Walks you’ve never heard of

Editorial

When we sent the call out to our readers to share their experiences of the Great Walks for our December 2010 issue, we got plenty of replies. Most were what...

Editorial

Editorial

I like the symbolism of our feature on lighthouses in this issue (p32). It would have been quite fitting to run the story at the end of last year –...

Huts

Editorial

New Zealand is unique among countries where tramping, trekking and hiking – call it what you will – is a major pastime. Unlike in America, Europe and Australia we have...

Hindsight’s a fine thing

Editorial

It’s funny how with hindsight you can pinpoint the exact moment things start to go pear-shaped. Especially when you consider that at the time you’re blissfully unaware that life is...

Plan. Prepare. Perfection!

Editorial

The urge over the coming months may be to clean your tramping gear and pack it away until the weather warms up a tad. That’s what most sane people probably...

1080 the best option

Editorial

Anyone who has visited Maungatautari Ecological Island in the Waikato or Karori’s Zealandia Sanctuary will know what it’s like to walk native bush and hear prolific birdsong. It’s a deafening...

From the Editor

Editorial

The human mind is an amazing organ – it can be your best friend; or your worst enemy. Nowhere is that more starkly realised than in the outdoors and with...

From the Editor

Editorial

I’ve never slept under a rock biv but after reading Barry Dunnett’s story about the various nights he’s camped beneath an overhand or in the lee of a boulder I...

Living the dream

Wild People

Wilderness meets one of New Zealand’s most prolific and renowned bird watchers John Kendrick may be a few months shy of turning 90, but age doesn’t seem to have slowed...

From the editor

Editorial

December Editorial Backcountry huts have had a profound impact on New Zealand – the network built by the New Zealand Forest Service and then by DOC is often touted as the...

Hunger in the wild

Features, Te Araroa Trail

The most important factor to completing and enjoying Te Araroa is the food you eat. Alistair Hall asks trail chef Paul Garland for some culinary advice Napoleon Bonaparte said: ‘An...

Te Araroa Trail

Editorial

For one household, this past Christmas must have been one of the best they’ve ever had. After numerous delays and postponements, in early December the length-of-New Zealand trail Geoff Chapple...

Know the hazards before setting out

Editorial

With six tramping-related fatalities on the conservation estate it’s been a fairly grim start to the summer tramping season. It’s tragic that so many have died in the last couple...

Lost opportunity

Editorial

If ever a track deserved its name, it’s Auckland’s Hillary Trail. Hillary’s is a name that conjures up adjectives like challenge, toughness, grit and an unrelenting never-say-die attitude. Those same...

Editorial

Editorial

In the aftermath of the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake, Wilderness reported on how trampers were better prepared than non-outdoors people for the trying living conditions in the days and weeks...

Tawharanui Regional Park, Auckland

Wild Trips

Tawharanui Regional Park, Auckland On a previous trip to Tawharanui Regional Park I made it as far as the turn-off on the Matakana Rd before halting my journey from Auckland....

Editorial

Editorial

About this time of the year I start thinking about which winter trips I might be able to do. For the last few years I’ve managed to get away to...

Editorial

Editorial

This issue we have another look at the outdoor intentions system Adventure Smart (see p14). Unfortunately there are still gaps in our knowledge about the implementation and effectiveness of this...

Bird paradise

Wild Trips

Tiritiri Matangi Open Sanctuary, Hauraki Gulf Spending Queen’s Birthday weekend in Auckland proved the perfect opportunity hop on the ferry to explore Tiritiri Matangi Island in the Hauraki Gulf. We...

Editorial

Editorial

This month Wilderness takes a closer look at avalanches in New Zealand (p36). Every winter we hear about avalanches either on groomed ski fields or in the backcountry, but unlike...

Walk the walk

Education

How can you ensure you’re taught by the best? It’s easy, find out which tutors not only talk the talk, but walk the walk. Alistair Hall found four for starters...

Upgrade improves waterfall track

Wild Trips

Beverley Price Loop, Pohuehue Reserve, Auckland On my frequent journeys north I have always sped past Pohuehue Viaduct, keen to get to my destination. However, the lure of native bush...

Where it’s always warm and safe

Wild Huts

They protect us from the elements and keep us warm and dry, but in a new book on New Zealand’s backcountry huts, author Geoff Spearpoint argues they do more than...

From the editor

Editorial

Take a trip to Europe and you’ll see dozens of castles, palaces, cathedrals, ancient ruins and even entire streets, suburbs and cities dating back hundreds, sometimes thousands, of years. My...

The professionals

Features

Becoming a professional outdoor athlete is like a dream come true for many, but it’s not all fun and games in the great outdoors. Alistair Hall meets rock climbing legends...

Walkshorts, December 2012

Walkshorts

New far north multi-day walk The Department of Conservation has spent $1.3m on two new campgrounds, upgrading tracks and installing boardwalks at the tip of the North Island to create...

Editorial, December 2012

Editorial

Another year draws to an end and if you’re anything like me, you’re looking forward to some lazy summer days over the holiday period. It’s a chance to unwind, load...

11 trips in the Ragged Range

Wild Range

Like a great rough-sided triangle the Ragged Range is lodged between the Rakaia and Mathias watersheds in central Canterbury’s Rangitata-Rakaia Conservation Area. Beginning on the Main Divide at Mt Neave...

Editor's letter, January 2013

Editorial

The New Year always starts with a flurry of excitement. We tell ourselves this year I’m going to do better, do more. But even with the best intentions the promises...

All you need is love

Features

Forget Verona and Gretna Green.  There’s a backcountry hut in Kahurangi National Park with as touching a love story as any work of Shakespeare The world of literature has Romeo...

Top 3 mountain bike towns

Waypoints

More and more people are choosing lifestyle over corporate opportunities and three towns in particular are drawing more mountain bikers than any other. By Derek Morrison Queenstown, Central Otago For...

Editorial letter, January 2013

Editorial

Wilderness first seriously looked at the threats the country’s wild rivers faced back in February 2008. The Helen Clark-led Labour Government had just made increasing energy production through renewable means...

A walk through ancient kauri forest

Wild Trips

Waitakere Tramway Track, Waitakere Ranges Regional Park We pull into the car park on Scenic Drive not a moment too soon. Pelin, Wilderness magazine’s art director, doesn’t travel well and...

