She was in reasonable health for most of her illness and we travelled when her treatment allowed. 66 days. Altitudes no greater than about 10,000 feet. Mat would stay with Tommy in the van. It jumbles the bustling cities, sleepy beachside settlements, muddy forests and volcanic landscapes of the North Island with the remoteness, mountains and vast open spaces of the South Island. The Te Araroa Trust does an amazing job of offering these on their site to be downloaded FOR FREE! It felt so fitting that he was by my side for the final day. Here are my top-tips for planning the hike. Depart via Queenstown on Day 14. 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. Nicki and Mat left on Boxing Day and I headed out for 3 days by myself. Just as we were getting ready to tackle this section, the sky opened up and we got torrential rain. That said, before I could get too far into my own head, the first day of South Island started out with a bang. Around 5pm I started to get distracted – thinking about the days ahead. 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 a total mess and on the verge to tears, which spilled over big time when we hit Picton. A cup of tea has never tasted so good as it did when I finally got to the van! 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. 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. Day 2 featured three big climbs including going up the screen covered Little Rintoul (which was not little) and Mt Rintoul. Monday, 21 December 2020. 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 hugged my crew. Here we’ll hike skyline ridges with incredible views across Marlborough Sounds’ secluded bays, islands, coves, and sheltered waterways. It is an astonishing route of 3,000 km across the country stretching from Cape Reinga to Bluff. Then we met Tommy’s brother, sister and her boyfriend in Twizel. Finally, I came back to hike the Richmond Ranges in December 2018. It is 100 metres from its local beach. The trail is a mix of tracks, including wilderness tracks, paths through paddocks, beaches, roads, and highways, as well as a section which is a river and must be kayaked. Day 3 was memorable for good and bad reasons. Te Araroa in Canterbury is about the mighty Southern Alps. Our Area Managers can also answer questions and guide you to the trip that best suits your interests. Day 1 was easy. There was no room to get worried about anything. Day 4 was a death march. I was completely drenched and frustrated. It was like a game and I felt like a big kid. A group of girl guides had lined up and I gave them all high fives. Most people hike Te Araroa from north to south, starting in Northland between September and December. Overall this deviation was small—about a mile per day. With more than 200 different adventures to choose from, we want to help you find the trip that’s right for you. Huge chunks of the track had collapsed into the river which sent us bush bashing around them. A 22km, mostly unsealed, no-exit road from Te Araroa takes you to the most Easterly point on mainland New Zealand. This long route goes from North to South and gives you, excited hikers, a ve I was scared of being alone. 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