Tag Archives: New Zealand

October 23, 2013 On the rim of Red Crater in Tongariro National Park, North Island.

4 Top Outdoor Adventures in New Zealand

In Backpacking, Hiking, Hut Treks, International Adventures, National Park Adventures, Paddling   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   5 Comments

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 →

Featured Video: Hiking the Steaming Volcanoes of New Zealand’s Tongariro National Park

February 2, 2013  |  In Hiking, International Adventures, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

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.

 

December 3, 2012 NZ2-208 Day 2, Whanganui River, Whakahoro to Pipiriki, NZ

River of Many Stories: Canoeing New Zealand’s Stunning Whanganui

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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 →

February 28, 2012 NZ2-171 Rim of Red Crater, Tongariro N.P., NZ

Super Volcanoes: Hiking the Steaming Peaks of New Zealand’s Tongariro National Park

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By Michael Lanza

We have just begun our all-day hike over some of the volcanoes of New Zealand’s Tongariro National Park when a trailside sign conveniently itemizes the life-threatening hazards awaiting us.

For starters, an eruption could eject large rocks into the air to rain onto us from the sky or release lava flows. Pyroclastic flows, which are clouds of ash, rock, and gas that can cook flesh, could come upon us at 60 mph. Continue reading →

February 13, 2012 NZ2-107 Dart River, Cascade Saddle route

Off the Beaten Track in New Zealand: Trekking the Rees-Dart in Mount Aspiring National Park

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By Michael Lanza

We’ve hiked just thirty minutes from the trailhead when we hit the kind of view that frequently makes you stop and take a deep breath when trekking in New Zealand. The Rees River Valley sprawls out before us, golden grasslands dissected by a braided, meandering, emerald-green river. In the middle distance, a fat and foaming Lennox Falls plunges over a cliff. Farther off and thousands of feet above us, glaciers pour off a row of sharp peaks in the Forbes Range angling into the sky. Continue reading →

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