The North

LOCALLY GROWN. INTERNATIONALLY SEWN.

Travel

TRAVEL – Wellington, New Zealand.

Travel, AdventureMatt PikeComment
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Celebrated as New Zealand’s creative and culinary centre, Wellington is the world’s southernmost capital city. Perched on the bottom tip of the North island, Wellington is home to a working harbour, picturesque waterfront promenade and a thriving cafe, restaurant culture. The locals have a contagious energy for their corner of the world, manifesting in a welcomeness to share its secrets. 

Not long off the tarmac and we’re tasting our first collection of hops at the latest brewery bar to open, ‘Husk’, where ‘Choice Bros’ brew everything around the theme of David Bowie. The kettles extend from ‘Ground Control’ to ‘Major Tom’ with results such as ‘Serious Moonlight’ and ‘I’m Afraid of Americans’.

Being a true walking city, we wander the buzzing Friday night streets in search of ‘Matterhorn’, originally a 1963 Swiss coffee house now turned bar, restaurant, supper club. I’m told Frodo Bagins (Elijah Wood) had his 21st birthday here during the filming of Lord of The Rings… (Tick). The food is delicious and the whole scene has me feeling like we’ve been transported upside down to the northern hemisphere, aprés skiing.

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At first light, and after some local espresso we’re greeted by Kent Clark, our Seal Coast Safari super hero. We’re off on a 20km long drive on the beach, over rocks, around the bays and headlands with the ocean lapping at our Land Rover ‘seal mobile’. It’s uncanny how close to the city we are, yet it feels a million miles away, standing on the rugged shore amongst a colony of New Zealand fur seals. Most of them seemed bemused by us, more concerned with ‘living in the now’, saluting the sun and generally doing an amazing job at looking slothfully relaxed. 

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Up into the hills we’re living out most european car commercials along the sweeping roads, against the backdrop of steep grassy knolls and towering wind turbines. It’s the remote hillside batches (cabins) that catch my eye and have my mind wandering off into thoughts of filing for sabbatical leave and spending the rest of the year painting, writing and drinking whisky by the open fire inside.

We were dropped back on to bustling Cuba Street in the centre of town, left to explore the winding back alleys, following our nose to the Wellington Chocolate Factory, KeepING it to a fleeting visit, so as not to spoil lunch. we ducked down another alley to one of the citY’s coolest new restaurants, Egmont Street Eatery. Starting with a Bloody Mary, because… Saturday, we then tucked into a Cajun Chicken feast, slowing us up just enough to justify an afternoon nap.

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Early evening we decided to stretch our legs some more and walk over to ‘Garage Project’ brewery, described in the media as the ‘darling of the craft beer scene’. Sampling a quick tasting flight before an amazing Italian dining experience at the restaurant, ‘Obra’, back over on Cuba street. ‘Louis Baker with Band’ rounded out the night at ‘San Fran’ Bar with a few night caps and a glimpse at the HEART of live music in the city. 

Sunday morning was filled with shopping for records, sifting through thrift stores and imaginary doomsday prepping at the local army surplus. After lunch, we took a guided tour of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, introducing us to the natural environment, history, and Maori culture collections.

One thing left on our list was the cable car ride up to the botanical gardens on 25 hectares of land on the side a hill in central Wellington, which was up there with the best in the world. We were happily wandering through the meandering gardens for over an hour until we realised it was time to fly home. 

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We’d like to thank WellingtonNZ.com  for organising the fantastic trip and highly recommend it for a long weekend or if you have the time, much, much longer.

KEEP ROLLING (1/4) – Crossing Borders

Travel, PhotographyMatt PikeComment

When we think of adventure, we tend to think of hours behind the wheel; days spent in transit and countless kilometres covered. These long trips can leave the weary traveller feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and penniless. Long winded, expensive and well thought out adventures have their place, but it is important to remember the value of being able to load up the car on a Friday after work and just taking off. Exploring your backyard without a map and making the right-hand turn where you usually turn left.

This trip on the QLD and NSW border was a last minute idea, one without much planning besides a brief look at a map and scouring over some towns we had never heard of. Throw a bag of ice, an esky full of food and beer, a bunch of surfboards and some hiking boots in the back of the truck and we were set. There was no huge convoy of mates or chasing any swell up and down the coast like we so often do, just a couple of friends with the plan to stop having so many plans.

The fellas, Rad Dan and Nicka, were straight into solving the first dilemma: to head west or stay on the coast? Rad Dan won the coin toss, so we decided to head inland over the mountains in the distance, then once sufficiently lost and ocean hungry, head back to the coast. It’s important on these impulse trips to not waste too much time making decisions – a good old coin toss should become the chief decision maker. A rough mental map was drawn in our heads, and we took off following roads we knew existed but had never driven. For a group of guys who have collectively seen a lot of the world, it was surprising we had never explored what was across the street.

