Fiordland is beautiful any weather. It rains 90% of the time but that’s what makes it so majestic with flowing towering waterfalls and active marine and bird life. One of the highlights of the trip was stopping to catch our fish for dinner that evening. The fish in this area of New Zealand are different from the fish in the North Island. Instead of Snapper, our hunt was for Blue Cod. I’ve never seen more bountiful fishing. Within a few moments of dropping a line, the fish start nibbling. For the less skilled fisherman (or woman as the case may be), this might result in many failed attempts and a lot of eaten bait. We caught numerous Scarlet Wrasse and Sea Perch which we used for bait, a couple of Tarakihi (one of which I caught - yay) and five Blue Cod. But we lost more than double that amount, simply from beginner’s lack of skill. I was finally getting the hang of it two hours later, drenched to the bone. Everyone else had gone inside to dry off and get warm but I was determined to get my Blue Cod for dinner. Clint told me to reel in, but I insisted on another 5 minutes… my persistence paid off… suddenly my rod bent dramatically and with a swift jerk I snagged the big one. Dinner never tasted so good. I slept soundly in my luxurious cabin with ensuite, the sound of water lapping against the hull. The following morning was spent checking the commercial crayfish pots dotted around the cliffs. I’ve never seen so many crayfish in my life. We saw Dolphins, Yellow Crested Penguins, Kea, Weka. Wildlife you hear about but most New Zealanders rarely ever see. No sooner did we arrive back at the mooring, I was whisked off on a Full Day Kayak Tour with Doubtful Sound Kayaks. I wasn’t ready to leave this special place so this was the perfect way to get out and see more. It helped that it was one of those stunningly perfect, blue sky kind of days.

Our guide, Cloudi, was part Irish, Welsh, Italian, Native Canadian with a very unique accent. He works 6 days a week and is extensively knowledgeable on the flora, fauna and geographic history of the sounds. He was full of stories and he had a charming habit of humming to himself constantly as he paddled. His two favourite tunes; the theme of Lord of the Rings and Doe a Deer from Sound of Music. That’s a true sign of contentment and love of his job. The Doubtful Sound is truly God’s Country. There are very few tour operators allowed to work in this sensitive area, and Clint’s company Doubtful Sound Kayaks is the only company to offer day kayaking in Hall Arm, arguably the most beautiful stretch of the fiords. You’ll feel like you are the only people on earth. And that’s all the reason I need to start planning my next visit. Two full days off grid, in nature without throngs of crowds is good for the soul. Sure, it took me two full days to get there but in the end, it was so worth the journey. Getting there: Discount domestic airfares - $80 round trip Mount Maunganui to Auckland Airport 2.5hrs Auckland to Queenstown - 2 hours Queenstown to Te Anau - 2 hours Transit time - 4.5 hours Transportation to and from Te Anau: Tracknet Transport Where to stay: Te Anau Lakeview Kiwi Holiday Park & Motels Edgewater Motel Where to Eat: La Toscana What to Do: Fiordland Cruises Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise Doubtful Sound Kayaks

Doubtful Sound Kayaks

Doubtful Sound Cruises

A Magical Getaway by Tracy Pepper

En Route with Rina Roadtrippn

ROADTRIPPN WITH RINA SJARDIN-THOMPSON - FULL TIME PHOTOGRAPHER Earlier this month I taught at a ladies only workshop in Glenorchy for NZ Kiwi Adventures… I think it’s fair to say we had THE best time…!!! Our ladies had tried out a bit of astro for the first time, one was a heli-virgin but she is no more, one had a fire lit underneath her and has gone on to upgrade her camera and looking at photography as a career and one had her self esteem boosted and is motivated to work and save for the camera she wants!!! So great to hear stories like this…. Possibly the highlight for me was their reaction to the heli flight where we stopped on the Invincibles overlooking the Rees Valley… her jaw literally dropped, eyes wide open and hand over her mouth…. She had never experienced anything like it! This was followed by a week in Christchurch staying with my gorgeous friend, Alicia and her husband Paul, and doing a series of family photos in West Melton and Sheffield only to head back down to Timaru for a few days getting prepared for a week long road trip to gather content for a promotional video for NZ Kiwi Adventures. Incredible talent in the group by way of fellow photographers Talman Madsen, Jordan McInally and Mark Smith to compile the video footage. WHAT A WEEK!!!!

We are brain dead, tired- exhausted actually, sleep deprived, our laughing muscles got a huge workout and a total connection became evident amongst the photographers… despite all of this we are happy, content and totally satisfied, feeling ever so grateful for the lifestyles we get to enjoy…. It may not get any better than this!!!

