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 at that, but there really are few walks in the world that can compare to the likes of the Milford and Routeburn. Then there’s the Kepler and the utterly unique volcanic landscape of Tongariro. The cultural and historical experience found on the Whanganui River is also a rare experience. So, I think it’s fair to say the Great Walks encapsulate the finest attributes of the New Zealand outdoors.
In this special issue, we discover the people, the side trips, the hidden spots, the birds and everything else besides the scenery that makes these walks so special. Accompanied by ‘3D’ maps, I hope you find this to be the definitive guide to the Great Walks. (Don’t forget to head to wildernessmag.co.nz to download the route notes, maps and GPX files for all the Great Walks.)
Speaking of great, it’s not often we get to blow our own trumpet at Wilderness. If you had seen my email inbox this last month and the letters of complaint about an online story we published about banning Bibles in huts, you’d have reason to think the magazine was a cesspit of controversy (more on that next month, when we hope to publish the letters – regrettably we ran out of space this month).
I’m one of those people who find it deeply discomforting to shout about a success I have been part of, but it’s important readers know what a ‘great’ publication Wilderness is.
So here goes: In early September, the Wilderness team achieved something quite remarkable and of which I am immensely proud. At the Magazine Publishers Association annual magazine awards, we won numerous awards and accolades in the Consumer Special Interest category. My colleague George Driver was named journalist of the year, our art director Pelin Hall was runner-up for the designer of the year, I somehow won editor of the year and, most importantly and most relevantly for our readers, Wilderness won the magazine of the year award.
The fact we achieved such a remarkable result is not down to individuals, but to our entire team. Though their names weren’t mentioned on the night, Vanda, Andrea, Erin, Gina, David and Adele are equally responsible for each issue we produce. As are our amazingly knowledgeable contributors and freelancers.
And if it wasn’t for you readers, telling us how much you love what we’re doing, so we keep doing more of it, and letting us know when we’ve overstepped the mark, so we don’t do that again, we wouldn’t have come close to winning a single award, let alone three.
So thank you – I mean it when I say these awards are for all the trampers out there.