In the year since the New Zealand Covid-19 lockdown ended in late April 2020 I completed 72 hikes (“tramps” in the NZ vernacular), and fifteen shorter walks. Of the 72 hikes 68 were new to me (I had done one before, and I repeated just three). I will explain how I came to do so many walks in a moment. But first, and in order to show off a bit, I will regale you with a few statistics:
» 68,500m (~225,000ft) of ascent and descent
» Almost 900km (~550mi) of walking
» On 64 of these hikes I climbed to a peak or other high point, ranging between 445m and 2333m high, and averaging 1000m of ascent and descent each time
» 58 of these high points were named peaks over 1000m of elevation, so I incidentally completed the 52 Peaks Challenge
» All of these tramps were on New Zealand’s South Island, and completed as day-walks; I did all but three of them with my wife Sophia (& she did an overnighter I didn’t do)
From March 2016 until April 2019, in the early days of electric vehicles, and before there was much EV infrastructure, anywhere, Weibe Wakker drove a borrowed electric vehicle from the Netherlands to New Zealand. He accomplished his 100,450 kilometres (62,417 miles) road adventure by asking people to donate some of their electricity.
According to Wakker, the first three factors to consider before every journey are distance, charging stations, and charging speed. It goes without saying that these will vary based on your destination and electric car model, so make sure to crunch the numbers carefully.
“When you’re on a road trip, it’s about finding the right mix between convenience, having fun, and getting to your destination,” the Dutchman told SHIFT.
One way to combine fun with convenience, Wakker shares, is to plan charging stops around landmarks, museums, and other popular tourist attractions. In fact, he would often pick sightseeing spots depending on whether there are charging stations nearby. That way, he can go explore the surrounding area while his car is getting juiced up.
The video of the Banks Peninsula, on the South Island of New Zealand, is presented by the European Space Agency (ESA).
Banks Peninsula, visible in the bottom-right of the image, consists of two overlapping extinct volcanoes: the Lyttelton Volcano and the Akaroa Volcano. The peninsula was formed by several volcanic eruptions that took place around eight million years ago. The name of the peninsula comes from Sir Joseph Banks, a British biologist who sailed with Captain Cook.
Breaches in the crater walls led to the formation of two long, thin harbours: Lyttelton in the north and Akaroa in the south. The peninsula also has many other smaller bays and coves, giving it its unusual, cogwheel shape. Christchurch, the largest city on South Island, is visible immediately north of Banks Peninsula.
The jagged coastline heavily contrasts with the adjoining, flat Canterbury Plains. Extending around 80 km inland from the coast to the foothills of the Southern Alps, visible in the top-left of the image, the plains are a rich agricultural region known for wheat and barley, as well as wool and livestock.
For Switzerland, the 2020 ranking is the the fourth consecutive yearhas been judged No. 1 by residents of 36 countries. Canada was chosen second, overtaking Japan in the U.S. News’ fifth annual survey.
The Best Countries report, produced from an annual global survey of more than 20,000 people in 36 countries including the United States, reflects increasingly negative views of the world and within countries. Nearly half of survey respondents say conditions around the world have worsened in the past year. Likewise, an increased percentage of people say the gap between the rich and poor has grown and that nationalism is increasing.
According to the ranking, here are the Top 25 Countries in the World
United Arab Emirates
The Bottom 5 of the U.S. News 2020 Best Countries rankings are
Milford has become synonymous with beauty, a 54km, four-day tramp through beech forest, over glacier-fed rivers and up the climatic MacKinnon Pass, an alpine crossing more than 1,100 metres above sea-level.
One 100 years ago the Spectator magazine declared Milford “the finest walk in the world” – and the name has stuck.
There are nine “great” walks in New Zealand, with Milford the jewel in the crown. But as its popularity has surged so too have fears from New Zealand trampers and conservationists that the pristine natural environment is being spoilt by the hordes of tourists drawn to its beauty and supposed tranquility.
A key finding of the Adventure Travel Survey UK, produced by Wanderlust magazine, and released last week, shows that 30% of adventure travellers surveyed intended to take more trips this year compared with 2016 and 42% intended to spend more on travel.
The research showed that 74% planned to travel to more expensive destinations. The destination which topped respondents’ bucket lists was Antarctica, followed by New Zealand, Australia, Japan and the Galapagos.
The travel industry survey showed an increase in solo travellers taking adventure trips, growth in multi-generational travel groups, and instances of two friends travelling together.
More than 2,300 consumers completed the survey, including Wanderlust readers.