New hut for Kaimai Range

Walkshorts

A new 12-bunk hut will be built in Kaimai-Mamaku Forest Park this summer as part of a project to build four huts over the next four years. The project is...

Great Walk construction underway

Walkshorts

Construction of the next Great Walk is underway in Paparoa National Park and is expected to open in April 2019. The $10 million, 55km Paparoa Track goes from Blackball to...

Angelus Hut

2017 Outdoor Awards, Outdoor Awards

Hut of the Year Sitting on tussock 1650m up the Travers Range and overlooking Lake Angelus, it’s little wonder this year’s Hut of the Year is also the most popular...

Gearshop

2017 Outdoor Awards, Outdoor Awards

Online Retailer of the Year After closing a brick-and-mortar outdoor store and moving online four years ago, Gearshop owner Hamish Pirie says he would never look back. Pirie started working...

Living Simply

2017 Outdoor Awards, Outdoor Awards

Independent retailer of the year Still going strong in an industry dominated by big-box retail, Living Simply managing director Ben Sinclair says having nearly 30 years of experience has been...

Earth Sea Sky

2017 Outdoor Awards, Outdoor Awards

Brand of the Year With five generations of manufacturing experience, the Ellis family’s products have been on expeditions that have become part of the fabric of Kiwi exploration, including Sir...

The battle above the treeline

Conservation

Invasive weeds are muscling their way into alpine areas as the climate warms, establishing in the high country at twice the speed of natives, according to a recent study. Above...

An underground odyssey

Wild People

Self-taught photographer and caver Neil Silverwood has become a go-to man for capturing wild places on camera.  It’s dark, wet, cold, claustrophobic – unsurprisingly, Neil Silverwood says he became frustrated...

Correcting a deadly wrong turn

Walkshorts

After two people died on a popular alpine day walk in Fiordland, DOC is grappling with how to make the route safer. The car park for the Gertrude Saddle Track,...

Calling council's bluff

Walkshorts

The landmark sign at Bluff, signalling the end of the Te Araroa Trail, will be corrected, after Wilderness reader Earle Hasse found the Cape Reinga and Wellington signs pointed in...

An extra 19 Great Walks announced

Walkshorts

The number of Great Walks has more than doubled after DOC announced 14 Great Short Walks and five Great Day Walks. Conservation Minister Maggie Barry said the list included world...

Fractured landscape

Features, Wild Huts

Looking at Murchison Hut, you’d have no inkling it may soon tumble 200m onto Murchison Glacier in one of the largest landslides in the Southern Alps’ recent history. But, by...

Crowd Control

Conservation, Features

New Zealand is grappling with a rapidly rising number of tourists, but we haven’t reached the crest of the wave yet. DOC expects the number of national park visitors to...

Sifting through the facts

Wild People

From 1080 to climate change, Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Jan Wright has been at the centre of some of New Zealand’s fiercest debates. She talked to George Driver...

Suggest a Great Walk

Walkshorts

DOC is calling for ideas for two new Great Walks, which it hopes to develop before the summer of 2021. The department has $12.7 million to develop the walks in...

Greening DOC

Track Chat, Wild People

Conservation Minister and Green Party MP Eugenie Sage says DOC has been neglected and conservation needs to be at the forefront of what the department does.  What will your priority...

Limiting appeal

Features, National Parks

Parking restrictions on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing could be just the beginning. Plans to limit the number of people walking this and other popular trails around the country are in...

Flying high

Bird Spotting, Features

On a rainy Sunday afternoon on a mudflat on the Firth of Thames, a small wooden shed is filled with people, eyes glued to binoculars, brows furrowed in deep concentration....

A new dimension

Wild People

An artist who turns topo maps into 3D sculpture. Many a tramper has admired the squiggly, fingerprint-like patterns and undulations while poring over a topo map, but a Wellingtonian has...

A life on the ice

Wild People

Al Fastier has spent a decade restoring historic huts in Antarctica, built by pioneering explorers including Ernest Shackleton and Robert Falcon Scott. If you love working in isolated places, you...

Bringing back the birds

Walkshorts

After becoming struck by the growing quiet of Fiordland’s forest, an Auckland tramper has launched a project to bring back the birdsong. Michael Fisk, a regular to Fiordland, wants to...

