Te Araroa; Smaller Scale Planning – Helpful Links – North to South

I made a post previously that had the major helpful links and information sources. This page is for other links which are totally nitty gritty but equally helpful….

This information is a work in progress and is the type of information that can change….. let me know if you see something that’s no longer current.

Hope it helps and welcome to ask questions …..

North Island:

http://hukatere.com/

Gabrielle is amazing. Need saving from the longest most boring section of the ninety mile beach?? Stay here! There’s accommodation here from camping to B&B. They also make there own cider and its delicious – check it out ūüôā

http://www.ahiparabaymotel.co.nz/

This is where we stayed in Ahipara. The owners are awesome. They have spa bath units here if you are aching and dying from the epic walk down the beach. They also have a licensed restaurant onsite that does amazing food, and the best affagatto I’ve had in New Zealand ūüôā Even if you don’t stay here its worth visiting the restaurant for a meal – it’s open to anyone and is very relaxed with views all the way back up the beach where you have come from.

http://www.ahiparaholidaypark.co.nz/

If your budget doesn’t allow for a spa bath, we recommend staying here. We stayed a week in our caravan during the winter and its a fantastic campsite. Free wifi even ūüôā

http://whangarurucamp.co.nz/

After exiting the Russell Forest this campsite is within a couple of kms of the trail. There is a small store on the way where you will be able to buy most things also, including beer ūüôā This will help break up a long day through to Whananaki.

http://www.nzseakayaking.co.nz/

We used Mark to help us across the Ngunguru Estuary area. It will cost you some money but if that’s ok give him a call. Totally recommend him – he made us sandwiches, and brought gingernuts :). It’s also¬†the best option I’m aware of and avoids a very long walk. We had a lot of fun, until this point I had no idea I could kayak that far!

http://www.tidesong.co.nz/

Accomodation at Pataua South. They do B&B but also have an awesome little cabin for Te Araroa hikers (for a donation from memory). When we stayed the owner was away walking the Te Araroa trail to raise awareness for kidney donation.

http://douglaschowns.co.nz/appin-cottage/

This link has contact details for man named Dougie. He has a boat named Meg and will get you across Whangarei Harbour for a good price. You can camp here or utilize the cottage accommodation as well for equally good prices. He is a good man and I totally recommend popping by.

http://bauer.org.nz/nanekoti/

You’ll pass this spot a few hours after ‘The Dome’. Accommodation options range from camping to private room in the barn. Meals are also available and are delicious!! There is a fantastic pool you can use also. Awesome spot to stop ūüôā

http://www.puhoipub.com/

This pub is at Puhoi, just north of Waiwera. You have to stop here, if only for a beer. The character inside this pub is insane! They do accommodation and good food too.

http://www.waiwera.co.nz/

Need some hot pools as you pass Waiwera?? This is where they are. There is a campsite at the Wenderholm Regional Park just prior to getting here (30mins walk). They bottle their water here too, if you are a believer that not all water is created equal – this is pretty good water ūüôā

http://www.pinewoods.co.nz/

Camping at Orewa Beach?? In my opinion this spot is a brilliant alternative to the top 10 park – cheaper too.

https://www.facebook.com/stillwaterboatingclub/timeline

Stillwater boat club. Arrive here after 4pm and you’ll be able to enjoy a great meal and some cold beverages. Great company here too – the locals are amazing people! There¬†also happens to be¬†a campsite¬† a few hundred more metres down the road where you can stay in the hall or put up a tent for free! (In case you need convincing to stay and drink cold beverages)

http://www.thehotelclevedon.co.nz/

Great pub!! We tented in the backyard for cheap and they do all you can eat pizza and pasta on a Monday from 6pm!! Totally recommend! ūüôā

https://www.interislander.co.nz/

http://www.bluebridge.co.nz/

These are the links for the ferry companys who cross the cook straight. I currently have a preference for Bluebridge as they offer a sleeper service for only an extra $20pp (avoids paying for accommodation in Wellington). They also have free wifi.

