It is with excited trepidation that we are pleased to announce that we will be attempting to walk the Te Araroa later this year. Te Araroa translates as the New Zealand “long pathway”; a challenging 3,000km hiking trail that spans the distance of both islands. The Te Araroa is one of the world’s newest long distance hiking trails, only officially opening in 2011. It is series of connecting trails from Cape Regina in the North to Bluff in the South, encompassing mountain ranges, valleys, volcanoes, rivers and everything that New Zealand’s back-country wilderness has to offer.
We were first made aware of it when Jez Bragg (a British ultra runner) set the speed record on it in 2013. Since reading more about the trail our interest in it has developed and now we’re very much looking forward to giving it a go! We have no deep underlying motives as to why we want to complete the trek, it is purely to challenge ourselves to do something epic whilst we have the chance.
Some quick trail facts and figures:
– Inspiration for New Zealand’s “scenic trail” came from the Peninine Way in 1975
– The creation of the Te Araroa pathway was largely made possible through the support of volunteers.
– Geoff Chapple started campaigning for the trail in 1994. He walked the North and South Islands, mapping trails and writing about it on his blog to raise public interest. We just bought his book Te Araroa: A Walking Guide to New Zealand’s Long Trail
– A decent time to walk the entire trail in is 120 days, Jez Bragg ran it in 53 days.
We’re planning to undertake this challenge in the New Zealand 2015/16 summer. So, we are very much in the planning and training phase (whilst still doing a ski season in Japan!). Our aim is to have the adventure of a lifetime and embrace all the high and low points along the way. We’re looking forward to everything that through-hiking has to offer.
Time to get planning, training and getting our kit together!