Frequently Asked Questions

Inspiring Explorers Expedition™ Mahu Whenua Traverse

credit: Antarctic Heritage Trust

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the expedition involve?

Antarctic Heritage Trust, in partnership with the Mountain Turk Club, is offering five inspiring young New Zealanders the chance to join the official opening of the Mahu Whenua Traverse between July 31 – August 7, 2021.

One team will start at Treble Cone and tour south, while the other team will start at Coronet Peak and tour north. Each team will be led by a fully qualified guide.

What is a ‘Turk’?

A Turk (tank hut) is a lightweight flyable mountain hut based on a large plastic water tank. The name derives from the saying “Not a hut and not a yurt, not a tank so must be a Turk”. There are five Turks situated along the Mahu Whenua Traverse, providing shelter that is safe in even the most extreme weather. Turks have also been installed by the Trust at Cape Adare in Antarctica. Find more information on the Mountain Turk Club on their website: Mountain Turk Club

When is the expedition?

The expedition will take place between 31 July and 7 August 2021. There will be a one to two-day teambuilding trip, which may be included in these dates, or a separate trip earlier in July. The expedition itself will take five days to complete.

What is the COVID-19 protocol for this expedition?

The expedition will only go ahead if Queenstown is at Alert Level 1 on the date of travel for the expedition and anyone travelling to get to Queenstown will only be able to join if their hometown is also at Alert Level 1.

Who can apply for this expedition?

Read the full Eligibility Criteria and Expedition Member Obligations.

Inspiring Explorers must:

  • Be aged between 18-30.
  • Be a citizen or permanent resident of New Zealand and be residing in the country.
  • Have cross-country/backcountry skiing experience and be confident skiing black diamond runs.
  • Have the equipment needed for a five-day backcountry skiing expedition.
  • Be prepared to take part in a short film being made about the Mahu Whenua Traverse.

What if I am a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident living overseas?

Applications from New Zealand citizens or permanent residents who intend to return to New Zealand must be able to show they have met or are able to meet all immigration and health requirements.

How fit do I need to be?

While you do not need to be an elite athlete to do this expedition, you will need to be in good health and have a high level of fitness, stamina and resilience. A positive attitude and being mentally prepared is also critical.

What is the application process?

Complete the application form and ensure you meet the eligibility criteria.

Applications close midnight Wednesday 19 May.

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to an interview (either in person or by Zoom) in early June.

The successful team will be announced by the end of June.

If you have any questions, please contact Jessica Hughes Hutton

What is the selection process?

This is an open application process. The Trust’s selection panel will review all applications and choose a shortlist of applicants to interview. Following interviews and reference checks the successful team will be advised. There may be a reserve space offered, in the event that a member of the team has to pull out late.

How much will the expedition cost?

We ask each Inspiring Explorer to contribute NZD $500 towards the expedition, with payment to be made immediately upon acceptance.

Antarctic Heritage Trust will pay for:

  • Domestic flights to and from Queenstown
  • All accommodation and incidentals directly before and after the expedition
  • The expedition itself, including permits, guides, transport, food and group equipment costs

If selected for the expedition, you will need to cover the following costs:

  • NZD $500 towards the expedition
  • Overweight/excess baggage fees (if required)
  • Personal clothing and equipment for a five day backcountry skiing expedition

What specific gear do I need?

All participants will need to have their own clothing and equipment needed for a five day backcountry skiing expedition, or be willing to hire any gear they do not have.

A full gear list will be shared with successful candidates.

Read more in the Eligibility Criteria and Expedition Member Obligations.

What sort of outreach do I need to participate in if I am selected?

The Trust is working with the Mountain Turk Club on a short film about the Mahu Whenua Traverse that you may be asked to participate in.

We encourage all our Inspiring Explorers to share their stories within their communities though presentations. You may also like to contribute some photos or video content, help write blogs or share your story on social media. The Trust’s communication team will work closely with the expedition team on any outreach requirements.

Can I bring personal sponsorship on the expedition?

No. Due to the Trust’s own obligations to sponsors we require all successful applicants to come clean of any sponsorship.