It was refurbished by local members of the Te Araroa Trust. Te Araroa goes deep into the central North Island forests before exiting at the foot of Mt Tongariro. Being the first person to walk the length of New Zealand was just one of James’ adventures. The North Island - The Te Araroa Cake I’m no baker and to be quite honest I wasn’t particularly well-versed in the ins and outs of long-distance hiking before I started the Te Araroa Trail. This journey provides a real link between the theory and the practice!! Anyone can do this if you're prepared and have the right mental attitude. The official guidebook (which I did see some walkers carry – and use as toilet paper) is Te Araroa: A Walking Guide to New Zealand's Long Trail. He took one of the earliest digital cameras, a laptop and a mobile phone and posted stories of his journey. It's known for its thick, green native forests, jagged peaks, golden sand beaches, 'clean green' image, friendly people, interesting bird life and excellent meat pies. Many are also exposed and weather dependent. The written word follows this intrepid trek and relays the true characteristics of the journey – rough, raw, tenacious, and at times tedious. It's the one word most commonly used in conversations. The North Island route is just over 1,600 km long, and the South Island just under 1,400 km. A German girl decided not to carry a first aid kit, countless walkers didn't have personal locator beacons. The post office in Kaitaia after the first section down Ninety Mile Beach does a roaring trade with walkers sending home extra weight they've decided not to carry. In the end, over the two seasons I walked the trail, I used four pairs of shoes. The Mangaokewa River path is barely a foot wide and in poor quality, traversing high above a river. I headed southbound from Cape Reinga on November 5th 2018 and crashed out early in the South Island in early March 2019 due to a knee injury I picked up on the steep slopes of the Richmond Ranges. Well, it all comes down to planning your resupply strategy on Te Araroa around the way the trail is routed and the facilities that are available. A smelly old tramper from way back, Rex Hendry returned to New Zealand in the early 1980s after studying and working in Outdoor Education in UK and Europe. Page last updated: Oct 31, 2020, 10:32 AM. He went North Cape, Cape Reinga, Kaitaia, Herekino, Kerikeri, Whangarei, Warkworth, Puhoi, Albany, Auckland, Hamilton, Te Awamutu, Te Kuiti, Taumarunui, National Park, Raetihi, Pipiriki, Jerusalem, Wanganui, Marton, Bulls, Palmerston North, Masterton, Wellington. It jumbles the bustling cities, sleepy beachside settlements, muddy forests and volcanic landscapes of the North Island with the remoteness, mountains and vast open spaces of the South Island. Many walkers also try to hitchhike from Kaitaia. It passes through the spectacular Waitomo Caves. Detailed information. In 1995, Chris Gulley and two friends, Ron Enzler and Wendy van den Berg undertook the Te Araroa Expedition from Cape Reinga to Bluff as a way to "promote the potential of an end-to-end trail of Aotearoa / New Zealand". I was clearly a slow walker and took a lot of rest days. Finally, I came back to hike the Richmond Ranges in December 2018. However, this was impractical when I needed to treat water collected from a tap and because of the time taken to pump river water it increased the time sandflies had to bite and suck my blood. Interesting that A.H. chose, for his "leisurely" walk, a route that mostly followed roads, but which was, in its geography, similar to Te Araroa's off-road North Island trail. This is one of the other most talked about topics on the trail. You can show your support and with recieve rewards. They consist of a fireplace, a cooking bench and sleeping bunks. To bring Te Araroa to life, Geoff walked New Zealand himself - covering the North Island in 1998, then the South Island in 2002. I met a lot of walkers who weren't carrying water treatment means to save weight and because they believed New Zealand river water was safe to drink. There is some debate about the best footwear for the TA. Indulging in a decidedly un-Scottish form of walking, Ronald Turnbull spends a mollycoddled week in huts on Austria's spectacular Stubai Höhenweg. His North Island route mainly off-road, started at the northernmost point, Surville Cliffs, and ended at its southern-most, Cape Palliser. Within the space of a month I walked in temperatures in the mid-30s and also in snow and torrential rain. There are also sections that are more dangerous, like the lack of signage in the muddy Raetea Forest. For a first long-distance walk, the Te Araroa Trail is hard, especially