RidgeLine Adventures Lake Wanaka - Latest Updates http://www.ridgelinenz.com/latest-updates/ Rock Wren return to Rob Roy http://www.ridgelinenz.com/latest-updates/rock-wren-return-to-rob-roy.10/ 2017-09-25 2017-09-25 13:26:32 Mak Orbell We decided to take a day away from office and head up into Mt Aspiring National Park to hike New Zealand's most varied one-day hike to Rob Roy Glacier.   I had family in town, it was a perfect early spring day, clear and blue with a hint of summer warmth in the air plus I had not been there for nearly 10 years.  Throughout the journey to Raspberry Creek we passed countless brown boxes on the road side. Boxes we know very well, inside which contain stoat traps. These boxes are lovingly attended to by the the dedicated volunteers from the The Matukituki Charitable Trust with the simple aim of bringing native birdlife back into the Matukituki Valley.      We know them well as we assist with maintaining 22 of these traps on West Wanaka Station as part of our 4WD safari operation. I was eager to get back into the heart of the Matukituki Valley to see for myself if the project was working.   The climb through the beech forest was just as I remembered, the roar of the Rob Roy stream far below, the many shades of green of the surrounding bush and then bursting through the bushline to be greeted with the majesty that is the Rob Roy Glacier. I cast my mind back to the last time I was here sitting on the rocks, guarding my lunch from the cheeky family of kea that were ever present.  My lunch today was unfortunately quite safe.  There hadn't been a family of kea here in years apparently - according to Eco Warrior, Chris Riley from Eco Wanaka Adventures who regularly guides people to this very spot, kea had been virtually wiped out by predators he told me. As I was sitting in silence I hear a faint tweet that I instantly thought I recognised. That sound took me back to my days guiding on the  Routeburn Track many years ago.  High in the mountains above Lake Harris was the last time I heard that sound.  It couldn't be the same bird could it?  I was thinking of a bird that as far as I knew only lived in rocky outcrops high in the mountains.   If kea could no longer survive here due to predation then surely this little bird that lives on the ground wouldn't have a hope.... My mind was quickly taken by a loud boom above me as an ice-fall came crashing off the face of the Rob Roy Glacier.   When calm was restored I heard the tweet again.  I was even more confident that I was listening to a birdcall from my distant past.  However there would no satisfaction until I could lay eyes on it.    Like most of my adventures I carry my camera so I crept up through the jumble of rocks , hoping against hope a fairy tale ending was about to play out in front of me.  I would pop my head up, camera at the ready, spy a small green ball of fluff perched on the end of a rock oblivious to my being there and "click" I would get my proof. Well that is exactly what happened.  I could not believe my eyes. Rock Wren back in the Rob Roy Valley!   Little did I know I was in for 3 more surprises.  Firstly this solitary bird all alone on a rock suddenly became 2! And then secondly to my complete astonishment both birds began a ritual that you only associate with spring, they began collecting grass and darting back and forth under a rock that was literally only meters away from me quite obviously building a nest! I could not believe my eyes.  I was transfixed for what seemed like hours watching 2 of our most endangered native birds preparing a nest literally meters away from oblivious hikers enjoying their lunch gazing in the opposite direction with craned necks toward the glacier in the hope of catching another ice-fall.   I flicked my camera into video mode to capture the action, not of the glacier but of these little birds flitting in and out of the rocks busily nest building.  All the while I was thinking I cannot wait to spread the news to all the volunteers involved in the Matukituki Charitable Trust, the Matukituki Valley Protection Project and Department of Conservation - Wanaka.  Well done everyone, here's the proof that we are bringing the birds back!! Oh and the third surprise, well check out this video, turn the volume up and listen, it comes at 24 seconds......... Bringing the birds back to the Matukituki Valley http://www.ridgelinenz.com/latest-updates/bringing-the-birds-back-to-the-matukituki-valley.9/ 2017-02-03 2017-02-03 16:16:29 Mark Orbell We are passionate about our incredible natural environment we have here in Wanaka. We have joined forces with the Matukituki Catchment Animal Pest Control Project to install a series of traps along our 4WD route we travel through the high country of West Wanaka Station. Our aim is to Bring back the birds into the Matukituki Valley. These traps are a first line of defence to stop the march of Stoats into the spectacular Matukituki Valley. Stoats prey on our vulnerable native birds, in-particular stealing and eating their eggs from nests. Currently we have 25 traps that we monitor and reset at roughly 3 week intervals.    