Long distance hikers looking for a new challenge will have one starting December 3rd. That’s when the Te Araroa foot trail opens in New Zealand, offering a route that is more than 3000km (1864 miles) in length, stretching from north to south across the entire country.
Te Araroa, which means The Long Pathway, stretches from Cape Reinga, in the northernmost tip of New Zealand’s North Island to Bluff, located in at the southernmost end of the South Island. Walking the entire length of the trail will take backpackers through thick forests, past verdant farmland, up volcanoes and mountains, and across open meadows. The trail even passes through seven cities, which will serve as great starting and ending points or places to resupply.
Building this epic trail was no small feat, as it was mainly accomplished by volunteers who worked many long years to link up a series of trails and fill in open spaces on the map. In fact, it took more than 17 years to complete this project, with all kinds of legal, technical, and physical challenges that had to be overcome in order to bring it into existence.
The official opening ceremony will take place at 10 AM local time on December 3rd in Wellington, which is almost exactly the middle point of the trail. After that, it’ll be officially open for long distance hikers, and the countdown will begin as to who will be the first to trek it end-to-end.
Cool story and a great new trail. Thanks to Lou-Phi for sharing. I’m sure you’re already plotting your adventures on the Te Araroa my friend.
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