Thursday, December 12, 2013

Hi Ho Tonto/Tomo

There were no Lone Rangers as the CACTI merged into a seemless CACTUS teem to horse around at Punakaiki and delve into the subterranean depths of the Paparoas. Warm up for the big day was a stop off to wind up the hairpin bends of the Croesus Track from Barrytown with a quick descent back to the car. The 2 1/2 hour horse trek up the Punakaiki stretched the novices and exhilarated the more experienced. Lunch on the short trip up to Charleston fueled us for the 5 hour caving expedition into "The One" [Te Tahi]. No worries as the team dropped over the edge of the 40 m Hi Hi Tomo sinkhole. We were committed - no turning back now! Squeezes, drops, chimneys, waterfalls were all in the mix in this active water cave. As Tim put it: "Pain is weakness leaving the human body". The team was strengthened in more ways than one through this awesome day! Breakfast and end of course presentations to wind up the course are on Friday. Meet at bodyworx at 6:45 as usual.

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Thursday, December 5, 2013

TERM 4 CHALLENGE - 7 December

This terms challenge will take CACTUS up to the Paparoas. The Big Day will include a 2 1/2hr Horse Trek at Punakaiki and a 5 hr Adventure Caving Expedition in the Te Tahi cave system at Charleston. Entrance to Te Tahi is via a 130 ft abseil down an awesome sink hole. The big day starts at 6am and we will return to Hoki around 8pm. We will throw in a hill challenge on the Croesus track on the way north. This will be a hard out challenge and an awesome day!

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Thursday, September 19, 2013


CACTUS TERM 4 starts Wednesday 16 Oct.
Get ready to commit to an awesome program!

This course will run mornings - 6:45 - 7:45 am.
Showers available at the gym afterwards.
Optional breakfast also provided afterward.
Thanks to Bodyworx Gym for hosting CACTUS - we have an fantastic base for our program.

Remember for those committed to the course CACTUS sponsors Gym sessions outside cactus time after 2 wks. And for those seeing through the term the CACTUS Challenge will be on Nov 16 a week before the senior school breaks for exams. Check out the blog for photos from these amazing events!

Intro sessions for Term 4 are under way now. Come and try out a CACTUS session.

Shamrock Creek, Kawhaka extended session. (6 am start).
Next Wed - Sept 25.

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Friday, August 23, 2013


CACTUS Trustpower Youth Development Award runner up.
CACTUS to feature in 2014 Tindall Foundation Calendar
CACTUS in recess Term 3

Runner up 2013 Trustpowercommunity awards! 
CACTUS has come regional runner up in the Education and Child/Youth Development category. Thanks to Trustpower for their fantastic acknowledgement and generosity.

CACTUS is to feature on the Tindall Foundation 2014 Calendar
Tindall were our incredibly generous sponsors for 2011 - 2013 CACTUS Challenges. Their generosity empowered CACTUS to both challenge and reward the young people with some awesome activities for these end of course events!

CACTUS in recess - Heads up for Term 4
CACTUS is in recess in term 3.
John is out with an injury.
We are aiming for CACTUS to kick into gear for Term 4.
Keep an eye out!

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Thursday, May 30, 2013


STARTING WEDNESDAY JUNE 5 CACTUS is shifting to afternoons 3:30 - 4:30.
Get the word out and encourage all your friends.
If mornings didn't suit you or yesterdays coldest night in 45 years was too much here's your opportunity to take the challenge after school.
Get strong, fit and motivated!

Click on the link at right to find out what you need to start CACTUS.
 I'm out of town till just before CACTUS on Wednesday so txt or ring my mobile of you need more info.

 We've been challenged to compete against some North Island CACTUS groups in the Tough Guy/Touch Girl Challenge in Rotorua in August. This just might be on for Hoki CACTUS where it all began.

 See you on Wednesday - 3:30!

