Mount Lowry: Measuring Nature-based Fitness & Environmental Success

So, whānau: where’s the one place you hike to, to measure your own fitness, and potential success?

‘Cos clearly, for ‘challenge’ and ‘aspiration’ to cohesively co-exist, you need yardsticks – otherwise, how do you even see that ever-lurking ledge-cum-tipping-point distinguishing “fine” from “fucking disaster”, and ultimately separate the two, when you’re in full-swing out there in the wilderness and absolutely need to?

Experience has shown me the value in having a particular route that provides personal, pertinent answers, so I can therefore assess rather than guess (thus avoiding the many levels and layers of “situational shit” that tend to accompany ignorance, arrogance, sheer carelessness, and (*or) selective stupidity.

For me, that’s Mount Lowry.

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Review: Apache Pine Wooden Watches & The Move Towards “Sustainable Style”

[*This is a review of a specific product kindly supplied by Apache Pine.]

This may come as no surprise, especially if you’re ‘native’ to our “Land of the Long White Cloud”, but make no mistake: New Zealand is currently in the midst of a massive socio-cultural face-lift.

Indeed, while our landscape is being progressively polluted via various, equally “progressive” industries, we, as a tiny, South Pacific-based, proverbial melting-pot of people, are becoming increasingly green.

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Mount Tauhara: The ‘Summiteer’s Skinny’ On Lake Taupō’s “Odd Man Out”

*Feb ’18 (update): Spend the time and effort skirting through Tauhara’s ‘pāhau’ (“beard”) along the tops, as you’ll eventually arrive at his ‘ihu’ (“nose”) and some pretty impressive views of Taupō and the Central Plateau beyond – not-to-mention a massively ‘mīharo’ (“marvellous”) place to stop for snacks and sups:

Afterwards, enjoy a narrow and oftentimes “hairy” descending crawl through ‘The Squeeze’ (off to your ‘taha mauī’ (“left hand-side”) from this rocky outcrop (^)) – walls of volcanic pumice 2+ metres high/deep, so expect to get stuck more than once.  Feels like a tunnel without a roof.


There’s a well-known, spectacularly revered story telling of an historically significant, downright messy (lava – *hello*), disturbingly violent, suitably terrifying “war” between mountains here in our North Island’s ‘Central Plateau’.

This ‘pūrākau’ (“ancient Māori myth”) describes an early mountain landscape characterised by a cluster of peaks, crests, and apexes…

Not simply or exclusively the three ‘stayers’ that are there now.

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Mount Ngauruhoe: How To Successfully Summit “Mount Doom”

The kupu “ngauruhoe” hints at a history peppered with near-death and tragedy, amidst some of the most challenging weather conditions anywhere in our world.

Legend begins with the navigator-cum-high priest of one of Māoridom’s much-revered seven settling canoes, the ‘Te Arawa’, and a ‘tāne’ (“man”) named: ‘Ngatoro-i-rangi’ – or more simply, “Ngatoro”.

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A Stone’s Throw

Every so often you find yourself driving a scenic road through a ‘scape with a land-cache that’s seriously worth stopping for.

The asphalt artery connecting (Mount) Tongariro’s ‘National Park’ to (anō, Mount) Ruapehu’s ‘Whakapapa Village’ is the most recent, for me.

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Tongariro’s Silica Rapids Hint At Mythical Superhero Prowess

There are a few ketes-worth of myth and legend describing the origin/s of Tongariro National Park, and the uniquely volcanic landscape that features here.

Like any fabulous story, though, there’s one ever-present superhuman ‘common thread’ that connects them all…

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Pouākai Circuit: Our Mad/Rad AF Multi-Day “Mud Slushie” Slog

Every tramper has their inevitable turning-point away from the relative simplicity and safety of the day-hike, and towards the more logistically and physically challenging multi-day experience.

I’ve literally just had mine.

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Getting “Pack Fit” For Ngauruhoe

Currently spending some focused time getting “pack fit” — you know, the kind of fitness that allows one to haul extra weight for days on end through the wilderness, or in my more immediate case: up a mountain summit (this mountain summit actually, although I do have the “wilderness” aspect more than covered over New Year’s, too).

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From “The City” To Yosemite: My Take On The One-Day Tour

How many of us California non-natives dream of spending a day in Yosemite National Park?

These days, that’s actually easy enough to suss next time you’re San Fran-bound (who doesn’t love San Francisco?).  Still, you may wonder: what do you actually get to see and experience on a Yosemite day tour?

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