In 2011, the Te Araroa Trust officially opened the Te Araroa trail, a hiking track spanning New Zealand from its northernmost point in Cape Reinga to its southernmost point in Bluff. Getting this trail in place took decades of planning, cooperating with governmental agencies and negotiating with landowners for access across their properties. But now it is there, there to use.
Ever since I found out about it last year (thanks to my mountaineering friend Matthias from 28 summits) it has been topping my do list. When Pj and I met in Lapland we had initially set up a plan to go to Canada for a year, but when the working holiday quota filled up before we got our visa we needed a plan B. I carefully proposed New Zealand (I wasn’t really sure how this guy I just met was going to react to asking him to walk 3000km starting the coming October) and to my great joy he responded with a lot of enthusiasm. You don’t get that many chances to go on an adventure like this one.
In October, we both get off from work, leave our lives behind and head for the other side of the planet. We estimate that tramping the route will take about 6 to 7 months. The trail is still under development and is constantly changing. Every year parts of it become better connected. Some brand new stretches have a newly laid trail that needs people to pass by to get into place. The more people who walk Te Araroa, the more it grows, and the better it gets. Te Araroa is completely built on voluntary efforts and we would like to make a contribution to this beautiful project.
I’ve set up a site especially for the hike. Follow us the whole way from Cape Reinga to Bluff on crossingaotearoa.com and on Facebook. On this site you can find everything that comes along with the trip: from gear lists to training hikes we are doing right now in Norway, to general preparations and of course updates once we get on the road.
This site will be quiet until we get back from our New Zealand expedition. After that I will probably return north for some more guiding experiences, so more on northern Europe in a little over a year. Stay tuned!