For those of you that don’t know, Te Araroa is about 3,000km (1,860 miles), walking the whole length of New Zealand from Cape Reinga in the north to Bluff in the south (or less often, in the other direction).  If you want to see the exact route, click here and zoom the map out. now @mattski: yes, PLB is on my list. I also have my Osprey Levity 60L lightweight backpack so now I have to start doing some walks with it fully loaded. AliExpress said that the tent came with a “mat” but what it actually meant was it came with a “groundsheet”. The track I walked on today was open but I think other tracks in the Hunua Ranges are still closed because of Kauri Dieback. The ground was quite rocky but there wasn’t even a breath of wind so I didn’t need to stake the tent down. They were very beautiful, and there was no moon. I wasn’t sure if she would or not, because she told the two volunteers that she couldn’t drop them in Taipa despite driving right through there. And then at 4.5km I had my first “river crossing”. Here you can see it on my desk next to my coffee mug for size comparison. I think it might be slightly too small. hunting BOAR in TE ARAROA!!! Just before she left, Tania said to me “kia kaha” which I knew meant “Be Strong” because it was the motto of the college I went to. They were also walking NZ on the Te Araroa trail. Fortunately nobody saw me struggle to get up… and I did manage to get up, eventually. Te Araroa Gear List. While the clothes were washing, I was dressed in almost the only other clothes I had – a spare shirt and my rain pants. Matt Hill's Gear List - Te Araroa December 2017 - Early 2018. To celebrate us being the final guests of the campground, two of the German boys lit a fire and they also had some wine which they offered to Rhydian and me.  I accepted a little bit but didn’t want a hangover so it was at most 75ml.  They were no longer on their phones so we sat around the fire with Pauly and had a chat about all sorts of things.  It was really nice and a really raging fire. So I got the Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter System with 3 Pouches. It went like this: Ghost town, ghost town, it’s a ghost town Bought from PB Tech in Auckland, which had it for the best price that I could see. The 3000km walk followed New Zealand’s mountain ranges & forests - in most parts linking with the Te Araroa Trail. Adventure Matt Dowdle March 16, 2017 Harpers Pass, Lost Zealand, Matt, Matt Dowdle, photography, new zealand, purenewzealand, Trees For Survival, Te Araroa Comment After 2 days in Reefton with my uncle John, our minds were full of facts about the history of mining (John is a passionate Reefton historian). The first verse you had to sing it to yourself, and the second verse was the same but you had to sing it out loud. Fat Freddy Maori Hunter Gatherer 11,771 views The two shops in the town were abandoned. The valve took a bit to get used to but it didn’t take long, and it’s the same good valve as on the Nemo sleeping pad.  Very stylie. But I worked out that that was because there were so many roadworks at Taipa while they widen the one-lane bridge that there was nowhere to stop. After we got to Kerikeri I then transferred to the Kaitaia bus. Bringing hot chocolate was the best decision ever. Matt, check his IP, I bet he isn't even from Germany. The entire hike was along state highway 1 and it was not the most glorious way to end the trail, but that did not dampen our excitement. The pack actually didn’t feel too heavy when I first put it on, but after 5km or so I could feel the pain in my back a bit. I packed up and said one last goodbye to Twilight Campsite. Mud fest. Te Araroa Tramping Partners — English Matt posted 21 August 2016 21 August 2016 Original post. It was only an hour or so before I spotted a person in the distance.  It had to be Rhydian, nobody else could have been walking that way without me knowing.  He seemed to be walking slowly – I caught up to him fast. When I was in Kathmandu I tried all sorts of different shoes and by far the most comfortable were the Salomon Speedcross 4.  Despite being monotonous, it was easy to walk down and beautiful. Are you a Travel Blogger? I forgot how stinky Rotorua is. Oh well now I know. You can see Ahipara in the distance there. I wanted to see a lot of New Zealand, and for me that definitely includes time in civilisation as well as in the wild places. Anyway, that’s probably about it for now. But today I made it to the second recommended campsite – The Bluff. But for tracks like Te Araroa and other long distance hikes I think preparation is key. Once I’m home in a month or so, I’ll do my regular “Advice to Future TA Walkers” post that has detail, but for now, I can give a few thoughts. As you can see it doesn’t look too bad, and I’m pleased to say that it tasted good too!  Spicier than I expected.  Quite a lot of flavour.  Although if I’m honest, I couldn’t identify the chicken.  Is it the square pieces?  That’s what I assumed, however the ingredients list contained “Soy Protein” as well as chicken, and this looked a bit like soy protein.  I don’t really know if I’m honest.  Although the rest of the ingredients were there and identifiable and tasted nice. Also, if you believe the watch, I was 39 metres below sea level at one point, as you can see from the photo! At the summit it was very windy and the wind was very cold.  But yet I couldn’t be bothered taking the pack off my back to get out my wind jacket.  Not because it was heavy or awkward, but because the only access into the pack is via the top and I’d have to take everything out in order to find the jacket.  Clearly the way that you arrange things in the pack is going to be important.  Besides, I thought, I can handle the cold, the cold doesn’t affect me.  So I just kept walking with my merino shirt and my shorts.  Even when a few spits of rain started, I didn’t stop and take my waterproof pack liner out of the pack, again because I couldn’t be bothered, but also because the rain was just a few spots. But Cape Reinga to Auckland (Mount Eden) is only about 20% of the whole trail and is a much more realistic and achievable goal for someone like me who is a long-distance-hiking newbie. But one thing I wasn’t happy about… Holes in the mesh of my tent! Te Araroa's route is technically all linked together but it involves miles of road walking to join the trails. And then, hopefully I will feel wonderful and want to continue. I wonder if it being so small would make it harder to use in an emergency? I’d never walked with poles before this walk. Posted on August 16, 2017 August 17, 2017 by Cat Kelley. I could move around on it, roll from side to side, press down on it with my elbow while lying down and reading, and I felt fully comfortable that it would remain inflated and never worried about it popping. If that’s true then we should pass each other tomorrow or the next day. Also I have to get used to getting in and out of the tent properly.  