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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


LAKE HERON STATION Words, Hollie Woodhouse Images, Liz Carlson


By Jessy Travel Adventure



ADVENTURE Brando Yelavich Wildboy Adventures

The Stunning Mackenzie by Mark Smith Photography NZ CLICK TO WATCH BELOW

I am Mark Smith and I am proud to say that I am Rotorua born and breed. I am self employed and been so for the last 17 years working in the IT industry managing networks and creating websites for customers around New Zealand. In my younger days I was a keen golfer and was lucky enough to represent New Zealand at senior level and later on turning professional. The skills I have learned from IT and golf have been a great help with learning the art of photography. IT has helped me take advantage of the many different programs available for editing and managing photos while the discipline of golf has taught me to keep striving for improvement. I believe that I deliver affordable quality photography, video and aerial imagery for anyone who is seeking something different.

If you are looking for a friendly and helpful photographer please feel free to contact me



Destination Rotorua

Experience New Zealand on the Road with Jessy Sa -Jessy Travel Adventure

Maori culture is special. Hospitality and respect are high values and every visitor is part of the whanau (family) Rotorua - more than just the adventure town of the North One of my best places to visit in New Zealand was Destination Rotorua. Rotorua means the ‘second lake’ and if you have a closer look onto a map you will see that the city is surrounded by lots of lakes! All worth a visit! This beautiful city is getting more and more the Queenstown of the north. You can do every fun activity in and around Rotorua. And if you don’t find your adrenalin rush there, don’t worry, you just need to drive a bit out of town! Rotorua is more than just a thermal city! It’s a total different world. It’s a place which reminds you, that mother nature is alive and still forms herself every day! It’s mystic, it’s cultural, it makes you humble and grounded. But it is also adventures and fun.

Steaming and bubbling soil, colorful lakes, massive trees and beautiful ferns. There are everywhere forests which reminds you a bit of a Robinson Crusoe Jungle. During the night you can sense the smell of Hangi in the air and you feel the vibrations of a not too far performed Haka. On each corner you can hear a lovely Kia Ora. My advice? Stay as long as possible in Rotorua, do a bit of everything. Cause it’s so unique. You don’t want to miss out on the beautiful outdoor adventures, but you also don’t want to miss out on the cultural and geothermal experiences. Take your time in Rotorua and see what this beautiful place has to offer for you! The best way to feel the energy of a new place is to go into its nature.

And Rotorua has a lot to offer! First you can visit a couple of Lakes. Drive out to Lake Tarawera, passing the beautiful Lake Rotokakahi (Green Lake) and Lake Tikitapu (Blue Lake). The drive is just absolutely stunning. You will find yourself surrounded by dense forest and bush full of ferns and trees. The windy road takes you first to the Blue and Green Lake. Obviously one of the lakes is green and the other one is blue – sitting side by side. This bizarre spectacle comes from the pumice and rhyolite bottom in the blue lake which the sun reflects and turns the lake into a nice blue to turquoise swimming pool. The green lake shines in the right conditions in a emerald green due to a sandy ground. There is a beautiful Lookout spot where you can see both lakes at the same time and wonder yourself how Mother Nature can do all this? Keep driving until you are at the Lake Tarawera, a beautiful nice swimming spot for everyone in summer! Out there it is really nice and quiet – recharge your battery here and enjoy the moment. If you drive back towards Rotorua you shouldn’t miss the Redwoods! The Redwoods is actually the Tokorangi Forest which is part of the massive Whakarewarewa Forest and is home to native and exotic trees. This forest is so massive that it includes the Green and Blue Lakes as well as the Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve. This is the perfect place to escape – and hug some trees, because why not? The Redwoods offers a lot! Mountain biking, horse riding, walking and hiking tracks and many picnic spots. A perfect place for the whole family. Walking through this beautiful forest will let you forget all the other people around you! You will find yourself within ferns and massive Coastal Californian Redwoods. Those trees can grow up to 110m. The tallest tree in the Redwoods is around 72m and 169 cm in diameter – a lot of tree to hug! But as you walk through the forest you may realize that something is going on above you. From now to then you can see a bit of bridges. But wait, in the forest? Above you? The Redwood Treewalk is something you have to do! This inspiring experience takes you up into the forest to see the old trees and ferns out of a really unique perspective! This Treewalk takes you on a 553-metre long walkway 12 meters above the ground. Of course this is eco-tourism and so there is no harm towards

the trees. The construction allows those gentle giants to grow even more! As soon as you enter the steps and walk up to the first swinging bridges and platforms you will feel something is re-energising you and inspires your body and soul! The surrounding is just breathtaking! The Treewalk starts with a height of 6m. Highest point is 12m. There are more than 23 bridges and 22 platforms with lots of interesting information about the forest and the environment. The longest bridge is about 37m. Just walking over the bridges, seeing the ferns from above and feeling the movement brings a smile on your face! This is a different world, everything slows down when you find yourself up in the treetops. The forest is so beautiful and diverse. There are more than 70 species of ferns in the Rotorua district! Those ferns come in different shapes and forms, from the tiny ones to the giant mamaku tree ferns which can be seen along the Treewalk. During the daytime this is a unique experiment. Seeing all the different trees, ferns and the bridges. It’s just majestic, it’s a different world! The best thing – there is no bad weather for it. Even if it is pouring rain the forest looks absolutely beautiful! The mist will hang in the treetops, making everything even more mystical. On the whole trip you kinda expect a forest spirit to show up around the next tree! This experience leaves you in awe! A whole different experience will give you the Redwoods Treewalk during the night! You think it’s spooky to go in the forest when it’s dark? It is not! It is magic. Redwoods Nightlights is absolutely stunning. Visitors have the opportunity to explore the forest in the darkness. The trees and ferns are illuminated by beautiful designed lanterns. The environment looks completely different. It seems that an enchanted forest now has come to life. David Trubridge lightings are inspired by nature. His design seeks “To provide cultural nourishment, to tell stories, to reach people emotionally and spiritually; the objects are vehicles for the nourishment we so badly lack in all the pragmatic and consumer stuff we are surrounded with.” As well as “to recreate that vital connection to nature that we have lost so much, living in insulated cities”


And his vision comes true! The lanterns lighten up the path in a gentle way, without being to close it seems that the lights floating away into the distance – like forest spirits! There are 30 lanterns which are hanging around trees and over 40 color spots which enlighten the forest ferns or the massive 115-year-old redwood tree. You don’t have to be afraid of the darkness; the up to 2.5m tall lights will guide you over the bridges and the platforms. The lightning creates an atmosphere which can’t be put into words. So much to see, so much to smell, the forest is a different place during the night than the day! It is a stunning place. You will forget about everything else. You will start looking deeper into the forest, finding more and more details. It is indeed a breathtaking, empowering and grounding experience! So what are you waiting for? You can do the treewalk during the day or the night, in sunshine or in pouring rain – nothing stops you! The trees will wait for you. If this is a little bit too much nature for you – no problem. There is a nice way to combine adrenaline, sightseeing and a bit of nature. It’s called Skyline Gondola Rotorua. And wel-

