Chasing Light (*Earthquakes(?), What Earthquakes?)

Something of a Saturday roam “sesh” — November 19, 2016.

Decided to brave Wellington’s prevailing earthquake aftershock routine, and pursue some nature-based “normality”.

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Love Your Backyard

Sunday fun-day feels at my local reserve — November 6, 2016.

Head to the tops of these hills for the most spectacular views of our little country’s “South Island”, ‘Te Waipounamu’.

She’s a long hard road to get there, though…

Still, those colours are pretty legit motivation — right?

#TipTrack.

New Orleans: Why You Should Forget The Rumours, And Prepare To Fall In Love Instead

What’s the first thing that comes to mind for you when you think “New Orleans”?

For me, it was the immense, impressive cuisine scene, followed closely by all that jazz, those blues, Mardi Gras, and a fair dollop of debauchery.

Later, I suffered something of a moment of sheer panic whilst pondering the fact that I was about to set-off on an adventure in one of the most violent and dangerous cities in the world.

Well, fuck.

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The Push To Belmont Trig: Busting-a-Gut Up The Throat Of ‘Te Mana’

Should you happen to be on-the-hunt for a half-day-walk here in Wellington that’ll make you gasp (*with awe, I mean – although you’ll likely be left with empty lungs and a suitably busted gut, too), then the push to Belmont Trig is “it”.

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Rangituhi: He Huarahi Nei Tae Atu Ai Ki ‘Te Rangiwhakataka’ (Āe – Koinei Te Wiki O Te Reo Māori, Te Reo Rangatira)

I’ve purposely sat down to write this post during this year’s ‘Te Wiki o te reo Māori’ (“Māori Language Week”) to reflect, in (*what I hope will feel like) just the right amount of detail.

My most intimate experiences with this particular time of year have stemmed from my current vocation as an enthusiastic advocate of, and for, the Māori language – they’re the by-product of my decision to teach in a reo-speaking environment.

But they’re not the catalyst – the ‘prod’, if you like – for my level/s of participation and engagement in this specific week.

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Cannon Point Walkway & Birchville Dam: Dem Astronomical Akatarawa Views (Also: Happy Matariki, Whānau)

First things front-and-centre: ‘Ngā mihi o te wā nei, ko Matariki’ (or simply, “Happy Matariki”), whānau.

As-of the start of June, ‘Matariki’ – aka, the “Pleiades” star cluster – is now visible in our hemisphere, thus heralding the Māori New Year.

Without a shred of doubt, Matariki is, and means, many things to many people.  For those of us who dedicate ourselves to this particular time of year life, we are inherently drawn to the usual array of New Year’s traditions.  Key kupu like “remembrance”, “fertility”, “life”, “death”, and “gratitude” all assume their rightful place/s alongside the purposeful, necessary act of celebrating everything we are, as Māori.

Matariki’s our time.

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Kaitoke Regional Park & Rivendell: Mother Earth Meets “Middle-earth”

So, sprained my ankle a couple of weeks ago during an endurance race in Mōhaka (*East Coast, North Island, exceptionally rural New Zealand).

Quite literally, one moment my trusty racing sidekick and I were negotiating a ridiculously narrow goat-track of a route around the side of a hill, and ‘nek minnit’ she was gorilla-gripping my hydration pack with her oversize/d girl-hands (they’re a “thing”, and thank goodness for ’em) to stop me from rolling into something of an abyss.

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Mount Mauao: Caught By The Morning Sun, & Then Some

*Nov ’16 (update): This post clearly highlights my contempt re: the shitty, shameful tendency for holiday revellers to utterly trash this sacred space, particularly at year’s end…

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Mount Taranaki: Five Tips To Get You From Start To Summit, & Back Again

*Feb ’17 (update): After recently climbing to the summit of Mount Ngauruhoe, my advice is to go ahead with the whole micro-spikes ‘investment’.  Multipurpose af – what more can you ask for?

*Nov ’16 (update): Just a bit of clarity around a couple of points, really, seeing as I have more life-experience under my belt re: ‘mountains’…

Firstly, the whole micro-spikes thing; I should note that we attempted this hike as relative beginners to alpine, technically-challenging environments, and I would hazard a guess that my beginners’ boots were not the best possible choice in terms of “sensible shoes”.  I needed those spikes at the time; however, better boots-cum-alpine terrain ‘worksburgers’ would/should be the preferred option for Mounga Taranaki.

The scree here isn’t deep and soft like the stuff in Tongariro NP.  Rather, it’s shallow and unforgiving, and IMO anything less than alpine-appropriate boots simply won’t “do you right” – especially if you’re having your first go at it.  I’m now the proud owner of two different varieties: Salewa’s ‘Firetail Evo Mid GTX’, and The North Face’s ‘Ultra Gore-tex Surround Mid’, and I’d happily recommend either for sheer comfort and superb traction.

Time will totally tell, too; am planning to try these out on both Mount Ngauruhoe’s summit hike and the Pouakai Circuit over this coming Christmas-New Year’s.

Secondly (*finally): I heavily encourage you to do this hike with company; preferably someone you trust implicitly, but certainly somebody who can keep up with you, and with a keen sense of task completion.

No fuck-wits along for the proverbial ride, thanks.  People die up here.

Make the most of this one – the sense of satisfaction once you’re at the top is immense.


I’ve been thinking a lot these last few days about why I started this blog.

In particular, I’ve found myself pondering exactly how my posts and messages contribute to the outside world.

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