Back in the mountains, under the sea

An interview with Richard Hall

New Zealand likes to hunt, and when we’re not hunting, we like to write about it. There’s so many hunting books out there that a guy in the Wairarapa was able to produce a whole other book by listing them all. But for the most part though these are big yarns about big stags, hunters writing for other hunters.

Beyond the Astral Plane

Adventures in Trail Running

When I was growing up on my family’s hill block farm in the 1970s, it was common for us to muster the sheep and cattle on foot. At the time, the long, hot summers spent running up and over ridges, pursuing livestock seemed onerous.

A Pleasure in Solitude

Being alone in the bush

‘What’s the longest you’ve ever been alone? And I mean really alone, no fucking Facebook or T.V or… or anything or anyone?’

I looked at the dreadlocked stoner for sometime before answering. Cigarette smoke hung in the air between us and we both squinted in the harsh orange porch light.

The Scout's Tale

A poem from David Taylor

I was a boy scout. Possibly still am. Although the popularity of this as a pastime was already waning in the 90s, those of us involved were learning too much and having too much fun to really worry about the perception. It’s hard to believe now that in early adolescence we were allowed, even required, to head off into the wilderness surrounding the Southern Alps with no adult supervision.

The Pig in the Night

New Fiction by William Brandt

William Brandt has written a novel, a collection of short stories and plays. As an actor, he has appeared on stage and screen. He teaches short fiction at Victoria University’s International Institute of Modern Letters and belongs to Write Where You Are, a charity which teaches creative writing in prisons.

The Fall

What happens when a walk in the wild goes wrong

It’s my first walk in the wilds for quite some time. Little annoyances are mounting up; where’s my pack liner? Where are my merino undies? The weather forecast is gloomy, but why wouldn’t it be? Finally I heave my pack into the car, and off I go for a late afternoon walk along the bush edge. At the road-end, it’s hosing down. Raincoat on and out into it. Maybe three hours of daylight left.

When I'm Lost

A poem for lost tramper Stephen Bennett

I was in my kitchen listening to the radio news and heard the story of Steven Bennett, a 28 year old British tourist tramping in Paparoa on the West Coast. He had been missing for two days and was only prepared for a day tramp. For some reason at that time I felt a connection. I thought, if it was me, I would be wondering if anyone was thinking about me.

The Only Good Possum is...

Playing Possum with Rebecca Hawkes

In New Zealand’s alcoholic ingenuity, ‘Possum’ is a drinking game where players scale trees and consume beers (preferably 24-packs of Speights; Pride Of The South) until they fall to the ground from drunkenness. It is unclear whether the first or last to plummet is the real winner.

Do Oranges Float?

An interview with poet Nikola Champlin

Nikola Champlin recently visited from the prestigious Iowa Writer's Workshop in the USA to teach an eco-poetry course at the IIML in Wellington. I enrolled in the course and twice a week we sat in a stuffy room on campus and discussed the different ways that writers write about the natural world.

Don't Overlook the Parsnips

The pleasure of tending garden

It’s not really the country, just a city person’s idea of it. You can still buy a latte or a fancy lamp. But it’s far enough that I’ve come to do different things, to spend a lot of time driving between towns, to swim in rivers, to talk at length about the weather, and to garden.


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