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Who doesn’t love a good road trip!!!??? Even if you all come out with similar photos from the same area we all see differently, edit differently, present differently so there is no competition… rather than a competitive spirit there existed a spirit of comradery, a professional exchange of thoughts, ideas and attitudes, and a completely collaborative effort to get this project done…. Road trips don’t have to have a purpose though…. You only need a couple of like minded people to join you and you have something pretty special. You will get to know each other in a way you would not ordinarily…. It’s a great way to travel, share costs, experiences, encourage one another and to learn…. So why not get a couple of friends or mates together and organise something otherworldly… I think my fave photos from our trip were not the ones of the landscape or scenery but those of the people we travelled with… almost a documentary of this 7 day sojourn!!! enjoy….

Rina is based on the South Island’s West Coast

Right - Mount Cook National Park






Wildboy Adventures - Brando Yelavich 5 ADVENTURE ESSENTIALS

I have compiled a list on the five basic pieces of equipment I think every outdoor explorer needs before heading into the bush. Even if you are only intending to go for a day, you need to be prepared incase something goes wrong and you have to camp out overnight. Although New Zealand is known for its safe forests because of the lack of poisonous insects and dangerous animals, we hear endless stories of people going into nature, unprepared and paying the price. 1. PERSONAL LOCATOR BEACON. (ABOVE) The most vital piece of equipment is a personal locator beacon. This is your life insurance in the outdoors. They can be purchased from most outdoor stores from $250 and they are worth every penny. Alternatively you can rent one from around $10 per day if you don’t think it is something you would use enough to justify buying one. In an emergency Using your PLB will initiate a search and rescue response by sending out a GPS signal that is received by Land search and rescue co-ordination centre. Make it part of your checks before you leave, that the Personal locator beacon is with you. ( I wear mine on a lanyard around my neck) I recommend you do the same.

2. SURVIVAL FIRST AID KIT. Survival first aid kit seems like an obvious must have but so many people think ‘ I don’t need one’. A good basic first aid kit should have plasters (great for blisters when hiking), bandages, gauze, dressings, safety pins, a sling, an emergency blanket (this is a MUST, my emergency blanket saved my life on Stewart Island), saline for cleaning wounds and eyes, tape, a squeeze activated cold pack, alcohol swabs and gloves. I highly recommend ‘Gough Gear’ as they come in a dry bag, perfect for the outdoors. Along with my basic first aid kit I personally like to carry paracetamol, ibuprofen, antihistamines, duct tape and purification tablets (to make clean drinking water). I also like to combine my first aid kit with my survival kit which includes a compass, fish hooks and fire lighting equipment.

3. PACK LINER OR TARP. A tarp is an easy, fast effective way to make a shelter if you have to. People often romanticise the idea of building a shelter if they get lost. But the reality is that when you get lost you will walk for longer than you should, trying to find out where you are, by the time you accept you need to set up a camp, it is usually getting dark, you will be tired, probably worried and hungry. A tarp can just be a simple piece of plastic or a cut up pack liner

4. CORD There are a multitude of purposes for cord, the most useful ones in my opinion are to create your shelter with your tarp. But on a smaller scale if you need something to hold your pants up, if you break a shoe lace, if you want to make traps to catch dinner, or try your luck at catching something from a nearby stream, cord is very handy!

5. KNIFE. A sharp knife is one of the most useful things you could carry in your day bag. My knife is made of cold steel as during the forging process its made to withstand hard use and still keeps its sharpness. A pocket knife is great as it folds away and is nice and small to fit in a day bag or small pack. If you have a larger knife that doesn’t fold away, make sure it is in a sheath, these are easy enough to come by or make your own! In an emergency situation a knife is great for cutting ropes, or gear that has become caught. If you become lost a larger knife is great for clearing a track if you are walking through thick bush or scrub, and if you have to camp out for the night it will make getting wood for a fire a lot easier. A small knife is great for killing and skinning small animals such as rabbits, pheasants and possums. In my spare time in the bush i will often set up camp, hunt or catch something for dinner, then spend my down time whittling pieces of wood i have picked up on my travels. You could have all the fancy gear with all the bells and whistles but most of all you need to be prepared when going into nature. You need to take responsibility for checking the weather, the temperatures and the forecast for the days ahead incase you end up being there longer than expected. Always let someone know where you are going, how long you will be gone for, and the latest time you will return. Whenever i am going on overnight trips i will mark on the map where i intend to be, and give my partner a time and day that if i haven’t returned by, so she can call emergency services if I don’t return. Brando



