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NZ Season Sunset

New Zealand's final two fall semester courses return from the wilderness last week marked the end of our field season, with just a week to go before we break for the Christmas/New Year holidays.

NZSF4 brought back some amazing stories from their final section Sea Kayaking in the Marlborough Sounds, including sightings of whales, sharks, penguins and, of course, wekas. The group developed some solid sea kayak skills, featuring a full range of rescue techniques, rolls and rough water paddling practice. Highlight of the course was being able to do some long silent paddle stretches and really appreciating being out on the water.

Congratulations to all this year's NOLS NZ graduates and we hope to hear stories of the adventures to come!

PC060535A silent paddle in glassy waters was a highlight for NZSF4


Graduating in style - NZSF4 celebrate the end of their semester with a
Sea Kayak salute


A Marlborough Sounds sunset that students will hopefully remember
many years from now!

(Photos: Michelle Watson)


Permalink | Posted by Roo Riley on Dec 12, 2014 in the following categories: New Zealand

NZSF-5 Returns From Canoeing

New Zealand Semester Five has returned from the Clarence River after Canoeing from the high alpine environment near the Southern Alps to the Pacific Ocean.
2014-12-08 18.38.39Six students from NZSF-5 made it to the Pacific Ocaen 

2014-11-01 08.51.40Clarence River flowing North from Dillon Cone  

2014-11-25 09.11.49Instructor Kurt Hotchkiss teaching geology in the hills


The group stayed at Muzzle Station and helped Colin Nimmo clear a tree that had fallen over in high winds.
They then enjoyed a tour of the
Clarence Valley Apiaries (which produces Organic Blue Borage Honey), a
sheep dog trial demonstration, and a tour of the beautiful remote high country farm. 


The group is now graduating and enjoying a Kiwi Spring Barbeque in the rain.
They will soon be off on their next adventure. 


Permalink | Posted by Roo Riley on Dec 9, 2014 in the following categories: New Zealand

NZSF-3 Return from the Elements

NOLS New Zealand Fall Semester Three returns from the mountaineering section of their semester.
The Third and final section had students battling with the full force of the New Zealand spring weather. The group came back with many stories of sleepless nights holding down the tents.
One storm dropped almost three feet of snow in 48 hours and a separate wind storm left no tent standing.

Despite battling the elements they all came back happy and healthy.

P1030592Despite sleepless nights they still made it up some peaks

The final walk out down the Tapio River


The group has now graduated and are off on their next adventure. 

Everyone at NOLS NZ wishes them safe travels. 






Permalink | Posted by Roo Riley on Dec 2, 2014 in the following categories: New Zealand

NZSF2 - Performed & Transformed!

NZSF2 9-11-25 graduated last week after returning from their 3rd section - hiking in Nelson Lakes National Park. The dominantly cold and wet weather did not detract from their achievement, and the group had opportunity to prove their wilderness skills in a 6 day mini-expedition independent of instructors at the end of the section. Congratulations to the group of 10 who started and finished this semester as a strong community, and with smiles on their faces!

NZSF-2 graduation

NZSF2 Students and Hike Instructors basking in sunlit glory on Graduation Day

Permalink | Posted by Roo Riley on Dec 1, 2014 in the following categories: New Zealand

NOLS NZ Thanksgiving

NZSF-1 & 2 enjoyed an early thanksgiving dinner at NOLS NZ. The homey and hearty meal was a welcome celebration to the completion of the semesters. 

IMG_0790Slightly Early Thanksgiving Dinner

Enjoying a Homely Thanksgiving Meal

Permalink | Posted by Roo Riley on Nov 26, 2014 in the following categories: New Zealand

NZSF-1 Graduation

New Zealand Semester One graduated yesterday after a successful final section to their semester.
The third and final section of their semester was a hiking section in the Kahurangi National Park.
Students enjoyed the independence this section was able to offer.
A highlight was climbing to the top of Mount Patriarch and enjoying the views as the clouds lifted. 

PB250005NZSF-1 Graduation Day 
We wish them all safe travels on their next adventure 
and encourage them all to make good decisions.

Remember "hard to easy"  

Permalink | Posted by Roo Riley on Nov 26, 2014 in the following categories: New Zealand

NZSF Final Sections and Instructor Teams

New Zealand Fall Semesters are now on the third and final section of their semesters.
NZSF 1 & 2 are due back next week.
NZSF 3,4 & 5 mail might arrive in time if you send it before this weekend. 

NZSF-1 is Hiking 
NZSF-2 is Hiking 
NZSF-3 is Mountaineering 
NZSF-4 is Sea Kayaking 
NZSF-5 is Canoeing

PB190002NOLS New Zealand Fall Semester Instructors


Permalink | Posted by Roo Riley on Nov 19, 2014 in the following categories: New Zealand

NZSF-5 Transition

New Zeand Semester five came through the NOLS base earlier this week. They completed a windy Sea Kayak section in the Marlborough Sounds and were last seen yesterday paddling down the Clarence River in Canoes. 

PB180012NZSF-5 students with instructor Lloyd Stetson



Canoe Instructors; Geoff kooy, Kurt Hotchkiss and Amanda Kalyn
 Leela Riley didn't get to go this time 





Permalink | Posted by Roo Riley on Nov 19, 2014 in the following categories: New Zealand

NZSF-3 Hike to Mountain

New Zealand Fall Semester Three switched from Hiking to Mountaineering last week. The group is now on the third and final section of their semester. They are Mountaineering in the Arthur's Pass National Park

NZSF-3 Students all healthy and happy

Classroom in the hills


Permalink | Posted by Roo Riley on Nov 16, 2014 in the following categories: New Zealand

NZ Semester Field Switches

NZ Semester Courses NZSF2 9-11-14, NZSF3 9-18-14 and NZSF4 9-25-14 all have the dubious honor of an extended period without a hot shower, in that one of their section switches takes place in the field rather than at the NOLS NZ base in Aniseed Valley.

NZSF4 get their heads around learning Canoe skills after a month of Hiking

Last week NZSF4 transitioned from hiking in Nelson Lakes National Park to canoeing on the Clarence River. The group learned a lot about "tolerating adversity and uncertainty" during their hike section, dealing with inclement spring weather and a number of athletic injuries during their journey over the rugged peaks of the top of the South Island. However, spirits were high as they regrouped and prepared for their paddle to Pacific. The group is due to emerge at the Clarence River mouth on the 17 November. They will return to NOLS briefly before heading out for their final semester section on 19 November: Sea Kayaking in Marlborough Sounds.

Meanwhile, NZSF2 concluded their mountaineering adventure in the Arrowsmith range and moved further along the Southern Alps to begin their final section: Hiking a south to north traverse through Nelson Lakes National Park. Highlights of their Mountaineering section were learning the art of snow-camping, completing an ascent of Pito Peak (2401m/7877') and rousing themselves for a sunrise climb. NZSF2 will return to the branch on 25 November, and will graduate the next day.

NZSF3 are currently underway with a mini Independent Student Group Expedition, the ultimate way to close their Hike section in the Lake Sumner Forest Park. They will switch in the field on 9 November to their final semester section, Mountaineering in the Arthurs Pass area of the Southern Alps.


NZSF3 will be remembering their last branch meal fondly - some mountains to climb before their next pie!

NZSF2 all smiles and blue skies atop Pito Peak in the Arrowsmith Mountains

Permalink | Posted by Roo Riley on Nov 2, 2014 in the following categories: New Zealand

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