Kauri dying for lack of money

Conservation

After battling a kauri killing disease for more than four years, Auckland’s biodiversity rangers have finally found an ally who walks the corridors of power Take a walk in a...

Editor's letter, March 2013

Editorial

Most people have gone into the bush on their own. It may have been for a short stroll or a lengthy multi-day trip, but there would be few who have...

A taste of the Hillary

Wild Trips

Anawhata to Bethells Beach, Waitakere Ranges Regional Park Walking Auckland’s multi-day Hillary trail is a goal of many but who says you have to do it all in one go...

Editorial, April 2013

Editorial

There are around 970 huts on the conservation estate, a fantastic recreation resource unrivalled anywhere in the world. But it’s a resource that has proven too difficult for the Department...

WildernessWord, May 2013

Crossword

Across 1. Type of grass growing around Desert Road in North Island of NZ (7) 5. Stratified sedimentary clay rock that splits easily into thin layers (5) 8. Submerged ridges...

Editor's letter, May 2013

Editorial

I’m writing this the day before I fly to Dunedin to tramp the Catlins River-Wisp Loop Track, a new two-day walk near Owaka and am feeling  a bit glum –...

Slowing down in the Catlins

Features

A few days in the Catlins proves it’s how you journey through your destination that counts. Right on cue, the long dry summer came to an end. It wasn’t thunderous...

Editorial, June 2013

Editorial

Solitude. If you enjoy getting into the outdoors, you’ll enjoy a bit of peace and quiet from time to time, particularly if it involves surrounding yourself in bush or mountain...

Editorial letter, July 2013

Editorial

The prospect of a pest free New Zealand is fascinating. It’s the kind of ‘think big’ science project that landed men on the moon. An estimated 26 million birds are...

Editor's letter, August 2013

Editorial

Everyone says life changes when you have kids – well at least those who have children say that. Those of us who don’t have kids can’t quite fathom how drastic...

Editorial, September 2013

Editorial

In the press release issued by DOC to announce the appointment of Lou Sanson as DOC’s new director general, there was plenty about Sanson being the right man for the...

Best laid plans

Off the Beaten Track

Alistair Hall fulfils a New Year’s resolution and goes off track in more ways than one The plan was simple: three peaks, three days. We’d hire some snowshoes, climb Mt...

Editorial, October 2013

Editorial

Last month we ran a survey on the Wilderness website asking readers how they would most prefer DOC to be funded. After receiving hundreds of responses, I have to admit...

Pigeon Post, November 2013

Pigeon Post

Department of Recreation The September editorial raised some very important questions and asked for thoughts and ideas. Having run a conservation-based guided tramping business for more than 20 years and...

Pigeon Post, January 2014

Pigeon Post

Letter of the month Activate PLBs without fear of reprimand It’s great to see Nigel Clifford, head of the RCCNZ, highlighting the care taken to avoid chastising people for activating...

Editorial letter, January 2014

Editorial

One day in December last year passed like any other. Except for the United Nations, it didn’t. December 11 was International Mountain Day. Many international days of this or that...

1080 the only option

Editorial

Later this year, around spring, a terrible apocalypse is set to visit the native birds of New Zealand. Birds in their tens of thousands will be killed. Some species will...

How far to go?

Skills

This tip’s good if you’re out in the field without a GPS and you need to work out how far you have to go. All you need is a piece...

Editor’s letter

Editorial

We publish the best photos from our first ever photo competition this issue. I was totally blown away by the high standard of photography submitted. I would have no trouble...

Editorial April 2014

Editorial

  Mention ‘tramping’ and ‘Auckland’ in the same sentence and most people will snort and shake their heads as if you’d just told them a Michelin star restaurant had opened...

Pinnacles Hut loop

Wild Trips, Free Articles

Pinnacles Hut via Moss Creek Track, Coromandel Forest Park Pinnacles Hut is the most popular in the country. One way to make your overnight trip slightly more unique, and immeasurably...

Editor’s letter

Editorial

Huge congratulations to the winners of the inaugural Wilderness Outdoor Awards. Just shy of 3000 people participated in the final round of voting, making the awards a real badge of...

In a class of his own

Wild People

Former Macpac owner Bruce McIntyre once made packs for a living. Now he’s putting his name and wealth behind a school that promises kids – and humanity – a brighter...

Editor’s letter

Editorial

Ah June, the first month of winter and the beginning of my favourite outdoors season. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no masochist who relishes the punishing, often debilitating cold that...

Editorial July 2014

Editorial

New Zealand’s top tramping town It’s something everyone thinks about at some time or another: where would you rather live? For some people, the answer is ‘right here’. For many...

Gear news, August 2014

Gear News

Montane arrives in NZ British outdoor clothing and equipment brand Montane arrives in New Zealand this month. The brand was started 18 years ago with an emphasis on mountain gear...

Editor's letter, August 2014

Editorial

Everyone knows the South Island is where it’s at when it comes to tramping. Fewer population centres, inordinate amounts of conservation land and the Southern Alps all conspire to make...

Expert tips: buying boots

Skills

Hunting and Fishing’s boot-fitting expert Bill McCloud explains how to buy the right boot Hard or flexible: McCloud says the first thing he’ll do is ask where you plan to...

Editor's letter, September 2014

Editorial

Choices In mid-August outdoor retailer Mountain Designs announced it will soon be closing all 12 of its New Zealand stores, citing a slow economy and aggressive marketing by competitors. But...

Waitakere Range

Wild Range

Waitakere Ranges Regional Park, Auckland Just 30-minutes from downtown Auckland, the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park is the jewel in the city’s impressive park network. At 17,000ha and with more than...

Editorial, October 2014

Editorial

  Some countries have bears and wolves, others spiders and snakes. By contrast the most dangerous creature in New Zealand is the wasp. You might think, ‘meh, that’s not so...

Best Tramping Towns: #1 Te Anau

Features

Te Anau has the tramping goods, there’s no doubt about it. But it also has another precious commodity: community. Rob Rush lives out of town, but even so he doesn’t...

Editorial, November 2014

Editorial

  It began over a couple of beers after work one Friday: where would we most like to live? With the team here being mad keen on the outdoors, we...

