Why Te Araroa Trail?
Te Araroa Trail – New Zealand’s ‘long pathway’ is a trail running 3,000kms from Cape Reinga at the top of NZ’s North Island to Bluff at the bottom of the South island. It takes in beaches, forests, mountains, rivers, volcanoes, private land, villages, cities & everything else in between.
The idea of a long NZ trail was put forward in the in the 1970’s but it wasn’t until the mid 1990’s that things really took off when journalist Geoff Chapple founded Te Araroa Trust and promoted the idea of a walking track the length of NZ. In addition the Department of Conservation added the goal of a long pathway into it’s walkways policy. Te Araroa trail officially opened in December 2011 after many years of hard work and dedication of hundreds of volunteers. Today the 8 regional Te Araroa trusts still work closely with their partner organisations, local government, landowners and many volunteers to progress their work and improve the trail.
Te Araroa trail is made up of about 300 ‘sections’ linked together. The sections range from 2 hour walks to a 9 day route. It takes 4-5 months to walk the entire trail.
Over the 2016/17 season approximately 550 people walked the trail, up from 350 in 2015/16 and 210 in 2014/15. In addition, hundreds of thousands of people walk the individual sections.
I will be hiking Te Araroa Trail over the summer of 2017/18.
Te Araroa: What it means to be a Kiwi