Heads up folks. Get Outdoors Week (GO Week) is an annual week-long initiative jointly developed by New Zealand’s outdoor recreation, outdoor safety and tourism community. They wish to encourage people to use this week to get out and explore New Zealand's outdoors safely. Please let us know your plans for this week. :)
Tales from the trails - A weekly post in which one of our staff recounts a trip that taught them a lesson, or was particularly memorable for its spectacular nature. This week Aidan takes us on an adventure through the winding river valleys of Te Urewera - In March of 2018 I was invited by a good trail running friend of mine to go ‘Hut Bagging’ in the Ureweras. After a long drive, parking up at Ruatahunua, we headed along a 4x4 track in the blazing heat until we hit the bush, where the track dropped down to Whakatane River. After the drive in we took a short day, reaching the lovely Ngahiramai hut in the early evening, passing Tawhiwhi hut and its horses along the way. The next day dawned bright and clear, and we followed the river upstream, perfecting our river crossing technique and stopping often to swim in a few of the dozen or more excellent swimming holes we found along the way. We spent most of our time walking in the river itself as it was much easier going than the trail along the banks. After lunch at Hanamahihi hut we hopped over a steep hill (an unpleasant surprise for the legs after all that flat river walking) and took to the river again, which had now widened out. We made excellent time and stopped for the night at the less nice Waikare Junction Hut. The next day was when the adventure really started. Doubling back we took the fork of the river to head down the Waikare before turning down one of its feeder streams, Kiekie stream, and then down Motumuka stream. Along here the track was in very rough condition, and we took a few wrong turns. The highlight of the trip was climbing over a fallen tree and sliding down the other side, then me jumping in a deep water hole to portage the packs across while the others climbed around only to be blocked by a waterfall. This led us to backtrack, where we found a fallen track marker at the top of a very tall, very loose, very, very steep slip that had apparently demolished the track. After climbing that precarious slope, it still wasn't over!
Yeah! Our first shipment of the year of Altra Lone Peak 4 have arrived! Available in a wide range of sizes for women and men. Come and treat your feet to these awesome trail runners, which are perfect for fast packing, thru hiking and light weight trekking! #altrarunningnz #altra #tramping #trampingnz #hiking #trailrunning #trailrunnz #trailrunningnz #fastpacking #thruhiking @altrarunning_nz
Tales from the trails - A weekly post in which one of our staff recounts a trip that taught them a lesson, or was particularly memorable for its spectacular nature. This week Katy takes us south, along for her first trip in the Southern Alps - A trip into Arthurs pass’ Hawdon valley gave me a real taste of South Island tramping. Born and bred in the North Island, I hadn’t experienced much of what the south had to offer until my Cantabrian mother threw me in the deep end. The plan was simple: traverse the Tarahuna and Walker passes and hitch back... but of course, it didn’t go to plan. The track starts after a nice wet river crossing and climbs from the river bed to avoid the lower Edwards gorge. However, the orange marker that we were supposed to follow was not to be found and we opted to follow the gorge instead. The next few hours consisted of constant river crossings and scrambling, plus a few bouldering attempts that left me more soaked than before!. Still, we emerged back on the river bed up the valley and found the overgrown track. As we climbed the snow on the ground buried the track We popped up in a valley of ice and snow, surrounded by mounds of tussock covered in snow which we dubbed ‘natures marshmallows’. After making the required snow angels and snowmen, we carried on to Edwards hut which was a nice relief from the cold. However, the last person at the hut hadn’t brought any wood in to dry, so we bundled up in our sleeping bags and made a warm brew by melting some snow, a pretty novel experience for an Aucklander.
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! We start this one off with a bang in Tales from the Trails, as Alicia recalls discovering the meaning of FEAR! And also vast beauty. But mostly FEAR! - Spending Christmas and New Years overseas for the first time is pretty special and we chose to celebrate the New Year in a pretty exhilarating way - not by getting wasted and listening to music, but by climbing one of China’s steepest peaks Mt Hua Shan - which has been named as one of the most dangerous hikes in the world. As the bus took us to the foot of the mountain at first dawn, one is in awe of the sheer scale of rock face that summits as high as the eye can see. At 2,154 meters high even taking the Gondola up part of the way still leaves you with plenty of distance to cover to reach the various summits. It is a dazzling hike with beautiful views of the Mountain range, waterfalls, and ancient temples. Unlike New Zealand walks you could enter temples at many of the rocky summits and I took the opportunity to enter a few of them and make prayers to bring in good luck and happiness for the New Year. When we reached the Summit it was time to do the famous cliff walk which I was quite keen to do until I walked down the steps and tried to force my body to stand on the tiny narrow wooden plank, and a sheer drop of 100s of meters below higher than the eye could really see below. I just couldn't do it, and I went back to the lookout and waited with my friend for our husbands to make the perilous journey. With only a small harness holding them to the mountain, they walked to a small point where you could sit before returning along the tiny wooden plank. It was the height of winter and an icy blast whipped my friend and I on the exposed summit lookout to be probably the coldest I had ever been in my entire life - even colder than I had felt at minus 20 degrees at the Harbin Snow Festival. Despite running and jumping whilst wearing several merino/thermal/fleece layers, thick gloves, snow pants and a Rab Neutrino Winter Down Jacket. I was incredibly glad once our husbands returned unscathed so we could start our descent to less windy tracks back to the Gondola.
Tales from the trails - A weekly post in which one of our staff recounts a trip that taught them a lesson, or was particularly memorable for its spectacular nature. This week we head back to the UK to hear about Rob's walk on the Coast to Coast: A couple of weeks after we finished the South Downs Way we headed to the north of England to walk the Coast to Coast walk, a 192 mile trail spanning the country from St. Bees, by the Irish Sea, to Robin Hood’s Bay, by the North Sea. We however decided to do it in the opposite direction, so we would end the walk trekking through the magnificent Lake District, after having spent a couple of weeks walking across the North York Moors and the Yorkshire Dales and Pennines. The bleakness of some of the landscapes were really striking, especially when the weather was inclement, with the rain sheeting down virtually horizontally, as we struggled against the oncoming winds. When the sun shined the mood changed totally and we got to enjoy the industrial history dotted all over the landscape. It was an incredibly varied walk, from relaxing strolls along country lanes, through hard slogs across barren moorland devoid of features or trail markings, to rock scrambles along the knife edged ridge of Helvellyn in gale force winds. My fondest memories are of the plate sized Yorkshire Puddings flooded with rich, thick gravy, and struggling along Helvellyn and making it to the other side in one piece and spirits still high! I’d definitely recommend walking it east to west if you get the chance, as we got to meet plenty of walkers heading the other way and finishing the walk walking through the Lake District was awesome! - Rob For those of you who have been, what was your favourite walk in the UK? #hiking #tramping #beautiful #coasttocoast #walkengland #talesfromthetrails #earthisbeautiful