South Island:

http://www.qctlc.com/index.html

This page will give you prices for your Queen Charlotte Track pass and lists the places you can buy it.

http://pictonwatertaxis.co.nz/

http://www.cougarline.co.nz/

These are the water taxi companys for getting between Picton and Ship Cove. The best deal at the moment is through ‘Beachcomber Cruises’ who operate under Cougarline. They do a deal for Te Araroa hikers – $50 Picton – Ship Cove, on a handful of scheduled services. Direct dial for ‘Beachcomber Cruises’ is (03)5736175..

http://maruiasprings.co.nz/

Accommodation, restaurant, and hot pools on the Lewis Pass. Complete with genuine Japanese Bathhouse (segregated bathing – togs optional). This isn’t cheap but I do think its a good price for what it is. They do a package with accommodation, full dinner, cooked breakfast, and use of hot pools and bathhouse for $249. A favourite spot of mine.

http://hottubsomarama.co.nz/

Hitch hike here from Twizel. The hot tubs are brilliant – wood fired & private, around a small lake, open till late for star gazing while bathing ūüôā Theres a campsite down the road if you need it before returning to Twizel.

http://fergburger.com/menu.html

When you pass through Queenstown you have to eat one of these burgers. They are big and delicious!!! Just what you’ll need. Fergburgers reputation preceeded itself more than once when I crossed the Motutapu Trail in my first section hike in 2012. Its a little bit famous. Expect a queue.

http://www.glenorchyjourneys.co.nz/track-transport/

Track transport to the start of the track (south end of Lake Wakitipu). If you hitch to Glenorchy and take the shuttle from there it will be cheaper. It’s a long walk otherwise. There are other companys but this is the one I’ve got written down, there is negligible price difference between companys from memory.

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Top Planning Resources for the Te Araroa

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 ūüôā

Most helpful websites…

http://www.teararoa.org.nz/

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 …

https://www.facebook.com/groups/26638669574/

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 Рcheck them out.

http://maps.doc.govt.nz/mapviewer/index.html?viewer=docmaps

http://maps.doc.govt.nz/richmapviewer/index.html?Viewer=DOCMaps

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 Рpublic 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).

http://teararoatrail.freeforums.org/

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.

http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-stay/stay-in-a-hut/booking-and-paying/

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….

http://www.nickyandcookie.com/

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! ūüôā

Te Araroa – How long will it take?

Lastly, I think one of the third most asked questions, is based around how long it will take. The Te Araroa guidebook puts the average time at 120 Р150 days. I believe the fastest known time was by Jez Bragg in 53 days, 9hours, and 1minute! The first person to set a record did so only briefly earlier than Jezz and did it in 65 days (Richard Bowles).

Interested? Check out¬†his blog … http://www.jezbragg.blogspot.co.nz/

And you could of course take as long as you liked.

Given our experience so far, if time, money, and visa’s were no issue I’d highly recommend doing it over a year. It’s an amazing journey with a myriad of side trips you could do. The more time you have, the more you can slow down and really enjoy it (stop to smell the ferns).

Stop at that bay for two nights. Stay to eat more mussels. Spend two nights at a hut with a fantastic view with a chance to really soak up that remoteness. Check out that track that heads up that other valley. Spend some time with a good bunch of people you meet along the way. And so goes the endless list of ways to add to the experience with more time.

Of course, not everyone has that option, and to do what you can with the time and resources you have is the most important thing. It’s an amazing adventure¬†regardless of¬†how long you have.

We spent 3 monthes doing Cape Reinga – Waitomo and had a great time spending days off in some of the places we love. We are setting off to do Palmerston North – Bluff in a weeks time and are giving ourselves 4 monthes before we have to end our year off and go back to work like everyone else (dark dark times).

I thought it could be interesting to show our plan in case it is useful for others in regards to planning purposes. It includes a few side trips, and also a couple of alternative routes where we have already been along the Te Araroa route (namely in the Nelson Lakes area).