Our customers are fascinated in this project, they get to see first hand how we set and maintain the traps and very interested to learn about environmental issues we face.   For more information about our trapping programme please read the following article Bring back the birds Animals, animals, animals http://www.ridgelinenz.com/latest-updates/animals-animals-animals.8/ 2015-12-08 2015-12-08 15:00:26 Mark Orbell - Owner Ridgeline Adventures We often get asked what encounters with animals and birds we have during our 4WD alpine mountain farm safaris so I thought I'd write a little blog on the subject. We tend to joke that seeing as though you're on a safari you'll be looking for our "big 3"  - yes a bit like africa, but no snakes! Our big 3 are pretty much guaranteed to be seen on all of our safaris they are; Red Deer Romney Sheep Hereford Cattle However it's the chance encounters with the unexpected that we really love.     Like these birds, New Zealand's native falcon that hunts on the wing.  We tend to see them in the same places, like high in the mountains sitting on rocks or fence posts -just like this one pictured below.  This bird often visits us at our Alpine Cafe while we are enjoying coffee.  Check out the size of its eyes! Here is the same bird flying, just moments after the shot above was taken…. amazing colours under its wing! Autumn colours in Wanaka http://www.ridgelinenz.com/latest-updates/autumn-colours-in-wanaka.7/ 2015-04-30 2015-04-30 10:34:58 Mark Orbell - Owner Ridgeline Adventures Photographers on our 4WD and Photo Safaris in Wanaka and Queenstown area this Autumn have been seriously spoilt for choice. The Autumn colours have been incredible.  We have been taking people well off the beaten track to get locations they can't access themselves. Check us out on Instagram Luxury Adventures Interview with owner Mark Orbell http://www.ridgelinenz.com/latest-updates/luxury-adventures-interview-with-owner-mark-orbell.6/ 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 11:45:34 Luxury Adventures Here's the link to the interview, enjoy!! Looking after our local environment http://www.ridgelinenz.com/latest-updates/looking-after-our-local-environment.5/ 2012-10-24 2012-10-24 20:03:56 Mark Orbell - Owner Ridgeline Adventures There is something special that happens when a group of like-minded people get together to to give something back to the community, no hidden agendas, no egos, just good old kiwi "mucking in". That's exactly what it was like last Sunday morning when we launched our native replanting project in associalton wtih Te Kākano Aotearoa Trust - the non profit community native plant nursery here in Wanaka. One of my main drivers for Ridgeline Adventures was to get to a stage where we could give something back, be able to show some tangible benefit our company is having on the local environment.  Well I'm pleased to say that as of Sunday 100 native trees/shrubs (grown from locally sourced seed) were lovingly dug into the soil at our special planting site on the shore of Lake Wanaka near the Mt Aspiring Lookout at Glendhu Bay, beginning first of many such planting sessions we plan to have over the coming years. As we are a tour operator we are fully aware our vehicles give off harmful emissions and while we cannot prevent them we can at least try to minimise their negitiave environmental effect.  Planting trees is our way of doing what we can for the environment plus as I've said before the real kick for me is just to be giving something back. All our customers will be assisting in funding this project as a portion of each tour sold will be put into a fund to assisit future plantings. So if you happen to be passing Glendhu Bay and stop at the Mt Aspiring lookout, take a few minutes to wander around and check out the new plantings.  There are buckets on hand if you feel like giving them a drink (the lake is literally meters away) then please do. Well that's about it for this update.   