We have never set foot on New Zealand soil. We’ve just never been able to make the time to tramp any of the wonderful trails that are available. It is something we need to fix in the future.
Rick from Best Hikes just brought a new trail, planned to be officially opened later this year, to our attention. It is well worth a look if you have some free time and a desire to walk a very long, tough track.
Stretching from Cape Reinga in the North of New Zealand to Bluff in the South, the Te Araroa is one of the world’s longest walking trails. Hundreds of volunteers have helped create the continuous 3000 kilometre-long route.
There is a fantastic website devoted solely to this new trail. Some of the highlights to look out for are:
– excellent, detailed track notes and descriptions following a really clear format – an example is the first section, Cape Reinga Coastal Walkway
– beautifully produced, 1:50,000 strip maps of the whole trail. We downloaded just the North section and there are 70 high resolution, pdf pages! (watch the size)
– fascinating “trail stories” with links to sites created by “thru walkers” who tackled the trail before it was officially opened. Some of these are real adventure stories we could only shake our head at after reading them…For example from Matthias ‘Matze’ Mard’s entry from 2004:
After a cold and very wet night I carried on. The path got steadily more extreme: the mountains became ever higher and they exist of a type of stone that gets slippery when it’s wet and from which large pieces of stone had broken off. As if that was not enough, I had to cross a few rivers again and I began seriously asking myself why I was there.
Congratulations to the members of the Te Araroa Trust board. What a vision, what a project!
The trail’s official opening on the 3rd December 2011 in Wellington and is a celebration of the success of 17 years of voluntary effort from many hundreds of New Zealanders up and down the country.
Full information is over at the Te Araroa official website. It’s well worth a browse.
Have you walked in New Zealand?
Would you consider undertaking a 3000km long trail?
Shoot us your thoughts below, we would love to hear what you think.