Its a flexi-plan as we like to call it, and in many places we could put days together, take an extra side trip, or take days off. We have some contingency routes up our sleeves in case we get to areas we cannot pass (due snow conditions etc). It’s set out resupply – resupply based on what works best for us.

Check it out …. And of course, as usual, if you have any questions fire away ūüôā

Palmerston North – Waikenae (10days)

Fitz Bridge – Burtons Track (6)

– End of Burtons Track (6)

– Poads Road (6-7)

– Waiopehu Hut (4-5)

– Te Matawai Hut (4)

– Dracophyllum Hut (4-5)

– Waitewaewae Hut (4-5)

– Parawai Hut (4-6)

– Waikenae (Reikorangi Road) (8)

Waikenae – Wellington (4days)

Waikenae (Reikorangi Road) – Paekakariki (6-7)

РElsdon Camp (Porirua) (5)

– Wellington Ferry (8) *

– Spare Day

*We are skipping the city to sea section as I have already done it.

Picton – Havelock (5days)

Picton – Schoolhouse Bay (2)

– Camp Bay (7)

– Cowshed Bay (8)

– Davies Bay (7)

– Havelock (5-6)

Havelock – Stoke (7days)

Havelock – Pelorous Bridge (5)

– Captains Creek Hut (8)

– Roebuck Hut (6)

– Middy Creek Hut (4)

– Rocks Hut (3)

– Stoke (5)

– Spare Day

Stoke – St Arnaud (10days)

Stoke – Browning Hut (9)

– Starveall Hut (5.5)

– Old Man Hut (7.5)

– Rintoul Hut (5)

– Tarn Hut (4.5)

– Top Wairoa Hut (8.5)

– Hunters Hut (5)

– Porters Creek Hut (4)

– Red Hills Hut (5)

– St Arnaud (4.5)

St Arnaud – St Arnaud (Sidetrip) (4days)

St Arnaud – Bushline Hut (3)

– Angelus Hut (5)

– Bushline Hut (5)

РSt Arnaud / Speargrass Hut (3+3)

St Arnaud – Lewis Pass (10days)

St Arnaud – D’Urville Hut (3+6.5)

– Mt Misery Hut (? – approx. 3-4)

– Morgan Hut (? + 4)

– George Lyon (Ella) Hut (4)

– Blue Lake Hut (7.5)

– Waiau Forks / Caroline Biv (6-8+3)

– Lake Guyon Hut (6)

– Ada Pass Hut (6)

– Lewis Pass (Maruia) (6)

– Spare Day

Lewis Pass – Hanmer Springs (1day)

Hitch to Resupply and rest (?)

Hanmer Springs – Arthurs Pass (10days)

Hanmer Springs – Hope Kiwi Hut (Hitch +6.5-8)

– Hurunui Hut (5-6)

– Hurunui #3 Hut (4-5)

– Locke Stream Hut (7)

– Carroll Hut (8-10)

– Dillons Homestead Hut (2)

– Carroll Hut (2)

– Upper Deception Hut (8)

– Arthurs Pass (7)

– Spare Day

Arthurs Pass – Rakaia Gorge (5days)

Arthurs Pass – Bealey Spur Hut (4)

– Lagoon Saddle Hut (4-5)

– Hamilton Hut (5)

– Harper Road (5-6)

– Rakaia Gorge (5-6+hitch)

Rakaia Gorge – Methven – Rakaia Gorge (1day)

Hitch to Methven for Resupply & rest day at the gorge (?)

