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Te Araroa - forum / info / planning

klimmo

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Mozarabe: nov ‘19
Português coastal: oct-nov ‘21
Hi All,

Planning a new adventure and I have long longed to go back to New Zealand. I've learned about the Te Araroa and am looking to get in contact with people who have info about this trek? Or who can lead me to a forum similar to this one?

I will probably 'only' have 3 months which will not be enough time to do the whole trek by foot. So thinking about partially biking it (on the Tour Aotearoa perhaps), but that could open a whole bag of logistical challenges.

Anyone here with thoughts and suggestions? Guidebooks, maps?

Any pointers much appreciated.

Buon camino,
Mo
 
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Mo,

To begin your research type Te Araroa into the box marked Search at the top left of this page. You will see many relevant entries.There are several forum members from New Zealand who surely would be pleased to help you further find your way.

Happy planning
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Thank you both, for taking the time to reply. I'd been scrounging the site and had found those links.

More specifically my question is if mixing biking and walking would be a feasible option to make it a human powered trip. Any (local) advise much appreciated.
 
I'm back. Not with any information you are looking for but with a side trip you can take from the Te Araroa (at least I think it is close to the Te Araroa). I urge you to try to get to the red DOC hut at the Temple Basin Ski Area in Arthur's Pass National Park. It is the antipode to a spot on the Camino Francés where you turn right after navigating around Santiago's airport.

Links go to Google Maps, use satellite view and zoom in. Use Street View or 360⁰ views provided by photographers.

-42.908859,171.575939 and 42.908859,-8.424061

or (check this too):

42.908755,-8.423516 and -42.908755,171.576484

I did pass by the turn at the airport and remembered it. I haven't been at the hut but in a 1977 NZ visit I was across the valley at the now non-existant Bealy Glacier. We have been at another NZ-Spain pair of antipodes though.
 
I'd suggest checking out thetrek.co, which is hosting trail journals from at least 3 current Te Araroa backpackers, and the FarOut Te Araroa map app - https://faroutguides.com/te-araroa-map/

I don't have any personal experience on the trail, but my impression is that biking would be much more feasible on the North Island, where there are more and longer road walks.
 
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When do you think that you might come to Aotearoa New Zealand?

If it is in the near future then you need to be aware that recent and upcoming cyclones have done considerable damage to tracks and accommodation. If you are aiming a bit further out then you should be okay.

Given that you are from Switzerland you may well have mountain experience but if you don't then it is not a good idea to tackle the South Island's part of the trail during winter as it is mostly in high and very high country.

ANZ lies mostly North/South and so it pays to take account of the seasons when deciding when to start and in which direction you will travel. E.G. in Spring start in the North and travel South. In Summer start in the South and travel North.

There is an extensive and growing system of national cycle trails, see https://www.nzcycletrail.com/ In the North Island the trails more or less run North/South and so are good candidates for an alternative to Te Araroa. In the South Island the cycle trails are mostly East/West due to geography (a substantial mountain range running North/South that tends to act as a barrier) and so are less useful as an alternative to Te Araroa but are never-the-less very beautiful.

Don't forget the Southern Hemisphere seasons are the opposite of the North.

If you would like to PM me I am happy to help you in any way.
 
As the trail runs the length of NZ, parts of it run through cities, others through mountain ranges etc.
I've walked chunks of it, in the same way that someone in Europe might walk the Camino for a week or two each year.
An aunt has a map of NZ where she is slowly marking in all the parts of the trail she has completed with the goal of walking it all.
Depending on the part you're walking through, there will be more or less in the way of infrastructure, be prepared to carry a lot of food and gear through parts of it.
I cherry pick the parts that do have infrastructure and avoid areas like the part from North Cape (many miles of sand, no real infrastructure), and the mountainous parts in the South Island.
Others like the trail through Auckland will have services close to the trail - and are surprisingly in many places quite picturesque, following beaches. The trail often links together existing walking tracks already popular with tourists. Walking the Queen Charlotte track we met 2 people walking the Te Araroa.

Another issue if you're planning to cut time out by cycling - (depending on how brave a cyclist you are) is that our highways and roads are largely built for vehicles and cycling can be terrifying. It might be good if possible to substitute some of the off-road cycleways (see @DoughnutANZ post above).
The plan is for many of these to be interconnected eventually. We are involved with the trails in Northland, but they have similar groups all over the country. Over time those trails will be longer, as funding is obtained, and landowners agree.
I do see a logistical issue mixing biking and walking, as getting the bike to the next bike stage may prove tricky. It might pay to walk first, and then bike perhaps or the other way around? Remember as well that you need to catch a ferry between the North and South islands.

There is a published book on the Te Araroa I brought as a present for a friend planning to walk it, if you're interested I can see if it is still in print.
 
