Upriver will appeal to everyone who loves New Zealand’s South Island/Te Waipounamu and wants to find out more about the formation of its diverse landscapes and the story of human settlement since the very first landings about eight centuries ago. It will also provide all the information needed by those wishing to retrace the author’s footsteps, either in the easily accessible regions of the west or east coasts, or in the more challenging mountainous regions of the South Island/Te Waipounamu.
An absorbing blend of trip descriptions laced with background notes about the meaning and significance of places that were encountered, it tells the story of the author’s journeys to the principal sources of each of the 24 rivers that flow down to the sea from the Main Divide of the Southern Alps. Each of the 24 chapters in this book paints a full-length portrait of the water catchment areas of the 24 rivers that flow all the way down to the sea from the Main Divide of the Southern Alps/Kā Tiritiri o te Moana, including its highest peaks and lowest Main Divide passes. Those portraits fit together like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle to form a comprehensive picture of this unique island.
Safe backcountry trips require detailed knowledge of the terrain, situational awareness, teamwork, and contingency plans. The backcountry trips that are described in this book were spread over five decades, mainly in late summer-early autumn when weather conditions are usually more favourable. Only experienced, well-equipped parties should undertake them when they go further than river lowlands.