Te Punga Homestead – 2929 Whanganui River Rd, 06 3428239. Geoff wrote extensively about Te Araroa, first releasing a publication in 2002 Te Araroa: The New Zealand Trail (One Man Walks His Dream) then in 2011 Te Araroa: A Walking Guide to New Zealand's Long Trail . The TA website lists safety courses, while New Zealand's Department of Conservation has a brochure on planning backcountry trips here. The TA Trust, which manages the trail, recommends that walkers consider a backcountry/bushcraft survival course, especially a river crossing course. 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. Te Araroa is NZ's walk of a lifetime. And in 2013, a TA walker died approaching the second-highest point on the trail. 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. Trail karma will come back to kick you in the ass if you don’t. These are updated annually in early September to take into account any track changes or closures. For my first attempt at the trail, I used the MSR Trailshot Micro water filter. A good walk! 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. The best word to describe the trail is demanding. These are their stories. 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. As a general rule, around 80% of the North Island is camping (or tenting as Kiwi's call it) at designated campsites or holiday parks, while about 80% of the South Island is in backcountry huts. 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. Looks like we have a... Iran may get a bad press, but behind the headlines is a stunning country of mountains. New Zealand’s Te Araroa Trail is the world’s newest long-distance thru-hike. The old man - founder of A.H. and A.W. How it compares to other long-distance walking trails. But on all these sections, like any hillwalking, common sense is paramount – check the weather, walk in a group, let people know your intentions, and carry safety equipment and adequate safety communication devices. A German girl decided not to carry a first aid kit, countless walkers didn't have personal locator beacons. Some will work, some not. It is situated 175 km north of Gisborne city, along State Highway 35 between Tokata and Awatere. Created with sketchtool. "Did I enjoy my walk?" New Zealanders have coined the word tramping, which I like to define as extreme hiking. This is what is written on the Te Araroa Trail website: "Tramping many of the Te Araroa's tracks requires the bush craft skills of an experienced backcountry tramper. 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. The general rule is that the first two weeks are the hardest – four to five days walking down a monotonous beach followed by a week of muddy forests. 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. So far, all we’ve asked is that you visit and interact with the site, but we are now in uncertain times. It's the one word most commonly used in conversations. I took rest days for rest, injury, f… Walkers should not assume the Te Araroa is just another long-distance trail, and it should be thoroughly researched before attempting it. Sometimes there is no signage at all. Hiking Trails. The Te Araroa guide has more than 2,000 waypoints. The Te Araroa trail is best tackled north to south, beginning from … About 14% of the trail is road walking with around 40% going over private land, which requires negotiations for through-access with landowners, councils and local indigenous Maori tribes. What Te Araroa offers is a snapshot view, at walking pace, of the best of New Zealand. The Te Araroa Trail was officially opened in 2011, and in trail terms it's still considered new and some sections are still under development. While there is no permit or fee needed to walk the trail, a permit is required to walk the Queen Charlotte Track at the top of the South Island. 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. Meanwhile, the road walking is monotonous and frustrating. 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. Te Araroa is New Zealand’s premier long-distance hiking trail, stretching 3000 km (1860 mi) across the country’s two main islands. The trail can be walked either northbound or southbound, but the traditional route is southbound with the trail description and notes in this format. Along its meandering route, the TA crosses through native bush forests, rural farmland, stunning alpine vistas, and even Auckland’s city center. The quality of the tracks is variable, and sometimes questionable, and it's not always the case that there will be a path present. But, in his book From North Cape to Bluff (A.H.& A.W. All rights reserved. Please help UKHillwalking continue to provide varied and free content by becoming an official UKH Supporter. He was bitten by wild dogs just beyond that town, but kept beach-walking down the western coast, kayaked across the Hokianga and Kaipara Harbours, went on through Woodhill Forest to Muriwai and the Waitakere Ranges. Firstly, expect blisters – lots of them. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. That said, the walkers I met were all ordinary people. I injured my knee on one. The trail is best tackled north to south, beginning from the top of the North Island at Cape Reinga in late spring. Visit remote villages, hike coastal cliffs, and savor Kiwi culture at its best. I also did a kayaking course to prepare myself for the kayaking sections that can be done. Most of Te Araroa’s through-walkers start their epic journey at Cape Reinga at the northern end of the North Island. This is mainly a result of agriculture with farming runoff. Many are also exposed and weather dependent. Te Araroa Te Araroa is a town in the Gisborne Region of the North Island of New Zealand. (Updated 25 September 2020) South Island maps - 68 pages, 413 MB, 300 DPI. /records/22777165. But it was something of a baptism of fire to long distance walking. Geoff Chapple - one of our great Kiwis - picked up the concept that had previously floated around without any real traction. There is a long-drop toilet, without toilet paper, some walk away. But, weirdly, this is all part of its charm. Of course, as one NOBO walker I met said, hard is relative – some people will find the trail and the terrain harder than others. In general, the summer tramping season in New Zealand starts in late October and it's advised, if heading southbound (SOBO), to leave Cape Reinga before January and aim to reach Bluff before the end of April. Running the length of New Zealand from end to end, the Te Araroa (TA) Trail officially opened in 2011 and has seen a steady increase in walker numbers over the years. We recommend checking this page regularly before and during your journey as route alterations may have arisen since planning your journey. You don’t … 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. Death from crossing rivers is one of the top contributors to deaths in the New Zealand backcountry. If heading northbound (NOBO), most people leave Bluff between November and the end of January. The trail conservancy hopes to reduce this amount in future years. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it's gained a reputation for being challenging - but it also looks fantastic. He kayaked across the Manukau Harbour to Papakura, tramped the Hunua Range to Kopu, then Paeroa and entered the Karangahake Gorge. Katrina Megget offers the lowdown on this classic Kiwi mega-tramp, and advice on gear and logistics. When I returned to complete the walk, I used the Sawyer squeeze water filtration system, which worked well. 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. They were surprised by the amount of road walking, the amount of mud, the poor quality of the tracks, the inability to just wild camp anywhere, and surprised by the number of towns the trail led us through. Information on these areas are in the TA Trust trail notes. 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. You wouldn’t be walking the TA without all this, so give something back for that privilege and to make it even better by donating to the Te Araroa Trust . Some of the trails, particularly those in the North Island, are in poor condition and even borderline dangerous. He followed bush tracks in the Kaimai-Mamaku Range then exited into Carter Holt Harvey forestry roads that led through to Taupo. It is an incredible gesture and quite a lot of work. A girl I met tripped off the track and fell two metres. The first person recorded as walking the length of New Zealand was the indomitable Esther James, architect, inventor and fashion-model. Prepping for the Te Araroa is like studying for a difficult test, with … 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. Navigation on the trail can be pretty sketchy in places. If you appreciate UKHillwalking then please help by becoming a UKH Supporter. It is a pathway stretching more than 3,000 kilometers (nearly 2,000 miles) from Cape Reigna at the top of the North Island to … 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. New Zealand’s long-distance hiking trail, the Te Araroa, connects the North Island and South Island by way of spectacular parks and reserves. I was clearly a slow walker and took a lot of rest days. Created with sketchtool. The Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) Topo 1:50,000 topographic map is now the primary basemap for Te Araroa trail maps. Te Araroa is the birthplace of noted Māori politician Sir Āpirana Ngata. The Te Araroa Trail is different, and that unique character is part of its beauty and part of the challenge in walking it. Here is a fast-paced video showcasing the Te Araroa and all its variety: Te Araroa Video Overview Logistics and planning each day's point A to point B walk can be challenging in places, particularly on the North Island. 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. The Far North is a remote region with long, lonely stretches of sand, forests of dense bush, steep hills and fast-rising rivers. Some had walked other long distance trails, but for others, the TA was their first. Located 7 km north of Atene, 2 km south of Koroniti and 43 north of Whanganui. The Te Araroa Trust suggests 50-80 days per island. 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). The octogenarian did the North Island half in 86 days. There may have been other hikes - but the first one everyone knew about was when A.H. Reed, then aged 85, walked the length of New Zealand between 22 September 1960 and 12 April 1961. Again, hitchhiking to and from Bluff is also possible. On that score, remember that the trail only exists because of goodwill, donations and many hours of volunteer work. It means the trail can be brutal and unforgiving; it has a reputation for both mud and road walking. But different from Te Araroa - exclusively, as ours is not, a coastal, bush, and mountain range trail. The vast majority of these walkers were surprised by the Te Araroa, especially the North Island section. Page last updated: Oct 31, 2020, 10:32 AM. Support the trust today so that you can enjoy the trail tomorrow, either one day at a time, or all 3000km! If you come from overseas you will notice New Zealanders tend to wear heavy boots, gaiters, shorts over longjohns, heavy Gore-tex rain gear and sturdy packs. Geoff Chapple's Reports from North Island Trail, North Cape to Wellington, 1998, with photographs and maps. Mostly corrugated iron, they can be draughty and are home to legions of mice and rats. Not much river access. Everyone will give advice on how to prevent and treat blisters. It passes through the spectacular Waitomo Caves. Esther James. The downside of trail runners is they wear out much quicker than traditional hillwalking boots. Destination GuideNew Zealand's Great Walks In 1998, when the online journals were in their infancy, Geoff Chapple was one of the first people to walk Te Araroa. It’s the Te Araroa Trail in New Zealand or, more appropriately, just Te Araroa, meaning “the Long Pathway in the native Maori language. Further resupply boxes, if walkers are not looking to hitchhike out to towns, need to be sent to Boyle Village and Arthur's Pass. It's a trail that is unique in bringing people and place together, which is what sets it apart from other long-distance trails. He found it "a slog really" with too few enjoyable moments. The trio started out in February 1995 and reached Bluff in May 1995, just after the first snows of the winter. 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. In recent years, fast hikers have completed the trail in 100 days. The 85-year-old's journey entered New Zealand's heart. At an average of 25 kms a day, the trail takes 120 days to walk – four months. Walking on sand, which gets into your shoes, with wet feet, because you can't escape the tide, is a recipe for blisters. Being the first person to walk the length of New Zealand was just one of James’ adventures. Geoff also kept a blog of his walking expeditions and in 2001 produced a study of international long walking trails as part of a Churchill Fellowship. The quality of many of the tracks makes the going challenging, and many people get frustrated at the slow walking pace they are forced to take. But I also met walkers who were scrimping on safety equipment to keep their weight down. He has written an account of the journey. Equally, walkers need to carry clothing for all temperature and weather conditions. Each trail guide maps and lists important hiker waypoints such as water sources, tenting sites, junctions, road crossings, resupply information, and many others. 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