Monthly Archives: February 2018

Visiting Hokkaido, Japan, in Winter

Ever thought of traveling to Japan in the winter? I suggest you consider the wild island of Hokkaido. I recently had the opportunity to return to Japan and explore the best of the Japanese winter. Did I enjoy it? I absolutely loved it! How This Trip Began ANA — All Nippon Airways — contacted me […]

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Guides Nick and Elder take on the Motatapu Race

For those of you lucky enough to have been guided on an Active Adventures trip by Nick or Elder (or both if you were extra lucky!), you’ll be aware that they’re a couple of blokes who can’t get enough of the great outdoors. When they’re not guiding for us in New Zealand, they can be found leading guests on hiking trails in our other destinations – Nick in Europe, and Elder in Nepal. If you’re not familiar with these particular Active Adventures guides, check out the picture below:

Elder Nick lupins
Elder (left) and Nick appreciating the beautiful lupins during a ‘Weka’ trip

Nick and Elder often guide our New Zealand Biking Adventure ‘Weka’ trips together, and so are really good friends who are used to pushing each other to work hard when they’re out riding. 2018 is proving no different for these two so far, and they’ve decided they want to take on the challenge of one of New Zealand’s most popular races, the 47km Motatapu Mountain Bike Race.

Nick and Elder love their bikes so much, that they’ll be competing in the Motatapu midway through a 2-week ‘Weka’ trip as the race falls perfectly on the day the group will spend exploring Queenstown, close to where the race will finish. We managed, somehow, to catch up with Nick and Elder and quiz them on their decision to race in the Motatapu, their training, and if they’re in it to win it.

Q: Have you competed in this race before? What’s the terrain going to be like?

Nick: “This is the sixth time for me. There’s plenty of up and plenty of rivers!”

Elder: “It’s my second time, I love it. The terrain starts with a 15km road section, then it’s onto the single track, lots of ups, but some downs too!”

Q: Are you guys really competitive? Will you be racing to win or just out there to enjoy yourselves?

Nick: “I think everyone wants to win. But it will be a great team challenge. We’re always finding ways to compete with each other, especially on bikes! Ultimately we’ll be competing as a team, and we’re not allowed to be more than 2 minutes apart at any time during the race, so I’d say we’ll be pushing each other pretty hard!”

Elder: “Sure. I want to win. Sorry we want to win! Haha. I’d say I’m competitive but not obsessed.”

Q: Any secrets you’re willing to share with us about training, preparation, or staying fuelled during the race?

Nick: “Peanut butter is key. Haha! Seriously though, it is. There’ll definitely be a Fergburger or two involved in my pre and post race meals too.”

Elder: “I try and eat something every 6km or so. And before the race I’ll be loading up on carbs and making sure I eat a good breakfast.”

Q: Have you done much training? I guess the ‘Weka’ trips you’ve been guiding are enough….?

Nick: “You can always do more training but yeah the Weka trips have helped me keep a steady fitness.”

Elder: “I have been doing lots of running (I’m also running the Everest Marathon in May!) so I’ve been training for that, and of course some biking too. The Weka trips have been really helpful for endurance for biking, it’s a different kind of strength than marathon running.”

The Macpac Motatapu Race is taking place on Saturday the 10th of March, and we’ll make sure that the guys have a team of fans waiting at the finish line in Arrowtown with a cold beer for them! Whilst the boys aren’t riding the race for charity, if they do manage to win any money they intend to donate it to the Queenstown Trails Trust, a charity committed to developing a network of public trails around the Wakatipu Basin. Elder will be running the Everest Marathon in May this year, so watch this space for more details on that, and how you can donate to his chosen charity, Active Hearts Himalayas.

Other useful info:

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Find job and move to Spain

Two words: ham and wine. Now, get packing.

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Travel Burnout is Real. Here’s How to Deal with It.

Imagine that you’re finally on the long-awaited trip of your dreams. You planned everything perfectly — the carefully spaced itinerary, the comfortable and ideally located accommodation, the highly recommended restaurants, the Instagram shots that will make your friends jealous. You go on the trip, and it’s wonderful. Then somewhere around the third or fourth day, […]

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Floating village of Cambodia

Kampong Phluk is definitely a less-traveled destination.

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the most popular cruise ships mapped

Use these infographics to find the right cruise crowd (or avoid them)

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We’ve Been Nominated for an AFAR Award!


Please vote for us in the AFAR Travelers’ Choice Awards!

If you’ve got an opinion about your favourite places to travel, or your favourite operators to travel with, then please vote in the AFAR Travelers’ Choice Awards. If you’d be willing to vote for our Patagonia Hiking Adventure ‘Condor’ trip, in the category of Photography Expedition (that’s question 6 of the survey!) we’d really appreciate it! Click here to vote now!

We’re absolutely delighted to be shortlisted for the AFAR Travelers’ Choice Awards, in the category of Photography Expeditions – The Patagonia Hiking Adventure ‘Condor’ trip has been selected among the best trips you can go on, if photography is your passion. So we’re calling on all of you – that means past Condor travellers, past Active Adventures travellers, and all of you guys who think we’re pretty cool but haven’t been on a trip yet, to jump in and vote, we wanna win this thing!

Click Here to Vote Now

If you’re not familiar with our ‘Condor’ adventure, or you’re not sure it’s the perfect Photography Expedition then check out the video below, and some photo submissions from our past guests.

Guest Patrick Nguyen captured this shot on his Condor trip in January 2017 (The road approaching Torres del Paine National Park, and Mt Fitz Roy).

Torres del Paine

This is another one of Patrick’s from his January 2017 Condor trip (Guanacos in Torres del Paine National Park).

Guanacos Torres del Paine

This shot of the Condor bird, on his Condor trip, was captured by guest Justin de Beer in November 2017.

Condor bird

This photo was taken by guest Sarah Lundeen on her Condor trip in February 2017 (Gazing at Mt Fitz Roy and the glaciers, Torres del Paine National Park).

Mt Fitz Roy Sarah Lundeen

Still not convinced that our ‘Condor’ adventure is the ultimate photographic expedition? Check out our album of favourites here. And don’t forget to vote!

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Visit Hong Kong for less

Make your visit coincide with Chinese New Year.

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map of NFL fan base by county

Philadelphia is about to go nuts. Pennsylvania? Not so much.

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AK Monthly Recap: January 2018

This month was all about moving. In fact, I didn’t leave New York once within the month. This is the third time in two years that I’ve gone a full month without leaving the city, and I’ve made my peace with it, but I’m looking forward to getting back to international travel next month and […]

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