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A Nighttime Encounter With Tassie Devils

There are plenty of distinctive animals on this planet, but Australia seems to have more than its fair share of them. From the much-feared dropbear to the adorable quokkas of Rottnest Island, there’s an animal in this country to catch anyone’s imagination. Of all those animals, I think one of the most famous yet misunderstood…

Conquering the Hazards and Mount Amos

Usually, if something is called a ‘Hazard,’ people have a natural instinct to stay away from it. Driving hazard? Nope. Health hazard? Nuh-uh. Workplace hazard? Get me out of here before I have to fill out the paperwork! Yet, when I heard about the Hazards Range at the entrance to Freycinet National Park on Tasmania’s…

My 5 Favourite Things to Do in Banff Town in Summer

Summer in the Canadian Rockies seems to be all about three things: epic mountains, ice-cold rivers, and crystal clear lakes. Banff definitely has all three in spades, with the Rockies rising high all around the town, the Bow River running turquoise through its centre, and a number of lakes dotting the valleys nearby. I loved…

Hovercrafting in the Luleå Archipelago

Hovercrafts. Just the name evokes thoughts of hokey science fiction stories from the 1960s–or maybe, if you grew up in a slightly less sci-fi mad home than I did, it just brings to mind the fast ferries that run between Dover and Calais. In any case, I’m almost certain you won’t think of a hovercraft…

Abseiling Off a Perfectly Good Euromast

I stared down at my shoes, bright red splotches of colour on an otherwise monochrome rainy day. Their grip on the sloping, slick metal held — just — as I tried to steady myself. Being steady was a difficult proposition since, no matter how much I tried to focus on my shoes, I could still…

Bashing Through the Ice in a 3500-Ton Ship

Standing on the bow of the Sampo icebreaker ship, I looked out “to sea.” That sea was a frozen, barren stretch of ice that stretched all the way to the horizon, only broken by lines of churned-up ice left by the ship’s previous excursions. It looked as though we should be stuck, hemmed in as…

Snowmobiling on the Icy Gulf of Bothnia

Standing in the middle of the frozen wasteland of the Gulf of Bothnia, I felt like I could have been a thousand miles to the north. Sure, in the distance I could see a small windfarm, slowly spinning away in the light Lappish breeze, but when I turned away from it I was greeted with…

Cross-Country Skiing…Without Falling Over!

I’m just a little bit clumsy. I’ve fallen into a parked car, giving myself a concussion in the process. I’ve dislocated my toe on the Tongariro Crossing, having to hobble the final 2km so I could catch my bus. Last year, I planned to try cross-country skiing, only to break my leg before I got…

What in the World is Fatbiking?

When I was told that I had been booked onto a fatbiking tour around Rovaniemi, my first reaction was, “What in the world is fatbiking?” It turns out that it’s a whole new sport that I’ve never heard of. My ignorance is not all that surprising, since fatbiking is based around the idea of riding…

Officially Licensed to Drive a Reindeer Sled

In the 1960s, a massive change swept across Finland. The Americans had finally perfected their design of a vehicle for recreational use on the snow — the snowmobile. While it has always been seen as a fun toy — sort of like a jet ski — in North America, the Ski-Doo imported by a schoolteacher…
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