Tara mulvany


Growing up in southern New Zealand, I was fortunate to have spent my childhood mountaineering and tramping with my family.  As an 11 year old, I climbed Mt Aspiring with my Dad, and a year later nearly summited Mt Cook.  After leaving school I studied an outdoor recreation course at Aoraki Polytechnic and was introduced to whitewater kayaking.  Then in the summer of 08/09, I worked as a sea kayak guide in Milford and Doubtful Sounds for Fiordland Wilderness Experiences.  I fell in love with Fiordland, and this passion has led to some epic trips in the fiords. 

In 2009, I spent six months working as a safety kayaker for a whitewater rafting company in northern Thailand.  The following year I aimlessly traveled through South America, and have spent time wandering in the Himalayas in Nepal.  In between these adventures I have returned to NZ for the summers to work as a sea kayak guide in Fiordland.  

In early June 2011, Sim and I set off from Te Waewae Bay on the south coast of the South Island, bound for Fiordland.  Nearly 12 weeks later we paddled into Milford Sound, having spent the entire winter in the fiords.  It was on this journey through Fiordland that the seed of the South Island trip was planted.  So in late May 2012, we paddled away from Milford Sound and headed north, up the west coast of the South Island.  Three months later we parted ways in Christchurch, and I continued on our journey alone, finally completing a circumnavigation on the 22nd of October 2012. 


Since then, I have completed solo circumnavigations of Stewart Island and the North Island, becoming the first woman to have paddled around the three main islands of New Zealand. 


In July 2014, I paddled 1200km around Canada's Vancouver Island, and then spent a couple of months whitewater kayaking in the US.  

Most recently, in September 2015, along with two others completed the first circumnavigation of Svalbard Archipelago.  This expedition took us 71 days, during which we paddled with walrus and whales, had encounters with polar bears, paddled north of the 80th parallel and spend days weaving through sea ice. Following this adventure I ended up guiding for Quark Expeditions in Antarctica.