Powell Hut expansion planned

Walkshorts

The busiest hut in the Tararua Forest Park will be out of action this summer as DOC builds a new and expanded $300,000 facility. Powell Hut is being rebuilt after...

The last wilderness

Conservation, Features

Like a Noah’s Ark of New Zealand wildlife, Hauturu/Little Barrier Island has one of the most intact and diverse ecosystems anywhere in the country. George Driver visited New Zealand’s first...

Tales from the trailblazers

Features, Wild People

With more than 120 years combined experience, few people know the backcountry better than these three veteran rangers. They give a behind-the-scenes look at the development and evolution of the...

Mission through Middle Earth

Wild People

Actor Bruce Hopkins is walking the Te Araroa Trail with the ashes of his father and brother. He discusses his journey with George Driver. Bruce Hopkins, who played the character...

A different kettle of fish

Walkshorts

With the Te Araroa Trail’s popularity growing, Anthony Behrens created an alternative route well off the beaten track.  Anthony Behrens walked the South Island section of the Te Araroa trail with...

Fire and ice shape Ruapehu's past

Walkshorts

Striking rock formations found on the Round the Mountain Track on Mt Ruapehu were created when lava erupted onto extensive glaciers on the volcano during the last ice age, according...

New era for Egmont National Park

Walkshorts

Following in the footsteps of Te Urewera and Whanganui River, Egmont National Park is set to become a legal personality, jointly managed by iwi and the Crown. The national park...

More rangers this summer

Walkshorts

There will be more DOC rangers on the beat at popular holiday tracks, huts and campgrounds this summer, as the department spends an extra $2 million on frontline staff. DOC...

Demystifying PLBs

Skills

The benefits of taking a personal locator beacon (PLB) out on the trail are well known, but what’s the best way to use it? Wilderness asked the Rescue Coordination Centre...

From the wilderness, with love

Features, Wild romance

Walking side by side at an incredible location, gazing into a campfire under the stars – it’s probably not surprising that many relationships originate in the backcountry. For Wynne Morgan...

Rust never sleeps

Conservation, Features

The fate of the North Island’s forests is in limbo as myrtle rust begins to take hold. Some warn it could cause sensitive ecosystems to collapse. In autumn last year,...

Prison partnership for Predator Free 2050

Walkshorts

Prisoners and people serving community service sentences are helping New Zealand reach Predator Free 2050 in a partnership between DOC and the Department of Corrections. The two departments have been...

First aid saves lives

Features, Skills

George Driver attends an outdoor first aid course to learn what to do when everything goes wrong We could hear the screams through the bush before we arrived at the scene....

The biggest adventure

Wild People

Hawea-based adventurer Mark Sedon says completing a groundbreaking expedition through Antarctica in January was one of the hardest trips of his life. Hunkered down on the Antarctic Plateau, thousands of kilometres from...

Most clubs respect rahui

Walkshorts

The majority of Auckland tramping clubs have decided to stay out of the Waitakere Ranges after local iwi Te Kawerau a Maki placed a rahui on the forest to prevent...

Powell Hut rebuild delayed

Walkshorts

The rebuild of Powell Hut in Tararua Forest Park has been delayed, but DOC has revealed early plans for an expanded, modernised facility. The hut was initially scheduled to be...

Not so ‘great’ walks

Walkshorts

DOC has removed the ‘Great’ branding from its promotion of a series of shorter walks which were launched last year. Last September, in the midst of the election campaign, the...

Hut gets makeover for 50th

Walkshorts

An isolated hut in North Canterbury got a new lick of paint for its 50th birthday, thanks to volunteers from the Canterbury Alpine Club and DOC. DOC visitor facilities ranger...

Rees-Dart Circuit closed

Walkshorts, Web exclusive

Just a year after it reopened, the Rees-Dart Circuit is again closed after heavy rain damaged a bridge earlier this month. Senior DOC ranger Richard Kennett said about four metres...

The trauma of rescue

Features, Wild Safety

Search and rescue volunteers witness some of the most horrific events in the New Zealand wilderness. Sometimes they are left with lasting scars. George Driver investigates how they cope with the psychological strain of the...

