Bula! If you’re planning your next adventure holiday and you’re not quite sure where to go: Fiji is easily the ultimate adrenaline destination for lovers of everything water! Fiji is an archipelago of more than 300 islands, where warm temperatures meet sea breezes, palm trees meet white sands and crystal waters meet nature’s paradise. It is a world that is unlike anything else; and it is a world where adventure awaits.adrenalin Fiji provides you with everything you could want for an exciting holiday in this beautiful part of the world.
Operating since 2005, Adrenalin Fiji is based at Port Denarau Marina and provides memorable tropical outdoor experiences. If you want to feel the wind in your hair and your heart pounding with excitement, a guided jet-ski safari offshore adventure goes either to Beachcomber Island or Cloud9 on a 2.5 hour thrill ride to enjoy Fiji’s island scenery and tropical weather.
There’s nothing quite like catching the “big one” and Adrenalin Fiji operate game fishing tours from a number of vessels, including a 25ft centre console, a 36ft Kevlacat, and a 51ft Riviera. You’ll yell, laugh and pant your way through the fishing experience of a lifetime as you chase tuna and mahi-mahi, or cast a line for the elusive Golden Trevally. Tours are half day, full day in the nearby Mamanuca Island or overnight in the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands. Feel a little more like relaxing? Their leisure cruises will delight with a private charter boat taking you around the waters of Fiji, allowing for swimming, snorkeling, island hopping and much more. Bel’mare is an 86ft motor yacht available for private charters, popular for family & friends, wedding or corporate incentive groups. Cruise the stunning Mamanuca Islands and savour meals prepared onboard by the chef, local beers, NZ wines and water toys that include a jet ski ride, kayaks, paddle boards and snorkeling gear. If a private charter is out of budget, ask about the Bel’mare All Inclusive Day Cruise (where guests pay per person) which takes guests cruising around Malalo Island.
For an ultimate adventure, charter both Bel’mare and Opulence together for a full cruising, jet skiing and fishing experience in the beautiful and remote Yasawa Islands. Closer to your resort, and from Port Denarau, if you want to escape and take a bird’s eye view of the beautiful region, they also offer parasailing flights that will blow you away! Whatever adventure it is you seek in the waters, there’s no better place to go, so join Fiji’s most experienced watersports team at Adrenalin Fiji.
Queenstown Rafting is owned by Queenstown & Fiordland local business Real Journeys and is New Zealand’s largest white water rafting company. The company is regarded as Ne w Zealand’s leader in safety operational procedures for rafting, having rafted in Queenstown since 1974. Providing an adventure experience from calm to wild waters and half day to multiday, there is something for everyone.
The three day Landsborough Valley adventure, gives you incredible views of stunning New Zealand scenery, with the perfect mix of tranquillity and adventure. The tours are all inclusive and include 3 course meals, wine, beers, helicopter flight, transfers and all the required rafting and camping gear. Imagine visiting one of New Zealand’s most remote areas - untouched, unspoiled and visited by only a privileged few. Paddling and camping your way down the magnificent Landsborough Valley, you will glide past 2,500m mountains, hanging glaciers and through dense rain forest. There’s also a 5 day tour option which includes a guided walk over the Brodrick Pass and into the Landsborough Valley.
For a single day adventure, you can’t go past their Shotover River rafting tour. Starting with a drive into the famous Skippers Canyon with its exciting cliff edges and gold mining history. Your Queenstown Rafting river guide gives a safety briefing, before beginning your white water rafting journey through the spectacular canyon. Rafting from Deep Creek over peaceful waters at first, you’ll head towards the exhilarating rapids of the lower canyon. Your adrenaline will be pumping as you paddle through areas aptly named Aftershock, Squeeze, Toilet, Oh Sh*t, Pinball and Jaws. From there you paddle through the 170m Oxenbridge Tunnel before shooting Cascade Rapid to complete your adventure. If you’re a first timer to rafting, the Kawarau River is ideal. It’s suited to those looking for a more relaxed rafting experience, or for groups of mixed ability and ages. There is plenty of white water action, but also time to sit back, relax and enjoy the spectacular scenery.
