Welcome to Kenya | Adventure of a lifetime

It felt good to see the local people believe in the value of tourism. Especially those that lived near the conservancy. Health care, education, transport and general well being are heavily supported by the revenue gathered from tourism. This video is dedicated to the Rangers of Borana and Lewa Conservancy. Many thanks to Flick & Sam and the owners of Borana Lodge, Michael and Nicky Dyre. Support from Icebreaker Merino and Say Yes to Adventure Magazine is very appreciated. Nick Yuki and the Masi locals at Ololokwe for their beautiful music.

Kenya | Exploring a new world

An opportunity to travel to Kenya does not come up very often. Especially with some adventurous people and the destination being a luxury Eco-lodge nestled on a remote ridge called Borana. We were 4 hours north of Nairobi and close to Mt Kenya. With lions and hyena calling during the early hours of the morning, it was easy to wake up and enjoy the view.

Set high on Kenya’s Laikipia Plateau, Borana’s 32,000 acre conservancy was about to treat us very well. Owned by Michael and Nicky Dyre and managed by Flick (Hollie’s sister) & Sam Taylor. Sam has an important job of looking after many of the rangers that patrol Borana protecting the animals, specifically the Rhino. Lewa conservancy neighbors Borana and the two of them combine is a massive 100,000 acres, home to countless species.

Continue reading Kenya | Exploring a new world

Say Yes to Adventure | The magazine

Say Yes to Adventure – the magazine has come to life. Hollie Woodhouse has been dreaming of producing a magazine for over 10 years and last week her dream came true. I can happily say that I have have a part to play with some photography and my very own 4 page story being published! Hollie needed a snowboarding story, so I shared my Japanese adventure which happened a year ago.

Continue reading Say Yes to Adventure | The magazine

Welcome Rock | Mountain biking New Zealand’s finest water-race

While on assignment for 360queenstown-wanaka, I had the pleasure of  exploring the Welcome Rock and Roaring Lion cycle trail. Described by the Kennett Brothers as “New Zealand’s finest water-race”, I was in for a treat. 

With clear blue skies ahead of me I drove from Wanaka to the Nevis road, which took a little over two hours.
Ski hut is the first of three huts, which offer accommodation high up in the hills of the Central Otago high-country. After parking there, I wrote my intentions in the guest book and started riding anti-clockwise around one of the best Central Otago rides today. There were enough supplies for two days with plenty of chocolate and curiosity.

Historic Ski hut - getting ready to ride
Historic Ski hut – getting ready to ride
Welcome Rock - a place to meet
Welcome Rock – a place to meet

The first part of the trail is a gentle up hill toward Welcome Rock. Smooth berms and corners lined with local schist stone made for fun riding, as I made my way up to the historic meeting point. Welcome Rock was an iconic place of trade over 100 years ago when Chinese miners lived there in search of a fortune. As the story goes, a bottle of whiskey was stashed among the mossy rocks for an emergency drink… After a few minutes of searching, none was to be found!

Continue reading Welcome Rock | Mountain biking New Zealand’s finest water-race

Flying high | A joy ride over the local rivers with Dad

While hanging out with Dad, we decided to go for a last minute flight over the local rivers. He flew in the red & grey Moth and for much of the flight we flew side by side.

Classic Flights Wanaka took us on a flight of a lifetime. These Tiger Moths bring the soul back to flying. In total over 8,700 Tiger Moths have been built, 4,200 for the RAF alone. This type is credited with training thousands of pilots for the Allied war effort and remained in service until as late as 1951 in the UK and 1955 in New Zealand.

They were developed in the 1930’s and had 120 – 145hp engines. These particular Tiger Moths were built in New Zealand in 1941.

Check out this 50 second clip of the Tiger Moth experience.
#sayyestoadventure #shareyouradventure

Camphill Surfers | Bringing the coast to Central Otago

There are may things in this wonderful world that makes me tick. Without a back-to-back winter this year, snowboarding has taken the back seat and surfing stepped forward. Well, not the salty kind but the next best thing.

Getting the snowboarding fix in fresh water. Good times!
Getting the snowboarding fix in fresh water. Good times! Image: Stoked4Saturday

River works started and the wave was built in late 2012. Located on the Hawea River at Camphill Bridge, the Hawea Whitewater Park (or Hawea Wave as it’s called by most) is a man-made structure within the Hawea River itself. The park has two river waves for kayakers and rafters, bodyboarders and surfers, to play and train on. When the Hawea Dam is released, the correct water flow provides the perfect standing wave.

The Hawea River flow is managed by Contact Energy, specifically for electricity generation. Releases are made based on power requirements. From the 1st of September to 31st of January Contact Energy are required to ensure that the flow is kept between 10 to 60 cumecs. About 50 cumecs is one of the best flows and has helped me learn to surf on a Rincon 6ft board.