come to Rotovegas! This beautiful Gondola will bring you up Mount Ngongotaha towards the Skyline Rotorua complex. Enjoy the 900 metre long ride in your Gondola cabin. You will be able to see the whole town, Lake Rotorua and the steaming geothermal vistas. This Gondola ride itself is stunning and scenic. Once you’re up and out of the Gondola you have a million options what you can do next. You can either just have a sit in the beautiful restaurant with a beautiful view or you can take your mountain bike and try yourself on one of the crazy tracks! There are also a lot of walking tracks around the mountain. Take your time to explore the environment and the views. Even during the night you can have an absolutely stunning dinner at the Stratosfare Restaurant. You love stars? No problem, up on Mount Ngongotaha is one of the 8 best places to stargaze in New Zealand. With telescopes you will find new planets and galaxies as well as the fabulous Milky Way and the Southern Cross. If you want to have a bit more adrenaline you can also put yourself into the Skyswing. It is a three seated Skyswing, which brings you 50 meters above the Skyline Complex. Once it reaches its highest point you will have a little


bit of time to enjoy the view – or do you already feel the adrenaline rushing through your veins? Because it’s up to you to release the Swing! Pushing the button let you reach 150kph and you swing through the air. You think the adrenaline rush is done after slowing down? Not really, before you can go out of the Swing it finishes of with a spin. What a great experience! Another great adventure what you can do is the Zoom Ziplines. It’s a unique 400 metre zipline which gives you the opportunity to beat your friend or family in a race! Yes that is correct, you will zipline parallel and swing through the forest with up to 80 km/h. Ending with a 13m freefall at the luge platform. You want to have a bit more control over your adrenaline rush? Skyline Rotorua offers you one more adrenaline experience! The Luge. Get a helmet and make yourself ready for some fun! You can choose out of three different tracks: scenic, intermediate or advanced. Take a few friends with you and start racing them! You will place yourself in a half go-cart half toboggan which is gravity fueled with full control over direction and speed! It provides fun for the whole family and everyone can luge! Best option is do all three rides! Start with the scenic one to get familiar with the steering and braking systems. Once you’re down you will realize that you got the bug, you tasted the blood of a racecar driver! Get yourself into a chairlift and enjoy your drive up to the start of the luge track. Now it’s time for the intermediate one. And this one is really fun! Race your friend or yourself, go over your comfort zone and use your whole body to get the best feeling during speeding through the curves! It makes so much fun, you don’t want to stop! But you don’t have to, because you can also luge during the night! If you dare more than intermediate you can try yourself at the advanced track. Once is never enough! So if you always wanted that feeling of a go-cart driver you may experienced as a kid – place yourself into a luge. It is fun for everyone! After you enjoyed yourself you can spend some time in the shops inside the Skyline complex or take a walk down back to the car. The walk is really nice and absolutely doable. You will pass the





luge as well as the mountain bike tracks. It only takes you about 15-20 min to go back to the carpark. If you would rather enjoy some relaxing time – take the scenic gondola drive back down and prepare yourself for the next adventure Rotorua has to offer. And there are plenty of it! If you feel already a bit stressed of all the adventure you have done, take a relaxing bath in one of many hot or mud pools Rotorua has to offer! There are nice spa parks or even nice free ones. Drive out to Kerosene Creek or Hot and Cold. Those natural wonders show you how geothermal this whole area is. You will enter a river which is on one spot cold and on another hot – finding the perfect spot with the perfect temperature for yourself! All around Rotorua you will find those pools. So you really need to try them out! If you are ready for something really unique then go to Rotorua Canopy Tours! This is New Zealand`s only native forest zipline canopy tour. It offers education, adventure and fun! Super friendly kiwi guides will take you out on a 3 hours eco adventure tour. This tour will take place in the Mamaku Plateau and brings you high into the evergreen forests close to Rotorua. This forest is one of the last untouched original forests on the North Island. Two kiwi guides will take you for 3 hours on a unique and unforgettable adventure! You meet your amazing guides in the base, across the street of the Skyline Gondola. There you will get a harness, helmet and if you want a nice and warm rain jacket. The group is with maximum 10 people the perfect size and still familiar. After everyone is sorted, you make your way into the van which takes you in around 15-20 mins to the Mamaku Plateau. But it’s not a boring drive, no you make yourself familiar with the crew and your group! Because the next three hours you will experience lot together. Maybe some people are scared of heights so you need to support them! As soon as the van reaches the car park you can see this beautiful forest. You can hear and smell it. Trees are up to 500 years old and are giants! You will find tiny little ferns and massive tree ferns. The landscape in this forest has never been modified by any human being. Before you make your way into the trees, you will first learn from one of your guides about the forest and the ferns. Did you know, that the New Zealand icon was once used from

Maori warriors and hunters to illuminate a path through the forest? If you put the leave of a silver fern upside down it catches the moonlight and turns into a natural torch. There are also really tiny little ferns who are soft and if you touch them you can see that there kind of translucent. Super interesting fact! You start to see different into the forest, you start to realize all the small and bigger plants. And you can hear birds. This might be a strange to say but have you ever noticed how silent New Zealand’s forest are? In this forest it is a totally different story. With purchasing the ticket for the tour, you automatically take part of a conservation project. The dream was, to bring the forest back to life. The Canopy Conservation Trust was grounded 2012 after the forest went completely silent. Possums, rats and stoats had killed almost every bird in there. The Trust tries to restore the pristine environment so that everyone can hear the beautiful songs of the birds again! And they have been really successful with their trapping networks! The forest is now alive again! Along on the way through the forest you will learn a lot about predators, history of the forest and the conservation project. You can be lucky if you have the chance to hand feed rare, native birds with little worms. It’s a really intense, grounding experience! You will exit the forest with a different perspective as you entered it! But besides the educational perspective you will traverse through 1.2 km of ziplines, walking tracks, swing bridges and platforms up to 22m above the ground! The six ziplines are over 650 metres in total and the best thing is, the lovely guides will take photos over the whole time and they are for free! All of the six ziplines are different. Some are really easy, some are more tricky as you come really close to trees or you have to walk down steps into the nowhere. The highlight of the tour is probably the Tui Song Zipline. You can let yourself fall backwards into your harness, look back to the 500 year old Rimu tree and fly through 220m of beautiful forest! All you want to do is screaming out loud because it is such a good feeling! The smile on your face starts to get bigger and bigger. And you never want to end this trip. This forest is super beautiful during or after rain!

During our tour we had other tourists with us, which were scared about heights. But through to the great help of our guides, they gained more and more confidence throughout the tour. This was great to see! So there is no reason why you shouldn’t take part of this great adventure. It was just an amazing experience; everyone had all the time a smile on their face. Rotorua Canopy Tours is the best experience if you love nature, love adventure and love fun! It’s amazing what you learn throughout this trip but it is also really fun to fly through the forest! Maybe you try to imitate the noise of a bird? Did you tried to fly upside down? There are million ways to have a lot of fun! You shouldn’t miss out! Are you now ready for a little bit more culture and a bit more geothermal activities? Kia Ora at Te Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve or basically called Te Puia! Te Puia is the perfect place to combine everything the wild New Zealand has to offer! It calls itself as the center of New Zealand’s Maori Culture and geothermal wonders. Encounter bubbling mud pools, pools of boiling water which are still used for cooking and of course the beautiful lady itself geyser Pohutu. Beside this beautiful, magical wonder of Mother Nature you have the opportunity to see something extraordinary and as well endan-

gered in the Kiwi House. But that’s not all! On Te Puia you will find lots of Maori architecture, which tells you stories and takes you back a hundred of years! To finish this wonderful journey please have a visit into New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute which Te Puia houses. This adventure will keep you busy at least half of the day – but you can spend the whole day staring and wondering about this beautiful Thermal Reserve. At the Te Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley manuhiri (visitors) have the chance to learn about all the taonga (treasures) for over 170 years – and at Te Puia they will proudly continue that tradition. But let’s start from the beginning. After you enter this beautiful site you will find yourself in a total different world. Old ancient wooden carved warrior or gods look down on you – no pressure what you want to visit first! You can do Te Puia in a loop. Start with the beautiful geothermal activities or with the cultural part – it is up to you! The highlight of your day will probably be the erupting Pohutu geyser! If you walk into the area you may see a big massive water fountain – make yourself on the way to the largest active geyser in the southern hemisphere. Pohutu is like a lady, she erupts





