When the snow starts to fall on the Desert Road and clouds hang low over the Volcanic Plateau it's time for another intake of recruits to fall in at the army camp in Waiouru for a three-month introduction to military life known as "winter basic". Wellington photographer Paul Hitchcock joined the recruits each week to capture the pain and the pride of army life.



May - Jun 2001

Antarctic Peninsula

Dreaming the pacific

Waitaki River

Waiouru army training



Travel & Adventure

South by Kayak

Pushing through a field of brash ice, an intrepid New Zealand expedition closes in on the bottom of the world. Their goal: the Antarctic Circle. Their route: wherever wind, wave and ice permit a passage along the western shore of the Antarctic Peninsula. Their means: three fibreglass kayaks and a fair measure of grit.

Living World

Waitaki: water of tears, river of power

In an age when rivers are managed to satisfy the competing demands of dozens of users, the raw power of a mighty river such as the Waitaki is rarely seen. Draining the central mountains of the South Island from Mt Cook National Park south to the Lindis Pass, the waters of the Waitaki—"water of tears"—now churn the turbines of a bevy of power stations before being siphoned off to irrigate dry plains closer to the coast. Here, 1000 cubic metres of water a second thunder across the spillway of Lake Benmore hydro station.


Pacific dreaming

To 18th-century Europeans, accustomed to bleak weather, overcrowded cities, soul-destroying work and impoverished diets, Polynesia sounded like Paradise. A benign climate, food in abundance, a life of pleasure and ease such was the popular notion and European painters imposed no restraints on their imaginations when it came to depicting this distant wonderland. "Les peuples de l'Ocean Pacifique," a wallpaper design by J. C. Charvet, 1805, owed more to romantic notions of classical Arcadia than to anything which existed in the South Seas. Even so, the Pacific dream has proved remarkably enduring.


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