Poor Man’s Kepler

Wild Trips

Shallow Bay Hut, Fiordland National Park Just 6km down the road from the tourist town of Te Anau, is a short-cut onto the Kepler Track, one of the famous Great...

Beacons from a bygone era

Features

Lighthouse enthusiast Raymond Salisbury guides us on 10 lighthouse walks  Built during the late 1800s when sea transport was the norm, New Zealand’s 40-odd lighthouses were a bastion of human...

No man’s land

Off the Beaten Track

A circuit from Big Bay to Pyke River takes author Raymond Salisbury through Mt Aspiring and Fiordland national parks They say that beaten paths are for beaten men – but...

From Gold to Green

Classic Tracks

From the gold diggings of Canterbury to the greenstone diggings of the Coast, the Three Passes tramp is considered a timeless classic. By Raymond Salisbury Sheets of relentless rain move...

Beyond blue

Off the Beaten Track

The going’s slow when you traverse the Divide three times by foot The windshield wipers cut through a wall of rain as I steered the Subaru over Spooner Saddle. It...

All carrot, no stick

Off the Beaten Track

Raymond Salisbury conjures up a new twist on an old classic in Arthur’s Pass National Park I was visiting the long-drop at Woolshed Creek Hut when he arrived, his twin...

Old cobber

Wild Trips

Myttons Hut, Kahurangi National Park A full moon climbed over Cobb Ridge, illuminating the reservoir below. It was a windless autumn night; the darkened hillside of thick beech was now...

Nelson's seven summits

Off the Beaten Track

Tackling the seven summits on the Alpine Route in Nelson’s beautiful, big backyard We are geographically embarrassed. The luminous beams of our headlamps light up the swingbridge dangling across the river,...

The cut

Hotshot

An incoming tide races through The Cut into Nelson Haven, while the first rays of morning hit the old pier. I walked along the Boulder Bank for two hours in...

Kahurangi crusade

Wild Trips

Arthur Range traverse, Kahurangi National Park You probably won’t read of this trip in a guidebook, or find it on a website. It’s a local jaunt in our backyard bush,...

Summer in Siberia

Off the Beaten Track

Ray Salisbury takes four friends from Auckland and plunges them deep into the remote reaches of Mt Aspiring National Park Earlier in the day I had rendezvoused with my four...

Unfinished business

Wild Trips

Lake Christabel Hut, Lewis Pass National Reserve It is inevitable. The blizzard blows hard in our frosted faces, the temperature is a tropical minus five, and the visibility is only...

Cinematic cirque  

Waypoints

Crucible Lake, Mt Aspiring National Park Cluttered full of icebergs, the perfect chalice of Crucible Lake conjures up a sudden hailstorm which chills us to the bone. Above, the brazen,...

Back to the Waimak

Off the Beaten Track

Ray Salisbury embarks on a door-to-door hut-bagging mission at Arthur’s Pass and gets caught up in an adventure race Grant has just run his first marathon during the weekend. His...

Forgotten highway

Off the Beaten Track

Ray Salisbury seizes a golden opportunity to travel the Old Ghost Road and discovers that our pioneering past is still near the surface. After all the controversy, delays and marketing...

Big river, little hut

Wild Trips

Wainui Hut circuit, Abel Tasman National Park The Abel Tasman Coast Track is the most popular, and crowded, Great Walk. The allure of the coast means fewer trampers frequent the...

Holiday in Hawkswood

Features

A 40km walk over three backcountry sheep stations gives Ray Salisbury a new, and relaxed, view of the Kaikoura ranges If you want remote wilderness, go to Stewart Island. If...

7 tips for better outdoor photos

Photo School

Want to improve your photography? Ray Salisbury shares his advice for taking winning outdoor shots 1 Timing Contrary to popular practice, shooting under the midday summer sun is unlikely to produce...

Living the high life

Features

Ray Salisbury dispels the myth of private walks being for the elderly and unfit while tramping the Awatere Tussock Track Mention ‘private walks’ and my mind conjures up images of...

Journey into Paradise

Off the Beaten Track

Ray Salisbury spends six days exploring rock bivs and fly camps along the 77km Rees-Dart Track It is mid-summer when we board the backpacker bus from Glenorchy, a small settlement dubbed...

Sublime climb

Wild Trips

Mueller Hut, Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park / moderate Visiting the Mt Cook region can often be a lucky dip. Depending on the vagaries of the weather, your journey there can...

No place for a road

Off the Beaten Track

Ray Salisbury walks the Wangapeka Track on a quest to find out whether the latest road-through-a-national park proposal will fly In the late 1970s, a road linking Golden Bay with...

Forgotten foray

Off the Beaten Track

Ray Salisbury recalls a route around the Raglan Ranges in southern Marlborough THE EXTENSIVE HILL country of southern Marlborough is frequented by few, mainly just hardy hunters. The Raglan Ranges are really the...

Into the rough

Off the Beaten Track

Ray Salisbury attempts to summit Tapuae-o-Uenuku, a ‘tramper’s mountain’, but finds it rough going with wet boots and early alpine starts “Wake up, Ray!” Unbelievably, Pat Holland was knocking on my front...

Around the mountain

Classic Tracks, Features, Wild Trips

Nelson’s Richmond Range offers spectacular tramping opportunities that include rolling tussock tops, rocky mountains and bush-clad valleys often reminiscent of North Island terrain. Indeed, the North Island edelweiss grows here,...

Soaking in solitude

Waypoints, Wild Trips

There’s Waiwera in the north, with its outdoor movies and hydro slides. There are the pungent Polynesian Pools in Rotorua, with busloads of tourists. There’s Hanmer Springs in the south...

Journey past paradise

Classic Tracks, Uncategorized

The mountain grandeur on the Rees-Dart is dramatic: the valleys are vast, the huts are historical, and if you’re seeking solitude, a smattering of rock bivouacs and riverside campsites are...

Diamonds and dragons

Off the Beaten Track

Planning a journey without a map is like building a house without drawings. My index finger traces a possible route over the topographical map depicting the enormous spread of Kahurangi...

High light

Waypoints

Last summer, I went wild camping on a range of summits; drinking in the glorious views and photographing them. For starters, I planned a relatively easy climb to the top...

The hardest hike

Classic Tracks, Features

Mention the ‘Dusky’ to those in the know – those intrepid adventurers who have penetrated its dark forested interior, or stolen across its misty, tarn-studded mountain passes – and you’ll...

Starlight Hotel

Waypoints

Queenstown is a party town and it’s the last place where I felt like staying. The hills beckoned beyond the tinsel town though, so I boarded the gondola for my...

Stagger into paradise

Waypoints

As the thunder of a thousand white hooves hammered the rocks below this impressive 60m waterfall, we stripped off our clothes and plunged into the deep glacial green pool below....

Cinematic Circuit

Classic Tracks

The Gillespie Pass Circuit takes in the Young and Wilkin river valleys and crosses the 1600m-high Gillespie Pass – reached after a stiff 1000m climb. It’s a trip not to...

Off the radar

Waypoints

Deep in the wild heart of northern Kahurangi is a subalpine tableland that rises to 870m. Mackay Downs features numerous granite tors which punctuate peat-filled valleys of tussock. Home to...