The Kawarau River might be familiar to some, being famously cast as the River Anduin in The Lord of the Rings. The grandeur of the canyons imparts a feeling of paddling through the heart of Middle Earth. The unforgettable 400m long Dog Leg rapid that closes out this adventure is New Zealand’s longest commercially rafted rapid. If you’re after rapid adventure…queenstown Rafting is the way to go.
New Zealand is one of the best off road driving destinations in the world and NZ Adventures provide first hand experience of this – with the azure blue alpine lakes, farmland, rainforests, river valleys and lakes – this is the New Zealand you didn’t know existed. The 6 tours currently on offer are of either 5 or 6 days duration with a range of highlights and destinations from the Marlborough hill country including Molesworth Station in the north to Queenstown in the south and a wide range of high country sheep stations ,conservation parks and back country roads and tracks in between. Popular with the people on the tours is the interaction with the landowners on the stations and the landscapes unfolding in the back country far off the established tourist routes.
NZ Adventures 4x4 tours has regular access through more than 65 High Country Stations, several plantation forests and extensive DOC managed Conservation estates in Marlborough, West Coast, Canterbury Otago and Southland. The High Country Heritage Tour will take you from Marlborough through high country stations ; tiny mountain streams to great impossibly blue lakes. It is a 6 day tour, 1250 kilometres, from Blenheim south down the spine of the island to Cardrona near Queenstown. A 5 day tour, the Eastern Explorer heads South East through the Mountain Ranges of South Canterbury, and down to Alexandra in Central Otago. The Southern Ranges 5 day tour is the most diverse in terms of scenery and will astound you as you pass through the seemingly barren and high mountains of the Lindis Pass to the lush fertile Waimea Plains west of Gore.
Experience the vast expanses of the Mackenzie Basin and surrounding areas (including amazing views of majestic Mt Cook and the flatlands between the Tekapo, Pukaki and Ohau rivers), with the 5 day Mackenzie Explorer Tour. Or the West Coast Explorer Tour which is 5 days and starts in Hanmer Springs travelling through the Western side of Molesworth Station where we leave the tawny brown tussocks of North Canterbury and plunge into the verdant Beech forests that are a feature of the journey. The newest tour is the 46 South Tour, loosely based along the 46th parallel, an imaginary line that crosses Southland. These trips are fully guided with people driving their own vehicles or hiring a vehicle. Radio Communication to all vehicles with a commentary along the way.
I meet the group for the first of this year’s Kokoda Treks in early February. A warm morning in Melbourne’s Dandenong Ranges is the start of a journey that will take 6 months to complete. After friendly handshakes and introductions we start our first ascent. These training walks that I host are an essential, and enjoyable part of preparing to walk through the formidable Owen Stanley Range of Papua New Guinea, from one side to the other.
The closer we get to the trek, the length and intensity of the training increases, as does the fitness and morale of the group. By the middle of July when we meet for the last session, the improvement in everyone’s well being is visible, friendships made,and I leave them to head for PNG confident in their ability to complete one of the most arduous walking treks in the world. Everyone is ready to go.
Upon leaving Jackson’s airport in Port Moresby,we can all feel the change in conditions. Heat and humidity are mixed with the smells and sounds of a vibrant country. Arms wave and faces smile as we drive past, and the warmth of the people already outweighs the temperature. After a brief tour of the city, the real journey begins.
Entering the Bomana War Cemetery the headstones of hundreds of Australian, Papuan and Allied forces from WWII appear, surrounded by pristine lawns and foliage. The experience is emotional, confronting, extremely humbling and a big part of the reason we are here. The Kokoda Track is about far more than the challenge of walking it. It has a life of its own. History and culture, mountains and rainforest, and some of the friendliest and generous people on the planet.