Complaints lodged about gear website

Walkshorts

Complaints have been laid about an outdoor gear website, after shoppers have been left frustrated and out of pocket. A number of people who have ordered gear from the aorangimethven.co.nz...

DOC sting catches illegal operators

Walkshorts

A sting on tour businesses operating without a concession in Milford Sound has found up to a third were operating illegally. DOC Te Anau operations manager Greg Lind said they...

Huts are full

Walkshorts

If you live in New Zealand’s biggest city and want to do a weekend tramp at a bookable hut close by, you are going to have to wait a while....

Long path for new Te Araroa CEO

Track Chat

As the Te Araroa Trail enters its seventh year, the trust that administers it has appointed a new CEO. Mark Weatherall, the former head of Canoe Racing NZ, discusses the challenges the trail faces and...

Backcountry meltdown

Features, Climate change

After ploughing through the South Pacific, Cyclone Fehi snaked its way towards the top of the South Island. It hit during a king tide. The normally sheltered bays of Abel...

The Insta-goldrush

Photo School, Wild People

Just over three years ago, Rachel Stewart’s photography repertoire consisted of taking photos on the beach near her home in Mt Maunganui. But after upgrading her camera kit and experimenting...

Behind the summer chorus

Wild People

An insatiable curiosity about the chorus of the cicada has led one 10-year-old to write a book on the noisy critters.  During the height of summer, they dominate the outdoors –...

Ultimate family hike

Wild People

An Auckland family who had never tramped before used the school holidays as the perfect excuse to hit the trail – the Te Araroa Trail that is. For seasoned trampers, the...

Rise of the drones

Walkshorts

The buzzing sound of drones is becoming increasingly common in national parks, but is it legal to fly them there? As more drones are being flown in the backcountry, DOC is grappling with...

New southern tracks underway

Walkshorts

Several new trails are under construction in the South Island. Here’s a snapshot of three of the projects. The Lake 2 Lake Trail A new track linking Lake Te Anau...

Ranger life

Track Chat

After being raised in national parks in the US, Crystal Brindle seemed destined to become a park ranger. Now working as a DOC ranger, she talks park life in the US versus...

A novel collection

Wild People, Books

In a historic building near Oamaru harbour sits what must be the greatest collection of adventure books in the country. Bill Nye opened Adventure Books six years ago after a...

Armchair adventures

Features, Books

It’s always a good time to launch an armchair expedition and travel through the pages of a classic adventure tale. Six adventurers share the book that inspires them into the wilderness. The...

Calls for regulations on the TAC

Walkshorts

Shuttle operators are calling on DOC to close the Tongariro Alpine Crossing or stop shuttles running during bad weather after a spate of rescues on the popular track. At least...

Five great tramping hacks

Skills

From fixing broken gear to making a cup of coffee, tramping has no shortage of conundrums. Here are five simple and creative solutions to make your next tramp a little...

Staying alive

Skills, Wild Survival, Survival Skills

The top tips for avoiding a tramping tragedy  Know your limits: Inexperience is one of the biggest killers. Slowly build your experience and seek advice from those who know more than you. River crossing: Learn the correct...

Dying to tramp

Features, Wild Survival

After a busy day at work in Christchurch, Erik Monasterio headed to a favourite rock climbing haunt in the Port Hills. He chose a climb he had done 20 times...

A life Aspiring

Wild People

From dealing with New Zealand’s most dangerous criminals to rescuing trampers in one of the country’s most treacherous national parks, Aaron Nicholson’s 30-year career in the police has been one...

Gear website shutdown

Walkshorts

Underfire online tramping retailer Aorangi Methven has been shut down following a number of complaints. There had been multiple reports of people buying top-of-the-line gear from the website, only to receive...

DOC investigates giving Kiwis first dibs

Walkshorts

New Zealanders could get first dibs on booking a bunk on the Great Walks, as DOC investigates a preferential booking system. Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage has asked the department to investigate...

View from the top

Track Chat, Wild People

For over 30 years, Conrad Anker has been one of the world’s leading climbers, pioneering numerous first ascents. After 30 years of climbing, have the reasons you climb changed? When...

