Spring is on it's way and so is our 2016 / 2017 season of events . This year, Golden Bay will host the 10th edition of the Spring Challenge, an all women adventure race, from the 23rd-25th of September, which has most, if not all accommodation in the bay booked out during that time. Our events season starts directly after. There is currently lots of development happening at our Treefield and we are looking forward to an exciting new season. Here's our latest update...



‘Be the change you want to see in the world’, is a quote from Gandhi that resonates strongly with Alexandra Partington. After 7 years of supporting Tides on team, Alexandra is getting ready to accompany the eldest of her three daughters, Lily, at the 2017 April rite of passage…

In 2009 I was encouraged by my close friend Elsbeth to come to what was then described as a ‘women’s weekend’. My journey into womanhood had started when I was only 10 years old and I wasn’t prepared for it at all. I knew I wanted it to be different for my daughters and Tides seemed like it might offer some insight in that direction. Looking back over the 7 years since, I realise I have gained much more than what I originally set out to find;

My relationship with my own mother has shifted in a really positive way. Using some of the same processes that we do with the girls at Tides I have had the space to see what I can change. My attitude towards my moon time has also had a major reassessment and I’m now in a place of appreciation for my cycle. After years of being involved with the Merchant Navy, the opportunity to connect more with femininity has allowed for a softening in myself. It was also Tides that moved me to restore my full name after years of being called Alex. These have all been significant markers in my life and alongside them I have also gained a lot of parenting support through the meeting of many inspiring mamas.

There has been a running joke that my reason for staying involved with Tides is to keep the program alive for my own daughters to experience. True or not I have tears behind my eyes when I think of Lily ready to embark on the journey. We have already been doing a lot with her through a program called ‘Arise’ that I started with a friend one year ago. Despite that, I know in my belly that Tides is the right thing to do. It is part of our family culture now and the marking of this time is significant for all of us. I also look forward to Lily being part of the young leaders program should she choose.

I have said it before and I will say it again, ‘I really believe in Tides’. The not knowing what is going to happen. The questions that are posed (many have never been asked them before) are always timely and appropriate. The girls, the young leaders, the mums and the team offer a beautiful, intergenerational web of women. I have seen the growth in the mothers and daughters. I have seen the growth in the team and everyone involved with the program. I see how much they all get out of being there. I feel proud of what we do and I am so grateful that Tides exists. You will hear from me again after the April rite!




Grace James first came to Tides as a new girl in September 2009. She has been part of team numerous times over the years, as a young leader and as part of the women’s crew. Now at the age of 21 she has been accepted onto The International Youth Initiative Program (YIP). She leaves for Jarna, Sweden in a few days time. Here is what she wrote in her YIP application about her experience with Tides…

"When I was fourteen, my mum took me to a Rite of Passage program called Tides. I have been going back to help with the program as often as I can since. Tides is a community of strong inspiring women. I could not be the woman I am now without them role modelling what a woman is allowed to be, when she lives her truth.”

Thanks Grace! Go Well! We send you loads of love and wish you all the best for the year ahead!




On the 7th August at 5.40am our family was blessed with its first Grandchild, Austen Joel Williams.

What a magical experience to live and witness the transformations that come with new life and the next generation.

I’m so pleased that everything turned out okay and very excited to get to know this young fellow.

Austen is the first baby to be born to Tracks and Tides initiated parents, with Steve doing his rites back in 2004 and Xanthe just a couple of years later, perhaps marking a generational shift for the ROPF community too?

Heaps of love to you both,
Poppa xxx



Earth Guardians is a youth lead movement of young activists taking action on climate change and playing their part to help create a sustainable future for our generation and those that follow. There are over 700 Earth Guardian crews all over the world, made up of young people who are passionate about our earth and our environment. At the beginning of the year, Jim Barnes alongside myself and a few others coordinated a group here in Golden Bay. Our crew at the moment consists mostly of Golden Bay High School students, a few of which have gone through the Rites of Passage program.

The leader of the Earth Guardians movement, Xiuhtezcatl Tonatiuh, is coming to New Zealand in January, 2017. He and his family will be hosting events here, in Nelson and Wellington to share this movement with the people of New Zealand. We hope to inspire others to stand up for our precious earth by uniting together and taking action to help build a sustainable earth.

We’ve been exploring the potential of having an integrated Earth Guardians and TnT event during his time here. It would be an amazing opportunity for young leaders to regroup and be a part of this movement. Xiuhtezcatl is an inspiring and empowering spokesperson and I believe he has a lot to offer to the young leaders of Tracks and Tides. 

Siti Jongkind    


Youth leader of Earth Guardians, climate change activist, eco-hip hop artist and change agent, Xiuhtezcatl Tonatiuh is coming to New Zealand from January 3-16, 2017. He and members of his family will be speaking, facilitating youth leadership workshops and performing his original eco-conscious hip hop music in Wellington, the Nelson region and in Golden Bay where they will be based for 7 days.

Xiuhtezcatl, who is 16 years old, has spoken at the UN high level climate change event in 2015, he is recipient of many youth leadership awards and is a keynote speaker in demand across his native US and abroad. He is especially renowned for his motivational impact on youth, inspiring them to use their passions to build a more sustainable future. He is partnering with other high profile climate change activists who look to him for his youth appeal and his practical insights for making change.

While in Wellington, Xiuhtezcatl, his little brother Itzcuauhtli and older sister Isa will perform in an evening concert highlighting his unique, eco-conscious music with its lyrical messages of challenge for change. He will be joined by other Wellington musicians and local dance groups. He will also be meeting with the US ambassador as the US consulate has generously given a grant to help fund his visit. Tasman mayor, Richard Kempthorne, has also supported the tour with a donation from his mayor’s discretionary fund.

In the Nelson region Xiuhtezcatl will address youth councils and organisations dedicated to creating a more positive future. While in Golden Bay he will be the keynote speaker and major contributor t o a yo uth music camp where workshops will focus on ways youth can focus their gifts on building a better world. There is an active Earth Guardian crew in Golden Bay and he will have dedicated time to help this crew find strategies to make their community and global actions more effective.

Jim Barnes , Golden Bay coordinator of the tour, says “Xiuhtezcatl, in his word, is ‘stoked’ to finally get to New Zealand and generate impact in Aotearoa. He’s especially excited to meet and get to know members of the Earth Guardians crew and to help inspire youth to be the change the world needs today.”  

For more information on Xiuhtezcatl and Earth Guardians go to their website and check them out: http://www.earthguardians.org/

"When Xiuhtezcatl takes the stage, people immediately stand in awe at his powerful message, then they inevitably start grooving to his amazing lyrics.  This is the kind of young man we need to make ch anges in our world and he does it in an engaging and genuine manner."

Ryan Van Duzer, US television presenter, cyclist and travel video journalist and filmmaker



Pete’s unique recipe of warm hearted caring, good food and dubious humour have been one of the consistent features of Tracks events for the last 13 years. In April Pete announced that he would be retiring from the Treefield galley to focus on projects at home and spend more time with his large family and husband Peter.

Pete was honoured by all the men and young men for everything that he’s brought over the years and gifted with ponamu as a gesture of appreciation for such dedicated and delightful service.

Thank you Pete, you’ll be missed!

Now however, as things have transpired, Pete will be back this October for an encore performance and maybe one last ‘Bell Ringer’? We’ll just have to see….

Hence a Vacancy -


Tracks is looking for a new chef, someone to take on the contract for our events, if you think it could be you, please be in touch.