Read the full story at Corona Extra Australia

Corona Extra x NORTH – Summer Journey Competition

Travel, AdventureMatt PikeComment

Corona Extra x NORTH – Summer Journey Competition 

Thanks to our friends at Corona Extra, we have an amazing prize to give away this Summer.

All you have to do to enter is share your Summer Journey with us by uploading a photo from your latest adventure to Instagram. Tag 3 friends and @coronaextra_au & @north_journal in the caption and hashtag #CoronaJourneys for your chance to win the ULTIMATE Corona Journeys prize pack including:

1 x Bear Rentals Camping Package, 1 x Poler 2-Man Tent, 1 x Dead Kooks Custom Surfboard, 2 x Poler Napsacks, 2 x Poler Rucksack Bags, 1 x Poler Cast Iron Dutch Oven, 2 x Poler Camp Vibe Mugs, 1 x Corona 120L Esky, 2 x Corona Towels, 2 x Corona Caps.

Thanks to our friends at @coronaextra_au @poler_australia, @bearrentals, @deadkooks

Rolling Notes - COAST TO COAST Day 2

Travel, AdventureNorth JournalComment

All photos Grace Picot. 

Words Tim Boreham

Day Two saw us waking in the amazing Oxley Wild River National park. We had set up camp in the dark to the sounds of a fellow camper known as "Tassie", when I asked why do they call him Tassie, he raised his large and very bizarre cocktail glass/mug hybrid and took a sip, he then replied with a very profound " 'Cos i'm from Tassie". Makes sense I guess. 

We woke to the loud sounds of cockatoos and other creatures then made a fire and loaded up the jaffle iron with peanut butter sandwiches, who said you couldn't have peanut butter jaffles? After a long breakfast and a few cups of tea we set out to explore the surrounding area. We were blown away by the gorges that somehow appeared in what I thought was farm land and we saw more waterfalls in two days than I knew existed, short and fat ones, tall and skinny ones and large robust ones that blew us away. I guess thats why it's called waterfall way. 

We realised very quickly that the Oxley Wild River is far too huge to explore in a day or two and vow to come back for at least a week next time. That afternoon we hit the road, we rolled West to Armidale then South towards Dubbo with the idea that we just drive until we are tired then stop in the nearest town. It turned out the town of Dunedoo was just the spot to lay the head. 

 

Rolling Notes - COAST TO COAST - DAY ONE

Travel, AdventureMatt PikeComment

All photos Grace Picot unless stated. 

The idea of driving across Australia in the noisy old North Delivery Van all came to reality today. After weeks of an uncertain departure date and adding the last minute essentials to the truck we finally left the warm, safe, acai bowl infested and crowded shores of the Gold Coast where we had been on a work trip for the past two weeks. The day before departure we had surfed what would be called 'almost pumping' Snapper and Greenmount with a million of our closest friends, including Kelly Slater, Mick Fanning and every other pro who was still in town and wave hungry. After surfing for around three hours with about three waves, it was time to call it quits. I remember walking up the beach with a defeated look on my face and saying out loud, "get me the hell outta here".

It was a 5am wake up call as we said goodbye to the routine and felt the nerves of uncertainty creep in. No matter how excited I get on road trips there is always whispers of insecurity floating around in my mind. What if the 1989 Land Rover decides it's had enough? I'm no bush mechanic after all. What if I don't load the jerry cans up with enough fuel across the Nullarbor? What if I hit a Kangaroo the size of the incredible hulk? But then I snap back to reality, it's Australia, my home country, I speak the same language, I know our customs and currency and most of all help is never too far away. Or is it? After all it's a country with a lot of open space and with not a whole lot around. 

We began the drive in the dark Rolling South across the QLD border back into NSW and headed inland from Byron Bay for some water fall swims. After all the land temperature was around 35 degrees which means the truck temperature is at about 39 degrees until you hit 110kmh when the air in the manually opened vents at the front begin to finally flow.

After a morning spent by the falls we continued along an old favourite, up the Waterfall Way road through Bellingen and heading west out past Dorrigo. It was the land that lay beyond these known parts that excited me most, the Oxley Wild River National park where we would set up camp for the night and explore the next day. 

The next two weeks we will be making our way to Margaret River, WA, When internet permits we will be posting updates on here. 

Thanks to Poler Stuff and Corona Extra for helping us along the way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rolling North

Travel, AdventureMatt PikeComment

"Exploring is a luxury, but if it’s a luxury you can afford then it is only going to make you a better human. You meet countless amounts of people who all look different, think different and act different to you. It’s encountering these differences that teaches you far more than just hanging at the beach car park with the same old misfit gang you’ve been hanging with since puberty."

Excerpt from NORTH journal issue 5

Supported by Corona Extra, Poler Stuff, Prodjuice

Concept & Direction NORTH Journal (Tim Boreham & Matt Pike)
Filmed & Edited by Aaron Smith
Additional footage Luke Mashman