Category Archives: New Zealand

A great stroll| The Routeburn, Fiordland

Saying we walked the Routeburn sounds so boring… We Strolled the Routeburn and soaked in all her glory! With the size of our packs, we really had no choice … 

  

It’s been 18 years since I last had the fortune to spend time on this track, well worth the return and the company I had made it that much better. Ashley, Erin and I spent 2 nights and almost 3 days on the track staying in the DOC huts along the way.


  

The biggest difference I noticed this time was the massive decrease in bird life. The introduced Stoat aka the incredibly well adapted native bird killer were prolific and were the main cause behind the dramatic drop in bird life. Once teaming with a frenzy of bird calls and vibrant bush, we were left with a green paradise left in silence, with only the sound of a booming waterfall in the distance.


  
To say the DOC staff were oozing with passion for nature was an understatement. Each night they would present a conservation speech to the happy campers.
Each night we rested our legs and reflected on the day of strolling through paradise.  Even without the Kiwi, Tui, Kakapo and other natives we were still treated to a gizillion waterfalls, streams, lush bush and springs we could drink from along the way.



Cruising Milford was the cherry on top… We marveled at 140km gusts and what they did to the water over the narrow Fiord. Trickles turned into Gushers and Waterfalls turned into Water-ups! 

 

I hope in another 18 years we can return to the area with the new generation of nature lovers and cherish the native birds once again while we stroll through paradise.

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Riding into the Alps | Aspiring Hut bike packing 

Few people will venture beyond the sealed road along the Matukituki valley. Especially with a mountain bike! I had ridden this track to Aspiring but before, but this time we planned to stay over night.

Sheep are awesome!
On the right track

Within 2.5 hours we drove out of Wanaka and ridden up the valley while taking photos along the way. Only a few river crossings to tend with which made both driving and riding great fun! Memories of jumping in puddles those years ago flood back to me.

Continue reading Riding into the Alps | Aspiring Hut bike packing 

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

Countdown to Interski, Argentina

To represent SBINZ and travel with such an awesome team gets me stoked. Especially when the next trip will be to Argentina 2015 during September! Earlier in 2014, myself and 5 other fortunate souls were chosen to represent the hard work that the SBINZ team have put in over the years.

Every four years the world of snow-sports instruction sends a team to the Interski conference. Up to 35 nations will showcase their development in skiing, snowboarding and telemark. It is an exciting time for us because we will showcase to the world the teaching theory, riding style and our unique outlook on snowboarding and it’s instruction.

For me, it will be the most unique learning environment I have ever been in. The opportunity to discover new tactics and technical information is literally world-class. With over 10 years in the instruction world I have had the pleasure of meeting many inspiring instructors, athletes and management that have all taught me something unique. In Argentina, we will have the chance to further out skills and bring home to our New Zealand instructors a fresh insight on how we can better the sport.

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Bring part of Interski will also be a massive celebration for snowboarding and the people that make it what it is! The count-down has started and we are stoked to be part of it. Stay tuned on the New Zealand blog over the next year and follow the path we take with NZSIA. If you are intersted in sponsorship opportunities please get in touch with me.

SBINZ Interski team 2015
SBINZ Interski team 2015: Rhys Jones, Sean Thompson, Sam Smith, Dan Burton, Richie Johnston & Keith Stubbs

Treble Cone Opening day 2014

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…

Photo: Lachlan Humphreys Filmer/Photographer www.cleanlineproductions.com
Photo: Lachlan Humphreys Filmer/Photographer www.cleanlineproductions.com

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.

Richie Johnston Slashing pockets
Slashing pockets: Photo: Lachlan Humphreys Filmer/Photographer www.cleanlineproductions.com

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.

Richie Johnston Photo: Lachlan Humphreys Filmer/Photographer www.cleanlineproductions.com
Photo: Lachlan Humphreys Filmer/Photographer www.cleanlineproductions.com

The weeks ahead will be training the new and return Rookies on Treble Cone. A great season ahead!

Cycling the West Coast

After a surprisingly sunny 50km ride from Fox to Bruce bay we stop for a substantial snack. Broni has driven ahead to prepare one of her infamous road-side buffets which bring smiles to the faces of hungry cyclists.

As I reach for a Tim Tam I hear Betsy, one of the 20 Americans travelling with us scream “Dolphins!” I look down over the beach filled with golden sand and drift wood and spot a pod of Hector Dolphins not far from the shore. I drop my shorts and strip on the spot and scramble down to he beach. As I run half naked towards the water I wonder if anyone is following me. Bounding into the surf, I confirm with myself that those dorsal fins are attached to friendly creatures with small teeth. Splashing around like an idiot making the sounds of a snork about 20 dolphins swim with me!

Continue reading Cycling the West Coast

A NZ Freeride Story Ep. 1

This will be a great story to follow as a great shred buddy of mine Colin Boyd prepares for the World Freeride Tour. Check out his summary of the NZ season while he trains at Treble Cone & Cardrona during the 2013 season here in NZ. Documented in style by Lachlan Humphreys, they paint a unique picture their journey together.

Wanaka for Gigatown 2014!

Gigatown is a 12 month competition run by Chours New Zealand to decide who will be the first town in the Southern hemisphere to access a one gigabit per second (1Gbps) internet connection.  That means 100x faster internet than what we are currently using. For all of us here in Wanaka, and for those who would like to live here, this would be a huge step to help our community develop further and encourage future investment, business development and greater opportunities.

Continue reading Wanaka for Gigatown 2014!