NEW ZEALAND MAGIC Rob Pine for NZ Travel Magazine

Jordan McInally Freelance Photographer | Undersoul Photography Project24 Content Creator +64 27 812 1512


A Weekend in Mount Cook

I have been to many places during my travels in New Zealand, but very few, if any, can compete with the Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park. There is something truly magical about immersing yourself in a place enveloped by one of the most beautiful alpine backdrops in the world. All year round, Mount Cook National Park provides a range of attractions that would suit all outdoor fanatics. I have explored this area multiple times and it never gets old, if anything, I notice something new and even more enchanting every time I visit. I would spend at least three days in Mount Cook to absorb all that this place to offer. From hikes to skiing to scenic flights in addition to the multitude of other outdoor experiences, Mount Cook is the adventurer’s paradise. In contrast to those who own the entire icebreaker range and love to hit the trails, there is room for those who appreciate luxury with a view. In this month’s column I will share our Mount Cook experi-

ence, staying at The Hermitage Hotel and taking a scenic flight with Mount Cook Skiplanes and Helicopters. One piece of advice that I feel is most valuable when venturing into an alpine environment is do not trust the weather. The scenery might be beautiful but the climate is incredibly unpredictable. To ensure you know what you are heading into, make sure you check the forecast and are prepared for unexpected changes in plans. We have had beautiful clear 30 degree days in summer and have been snowed in in winter. Mt Cook is a truly incredible and unique spot and I recommend anyone who wants to experience New Zealand at its wildest to make this your next weekend destination.

Where to Eat The Panorama Restaurant Although Mount Cook is renowned for the outdoors and effortless scenery, there is one other gem that is completes the Mount Cook experience. The Panorama Restaurant at the Hermitage Hotel. There really is nothing better than fine dining at the foot of a mountain range. Or sipping at a Central Otago Pinot Noir in front of a crackling fire while watching snow flurries drift past the walls of glass that enclose the room. Hermitage Hotel presents an absolutely exquisite menu with both an al e carte dining option in addition to the buffets. We had the buffet option as part of our room package and were absolutely stunned at the scale and quality of the food that was on offer. Although buffet have a reputation of being mass produced and mediocre, this completely unravelled any stigma associated with a help yourself arrangement. The food was beautiful. From various roasts to sushi to venison pie to seafood and the list goes on, there was something for everybody to enjoy, and the service was spot on! The restaurant provided a warm and relaxed atmosphere with an ambience that I had not yet experienced anywhere else. We spent hours sitting at our table, even once we had eaten, purely enjoying the wine and watching the snow thicken on the ground outside. Once we ventured from the dining room, we enjoyed curling up on a couch in front of the vast stone fireplace in the Snowline Lounge. Feeling the glow of the fire on our faces and the warmth of the wine in our bellies, we rounded up what was an unforgettable dining experience that I would recommend to anyone who appreciates good food, wine, service and atmosphere.



What to Do Mount Cook Skiplanes and Helicopters

The grandeur of this place was obvious immediately as we drove up to the front of reception. It is truly beautiful. The architecture, the location and the overall atmosphere of the whole setting really did transport us to another world, and that was before we even stepped inside!

I have been lucky enough to have had some pretty incredible experiences during my travels. This is a contender for the top spot. As part of our trip to Aoraki/Mount Cook, we were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to experience the mountains from a different perspective, the sky. There are no word to describe the absolutely magnificent and majestic beauty that we experienced while flying through this alpine paradise.

When we did make it inside we were not disappointed, the reception was a welcomed escape from the frigid midwinter storm that was surging through the valley with its dark timber and stone features and the multiple open fires. First impression was that this place had achieved the perfect balance of traditional charm and contemporary design. You can tell the building has a lot of history without it looking tired or stale. I can guarantee there is just as much life and buzz as there was 100 years. It is important to understand that the Hermitage is not a state of the art modern, sterile, stereotypical four star hotel. It has retained a degree of tradition in regard to some decor and furnishings. Although some people may consider it to be “dated” I believe that there is a harmonious balance between the crisp clean modern aspects and the warm and sentimental atmosphere. This place provides all the luxuries of a 4 star hotel while still honouring the past and the history that makes the Hermitage so special. The bed was incredibly comfortable, the shower pressure was amazing, the rooms were clean, warm, inviting and basically had everything else you could want or expect from a high end hotel. There were also a number of aspects that far exceeded our expectations. If you are looking for a luxurious end to a day in the mountains, you will not find better then the Hermitage Hotel, Mount Cook.