I'm back. Not with any information you are looking for but with a side trip you can take from the Te Araroa (at least I think it is close to the Te Araroa). I urge you to try to get to the red DOC hut at the Temple Basin Ski Area in Arthur's Pass National Park. It is the antipode to a spot on the Camino Francés where you turn right after navigating around Santiago's airport.

Links go to Google Maps, use satellite view and zoom in. Use Street View or 360⁰ views provided by photographers.

-42.908859,171.575939 and 42.908859,-8.424061

or (check this too):

42.908755,-8.423516 and -42.908755,171.576484

I did pass by the turn at the airport and remembered it. I haven't been at the hut but in a 1977 NZ visit I was across the valley at the now non-existant Bealy Glacier. We have been at another NZ-Spain pair of antipodes though.
My husband and I are leaving for NZ in two weeks, and I am excited to learn about the antipode at Arthur's Pass (it's on our list to visit!)

I wasn't aware of the Te Araroa path, but I'll have to look up some info and see where we can catch at least a few stretches of it. We'd love to meet any fellow Camigos down under as well. PM me! We'll be there for 6 weeks, covering both islands.
 
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Hi All,

Planning a new adventure and I have long longed to go back to New Zealand. I've learned about the Te Araroa and am looking to get in contact with people who have info about this trek? Or who can lead me to a forum similar to this one?

I will probably 'only' have 3 months which will not be enough time to do the whole trek by foot. So thinking about partially biking it (on the Tour Aotearoa perhaps), but that could open a whole bag of logistical challenges.

Anyone here with thoughts and suggestions? Guidebooks, maps?

Any pointers much appreciated.

Buon camino,
Mo
Hi from NZ. I have walked much of the North Island section of Te Araroa and as an avid Camino walker can say that it is very different It is a reasonably new trail so the infrastructure is still developing. You do need to carry your own tent and food for much of the trail. There is a website teararoa.org.nz and face book groups.

I love tramping in New Zealand but my passion is Camino walking.
 
Hi All,

Planning a new adventure and I have long longed to go back to New Zealand. I've learned about the Te Araroa and am looking to get in contact with people who have info about this trek? Or who can lead me to a forum similar to this one?

I will probably 'only' have 3 months which will not be enough time to do the whole trek by foot. So thinking about partially biking it (on the Tour Aotearoa perhaps), but that could open a whole bag of logistical challenges.

Anyone here with thoughts and suggestions? Guidebooks, maps?

Any pointers much appreciated.

Buon camino,
Mo
Hi there Mo. I am from NZ. Im not aware of any Forums similar to this site but if you are on Facebook there are several pages on both Te Aroroa and Tour Aotearoa which provide Forum info. My husband biked TA last year during the brevet in February / March. He took 25 days to complete the 3084 kms. There are guidebooks on TA available from the Kennett Brothers. Google them all. A wealth of info available there. FB has so much info on both. Te Aroroa passes through Hamilton where I live. The 2 routes are quite different. And certainly Te Aroroa doesn’t have the infrastructure which the Camino provides so you’ll need to carry food and a tent. There is also a FB page for Te Aroroa Trail Angels for support on the route. You will need 4-6 months to complete Te Aroroa on foot and mist people start SOBI from Cape Reinga in Oct/Nov to ensure they’re reached Bluff before the southern winter sets in and to avoid lambing season where some parts are closed.
Good luck.
 
Amazing! The camino provides, and this forum always provides too. I'll get back to you later this week (work is interrupting fun), thanks so much!
 
Down bag (90/10 duvet) of 700 fills with 180 g (6.34 ounces) of filling. Mummy-shaped structure, ideal when you are looking for lightness with great heating performance.

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Hi All,

Planning a new adventure and I have long longed to go back to New Zealand. I've learned about the Te Araroa and am looking to get in contact with people who have info about this trek? Or who can lead me to a forum similar to this one?

I will probably 'only' have 3 months which will not be enough time to do the whole trek by foot. So thinking about partially biking it (on the Tour Aotearoa perhaps), but that could open a whole bag of logistical challenges.

Anyone here with thoughts and suggestions? Guidebooks, maps?

Any pointers much appreciated.

Buon camino,
Mo
Hi there. Most people take 3 months to walk the entire Te Aroha trail from Cape to Bluff. So you should be able to do this in your time frame. I have been told u definitely need a tent in North Island but there are lots of huts on the south island trail. Also lots of Trail Angel's to help u on yr journey. Cheers and good luck.
 
Most people take 3 months to walk the entire Te Aroha trail from Cape to Bluff.
You could extend your walk some more past the town of Bluff if you are crazy enough. Take the ferry to Stewart Island and walk some of the tracks there. Some of them are now in NZ's Great Walks program.

Oh, about the craziness remark. I hiked a week on Stewart Island in 1977. Among my memories are lots of deep mud and sandflies.
 