Rakaia Gorge – Tekapo (10days)

Rakaia Gorge – A Frame Hut (hitch+2)

– Comyns Hut (3)

– Double Hut (6-8)

– Hukatere Heron Road (3-4)

– Hukatere Potts Bridge (4-6)

– Crooked Spur Hut (4)

– Stone Hut (5)

– Campstream Hut (8)

– Tekapo (8)

– Spare Day

Tekapo – Twizel (4days)

Tekapo – Telegraph Hut (3)

– Pines Camp (8)

– Twizel (3)

– Spare Day

Twizel – Lake Hawea (10days)

Twizel – Greta Lodge Hut (8)

– Lake Middleton (8)

– Shearers Hut (1day)

– Hideaway Hut (1day)

– Top Timaru Hut (7-8)

– Stodys Hut (6.5-8)

– Pakituhi Hut (3-5)

– Moonlight & Roses Hut (8)

– Lake Hawea (6)

– Spare Day

Lake Hawea – Albert Town (1day)

Lake Hawea – Albert Town Camp (4-6)

Albert Town – Arrowtown (8days)

Albert Town – Roys Peak (6)

– Stacks Conservation Land (7)

– Fern Burn Hut (3)

– Highland Creek Hut (4)

– Roses Hut (5-6)

– Macetown (4-5)

– Arrowtown (4-5)

– Spare Day

Arrowtown – SH94 (Te Anau) (9days)

Arrowtown – Sam Summers Hut (5+3)

–¬†Heather Jock Hut (hitch+3-4)

– McIntyre Hut (3)

– Greenstone Hut (3-4+3-5)

– Taipo Hut (4-5)

– Careys Hut (5-6)

– Kiwi Burn Hut (6-7)

– SH 94 (Te Anau) (7+hitch)

– Spare Day

Te Anau – Te Anau (Sidetrip) (5days)

Te Anau – Luxmore Hut (5)

– Iris Burn Campsite (5)

– Shallow Bay Hut (8)

– Te Anau (5)

– Spare Day

SH94 (Te Anau) – Riverton (9days)

SH94 (Te Anau) – Aparima Hut (hitch+6-7)

– Lower Wairekei Hut (6)

– Telford Campsite (4)

– Woodlaw Peak (9)

– Bald Hill (11)

– Martins Hut (7)

– Roundhill CP Area (9)

– Riverton (4-5)

– Spare Day

Riverton – Bluff (3days)

Riverton – Invercargill (1day)

– Bluff (1day)

– Spare Day

Celebrations¬†& return to the real world …. sigh …. ūüôā :/ ūüė¶ (until next¬†adventure! :))

Gear List; Te Araroa 2015 – 2016 Season

Coming up to heading off now, I thought I’d put up some posts on some recurring themes that I always see come up as Te Araroa questions.

Everyone always has a question about gear. Essentially, its my opinion the choices in most cases are personal preference and with lightweight vs traditional weights each to there own. My personal opinion is as much as I’d like to go lightweight, I’d sacrifice my comfort, happiness, or safety in some way¬†in order to do so.

My only strong advice is carry a PLB. And be very careful to carry sufficient clothes and shelter. Secondly, if your kit doesn’t cover the conditions that turn up one day – wait it out. Go tomorrow. Hike within your kits capability. Often the lightweight approach will work combining this principle with the discipline to use it. Don’t suffer from get-there-it is. Just get there alive. As long as you have shelter warmth and water you have plenty of time to wait out unfavourable conditions.

Anyway, heres my kit. I have many luxurys, a lot more clothes than a lightweighter, but in some cases the lightest weight kit available without hitting tarptent, or fly-less status on my shelter, or home made meths style status on my cooker.

My kit this season without food & water weighs 14.9 kgs (no significant change). The only¬†substantial change I’ve made is that I’ve gone back to Kathmandu’s top range synthetic for my thermals after using Icebreaker last time. I do like Icebreaker but I have found the lighter weight thermals don’t hold up in terms of durability for me anywhere near my Kathmandu ones (although I suspect this is largely a product of being 100% merino as opposed to being Icebreaker in particular). I have no overall brand preference but I am slowly finding brand preferences for different items and they are surprisingly diverse.

Also, point to note; despite in all other ways being perfect, my partner and I have both had to replace our Black Diamond  hiking poles due to the tungsten tips falling out (spikey end piece). Shame really Рotherwise they are great.

Any questions on anything gear or preferences fire away.

