Travel & Adventure

What Lies Beneath

A small group of New Zealand’s elite cavers are pushing further than ever before into the marble heart of the Arthur Range, west of Nelson. To date, they’ve discovered 14 kilometres of previously unknown passages, and now, battling extreme cold, exhaustion and unrelenting rock, they are a hair’s breadth from connecting two of the country’s biggest and deepest cave systems.

Magazine

120

ISSUE 120

Mar - Apr 2013

Caving

Ants

Oakley Creek

Great white butterfly

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Geography

The Phantom Menace

In a land where invaders are cinematically popularised as battle-clad Orcs thundering down a mountainside wielding spiked clubs, it’s ironic that Public Enemy No. 1 is a butterfly—an ephemeral being borne on alabaster wings, not dissimilar to an already well-established cousin. And yet, this phantom menace threatens to wipe out a large number of native plants and more than 230,000 hectares of commercial crops.

Science & Environment

Lessons from Little Creatures

Robotic in form and startlingly efficient en masse, ants have outlived the dinosaurs and now scuttle over every major landmass but Antarctica. Humans can learn a lot from these diminutive critters, which communicate using cocktails of exotic pheromones, expeditiously divide labour among thousands, and silently conduct their small and significant lives for the greater good—of the colony and their immediate environment.

Geography

Pilgrim at Oakley Creek

Where can the city dweller look for the inexhaustible wild? Perhaps it lies closer than we think, on the flipside of the ordinary, along the unkempt edges of the familiar. An urban green space can become a site of pilgrimage, a place to discover a waterfall by moonlight.

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