I’ve been travelling/hiking/biking around NZ for a bit. I’ve encountered TA walkers on some of trails I’ve done. I would suggest training (hills, hills, hills), some backcountry experience, you’ll need a tent and, if next summer is as wet as this one has been, a tolerance for wet feet. Apparently the north island had them walking in wet shoes for a few weeks.
There are apps for the TA and for the tour (bikes) the Kennett Brothers books are available as print and ebooks. I chatted to another hiker who did the Tour a few years back and she trained for a good while for that too. There are companies who will hire you bikes for it though. Worth a few emails if you want to do a combo tour.
 
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Hey Mo!
So glad to hear that there are other 'crazy people' like myself interested in doing the Te Araroa, and someone based in Europe no less!

I intend to hike SOBO from Cape Reinga starting late October or early November 2023 too (W43/44). I will likely have a bit more time than you do but if you'd like to keep in touch and perhaps even meet up between now and then, let me know :)

A lot of the resources I've been looking at are on Youtube and a few blogs.
- HikingAmerica who are doing a daily vlog from trail currently
- Elina Osbourne
- A Stray Life
- Aaron Ross
etc

and Matt's TA Blog which I found hilarious and very real.
The Te Araroa website is also more helpful than it looks once you dig into the track search and the trail notes.
 
Kia ora (greetings, hope you are well) @klimmo

My youthful experiences were tramping (a local term) in the southern Tararua Range. This stretches north from the outer edge of urban Wellington for about 100 km to the east of Palmerston North. Some Te Araroans (?) I encounter on my training walks, name that as the most challenging section so far.

As others have said above, the 1,600 km of Te Wai Pou'na'mu (The greenstone waters - South Island) is mountainous with upwards of 10 peaks around 1,500 metres above sea level, a larger number at around 1,000 m asl and a lot above 500 m asl. No bikes there. And food resupply needs to be thought through.

For Te Ika a Maui (The fish of Maui - North Island) there are significant sections in "civilisation". Those sections that are bush (sub-tropical rain-forest) bound, you may need to pre-arrange Trail Angels to help with resupply (I hear of them but have no experience).

This link may help with planning. Scroll as you please. If you select "routes" you will see a selection relative to the zoom level you are at. For Te Araroa there is the national level (blue), regional (orange) and local (purple) levels (stages) with some information for each.

Scrolling in to the top of Te Ika, you will see a 400 km regional section named Northland. Selecting "sections" you will see 10 such. Select any one to see its length, location on the map and some head up info. And so on for the other regions.

Complementary information is available at this official website.

Some locations are well known for encounters with locals. One section close to me is from Waikanae to Paekakariki. See this link (select "routes" to see details) One day just before Christmas I encountered six different parties (singles and couples) on this 23 km section: some Kiwi and others from Belgium, France and Germany. (I was doing a one day training walk up the beach at low tide.)

Something that you might consider mastering is pronunciation of place names in Te Reo (the language) Maori. Te Reo Maori is the officially recognised written language in New Zealand (English is recognised by customary use). These web sites may be useful Victoria University of Wellington - Te Herenga Waka, University of Waikato - Te Whare Wananga o Waikato and Ministry of Education - Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga.

My customary sign off in Te Reo: kia kaha, kia māia, kia mana'wa'nui (take care, be strong, confident and patient)
 
Klimmo,
If you PM me, I am able to offer accommodation for a break in your trip in Auckland - bed, washing machine, dryer, home-cooked food. It's not quite on the route, but a bus-ride of maximum 15 minutes. Bus-stops at either end are close by for the 66 route heading towards Point Chevalier.

I've thought for a while about offering accommodation for Te Araroans, but being slightly off-piste had never seriously contemplated the mechanics; until, that is, I looked at a map and realised how easy the connection would be. You do most of the Auckland isthmus traverse (we call it the Coast to Coast), then hang a right to the bus-stop on Mt Albert Road at Royal Oak. So easy.

Not 1 March-4 July 2023, as I'll be walking in Spain.

Bernice
 
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Hi Mate,

Bit late to this party and not sure how your plans have developed for the TA but happy to help out with accommodation in ChCh. I'm sure you're getting loads of advice, but would just add that NZ has very changeable conditions which means, as Crowded House put it, 4 seasons in one day. Much more so than the AT or PCT.

All the best,

Bill

PS: no need to learn any Maori prior to arrival just come and enjoy the places and people. Everyone speaks English and you'll undoubtedly be corrected on any lapses in pronunciation by the over eager till you get the gist !
 
Hi Bill! Thanks for responding, and also for the offer.
Due to some health issues I have had to postpone my trip to next year. More time to enjoy preparations. It's definitely another piece of cake than most stuff here in Europe. And I guess, that's the attraction.

I'll definitely check in here again!!

Take care!
Monique
 
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