Thanks for reading. Regards Mark Orbell - owner Ridgeline Adventures Here\'s an interview I did recently with Luxury Adventures http://www.ridgelinenz.com/latest-updates/heres-an-interview-i-did-recently-with-luxury-adventures.4/ 2012-09-30 2012-09-30 21:20:03 Luxury Adventures For a little more background on us have a read of this interview I did recently with Luxury Adventures, thanks guys!! http://blog.luxuryadventures.co.nz/new-zealand-high-country-farm-life Welcome to our brand new Website http://www.ridgelinenz.com/latest-updates/welcome-to-our-brand-new-website.3/ 2012-07-16 2012-07-16 09:58:33 Mark Orbell Well they say that you must keep you web presence fresh and up to date so we have taken the first few months of 2012 to redesign the Ridgeline Adventures online brand.    We are all about exploring Wanaka's incredible natural environment through our intimate Wanaka 4WD Nature Safaris.  Our safaris are all about scenery, history and heritage so the challenge for us lay in building a new site that "shouts for the mountain tops" exactly what we are about! We all know that good photos are key to engaging the reader so we've got loads.  People like short video clips so we've added these to.   Actually filming these was lots of fun, we used Aspiring Helicopters (we love these guys) to get some great aerial footage plus we embraced new video camera technology by strapping a GOPRO video camera to the roof of our Landrover to capture footage from the ground.  Gopro cameras are about as small as your fist but the quality is amazing, we were impressed!!   You will be too, so check them out on our site. Having a new website is like having a new toy to play with, it's shiny new and fresh. There is alot of information here but hopeully it's  easy for you to navigate around.  Booking a safari is easy with online confirmation in just a couple of clicks!! We are very proud of what we have achieved with this new site so take a look around and let us know what you think. Behind the scenes we are still the same. We are still 100% Wanaka owned and operated - my family has actually been in the Wanaka area for more than 50 years! We look forward to seeing you on your next visit to Wanaka. Thanks for taking the time to read our first ever blog!! Regards Mark Orbell Owner  Ridgeline Adventures Samet, consectetur adipiscing http://www.ridgelinenz.com/latest-updates/samet-consectetur-adipiscing.2/ 2012-04-05 2012-04-05 16:07:47 Mark Proin gravida nibh at diam dictum cursus. Aliquam arcu diam, tempor sit amet porta a, tristique ut ante. Nulla non facilisis eros. Aliquam ligula augue, vestibulum gravida tincidunt ac, dignissim vitae nulla. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Etiam id augue nec elit sagittis ornare sit amet vitae lorem. Nam sed ante eget magna blandit elementum vel in tortor. Vestibulum laoreet egestas turpis id luctus. Proin in enim erat, a aliquet lorem. Morbi vitae orci tincidunt quam semper aliquet. Cras fermentum blandit neque, non placerat dolor porta quis. Ut consequat ante vitae eros convallis accumsan. Etiam fermentum pellentesque est, a blandit enim lacinia at. Suspendisse aliquet dolor id enim condimentum vel gravida quam facilisis. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae; Aliquam erat volutpat. Morbi mollis, nibh eu ultricies porttitor, erat ante venenatis enim, eget accumsan libero dolor vel erat. Curabitur ut nisl tellus, ut ornare est. Donec sed orci eu orci lacinia sollicitudin eu eget urna. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Aliquam eget orci mauris, id consequat odio. Nunc vestibulum sodales felis, vitae porta justo pretium in. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing http://www.ridgelinenz.com/latest-updates/lorem-ipsum-dolor-sit-amet-consectetur-adipiscing.1/ 2012-03-05 2012-03-05 14:33:10 Mark Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Maecenas et lorem non lectus interdum ullamcorper vel quis nisi. Sed vehicula turpis at mi luctus mollis. Suspendisse fringilla volutpat sem nec gravida. Nunc molestie arcu eu leo aliquet nec eleifend diam tincidunt. Suspendisse suscipit auctor varius. Donec venenatis tempor mauris. Aenean non magna quam. Sed pretium ornare varius. Quisque eu felis eros. Vivamus pellentesque consequat scelerisque. Vivamus eleifend, tellus et rhoncus vehicula, nisl diam ultricies nisl, nec scelerisque mauris turpis eu neque. Ut elementum suscipit velit, ut sollicitudin metus tristique at. Nam mattis, tortor sit amet accumsan tincidunt, orci elit ornare elit, consequat cursus erat ante in turpis. Vivamus sed elit eu nibh mattis lacinia ut et arcu. Aenean id tincidunt mauris. Mauris eu felis urna. Suspendisse potenti. Nulla non urna ac nunc elementum faucibus pellentesque id lacus. Integer at urna vel quam lacinia tempus vitae eu nibh. Sed ac dignissim nibh. Ut quis augue quis eros faucibus pellentesque et id nulla. Nunc porta fringilla viverra. Curabitur iaculis hendrerit urna, fringilla venenatis urna bibendum eget. Fusce sit amet purus eget ante tempor volutpat. Suspendisse interdum aliquet pulvinar.