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once or twice an hour and she can reach a height up to 30 metres. But she is so unpredictable; you can’t really tell how long and when she will erupt. Like a lady. In Maori Pohutu means “constant splashing”. As far as she is unpredictable, she also is the most reliable geyser on Earth. 15 years ago the lady erupted for over 250 days. Just imagine how much pressure she had to release! Though this beauty might never stop to erupt; there was a time, where nearby residents used the valley`s geothermal resources that much, that Pohutu was nearly to lose its power. Nowadays bores around Te Whakarewarewa are forbidden so nearly geysers can shine with their full power. Unfortunately there is the Papakura geyser which once was the main attraction in the Thermal Valley. It reached heights around 3 metres and erupted each hour. Nowadays it’s dormant. You will also find The Horu geyser, which also once erupted on a regular basis but stopped completely. It’s also known as Te Cauldron as from nearby Pohutu Geyser sometimes cold water in Te Horu’s vents land. Since 1998 it shows more and more signs of life, but no eruption yet! If you see for the first time the Whakarewarewa geyser terrace you will just stare! You will see different geysers as well as a beautiful riverbed, little waterfalls and lots of colors! If you can see the little geyser next to Pohutu erupting, just wait! Te Te Tohu geyer (or Prince of Wales Feathers) is a good indicator to watch Pohutu erupt. Prince of Wales Feathers erupts always shortly before and after Pohutu’s eruption and can reach a height of up to 7 metres. All around this terrace are beautiful viewing platforms. Each shows the geysers out of a different angle – so don’t miss the beautiful blue lake behind Pohutu! If you have seen Pohutu erupt in an up to 30m water fountain – still totally impressed how much pressure Mother Nature can build up - it’s time to move on. You will see all over the place steaming soil, hear a bubbling mud pool somewhere and you can also spot the ngararatuatara – a geothermal hot pool which is used for cooking. Hundred years ago people used the geothermal hot pools in Te Whakarewarea Valley and allowed the people to wash, bath, cook and prepare flax in it. These days ngaratuatara is used for a so called Ingo. Fresh food will lowered into the hot water in a basket woven from flax. It is besides of the hangi another style of cooking, Maori used hundreds of years ago. The difference to a hangi? During a hangi a pit is dug and hot rocks will steam the meat

and vegetables which are places in baskets, wrapped in leaves. This gives the kai (food) a special flavor! Really delicious. Continue your walk through the bush and forest! What you will realize is, that there are a lot of mud pools. One of those mud pools is called Purapurawhetu which means star dust. The name comes from the small clusters of bubbling and boiling mud in the pool. It creates a pattern of stars. The dark color of the mud comes from black Sulphur in the mud. Another beautiful mud pool is the Nga Mokai-a-koko which got its name after the chief of the Rotowhio pa in the Whakarewarewa village. Chief Koko always got remembered about playful children when he visited the pools. That’s why translated the name means “the cherished ones of Koko”. Nga Mokai-a-koko is the most impressive and active mud pool in Te Puia. It has a depth of about 6-10 metres. The steam of the mud pool can reach temperatures up to 95 degrees – the mud pools activity depends on rainfall. You can take your time and walk all the different paths, have a wonder around all the different holes in the earth. Have a deeper look into the steaming rocks and caves and enjoy the colorful lakes and plants. Due to the minerals in the air lots of rocks shine in orange, yellow and even the trees have a orange-rusty coat. The walkway through the Valley is just amazing. It is so peaceful and nice. There is so much to see, so much steaming, bubbling but also so much fern and bush land. Just incredible! Don’t miss out on walking every little path. You won’t regret it. Touch some fern on the way, take a deep breath and let your eyes wander around. Something really special on this walking path is the Kiwi House. You will find two little cute kiwi birds running around in their beautiful house! Te Puia will keep those little baby ones until they have learnt how to search for their own food. When they are old and strong enough they get realized into a save environment! Try your luck and spot the kiwis in the dark! Maori always see the Kiwi as a special bird. Some believe it is the hidden bird of Tanemahutu – the god of the forest. The feathers of Kiwi bird were woven into only by chief worn cloaks. If your finish with the geothermal valley and the Kiwi birds, it is time for having some cultural experience!

The Te Puia pa is close to the fortified village and Pikirangi village. In Te Puia pa you will learn and see how the Maori ancestors lived in the early times. The biggest building onsite is the Rotowhio Marae. A Marae is a traditional place of meeting. Visitors can walk in here and fall in love with the beautiful wood carved buildings and statues. Maori history was never written down; to keep the stories alive people started to carve the myths and legends into wood or wave them in special patterns. Both, wood carving as well as weaving displays the artistry of Maori culture. Te Aronui-a-rua is the carved meeting house. In here ceremonies and concerts are taken place. In this building you will find lots of beautiful wood carvings as well as panels and the stunning weaving! It was built by students of the onsite carving school. Normally a meeting house gets the name of a tribal ancestor. But at Te Puias carving school it embraces all tribes of Aotearoa, so it’s name can be translated into “basket of knowledge”. On the Marae you will find a smaller meeting house which is so called Te Whare Whananga-a-Hatupatu. A Whare wananga represents a house of learning. The reason for its building is to pass the stories, history and the whakapapa (genealogy) to future generations. Alongside Te Puia you will find lots of Maori architecture! Besides the beautiful waka you will get find the Heketanga-a-Rangi. This really informative and exciting Maori artwork is placed at the entrance of Te Puia. It is a circle of wooden carved gods and warriors of the Te Arawa culture. You can read about the stories. It is your first impression about this beautiful place! You will also find the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute. It is a national school of carving, weaving and other traditional arts like the Maori tattoo Ta Moko or weaving. Talented students get here the chance of a scholarship – financed with the entrance money. In the 1920 those traditions were in severe danger of extinction. That’s why this Institute was created, to not lose part of Maori culture! Have a look inside and see the stunning work

young trainees do at the wood carving or even the stone and bone carving school. You ever wondered how your beautiful pounamu (Greenstone) was created? Watch and learn! You will also have the opportunity to learn on many different signs along your way through native bush, how native plants have been used for food, medicine and handcrafts. At Te Puia there are nice concerts and cultural performances, which enable you to get a closer look inside the stunning and fascinating culture of Aoetaoras ancestors – the Maori. There are daytime (Te Ra) and evening (Te Po) experiences. You can be part of a Powhiri, which is a traditional Maori welcoming ceremony. This ceremony always runs after a basic structure. Once it was used to challenge a visiting party. After Powhiri you knew if the visitors intention was a good or a bad one. Depending on the occasion there are different ways of doing it. Usually a warrior brings up a wero (challenge) which is accompanied by a karanga (welcome call) from a female host. The whaikorero (welcome speeches) would usually follow this part. After the welcoming speech often there were waiata (songs) before the visitors get the official Maori greeting – the hongi (press noses together). Maori culture is special. Hospitality and respect are high values and every visitor is part of the whanau (family). Te Puia managed to give you that feeling! You can go on free guided tours each hour, which I highly recommend. The guides are from the village and so the children of the land you just entered. You will gain so much more knowledge about what you are able to see, hear and see! You will get fed and entertained like a family member. The tribe of this area is called Te Arawa. 700 years ago they migrated from Polynesia on a waka (canoe) and fall in love with New Zealand’s volcanic plateau! After you have finished your experience at Te Puia, you will know why. As well as Te Arawa, you also will realize how mystical this place is. You don’t want to leave it, trust me!

