Tag Archives: New Zealand
By Michael Lanza
An hour after my friend Jeff Wilhelm and I were dropped off by helicopter at the Lake Roe hut on the Dusky Track in New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park, I captured this image of him hiking across a gorgeous lakes basin in the park’s aptly named Pleasant Range. Just last week, we started that four-day, hut-to-hut trek on a morning of misty clouds and rain showers, but good views nonetheless of deep valleys carved eons ago by glaciers and kept vibrantly green by several meters of rain annually. Notoriously rugged, wet, and insanely muddy (even, we can attest, at the tail end of a relatively “dry” summer in Fiordland), the Dusky was one of the hardest multi-day hikes I have ever taken—and I loved it. Continue reading →
My buddy Nolan and I are backpacking the Te Araroa Trail in New Zealand starting in January, and I’ve got a few gear questions I’d like to ask you. We’re just graduating high school and will be selling ourselves into slavery for the next six months to make money for this trip, so we’re certainly on a budget but I think we can still afford the middle/lower end of the high-end gear spectrum. We’ll be in hostels/huts about a quarter of the time. Continue reading →
By Michael Lanza
Have you adventured in New Zealand yet? If not, then why not? Some of my all-time favorite assignments for Backpacker magazine have involved trekking and paddling on this island nation with an amazing bounty of natural beauty and a outdoors-loving culture to match it.
This is the time of year to start planning a visit during the upcoming austral summer; for many trips, you need to make travel arrangements and hut reservations months in advance. I’ve listed below a series of five-star, multi-sport adventures that could fill a two-week (or longer) visit to New Zealand. This itinerary includes dayhiking volcanoes, canoeing a wild river, a hut trek in the Southern Alps, and sea kayaking a remote fjord in the country’s largest national park. Click on the links (or any photo) to read the complete story about each trip. Continue reading →
Tongariro National Park, on New Zealand’s North Island, was the world’s fourth national park, established just five years after Yellowstone. Hiking its active volcanoes is a wild journey across a stark and brilliantly colorful landscape. Watch the video below about 12.1-mile loop over three of the main volcanoes and craters of Tongariro, read the story and view a gallery of photos.
By Michael Lanza
Within minutes after launching our canoe into the chocolate-brown and, at the moment, tranquil Whanganui River, in the southwestern corner of New Zealand’s North Island, I begin to get a sense of why the native Maori people believed that every bend in this striking waterway had a mauri, or “life force.” We’ve entered a nearly unbroken gorge of sheer sandstone and mudstone cliffs soaring up to 200 feet straight out of the water, draped with jungle-like foliage in infinite hues of green. Cicadas buzz and rattle almost deafeningly. Ribbon waterfalls pour in straight, pencil-thin lines down walls so oversaturated that they weep tears from every fern and leaf.
The Maori are right: this place is very much alive. Continue reading →