Editorial December 2014

Editorial

  As 2014 comes to an end, it’s only natural to think back over the year that was. For me, it was a year I welcomed my first child into...

Editor's letter, February 2015

Editorial

New Zealand: the land of milk and honey… and mountains. Lots of them. This month we’ve canvassed some of the country’s best known trampers and climbers to get their pick...

Pure gold on Stewart Island

Off the Beaten Track

Stewart Island’s Southern Circuit offers tough tramping interspersed with wildlife encounters and amazing forest, beach and river walking The experts all agree: there’s gold to be found on Stewart Island....

Backcountry flag

Editorial

Editorial: We launch an exciting initiative this month: a competition to design the New Zealand Backcountry flag. What started out as a wee bit of a jab at the rather...

Te Araroa through the lens

Wild People

Mark Watson has completed an epic project: photographing the Te Araroa Trail. Alistair Hall finds out what it was all about A far as jobs go, it’s got to be...

Editorial Letter, November 2015

Editorial

There are so many great tracks that lead somewhere spectacular, only for you to have to return the way you came. Lake Marian in Fiordland, Heaphy Track, Queen Charlotte Track,...

Ridge over the river Wai(kato)

Wild Trips

Hakarimata Walkway, Hakarimata Scenic Reserve I first planned to tramp the length of the Hakarimata Range a number of years ago. I called around trying to determine the condition of...

You’ve got email

Conservation

The most successful kakapo breeding season on record is thanks to the hard work of scientists, rangers and volunteers – and gadgets that might have come straight out of James...

Shining a light on Pollux

Hotshot

Standing high in the alpine region of Mt Aspiring National Park, I attempted to shed some light on Pollux, 5km across the Drake Valley. It was midnight and I had...

The winners are...

Outdoor Awards, Free Articles

The results are in, and more than 2500 Wilderness readers have cast their vote on the best retailers, huts, and most inspirational outdoors enthusiasts in this year’s Outdoor Awards. In...

Our new website

Editorial, Free Articles

This month Wilderness launches a new website. We have spent the last few months posting more than 1000 articles, dozens of gear reviews and 360 downloadable trips. We’ve added multimedia...

Buyer's guide to headlamps

Gear Guides

Forget the handheld torches; you need your hands free and the torchlight shining in the right direction so you can walk, cook and set up camp in the dark. Straps...

Heli headaches persist

Editorial

As more tourists come to New Zealand, pressure on DOC to allow more flights, more guides, more boats, more roadside facilities in conservation areas will increase. It’s wonderful that so...

Learn from mistakes

Editorial, Free Articles

I think it fair to say we’ve all made a few tramping mistakes in our time (‘Tramping mistakes to avoid’). I’ve left my camera at home while on a work...

How to buy 3-4 season boots

Gear Guides, Free Articles

These boots are for those multiday trips with heavy packs and which might involve bush-bashing, river-hopping, and crossing alpine passes. Outsole Deep, multi-directional lugs combine with a sticky rubber compound...

At last, a grand vision

Editorial

The government’s plan to make New Zealand predator free by 2050 is the kind of big idea that landed men on the moon. Imagine New Zealand as Maori, and even the...

How to buy a child carrier

Gear Guides

Comfortable, safe and secure – the child carrier allows you to take your kids on any outdoor adventure. Baby comfort The baby should sit upright and all straps should be...

How to buy a travel pack

Gear Guides

Primarily designed for touring, travel packs can also, at a pinch, be used on the trail. Zips Sturdy and strong, zips should be usable even when the pack is bursting...

Overnight packs

Gear Guides, Free Articles

A versatile weekend pack is capable of taking you to huts, remote campsites or on fast and light multiday missions. Compression Compression straps secure the load and modify the profile...

Multiday packs

Gear Guides

When you’re carrying food and gear for several days, you need a large-capacity multiday pack. Capacity Between 50 and 90-litres, multiday packs will be single or double compartment. The lid...

Daypacks

Gear Guides, Free Articles

Whether you’re in the bush or heading to the tops, a good daypack will fit every adventure. Capacity Offering up to 35-litres, daypacks will be zip or cinch-cord opening. External...

Hydration packs

Gear Guides, Free Articles

For fast-paced activities like mountain biking and trail running, you need a low-capacity hydration pack. Storage and capacity While some hydration packs have capacities over 10litres, most are smaller than...

Gear News, November 2016

Gear News, Free Articles

TNF’s nearly-seamless windcheater  The North Face continues to add to its FuseForm apparel line. The Eragon ($240) is described as a ‘packable, ultralight (140g) wind-resistant jacket that doesn’t sacrifice weight...

Walkshorts, November 2016

Walkshorts

Hydro scheme will ‘alter character’ of Waitaha River DOC is accepting submissions for comment on a proposed hydro scheme on the Waitaha River, near Harihari on the West Coast of...

Gear News, December 2016

Gear News

The latest in outdoor gear, trends and innovation Something to Crow about? Salewa’s latest three-four season boot has arrived in New Zealand. The Crow GTX ($549, 1320g (m)/1140g (w)) is...

Your trips, your pix

Last Weekend

Get your photo displayed on our last weekend page and you’ll receive an Opinel No.5 folding knife worth $20. Find entry criteria here. Click on an image below to view the gallery.

Editoral, December 2016

Editorial

This summer I’m loading up the car, bikes on the back, and heading to Hawke’s Bay where I’ll be introducing my daughter to the 200-odd kilometres of cycle trail crisscrossing the...

Walking poles

Gear Guides, Free Articles

The benefits of walking poles are many: they reduce the stress on your knees, will help you cross rivers and provide stability on uneven or steep ground.  How poles help...

Backcountry stoves

Gear Guides, Free Articles

Cooking up a storm in the backcountry has never been easier with these modern stoves and cooking accessories. Fuel types Gas stoves are simple, convenient and inexpensive to run and...

Summer overnighters

The Life List

There are 16 blistering hot weekends between New Year’s eve and Easter. Our summer play list includes breezy campsites, river splashing tramps, beachside huts and kayak adventures. Or, as you might like to put it:...

Department of Tourism?