Te Puia offers you a great overview about everything Rotorua as destination has to offer. But there is one more thing; you need to experience to understand Aotearoa and its culture better. And that one thing is a Maori cultural experience. If the Maori part of Te Puia already left you in awe, than come and join a unique and unforgettable journey with Tamaki Maori Village in Rotorua! Kia Ora at Tamaki! The authentic Maori village experience will start straight after you enter the main office or your pick-up bus! The destination is an old authentic Maori village, situated in Rotorua’s beautiful 200 year old native Tawa forest! The two Tamaki brothers Mike and Doug had a dream – showing their culture to all kind of visitors. The idea was, to transfer better knowledge and understanding of who they are as a people. Started with a Harley Davidson as deposit for a 16 seater van they nowadays employ over 150 Maori staff all over New Zealand to keep the stories of their ancestors alive! You will learn about how they crossed the pacific ocean, adapted to new land and what compromises they needed to make according to survive the introduction of the western culture. You will love your journey right from the start! Your bus driver will start this entertaining experience. Every bus will become its own iwi (tribe). And of course every tribe needs a chief. In Maori culture the whole tribe decides who is capable enough to lead the tribe. So you will have your first challenge – finding a man who becomes your chief for the evening! As soon as a chief has been picked it’s now time to learn the ancient ceremony of welcome which takes place before you are allowed to enter the sacred ground of the Maori village. During the bus drive to the village your guide will instruct you with all those rules and protocols you have to respect before you enter the Marae. Hundred years ago the tribes send out a challenge to see if the visitors come in peace or not. Specific movements have been used by warriors until the peace offering is showed and placed in front of the warriors of the visiting tribe. The chief now has to accept that peace offering. And that’s why we needed a chief! It is an honorable task in Maoridom! But let’s have a closer look at the Powhiri (formal welcome). Nobody is allowed to enter the fortified village until this welcoming ceremony has been performed! The host tribe will now send out the challenge of peace (te wero).

Before you see the warriors of your host tribe, you will hear them singing warrior calls as well as the quiet background drums and a mystic blow of a shell! Than you see it, the waka (canoe) arrives and the warriors make their way towards your chief! Maori warrior with Ta Moko (face tattoos) will exit the waka and come closer towards your chief and your tribe. Don’t be scared! The chief as well as the whole trip must not laugh, smile or poking the tongue! You must stay behind your chief. The warriors of the host tribe are now intimidating gestures and certain movement with a Taiaha (spearlike weapon). They won’t stop until the visiting chief placed the Teka (peace offering) in front of the warriors. After knowing that the visiting tribe is coming in peace you will hear the Karanga (welcome call). This one will echo across the yard, followed by a welcome dance also called Powhiri. The chiefs will get greeted with the hongi (pressing of noses). After this ceremony your whole tribe is now allowed to enter the Marae. This whole welcoming ceremony is a really interesting ceremony to watch. It gives you a first impression on how important the warriors have been. Enjoy the facial expressions and movements before the Tangata Whenua (people of the land) will represent you different activities tell you different stories and show you around their pa (village). You can try yourself in the Maori way of life. At one place your chief will get the chance to learn with a couple of his warriors (maybe your husband?) how to do the Maori war dance – the haka. The ladies got the chance to learn the poi dance. You will learn a lot about hand games, weaponry displays, carving, reciting chants, the way of living, facial tattoos and how kai (food) was stored. Everything that you see was nearly gone but now been restored by the young Maori people of today! Which is absolutely great! There is so much depth in this culture. Everyone should learn about it! During your wander around the village you will see beautiful wood carvings, weavings and all those little details in the forest! Enjoy the environment, listen to the rhythmic singing and watch the fire burn! Soon you will realize that you smell something really delicious! You will automatically be drafted towards your hangi – I mean who can resist that smell? Learn from your guides how this meal has been cooked. You can watch how the Maori chefs lift your hangi from beneath the ground. Delicious vegetables and meat slowly cooked in the

ground. Hot stones are placed in a hole and the vegetables and the meat gets placed above - so all of the food gets a really nice flavor from the hot stone smoke! To not lose any heat, the food will get covered with leaves and soil! But before you can eat, your chief will take you into the Wharenui (big house). This meeting house represents an Ancestor of the past. Here you have to follow a few rules. Women are not allowed to sit in the front rows. Why? Hundreds of years ago, if fighting between the visiting and the hosting tribe was to occur, the men would protect the women of the tribe. All the welcoming speeches are performed from men. Again the chiefs will take part in the hongi – this is a bonding gesture of friendship between different cultures. Now it is time to sit and relax. You will hear a mix of Waiata, Haka, Dance as well as modern and traditional cultural songs which tells the stories of really proud people/of a really proud race – Te Maori! If you never have seen a Haka before (maybe you did during the Rugby) you will get goosebumps. The whole room is filled with power, proud and energy! This war dance must have been terrifying for the enemy tribe! But also the other songs and the dances… There are no words to describe it. This culture is special; there is so much pride in it, so much love. And you can feel it. You hear it, the voices and the rhythms are just beautiful. You will si-

lently thank the Tamaki brothers for having this vision: to become part of this culture, to learn about something so unique. Being one with nature! The Cultural group will bring you a smile on your face and leaves you in awe! After the performances are over, you will finally go and have your hangi! Hangi is the traditional way to cook dinner. Under the earth on hot rocks for about three to four hours. And the best? Everyone can do a hangi. You just need a bit of backyard, a nice Maori Warrior (yes ladies, in Maoridom men cook) and some hot stones. Rocks get heated before they will be put into a pit dug into the ground. Baskets of meat will get placed directly on the hot stones, vegetable basket in the middle and pudding on top. The food gets covered with a wet cloth and wet hessian. Dirt will get placed over everything to keep the heat of the stones inside the earth oven. Before you can start with this amazing smelling feast, it is common to bless the food with a prayer or a Karakia. You will sit with your tribe. Maybe you have the honor to sit opposite your chief? The buffet has everything to offer. From the nicest vegetables over different types of meat - go and try everything! You won’t regret it. The best, they also cater Kawakawa tea. If you never tried it – do it. Kawakawa is a really special plant and helps against everything – same as Pawpaw but different. It heals cuts and is really healthy to drink! It tastes