as you're still learning about your kit, your body and your food requirements. These skills include trip planning, navigation, and river crossing skills, all of which are prerequisites to good decision making and capability in the field. It wasn’t obvious to me before I started my thru hike of the North Island, but Te Araroa has been specifically routed to bring foot traffic and business to the more remote regions of New Zealand. They now have a dedicated website. The backcountry huts are old huts often set up for hunters or musterers decades ago. The Te Araroa trail is best tackled north to south, beginning from … While I haven't walked any other long-distance trails, I met a heap of people on the TA who had, namely the big trails in the US, the Pacific Crest Trail and the Appalachian Trail. Te Araroa is NZ's walk of a lifetime. She wrote a bestselling book, stood for parliament, designed and built houses and ran several businesses. For example, you should only camp at the designated campsites on Ninety Mile Beach, the very first section of the trail SOBO, which means on day two of the walk you have to cover 28km and on day three, 30km – making it a rude introduction to the trail. I returned in January 2020 to complete the South Island and was on schedule to reach Bluff by the end of March but New Zealand's Covid-19 lockdown hit seven days before finishing, putting an end to the walk. To get to and from Bluff at the southern terminus, a bus is required again between Bluff and the bigger city Invercargill, which has plane and bus links to other cities. Ref: PAColl-5744-10. he says. The longest stretch between resupply points is the Richmond Ranges, at the top of the South Island, which can take nine to 11 days, though it's recommended to carry food for another two days in case bad weather forces a stay in a hut for several days. Self-contained cottage ($150/double) or camping ($25/site). He has written an account of the journey. The trail is best tackled north to south, beginning from the top of the North Island at Cape Reinga in late spring. For me, the trail was both physically and mentally demanding. All of them walked the trail their own way. The Te Araroa (Maori for “long pathway”) is the world’s newest long-distance hiking trail, from the northernmost tip of the North Island to the southern point of the South Island. Most walkers seem to start out with too much – my pack weighed 17kg but I met people who started with 25kg. Again, hitchhiking to and from Bluff is also possible. The trail is best tackled north to south, beginning from the top of the North Island at Cape Reinga in late spring. 3 Reviews #5 of 7 things to do in Cape Reinga. (Prices & Dates) The saying goes that if you can do the first two weeks, you can do the whole trail. People clapped him through, brought him cups of tea, waved and tooted from cars, screeched to a halt by the entire busload. Most walkers use a GPS app on their phone, with Guthook being the most common, although the TA Trust introduced its own trail app last season, which seemed to get pretty good reviews from the people I spoke to who were using it. If you appreciate UKHillwalking then please help by becoming a UKH Supporter. This is further complicated by the fact that 40% of the trail is on private land where wild camping is not allowed – in recent years some walkers have ignored this, which puts future trail access across these lands in jeopardy. Te Araroa is New Zealand’s premier long-distance hiking trail, stretching 3000 km (1860 mi) across the country’s two main islands. New Zealanders have coined the word tramping, which I like to define as extreme hiking. Te Araroa, Cape Reinga: Address, Te Araroa Reviews: 4.5/5. Not much river access. Destination GuideNew Zealand's Great Walks India is a stunningly diverse country for walking, and every Himalayan state and trekking route has its own special character. As a general rule, the trail is signposted with orange triangles or orange snow poles but these are not always at regular distances and can sometimes be hard to see. Stretching 3,000 km from Cape Reinga, at the top of the North Island, to Bluff, at the bottom of the South Island, the TA is defined by its challenging terrain, unpredictable weather and navigational obstacles, and just may be the toughest of the world’s major thru-hikes. Along its meandering route, the TA crosses through native bush forests, rural farmland, stunning alpine vistas, and even Auckland’s city center. The trail conservancy hopes to reduce this amount in future years. Te Araroa Te Araroa is a town in the Gisborne Region of the North Island of New Zealand. But there are increasing numbers of walkers