Te Araroa means “the long pathway” in Maori. nzherald.co.nz. Donate now. In these sections, trip planning, river crossing and navigation skills are recommended, as w… We went up and over Travers Saddle and made it to the West Sabine Hut in good time. Hotel nights and/or safari-style camping, hikes of two to four hours on some days. As I rounded the final bend, I got emotional for a second but then I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. I teamed up with some local runners to take on the mighty Goat Pass. The Te Araroa Trust does an amazing job of offering these on their site to be downloaded FOR FREE! Thankfully I teamed up with one, Mark, to do the final river crossing. Full-day hikes (5-8 hours), mountainous, steep terrain (hiking up or down as much as 3,500 feet) on many days. Other physical activities are sometimes included, such as optional sea kayaking. The 3000km route stretching from Cape Reinga in the north of New Zealand to Bluff in the south. Half- to full-day hikes (3-6 hours) over rolling countryside on most days, occasional steep trails. At an average of 25 kms a day, the trail takes 120 days to walk – four months. I stripped off my pack and sat on the river bank for about five minutes, completely shaken. You pass from grassy cattle flats and beech forest on the east to rugged rivers on the west. The final km was brilliant. I can honestly say, the final day was one of the best in my life. What’s Te Araroa? If you have only limited time, the South Island is the more spectacular, more back country part of the total Te Araroa Trail. But sadly, at the very back of my mind, I just knew having them around would make it even harder when they left. The terrain wasn’t inspiring. But Tommy joined me for the entire time. We explore the tide pools before climbing up Howell’s Hill to Mores Scenic Reserve, where the views are phenomenal, extending out to Stewart Island, the third largest island in New Zealand, and the vast expanse of the Southern Ocean. I was a total mess. A group of girl guides had lined up and I gave them all high fives. Most hikes take place at altitudes above 10,000 feet, with some days ascending as high as 18,000 feet. First up was 9kms on a busy road. Day 2 was hard. This allows for cooler late spring and early summer temperatures in the North Island and means trekkers reach the colder, higher-altitude South Island in the mid-to-late summer, when there's less likely to be snow in the mountains, and the rivers will be lower. Read about my North Island experience, including my favourite sections and getting lost in the Tararua Ranges/ Doing the North Island, Te Araroa doesn't hold all that much appeal. Trips with hiking at average altitudes of 10,000 to 12,000 feet are in this category. The diversion west is brief as Te Araroa bounces east again over Goat Pass. Discover remote villages, magical kauri forests, breathtaking volcanic scenery and bustling cities on New Zealand’s Te Araroa trail. I'm Lucy and I like to go on epic adventures. Then 16kms on a State Highway which was very popular with logging trucks. It was poorly marked so I was constantly second guessing if I was going the right way. Day 3 was memorable for good and bad reasons. I had beaten the previous record by over 11 days. We had to leap off the road ever few minutes to avoid being mown down. We’ll hike along Lake Rotoiti, where dense beech forest towers over a carpet of mosses and ferns, keeping an eye out for the native forest birds such as the fantail, tomtit, and bush robin. New Zealand’s long-distance hiking trail, the Te Araroa, connects the North Island and South Island by way of spectacular parks and reserves. GAFFL can potentially save you 70-90% tour costs in Te Araroa Trail (South Island). Overview. Te Araroa in Canterbury is about the mighty Southern Alps. But it was only 30kms to Boyle Village where the boys would meet us and we would have a rest day the next day – Christmas Day! Usually the South Island Te Araroa takes the most obvious route, following a valley or ridge when it’s there to be followed and crossing over passes when necessary to reach the next valley, but this track was deliberately keeping us far above a very flat farm road just to our right. We boarded the Interisland Ferry a few hours after I completed the North Island. To get to the next hut in would hopefully meet another hiker so I had someone to talk to. Altitudes no greater than about 10,000 feet. If I end up doing it, it won't be walking every step of the island like with the South Island. Finally, it was 7km across farmland onto a coastal track to the Bluff signpost. At 2996 km, stretching from Cape Reinga, the tip of the North Island to Bluff, the southern end of Highway 1, it rates in length. Day 63 was one of my favourite days. Te Araroa is New Zealand’s premier long-distance hiking trail, stretching 3000 km (1860 mi) across the country’s two main islands. T-12 months: persuade your work to … Te Araroa is a town in the Gisborne Region of the North Island of New Zealand. Completed in 2011, it’s a 3000 kilometer trail extending from Cape Reinga in the North to Bluff in the south. Te Araroa is the birthplace of Sir Apirana Ngata, who made it his life’s goal to uplift the Māori race spiritually, culturally and economically. We were on track. There were tears that morning – the type of crying that sounds more like you are hyperventilating. South Island Te Araroa Trail In August 2019, my wife Jenny died a year after a pancreatic cancer diagnosis. 