Fine Art Prints & Canvas

really good like everything at your hangi. Pudding or desert can be really kiwi traditional and you might try your first Pavlova. And yes sorry Australia – it is a New Zealand original desert. After you eat until you think you need to open your first button of your trousers, you can have a wander around the shop before the evening ends with a Poroporaki. This is an official closing for a ceremony. You have for the last time the chance to hear beautiful waiata (songs) and whaikorero (speeches) before you have to say goodbye to the beautiful people at the village. But don’t be sad! Your bus drive back to your accommodation will be guaranteed fun. It’s time to thank the chief for the evening. Of course the chief needs to do a speech towards his tribe! After his probably overwhelming speech you now can start singing – yes. Every person from a different country needs to sing a song in their own mother tongue. After that you might find your Korotiwaka (driver) racing one of the other tribes buses in a roundabout. And because you are travelling as an ancient tribe you are not sitting in a bus but in a waka (canoe). So it’s all up to you as tribe how strong you paddle to catch the other tribe – or to escape. You will leave this unique experience with a smile on your face. You will be inspired by the beautiful culture of the Maori. The songs and stories will follow you into your sleep where you dream about strong warriors and talented women. The powerful cultural performances, shared within a traditional maori village, ending with a mean as (kiwi slang)

hangi buffet – it makes your day just perfect. This experience is one of the most award-winning cultural attractions in New Zealand and after you visited the journey which brings you back into a time of ancient tradition and proud warriors you understand why. But besides the evening experience you also have the opportunity to stay overnight at Tamaki village. You will have the chance to listen to Maori myths, legends and stories of the history on an open campfire. You also have the opportunity to have a relaxing soak in one of the forest hot pools! Friendly kiwi hospitality and enthusiasms as well as authentic, interactive and educational! Tamaki Maori village offers you with everything they do a welcome to the world of the Maori! As you can see, there is a lot to do and see around Rotorua. Besides geothermal parks, adrenaline seeking activities and cultural experiences you also meet a lot of friendly, loving people who will make your trip to Rotorua unforgettable. All the staff I have met were willing to give me the best experience ever. And that is not just because people work for company X. It is because the people here love what they do and they are proud to be a part of Rotorua’s variety. Everyone loves showing you as a visitor the beautiful and stunning places. This is not just located on Rotorua but everywhere in New Zealand. WRITTEN BY JESSY SA @JESSYTRAVELADVENTURE

There is a Maori saying which describes what you will experience in Rototrua and it’s just perfect. He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata. (What is the most important thing in the world? It is the people, it is the people, it is the people.)

LUMA Southern L QUEENSTOWN, NEW ZEALAND We are stoked to have become a sponsor of the community event the LUMA Southern Light Project in Queenstown you can check out some of last years epic photos here we can’t wait to share more about it over the year with you and showcase what is on display in 2018. Definitely a great time to head to Queenstown before the Winter season and enjoy the area and take in the lights over Queens Birthday Weekend. Here’s a bit about the Project from LUMA The LUMA Southern Light Project is a free festival held annually in Queenstown with a vision to connect our people via arts and culture while engaging all ages. It is strategically held each June over Queen’s Birthday weekend, traditionally one of the quietest times of the year in Queenstown, the festival features four nights of illuminated art, light sculptures and entertainment throughout the Queenstown Gardens. 100% delivered by volunteers, LUMA is a non for profit event governed by a local charitable trust and created and managed by an exceptional group of local people. In 2017, just its 2nd year, the festival attracted 35,000 people, equalling the population of Queenstown. Launched as a pilot project in June 2015 LUMA exhibited four interactive sculptures with an estimated attendance of 1500 visitors. In 2016 a total of twenty four installations, including a schools programme debuting a photographic/projection installation, was presented to the community with an estimated attendance of 10,000 visitors. The most recent LUMA, LUMA17, expand-

ed to four days and thirty eight installations including 2 works created by primary and secondary area schools under guidance from the LUMA creative team. The increase in scale and event awareness took everyone by surprise and the event attracted approximately 35,000 visitors. A great result achieved and a benefit to the region also in only our 2nd year LUMA was awarded a place in the Top 10 Light and Sculpture Festivals Worldwide by LUMA offers the region exposure to culture and creativity helping to bring us together enhancing our sense of social well being and our sense of ‘community’, often lost in this unique town and is a great platform that has been created for our community of local performers, local photographers and videographers to be involved and showcase their talents. LUMA also ensures local school involvement. This section of the festival is coordinated by a local teacher. In 2017 students built their own virtual flower bed installations gaining an understanding of different plants, leaves and shapes. They made 150 flowers, marking the 150 yrs of the Gardens also allowing discussion of its heritage and history. Including LUMA in the school curriculum allows real-life engagement and development of artistic skills, a chance to engage with professional artists and a framework to support students build their confidence to keep developing artistic skills. A key installation was Time Traveller. The installation transported people ‘back in time’ displaying a visual archive of the Gardens’ establishment, its history and use.

Light Project Finally, LUMA brought whole families and different generations out on one of the coldest weekends of the year. A strong demonstration that the arts are alive in our community, and indeed our community is alive. Check out more here at the Facebook page LUMA Queenstown

Che McPherson Pixel Peeps

Fairies by Flame Entertainment - Jason Law Photography

It’s Bigger Than Me - Don Service - Jason Law Photography

credit Jason Law Photography

credit Jason Law Photography


Exploring Lake Heron Station

Exploring Lake Heron Station Words: Hollie Woodhouse Images: Liz Carlson Turning north at the historic Hakatere buildings in Mid-Canterbury, the final halfhour drive up the valley towards our destination is mesmerising. The freshly-graded gravel road makes the journey slower than usual, no doubt ready for the influx of holiday makers at Arrowsmith Station Campground over the Christmas period. But there are no complaints here; the sheer scale of the landscape makes us feel inferior as the powerful glacial mountain ranges surround us on both sides. Located in the heart of New Zealand’s South Island, Lake Heron Station is found nestled amongst towering pines at the end of the road. It’s hard to comprehend we are now closer to the West Coast than the East, and an easy two-hour drive west from Christchurch, it’s like stepping into another world. It’s easy to see why Peter Jackson chose Mt Sunday, just a valley over on Mt Potts Station, as the backdrop to ‘Edoras’ in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Covering 20,000 hectares, Lake Heron Station is owned and operated by Philip and Anne Todhunter. It has been a part of their family for the last 100 years, although when I asked Philip if there were any celebrations to mark the milestone, he laughed, adding “It might have to be 101 years instead.” Philip’s great-grandfather, Robert Charlton Todhunter bought Lake Heron Station in 1917 and set up a merino stud in the Rakaia Gorge. His son, Joseph, Philip’s grandfather, farmed Lake Heron until 1945 when he moved to the Rakaia Gorge. That stud is now run by Philip’s brother Ben and father Bob, over the valley at Cleardale Station, and continues to supply Lake Heron with merino rams. I was joined on my adventure with a good friend Liz Carlson, an American social media influencer who now calls Wanaka home. While I was brought up on a sheep and beef farm on the Canterbury Plains, this was a whole new experience for her, having spent her childhood surrounded by the concrete jungle of suburban America. Being able to share this unique experience