When I put my hands on the muddy ground while getting out of the tent they get dirty, and then that dirt gets inside the tent when I get back in.  But I guess after several months things are going to get dirty.  Or maybe it just won’t rain at all the whole time.  Let’s call that Plan B. This time it was: I thought that the Butter Chicken one was made by a different company (namely The Outdoor Gourmet Company), and the packet suggests it is, but reading the back of the packet I notice that they have the same Invercargill address as Back Country Cuisine so they must be related in some way! Te Araroa Trail Itinerary. It seems the one fine day is going to be the exception.  Checking out the weather forecast for the next 10 days shows that we’re back to the usual rain, rain and more rain.  Although not every single day has rain forecast, which is nice.  And it seems MetService have also noticed the unusual round glowing thing in the sky too, it’s scheduled to make another appearance in a few days. And I couldn’t take any kind of cool photo because I was actually the only one at the lighthouse, and also, the wind was so strong that if I let go of the phone it would have blown away and ended up in the Pacific Ocean. I haven’t been able to weigh this item yet but it weighs less than my phone so I’m guessing between 150 and 200 grams. Ernest is the guy that I mentioned in the last post who was walking north up the beach from Ahipara to Cape Reinga because then the wind would be behind him. The watch showed 8km, but when I measured out the course on Google Maps, it came up at 9.7km – quite a difference. The inflatable mat was the Nemo Tensor 20L – 20 being the width and L meaning “long”.  It fit well in the tent and it seemed sturdy.  It was quite “slippery”, every time I tried to turn over during the night, I felt like I was sliding around.  It felt quite hard, I think maybe I inflated it too much.  Next time I might deflate it ever so slightly.  The good thing was is that it didn’t deflate at all by itself during the night.  It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be (and as people on the Internet had mentioned) to blow all the required air into the mat, and the valve seemed to hold well and was easy to close.  I didn’t get the “insulated” version which is a bit warmer because I’m already worried that my sleeping bag and liner are going to be too hot. It was a bit emotional since as well as being the first stop on this journey it was the first place I’ve ever camped away from my car and really out of my comfort zone, and by myself nonetheless. Guess not. The rain was pretty bad too earlier but at least the rain is supposed to clear tomorrow, at least for a few days… Although the wind is not scheduled to die down. But I had faith in the weather forecast which showed that at least the rain would stop. The entire hike was along state highway 1 and it was not the most glorious way to end the trail, but that did not dampen our excitement. Then at 5km I was starting to hurt a bit in my arms, so I stopped for a break as it wasn’t windy at this spot. View from my workplace… before it started raining literally two minutes later. While I was here I booked in at the YHA in Ahipara to make sure that I had somewhere to sleep tonight. Although I hoped it was… or was everything on fire? It wasn’t static like this photo shows, it was bubbling quite intensely. I did actually find the geocache! I did expect to boil the water in the main pot and then put the instant coffee in the smaller pot and drink out of there.  However this didn’t work so well because both pots got hot quite quickly.  And the coffee seemed to cool down quite fast when I did that.  So I think I’m going to have to take some kind of lightweight mug and plate on the trail. And I am looking forward to the varied views I will have from my tent door while on the trail.  Here’s the view this morning, down my Mum’s driveway.  At least it was sunny in the morning. Click here for my full review of the sleeping bag. It was pretty tedious. Then for the third verse you had to sing it in a Mr. Bean voice. Daffodils in Cornwall Park – it must be spring, A mural at the nearby Intermediate School showing landmarks of Mount Eden. It did make me crave a real Butter Chicken though. On cold evenings it is so easy to set it up and make a quick hot chocolate. I knew the bus was going to be full because I’d looked at the Intercity website last night.  I could see two tents from my room… I looked at the gear spread out on the table and I was trying to work out if they were also Te Araroa walkers. She runs marathons and we had been chatting since we have started so close together. So overall it was an interesting night.  I am looking forward to doing it again though.  However I will make sure I don’t sleep in the morning before, so when it comes time to actually sleep, I will actually be tired. VR180; 2:37. My full Te Araroa Trail experience on and off trail totalled 146 amazing days. On a serious note, I tried out my Optimus Crux cooking system on Sunday.  I don’t do much cooking on a normal day so I need to use it a few times before I start the trail so that I know what I’m doing.  This time I just used it to boil water.  We were all worried about how windy it was outside but when I turned the gas on and lit it with a match it was so easy.  The flame was much more powerful than I imagined and it felt like the small amount of water I had boiled in only one minute.  It was much easier than I expected!  And no more 90 Mile Beach! And then when it got too dark to see and the wind picked up a bit and it became freezing cold, we all went to our tents, where I’m writing this now. I had originally set myself specific break times so that I would get to the campsite at a reasonable time. Think back to when you were six or seven and it had rained all night and it was nothing but puddles on the way to school. 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