Across the Zampa Tops

Waypoints

Spenser Mountains, Lewis Pass National Reserve The Zampa Tops are one of Canterbury’s unsung gems and make a great weekend destination. The tops are easily traversed and make a convenient...

The shattered heart

Off the Beaten Track

Mark Watson goes in search of an historic bivouac in Westland Tai Poutini National Park We stared into the shattered heart of the Southern Alps. Towering above us was the...

Glacial meltdown

Big picture

The Department of Conservation’s Castle Rocks Hut, perched above Cape Defiance, overlooks the Franz Josef Glacier/Ka Roimata o Hine Hukatere. Access to this stunningly located hut via the glacier has...

Redlining

Off the Beaten Track

Mark Watson finds some new track and old memories on a six day trip in Wellington’s Tararua Forest Park The incessant rain batters the forest canopy. Water droplets strike leaves...

Christmas in the Karangarua

Waypoints, Free Articles

Christmas Flat Hut, Karangarua Valley, Westland Tai Poutini National Park  Deep within legendary tahr hunting country, steeped in history and seldom visited on foot sits Christmas Flat Hut­ – perched...

Shapeshifter

Conservation, Big picture

Sitting at 2200m on Aoraki/Mt Cook’s Grand Plateau, Plateau Hut is the most popular base for climbers planning an ascent of our highest mountain. On January 21, along with Jamie...

Night Sky over Turk’s Head

Hotshot

This shot was taken at 9.53pm on Turk’s Head, near Mt Ionia, looking towards Arawhata Saddle and the mountains at the head of the Dart Glacier. Shooting with the aperture...

Snow camping basics

Skills

Five tips for camping above the snowline Trips into the alpine zone will sometimes necessitate snow camping, which is a novelty in itself and requires quite a bit more consideration...

Top 5 winter tramping destinations

Features

Winter’s a special time to be in the mountains; there’re less people around, frost tickles the plants, the landscape becomes a pillowy white and the light takes on a special...

Easy trip to a picturesque lake

Wild Trips

Thompsons Flat Hut, Lewis Pass National Reserve Ringed with mature beech forest and gentle peaks, Lake Daniell is a jewell of a location and is suited to trampers with kids...

Searching for solitude

Features

How to escape the crowds and find some quiet in four of our busiest national parks. By Mark Watson There was a palpable excitement among the ferry passengers as we disembarked...

Collapse!

Features, Wild Climbing

Are the Southern Alps coming down around our ears? Climber and photographer Mark Watson, one of three climbers on the slopes of Aoraki/Mt Cook during the massive rock avalanche off...

Deep in the Darrans

Off the Beaten Track

A natural rock bivvy in a remote corner of Fiordland is the perfect base for a week of climbing Squeezing the trigger, I gently extend my reach so that I’m...

Take better outdoor photos

Photo School

Further your photography with these top tips from outdoor photographer Mark Watson Wilderness magazine readers visit some beautiful and remote places and have a chance to capture unique landscapes and...

The red shed

Waypoints

  Liverpool Hut, Mt Aspiring National Park The view from the deck of Liverpool Hut is hard to beat. An alpine vista stretching from Mt Aspiring through to the dark...

Riding the Dragon

Off the Beaten Track

The stats don’t lie: while bagging the Dragons Teeth high traverse in Kahurangi National Park is the goal of many a tramper, only a handful can say they’ve done it....

A noble line

Waypoints

Cook Range, Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park The name is noble, and so too are the views from the Cook Range: beneath your feet the floor of the Tasman Valley sits,...

Classic West Coast circuit

Waypoints

Bluff Hut, Hokitika Catchments   Bolted to a sunny, rocky perch high above the Hokitika River, Bluff Hut is one of those perfectly located huts that makes a supreme location...

Trail visionary

Wild People

Geoff Chapple, Te Araroa Trail founder. By Mark Watson It wasn’t just another day on the Te Araroa Trail. I was walking the North Shore beaches, homing in on Auckland...

No. 1 - Camp in the snow

The Life List

When the weather’s good, camping above the bushline is a treat. It’s even better when the tops are capped with snow. Choose your site Your tent site should be in...

7 huts that are better in winter

Features

1. Mueller Hut, Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park Mueller Hut’s position on the Sealy Range, opposite the colossal east face of Mt Sefton, is remarkable and is one of New Zealand’s...

Ghosts in the landscape

Mountain biking

Mark Watson combines The Old Ghost Road with an old school classic for a 173km loop taking in the best of West Coast mountain biking With a bowl of muesli...

Alpine packs

Gear Guides

If your alpine aspirations require carrying ice axe, crampons or technical equipment, a dedicated alpine pack is essential. Capacity It’s not uncommon to have a couple of alpine packs, anywhere...

Hut to hut

Off the Beaten Track

With challenging terrain and an extensive network of huts and tracks, the Hokitika backcountry is a tramper’s paradise. Mark Watson describes an eight-day journey from the Arahura to the Whitcombe Paper, scissors, rock called it:...

2017's best alpine packs

Gear Guides

If your alpine aspirations require carrying ice axe, crampons or technical equipment, a dedicated alpine pack is essential. Capacity It’s not uncommon to have a couple of alpine packs, anywhere...