Tag 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.

Westland | Shades of Green

I feel privileged to spend so much time exploring my home country. To some it is an insect sucking, wet & simple part of the world but to me it provides infinite opportunities to explore. The people who I am fortunate to travel with, value a sense of adventure much like me, it is contagious and I love it.

With the wind and sun (sometimes) on me I ride the VBT bike with up to 20 guests down some of the most beautiful highway in the world. I hear the waterfalls, see the tree canopy above me and feel so much more on a bike. Being on tour allows me to balance the food indulgence and physical activity perfectly!

With up to 6 tours a Summer, the time away from Wanaka can be tough. When driving & riding toward Central Otago I see the shades of green fade and the tones of brown remind me of home. It’s great to be back.

I am currently in Hokitika during the 3rd tour of the season and we were just treated to another epic sun-set. Enjoy the shots from the tours so far along with a favorite quote.

Look deep into nature and you will understand ~ Albert Einstein

 

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.

IMG_3266

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

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

2013 Winter Season: One to remember!

That feeling you get when the pressure is on… deep in the belly and mind. My deep breathes attempt to calm the roller coaster of nerves. As I visualize the course below, flashes of red and blue flags fade away as the mist rolls in over Treble Cone. The NLP skills were coming in handy in both competition and in instructor training.

Continue reading 2013 Winter Season: One to remember!

Somewhere in Fiordland, New Zealand

It’s been an exciting fun-filled couple of weeks since the season in Whistler finished up. Kenrae and I enjoyed a week in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; Family time in Christchurch followed by returning to Wanaka friends, just in time to see the Black Seeds perform.

I couldn’t think of a better way to experience New Zealand after returning home from my travels and the proof is below, however as i’m sure many of you know – the photos never do it justice. It was only meant to be a few days on the West Coast with Colin and Warrick however it turned into a week of waves, kayaking, hunting and fishing.

Due to a storm passing over the South Island followed closely by a King tidal system swamping New Zealand’s beaches, our plane was unable to land safely and pick us up. Oh well. I could think of worse places to be stranded! We had enough food and plenty of activities to keep ourselves occupied which made for an amazing week.

A video of the trip, including surfing footage will be uploaded to my Vimeo soon.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Cycling around some Alps

One of the reasons for taking on a trip like this was to get myself in the best shape possible prior to donating one of my Kidneys to Dad. Anyone can get in a car and enjoy this part of the world, however the experience becomes so much richer on many different levels using a bike. As I edit this trip together I am counting down the days before I can snowboard again. I’m in Whistler, Canada and it’s been almost 5 weeks since the transplant and I feel pretty good to ride next week!

The video below is a documented video of Christina & I cycling around part of the Southern Alps of New Zealand. We enjoyed surprisingly nice weather considering the coast’s damp reputation, that was until the last day arriving home in Wanaka.

Powered by copious amounts of snacks including One Square Meals, Whittakers Chocolate and assorted nuts we claimed 1026km over 8 1/2 days.

Wanaka – Makarora – Lake Paringa – Fox – Hokitika – Arthurs Pass – Methven – Farlie – Omarama – Wanaka

Thank you to all our friends and family who met at the Federal Diner in Wanaka and supported us. Enjoy the 6 minute and 30 second to showcase the awesome trip we did.

Alps Loop from Richie Johnston on Vimeo.