Category: Trip Reports / Survivor's Tales

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Rapids 101

The first Tuesday of the summer camp was wet. It rained all day to a forecast of severe gales over most of the country. The camp was sheltered from the wind but the Whanganui River drains from as high as the Tongariro National Park. It certainly expanded its territory that day. After waiting a day or so for the river to go down a little, we were bursting for action, or at least Peter was. Read More

An Easy Trip That was Too Hard

An easy ramble around the coast from Ti Point to Matheson’s Bay, Lunch at Leigh and finish at Goat Island reserve. A great day out in the sun with friends. At least that was  my mental picture following Don’s description of the trip.  But the day dawned overcast with rain, a strong easterly wind and a forecast to get worse. The party met at the parking area at Ti Point boat ramp overlooking the entrance to the Omaha estuary and the settlement of Omaha. Heavy cloud and a gray sea, surging into the entrance. Read More

A Swamp called Colenso

The idea of a trip to a blue lake nestled in the trees with sandy beaches and a chance for a swim seems to attract trampers like a cat to smelly fish. The numbers for the open tops trips in past years have been quite low so this year we opted for just one trip at anniversary weekend and had 18 book in on the trip. So many in fact, that several experienced trampers pulled out to arrange an alternative to keep away from the crowds, including me. Read More


The trip started with an email from Marianne asking for the details of my Ruahine trip at Auckland Anniversary Weekend. A quick think returned the germ of what looked on the map to be a nice short 2 day trip with a couple of hours at each end to allow for the long drive down to Mangaweka and back. After the experience in 2005, it was clear that trips needed to be kept from being too ambitious. A tops trip in the Ruahines needs to allow for about 4 hours continuous climbing just to get up there. Read More

A mid Winter Dunking in the Ureweras

There should be some reassurance in uncontrollable shivering. It's the body's way of trying to warm up and as Ian, reason for one of my young companions, reminds me it's preferable to the listless warmth of advanced hypothermia. But then Ian, who has come to my rescue yet again, is not soaked in freezing Whakatane River water for the umpteenth time and shaking so badly that holding a kayak paddle is utterly impossible. I have to get warm but every bit of spare clothing is soaked too. Read More

Almost Ski Touring to Turoa from Whakapapa

The plan was to set out from the top of the Far West T-Bar at 10 am. A good number of people were interested, so it is obviously something to try again, weather permitting. The official story was that the lifts were closed for de-icing and avalanche control. There had been up to 25cm of new snow over 2 days prior to the weekend. The wind was up, there was flurries of corn snow and visibility wasn’t always great, but still three of the original party decided to go for a short trip to counteract hut fever. Read More