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Trampers’ hut bagging spree in the Tararua Range

James and Mina Holder have visited all 58 huts in the Tararua Range in the space of one year. Photo: Supplied

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Two trampers have bagged all 58 huts in the Tararua Ranges within 12 months. 

The feat saw Mina and James Holder battle through gnarly weather, injuries, lockdowns and up to 17 hour days.

Despite the difficulties, the couple enjoyed the challenge.

“We were quite into it. We were always on that edge, not knowing whether we were going to make it. That was exciting, kept us driving on,” James told Stuff.

“On a good day in the Tararua Range, you just can’t beat it,” Mina said. “One day coming up from Dundas Hut, we could see Mt Ruapehu, Mt Taranaki, the South Island and both coasts. That morning, we got up at sunrise and got up onto the tops. That was just magic. It was worth all of the suffering.”

Wilderness roving editor Shaun Barnett, who is four huts shy of bagging all 58, said of the couple’s effort: “That is a really great achievement.”

Woman beats Te Araroa Trail record

A Queenstown nurse has broken the New Zealand women’s record for running the Te Araroa Trail.

After 58 days, Brooke Thomas crossed the finish line at Bluff, beating the previous record by a week.

“To be completely honest, the record is awesome and I’m really stoked about it, but it was way more about the adventure for me,” Thomas told Otago Daily Times.

“It’s been so hard, so rewarding, and so challenging.”

Thomas set her sights on the trail when she had a pacemaker installed a decade ago.

“That is what I have wanted to do with this run – inspire any kids, whether they have got a heart condition, a health condition or even just a kid in general, to get out there, do whatever makes them happy, and keep pushing their own boundaries,” she said.

Thomas raised around $21,000 for the HeartKids NZ charity.

DOC investigating the cooking of a kererū 

DOC is investigating after an Instagram story appeared to show a person plucking and cooking a kererū. 

The story included a video and photo appearing to show a kererū in a large pot with the text ‘take nan to the police lol’ and ‘“compiling evidence to put away nan’.

DOC is investigating the allegations, a spokesperson told Newshub.

Forest and Bird said it is “never okay” to kill and eat protected native birds.

“It’s illegal to kill kererū, or any native bird. A person could face two years in prison or a $100,000 fine under the Wildlife Act,” a spokesperson said.

Myrtle rust arrives in Waitākere Ranges

Myrtle rust has been discovered in the Waitākere Ranges for the first time.

The infection was sighted by a member of the public on the Karamatura Trail at Huia, and reported via the iNaturalist app, NZ Herald reports.

Auckland Council environment and climate change committee chairman Richard Hills said it was inevitable that the wind-borne fungus would arrive.

“This will be distressing for many of our communities who are concerned that our native taonga could be affected,” he said.

Myrtle rust was first discovered in New Zealand in 2017, after blowing over from Australia, and is gradually spreading around the country.

It can infect and kill species in the Myrtaceae family, which includes mānuka, pōhutukawa, rātā and kānuka.

Auckland Council is deciding how to handle the infestation.

“That may include removing the infected plants to protect other plants or we may decide on taking no further action,” natural environment delivery manager Phil Brown said.

Does thru-hiking destroy your body?

The long term health effects of thru-hiking have been highlighted in Outside magazine.

The article’s author Grayson Haver Currin and his wife Tina completed the 3500km Appalachian Trail in five months, feeling fitter than ever before, despite broken toes.

Any expectations of a fast return to sport, however, were shattered by a 17 month struggle with chronic pain and depression. 

“I’ve frequently wondered – during restless nights and uncomfortable days, when sitting, standing, and sleeping hurt – if I ruined my body forever by using it too hard thru-hiking,” Currin writes. 

“I started asking fellow hikers if they’d suffered from intractable and unexplained pains, or the new sense that any exercise still hurt days later, a shocking percentage said yes. They told me about lingering stress fractures and pulverized joints, obdurate ligaments and gnarled digits.”

Read the full story here.