Crampon-free winter routes

Travel

To celebrate Wilderness’ partnership with smartphone mapping app ViewRanger, Matthew Pike has pulled together four easy-peesy winter walks Ah, winter! The perfect excuse to put your feet up. For the...

Reluctant partners

Features

How to lure your loved one into the outdoors… if they hate the outdoors! “What’s the point? You spend three days walking through mud, rain and fog with a lead...

High places

Wild Huts

What’s your favourite mountain hut? It’s a question those who spend time guiding in the mountains are often asked, so when Matthew Pike queried some of New Zealand’s top mountaineers...

How to deal with slow coaches

Skills

Racing ahead isn’t really an option, writes Matthew Pike I despise the dull pain that intensifies with every stride. I hate not knowing whether my legs will collapse in a...

A best kept secret

Wild Comment

An Englishman in New Zealand wonders if the sandfly is part of a great nation-wide conspiracy Sandflies are New Zealand’s best kept secret. When you go to Australia you know there’ll...

Off the beaten track in Abel Tasman

Wild Trips

Whariwharangi Hut, Abel Tasman National Park Just about the only criticism of the Abel Tasman Coast Track is the number of people who walk it. The golden beaches, easy walking...

New Zealand vs The World

Features

We often dream of climbing the great summits of the world. But for most of us, work, money and commitments stop us from reaching those lofty heights. Luckily, New Zealand...

Rangitoto, an island sanctuary

Wild Trips

Rangitoto Summit via Rangitoto Coastal Track, Hauraki Gulf Marine Park One of the most fascinating day trips from Auckland is to Rangitoto Island, less than half an hour’s ferry journey...

Angry coast

Wild Trips

Te Henga Walkway, Te Henga-Bethells Regional Park, Auckland If you want dramatic cliffs, waves smashing into rocks and elevated ocean views then head to Bethells Beach (Te Henga) just 45...

The walk that saved the Milford Track

Features

How a group of young trampers opened the world-renowned track to the masses When 40 excited teens and twenty-somethings boarded a bus bound for Fiordland, they had no idea they were...

The uninhabited island

Wild Trips

Browns Island Recreation Reserve, Hauraki Gulf Marine Park A kayak’s a wonderful thing. It allows you to explore places that are inaccessible by foot; whether it’s a secluded beach, curiously...

To the high point

Wild Trips

Te Toiokawharu, Waitakere Ranges Regional Park The southern end of the Waitakere Ranges provides the highest hills in the region. It also provides views of sheer rock cliffs among otherwise...

Naming rights

Features

Why are so many of New Zealand’s natural features left unnamed and how easy would it be to name a few yourself? Wilderness goes in search of the answers “Wow –...

Cliff hanger

Features

It happens all the time: a tramper commits to an horrendously exposed move only to find halfway through, their nerve has left them. Unable to go forward or retreat, what’s...

Alpine gran

Wild People

Jo Morgan didn’t take up mountaineering until she was 58. Now she’s addicted Mothers worry about their kids. They want to make sure they’re not doing anything silly which means...

Secret hot pools

Wild Trips

Tarawera Trail, Lake Tarawera Reserve I’d been itching to try the Tarawera Trail ever since it opened in December last year. Once that ribbon was cut, the public could, for...

Big mountain skier

Wild People

  Not content to simply climb the highest mountains, Mark Sedon straps on skis for a super quick descent. Most of us who have studied the map of an area...

Student humour in the backcountry

Wild Trips

Ongaruanuku Hut, Waitakere Regional Park So who knew there was a hut in the Waitaks? I didn’t until recently and then discovered there were three (there may be more); one...

Jory Akuhata’s Te Araroa challenge

Wild Gear

When I called Jory Akuhata to interview him for this article, I interrupted him replacing his spectacles frame. He’d recently broken the original and decided to attach a new frame...

Climbing hard, climbing long

Wild People

Last year Graham Zimmerman achieved a feat that had the rest of the alpine world talking. It led to him becoming only the second New Zealander to ever be nominated...

