Living World

Blue Water Islands

A thousand kilometres north-east of the mainland, the Kermadec group basks in a subtropical environment and two decades of marine protection. In May this year, scientists scoured this untouched world to catalogue, collect and expand the list of species found there, and discovered an ecosystem unlike anything else in the country.

Magazine

ISSUE 111

Sept - Oct 2011

Kermadecs

Herbal medicine

Base jumping

Queenstown

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Travel & Adventure

The fall of man

BASE jumping is now well established in New Zealand, where the glacial terrain of Fiordland presents grand walls up to 1300 metres high—ideal staging posts for jumpers courting ecstasy and tragedy in one of the world’s deadliest sports.

Travel & Adventure

Boomtown

A salvo of fireworks opens the Winter Festival in Queenstown, now a key event in the calendar of the rapidly evolving town. It became a centre of trade after gold was discovered in the Arrow River in 1862, and though the commodity might have changed, entrepreneurs and developers are still striking it rich following a new seam of high-value tourism.

Science & Environment

Fields of Plenty

Look closer. The straggling plants on the riverbank, the so-called weeds in the garden, the insect-eaten leaves on the forest’s edge—often ploughed, sprayed or simply ignored—are finding their way back into the medicine chest. And Maori herbal remedies, once derided and outlawed by an act of Parliament, are revealing their curative power.

Life

Tough critters

Ambient is for wimps. Freezing cold, searing heat, desiccation, deadly radiation, toxic chemicals—it’s all just another day in the primordial soup for the extremophiles.

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