Editorial

IT’S A TELLING comment, and one DOC should be heeding because if one person is saying it, you can bet more are: “It’s like DOC is the Department of Tourism...

Editorial, January 2017

Editorial

My own summit bagging trips have been met with varied levels of success. The most memorable was a couple of winters ago when the plan was to climb Ruapehu, descend the...

2017 sleeping mats

Gear Guides

A sleeping mat isn’t just about comfort – it provides crucial insulation from the ground and works with your bag to keep you warm Fill There are numerous fills –...

Street to summit

Gear Guides

Some gear is too good to leave in your pack. Take it out and wear it everywhere – from street to the summit.    Salewa Firetail 3 $279 Stylish and...

2017 sleeping bags

Gear Guides

The sleeping bag is the one of those essential pieces of kit – you can’t go overnighting without one. Loft and fill weight Loft is the volume of one ounce...

Gear news, March 2017

Gear News

The latest in outdoor gear news, trends and innovation   Ciao Italia Italian footwear brand Crispi has made it downunder. Handmade in Italy since 1975, the Crispi range available in...

Tramping with a purpose

Conservation, Wild People

For some, tramping is about leaving the wilderness in better shape than they found it, which means tramping with a purpose.  Depending on who you talk to, it’s either applied...

Pigeon post, March 2017

Pigeon Post

Letter of the month On sleeping mats… Is it just me, or are sleeping mats inferior to those that used to be available? My wife and I owned two Therm-a-Rests...

Tramping with a purpose

Editorial

More and more people seem to be tramping with a purpose. Whether it’s the crews painting huts, cutting down wilding pines or members of the tramping clubs who have made...

Gear News, April 2017

Gear News

The latest in outdoor gear news, trends and innovation Lowa broadens boot and shoe range Famed for their robust three-four season tramping boots, Lowa has expanded its New Zealand line-up...

2017 Wilderness Photo Competition

Photo competition

Once again, with hundreds of entries, choosing our finalists and winners in our annual photo competition was incredibly difficult. But we whittled them down again and again until left with the images...

Going strong

Wild People

Do you think you’ll be completing remote 10 day trips in your 60s and 70s? Septuagenarian Talie Morrison is. Talie Morrison is living the tramping dream. Much as a ski bum might...

Pigeon Post, April 2017

Pigeon Post

Letter of the month DOC’s unsung heroes At a time when DOC often comes under fire for its many alleged shortcomings, an unheralded success story has to be the composting...

2017's best raincoats

Gear Guides

View 2018’s best wet weather jackets A good rain jacket will keep you dry, inside and out when the heavens open and when you build up a sweat. Abrasion resistance...

Super summer subscription winner

Walkshorts

Congratulations to subscriber Chris Andrew who won our Super Summer Subscription prize. Chris won a $4970 prize package from ampro.co.nz and here he is basking in the glory of his...

Your trips, your pix, May 2017

Last Weekend

Get your photo displayed on our last weekend page and you’ll receive an Opinel No.5 folding knife worth $20. Find entry criteria here. Click on an image below to view the gallery.

Pigeon Post, May 2017

Pigeon Post

Letter of the month The heroes have left the building Your writer was lucky to find some solitude while paddling Abel Tasman National Park (‘Meeting your heroes’, March 2017). Unfortunately, the...

Funding DOC

Editorial

Tourism growth in New Zealand, just like our other main export earner, dairy – which is blamed for fouling rivers – is proving to be unsustainable, at least from a...

2017's best insulated jackets

Gear Guides

The year’s best down and synthetic jackets promise to keep you warmer, dryer and more comfortable than ever before. Insulation Once bulky and non-compressible, synthetic insulation has come a long...

Ropes, harnesses and carabiners

Gear Guides

Black Diamond Couloir $129.99 Fast drying nylon-webbing construction, quick-release leg loops, two webbing gear loops, low-profile design can be worn under a pack or clothing, 15 kN-rated belay and haul loops. 230g. www.southernapproach.co.nz Black...

2017 crampon buyer's guide

Gear Guides

Crampons provide perfect purchase on snow and ice – allowing you to tackle easy to moderate snow slopes. It’s considered best practise to use crampons with an ice axe. Types...

2017 ice axe buyer's guide

Gear Guides

An ice axe is a crucial tool for those wanting to take their tramping above the snow line. It gives an extra point of contact to the slope and can...

Kea numbers estimated at 3000-7000

Walkshorts

Results from a new study suggest the numbers of kea roaming the South Island have probably been greatly overestimated – or underestimated. Estimates have varied from a few hundred to...

Your trips, your pix, June 2017

Last Weekend

Get your photo displayed on our last weekend page and you’ll receive an Opinel No.5 folding knife worth $20. Find entry criteria here. Click on an image below to view the gallery.

Pigeon post, June 2017

Pigeon Post

Letter of the month Fixing it or finding fault In visiting several West Coast huts recently I gained a brief insight into a range of user expectations and contributions to...

2017's best outdoor socks

Gear Guides

Good outdoor socks wick moisture and allow your feet to breathe, reducing the chance of blisters and ensuring all-day comfort. Moisture management Dry feet are less likely to blister or overheat, but...

2017's best headlamps

Gear Guides

Headlamps allow hands-free lighting so you can concentrate on the trail, cooking dinner or setting up camp.   Straps Soft neoprene material is common. Straps should be wide enough to support...

Find your objective

Editorial

The Dragon’s Teeth – a hair-raising route in Kahurangi National Park – is on many tramper’s radar. Many more won’t have heard of it, or, more likely, have no desire...

24 outdoor gift ideas for Father's Day

Gear Guides

Gift ideas for outdoor dads   2B Insect Repellent $24.50 Water-resistant, lasts up to eight hours, 100% Natural.  2B is effective against all biting insects including mosquitoes and sandflies. www.2b.kiwi.nz...

The right decision

Editorial

When you’ve dreamt of achieving something for most of your life, how would you react if, just moments from accomplishing your long-held dream, you had to make a decision about...

2017's best 3-4 season boots

Gear Guides

These heavy-duty boots are designed carry heavy loads over rough terrain. Strap on crampons to get over that alpine pass. They’re true workhorses.  Upper Thick leather uppers with few seams...