Trampers, a pain in the grass?

Wild People

Is the urban-rural divide putting landowners off allowing trampers to roam their land? Matthew Pike discovers not all farmers think trampers are more trouble than they’re worth A tramper’s eye...

Sandwiched between the volcanoes

Wild Trips

Tama Lakes via Waihohonu Hut, Tongariro National Park From Waihohonu Hut you can see both Mts Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu. It’s a stunning view of two of the North Island’s iconic...

Lonely mountains

Features

Mountain climbing in New Zealand is in decline. Some blame climate change, others the perception of danger and the multitude of other activities vying for people’s time. But even though...

Castle in the sky

Wild Trips

Manaia, Whangarei Heads, Northland One of the joys of driving north to Whangarei is when you cross Pilbrow Hill and see, for the first time, the dramatic Whangarei Heads and...

The dire state of alpine huts

Features

As many iconic alpine huts are becoming dilapidated, harder to reach and, occasionally, wiped out altogether, Wilderness asks if private funds really are the way forward for high altitude bunkhouses Backcountry huts began...

A sting in the 'tale'

Features

Wasps are a pain in the… wherever they sting you. We all know that. But some experts believe there are parts of the country where they’re even more destructive to...

Tent WOF

Skills, Summer camping

For many of us, now’s the time we dust off the tent for another season’s use. But how can we make sure we get no nasty surprises when the heavens...

Best Tramping Towns: #2 Nelson

Features

A blend of alpine tramping, golden beaches, cafes and… low wages. Matthew Pike asks if the reality lives up to the hype Picture a giant, three-sided rugby stadium. At the...

Lakeside serenity

Wild Trips

Kawakawa Bay Track, Taupo This is a great way to experience Lake Taupo while avoiding the hustle of the town. Kinloch is a small village just 20km or so west...

Leading Ladies

Wild People

Students recognised for their mountaineering leadership skills want to see more women taking charge of the big trips. Matthew Pike asks what needs to change to make that happen… Sylvie...

Wild People

Wild People

Retracing the final steps After talented young climber Ari Kingan lost his life near the summit of Mt Aspiring/Tititea, his close friends retraced his final steps to find out what...

The greatest taste

Wild Trips

The ride from Kaiteriteri to Tasman might be the most scenic section of the Great Taste Trail.  When I heard the most scenic section (to date) of the Great Taste...

Te Araroa Trail in sandals

Wild People

Naresh Kumar overcame excruciating pain, persistent possums and being swept away by a torrent to become the first to complete the Te Araroa Trail in sandals For most who complete...

Misnamed and misplaced

Wild Trips

Dun Mountain and Little Twin, Mt Richmond Forest Park This walk consists of numerous misnamed features. Dun Mountain is actually a craggy hill rather than a mountain, Little Twin is...

Not a trip for bunnies

Features

Rabbit Pass has a fearsome reputation. Its waterfall face ascent is notorious, but, as Matthew Pike discovers, so long as you handle the steep stuff with care, this spectacular trip...

Use your annual leave in style

Wild People

Each year kiwi adventurer Grant Rawlinson uses his 20 days’ holiday to the max. Matthew Pike speaks to him about trips from Ruapehu to Aoraki and Scotland’s Ben Nevis to...

Trail angels

Features, Te Araroa Trail

Accounts from those who have walked the Te Araroa Trail are teeming with tales of selfless souls offering a bed, hot shower, meal, or tent space. Matthew Pike asks these...

Young and restless

Wild People

For most adults, the highest peak in The Remarkables Range is a tough, exposed trip. But seven-year-old Georgie Chinn enjoyed every moment – once the ‘boring’ walking had finished. Matthew...

Wanaka's must-climb

Wild Trips

Roys Peak, The Stack Conservation Area, Otago / Moderate Think of day walks near Wanaka and Rob Roy Glacier Track immediately comes to mind with its hanging ice and waterfalls,...

