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May 2012 Issue
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Track Chat with Danielle Wang

Around an hour’s drive from Auckland, The Pinnacles is undoubtedly the Coromandel Peninsula’s most popular and spectacular walk. I met Danielle Wang on a rainy day, climbing the wet and slippery ladders and rocks on the way towards the summit.

Age: 30

Number in party: Seven

Where’s she from: Danielle is full Chinese, but born in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Have you tramped or travelled anywhere else in the world?

I’ve travelled a lot around Brazil’s beaches, but also lived in North Carolina, USA for six months of schooling and travelled to Hawaii. I’ve backpacked around Europe and Greece, and travelled through China with my grandmother to visit family. And to Thailand too, which all explain my mixed accent.

Reason for visiting New Zealand: I have an MBA majoring in tourism, but for now I’m on a sabbatical year. I like the outdoors and had always heard about New Zealand, so came here to enjoy the summer, although it hasn’t looked like summer this year. I’m on a three-month tourist visa, and currently work as a WOOFer (Workers on Organic Farms) just outside Coromandel.

Favourite hobbies Adventure sports and anything that pumps adrenaline. I’ve skydived, but wouldn’t bungee jump for the health of my spine.

Favourite country: Thailand, for the people and the scenery. Thailand and Brazil have very friendly people.

Have you done any difficult or frightening tramps? In Brazil I did some hiking, and I used to rock climb, but actually, no, I’ve been pretty safe on all my trips. I flew over an active volcano in Hawaii, and that was sweet as.

What do you love about tramping? It’s the contact with the experience, and when it rains, like today, you get a different experience again. There are different smells, and different senses are engaged; even the way the ground feels beneath your feet is different.

What’s your favourite walk? Back in Brazil I’ve hiked and climbed around Agulhas Negras, the Black Needles, near Rio de Janeiro. They are very beautiful.

Favourite tramping food: Anything that gives me energy. Nuts, fruits, water and chocolate.

Favourite gear: Good shoes and a positive attitude. They help me enjoy nature and the moment of being there – even if it’s raining.