I walked New Zealand’s 3000 km Te Araroa trail in a little under 5 months in 2017/18. It was my first long distance hike with a trail community and this is where I quickly picked up the trail name ‘Cosmo’. I wrote all the stories down while I was hiking and turned them into blog posts covering the entire trail, alongside the many, many pictures I took. All the links can be found below!
Start date + point: 9 November 2017, Cape Reinga
Finish date + point: 1 April 2018, Bluff
Total distance walked: 3,041 km / 1,890 mi
Total days: 143
Walking days: 120
Zero days: 23
(Of which, Rest/Resupply days: 15, Bad weather/Cyclones: 6, Injury: 2)
Average distance per day: ~25.3 km / 15.7 mi
What I will miss: Blue lakes, Impressive mountainscapes, Bunnies bunnies bunnies, Trail family!
What I won’t miss: River crossings, Non-existent trail maintenance, Farmland, Walking through fields of cows with intimidating frowns
Expectations that weren’t met: New Zealand doesn’t look like Lord of the Rings (but Iceland all the more!)
Favourite sections: Tongariro (Northern Circuit), Richmond Range, Waiau Pass
Moments of confusion: Waking up to a frozen tent and shoes, Snow at Tongariro
Favourite animal (not including bunnies): A tiny green bird the size of my thumb
Scariest animal seen: Giant stick insect
Animal tent attacks: Numerous, Woke up to two mouse-sized holes in my tent in the Tararua Ranges
Most dangerous elements on trail: Electric fences, Rivers
Hut experiences: One!
Famous last words: ‘I feel like it’s starting to get a bit difficult now’, – me, less than two kilometres before reaching Bluff
Trail mantra: POSITIVITY