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. We ran/hiked to Ada homestead, about 15kms along. Super fun. I was a total mess and on the verge to tears, which spilled over big time when we hit Picton. Many parts of the trail are challenging. We attempted one spot but then pulled out as the current was too strong. North Island South Island Full Te Araroa; 18.2 mi/day: 19.2 mi/day: 18.4 mi/day: Conventional wisdom says that people cover less distance per day on the South Island, but I experienced the opposite. Basically, it wasn't a track. We arrived at 4:30pm but the hut was already full. New Zealand’s Te Araroa Trail is the world’s newest long-distance thru-hike. We slowly picked our way up and had some celebratory Whittakers at the top. The straight-line distance from Cape Reinga to Bluff is 1,475 km (917 mi) , but the Te Araroa stretches roughly 3,000 km (1,864 mi), varying in distance when sections are upgraded or otherwise changed. In the final weeks we also had an influx of friends and family join. All the same you obviously need to take a tent. Also, wearing toesocks means you can protect your feet from sandflies in the evenings and plod around camp with your flipflops. I will be posting my full food and resupply strategy on Te Araroa once I’ve completed the South Island section in the 2020/21 season. Even the 1309 km of the South Island part that this website concentrates on. The overnights were now something I looked forward to because I was sharing it with friends. Thankfully Tommy accompanied me for the first 12km, which included two river crossings, which were, of course, totally fine. Full-day hikes (4-8 hours), mountainous, steep terrain (hiking up or down as much as 3,500 feet) on many days. But that was a while off yet so I just got on with having as much fun as I could. Support the trust today so that you can enjoy the trail tomorrow, either one day at … A cup of tea has never tasted so good as it did when I finally got to the van! We zoomed through the first 20kms which were flat. This went on for 18kms. Christmas Day was lovely. We meet in Blenheim, the gateway to Marlborough wine country, and head to the beautiful Queen Charlotte Track, one of New Zealand’s finest walking tracks. Phew! They are known for very steep and technical terrain – arguably the hardest in the whole country. What Te Araroa offers is a snapshot view, at walking pace, of the best of New Zealand. Finally, Melissa flew in from NYC as a surprise. The views were particularly beautiful with horses running in the dying sunlight. The quality of the scenery is generally up there, plenty varied. We also covered some of the most beautiful sections of the trail – Breast Hill, Montotapu Ranges, Arrowtown. Find a Trail Angel on Te Araroa – New Zealand’s Trail. The Dusky Track perhaps, walking on Stewart Island down to see Gog and Magog. Tommy tried to console me without much luck. Tommy joined me for the day and we had a ball – jumping over puddles and traversing our way around muddy pits. Wrong. She was in reasonable health for most of her illness and we travelled when her treatment allowed. Many of our hotel-based walking tours are in this category, as are our snorkeling adventures. Sign me up to receive your Enewsletter, announcing new adventures and special offers. I got some comfort in making a smart call and waiting another day to mentally prepare. We pulled ourselves together and got across using the river crossing technique. Mat would stay with Tommy in the van. Nicki and I were on a mission. We mark the end of the Te Araroa trail with a hike on the Foveaux Walkway along the coast, right along the edge of the Southern Ocean. This area is a fine introduction to the richness of New Zealand’s lush native forest. We continued up, taking in Blue Lake and Lake Constance which have some of the purest water in the world. It connects the dots between the northern tip of New Zealand (Camp Reinga) and the southern apex (Invercargill). Then Laura and Phil met us at Lake Hawea. Our Trip Level system ranks each trip in two ways: a number rating from 1 to 6 according to the activity, and general travel rigors. I've run 3,000km across NZ in 66 days; cycled the length of the UK and travelled through Europe and the USA. Around 5pm I started to get distracted – thinking about the days ahead. I also chatted to a friend back home to try, who pointed out that I seem to have these melt downs when I am stationary. It is situated 175 km north of Gisborne city, along State Highway 35 between Tokata and Awatere. It is an incredible gesture and quite a lot of work. These crossings are really mentally taxing and we were all wrecked by the end of the day. We just wanted to get to the van. In the north huts are way more common than found in the North Island section. Depart via Queenstown on Day 14. The following day we went for it. It spans a distance of 3,000 km, or 1,900 miles. See our Privacy Policy for further details. Day 2 featured three big climbs including going up the screen covered Little Rintoul (which was not little) and Mt Rintoul. It was through the Longwood Forest. Again, it was totally fine. 1 is the easiest and 6+ the most difficult—see descriptions below for explanations of each number. The trail encompasses the country’s two main islands. I simply wanted to get it done. As I went to take a step forward, I lost my footing and before I knew it, I was fully submerged in the river. In other words, I got my mojo back. The 3000km pathway known as Te Araroa (‘The Long Pathway’) stretches across Te Ika-a-Māui/the North Island and Te Wai Pounamu/the South Island. We had a quick regroup at the bottom of the Pass. It was like a game and I felt like a big kid. In fact it was some of the worst on the trail. You would think that after running the entire North Island in 34 days, I would have a little bit of confidence going into the South Island right? Neil's got me interested in the Overland track across Tasmania. This is where I began to unravel – getting super stressed out about the next section. The North Island route is just over 1,600 km long, and the South Island