Enjoy picking a safe kit that meets your happiness and comfort needs ūüôā

Main Items
Tent (MSR)
Sleeping Bag (Sea to Summit – Rated to -2 deg celcius)
Sleeping Bag Liner (Kathmandu – Silk)
Sleeping Mat (Exped – blow up – 163cm)
Bag Liner (Plastic inner sack)

Clothing
3 x Undies (Kathmandu – Quickdry/Wicking)
2 x Sports Bra (Cotton On РQuickdryWicking)
3 x Merino Socks (Icebreaker)
1 x Merino Knee РLength Socks (Kathmandu Alpine)
1 x Zip Off Pants (Macpac)
1 x Singlet (Kathmandu – Quickdry/Wicking)
2 x T-Shirts (Nike – Quickdry/Wicking)
3 x Long Sleeve Thermal (Kathmandu РTop Range Synthetic Polyester)
2 x Thermal Long Johns (Kathmandu РTop Range Synthetic Polyester)
1 x Soft Shell Jacket (Kathmandu – Polyester)
1 x Windproof Waterproof Jacket (Outdoor Research)
1 x Waterproof Trousers (Outdoor Research)
1 x Down Jacket (Kathmandu)
1 x Merino Neck Warmer (Macpac)
1 x Mittens (Outdoor Research)
1 x Beanie (Fleece)
1 x Gaiters (Hunting & Fishing)
1 x Tennis Visor
1 x Hiking Boots (Salomon – Mid Height)
1 x Jandals

Cooking
1 x Cup/Pot/Bowl (750ml – Stainless Steel)
1 x Cup (250ml – Stainless Steel)
1 x Stove (Kovea)
1 x Spork
1 x Scrubbie
1 x Lighter

Electronics Bag
1 x Camera Charger & Cord
1 x iPhone Headphones
1 x iPhone Charger
1 x Kobo Cord (charge/download)
2 x 3000mAh Batterys
1 x Flash
1 x Kobo
1 x iPhone
1 x Sunto Altitude Watch

Camera Bag
1 x Camera (Olympus)
2 x Battery
2 x SD Card
1 x Polariser

Town Clothes
Togs
Pants
Skirt
Town Underwear
Merino T-Shirt (Icebreaker)

Toiletries
1 x Toothbrush
1 x Mini Toothpaste
1 x Mini Floss
1 x Mini Mouthwash
1 x Comb
1 x Nail Clippers
1 x Tweezers
1 x Body Spray
1 x Lip Balm
1 x Razor
1 x Vaseline
1 x Sanitiser
1 x 20pk Wipes
1 x Toilet Paper
1 x Multipurpose Wash
Glasses
Contacts
Contact Solution
Cotton Tips / Tampons
Mini Mirror
Coconut Oil 90ml

Other
3L Bladder (Platypus)
1L Pouch (Kathmandu)
42L Water Treatment Tablets
Compass
Whistle
Emergency Blanket
Tea Candle
10 x Drybags (various sizes)
Headlamp
Mini Mirror
Mini First Aid / Drug Kit
Mini Multi-Tool
Day Bag
Stylus / Pen
Vivid
Measuring Tape
2 x Cord
Duct Tape Stash
Glad Bag Stash
1 x Carabiner
1 x Sunscreen (200mls)
1 x Rubbish Sack
1 x Mossie Spray
1 x Blister Kit
1 x Towel
Playing Cards
10 x Firelighters
PLB
Walking Poles (Black Diamond)
Kiwi Mascot (Steve)
Sunglasses
ID / Eftpos / Debit Card
1 x Bag Cover

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25 More Sleeps!! :) :) :)

It’s starting to get super exciting! 25 more sleeps till we set off for the Te Araroa 2015 – 2016 season.

Our planning is coming to a close and we have some exciting little side trips and a few alternates set whilst primarily following the trail.¬†We’ve set a date – 28th September.

Set yourself up to follow our blog from this date to¬†check out¬†our adventures from the Tararua’s south. If your interested in Cape Reinga to Waitomo – check out the archives from January – April 2015.