with her, the delight and amazement so clearly expressed on her face, only solidified how lucky we are as kiwis to call this place home. Colloquial farming terms like ‘rattle your dags’ definitely warranted an explanation, much to the amusement of us all. With five original accomodation options scattered over the property, we were staying in the Cottage which dates back to the 1900s, a stone’s throw from the main homestead. With an outdoor bath and a view of the woolshed, it’s easy to see why the comments left in the visitors’ book were that of only high praise. Beautifully furnished, but not too over the top for a high-country station, it had everything we needed for a warm and comfortable stay. Fully catered, we headed over to the homestead for a delicious home-cooked meal with the family, although there was the option of having our meal delivered if we preferred. Their three children, Maria (18), Alex (16) and Oscar (13) were all home for their summer holiday working on the farm, although a weekend in Christchurch for the older two meant the conversation at the dinner table wasn’t as lively as one would imagine! While eating dinner we learnt just how amazing our hosts are, although it did take some coaxing to reveal the true extent of their talents. Coming from an adventure background myself, I was in awe as we heard about Anne’s climbing achievements, having spent a fair amount of her younger years as a mountaineering guide based at Mt Cook. Alongside Anne’s adventures we discovered that Philip has over 35 years of flying experience himself. First learning in a fixed wing, he then took up flying helicopters, a skill that has taken him to all four corners of the globe, and as you would imagine, many a story to accompany it. Liz turned to her children, more in a statement than a question, telling them that their parents were ‘badass’, to which they all smiled and nodded in agreeance. As with many high-country stations these days there is an opportunity to create a diverse rural-based business of adventure tourism alongside farming. While the land is privately owned, they welcome people

to explore their slice of paradise through a variety of experiences such as scenic flights, heli-skiing and mountain biking, or the more recreational activities such as day walks, farm tours and fly-fishing. The closed gate at the entrance to the station indicates you are entering a working farm, with Philip remembering when a couple of men appeared one day, asking permission to ice-skate on the frozen lake in front of the house. Offering Philip a spare pair of skates to accompany them, he agreed. They managed to skate from the house all the way down to the bottom of the lake, with Philip recalling how the muscles in his jaw hurt from smiling the entire way! Waking up on our first morning we pulled back the curtains to reveal a light drizzle hanging in the air. With the skies forecast to clear later that morning, we decided to head for a walk up Mount Sugarloaf. There was time for a quick cuddle with the pups on the way before meeting Anne who informed us that to get to the start of the track, we first had to row a short distance over to the other side of the lake. Not one to shy away from a challenge, I jumped in the dinghy and immediately took control. After a few false starts and with the help of

Anne pulling us out further, we finally managed to zig-zag our way over. Following Anne’s instructions we easily found the track. Sitting at 1,238 metres, it starts with a gradual gradient before turning into a sharper incline. Taking the opportunity to catch our breath, we turned around and looked back over the homestead and as far as the eye could see up the valley. Even with dark moody skies rolling past, the view was breathtaking. After a few false tops we managed to catch a glimpse of the real top before it disappeared behind the thick cloud. Spotting Philip driving back along the road far below, we decided to turn around and head back down to meet him. The main reason for our stay? A scenic flight in his fixed wing plane and the last thing we wanted to do was keep him waiting! On reaching the bottom and making our way back over in the dinghy (Liz was far better at steering than me!) we found Philip who informed us that Anne had already taken the 4WD up to the ‘New Hut’ (built in 1923) and was waiting for us with lunch. Our mode of transport was to be much


Hollie Woodhouse Image Liz Carlson

quicker however… the new four-seater Cessna 185. With pockets of blue now poking through the clouds, we were both super excited to explore the landscape from above.

top of the Hokitika Gorge, over the Whitcombe Pass and out at the head of the Rakaia Gorge, and one that has just been added to my ‘must do’ adventure list.

Taking off to the east we looped around and headed up the valley, feeling slightly guilty as we passed over the children and staff who were busy doing the annual tailing. Landing on the top airstrip it was a quick five minute walk over to the hut where we met Anne who was busy making the beds, ready for a group of holiday makers who were staying over the weekend. With 12 king-single beds, the hut can be booked year round. Popular with heli-skiiers in winter and trampers in summer, it’s also the base for the Annual Autumn Muster. Philip gave us a quick rundown on the process involved in bringing the wethers (castrated rams grown for their wool) down from the surrounding mountain ranges to the lower land for grazing over winter. Liz and I looked at each other with the same thought, “How can we come back and help on the next one?”

The landscape below changed from dense forest to brightly-coloured green paddocks as we popped out over the Hokitika Gorge and down the coastline to Greymouth. Flying over Lake Kaniere we spotted a boat pulling a water-skier far below, enjoying the beautiful West Coast sunshine. Heading north we flew out over the sea before looping around to land on the runway. We were the only plane there, and after calling out a man working in a near-by building appeared. Showing us the gate to get out, we walked over the road and onto the beach. From walking up Mount Sugarloaf, to lunch at the New Hut, to standing on the gravel beach with the the Tasman Sea stretched before us, it really was one of those days I’ll never forget.

A delicious simple lunch of hearty soup and fresh ciabatta buns with ham was devoured as we discussed the afternoon plans. The beauty of their central location means the opportunities are endless. We could have gone north for a look along the Kaikoura Coastline, or south to check out Mount Cook and the glaciers, or even further afield to South Westland. But when it’s a beautiful day on the West Coast, you can’t pass up the opportunity, so we unanimously agreed to head up to the top of the Rakaia Gorge and over the Main Divide towards Hokitika and Greymouth. Each with headsets, we listened intently as Philip narrated our journey, providing knowledge that only comes from many years of exploring the landscape. Sitting in the back I had the luxury of seeing out both sides as the iconic braided river sparkled and weaved its way below. Doing a loop at the very top of the valley we took a left-hand turn and headed for the Coast via the Whitcombe Pass. Glaciers and alpine lakes appeared around each corner, and we managed to spot a couple of brightly-painted huts along the ridge lines. It’s a four-day hike from the

With the afternoon getting on, we hopped back into the plane and roughly retraced our journey back through the Main Divide. A right hand turn took us up to where the wethers spend their summers, with Philip spotting tahr and deer on the ridges. My eyes rapidly searched the camouflaged landscape, before finally catching sight of the shapes moving quickly below. Passing over the homestead we headed to a shelterbelt of pine trees, which also double as the boundary line between Lake Heron and Arrowsmith Stations, before the final descent back to the airstrip. You couldn’t wipe the smile off our faces if you tried as we helped Philip push the plane back inside the brand new hangar, big enough to hold both the Cessna and the helicopter, which is used for heli-skiing over the winter. The following day we hopped in Philip’s farm truck for a more up-close look at the day-to-day workings of the station. First stop was the woolshed, and as I stepped inside, the distinctive smell from the wool immediately took me back to the many hours of my uni holidays spent behind the broom handle. While I am in no hurry to go back (especially with their flat board) it’s amazing how life experiences can go full circle, providing me with essential knowledge for my current job at NZ Merino.


