The next adventure! Peak to Peak 2013 by crampons, kayaks and bicycles!

The what?

‘ Peak to Peak 2013’ is an attempt at a 1300km traverse from the highest point of the North Island of New Zealand (Tahurangi/Mt Ruapehu) to the highest point in the South Island of New Zealand (Aoraki/Mt Cook). The journey to be undertaken completely by human power and will include climbing, kayaking and cycling through/across and up some of New Zealand’s most rugged and beautiful terrain. Using crampons, kayaks and bicycles.

Peak to peak route

Route map – click to enlarge.

The when?

November 29, 2013 -> December 28, 2013

The why?

Why are we doing this? Mainly for fun 🙂

Some other less important reasons are:

–  I have long wanted to do a trip which combined some of the disciplines I enjoy in the outdoors, (climbing/ kayaking/ cycling and trekking).

–  Over the years I am becoming more and more interested in human powered expeditions. I have traveled extensively around the the planet in my working life.  However I get so much more enjoyment from human powered adventures, sleeping outdoors and ‘bumping into’ locals than I do from jetting around in aircraft and staying in luxury hotels.

–  It’s nice to put together a trip which should be a fantastic adventure but will not break out bank accounts.

The how?

‘Peak to Peak 2013’ will involve a non-stop human-powered adventure-journey comprising:

1. Climbing to the summit of Mt Ruapehu (2797m above sea-level) in the central North Island of New Zealand

On Mt Ruapehu with the summit - Tahurangi is the highest point of the North Island and is visible as the highest point in this photo above my head.

On Mt Ruapehu with the summit (Tahurangi) clearly visible above my head. This is the highest point of the North Island of New Zealand at 2797m.

2. Cycling 60km from Ruapehu to Taumaranui.

We finally got some nice coastal views on the last day ride from Coromandel to Thames

Cycle touring in New Zealand

3. Paddling inflatable kayaks 240km from Taumaranui down the Whanganui river to the coastal town of Whanganui.

Paddling the Whanganui river - New Zealands third longest river.  Photo:

Paddling the Whanganui river – New Zealand’s third longest river. Photo:

3. Cycle 200km from Whanganui to Makara beach in Wellington

4. Sea kayak 60km across the Cook Strait, all the way into Picton in the South Island of New Zealand. The Cook Strait can be one of the worlds roughest stretches of water.

A ferry does battle in the Cook Strait on rough day.  Photo:

A ferry does battle in the Cook Strait in rough weather. Photo:

5. Cycle 700km from Picton to Mt Cook National Park

6. Climb New Zealand’s highest mountain – Aoraki/Mt Cook (3750m above sea-level). Our route to the summit will depend on the conditions and how much energy and time we have remaining.

Sphagetti Junction, Dave Ellacot on the lead, Summit rocks, Aoraki Mt Cook, December 2009

Climbing Aoraki/Mt Cook

The journey will be completed without support vehicles and on a shoe-string budget.   We have arranged a little help from some friends and family to get the bicycles and kayaks into the right positions in the North Island section.

The who?

The 2-man team will comprise Alan Silva and Grant ‘Axe’ Rawlinson. At the start of the trip we will be joined by Jim Morrow, Robert Mills and Jack Rawlinson to climb Mt Ruapehu. We will attempt the paddle across the Cook Strait with Tim Taylor. The rest of the trip we will travel as independently as possible.


Grant ‘Axe’ Rawlinson and Alan Silva having fun hanging out on a freezing cold bivvy at 3AM on the West Ridge of Malte Brun in the New Zealand Southern Alps.

Follow our progress?

If you are interested to follow our progress then we will be carrying a SPOT GPS tracker which you can monitor our positions during the trip in near-real time (It updates every 10 – 15 mins).  Don’t worry – we will not be hounding you with requests for donations and sponsorship!

You can follow our progress by:

1. Signing up to this blog with your email address. To do this navigate to the home page by clicking here and sign up with your email address in the box on the left hand side of this page.


2. Checking this website regularly to follow the SPOT GPS realtime map and check for trip update reports and photo’s.


3. You can follow me on FACEBOOK or TWITTER.

Posted on September 2, 2013, in Cycling, Peak to Peak 2013, Sea Kayaking and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 29 Comments.

  1. awesome…sounds like will be an amazing trip/adventure


  2. Sounds great Axe, pass on a g’day to Jim Morrow for us when you meet up. All the best.


  3. Sounds like a great adventure, Axe Man, and a fine choice of beer to assist you on your passage across the Cook Strait:

    Good luck!


  4. Go BIG or not at all! Looks like you’ll finish on my birthday. Get Alan to send me a plane ticket and I’ll meet you guys at Unwin Hut after your Mt Chook summit.


  5. This year’s Rm5 at St Joseph’s School Stratford, remember clearly your visit to us last year, Grant and we’re going to be following your progress in your Nov/Dec venture. It’s an added bonus that one of our St J’s parents will be accompanying you.


  6. I am so excited for you and will brighten my days by following you. With all my love and best wishes Cheers Kate (UK)


  7. Ron Scubadiver

    That ferry photo is frightful. Everyone but the crew is probably seasick.


  8. Hi Grant,

    I hope your trip is going well. What an awesome adventure. I will try and catch a glimpse of you guys as you come through Christchurch (or near by, might have to do a little South Island Road Trip for that). Love that Jack is helping you, he’s good like that isn’t he!
    All the best and may see you soon.


  1. Pingback: UFIT Personal Training Singapore | Bootcamp Singapore | Nutritional Consultants | Singapore Personal Trainers — Axe Rawlinson deciding climbing just one mountain is not enough!

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