WHERE: Te Araroa “the long pathway” – New Zealand
WHEN: December 1, 2016 – April 14, 2017
OBJECTIVE: Te Araroa thru-hike
DISTANCE: 3000 km
Turning forty a few years ago kickstarted a journey of discovery culminating in the realization that I needed to reboot my life.
This reboot basically involved a whole lot of walking. I started by thru-hiking the famous Kungsleden (The King’s Trail) in Sweden in 2016, and immediately followed up with a 3000 km thru-hike of Te Araroa on New Zealand 2016-17, and I am off to Isle of Skye in Scotland next!
Te Araroa is a 3 000 km trail spanning the entire amazing country of New Zealand, from Cape Reinga in the north to Bluff in the south. A newcomer on the though-hike circuit the trail features a wide variety of experiences. I had high expectations going in, but the actual experience surpassed them all. It is true what they say about the North Island being more about the kiwi culture and people you meet along the way, while the South Island is all about the stunning landscape. Te Araroa serve up an incredible variety, from tropical forests to epic mountains, stunning valleys, impressive rivers, beautiful lakes and massive volcanoes. Te Araroa is Maori for the long pathway, and while it is long it has been worth every step!
A quote I had read on Patagonia’s blog, The Cleanest Line, when I started all this walking still rings true today, especially in regards to thru-hiking really long trails like this… “Every day was a pilgrimage, every mile earned and etched into our bodies. The land we traveled though burned into our minds.” This has been yet another a life-changing experience of epic proportions!
Yeah, one of those life-changing events
Thank you Te Araroa for all you have taught me, I am forever changed and eternally grateful. The trail teaches you that you don’t really need much in the way of things to be happy. The ability to carry all you need to survive on your back is incredibly liberating! Being immersed in nature this long allows you to strip down life to the bare essentials… food, shelter and where to put the next step. You also learn that the true reward lies in the journey itself. The destination is not important, but every step of the way is. That being alive means being present in the moment.
Rebooting for me is a journey of discovery and even though this adventure is coming to an end, my journey is far from over.
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
For a full account of the travel diary, and A LOT OF PHOTOS, please click back through the posts before this one. I backdated the posts so the account works better as a time capsule going forward.
A few photo highlights among a couple of thousand photos… more coming soon.