just under 1,400 km. Having these two legends from back home, who are among the nicest and most uplifting runners you could be around, was an amazing boost. Māori in the area are generally associated with the Ngāti Porou iwi. We talked through what we should do – wait or go – but all agreed was a no brainer to wait. Rivers rose, roads flooded. It has a lot of road and farm walking. I was scared of being alone. After we visit the historic gold-mining village of Arrowtown, taste some of the famous local pinot noir at a winery, we’ll hike the mountains, lakes, forests, and tussock grasslands of Mavora Lakes Conservation Park, with its Middle Earth scenery. These were slow but the views made up for it. In Nov 2019, I started running the Te Araroa Trail, from Cape Reinga to Bluff. It starts on a historic crossing of the Main Divide via the Harper Pass Track. Our options were to push on or sleep on the floor. Then 10kms on a gravel walkway with our friend Laura, which was pleasant. Her only regret was that she didn’t have the time to see more of this wonderful country which is now our home. I was completely drenched and frustrated. The 56km flew by. A 22km, mostly unsealed, no-exit road from Te Araroa takes you to the most Easterly point on mainland New Zealand. About the river crossings. Most people hike Te Araroa from north to south, starting in Northland between September and December. Hike the best sections on the South Island of New Zealand’s long-distance trail, the Te Araroa, from Queen Charlotte Sound to Fiordland National Park. 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. Days on the trail are rewarded by the natural showcase of New Zealand’s famously diverse landscapes, and we’ll stay in comfortable lodges en route, savoring the country’s world-class wines and fresh local cuisine every step of the way. It passes through mesmerizing vistas, from oceanside to alpine… Then we met Tommy’s brother, sister and her boyfriend in Twizel. From January to March 2017 I walked the South Island part of Te Araroa, New Zealand’s walking trail from Ship Cove to Bluff. The North Island certainly has its moments, but it does involve more road walking, less time away from civilisation, and takes a little longer. Overall this deviation was small—about a mile per day. A Trail Angel is someone who provides an awesome service to a weary hiker, whether it be a spot to camp for the night, a hot drink, a shower or a lift in their car. Friends had laid out signs for me with silly quotes which made me laugh. There’s plenty of huts on the South Island section of Te Araroa. We arrived at 2:30pm and had a beer in hand by 3:30pm at the campsite. Let's go on an adventure together. To be honest, the three days are a blur because I just put my foot down and legged it from hut to hut. 8 minutes. We walked about 1km up the river where we found a spot where we could see the bottom. It is an astonishing route of 3,000 km across the country stretching from Cape Reinga to Bluff. Gradually, things got better. 66 days. The schedule says four days but we agreed that we would try to finish in three so we could have Christmas Day off! Nicki and Mat left on Boxing Day and I headed out for 3 days by myself. It felt so fitting that he was by my side for the final day. I started the trail on 14th October 2017 and finished on 02nd March 2018. As far as once in a lifetime trips go, tramping Te Araroa is spectacularly transformative. The next day, we were knackered. Day 4 was a death march. About the mountains. With more than 200 different adventures to choose from, we want to help you find the trip that’s right for you. Non-camping journeys, optional walks, little elevation gain or loss. Full-day hikes (4-6 hours), mountainous terrain, significant elevation gains and losses (hiking up or down as much as 3,000 feet) on many days. Traditional tour companies may charge thousands of dollars for a two week tour in Te Araroa Trail (South Island). It was fun. Te Araroa. We fly to Queenstown and head out for Te Araroa hikes above treeline in the Mototapu Valley, the perfect place for vistas across the snow-capped Southern Alps. Tommy chaperoned me to a small tourist transfer boat which took me out to the start of the stunning Queen Charlotte Track. South Island vs North Island? At Wilderness Travel we never rent or sell our mailing list. Our lodge, built at the turn of the century, is accessible only by boat. Here we’ll hike skyline ridges with incredible views across Marlborough Sounds’ secluded bays, islands, coves, and sheltered waterways. Tommy joined me for moral support for the final 7km, which made it a little better. I somehow managed to lunge forward onto a shallow bed of rocks about 1.5m in front of me. That said, before I could get too far into my own head, the first day of South Island started out with a bang. Read about my South Island experience, including the Richmond Ranges, Nelson Lakes and … New Zealand's Te Araroa: The North Island, Some trips with minimal hiking but rugged travel conditions or long drives, such as. Te Araroa is the birthplace of noted Māori politician Sir Āpirana Ngata. We decided to take a punt and keep going to Anne Hut, which was 22km away. It was hard to find a suitable place as the sun was sinking and cast a shadow over the river so we couldn’t see the bottom. We were literally crashing our way through a wall of trees and bushes. It is also here where I joyfully picked up our friends, Nicki and Mat. We head to Nelson Lakes National Park, named for the 16 lovely alpine lakes cradled high in this beautiful stretch of the rugged Southern Alps. Walk it all, walk it in your lifetime, walk New Zealand - walk Te Araroa! At altitudes above 10,000 feet, with some days ascending as high as feet. 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