choosing to walk northbound mainly because they will likely encounter fewer walkers and get stuck in fewer walker bubbles. He followed bush tracks in the Kaimai-Mamaku Range then exited into Carter Holt Harvey forestry roads that led through to Taupo. But different from Te Araroa - exclusively, as ours is not, a coastal, bush, and mountain range trail. Obviously, fitness training, namely hillwalking with a heavy pack, should be considered. I aimed to go through three pairs of trail runners over the course of 3,000km. Te Araroa. For a country rich in natural beauty, it is perhaps one of the most thorough ways to see all that New Zealand has to offer. North Island Trail. The TA website lists safety courses, while New Zealand's Department of Conservation has a brochure on planning backcountry trips here. The old man - founder of A.H. and A.W. When I returned to complete the walk, I used the Sawyer squeeze water filtration system, which worked well. The octogenarian did the North Island half in 86 days. The Te Araroa guide has more than 2,000 waypoints. These are their stories. Throughout the course of the trail hikers can find themselves walking on golden sand, through knee-high mud, on fluid scree, wading up rivers, boulder-hopping, scrambling on all fours over rocks, pavement pounding, and treading on seemingly non-existent paths, as well as kayaking, canoeing and cycling. If you were to walk all of it, it would take five months! The vast majority of these walkers were surprised by the Te Araroa, especially the North Island section. The North Island route is just over 1,600 km long, and the South Island just under 1,400 km. The trail can be walked either northbound or southbound, but the traditional route is southbound with the trail description and notes in this format. "I must honestly say that I did not." Read more, Heading south: Starts at Cape Reinga and finishes in Bluff, Estimated number of through hikers each season: About 2000, Cost for a through-hike: NZ$7,000-$10,000 (£3,500-£5,000), Number of river crossings: Several hundred, Non-walking days: Six days kayaking, one day cycling, Longest section between resupply points: Nine days, Number of blisters: 12 (at the same time) after two weeks. It is known for its electrical sub-station that supplies the lower central North Island (visible off in the distance at right as you approach the village) and the historic Glaxo factory beside the road at your right. Geoff Chapple's Churchill Fellowship report, The last New Zealand long walker we know of is George Spearing. A statistic I heard was that 30% of walkers drop out after the first two weeks. You also need to know what survival equipment to carry and how to avoid getting hypothermia… A moderate level of fitness is all that is required to make a realistic attempt at a through-tramp.". Each trail guide maps and lists important hiker waypoints such as water sources, tenting sites, junctions, road crossings, resupply information, and many others. This is mainly a result of agriculture with farming runoff. Te Araroa in the Wellington region takes in the Tararua Ranges - some of New Zealand's most challenging tramping country. A good walk! Buying a backcountry hut pass from the Department of Conservation will be needed. The otherworldly volcanic landscapes of southern Iceland are home to the Laugavegur Trail, one of the world's classic trekking... Jan Bakker, co-author of the first English guide to Tajikistan, shares some photos of this spectacular country. The Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) Topo 1:50,000 topographic map is now the primary basemap for Te Araroa trail maps. The downside of trail runners is they wear out much quicker than traditional hillwalking boots. Logistics and planning each day's point A to point B walk can be challenging in places, particularly on the North Island. The route explored the possibility of a North-South Walkway through the country and stuck pretty closely to the mountainous geological fault line that runs the length of the country. New Zealanders have coined the word tramping, which I like to define as extreme hiking – the Te Araroa Trail gives the hiker a proper taste of what this means. In the 1960s the nation enjoyed surfing a single emotion - the Beatles right? The Te Araroa Trail gives the hiker a proper taste of what this means. The rewards of thru-hiking are many, but the trail presents equa… This makes navigating interesting at times. All rights reserved. There were plenty of rest days – 29 to be exact, with 12 on the North island and 17 on the South island. On our South Island journey, this famous trail brings us from the coastal forests of Queen Charlotte Sound to