Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Outdoor Adventure a Family Affair

Founders of Nevada Sport Hamish and Jenny Cochran have always walked the talk when it comes to outdoor adventure and sports.

The couple are pioneers of the New Zealand outdoor industry establishing Nevada Sports and being one of the first companies to import skis as far back as 1978. They introduced telemarking skiing to New Zealand in 1984 and then came the international outdoor apparel brand Merrell.

Today Nevada Sport is the longest standing distributor of Merrell worldwide with seven New Zealand stores including Let’s Get Outside in the Queenstown Mall. 

Their adventurous spirt has been passed on to daughters Elle and Heidi, who along with Elle’s husband David Steans, are now spearheading the business.

“We’ve always done lots of adventures as a family,” says Hamish. “ We took Heidi and Elle in a backpack skiing and hiking before they could even walk.”

Hamish Cochran

“Just being in the outdoors and feeling the power of the mountains is a key driver. Getting up past Glenorchy into either the Rees or the Dart valleys is a favoured tramping territory for us and Skippers Canyon, Bush Creek, Sawpit Gully and Sam Summers are great day walks.”

Favourites: Bumper bars, the Merrell Whisper Jacket, Merrell Moab Flight shoes, Merrell Agility Peaks

Heidi Cochran

Nevada Sport Brand Director

Nevada Sport’s brand director Heidi Cochran is an avid tramper.

She thrives on variety and Queenstown’s proximity to accessible tracks and trails.

“ Being on foot or bike is a great way to connect with scenery and nature and I love doing multiday walks that completely immerse you to actively unwind and reconnect. I was lucky to do the Milford Track last year with perfect weather and very few people on the trail. The Kepler Track is next on the agenda.”

Bush Creek and Sam Summers tracks are two of her top picks.

“The views are amazing, the beach forest is so peaceful and both have diverse terrain with beautiful flora and fauna.  The Paradise end of the Routeburn Track is a great day walk and it’s so serene walking under the forest’s canopy with open valley views at the Routeburn Flat hut. For further elevation the walk to the Falls hut is impressive. I also enjoy the Lake Hayes trail on a still day to appreciate the calm mirrored waters.”

Heidi says the family mantra has always been to be prepared in the outdoors. 

“ Weather is the first thing I check when planning then it’s food and snacks. Being a gear nerd my other top priority is checking trail conditions to choose the appropriate shoes and clothing. I like light, ventilated shoes for sunny weather and waterproof layers. For me layering is key and I prefer to over prepare and carry extra clothing layers that I can easily put on or take off while out on any of my adventures.

Favourites; Weka bars, dried fruit, Muesli snacks, hard crackers, fresh wraps 

David & Elle Steans

Nevada Sport Managing Director & Director

Elle Steans and David Steans are continuing the family legacy in their pursuit of the outdoors which they share with three-year-old twins Forbes and Leopold.

“We love Arrowtown and the close proximity of the Arrow River trail and Tobin’s track,” says David. “ We are currently focused on smaller walks with the twins as they love lots of activities, so we are outside with them as much as possible.”

“Moke Lake and Lake Hayes are great locations to combine with family picnics. We have just received new Moab Flight shoes for the boys who are always asking ‘when can we put our running shoes on’.”

David and Elle are passionate about New Zealand’s great walks.

“The Routeburn is a track we love to walk. The great walks have always inspired us and Elle particularly loves waterfalls and alpine lakes,” says David.

Favourites: Merrell Moab Flight Shoes, Merrell Geotex Fleece


The new and improved range of Merrell hiking and trail shoes released this year offer versatile and comfortable options for all types of hiking adventures. 

Nevada Sport brand director Heidi Cochran says The Moab 3 is “worth taking out for a spin and there is a broad range of shoes, clothing and accessories specifically designed for outside adventures”.

“The exciting new Test Lab MQM shoe is an agile trail hiker crossed with a climbing approach shoe. It’s brightly coloured and looks awesome. Meanwhile the Moab Flight has some great  new colourways and is a perfect all-round shoe and the Hydro Moc is ideal for warmer weather.”

“There are some fun casual Merrell clothing choices with a heritage spin for summer alongside technical performance items like the Whisper Jacket offering breathable waterproof protection.”