Adventures in the Wilderness


They are back!

A highlight for the group was the openness with which they were able to share. The difference in relationships and character was noticeable during the 30 mins I spent with them before and after the trip.


Yes those are croc’s on Blair’s feet (well the cheap version). One of the pairs of boots that was hired fell apart on the second day. Perhaps WOS should obtain a few more pairs so we can loan them to anyone who needs them. Feel free to assist!

IMG_4236They are done, and still smiling!






Kaiapoi Trip

I have just heard from the group out this week. They are doing well – a few aches and pains after a testing trip over Binser Saddle first day, and a gradual uphill stretch today. I bet they sleep well tonight!

A spot of guide training

Blair and two of our guides took a trip up Mt Oxford for some extra training. They came back with some pretty cool pictures –  I couldn’t resist sharing them.


Looking towards Oxford and the sunrise

Looking towards Oxford and the sunrise

Waiting for the sunrise on top of Mt Oxford

The top of Mt Oxford

Raoul and Steven at Ryde Falls

Raoul and Steven at Ryde Falls

The sun peeking above the cloud

The sun peeking above the cloud


It was very cold

It was pretty cold

Winter two years ago

Leap frog on the way between Binser and Andrews Shelter

The first week in July is often known for its settled weather in the mountains. Freezing nights and clear blue days – have you ever seen freezing fog? It sparkles.

I wonder if tomorrows storm will come to anything. . .

Two years ago, the first week of July saw a group of young men from Campus Church spending good quality time studying God’s Word together for a week. There was little to distract them from their mission of getting to Lake Minchin and back again – definately not phones, facebook or the internet! They walked through snow, over ice and spent more than one night in a tent. They sought after God through studying His Word and being thrown into dependence on Him. It was not a walk in the park.

The feedback from this trip was truly encouraging.

“Something that impacted me the most on this trip was the need for us to acknowledge our sin in humility for God to use us.”

“Something God really taught me on the trip was to act as salt and light to all the earth.”

‘The views were impressive and the conversations challenging.”

“Something that impacted me on this trip was seeing the benefit that a week away has on growing and building relationships as Christian Brothers.”

downstream from Casey Hut

And we are back. . .

It has been a long time, a very long time, since I have regularly posted news on this website. I’m sorry! I hope to fix that.

Blair attended a conference last weekend for Christian Outdoor Leaders Conference run by Adventure Specialties in the North Island. It was an enjoyable time for him where he met heaps of people and made some helpful contacts for Wide Open Spaces in the future. He got to experience white water rafting for the first time and spend a few hours fishing to top it off. He did make the comment on returning home that he felt old! I think we need to get him straight with that one, because if he is old, I am older!

We continue to pray and seek God for guidance for the Wide Open Spaces Trust. This weekend may have opened the doors for new opportunities.

Blue Mountain Adventure Centre Lodge – location of the conference


From a recent trip Wide Open Spaces assisted with. . .

Four days away started with honing our river crossing skills on the Jolly Brook (which gets it’s name from the river crossing every three minutes: “oh, it’s that jolly brook again”), and getting used to clinging to your crossing buddy for dear life (well, at least some extra stability). We enjoyed exploring the valleys, seeing amazing views from ridges, and even having a hot lake-side breakfast one morning. By night we’d make camp, always with the important task of making hot chocolates, and then making the most of wherever we were: tenting on river flats, cooking on the warm pot belly fire of the Jolly Brook hut, and sleeping in the deceptively comfortable canvas beds in the rustic Gabriel’s hut.

Throughout, the focus of the trip was on Jesus, as we looked at John’s gospel, particularly what Jesus offers and what it means to have life in him. Also hugely encouraging was hearing how God had been at work in each of our lives, and praying for one another in the joys and the struggles.

So, after getting back to civilisation, and hot showers, and marvelling at how easy it is to boil the jug; I’m left with a stack of cool photos, new friends, and a renewed determination to fix my eyes on Jesus, the cross, and eternal life.









Delayed Coverage

At the end of last term we were blessed to take a great group of students and leaders out in the Lake Sumner area. Unfortunately it has taken me a long time to get news of this trip out! My excuse is pregnancy – shouldn’t make excuses though!

So here is some feedback from the group Stories from St Johns Youth, April 2013 pdf

And here are some pictures – enjoy!


Two weeks till Easter – two weeks until the girls from Campus Church head out on a trip with us! It is totally exciting to have our first trip over Easter this year. And such a great opportunity to celebrate what Jesus has done for us, in a new way.

Team Middle Mt Peel!

Hot off the press, pictures from Rob and team’s ascent. It was a good climb up Middle Mt Peel though they were in the cloud most of the time. The trig photo is atop Little Mt Peel.







I’m sure they did more walking than lying down – I’m guessing the view was good at this angle, or they wanted to make the point that it was a tiring climb!


Three trips pending

The Peak Challenge raised over $1,000 this year!

