Travel & Adventure

The hut keepers

No country has anything quite like New Zealand’s network of backcountry huts, but many of these shelters were at risk of being lost to dilapidation, old age and the ravages of the weather. Now, volunteers around the country are preserving remote huts—and the heritage they represent—for the next generation of trampers.

Magazine

ISSUE 159

Sep - Oct 2019

Permolat

Timbersports

Thermal squeeze

Stag Beetles

Tupaia

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Geography

Block busters

New Zealand’s forests were cleared at a record pace, and from this destruction, a sport arose: who can fell a tree the fastest? Competitive woodchopping transformed the labour of forestry into a community event. Now, 150 years on, a diminishing number of axemen and axewomen chop for top honours at A&P shows around the country.

Living World

The great retreat

Some species just like it cooler. Others have withdrawn little by little to higher altitudes, making new homes where it’s too cold for their enemies to follow. But warmer seasons allow predators and diseases to gain ground and advance above the bushline—meaning that the alpine zone is no longer the refuge it once was.

Living World

What happened on Stack H?

The Mokohinau stag beetle is one of the world’s most endangered species, occupying less than an acre of scrub on a rocky tower in the middle of the ocean. Its habitat is so precarious that Auckland Zoo and DOC are hoping to safeguard a population of beetles on the mainland as a form of insurance—that is, if there are any left.

History

Tupaia

No portraits exist of one of the most important people in Pacific history. Tupaia was a man of many talents: high priest, artist, diplomat, politician, orator and celestial navigator. After fleeing conflict on his home island of Ra’iātea for Tahiti, he befriended botanist Joseph Banks, and joined the onward voyage of James Cook’s Endeavour. Arriving in New Zealand in 1769, Tupaia discovered he could converse with Māori. He became an interpreter, cultural advisor and bringer of news from islands that Māori had left long ago. 250 years on, we are barely beginning to know who he was.

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