Route, Gear, Food and Training – Te Araroa Trail Planning
I did a lot of reading, research, preparation and planning for my Te Araroa trail hike 2017/18 season. I love preparing for a trip (any trip!) It’s half the fun of the journey for me. Other people simply throw some things in a pack and go for it.
Click the links in red below to view linked content.
I started by looking at the official Te Araroa Trail website, reading many other people’s Te Araroa trail blogs, and watching Youtube videos. It’s a really useful way to get a feel for the trail. Next I downloaded the previous season’s maps and trail notes and familiarised myself with the tricky things e.g. tide times and river crossings.
Then there’s the question of when to start? I picked my Southbound start date for mid-October to hopefully avoid the worst Spring weather, the New Zealand lambing season, and to start on low tide at 90mile beach.
My journey in a spreadsheet
I discovered that some other Te Araroa trail hikers had created spreadsheets of their journeys, so I used their ideas to create one of my own. Special thanks to Gusto Frenzy for the great blog and tips and Mike Beckers Project 40 for the easily readable day-by-day journey.
Post-trail, I finally got around to completing my spreadsheet detailing my route, gear, food and training for Te Araroa trail season 2017/2018. Click here for a copy.
The original version of the spreadsheet was quite different, but I was glad I created it to have a really basic overview of what I might achieve on trail. If you do create a spreadsheet, I guarantee you’ll deviate from it. This version looks nothing like the version I started with!
Social Media Resources
I joined the Facebook groups below. There is a wealth of knowledge in these groups. Use the “search” function within the groups to search for specific topics like gear, shoes, tents, navigation, river crossings, safety and much more.
When I started the trail I ended up meeting many of the people I’d been speaking with online – which was great.
- Te Araroa trail Facebook group
- Current season Te Araroa trail Facebook group
- Te Araroa trail women’s Facebook group
- After Te Araroa trail Facebook group for help/support post-hike.
When my start date drew near I downloaded the current season’s trail notes and maps, and kept a copy on my phone for use on the trail. I printed the maps on A3 size paper colour, double-sided, and posted them to myself in my resupply boxes.
I took courses on how to cross rivers safely (with the Waikato Tramping Club), and how to navigate properly. This was invaluable. Contact OTNZ if you’d like to do a course in New Zealand.
Food-wise I massively over-prepared and sent far too many resupply boxes. For some reason, I thought I wouldn’t want to hitch out to resupply, but it was really easy.
- I would advise sending resupply boxes to St Arnaud, and Arthurs Pass – you can hitch out to resupply at other locations e.g. Nelson (for the Richmond ranges), Hanmer Springs (Boyle village) and Methven (Lake Coleridge)..
- Search the Facebook groups for current information on the best resupply locations.
Would I have done anything differently on Te Araroa? Yes probably, but that’s easy to say in hindsight 🙂 Keep an eye out for details of my hike of the 1000Km South West Coast Path in the UK and other New Zealand adventures.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me here or on my Facebook page! Cheers, Jules