2017's best three-season boots

Gear Guides

Light and supportive, these are perfect for on-track day, weekend and longer trips. They are the go-to boot for most trampers.  Lacing and hardware Fabric or metal eyelets are used...

2017's best hiking shoes

Gear Guides

Whether you’re out for a day hike or determined to carry light loads on your overnighters, a pair of low-cut hiking shoes are just the ticket.  Eyelets and laces Fabric...

Track removal likely to save kauri

Walkshorts

Walkers visiting Waitakere Ranges Regional Park are putting kauri at risk of becoming infected with kauri dieback disease by ignoring signs asking them to clean their footwear and by jumping...

Into hot water

Walkshorts

Sally Jackson has released the fourth edition of her book Hot Springs of New Zealand. She shares some soaking tips with Ashleigh Martin. What’s it like to travel the country...

Pigeon Post, September 2017

Pigeon Post

Letter of the month Courage in turning back After reading Shaun Barnett’s article, ‘Into the Forgotten’ (August 2017), I wanted to applaud the courage it took for Barnett to both...

Iwi has best solution for TAC

Editorial

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is fast becoming the most congested, messiest, smelliest track in the country. I wish that were an exaggeration, but when DOC rangers find 16 piles of...

2017's best child carriers

Gear Guides

Comfortable, safe and secure – the child carrier allows you to take your kids on any outdoor adventure. Baby comfort The baby should sit upright and all straps should be...

2017's best travel packs

Gear Guides

Heading overseas and need a burly, durable hold-all? A travel bag will do the job, and may even be suitable for the trail. Zips Lockable, sturdy and strong, zips should...

2017's best multi-day packs

Gear Guides

When you’re carrying food and gear for several days, you need a large-capacity multi-day pack. Capacity Between 50 and 90-litres, multiday packs will have a single or double compartment. The...

2017's best overnight packs

Gear Guides

This pack will hold enough gear to help you achieve your weekend hut or camping missions. Compression Compression straps secure the load and modify the profile of the pack to...

2017's best day packs

Gear Guides

Need something small and light for short bush or alpine walks. Look no further. Capacity Offering up to 35-litres, daypacks will be zip or cinch-cord opening. External bungy cords or...

2017's best hydration packs

Gear Guides

For fast-paced activities like mountain biking and trail running, you need a low-capacity hydration pack.  Fabric Lightweight ripstop nylon and polyester fabrics predominate. Harness Back panels consist of open or...

Tatonka tents

Gear News

Readers will be familiar with Tatonka packs, which have been distributed here by Tight Lines since 2010. Now, Tatonka tents are available for the first time in New Zealand, though...

For wild (and for) women

Gear News

Here’s a sandal that the makers claim to be for (the) wild (and for) women. Not necessarily, they judiciously note, for wild women. There’s two models of Merrell’s Siren Q2...

New lightweight tent from Macpac

Gear News

Macpac says its latest tent, the multi-pitch, three-pole Duolight ($649.99), is, at 2170g, the lightest in its tent range. Macpac says the tent could have been even lighter, perhaps below...

Memory-Map topo maps for GPS

Gear News

Map-capable Garmin GPS units can now be loaded with Memory-Map topographical maps ($174.99). Topo4GPS offers vector mapping detail for most map-capable Garmin units, equivalent to 50k scale topo maps with...

The young ones

Wild Families

When Karen Griffiths introduced a ‘Take a kid tramping’ day to her club, the idea was to grow membership and ensure valuable knowledge about routes and locations was passed to...

Pigeon Post, October 2017

Pigeon Post

Letter of the month Always wear trousers when bum sliding George Guille says he completed his climb of Mt Rolleston by bum-sliding down the Otira Slide (‘Rolling on Rolleston’, August...

Your trips, your pix, October 2017

Last Weekend

Get your photo displayed on our last weekend page and you’ll receive an Opinel No.5 folding knife worth $20. Find entry criteria here. Click on an image below to view the gallery.

The outdoors is already 'great'

Editorial

The idea to pump more money into DOC to create a series of Great Day Walks and Great Short Walks was to help divert traffic away from hotspots suffering from...

Gear news, November 2017

Gear News

Fjallraven’s Arctic adventure for NZ Two people from Oceania will be wrapped up warm next April as they experience a 300km dog-sled adventure in the Arctic. The two will be...

Kahurangi double

Wild Range

Burnett and Wakamarama ranges, Kahurangi National Park These two heavily forested mountain ranges stretch from the Heaphy Track to Farewell Spit, dividing Golden Bay from the upper West Coast in...

Your trips, your pix, November 2017

Last Weekend

Get your photo displayed on our last weekend page and you’ll receive an Opinel No.5 folding knife worth $20. Find entry criteria here. Click on an image below to view the gallery.

Pigeon post, November 2017

Pigeon Post

Letter of the month Kea capers The item on kea (‘Kea numbers estimated at 3000-7000’, June, 2017) reminded me of an encounter I had with the parrots. I was fly...

Tongariro Alpine Chaos

Editorial

On the one hand, DOC is to be applauded for doing something to control the traffic woes and congestion found at the road ends on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. The...

2017's best hiking clothes

Gear Guides

Performance pants, tights, shorts and tees for tackling any trail this summer   Fjällräven Abisko Women’s Trekking Tights $274.95 Technical trekking with stretch fabric, reinforced knees and rear, leg pockets, drawcord...

2017's knives and multi-tools

Gear Guides

Modern knives are light, razor sharp and often come with multiple tools to help you out of a pickle.  Handle A handle should provide a sure and comfortable grip –...

2017's best sport sandals

Gear Guides

With secure straps and often with protection on top and underneath, sports sandals will take you from coast to trail.  Outsole The lug pattern and outsole compound determine how grippy...

The Wilderness guide to Christmas gifts

Gear Guides

From stocking fillers to essential outdoor kit, Wilderness’s guide to Christmas gifts has something for every budget   Domex Silver Fern Zero $179 New Zealand-designed sleeping bag ideal for three-season...

Your trips, your pix, December 2017

Last Weekend

Get your photo displayed on our last weekend page and you’ll receive an Opinel No.5 folding knife worth $20. Find entry criteria here. Click on an image below to view the gallery.

