Tara is everything we love about NZ adventurers.
She is tough as guts, humble as hell, and she just quietly gets on with being epic. We were so stoked to have her at the 2020 festival we have asked her back to talk about her latest adventure.
Tara was brought up in Southland, exploring the outdoors as Kiwi kids do and enjoying a steady adventure-diet of mountain scrambles, bridge jumps and rope swings. After high school, she took an outdoor recreation course, where she fell in love with white water kayaking. This provided her with a new mode of exploration and sparked a lifelong love affair with paddling. This naturally transferred into summer work as a sea kayak guide in Fiordland and opened up the world of long-haul, self-supported sea kayak expeditions.
Tara has an incredible list of ‘first-evers’ for such a young adventurer. Tara circumnavigated the South Island by kayak, then she paddled alone around both Stewart Island and the North Island, becoming the first woman to circumnavigate New Zealand’s three main islands by sea kayak. Then Tara set off for new coastlines. She circumnavigated Vancouver Island, and then, in 2015, was part of a small team who completed the first-ever kayak circumnavigation of Svalbard Archipelago in the high Arctic. She then returned to the Arctic circle, paddling 3600km alone along Norway’s coast, eventually reaching the Swedish border 89 days later.
Her most recent adventure involves traversing the Southern Alps this past summer and we look forward to hearing more about this expedition.