Travel & Adventure

Arctic impressions

It is probably not that surprising that my coldest, longest and most severe journey was conceived in the warmth and security of a hot tub.That's often how it is with extreme physical challenges. You don't tend to plan these acutely uncomfortable experiences when you're hanging by your fingernails from some icy mountain crag. It's only afterwards that the five per cent of pleasure bubbles to the surface through the ninety-five per cent of pain and drudgery that make up the average expedition. But it is that pure, unsullied pleasure that sticks in the mind and tempts you to go to the edge one more time.



Jul - Sep 1994

Rainbow warrior

Thar & Chamois







Science & Environment

New Zealand's search for oil

Freshly hauled from the borehole, the drill string dribbles mud as roughneck Ross Hopkins struggles with a tight connection. Wresting oil from the rocks is not getting any easier, but our need for new discoveries is becoming pressing.


Tahr and chamois-monarchs or misfits?

At about 1500 m, the strain of a long day's climbing finally took its toll. A moment's lapse of concentration, a missed footing and I was sliding down a steep scree slope. Soft fingers dug themselves into the jagged rock fragments as I surfed towards the edge of a substantial waterfall. After three attempts to stand up only resulted in an even speedier descent, I started to wonder if this was going to be the end of my journeys. Fortunately, my personal avalanche came to a halt just before I reached the bluff, and I was able to pick my ignominious way back up to the ridge and my climbing


From Russia with respect

Unlike so many interactions between European and native cultures in the colonial era, that which took place between Queen Charlotte Sound Maori and a Russian expedition in 1820 was marked by mutual goodwill and curiosity. The Russian visit, though brief, yielded detailed accounts of a tribal grouping which, a few years later, was virtually wiped out, and amassed one of the most significant collections of artefacts ever to leave these shores.

Living World

Wreck to reef-the transfiguration of the Rainbow Warrior

On a clear day the sea mirrors the rose tint of dawn across the Cavalli Islands. The Rainbow Warrior lies here, her final resting place; a sunken treasure in 22 metres of tranquil water.Bordered by Northland's rolling hills and bush remnants, Matauri Bay and the adjacent Cavalli Islands are steeped in maritime history. The ancestral Ngapuhi waka Mataatua came ashore here some 800 years ago. Six centuries later, in 1769, Captain Cook on board the Endeavour exchanged "cavalle" fish (horse mackerel) with local Maori in a small flotilla of canoes, prompting Cook to name the islands the "Cavalles."


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