Thanks so much for all who contributed – their time and money to the event.

We are looking at purchasing a small amount of gear with these funds raised, along with training new guides really well. We will be recruiting guides soon, so if you or anyone you know may be interested please head our way! or 033472241 will get you in touch with us.

All you need is a passion to share Christ with others, and a love of the outdoors.


Mt Grey


Once again Elya lead a team for the Peak Challenge, thanks so much!

It was the second time a group has climbed Mt Grey – this time they truly made it to the top. Thankfully good weather assisted their ascent rather than hinder them. Anyone remember the climb in 2011?


So this is our excuse from 2011, it was REALLY wet, really really wet. We were close enough to the top. It would have been worth the few metres to get a great photo, but we cannot all be this photogenic!


Team Godley Head Made It!

Thats right, we all made it to the top – Thomas walked all the way!

It was a real treat to have the Tomkinson’s along with us – thanks.IMG_6706 IMG_6680 IMG_6683 IMG_6685 IMG_6703 IMG_6696 IMG_6689

Waitangi Day – Peak Challenge – Two days time!

Are you ready?

Not too sure if we are. I’m still gathering sponsorship for Josh – I’m sure he will walk some of the track to Godley Head. Blair has done a good job with Thomas’ tally. I’m sure Thomas will be well old enough to ask people next year – those attending Sunday@7 St Johns will be relieved!

If there is anyone else who would like to join our team up Godley Head on Wednesday, you are very welcome. It will be a fun easy walk for families, meeting at 9.30 at Taylors Mistake carpark. The forecast is pleasant for a picnic and the track has recently been re-opened. We hope to see you there!


Peak Challenge

In 23 days groups will be climbing a peak to raise money for the Wide Open Spaces Trust.

Time to bag your peaks! I’m currently pondering if we should give ourselves a challenge, or go a bit easy on the boys (one of which will be using his own legs this time round). What do you think?


Guide Training Tramp

The first week of January was a pretty wild one – our guides found this out first hand. They were not the only mad ones out there, and the weather proved good experience.

Gales, rain, more rain and a bit more rain sure tested the tents out!

Here are a few pictures.










Content and Counselling Weekend

Guide Training

The chubbiest one is not guiding this year – he needs to get a bit taller first!

Guide Training

Guide training for this new season officially begins today.

Its going to be a great weekend away with a fantastic group of people. We are so grateful for the provision of Thomas and Zach to help out during the weekend, and for the holiday home we have been provided with so generously.

Please be praying that we all come away with a fresh new understanding of Christ.

Photos to come!

Coming up. . .

A student on one of our trips this year wrote “Something God really taught me on the trip was to act as salt and light to all the earth. To go forth and multiply God’s love.”

Another wrote “Something I learned about ‘community’ from this experience is they are best grown in intensive environments, close quarters, and through good conversations.”

Please be praying that the students on trips in January and throughout next year will grow in their relationship with Christ is such a pure and real way. Separation from the stresses and continual bombardment of everyday life truly helps this happen.


Strange title for a post on this website, but shelves are important for storing gear!

We have recently been bought a huge set of shelves so that our garage can become a bit more organised.

They do look a little messy right now, but its a work in progress. On shifting things around, I have found it really amazing how much gear has been gathered over the past few years. God has just provided whenever we have needed. He is truly good and allows us to see His goodness in so many different ways.

Thanks so much for the family who not only found these shelves online, but paid for them and helped put them up! Its a real blessing.

What a Spot!

We have just been offered a new holiday home at Castle Hill Village to run our guide training in – it is going to be awesome!

For the last few years we have had it on the edges of Lake Ellesmere, but that house was not available this year and we were thinking ‘how can we find a place as good?’

God always has the answer.

Dessert and Info Evening

On the 18th August in Christchurch we are gathering together over dessert to provide some information and discuss how it is Wide Open Spaces can serve you.

If you are involved with a group of young (or even young at heart) people, and would really love to get a bit of help developing lasting relationships with them, we can help you with this.

We would love for you to come along on the 18th at 7pm, so give me a call 3472241 or email to rsvp, and we will see you soon.

Winter photos – there are some pretty great ones!

Thanks so much to those who composed these pictures.

And here are some stories to go with them  Stories from the Winter 2012


One more day

Its not long at all until we get to see our men again! I’m sure Rebecca is as excited as we are here at Base Camp. Tomorrow is pickup day. The boys and I are going to be there to surprise Daddy – ‘hooray’ says Thomas!

Photos of the trip and stories will be posted as soon as we get them. What an adventure they will have had – we are so excited to hear!

Sparkling Weather

By sparkling weather, I mean cold, freezing sparkling weather. I think these pictures may help to explain!











The cold is something each person on the trip is a bit nervous about. Please pray that God would keep both their bodies and most importantly their hearts warm over the next five days.

Thanks so much to our drivers – BV, Wendy and Nicolas, and those who lent their vehicles.

And here they all are!