Ever dreamed of hiking in New Zealand for a day, a week, or even months at a time? You can on NZ’s newest and longest trail- the Te Araroa. Find out if it’s for you in this article by Mariel Kennison on GoNOMAD.com and read about 3 young men who have already taken on the challenge of hiking the entire trail!
Known as Te Araroa, or The Long Pathway, the trail spans both the islands that make up New Zealand and is a staggering 1800 miles long. That is just shy of the 2100-mile long Appalachian Trail running from Maine to Georgia.
The Te Araroa is a not-so-recent attempt at connecting all of New Zealand’s hiking paths into one continuous trail; it has been incomplete since 1975, but recent efforts to finish it are finally paying off. It is set to be complete by February 2011.
What makes this long-awaited trail even better is that people of all skill levels can enjoy it. As advertised on the official website, “Te Araroa will provide the ultimate 120-day New Zealand through-tramp, but will provide also section tramps lasting anything from a few days to a week or more.” Because the trails connect towns and cities, you don’t even have to pitch a tent if you want to stay overnight. The choice is yours to walk all day and sleep au naturale under the stars or, if you enjoy a roof over your head, spend the night in a hotel just off the trail.
Trusts Pay for the Trail
It is only thanks to several New Zealand trusts, funders, and volunteers that Te Araroa is, at long last, becoming a reality. After many years of being passed around by commissions, the idea finally struck the right chord and enough money and people came together to make it happen.
The TastyTrekkers, Anders Ford, 23, Landey Patton, 23, and Damienmarc Ford, 19, set off from Cape Reigna, New Zealand, in November 2010. They want to be some of the few people to ever complete the Te Araroa and have a life-changing adventure all while raising money for two different charities, Solar Light for Africa and WaterAid.