If your out there this season too¬†post your blog in the comments¬†we’d love to follow your adventures as well. And send us questions if you have them. It’s our second time on the trail and we are New Zealander’s who have done a heap of travelling and hiking here – we may be able to help.

We can’t wait to see you out there!!

Exciting New Blogs! :)

I’ve spent some time over the last few months in our ‘Te Araroa off season’ setting up 2 new blogs branching from ‘thereIsnohorizon’ about a couple of things I’m very passionate about.

First & foremost, I’m in love with New Zealand’s huts ‚̧ They are amazing! I love the diversity in their character and the¬†range in their size and appearance.

Sadly, some of our lesser known and more remote huts due to DOC’s constant underfunding for the scope of its work, end up on a minimal maintenance list. This means when they fall into disrepair they will not be repaired or replaced and will be removed.

The more popular huts don’t face this risk, but these huts are likely the ones that have less character and history. Also, for those wanting a better chance at solitude in the New Zealand backcountry, the more remote huts offer the best chance at this. Despite¬†the ‘beaten trail’ in New Zealand¬†being absolutely stunning, it is equally beautiful if not more so to get off it and visit some of these gems.

There are people and clubs out there who love them¬†just like me¬†and who can’t bear to lose them. They are¬†often volunteering time, effort and funds to help save our huts.

I’ve started ‘The Gems In Our Backyard’ to try and inspire more of us to get out there¬†and enjoy them. I also hope it raises the profile of our huts in need and perhaps will raise some¬†funds along the way to help these people save our huts.

Although it is aimed primarily at inspiring kiwi’s to get out there fall in love with them,¬†it is for anyone, anywhere in the world, who is passionate about NZ huts with a view to¬†help protect them.

Check it out …. https://thegemsinourbackyard.wordpress.com/

My second blog is all about New Zealand’s non-mountaineering peaks. If I’m not out visiting our gems (or sometime while out visiting our gems), I’m climbing to the tops of these peaks. They‚Äôre everywhere, they‚Äôre spectacular, and you have to get out there and get on top of one!

Again, this blog is about inspiring people to get outdoors, and climbing our peaks, large or small, is just another fantastic way to do this!

This second blog is very new with only a few posts at the moment,¬†more peaks are coming ūüôā

Check it out ….. https://kingofthecastlekiwi.wordpress.com/

Hope you enjoy!! ūüôā

The Te Araroa Off-Season

Its been a while now since we left off the trail for the 2014-2015 season and we’ve started to get excited about getting back on trail for the 2015-2016 season.

We’ve passed the time travelling about NZ in our caravan hiding from the winter mainly up north. We’ve been hiking, biking, visiting family, hot pooling, eating lush meals, and resting up.

My fianc√©e Neil has made some cool blog posts¬†on some of the things we’ve been up to – take a look – https://3moreporkabovemytent.wordpress.com/

Now that its almost spring and about 6weeks till we set off again we have amped up our hiking activity so we don’t have to start off as unfit as last time.

We have been hiking about in the Bay of Island’s, the¬†Coromandel and in the Kaimai’s with some trips planned for the next 6 weeks in the Urewera’s, the Kaimanawa’s, the Kaweka’s, the Ruahines, and the Tararuas as we make our way down to Cape Pallisner – our last stop before setting off.

Along the way I’ll be happily pursuing one of my big passions – visiting our backcountry huts. I have a different blog for this and if you are interested this is the link – https://thegemsinourbackyard.wordpress.com/

We’ve decided on a strategic start from Palmerston North instead of Waitomo where we left off. This is due to our leisurely pace (we’d like to make it to Bluff this round), our not wanting to be held up by possible late snow in the Tongariro area, and the damage done in the Wanganui area by the floods a few months back. We will come back at a later date to finish the ‘heart of the Te Araroa’.

So stay tuned we’ll be back in Te Araroa business from mid October and can’t wait to share our adventures with you again…

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