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personal locator beacons worth $600!

Prepare for mud, blood, sweat and tears


Three season tent review


STARTER TRIPS A beginner’s guide to tramping


Gas and liquid-fuel cookers for all budgets and group sizes NZ $9.95 Aust $9.95 INCL GST

PLUS: Luxury walking on Auckland’s Kaipara to Kaipara track › A buyer’s guide to walking poles and water filters › Four weekend trips to try right now!

contents January 2014


40 54


40 The walk that saved the Milford

The world-famous Milford Track was once the domain of private enterprise, but that all changed thanks to a group of rebellious trampers

44 Hidden huts of the Orongorongos

A quirk of history has seen dozens of private huts built in the Orongorongo Valley in Rimutaka Forest Park – but for how much longer will they stand?

50 New Zealand’s worst tramp Can there be a more pointless tramp than this boggy, viewless and overgrown Coromandel shocker?

54 From south to north by kayak, bike and foot

How a childhood spent in the outdoors led Ginney Deavoll on an epic 2000km South Island adventure



Lewis Pass Tops, Nina/Doubtful Rivers Conservation Area

22 See more

Four rock cairns that provide a link to the past

24 A twitcher’s paradise

Whether you tramp on the coast, in the bush or on the tops this summer, you’re bound to spot some of these birds

26 First steps

10 easy trips for those just starting out on their tramping journey

31 Starter kit

Essential gear for your first tramp

57 SUBSCRIBER PRIZE Subscribe to Wilderness this month and you’ll go in the draw to win one of four McMurdo FastFind 220 GPS personal locator beacons worth $599! 1

YOUR TRIPS, YOUR PIX What did you get up to last weekend?

Lorraine Osborne went mountain biking up the Ahuriri Valley

Sue, Angela and Ann Marie went walking in Cable Bay, Nelson

Brent Andrews enjoyed a weekend trip along the Zampa tops near Lewis Pass Christopher Tait went for a quick run up Little Mount Peel, South Canterbury Marcus Bai was stoked to reach the summit of Aoraki/Mt Cook on his fourth attempt

Lynda Rabel found some sunshine above an inversion layer at Lake Hawea Conservation Area

Jordan Watson posed beneath the Footstool in Aoraki/Mt Cook NP

Andre Adam cooled off in Lake Mackenzie while tramping the Routeburn Track


R PIX Get your ‘Last we ekend’ photo published here and you’ll receive an original Spork co urtes of y z. Head to www.wildernessm – search ‘last weekend’ – for full submission criter

Denis McEntyre went kayaking in Milford Sound


Russell Gent discovered fresh snow en route to French Ridge Hut

6 - January 2014

Mackinnon Pass Shelter on the Milford Track

40 - January 2014

THE WALK THAT SAVED THE MILFORD TRACK Matthew Pike learns how a group of young trampers opened the world-renowned track to the masses




A quirk of history has seen dozens of private huts built in the Orongorongo Valley in Rimutaka Forest Park. Ricky French examines what will happen when occupancy licences expire in 2050

There’s a place where you can spill an array of luxury items from your pack onto the floor and settle into your private holiday house for a night or two, knowing that no unknown clomps at the door will be heard as you’re preparing dinner, or stacking the furniture for a game of hutcricket.The walk in is easy; an undulating stroll of not much more than an hour. Think of it as a reward for all the long ordeals you’ve endured in the bush, or think of it as a gentle introduction to tramping for children or outdoor novices; free of hardships, taking the good with the good. It’s tramping, but not as we know it. It’s tramping Orongorongo-style. But amongst the ferns, the beeches, the huts and the river rocks a grand stoush is brewing.


There’s something quite strange about opening the door to a bush hut in New Zealand and knowing it’s yours exclusively for the night. Booking a hut is usually something that only happens when venturing into Great Walk huts in peak season, but even then you are only guaranteed a sleeping spot, not run of the roost. We are taught to make late-comers welcome and not spread our gear everywhere; to be aware that huts are shared spaces where strangers huddle under one roof. But there’s a pocket of bush near Wellington where this doesn’t happen.

Flag Inn

44 - January 2014

Shamilar Hut


Xanadu Hut

Cookies Hut



BY KAYAK, BIKE AND FOOT A childhood spent in the outdoors leads to a grand 2000km South Island adventure for Ginney Deavoll

54 - January 2014


hen I was a teenager, my bedroom walls were covered in pictures I'd cut out of magazines: mountains and seascapes, trampers on razor sharp ridge lines, climbers scaling impossible faces, hidden river gorges and rare wildlife. My friends' rooms had photos of nice looking people and parties. I grew up by the beach in Christchurch in an active and creative family. Some weekends we’d get up in the dark, and drive west to the snowy slopes of the Southern Alps or we’d load up the bikes and tackle the hills of Bottle Lake Forest Park. There weren’t many days when we didn’t visit the beach, even if it was just to peer over the dunes to get blustered by sand and sea spray. Creative projects occupied our time when the weather forced us indoors. I used to draw a lot. Dad introduced me to watercolours when I was nine and I suppose this was the beginning of my painting obsession. I never really stopped after that. I knew that my life would be consumed by the outdoors, adventure and painting but it has taken a while to discover how they would all meld together. The latest journey, last year with my partner Tyrell, was a milestone, and resulted in a book and an exhibition.

Early risers in Bligh Sound; Above: The timeless landscape of the Canterbury high country


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Patagonia ambassador Chloe Lanthier shifts into a faster gear and leaves the morning fog behind. Mount Revelstoke National Park, British Columbia. STEVE OGLE. © 2011 Patagonia, Inc.

90 - January 2014

January 2014  

Preview the January 2014 issue of Wilderness

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