Pigeon Post, December 2017

Pigeon Post

Letter of the month Inspired by bird watchers I congratulate Helen Arthurs and her family on the commitment and resulting satisfaction they achieved from their year of bird watching (‘A...

Limiting use

Editorial

Wilderness visited the Tongariro Alpine Crossing over Labour Weekend to see how the new four hour parking restrictions were being enforced. Despite some confusion, most walkers adjusted fine. That’s understandable....

Best foot forward

Track Chat

Even before Scottish footwear brand Anatom produced its first boot six years ago, its founder Gordon Fraser had measured 60,000 feet. On a visit to New Zealand, he shared some of...

2018's best walking poles

Gear Guides

Want to still be tramping well into your golden years? Get some walking poles – they’ll reduce the stress on your knees and lessen the chance of injury by providing...

2018's best water filters and purifiers

Gear Guides

A water filter or purifier offers peace of mind no matter the source of your water.  Water-borne hazards New Zealand backcountry streams are reasonably healthy. That said, there is still a risk that...

Gear News, January 2018

Gear News

The latest in gear news, trends and innovation A Featherless hoody  Marmot’s Featherless Hoody has an interesting name: if it doesn’t have feathers, why bring attention to that? Presumably, the...

2018's best navigation devices

Gear Guides

From the hi-tech to tried and tested, here’s all you need to navigate safely in the wilderness.   Silva Ranger S $79.99 Liquid-filled capsule and luminous needle balanced for NZ,...

National parks under the microscope

Editorial

The upcoming review of the General Policy for National Parks is timely. The phenomenal increase in tourist numbers and the associated pressure and strain that has put on everything to...

What’s in a name?

Track Chat

Holly Gaskin studied industrial design at Massey University. Now she’s an equipment designer at Macpac’s head office in Christchurch. Since joining Macpac nearly three years ago, what have you designed?...

Your trips, your pix, March 2018

Last Weekend

Get your photo displayed on our last weekend page and you’ll receive an Opinel No.5 folding knife worth $20. Find entry criteria here. Click on an image below to view the gallery.

Vulgar wasps

Track Chat, Wild People

Entomologist Phil Lester has written a book about one of the tramper’s least favourite animals – wasps. He says these clever and skilful predators must ultimately be controlled. Why a...

PTSD in search and rescue

Editorial

You’ve really got to take your hat off to search and rescue volunteers. Not only do they risk life and limb to aid those in desperate need of help, but...

Deal finder, April 2018

Deal finder

Welcome to the Wilderness Deal Finder, where we showcase the best gear deals offered by our Wildcard partners. Check out the deals below….   Lowe Alpine Diran ($279.95; 30% off) Featuring...

2018 buyer's guide to gaiters

Gaiters, Gear Guides

Gaiters protect your boots and lower legs and prevent trail debris from entering your footwear and rubbing your feet up the wrong way. Closure Gaiters close at the front and use either...

Diminished experiences

Editorial

You think the backcountry is getting overcrowded now? Imagine a future where access to the mountains is more difficult due to rock fall caused by retreating glaciers, or once popular...

Mountain Guide Elke Braun-Elwert

What's in my pack

At 35, Elke Braun-Elwert is one of the youngest IFMGA mountain guides in the country. She’s also an NZSIA ski instructor and assistant director of Lake Tekapo-based Alpine Recreation. “I’m looking forward to winter and lots of fun ski-mountaineering adventures,” Braun-Elwert...

Adventure books

Editorial

I was in a hut recently with a group of  Wilderness contributors. We’d arranged a tramp in the Tararuas and, due to some fairly bad weather, spent much of one...

Gear that wears in

Track Chat, Wild People

Ben Kepes co-founded Cactus Outdoor 25 years ago. He’s proud to say everything they make is made in NZ. He discusses making gear to last, how not to sell your soul and...

2018 guide to headlamps

Headlamps, Gear Guides

 Straps Wide enough to support the weight of the headlamp and allow easy adjustment so it doesn’t bounce around or slide down while you’re on the move. A top strap is found...

ZIP brings Predator Free 2050 one step closer

Editorial

The predator control work of Zero Invasive Predators (ZIP) is truly exciting. It has gone beyond clearing relatively small mainland islands of possums, rats and other predators to landscape-scale control.  Its...

Pigeon Post, August 2018

Pigeon Post

Letter of the month Wardens need to step up to bullies I read the article about the bullies at Blue Lake Hut and it filled me with sadness (‘Bunks for...

Can’t get enough

Great Walks, Track Chat

DOC’s director-general Lou Sanson discusses the future of New Zealand’s Great Walks. Is there a limit to how many Great Walks we can have? We now have visitors coming to New Zealand just to...

2018's best packs

Packs, Gear Guides, Wild Gear

How to buy your next pack Capacity Multi-day packs are normally between 50 and 90-litres, overnight packs will be 30-45-litres and daypacks up to 30-litres. Multi-day packs will have a...

Great stuff

Editorial

This issue we celebrate all things associated with the Great Walks, New Zealand’s – and in some cases the world’s – ‘finest’ tramps. I know many hardened trampers will scoff...

2019's best family camping tents

Wild Gear

Modern family tents offer privacy, space and creature comforts. Before you buy View the tent pitched – it may be your regular campground doesn’t provide sites big enough to accommodate...

2019's best three-season tents

Tents, Gear Guides

With their all-mesh canopies (or mostly mesh), three-season tents are a lightweight and breathable option for camping below the snowline. Guy points Guylines provide added support to the tent, particularly...

Pigeon Post, November 2018

Pigeon Post

Letter of the month Irish and Dutch natives I was staggered to read the comments by the Irish and Dutch trampers that ‘there are no natives’ in their home countries...

The long walk begins

Editorial

Around this time of year, trampers from all over the world descend on New Zealand with one goal in mind: to walk the length of the country on the Te...

Happy Christmas

Editorial

As I write this, the sun is blazing down on a glorious November afternoon. My daughter is climbing the grapefruit tree in the garden. It’s a scene of utter bliss...

Tim the toolman

Track Chat

It was 35 years ago that Tim Leatherman first sold his folding pair of pliers and launched the brand that came to define the term multi-tool. But it was no...

Lock it in!

Editorial

Are people becoming too posh to walk? Both the draft management plans for Aoraki/Mt Cook and Westland Tai Poutini national parks have proposals to radically increase the number and scope...