Our first night is spent at the Sogeri Lodge which is located up on the Sogeri Plateau some 40 km north of Port Moresby. Here we prepare for setting off to begin the trek the next morning, and meet the modern day Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels who will accompany, and support us for the entire trek. A 45 minute drive brings us to Owers Corner, and the start of the trek. In the early morning light, the mist rising from the valley floor below can still hide the ranges beyond, and as it burns off, the task ahead comes into view. Lines of steep jungle clad ridges appear and the Track disappears through the Kunai grass as the first descent begins. Slipping and sliding, trying to maintain control can be a tough introduction to what lies ahead, but with the care of a local and concentration, we melt into the jungle and experience the magic of the track for the first time.
Early in the afternoon we have climbed our first ridge, and stand in the saddle of Imita Ridge, where in 1942 the Diggers were ordered to withdraw no further, and fight to the last if necessary. It is here I believe the gravity of the situation, and the task the Diggers had before them, comes into the conciousness of all of us there. l am asked how the wounded got to safety: Papuan Carriers with immeasurable care, compassion and strength did the job, immortalised by their actions, and the poem, The Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels by Sapper Bert Berros.
Another steep descent takes us into the picturesque Ua-ule Creek where the relatively flat ground is a welcome respite. Our first campsite by the creek, and a refreshing waterhole complete our first taste of the Track. As light begins at 6am, and darkness at 6pm, its early to bed and early to rise. The kettle is already boiled by our wonderful cook, and the carriers help to get all the trekkers organised for day 2.
The walk continues along the creek until the ascent of Ioribaiwa Ridge begins. False ridges, one after another are climbed, and the benefit of the pre-trek training starts to show its true worth, as the real battle of wills begins. At the top after passing through the village, we are at the point of the furthest Japanese advance along the Track. Looking back there is the realisation of how close the Japanese were to reaching their goal.
Over the course of the journey we shall ascend and descend over 5,000 vertical metres. Day 2 also has the Maguli Range to tackle in the afternoon before arriving in the scenic village of Nauro, where a hot meal and our individual tents are waiting. A comfort not shared by the Diggers 74 years ago. From here we walk down into the Nauro Swamp before another challenging walk into the beautiful and welcoming village of Menari. Today we are in camp early, and can enjoy the natural spa and the company of some of the village people.
From Menari we walk up the slopes of Brigade Hill to the knoll at the top. A site of fierce fighting and unquestionable courage. It is a place that forever will be etched in your memory. Here I tell the stories of the battle and those of some of the Diggers who l have had the privilege to know. I can never leave Brigade Hill without a heavy heart. The sacrifice here can never be forgotten.
Sweeping views of the ranges and villages appear as we round the north of Brigade Hill and descend into Efogi village for lunch. More climbs and descents take us to the high village of Naduri, after an exhausting but rewarding day. Next morning we walk up into the extraordinary moss forest. We are now hovering around the 2000m mark, where monsters of pandanus and soft composting tracks take us to the beauty of the Myola lakes.
These “dry” lake beds were used by the Australians for the dropping of supplies, but were known as a place of ghosts by the local people. We camp at the scene of a B25 Mitchell bomber crash site, in a campground that rivals the botanical gardens. The temperature at night is now like a winter’s night in Melbourne, and the thermals show their true worth.
We walk over the highest part of the Track early the next morning and into the valley that will take us to Kokoda. Following Eora Creek we swing up and down the side of the valley. An area of both a desperate withdrawal and gruelling advance it is still hard to fathom the difficulty and sheer resilience of the forces who fought here.
Day 7 takes us through the village of Alola and onto the memorial at the site of the battle of Isurava. This is where we camp and have the whole afternoon to enjoy and ponder the scene of one of Australia’s most important battles. It is a great reward after the journey we have all endured to get there, and separates it from any other memorial.
We conduct a dawn service at Isurava before our final descent to Kokoda, and a chance to rest some weary bodies. The satisfaction of completing the Track beamed from everyone’s faces, including the carriers, who made every step that little bit easier and special.
Flying back from Popondetta north of Kokoda, we return to the Sogeri Lodge for a tearful thank you and goodbye to the Papuans who have shared every moment with us over the journey along the Track. The friendship between us forged by our ancestors resonates today, and will be a constant memory of this amazing place.
You don’t just walk Kokoda, it becomes part of you. www.kokodatribute.com