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Monday, April 15, 2013


Just awesome! Tramping through the night to the Ballroom Overhang. Abseiling into the Te Tahi (The One) Cave System and Blackwater Rafting under the glow worm milky way! WHat a great way to spend a night and a day! We set our from Bullock Creek just before 6pm along the Inland Pack Track at a good trot into the fading evening light. It was well and truly night as the track entered the creek beds that fed us into Dilemma Creek before emerging into the Fox River. With eels underfoot and the Milky Way draped over the limestone cliffs of Dilemma Gorge we made good time constantly alternating between rocky river bed and fording forwarding to the Ballroom overhang for a good feed and a good nights sleep. Dawn saw us grab a quick breakfast before exploring a side creek up to its emergence from beneath the cliffs and then the Fox River caves on the way out for lunch at the car park. Up to Charleston for the caving expeditions: Blackwater rafting for Team 1 and Team 2 headed down Hi Hi Tomo, a 40m abseil into the Te Tahi cave. THe pictures say it all - double click on the albums at right to have a good gander. This was an awesome team this term who really stepped up to a great challenge! Breakfast at 7am at the HCF church building on Wed morning guys. Pip's organising at big feed!

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Over the Tops to Top Tuke

Three intrepid CACTI made the tramp to Top Tuke over Easter. Though Tuke Hut eluded us due to a spot of sickness in the team it was an awesome 2 nights and 2 days. Great to see these young guys step up and take the trip under their control. From the time we forded the Mikonui they made the decisions with just a few clues when needed. With one party suffering from the onset of flu they made the call to bivy up for the night at Truran Saddle rather than take the ascent to Dickies Spur at 1300m. A fresh start in the morning saw us at the start of Dickie Ridge mid-morning before descending through the cloud to the top Tuke. The guys made the call to turn around just before we reached the bottom rather than throw 2 big days on a sick team member. So, back up to the ridge and about about 50m visibility on the tops. The hut finally popped out of the mist and we settled in for a good feed, the serenade of rain on the tin roof and a big stack of zeds. Morning saw a reasonably clear panorama of Top Tuke surrounded by Dickie, Saw Tooth and Galena ridges before we headed back out to the road end. Awesome effort by the men - great team work, good calls, the occasional roar of a stag. Nice couple of days! [Double click on the side show at right to open up the album].

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Hi Hi Tomo! Underworld Challenge!

CACTUS goes underground! 12 & 13 of April. Friday afternoon CACTUS will tramp into the Paparoa Ranges through the sheer cliffs, caves and sinkholes of awesome limestone country to overnight under The Ballroom Overhang. Saturday, we heading further north to Charleston and adventure caving with Norwwest Adventures where we will abseil down 40 meters into Hi Hi Tomo and the Te Tahi cave. Once below ground we will navigate our way through dry rift passages and active water ways with cascades, waterfalls and squeezes to test new found skills in the subterranean passages of the Paparoa National Park. Other activities including the standard CACTUS run around the Devils Cauldron at Pancake Rocks will round out our day before returning home Saturday evening. Take the Challenge! CACTUS Challenges are all day or overnight expeditions to test the physical and mental toughness of CACTUS survivors and the CACTUS team's cohesion forged over the term.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Ana (Anastasia) was active in CACTUS in 2008 and 2009. Coyly introducing herself as "Bob" in her first session, this was how I greeted Ana ever since! Though a bit camera shy there are a few pics below with which we remember her: Atop Mt Tahua, hauling the ute, the Long Walk of 50+ km from Greens Beach to Hoki (including that cold Waitaha crossing) and stretcher bearing up Shamrock Creek. 
Ana was a much loved part of the CACTUS family showing enough grit to commit to multiple CACTUS programs, strong team commitment and a friendly and compassionate nature. 
Every life is precious and full of potential. As a legacy to our fellow CACTI, we can determine to live our lives mindful of the potential she had yet to fulfil. We will miss...


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