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Wilderness November 2020

Each issue of Wilderness takes its readers to the most beautiful areas in New Zealand, whether by foot, mountain bike, sea kayak, raft, pony or dream.

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New Zealand
Lifestyle Publishing Ltd
12 Issues

in this issue

2 min
river safety

I WAS IN TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK in late September when heavy rain hit. The day before had been stunning weather where crystal clear streams burbled softly down the mountain and allowed my daughter and I to bend down and splash water on our faces. You would not have been advised to do that the day the rain came. The rivers and streams turned into dark and frightening torrents. Standing on a bridge, watching the maelstrom pass beneath was mesmerising, but I couldn’t help but imagine the ghastly repercussions of falling in. Trampers wade across rivers in New Zealand all the time. Most times, they are successful – whether by design or luck. But sadly, since 2008 a total of 21 trampers have lost their lives while trying to cross a river.…

2 min
pigeon post

LIGHTWEIGHT GEAR NOT DANGEROUS Your correspondent John Walsh (Pigeon Post, October 2020) comments on people “tramping light” and then relying on others to come to their rescue. He gives examples of people not taking sufficient gear. This is poor planning. With lightweight tramping, you take the same amount of gear as other trampers. But each item is the lightest available that will do the job properly. This is not cheap, but the result for me is significant. I carry a lighter pack to enable me to continue to do multi-day tramping but, like John Walsh, I take great care to ensure my comfort and safety. - Roger Parsons LAKE DIVE HUT News of Lake Dive Hut in Egmont National Park burning down is sad news indeed. The hut was built at Lake Dive in 1980 to replace…

1 min
letter of the month

TO LIGHT TRAMPING GEAR IS LONGER THE ANSWER I am in my 80’s and still enjoying the outdoors. In my distant youth, I was not an ultralight hiker. Post-war Britain did not boast much in the way of hiking gear. My first pack was made from canvas, had no frame and was of the old Bergan style. I could fit a kerosene stove and tin of fuel, an ex-army blanket, a mess kit and a kid’s pup tent plus some food inside. Clothing was worn, no spares. With this, I travelled all over the United Kingdom. Then came a resurgence of hiking equipment and I bought a Fjallraven expedition pack, down jacket, sleeping bag, survival suit, white gas stove, an Everest Mountain Tent which weighed a tonne on its own plus just…

1 min
your trips, your pix

Get your photo published here to receive a Light My Fire ‘Re-kit’ Cup/Straw/Spork made from environmentally-friendly bioplastic and worth $20. Learn more about LMF at e.ampro.co.nz. Last Weekend submission criteria can be found at wildernessmag.co.nz…

1 min
wairarapa looks to the stars

WAIRARAPA IS AIMING to become the world’s largest dark sky reserve. Led by Wairarapa Dark Sky Society, the goal has been backed by local astronomers, businesses, conservationists and councils and the region is in the process of becoming accredited by the International Dark-Sky Association. Becky Bateman, who runs local astronomy tour company Under The Stars, believes Wairarapa is perfectly located for clear skies. “One side is covered by water, so you have nothing creating light pollution there, and on the western side you have the Tararua Range which helps catch the cloud,” she said. The plan will see streetlights change to warmer-hued 3000K bulbs, floodlights angled down, restrictions on event lighting, and communities encouraged to make small changes at home. “People worry they’ll need to have their lights off at 10pm, but it’s not true,”…

1 min
popular pouakai hut moves into online booking system

MT TARANAKI’S POUAKAI HUT will move onto DOC’s online booking system In November. The 16-bunk backcountry serviced hut is the busiest on the mountain, with peak season often seeing more than 40 people wanting to stay overnight. The hut is on the scenic two to three-day Pouakai Circuit and is a popular overnight stay for visitors hoping to catch Mt Taranaki’s reflection in the nearby Pouakai Tarn. Pre-booking online will ensure people get a bunk for the night, says DOC Taranaki operations manager Gareth Hopkins. “To date, it’s been left to chance for visitors as to whether they will get a bed, or the hut is too full,” he said. “The added security of pre-booking will hopefully encourage people to get out and enjoy this hut and spend more time in nature.” From November 2,…