Famous Adventurer's Survival Spirit

Posted by Travel News in Travel News
Thursday, 4 July 2013

Larger than life adventurer and TV star Bear Grylls, has shown his love for New Zealand, offering his support to a major conservation project in Mt Aspiring National Park near Wanaka.

The Mount Aspiring conservation project aims to reduce pests in the West Matukituki Valley to help preserve native wildlife such as birds, bats, lizards and plants.

Gryll’s latest show, "Get Out Alive", which will feature on American television network NBC, was filmed in the Matukituki Valley in March, with the crew so taken by the environment they made a donation of $10,000

Matukituki Charitable Trust
The joint project between the Department of Conservation (DOC) and Matukituki Charitable Trust was launched recently to protect threatened native species in the Matukituki Valley in Mt Aspiring National Park.

The Matukituki Charitable Trust was founded by Derek and Gillian Crombie of Christchurch, who are set to fund the project for at least ten years. The couple look at the park as their playground and an ideal place for conservation.

"We have witnessed the decrease in birdlife over the years in this area and we are passionate about working with DOC on a long-term plan to restore the natural balance and enhance this special place for the public to visit and enjoy for many generations," Derek Crombie said.

DOC’s Wanaka Area Office Manager, Paul Hellebrekers, said this would be a long-term project that would benefit species, the valley’s eco-system and recreational users.

"As the Trust grows, our aim is to expand pest control to the East Matukituki Valley and the lower catchment of the valley, and to include both conservation land and neighbouring private land, with the support of landowners."

This will be done by establishing baseline data on possum and rat numbers then recruiting volunteers to help with pest trapping and monitoring beech seed fall and wildlife.

'Get Out Alive'
Adventurer Bear Grylls and the Mountain Film Unit in Queenstown endorsed the project after filming NBC TV show ‘Get Out Alive’ (GOA) in the Matukituki Valley in March.

Get Out Alive is a new survival competition show, in which Grylls takes 10 teams of two on trips beyond their wildest imaginations through New Zealand’s dramatic South Island landscapes.

The teams are assigned a series of tasks by Grylls who looks for the team with the best survival spirit. One team will win the grand prize of $500,000

Bear Grylls said the crew’s donation was their way of giving back to a country which has a great spirit of adventure.

"We are all so grateful for everything that the communities around New Zealand offered us in terms of support and encouragement whilst filming GOA - it is why I love New Zealand so much! Pioneers in attitude and openness and an example to the world of how to achieve good things under pressure and always with a smile!
"I hope this small contribution helps support that great Kiwi spirit of adventure as well as preserve and protect the amazing wilderness that New Zealand can boast so proudly," said Grylls.

The television superstar has visited New Zealand many times before to film episodes for the show that launched his career, ‘Man vs. Wild’. Grylls also starred in an Air New Zealand in-flight safety video which was filmed on the scenic Routeburn Track.

The Matukituki Valley
The Matukituki Valley is an hour’s drive from the resort town of Wanaka, in Mount Aspiring National Park.

Mount Aspiring National Park has a number of tramping and climbing routes ranging from walks across farmland and beech forest flats to hikes and climbs through alpine tussock grasslands and snow fields.

Wanaka’s natural environment is a haven for rare native birds and plant life, and is well known for its stunning wilderness experiences from hikes and mountain biking, to scenic flights and jet boating.

Wanaka is also a well-known ski town home to Treble Cone; the South Island’s largest ski area with amazing views, and vast uncrowded slopes, Cardrona a relaxed ski resort, and Snow Park NZ New Zealand’s largest terrain park.

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