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National Park visitor numbers may be capped

A trial to limit the number of people entering Tongariro National Park is being discussed with local iwi. Photo: Matthew Cattin

A wrap of the biggest stories and best writing about the outdoors from New Zealand and around the world. 

DOC is considering restricting the number of people who can visit national parks at peak times, RNZ reports.

Conservation minister Kiri Allan said DOC is trying to ensure the number of visitors to national parks don't overwhelm facilities.

“This is an ongoing issue for us,” she said.

“We want to make sure we can preserve the values of these incredible places.”

DOC is currently in discussions with iwi about a trial to limit numbers entering Tongariro National Park.

Man gets vasectomy because of climate change

Outside magazine writer Wes Siler has taken a powerful stance against climate change – getting himself a vasectomy. 

“Any other action we could take, even all the actions we could ever possibly add up together, pale in comparison,” he writes.

Siler believes if he gave up his pickup truck and rode his bike everywhere, he could save the planet 2.4 tonnes of carbon emissions a year.

“That’d be a massive sacrifice, but it’s nowhere near the carbon emissions I’ll save by skipping becoming a daddy, which comes in at around 58 tonnes annually, per kid,” he said.

“We need fewer humans, and getting there voluntarily will be an awful lot less painful than doing it with war, famine, and natural disaster.”

Read the full story here.


Trio of climbers rescued from Aoraki

Another week, another rescue at Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park.

A “tricky” rescue saw three climbers airlifted from a glacier on January 6, after activating their PLB, Stuff reports.

Two of the climbers had minor injuries from a fall of 10-15 metres onto rocks.

Maritime NZ’s Rescue Co-ordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) sent a helicopter from Aoraki/Mt Cook Village with an alpine cliff rescue team.

RCCNZ said, “after some initial difficulty pinpointing the exact location of the group due to the heavy cloud cover, they were eventually located near Stewart’s Glacier in the Fitzgerald Pass in the Aroarokaehe Range, which is at an altitude of 2300m, 8km north of Aoraki/Mt Cook village.

“Due to the nature of the terrain, the helicopter could not use its long line to pull the group to safety, so the alpine cliff rescue team were dropped off at Copland Shelter, and walked in to retrieve the group on foot.

“After the group were lowered to a safer position, the helicopter was then able to pull the group to safety and they were taken to Aoraki/Mt Cook village.”

Recalling the missing in Fiordland

Remote and inaccessible, Fiordland holds many secrets, including the whereabouts of 73 people who have disappeared there over the past 138 years, never to be seen again.

The Otago Daily Times has delved into some of the mysterious disappearances in a fascinating article.

Te Anau historian Merv Halliday, who has compiled a list of all the people lost in Fiordland, told the ODT complacency is the common thread between the missing.

"People go into that area and they’re complacent as to the nature of the area that they’re going to,” he said.

"If you’re going to be pretty casual about the whole thing, and not go there prepared for any event, you may not come back out.”