A warm welcome

Features

Many laughed at Tom O’Brien when he said he’d build 27km of track through iconic Otago landscape using just a pick and shovel. But two years of hard slog have...

West Coast Discovery

Wild People

Josh James dreamed of hosting his own TV survival show but he never imagined his face would be broadcast worldwide. Matthew Pike speaks to the Discovery Channel’s next star Josh...

Who will train our trampers?

Features

As of this year, training in backcountry skills and bushcraft by the Mountain Safety Council will be a thing of the past. The organisation is cutting its volunteer-run courses to...

A dislocated tale

Wild People, Free Articles

Greg Ross dislocated his shoulder in remote West Coast tiger country. He shares his week-long fight for survival with Matthew Pike The moment he fell, Greg Ross knew he was...

Walk as Maori once did

Wild People

Walking barefoot, keeping his diabetes at bay and carrying gear he’d made himself, Jory Akuhata was no ordinary Te Araroa tramper. Matthew Pike catches up with him The first night...

Huts of the future

Wild People

Ron Pynenburg is responsible for designing more backcountry huts than anyone in recent history. He explains to Matthew Pike what makes a good hut and what the future may hold...

The landlocked island

Country Walking

A thriving environment, home to native bush and vibrant birdlife all protected by a predator proof fence is just one highlight on this Waikato getaway, writes Matthew Pike   Many...

Disputed territory

Country Walking

There’s an excellent online mapping database that tells you where you can legally walk across New Zealand. But what if landowners refuse to acknowledge it? Matthew Pike finds out Have...

Shifting sands of time

Features

Every rock provides clues to its often dramatic and violent past. Matthew Pike heads to one of the country’s most geologically fascinating spots to meet geology’s answer to Sherlock Holmes...

Extreme hut bagger

Wild People

Is it possible to visit every hut in New Zealand in just 900 days? Matthew Pike speaks to the man who’s devoting three years of his life to the task...

Soft skills harden you up

Features

Matthew Pike discovers how building rafts and climbing rocks may be the key to you getting a job Imagine you’re an employer. A new position has become available and you...

Going the extra mile

Features

As lovely as the Heaphy and Routeburn tracks are, wouldn’t running and walking them day after day become boring? Matthew Pike finds out by speaking to those who do just...

Highs, lows and disbelief

Wild People

Lydia Bradey was involved in one of New Zealand mountaineering’s most famous controversies. Matthew Pike speaks to the woman at the centre of it all One would expect the best...

A wild corner

Wild Trips

Whatipu to Mt Donald McLean, Waitakere Ranges Regional Park At the south-western tip of the Waitakere Ranges, at the mouth of the Manukau Harbour, lies the much weather- and ocean-beaten...

Power to the people

Features

A scheme giving volunteers the money to maintain their favourite huts and tracks has been running for more than a year. Matthew Pike finds out why the budget has been...

Haunting tales

Wild People

LandSAR volunteer Phillip Melchior discovers the incidents leading to a rescue are often just as fascinating as the rescue itself If there’s one thing an experienced mountain search and rescue...

Should we be scared of cows?

Features

Cows, horses and deer are normally docile creatures. But their large frames and occasional tempers can make walking through a field of them an intimidating prospect. Matthew Pike discovers how...

Steep-ed in history

Wild Trips

Waitawheta Hut via Waiorongomai Valley, Kaimai Mamaku Forest Park Waitawheta Hut is understandably the most popular overnight stop in the Kaimais. It provides a feeling of seclusion with views out...

Tracks, camera, action

Wild People

Matt Jenke must have pinched himself when given the job of walking New Zealand’s best trails for Google. Matthew Pike asks if the reality matches the dream The man I...

December 2015 Editor's Letter

Editorial

As soon as I learned Google had added seven of New Zealand’s Great Walks to Street View, I was hooked. What a fabulous idea, I thought, being able to walk...