Looking over the West Coast - view from Peter’s Plane - Liz Carlson

Next stop was the Prattley mobile yards set up for the annual tailing. We arrived just as a new mob was being bought in from a near-by paddock, crouching down in silence as Hamish, the head shepherd, calmly whistled his dogs and directed the ewes and lambs into the holding pen. We watched as the ewes were drenched before being drafted out from the lambs, which were then vaccinated, earmarked and tailed before being released back into the paddock to find their mums. A cold westerly was rolling down the valley, and after Philip positioned the tractor to act as a wind break for the tailing crew, we jumped back in the truck to see if the lucern, which had been direct drilled a week earlier, had sprouted yet. After a quick bite to eat for lunch back at the homestead, we sadly waved the Todhunters goodbye, promising to be back sooner rather than later. And why wouldn’t we? There’s something about the vastness, the silence of nature and the sheer scale of the high country that fills your soul. And Lake Heron Station is all that and more. The opportunities available to experience this landscape in so many different ways, along with the incredible hospitality that Anne and Philip provide, makes the trip up the Hakatere Heron Road a must for everyone. About Hollie Woodhouse I get my kicks from heading for the hills and creating adventures of my own, then sharing these experiences with others. When not running up mountains or crashing on my mountain bike, I encourage others to grab life by the balls through my own magazine Say Yes to Adventure; a digital magazine featuring inspiring stories, photographs and illustrations all based on a common theme; Adventure. FB@ SayYestoAdventureMag

Philip and Anne

Lake Heron Station

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

NZ Photography Adventures & Workshops



Nowhere but right here As we meandered up and over the farm land we came to a sign that pointed up.... my eyes followed the white tipped posts that were our markers for the Wairake Track just out of Raglan, New Zealand, Up, up and up they went.... we’re going UP THERE?!?!? I’m fairly new to this tramping thing... give me a mountain bike and a trail and I’m in my instant happy place... but tramping, thats a whole other adventure in itself. It’s a slower pace, a chance to take in the things I’d normally boost on past on a bike. Adventure for me isn’t just about clocking up the kms, being the fastest and the best, smashing records (ok, if I being totally honest... most of the time its not that)...

Rather than get caught up in the future worries or the past stories, wipe the slate clean and come back to the now, trust you can even if it gets a little tough. And what a tramp it was! Adventure means so many things to so many different people.... what does adventure mean to you? Top Two Life Lessons From this Walk I am stronger than I think I am. When I was tired, and puffed I never once told myself I couldn’t. I just rested and knew that I if I kept on moving no mater what pace, I would make it to the top. Mental strength can trump physical strength.

For me it’s more about exploring, time in nature... sometimes alone to contemplate the world, figure stuff out or just get away from humans for a day.

There is nowhere to be, but right here in this present moment – shopping lists, to do lists, next weeks workload, worries... they can all wait. You will never get this moment back again, so soak it all up and enjoy life in the very moment you are experiencing it.

Sometimes it’s with friends to talk smack, have deep and meaningfuls or give each other some motivation.


Sometimes it’s about getting out of the city and out of my head and into the present moment.

For more adventure inspiration visit

Life often has a way of falling into that feeling of ground hog day, or overwhelm or people pleasing and getting outdoors lets me leave all of that behind.

Wairake Track Info Time: 2 - 3 hr one way This is the shortest route to the summit and isn’t as steep as sections of the Karioi Track. It doesn’t have the same views. It’s a 40-min walk across private farmland to the bush edge. Respect the access privilege which is only available during daylight hours. From the bush edge, the track climbs steadily through coastal forest, comprising kohekohe, māhoe, rewarewa, kamahi and a variety of ferns and shrubs, to the summit. Getting there: The track starts at the end of Karioi Road, off Ruapuke Road.

For me escaping to nature pulls me out of that feeling of disconnect and into the present moment where there is stillness in my mind and a sense of adventure in my heart and nowhere to be but right here. When I was staring up at the track it was easy to let my mind get caught up in the conversation within itself of whether or not I’m going to enjoy trek to the top, but like anything in life, sometimes you just need to park all of that and come into the present moment and start. places-to-go/waikato/places/karioi-area/tracks/ karioi-summit-tracks/



En Route with Rina Limited Edition

LIMITED EDITION WITH RINA SJARDIN-THOMPSON - FULL TIME PHOTOGRAPHER This past few months have been months of change‌.. And you know how no one likes change!!! I am learning to embrace it, though. Nothing has made me more aware (even though i knew already) that photography is most certainly a journey, than this month or two and its activities!!! A journey made up of lulls and highs, growth and learning, encounters and disappointments, self evaluation and realisation. I’m not sure that we realise EXACTLY where we are at in our journeys, on a conscious level, at any given time until you have it spelt out to you in no uncertain terms, which is exactly what happened to me lately. After having a conversation with friend, neighbour photographic hero and mentor Andris Apse...or perhaps less than a conversation but more of a telling off that I needed to change my attitude around pricing and valuing what I do. What ensued was an interesting conversation around producing a small range of Limited Edition images and all that that entails. That was quite a terrifying and confronting conversation to have with him as it brought up all manner of insecurities and questions regarding worthiness, value, misgivings and fears. It was very unsettling to have been made aware that my journey was taking me in a new direction and i guess in a direction that we all hope for and are striving

for. That is, to not just be earning a living but to be valued amongst our peers or not just our peers- those who have come before us, the photographers we have iconised (yes that’s a word, i looked it up) as I like to called the Ansel Adams and Andris Apses of photography the “A Team of landscape Photography” or “ the cream that rises to the top” That doesn’t come easily or without hard work! It has truly blown me away and have had possibly the most unsettling month ever in my photography career - even more unsettling than the lean times and work wasn’t coming in!!! However i am always grateful to still be in this industry and to be doing the enviable and I’m buggered if i know how i got here! Even more importantly I am grateful for the all the people I get to meet, new relationships I make for without all of you I would not be doing this…. This coincided with an invitation to a weekend away with some of the West Coast’s best know photographers including Andris Apse, Colin Monteith, Petr Hlavecek, Stewart Nimmo and Jase Blair…. Again I was blown away! It was almost the exclamation mark at the end of the last sentence of the conversation/telling off I received from Andy. To even be considered amongst this group is totally and completely humbling and i have to say terrifying…. BUT the knowledge and experience that will be there on that weekend will be amazing and I’m going to sit in a corner like a little mouse and soak it all in!!! What an opportunity and what an honour. Amongst all of this, in conjunction with NZ Kiwi Adventures, we have put together 11 workshops designed for women who are beginning their very own photographic journey!!! So excited for

that and to see these amazing ladies learn and grow… who knows where it might lead them. You can check them out on Just to mix things up a bit, NZ Kiwi Adventures, along with Jordan McInally, and myself are also launching the “Destination Wedding and Photography” arm of this already busy photographic hub. We will be covering the entire country and photographing elopement couples wherever it is they’d like to get married be it on an isolated beach, hill or mountain we can arrange everything for you!!! So here’s to new twists and turns and a brilliant way to start off 2018! Here’s to achieving goals - perhaps goals you never realised you had! Here’s to a new way of looking at what we do! and here’s to another amazingly busy, fulfilling year of photography….. !!! Most of all here’s to all of YOU who follow, support, purchase, hire, engage, and trust me with your photographic needs. It has been a total pleasure to meet all of you and to work with and for you all. Rina Follow on Social FACEBOOK