Where the adventure begins

Features, Wild Town

It’s a dead-end for vehicles, but for trampers it’s just the beginning. Few towns boast such rich country for exploration: the Routeburn Track Great Walk, the Rees-Dart, Greenstone-Caples, Cascade Saddle...

White-out in Greenland

Wild People

For 29 days, Hollie Woodhouse skied across the Greenland ice sheet, skirting the Arctic Circle and retracing the footsteps of a pioneering explorer. She told George Driver it was the...

Grazers urged to moo-ve on

Walkshorts, Access

There are growing calls to stop cattle grazing on conservation land after a groundswell of opposition to an application in the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area. A braided river, towering...

Trapline tramping

Conservation, Features

Trampers around the country are heading off-track to help save native birds from the brink of extinction. George Driver discovers the tales of the trapline trampers. Rugged peaks, beech forest,...

Skiing the Sky Piercer

Wild People

One of New Zealand’s top freeskiers has carved down the east face of the country’s highest mountain in what he has called the highlight of his career. The daring descent...

NZ could be possum-free by 2030

Walkshorts

Recent developments in pest control mean possums could be eradicated from New Zealand by 2030, but ecologist Dr James Russell says it might not be a good idea just yet. ...

Learning what it means to be Kiwi

Editorial

You can learn a lot in a backcountry hut. That’s what I thought while sitting around the dining table of Crosbies Hut, high up in the Coromandel Range. The candle-lit...

In the shadow of greatness

Great Walks, Wild Trips

1. Around the Mountain Circuit, Egmont National Park Circling what could be considered New Zealand’s most scenic volcano, this loop will give you a new perspective and appreciation of this monolithic peak.  Going from...

The great contest

Great Walks

A new era for the Great Walks looks in the making. DOC has $12.7m to develop one or two new Great Walks, and the three options being considered could all...

‘Wild mums’ get back on track

Walkshorts

A Motueka mum has started a tramping group for mothers, to help them get back on the trail while looking after young ones. Odette Singleton-Wards started Wild Mums Go Tramping...

Tramping for life

Wild People

Neill Simpson’s first tramp changed his life. Arriving at Tongariro National Park on a Friday evening, the frosted landscape sparkled under the moonlight; Mt Ngauruhoe grumbled, belching out red-hot rocks...

The trials of the trail

Features, Te Araroa Trail

“Nothing can ever prepare you,” says Julie Stacey. The 45-year-old walked the 3000km Te Araroa Trail last season. A former marathon runner, Stacey spent about five months training, running 5km...

Sweeten up your next tramp

Wild Cuisine

Food tastes better in the outdoors, so why skip the best meal of the day? Knowing you’ve got one of these five desserts in your pack will be all the...

The next tramping innovation

Track Chat

Two Australians who completed a South Island traverse using a lightweight scooter and a packraft believe they’ve have found the ultimate thru-hiking innovation. Could ‘scootouring’ be the next big thing?...

The groundbreakers

Features, Wild Trips

It started with a 130-year-old map showing a long lost miner’s road. The map, discovered by a Buller local, shows a route weaving through the rugged Lyell Range and forested...

The kea and the canine

Wild People

Corey Mosen and his dog Ajax have been hunting kea in a bid to save the species.  Camping out for days at a time and working in the bush with...

Are tramping tourists a liability?

Walkshorts

Following another death of a tourist in the backcountry, the safety of tramping tourists is again in the spotlight. But are they any more likely than New Zealanders to come...

DOC crackdown on illegal tourism operators

Walkshorts

More than 1000 tourism operators are suspected of operating illegally without a concession or breaching concession conditions and 30 aircraft operators are being investigated following a DOC crackdown. The department...

Kathmandu Pegasus Hybrid

Broken in

Used by: Cold-sleeping former deputy editor George DriverUsed for: Three yearsCost: $399.98 I bought the Pegasus when I was looking for a bag that was inexpensive, light and compact but...

Kiwi Camping Weka 3

Broken in

Kiwi Camping Weka 3 $349Used by: George DriverUsed for: Two years I was looking for a tent that would be light enough to take tramping, but large enough to be...

Osprey Talon 44

Broken in

Osprey Talon 44 $250Used by: Former deputy editor George ‘cram-it-in’ DriverUsed for: Three years The Talon is light, versatile and filled with numerous features, and at $175 on special, it...