He who dares, wins

Wild People

Ben Dare, co-founder of the New Zealand Alpine Team This year a keen group of climbers will fly from New Zealand to Peru to enjoy six weeks of high-altitude heaven....

Troubled waters

Wild People

Mike Joy, author and senior lecturer in ecology and environmental science at Massey University It’s like the neglected child of our environment. While the state of our birdlife and forests...

Reflecting on the lives saved

Wild People

Noel Bigwood, Making Tararua ridge top travel safer Judd Ridge, between Field and Kime huts in the Tararuas, is less than 5km long. The terrain isn’t overly tricky and on...

Undercover track cutters

Wild People

Frank King and Honora Renwick, cutting tracks into the back of beyond It’s hard to pin down exactly what changes an entire culture. But there’s a fair argument to suggest...

Ascent of the great descents

Wild People

Matthew Pike discovers why New Zealand could be on the cusp of a canyoning boom Many of New Zealand’s most popular outdoor pursuits have legendary names synonymous with the activity’s...

No ‘normal life’

Wild People

Brando ‘Wildboy’ Yelavich, walked the New Zealand coastline How hard would it be to spend 18 months of your life undertaking an adventure that captured the imagination of the nation,...

Science vs balderdash

Wild People

Alison Balance, presenter of RNZ’s Our Changing World, is a zoologist, wildlife film maker and writer In a world where more conflicting information than we could possibly dissect in one...

Arctic explorer

Wild People

Tara Mulvany, sea kayak circumnavigator extraordinaire For explorer Tara Mulvany, no corner of the globe is too remote. In fact, the fewer people there are, the more likely she’ll be...

All you need is love

Wild People

Phil Rossiter, chairman of the Mokihinui-Lyell Backcountry Trust At 85km, the Old Ghost Road from Lyell to Seddonville in the Buller region, is the country’s longest single track, and last...

A recovery of Himalayan proportions

Wild People

Nick Allen, founder of the Mastering Mountains Trust Four years ago, Nick Allen could only travel in a mobility scooter. Having been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) aged just 25,...

No. 12 - See the first sunrise

The Life List

Join Ngati Porou whanau and visitors for the annual 4WD journey up to the site of nine carvings in time for New Year’s day break. This wonderful experience allows you...

None shall pass

Features

Matthew Pike uncovers the fall-outs and government botches that have led to a favourite tramping region becoming increasingly shut off to public access As trampers we often take for granted...

All part of the service

Wild People

Matthew Pike speaks to the man brightening up the backcountry by helping to restore a valuable piece of tramping history Hotdogs on a stick are a bit of a culture...

Editorial, March 2016

Editorial

A very worrying stat emerged from a chat I had with the Federated Mountain Clubs: that 30 per cent of access points to public conservation land are not legally binding....

Great Walks at tipping point

Features

With tourism at an all-time high, and expected to keep rising, how long can Fiordland’s track facilities hold out before a major overhaul is needed? Matthew Pike finds out In...

Fighting for our access

Wild People

Retiring CEO Mark Neeson has led the Walking Access Commission from its birth to a group helping to open rivers, beaches and backcountry to thousands of Kiwis. Matthew Pike catches up with him

Island hopping

Wild Trips

Sea kayaking Urupukapuka Island, Bay of Islands, Northland Just the name Bay of Islands conjures romantic images of a winterless world of secluded beaches, draping pohutukawa and leaping dolphins. For...

When you run out of tracks

Wild People

Matthew Pike meets trampers who say there is a host of trips to try even when you’ve exhausted those dotted lines on the map It’s bound to happen eventually. After...

Meeting your heroes

Sea kayaking

Is the reality of coming face to face with Abel Tasman National Park as good as it’s hyped up to be? Matthew Pike kayaks the full length of the park...

Seven reasons why NZ reigns supreme

Waypoints

As he returns to his native grey and overcrowded England after five years on these shores, Matthew Pike gets all nostalgic about the land he regards as the world’s finest...