Wildboy Adventures - Brando Yelavich TAKING THE FIRST STEPS

As humans, we often find ourselves dreaming of things we would like to do. Expeditions we would like to go on, jobs we would like to apply for or places we would like to travel to. If we only ever think of these things, they will remain dreams. Its when you begin to take steps, be they mental, physical or emotional, that these dreams become reality. On my 19th birthday, I announced to everyone at my party that I was going to walk around New Zealand, two months later, I was beginning my adventure. Two months may sound like a long time to get ready, but as I was taking my first steps down 90-mile beach, I had no idea how underprepared I was. Crucial things to consider when starting an adventure Shoes I began my walk in bare feet. Two days and 40km of beach later I was in agony. The arch of my left foot had collapsed and both of my legs were cramping severely. Food I planned to live off the land, hunting, fishing and foraging to provide myself with food. New Zealand has a plentiful coastline and lots of game to hunt, however without the skills and experience to do so, I was going hungry fast. I hadn’t thought about the technicalities of knowing how to hunt or fish, I had never been hunting in my life and I didn’t know how to fish. The first thing I caught and killed was a seagull which I shot with my air rifle. I then proceeded to cook the seagull without gutting it, I only made that mistake once! Gear My advice is to write a list of the things you NEED, first aid kit, gas cooker, tent, sleeping bag etc… Then write a list of what you don’t need and cull the non-essentials from your pack. My pack weight, to begin with, was approximately 48kgs, way too heavy. After 600 days of fine-tuning what I needed to survive and what I didn’t need to carry, my pack was around 30kgs. One of the many beautiful things about adventure in New Zealand is how safe it is. There are no dangerous animals that will drag you out of your tent at night, no snakes waiting for you at the bottom of your sleeping bag, However, some people would argue that the sandflies on the West Coast are worse than a grizzly bear. When I began my trip I was an angry young man who blamed everyone else for anything that went wrong. I loved fast cars and parties and I would bully my parents to get what I wanted. Within three days of beginning my walk, this same man was sitting on a beach, alone at a camp site, marvelling at the beauty of wild horses. Three days of being solo in nature gave me perspective. 600 days changed my life and made me the person that I am today.

With so many beautiful mountains to climb, glaciers to hike to, lakes and rivers to camp by and natural hot springs to find, I truly believe that there is adventure in nature for everyone. Written by Ngaio Gregory With Brando Yelavich.



Chris Pegman for NZ Travel Magazine

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


A Weekend in Franz Josef

Franz Josef – The West Coast Gem Hello to all of you!! I hope everyone is great and planning some new NZ travels! This issue I am going to be giving all of you a look into the quaint but bustling town of Franz Josef on the West Coast. There are some interesting challenges being faced by this little town but in true kiwi fashion, the residents and local businesses are swiftly rising to those challenges. Franz Josef has grown as a popular attraction due to it’s close proximity to the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers. As I am sure many of you are aware, glaciers all over the world are receding dramatically with Franz and Fox being no exception. This has left the small town vulnerable as even now the glacier is no longer accessible on foot but rather requires helicopter transport. As a response to this quickly worsening phenomena, Franz Josef has begun to invest in ways to promote it’s other attributes with new and inventive attractions being developed and established in and around the town.

Franz Josef is quickly diversifying into a West Coast Wonderland with new attractions such as the Glacier Hot Pools and the West Coast Wildlife Centre. In addition to these there is horse trekking, numerous hikes and day walks and an ever increasing number of new accommodation and bars/eateries to suit everyone. Franz is small and compact meaning there is so much to see and do in walking distance from the town centre. Whether you are a backpacker ready to party or someone simply wanting to escape from the real world, Franz has something for everybody to do - that’s if you can tear yourself from the views of the beautiful and dramatic landscape.

Where to Eat The Landing Bar and Cafe I have to say that after a full day of hiking and exploring the glaciers and various tracks in the area, there is nothing better than a big hearty fulling meal. The Landing in Franz Josef provides just that. The menu is huge and has everything you could possibly want. During the day, this place serves Brunch and lunch and has coffees, smoothies and an extensive bar menu to wash it all down. We had the Nachos and let me just say that the serving was not disappointing. Our faces matched those sitting at the tables around us who followed up with a polite “what did they order?!” The dish was HUGE! They were Nachos for two, perhaps even three! The size, however, did not outshine the flavour, they were exactly how nachos should be – lots of cheese, a mountain of Guac and LOTS of sour cream. In short? perfection. Te Waonui Forest Gazebo If you are looking for something a little more of a unique experience, the Te Waonui Retreat Forest Gazebo is an absolute must do! There really isn’t anything better than sitting in the rainforest, listening to the chorus of birds in the rainforest around you with your own private wait staff serving you a 5-course degustation meal and finishing the night with a beautifully made cocktail or something from the extensive wine menu. The experience is one that will leave a lasting impression of what the beautiful West Coast has to offer. The entire setting was created in a clearing that was made by a storm that blew down a tree, creating a path lined with mossy roots, glow worms and strategically placed lighting to really ramp up the ambience of this special spot.


Where to Stay The Te Waonui Forest Retreat This beautiful hotel has flawlessly combined the wild and beautiful West Coast with an executive and luxurious style. The setting allows the convenience of the town centre while allowing the hotel to be immersed in a native New Zealand forest. The rooms are gorgeous and the sounds of the dawn chorus really finish off the whole experience. The rooms were beautiful. Every little detail was perfectly thought out with the comfort of the guests in mind – the bed was of a beautiful and plush, the addition of the possum pelt cushions gave the room that West Coast style. If the hotel itself does not sell you, the staff certainly will. Te Waonui is a perfect example of West Coast Hospitality with everyone we met being friendly, accommodating and welcoming. Nothing was too difficult, they were knowledgeable about the area and anticipated our needs before we had to ask. The Te Waonui Resort is the perfect way to experience the wilderness of South Westland while having a beautiful and comfortable room to come back to. The hotel provides an oasis of sophistication without being over the top. The warm green and timber tones allow the room to blend perfectly giving an effortless transition from the room into the surroundings. The hotel also has two restaurants, a bar and a spa. Franz Josef is within the wettest region in the country and Te Waonui has capitalised on this by providing guests with a number of indoor activities. Whether it is a spa day, a cozy day in the room watching movies or sitting on the balcony watching the rainforest being saturated by a West Coast deluge, Te Waonui creates a special and mood that encompasses all the is the West Coast with a 5-star level of luxury chucked in. Overall, whether you are in Franz to hit the tracks or to relax, Te Waonui provides an experience that works for both. Make sure you check them out for your next trip to Glacier Country!

What to Do Franz Josef Glacier Experience Although there are an ever-growing list of activities and attractions, I do still suggest a trip to see the glaciers before they disappear. There is still something magnificent and breathtaking about the power and scale of how this glacier has carved the landscape and the beauty of the colours within the ice. There are many ways to experience the glacier, with the easiest and cheapest being the walking track. The track is walking distance from the town if you are keen for a longer walk or you can drive up and walk about 45 minutes to the viewing platform. The track meanders through the riverbed and is a beautiful way to witness what the glacier has created. The valley consists of stunning and dramatic landscapes with steep rock walls and numerous waterfalls that flow into the milky blue waters of the Waiho River. If you have a little more money to play with I would definitely do one of the scenic flights or Heli hikes in order to have a more intimate and thrilling experience that will blow your mind. Standing on the ice itself, hearing the movement and cracking of the ice underneath you and breathing in that crisp mountain air is worth the money. If that isn’t enough to sell you, the view from the top is spectacular! You truly are at the top of the world and gazing down the valley below is something you could do for hours. Lake Mathieson If you are a budding photographer or an established professional, Lake Mathieson is an absolute must – this iconic shot is everywhere from your generic New Zealand postcard to every second Instagram account and there is a reason why. Nicknamed the “mirror Lake’ at the right time, Lake Mathieson perfectly reflects the surrounding mountains, providing a perfect photo opportunity. The best time to get this shot is early morning as that is when the air is still. The lake is approximately 30m from Franz Josef so if you are organising an early morning trip – make sure you factor that in. also talk to the receptionist at your accommodation to check the weather in Fox Glacier to make sure you are getting the best conditions possible!

Images Jessica Pullen

Lake Matheson - 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 16 featuring New Zealand Destinations and Activities