Fiordland National Park, where the Te Araroa meets the Southern Ocean. Of course, as one NOBO walker I met said, hard is relative – some people will find the trail and the terrain harder than others. Please register your trail usage before embarking on your journey. Logistics can be a nightmare too, making decision-making challenging and forcing hikers to walk longer distances than they might like just to get to the next accommodation point. It's because of this that the idea of walking the length of my home country has always appealed to me. That said, the walkers I met were all ordinary people. Details about where to post to are in the trail notes but these need to be posted ahead of starting the South Island section. New Zealand’s long-distance hiking trail, the Te Araroa, connects the North Island and South Island by way of spectacular parks and reserves. The TA Trust supplies trail notes and maps on its website which can be downloaded to your smartphone (although I met two walkers – both French – who had printed out all the trail notes and were carrying them in giant ring binders). He took 73 days - November 24 1996 - Feb 5 1997. The Te Araroa Trail is different, and that unique character is part of its beauty and part of the challenge in walking it. Their stories give us a powerful insight not just into Te Araroa but to New Zealand. Visit remote villages, hike coastal cliffs, and savor Kiwi culture at its best. The Te Araroa Trust does an amazing job of offering these on their site to be downloaded FOR FREE! Technically, high in the mountains, the water "could" be safe to drink but you can't guarantee clean water and there are some sections with no adequate water sources. New Zealand is where I was born and raised and it will always be home, even though I've spent the past 14 years living in the UK. Mine was a gloriously leisurely thru hike and below is my Te Araroa Trail itinerary. A through-hike of the Te Araroa trail will take four to six months depending on walking speed, distance covered each day (some walkers clock 50km days – on good tracks – once their trail legs kick in), whether you decide to hitchhike or miss sections, possible injuries and weather conditions. On-demand, live and on catch-up, discover the very best mountain, adventure and nature films, specialist sessions, guest speakers... John and his trusty companion Moss embark on the Cape Wrath Trail, starting from Fort William and ending up in the far north of... A British hiker emerged from five days alone in the mountains of New Zealand to find that the country had unexpectedly shut down... UKHillwalking is a vibrant site with rich content and an amazing community. Many people choose to only walk the South Island where the "proper" mountains are, but this is almost a disservice to the full trail and misses the numerous highlights of the North Island, including the town and country culture of New Zealand. Te Punga Homestead – 2929 Whanganui River Rd, 06 3428239. "Did I enjoy my walk?" Prepping for the Te Araroa is like studying for a difficult test, with … A through-hike of the Te Araroa trail will take four to six months depending on walking speed, distance covered each day (some walkers clock 50km days – on good tracks – once their trail legs kick in), whether you decide to hitchhike or miss sections, possible injuries and weather conditions. Some of the huts only sleep six people, meaning walkers will still need to carry a tent in case huts are full, which is becoming increasingly common. The TA Trust, which manages the trail, recommends that walkers consider a backcountry/bushcraft survival course, especially a river crossing course. It is a quite young trail as it was only opened in December 2011. But consider also New Zealand conditions, and especially the South Island, where the Te Araroa Trail is more rugged than the North Island section. It is situated 175 km north of Gisborne city, along State Highway 35 between Tokata and Awatere. Here is a fast-paced video showcasing the Te Araroa and all its variety: Te Araroa Video Overview So far, all we’ve asked is that you visit and interact with the site, but we are now in uncertain times. Navigation on the trail can be pretty sketchy in places. As it was, it would have been unwise to continue had my injury recovered because the seasons were already starting to change and I still had 1,000km left to walk. George firmly closed the door of his Whangaparaoa home to begin his long hike, and dislodged the lucky horseshoe. The trail travels from Cape Reinga on the North Island to Bluff on the South Island, passing through 9 distinct regions on its way. 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