“It’s easy to find an excuse to visit New Zealand” Richard Matthews observed, which most probably another reason why he is our IOF advisor. Richard certainly found plenty do whilst here in New Zealand helping the Oceania Crew. Before he met the Oceania Team, he had already spent some time seeing a bit more of the diverse landscape right here in the top of the South island. Native forests, beautiful beaches, and getting in amongst the mountains was on the itinerary. Richard’s first task was practising mountain biking so he could then participate in the PAPO MTB orienteering event. Further north, near Nelson, he had already been riding MTB trails from Motueka to Kaiteriteri and doing some gentler riding across Rabbit Island. The hot pools at Hamner Springs would have been better to save for after the Canterbury Champs. Despite the rain, and some thick bush areas, the challenging orienteering was enjoyed. What other local activities did Richard manage to fit in? A spot of sea kayaking in Picton on the 250th anniversary of Captain Cook arriving in Ship Cove – a bonus was spotting an Endeavor ship replica. And, to prepare him for the arduous location work scouting Oceania locations, Richard managed to fit in a refreshing and well earned wine tasting in the Marlborough region. We have included some of Richard’s travel spam photos to compensate for the fact he is now back to the grind at home, and helping Oceania behind-the-scenes.
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