Growing up in southern New Zealand, Tara spent her childhood mountaineering and tramping with her family. At age 11 she climbed Mt Aspiring with her Dad, and a year later nearly summited Mt Cook. After leaving school she took an outdoor recreation course at Aoraki Polytechnic and was introduced to whitewater kayaking. In the summer of 2008/09, she worked as a sea kayak guide in Milford and Doubtful Sounds for Fiordland Wilderness Experiences. Tara fell in love with Fiordland, and this passion has led to some epic trips in the fiords.
In 2009, Tara spent six months working as a safety kayaker for a whitewater rafting company in northern Thailand. The following year she spent aimlessly traveling through South America, and has also spent time wandering in the Himalayas of Nepal. In between these adventures Tara would return to NZ for the summers to work as a sea kayak guide in Fiordland.
In early June 2011, Tara and Sim set off from Te Waewae Bay on the south coast of the South Island, bound for Fiordland. Nearly 12 weeks later they 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, they paddled away from Milford Sound and headed north, up the west coast of the South Island. Three months later they parted ways in Christchurch, and Tara continued on her journey alone, finally completing a circumnavigation of New Zealand’s South Island on the 22nd of October 2012. Since then, Tara has 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, Tara paddled 1200km around Canada’s Vancouver Island, and then spent a couple of months whitewater kayaking in the US.
In September 2015, along with fellow Kiwi Jaime Sharp and Norwegian Per Gustav Porsanger, Tara completed the first circumnavigation of Svalbard Archipelago. This expedition took the team 71 days, during which they paddled alongside walrus and whales, had encounters with polar bears, spent days weaving through sea ice, and paddled north of the 80th parallel.
Following this adventure Tara ended up guiding for Quark Expeditions in Antarctica.