Mount Ngauruhoe and Tongariro on a Bad Day

When I say bad day, I mean the weather was foul. The volcanoes didn’t erupt like they have twice since we were up there in February.

The Tongariro Crossing is a 20 km track through the volcanoes. We went down planning to do it and climb the two mountains on the same day.

It’s supposed to be some of the most stunning scenery, so we went down with a perfect weather forecast. We then spent a couple of days at the camp site in miserable weather, and then decided to do it anyway.

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The Olympic Medal Table That Matters

The fantastic rowing medallists from New Zealand.
The fantastic rowing medallists from New Zealand.

New Zealand had a hugely successful Olympic campaign with six golds, three silvers and five bronzes.

That put us fifteenth on the traditional medal table.

But how do we really measure our success? When countries like USA and China have hundreds of millions of people, we’re obviously never going to get more medals for our 4.4 million population.

Statistics New Zealand have put together a medal table that measures the number of medals per capita.

We came fourth on the medal table that matters!

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Book Review: New Boots in New Zealand

New Boots in New Zealand

Nine Great Walks, three islands & one tramping virgin.

Gillian Orrell, who’d never done any tramping, left her London job to fly to New Zealand and tramp the Nine Great Walks. Normally if I’m going to read an adventure book it’s going to be something pretty intrepid. Not a book about tramping in my own country.

The Great Walks are nine walks (one of them is actually a river trip) that the Department of Conservation has designated as the premiere walks in New Zealand. As such they are better up kept, but also busier.

As Kiwis we always seem desperate to hear what travellers think of us. We ask people as soon as they arrive here what they think of the scenery. This book is a bit of national ego boost as Gillian is in love with our scenery. She does a great job describing the views. (The personalities of the people she meets also shine through, that said some Kiwis can be pretty crude!)

The main benefit I got out of the book is it helped me prioritise which tracks I want to do. The DOC descriptions don’t tell you that much. This book lets you in on all the highs and lows before you go.

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To the Top of Mount Ruapehu

To the Top of Mount Ruapehu

Climbing Ruapehu has been a goal of mine for so long.

When I was a little kid I remember looking up from my toboggan (on a little slope below Happy Valley)  and thinking I should walk to the top of the mountain. I figured it couldn’t be that hard.

When we finally got up there, on the 10th of March 2012, it didn’t disappoint at all! It was the most epic day I’ve had.

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Marketing Review: Guardian, Three Little Pigs

Marketing Review: The Guardian Three PigsTwo weeks ago the Guardian (UK newspaper) released a new ad (video below) that explores how the paper would cover the story of the three little pigs.

So far it’s picked up a decent 700,000 views on YouTube.

PR Verdict, didn’t like the ad giving it a rating of “C” and saying the puzzling ad jettisons the newspaper’s vital credibility in favour of a nursery rhyme.

I disagree. The three little pigs is a great theme that grabs attention and encourages sharing. If the ad had been about a real issue (life the financial crisis) no one would have shared it. It’s also very well made, so the quality helps too.

More importantly it delivers its message. While the old print media is still struggling to find its place in the 21st century, this ad delivers the message that the Guardian is more than just an old paper and is adapting to new media, as well as being at the cutting edge.

This ad might make sense for a large company like the Guardian, but would probably be less suitable for a local business. If a small business were to attempt something like this I would recommend a stronger call to action at the end, and a clearer emphasising of the main message.

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