Our tour took us on a 50 minute scenic tour of Mount Cook with a landing on the Tasman Glacier. Between the cobolt blue crevasses in the below glacier to the sound of cracking and groaning ice in the distance, our flight with Mount Cook Skiplanes and Helicopters was as close as you can get to heaven without actually leaving the earth. I could have stayed up there all day. In addition to the stunning scenery, we were guided by a highly knowledgeable and confident pilot who’s commentary was informative without being droney and overbearing. He spoke just enough to be interesting and allowed enough silence for us to take in our surroundings. As part of your Mount Cook adventure, I would highly recommend giving these guys a call and seeing what they can do to give you a taste of Mount Cook from the air. It is spectacular and is an unforgettable experience to top all others. One tip I do have if you book in to fly? Take sunglasses! Snow and ice is a lot brighter when you are literally surrounded by it.

By Jessica Pullen @wandergirlnz

Image Jessica Pullen

Image Jessica Pullen

Client Experience “I recently had the pleasure of participating with Rachel and Talman on a photography adventure, in June, around Central Otago. I found the adventure was well organized and fully flexible to cater for weather conditions. I was able to tap into Talman’s expertise and knowledge, either out on a shoot or in the conference room. He was very helpful on several occasions and easy to get on with. What was the best part of the trip; There were several, experiencing a strong aurora for the first time, ( not sure who was the most excited, me or Talman), visiting hooker glacier for a sunset shoot and staying for a milky wayshoot, a helicopter trip around Mt Aspiring with the doors off, to name a few. I have no hesitation in recommending Rachel and Talman if you are considering doing one of their photography adventures, I know I am next year. “ Neil



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Fri, May 11, 2018 - Wed, May 16, 2018 Join us for an inspirational 5 day, 5 night Photography Adventure of the New Zealand’s South Island Mackenzie, Mount Cook and Wanaka & Queenstown Region. Hosted by Rachel Gillespie, and Talman Madsen, we have joined together to bring you an Astrophotography and Landscape Photographic Learning Experience all in one. May 2018. All photography tuition by Award Winning Photographer, Talman Madsen

The NZ Kiwi Adventures Photography Tours are a photographic adventure of a lifetime. Talman and Rachel both spend time each year in the Aoraki Mackenzie Region and invite others to join them on this amazing photographic adventure. Talman has recently achieved the NZ National Geographic Young Photographer of the Year Award and has been featured in many publications. LOCATIONS The locations we will be visiting are hotspots for scenic landscapes, but in particular for photographing the night sky. The Aoraki/Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve is the world’s largest, and if you haven’t ever viewed the Milky Way Galaxy with the naked eye before, then you will be amazed by the starry skies here! They offer a unique photographic opportunity.

This is a special all-inclusive photographic workshop open to photographers of all levels of experience and enthusiasm. We will be spending our days in the magnificent alpine landscapes around Lake Tekapo, Aoraki-Mount Cook, Queenstown and Wanaka, and at night, we’ll be out shooting the amazing star-filled skies of the Mackenzie Basin. Expect to be up early, and out late! You’ll be hosted and guided by professionals who will offer one-on-one instruction, advice or reinforcement of the skills and techniques used in image visualisation, composition, exposure control, and post-processing. Learn how to capture the stars of the Milky Way and create incredible timelapse movies as part of our astrophotography masterclass. This is a unique photographic adventure in one of the most scenic places in the world. We’ll shoot around the glaciers of Mount Cook, the lakes and rivers of the Tasman Valley, along the shore of Lake Tekapo, the mountains of Queenstown, the shores of Lake Wanaka and capture some awesome views of the alpine peaks from high up in our chartered Helicopters and Ski Plane Flights, yes you get to go on 2 flights! NEED TO KNOW Fitness level required: Moderate. You will need to be able to hike along easy trails, maximum 5km each way, with camera equipment. What’s included: Hotel accommodation for five nights on single or double occupancy basis Breakfast, lunch and dinner during the workshop All transportation during the workshop, starting from Queenstown and returning to Christchurch Professional hosting, guiding and instruction Helicopter Flight Mount Cook National Park permits.



NZ Travel Magazine Issue 15 featuring New Zealand Destinations and Activities  
NZ Travel Magazine Issue 15 featuring New Zealand Destinations and Activities  

North and South Island, New Zealand