about your guide | GJ

Yup, I’m the guy who cobbled this all together. A bloke who realised that he had to do it rather than just dream about it.

This website starts from my return to NZ on a permanent basis in early 2013, the idea being a general reacquaintance with the New Zealand backcountry after half a lifetime of not living here. My tramping experience started a good time earlier.

I kinda had an extensive look around Australia before departing. Bicycle seemed a good way to travel there, the distances are enormous but the rewards are high, in all almost 38,000km of Australia was covered in this zig zag, fly in a bottle route across the continent on many of the Outback roads, trails, unsealed, umm, highways, farm roads, fire trails, single track, even rare bits of Highway 1.

Here in NZ, it’s all about those boots.

I’d blundered around these parts in my youth, in behind Nelson, the Pelorus Valley, or up at Nelson Lakes, a summer with the NZFS up at Lewis Pass doing those plant and animal surveys, yes, I’m that old, then down at Hokitika on the initial bait acceptance trails for possum poisoning, those West Coast rivers are the real deal, icy boulders as big as cars, houses.

Then there was the Kokoda Track back in the days before it became a fully commercial operation, I saw one other walker in 9 strenuous days. I had plenty of jaunts in Tassie, the Overland Track and its leeches and tiger snakes a few times, and Frenchman’s Cap, but the SW trip was abandoned due to perpetual inclement weather. And the fantastic Larapinta Trail in Central Australia.

Since then, it’s been occasional isolated Little Adventures in the past decade: Stewart Island/Rakiura many times, well, it is the perfect two-week getaway from it all if you like wearing boots; Nelson Lakes a couple of times; Lake Sumner and Harpers Pass; the Leslie-Karamea.

The more recent tramping excursions have been distinguished by being generally of a week or more duration, time enough to forget the rest of the world and just get into the groove. They have been done solo, it is nice to have total flexibility.

I’ve established a few protocols for my tramping efforts:

don’t rush;

it’s about the journey, not The Destination

keep off the major tourist tracks, (except where required to document them)

and, put in a Moderate Effort.

As they say: make the most of those heartbeats.

GJ Coop | Nelson, June 2014

long, slow tramping →