Near misses and lessons learned

Editorial

Tramping is like riding a bike – sooner or later you’ll fall off. It happens to everyone. With tramping, falling off might mean having a scrape with nature that, in...

A weekend of discovery in Karangahake Gorge

Waypoints

Driving through the Karangahake Gorge, it’s difficult to keep your eyes on the road. There’s the Ohinemuri River, the towering Karangahake mountain, old building ruins and curious riverside walks carved...

The thrill of discovery outside

Editorial

This month, I’ve been reminded just how much tramping and getting outside is about discovery and experiencing something new. Of course, every tramp involves discovery in some way or another,...

Summit fever

Track Chat

British adventurer Adrian Hayes’ book One man’s climb chronicles his two attempts on K2 in 2013 and 2014. But much of the book examines the tragic deaths of Kiwi mountain...

Whitebean and rosemary dip

Wild Cuisine

A protein-packed dip for your wraps and crackers.  This is a quick and easy dip that is perfect for day walks or overnighters. Onion and garlic powder are great for...

Secrets of the guides

Features, Skills, Wild People

Suze Kelly, Adventure Consultants On food: Kelly recommends planning your meals in advance and bringing lots of snacks. “If you’ve got your snacks handy, you’re more likely to pop one into...

Escape the dark side

Editorial

When you spend more than 100 days in the wilderness each year, as many of the trekking and mountain guides who contributed to our ‘Secrets of the guides’ feature, you...

2019’s best gaiters

Gaiters, Gear Guides

Gaiters protect your boots and legs from abrasion and spikey speargrass. They also prevent trail debris from entering your boot and rubbing your feet up the wrong way.  Closure Gaiters...

A good rat is a trapped rat

Editorial

Thanks to my colleague Matthew, I now have a wooden box in my garden housing a rat trap. Baited with peanut butter, it’s primed to come down hard on any...

In awe of the cosmos

Track Chat

Ian Griffin is the director at Otago Museum. He’s also an astronomer spreading his love of the night sky through his photography on Twitter and says trampers are among the...

Winter tramping gear

Gear Guides

Don’t let the snow slow you down this winter. From snowshoes to sturdy winter tents, this cold-weather gear will keep you tramping on. MSR Evo Ascent 22 Snowshoes $399.99 Rugged...

The silent menace

Editorial

Reading this month’s feature on hypothermia, I realised, quite worryingly, that I have been through the early stages of the condition several times. And the chances are, you have too....

New owners, same classic trips

Walkshorts

Wanaka-based Aspiring Guides has been sold to a local couple. Vickie Moses and Lukas Kirchner bought the 25-year-old guiding business in late May. Both have lived in Wanaka for nine...

The problem with our gear

Editorial

Outdoor gear is amazing. It is technical, functional, durable and even fashionable. But one word you can’t quite use to describe it is green. And I don’t mean the colour....

A critical point

Track Chat

Dr Lee Davidson is a mountain enthusiast and co-author of the book Scenic Playground: The Story behind New Zealand’s Mountain Tourism, which describes the initial infrastructure, innovation, dreams and ideas...

2019's best winter tents

Tents, Gear Guides

A winter tent is your ticket to the backcountry, no matter the temperature or conditions.  Fly A heavy ripstop fabric is used to handle strong winds and snow-loading. A silicone...

Buy right, or buy twice

Editorial

I’ve been taken to task this month because in the July issue I reviewed three ‘budget’ raincoats, only some readers felt they weren’t budget at all. Granted, the Rab jacket...

The healing trail

Track Chat

Suffering debilitating anxiety from an emotionally abusive relationship, Australian Laura Waters sought to escape, find adventure and – above all – heal herself. She walked the Te Araroa Trail and...

2019’s best multi-day packs

Packs, Gear Guides

Stability and comfort are two key requirements for a pack designed to carry heavy loads for several days. CapacityUsually between 50 and 80-litres, multi-day packs will have a single or...

The great Hump Ridge Track

Editorial

Surprise! The next Great Walk is in… Southland. You may think I’m being sarcastic, but I really am surprised. The announcement that the Hump Ridge Track will become the next...

Footwear for all the family

Gear News

It can often be hard to find good outdoor footwear for your kids at an affordable price – who wants to shell out hundreds of dollars on a pair of...

Adventuring with kids

Track Chat

When each of his children turned seven, Mike Allsop took them to Nepal to see Mt Everest. He’s turned the adventures he’s had with them – along with the lessons...

2019's three season boots

Gear Guides

The go-to footwear for most hikers, three-season boots are light but still offer plenty of support underfoot and at the ankle. Use them for all on-trail day, weekend or longer...

2019's overnight packs

Gear Guides

The overnight pack sits in the Goldilocks zone – it’s not too big and not too small – and is perfect for weekend trips. Fabric Ripstop nylon, Cordura or polyester...

Lighten the load

Editorial

I love reading about the lengths people will go to lighten their pack. I find it fascinating, mostly because of what I imagine to be the miserableness of the trip...

2020's three and four-person tents

Gear Guides

These three and four person tents are designed for use in all but the coldest weather. Marmot Tungsten 3P $599, Three personVertical walls, D-shaped doors, two vestibules, free-standing, lamp shade...

2020's one-person tents

Gear Guides

Going solo this summer? These eight tents balance weight, protection and packability.  Hilleberg Enan $1282Single pole construction, multi-pitch design, linked inner and fly for simultaneous pitching, single entrance and vestibule,...

2020's two-person tents

Tents, Gear Guides

Three-season tents prioritise weight and breathability by using a mesh canopy and lightweight fabrics. These tents are designed for use in all but the coldest weather. Access and vestibules Double...

2019's daypacks

Gear Guides

These small-capacity packs are designed to carry everything you need for a day in the bush or on the tops. CapacityOffering up to 35l, daypacks will be zip or buckle...

The future for Lake Waikaremoana

Editorial

Earlier this year, I received a string of letters from readers sharing dismay at their experience of the Lake Waikaremoana Track. Unreliable water taxis and shuttle services, huts and tracks...

Birds of a feather

Track Chat

How did your interest in birds develop?I’ve just always liked birds. It’s a fabulous thing bird watching – you get to have a nice walk in beautiful parts of New...