Great crew and banter to match
Great crew and banter to match

If there is a community group with enough momentum behind it, they can request flow rates. Join and support Camphill Surfers and we can get the waves we need! An unexpected bonus this summer. With a fun crew to challenge each other we have spent hours at the wave till dusk searching for the next best slash or trick.

Walking NZ for Kidneys

My Dad calls me up and tells me he there are some special guests coming to stay at the B&B. Being my curious self, I wondered who it could be. While on a break from cycle touring, I was fortunate to meet Ros and Hugh Cole-Baker. They are traveling the length of New Zealand on the Te Araroa Trail to raise awareness for the need for more live kidney donors. Ros gave one of her kidneys to her husband Hugh October 2013 and have almost completed a challenge worth sharing.

The duo set off late September 2014 from Cape Reinga and have been walking and biking the length of New Zealand on the Te Araroa trail. During their visit in Wanaka, my Dad hosted them while the enjoyed local walks and rides around town. I Was fortunate to meet up with them for a hike up Mt Iron followed by an interview with the Otago Daily Times.

Rob Johnston & Ros Cole-Baker, supported by husband Hugh
Rob Johnston & Ros Cole-Baker, supported by husband Hugh
Walking NZ for Kidneys | Prevention – Support – Research
Walking NZ for Kidneys | Prevention – Support – Research

If you would like to find out more about Kidney Health New Zealand they are more than willing to answer any questions ranging from dialysis to transplants.

What is Kidney disease?

  • Your kidneys clean your blood by working as a filter to remove water and wastes from your body. Kidney disease damages these filters so they don’t do their job properly.
  • Kidney disease usually affects both kidneys and may also damage other parts of your body, such as your heart.
  • When enough of the filters are damaged, the body will fill up with excess wastes and water. This is called kidney failure. It can happen when you have kidney disease for a long period of time (chronic kidney disease).
  • Kidney failure is fatal if not treated by either dialysis or a kidney transplant.

The role of KHNZ:

  • To fund research into the prevention, early detection and cure of kidney disease.
  • Provide education and support in the recognition of the symptoms of kidney disease.
  • Provide resource information concerning the treatment and management of patients with kidney disease.
  • To promote the donation of kidneys and other organs and tissue for transplantation.
  • Liaise with and support patient Support Groups

It is becoming increasingly likely that anyone of us or family members will be in some way affected by Kidney disease. To learn about a donation to help with prevention, support and research please visit here.

Icebreaker | Ambassador

2014 finished of with fun travels and great news! I have been fortunate create a relationship with a company born and bred here in New Zealand that I have looked up to and respected from day one. Icebreaker have chosen me as one of their ambassadors leading into the new year. Stoked!
It all started when they needed snowboarders for a commercial during the winter. I put my hand up! Before I knew it I was sitting down with their Marketing Co-ordinator and Inhouse Producer a few weeks later. They kindly sent me new merino threads which will be great for the antics ahead – and because it does not hold odor, I will be doing less laundry. Happy days…

Some other good news is finding out that my story on Japan has been selected to feature in Say YES to Adventure Magazine! An amazing New Zealand publication that is raising money to help protect the Rhino and Elephant on the Laikipia Plains in Kenya. Read more about it here. Perhaps your story will feature in Volume 2?

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Kid’s Bush | Lake Hawea

 

Biking the rainforest | Exploring the West Coast

We parked up the truck next to some of the deepest rain-forest in New Zealand. Neither of us had been here before and we curious about the ride ahead.  While leading a VBT trip down the west coast I was able to scope out some of the local mountain bike trails. Ross (another VBT guide and I) found some fun lines nestled beneath the Southern Alps snaking through the rain-forest. Even on the isolated west coast there are still some die-hard bikers that are passionate enough to create some fun trails.

A 4km loop track is accessed only 3 minutes drive north of Frans Josef township. What looks like an old mining pit, you can ride up beside it and the trail starts from there.

Map to paradise
Keen to return one day…  head for the red pin

Aside from the rain & sand flies, there is so much potential for  amazing riding there. I hope DOC turns more walking trails into bike trails… Bring on Summer!

Demos | SBINZ demonstrations

A clear visual picture will always help a learning process. It definitely helps when the delivery is clean, simple and gives the student a solid understanding of the task. It was a privilege to not only present these tasks, but to do them on a world-class mountain like Treble Cone. The following video was a project the SBINZ team and I worked on during a couple of days during the NZ season of 2014.

Great work by http://www.360newzealand.com and the SBINZ Trainer crew. Cheers boys!

Please excuse the out-takes at the end… they insisted on including them!

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