Let’s be honest, the Te Araroa trail is not just a physical and mental challenge, logistically, its a challenge too.
The people who come before us are a tremendous help, they are a wealth of knowledge and have often compiled information that is invaluable to the rest of us.
There are also websites out there that make planning easier too and I thought I’d share the most helpful links I have found for the big picture planning of my Te Araroa. I have another post I’m putting together at the moment which will contain the helpful links I’ve found for my more in depth planning.
I’m forever coming across them so if and when I find more I’ll update this post.
Hope its helpful, and feel free to ask questions, as always 🙂
Most helpful websites…
First and foremost is the Te Araroa trusts official website. This is the latest greatest information, and a trip simply cannot be planned without it. No other source has the most up to date information – this one always will. Refer to it frequently for updates. It contains most importantly the maps, the trail notes, and a raft of other information such as news, blogs, FAQ’s and more …
If you need to ask a real person a question, this is the place. This facebook group is the main group set up for Te Araroa enthusiasts; those who have walked the trail, those about to, those who are simply passionate about the trail, and sometimes those who offer help and services. Put your question up here and you get a raft of answers from a heap of people. There are also some particularly helpful files available on this group page which have been compiled by an array of helpful people – check them out.
These are a favourite of mine. Its the work of DOC and is the complete topographical map of NZ complete with whatever features are useful for you. If you use the advanced viewer (2nd link) it has some additional more complex features although its only able to be used on your desktop. The first link to the standard maps is able to be used on your desktop, tablet, and mobile phone.
It has everything you really could need to know mapwise. It has the huts & tracks, and multiple other useful information. It happens to have a handy feature of overlaying the map with public conservation boundarys (handy if you need to know wether you can camp or not – public vs private land). Do use this overlay feature in conjunction with other sources though, as despite being able to camp on most conservation land there are some rules and exceptions in some places (most notably around great walks, but elsewhere also).
This website is a forum for capturing information that would otherwise be lost down facebook/blog feeds, and what not. It’s put together by a lady called Linda and its a fantastic resource!! To be honest, without this type of resource oodles of invaluable information would be much harder to find.
This page has all the information you need on how to pay for the huts. It also lets you know where you can obtain passes or tickets. Hands down in my opinion the backcountry hut pass (6 monthes or 12 monthes depending on the length of your Te Araroa adventure) is the absolute best option. By this I mean the cheapest. There is one hut I’m aware of (Mangatepopo Hut on the Tongariro Crossing) that this won’t cover. Also, not only will it cover all your Te Araroa hut needs…. if you want to wander off on a side trip it will cover most of those huts too (there are some exceptions on the sidetrips side of things but not a lot).
Most helpful blogs….
Firstly, this is my favourite. Probably the most helpful thing about this blog is the amount of video footage. This couple have gone to a lot of effort to film their journey, and often before doing any of the Te Araroa, I just wanted to see visually what it would be like in more ways than a photo can show. It’s also very entertaining – they have a fantastic sense of humour. It can be a little hard to view and scroll through though….
Most helpful Instagram feeds…..
@thereisnohorizon – This is my feed its brand new and I’m in the process of reconstructing what I’ve walked so far (approx. 2/3) and will add to it as I walk more. When I’ve walked everything and I walk it again just for fun, I’ll add stuff too. After that I’ll likely do it just once more. Ill also add photos from any short hikes I do on the trail as well. (Want to see more of NZ along the way?? …. check out @nzgemstreasures for all amazing NZ places both on and off the trail!)
@philosotramp – I’ve followed this feed from its inception – this guy is great!!! Check out his Te Araroa adventure as well. Currently off trail too due to the forces of nature he’ll be back at it in December 2016!!
Most helpful books…
A walking guide to New Zealands long trail: Te Araroa. Geoff Chapple.
For an overview of the trail before you get into the real nitty gritty of planning, get this book. It’s fantastic. It has track descriptions, history, great photos and maps. Reading through this guide you can’t help but begin to become excited about the massive adventure that is Te Araroa! 🙂