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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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!
An anxious wait for snow is never easy… When and how much white stuff will we have the pleasure of shredding? That day finally came on Friday when Treble Cone opened her gates and the crowd went wild!
Smiles for miles as we lapped up line after line of fresh pockets both in the Home and Saddle basin. Chris Rogers and Janina Kuzma scored first chair, probably because their kit was freshly tuned by The Wax Room. As it should be…
The coverage in the saddle was much more than expected, with only a few patches of tussock to keep challenged as you reached the quad lift. Avalanche debris looked soft from afar, but far from soft… It claimed a few unsuspecting shredders including myself. An involuntary front-flip/rag doll will always provide some entertainment for the onlookers. Wind picked up in the afternoon, however it was ideal because the tracks were filed in for the next day skiers and riders to enjoy. See www.360queenstown-wanaka.com for daily information on where to ride.
Even though it was a delayed opening, there was still plenty of terrain and snow to get the legs burning again. Time to get make stretching routine a habit again and dust off the foam roller!
Big thanks to Lachlan at Clean Line Producitons for the shots from Saturday. Lachlan’s film is showing at the out the Mountain Film Festival tonight. It follows a story of Colin Boyd on his path to compete in the World Freeride Tour.
The weeks ahead will be training the new and return Rookies on Treble Cone. A great season ahead!
A capacity audience left The Rippon Hall on Saturday buzzing with ideas after the first ever TEDxWanaka. The event, which took place on a perfect winter solstice, could mark a turning point for many in more ways than one after an enlightening programme of seven speakers plus entertainment and local food and wine.