2020’s sport sandals

Gear Guides

With secure straps to hold your foot in place, quick-drying materials, and  the same midsole technology used in hiking shoes, sport sandals can handle trips from the riverbed to the...

The North Face Ventrix Hoodie Review

Broken in

The North Face Ventrix Hoodie $420Used by: Editor Alistair HallUsed for: Seven months I’ve practically lived in this 380g insulated jacket for the past seven months and even nearing the...

A muddy trail

Editorial

I received an interesting letter this month from a reader who walked the Te Araroa Trail over two summers. Jude was writing in response to the story published in October...

Lighting the way for young readers

Track Chat

Author and photographer Grant Sheehan has been fascinated by lighthouses since he was a child. He’s written five books about them, including, most recently, a series of three children’s books....

Trail running shoes

Wild Gear

Trail running shoes keep you glued to the track and offer underfoot protection. FitIt is essential the shoes fit well and feel comfortable straight out of the box. While some...

Summer hiking clothes

Wild Gear

Hiking clothes perfect for summer tramping. Marmot Windridge with Graphic LS $69.95Longsleeve tee for high-energy activities, UPF50 sun protection, semi-fitted, quick-drying, flat-locked seams, mesh panels. www.marmotnz.co.nz   Marmot Wmn’s Reese...

A family affair

Editorial

Anyone who has, or plans to have, children with whom they want to share the outdoors with, whether tramping, mountain biking, skiing or any other adventurous and healthy activity, will...

Turning back

Editorial

One of our most popular stories last month was ‘The courage in turning back’, in which trampers detailed experiences where they had decided it was simply too dangerous to continue...

2020’s best multi-day tramping boots

Wild Gear

These stiff-soled and durable boots provide the necessary support to carry multi-day loads over rough terrain including, with the aid of crampons, crossing alpine passes. Ankle heightA high cuff supports...

A Great Walk brings new hope

Editorial

There’s often debate about whether tourism opportunities on the West Coast can replace the many good-paying jobs that have been lost in the extractive industries over the years. Perhaps the...

Bite me for science

Track Chat

Te Papa’s curator of invertebrates Julia Kasper is leading a mosquito census and wants your help in determining the distribution and number of mosquito species around New Zealand. She explains...

2020's best sleeping mats

Wild Gear

Your sleeping mat is as important as your sleeping bag in keeping you warm. Here’s what to look for. FillHigh-density open-cell foam, down-insulation or synthetic-insulation are the warmest mattresses. Air-filled...

2020's wet weather jackets

Wild Gear

This year’s raincoats run the gamut from the ultra-packable, so you never need leave home without it, to the ultra-durable, so you know it can handle nature’s worst. Here’s how...

Review: Hoka One One Sky Kaha

Broken in

Hoka One One Sky Kaha $499Used by: Comfort-seeking editor Alistair HallUsed for: Six months When I reviewed these boots back in December, I wrote: ‘Their comfort needs to be trialled...

Taonga peaks

Editorial

Gaining the summit of a mountain is one of the great joys and achievements of tramping. I remember during my school camp – a 10-day trip to Tongariro National Park...

Wilderness in the era of Covid-19

Editorial

Dear reader, When the world is facing a crisis, it can seem completely frivolous and out of touch to be talking about tramping, the latest outdoor gear and which trips...

Te Araroa with a daypack

Wild People

Among the hundreds of people attempting the Te Araroa Trail this year, Ieva Laucina stood out like a sore thumb. That’s because she packed everything she needed into a 35-litre...

Better late than never

Editorial

Finally, albeit a couple of weeks late, we have got you the long-awaited May magazine. I hope it’s been worth the wait – I certainly think so. I thank you...

2020's best headlamps

Headlamps, Gear Guides

Headlamps are now smaller, lighter and brighter than ever before. They’re also mostly rechargeable, taking the hassle out of buying replacement batteries. StrapsStraps should be soft, comfortable, washable and wide...

Patch your waterproof trousers

Skills

A crampon point will make quick work of your waterproof trousers. Here’s how to mend them. I knew I shouldn’t have been wearing my crampons. I was no longer walking...

Going guided in NZ

Editorial

Doing a guided trip is not always top of mind when you think about holidaying in your own country. But most people won’t bat an eye to spend a day...

Setting the record straight on Hillary

Track Chat

Richard Riddiford discusses his documentary, Before Everest. In his last autobiography, Sir Edmund Hillary wrote of fellow mountaineer Earle Riddiford: ‘I’d never share a rope with him’. It’s perhaps the...

2020's best alpine boots

Wild Gear

Alpine boots are required by those whose adventures take them well and truly above the snow line.  WarmthIt’s essential the boot is able to keep feet warm for prolonged periods...

2020’s best mountain packs

Wild Gear

Whether you’re hitting the ski field or have aspirations for climbing a snowy peak, a dedicated alpine pack will help you achieve your goals.  CapacityRanging from day pack-sized with just...

2020's best outdoor socks

Wild Gear

Investing in a good pair of outdoor socks will pay dividends as they cushion feet on rough trails and help keep them blister-free. Moisture managementThe primary purpose of outdoor socks...

Review: Fjallraven Kaipak 38

Broken in

Fjallraven Kaipak 38 $399Used by: Sentimental editor Alistair HallUsed for: Occasionally over 18 months During the lockdown, I re-visited my gear cupboard and gave my various packs a clean. Scrubbing...

New Zealand Conditions

Editorial

During lockdown, I interviewed Ieva Laucina, a young Latvian who had walked the South Island with a ridiculously light pack with a base weight (without food and water) of 6.3kg....

2020’s best winter tents

Wild Gear

Camping in winter can be a serious undertaking. To ensure warmth and protection, a dedicated alpine tent is essential. FlySilicone-coated ripstop nylon fabric keeps rain out and handles strong winds...

Review: Vacuum-insulated flasks

Wild Review

Wilderness tests three vacuum-insulated flasks that promise to keep drinks hot on cold winter days. How we tested For both hot water tests, we boiled water and filled each bottle...

Social circles

Editorial

One of my big regrets on returning to New Zealand from my extended OE in Europe was not joining a tramping club. It was a few years ago now and...