I’ll be hiking New Zealand’s Te Araroa Trail (north to south) which traverses the length of the country. This will take me approximately five to six months starting 10th October 2011 through to April 2012. I have named my version of the Te Araroa Tail “Traverse NZ” (TNZ). This will be the longest trail I have hiked.
I’ll be accompanied by my brother Gordon for the start, middle and end of my traverse. We will both spend a few weeks in New Zealand packing and dropping food supplies off at mostly pre arranged locations before I start hiking. We will be hiring a motorhome in Queenstown which will be big enough to accommodate both of us and all the food drop boxes. We will then change over to a 4WD in Auckland which will be more suitable for driving on the beaches of Far North.
In 2010 I planned a route down the length of the South Island. I don’t spend much time on the internet so it took me a while to learn that New Zealand was soon to open its own country long trail. I liked the idea of hiking the full length of the country and thought it would be a good idea to do so before it became very popular. I can hike my pre-planned South Island route at a later date. My traverse of New Zealand is mostly the same as the Te Araroa Trail apart from a few changes I made. I have described these changes on the Route page.
Hiking, or tramping as the Kiwis call it, has been my favorite activity for as long as I can remember. I’ve always felt a special connection with Aotearoa (New Zealand). I’m not sure how to even describe it. There really is no other country that makes me feel more at home.
What? The blog is missing?
I tried setting up this blog in early 2011 and managed to get the basic form of a blog going. I then became so frustrated through my lack of knowledge in this area that I took a break from it. Actually, I took more than a break and when I finally had more courage to give this blog another go… I couldn’t find it. My twin brother Gordon undertook a rescue and recovery operation and stage one was to find the missing blog. If it weren’t for his efforts I’d have an abandoned and very plain-looking blog… somewhere. So, it didn’t take me long to realise that setting up a first blog requires massive amounts of patience. I have much less hair on my head now than when I first started working on this all consuming project. I’m interested to see how “we” (the blog and I) get along on the trail.
The Te Araroa Trail
From the lighthouse head south-east down the coastline, through the forests, across farmland, over volcanoes and mountain passes, along river valleys, on green pathways and through seven cities.
Opening in 2011, Te Araroa Trail (The Long Pathway) is one of the world’s longest trails. The straight line distance from Cape Reinga to Bluff is 1475 km, however the Te Araroa Trail will cover a longer distance of 3000km (see the Route page). Hundreds of volunteers have helped create this continuous scenic trail. For more information visit http://www.teararoa.org.nz.
A huge thanks to Geoff Chappel of the Te Araroa Trust and all the volunteers for persisting with the monumental task of making this trail a reality.
Family and friends
Since I was going to be away for about 6 months I wanted to keep in touch with family and friends and share my journey’s experiences with them mainly through photos.
I am very lucky to be accompanied by my brother and a few friends, who are going to make the journey from Sydney (my home), for various sections of the trail. I am looking most forward to their company.
Photography and Video
The cameras I’m taking make up the heaviest part of my pack (see the Equipment page). Photography has always taken up it’s fair share of my time on trails.
Gordon has offered to edit my video footage after the hike. I’m not sure at this stage when the video will be available. It will take some time.
I have included a map and the route I’ll be taking. I have modified the trail a little. From the small town of Wanaka I plan to hike the Cascade Saddle and the Dart River Track and from there I’ll join back onto the Te Araroa Trail at Glenorchy.