Travel & Adventure

Ride every mountain

Twenty-five years ago, the term "mountain bike" didn't exist. Today the fat-tyred, shock-absorbing off-road machines outsell their bitumen-bound cousins three to one, and the call of the outdoors is as often answered on wheels as on foot.

Magazine

ISSUE 048

Oct - Dec 2000

Mountain biking

Whanganui riverboats

Rock pools

Lorde Howe Island

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Geography

A rock and a hard place

Caught always between unyielding rock and crushing wave, creatures which try to survive between the tides on Auckland's fierce west coast need a grip of iron and a thick skin—attributes exemplified by the reef star Stichaster australis.

Living World

Smokestacks and paddle-wheels

Today a playground for canoeists and jetboaters, the Whanganui River was once a major highway serving settler and tourist alike. Stately paddle-steamers and innovative tunnel-dive launches mingled with skiffs and waka, bearing people, good and livestock though the forested interior. But the river was no boating cakewalk, all limpid depths and shimmering beauty. Its many treacherous rapids were a test of nerves for both passengers and crew, making travel on the country's longest navigable river an unforgettable experience.

Geography

Island of palms and petrels

With its amalgam of coral-reef-fringed lagoon,gentle hills and high volcanic mountains, Lord Howe Island is considered by some the most beautiful island in the world. Its plants and animals bear intriguing similarities to those of New Zealand as well as showing affinities with those of the tropical Pacific and Australia. In recognition of its unique biota, Lord Howe was made a world Heritage site in 1982. But no paradise is without its problems, as these two conservation workers returning from laying rat poison atop one of the southern mountains can attest.

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