Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

More New Zealanders walking Te Araroa trail

More New Zealanders walking Te Araroa trail

The number of Kiwis walking the national Te Araroa trail is on the rise, with approximately one in five walkers hailing from cities, towns and rural communities across New Zealand.

Te Araroa Trust chair David McGregor said one in five of the 550 people who walked the full length of the 3,000 km trail from Cape Reinga to Bluff over the past 12 months were New Zealanders.

Hundreds more Kiwis were in the process of walking the trail in sections over a number of years, and hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders were enjoying individual sections of the trail as day walks, he said.

“Awareness of the Te Araroa experience is growing and people at many different stages of their lives are now walking it, from students and young people taking a gap year to retirees and workers taking an extended holiday. It’s a great way to connect with New Zealand and to really get to know the landscapes, people and climate that have shaped us as a nation.”

Among the many New Zealanders who have walked Te Araroa are Michelle Campbell and partner Jack Faulkner. The pair walked the trail between November 2016 and mid-March 2017 after they made the decision to pursue a long held dream of walking one of the world’s great long walks.

“I had been thinking about long distance walking for years and had been considering the Appalachian Trail in the United States until I heard about Te Araroa,” Ms Campbell said.

“I was still a student at the time so I left it alone until the stars aligned in 2016. I quit my job, Jack finished a contract and we threw our worldly possessions in a storage unit and hit the trail.”

Te Araroa was challenging at times, but it was a great way to see Aotearoa and completing it provided immense satisfaction, she said. Her advice to any other New Zealanders considering walking the trail is to go for it.

“I'd love to see more Kiwis on the trail, especially more Māori. The trail needs kaitiaki and a visible Kiwi culture to thrive.”

Another New Zealander who has completed the trail is Jory Akuhata, from Wellington. The 31 year old used traditional Māori techniques to make his own clothing, footwear and backpack. He sustained himself as much as possible by foraging edible native plants, hunting with a bow and arrows, and fishing using handcrafted hooks.

“Two years earlier I had been introduced to people who did Māori traditional stone tooling. I found it interesting and there was a little thing in the back of my head that made me think it would be fun to do this kind of thing,” Mr Akuhata said.

“I enjoy learning by doing, and through making mistakes. The early version of my pack wasn’t so good and the clothes I made initially were very bad, but I quickly learned.”

His advice to anyone considering walking the trail is to be flexible. “Only if you have flexibility can you stumble upon the unexpected, and that’s the most interesting part of walking the trail,” he said.

While competing the full trail in one sitting is considered a badge of honour by some, other Kiwis are making it their mission to walk the trail in sections, over a number of years. Palmerston North tramper Anthony Behrens and his partner Fiona Burleigh walked the 1,400 km South Island section of the trail in the summer of 2015, followed by a modified version of the normal 1,600 km North Island Te Araroa route last summer.

Their inspiration for long-trail walking came from Bill Bryson’s book A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail. While considering walking the Appalachian Trail in North America or Spain’s El Camino de Santiago trail, they met a group of German and French Te Araroa walkers who spoke fondly of New Zealand’s own long trail.

“Their stories stayed with us and we were hooked. I liked the environmental aspect. Te Araroa is in our own country, which means there is no air travel and less of a carbon footprint. Our house is on the trail alongside the Manawatu River, so we just walked out the door and caught the train to Wellington when we did the North Island. It was a different kind of holiday and an amazing sensation.”

Since completing the trail Mr Behrens and Ms Burleigh have maintained their connection with the trail and those who walk it by offering free accommodation to some of the many walkers who pass by their home.
Te Araroa Trust is the group responsible for developing, promoting and managing Te Araroa trail for the good of New Zealand.

Mr McGregor said the Trust’s focus over the coming year was ensuring the long term sustainability of the trail and embedding the trail experience into the hearts and minds of New Zealanders.
ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Madrid Climate Talks: Decade Ending 2019 Likely To Be Hottest On Record

Exceptional global heat driven by greenhouse gas emissions mean this decade will most likely go down as the warmest on record, according to the World Meteorological Organization...

The agency also finds that 2019 is on track to be the second or third warmest year in history, with the global average temperature during January through October, roughly 1.1 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial era.

“If we do not take urgent climate action now, then we are heading for a temperature increase of more than 3°C by the end of the century, with ever more harmful impacts on human wellbeing.” More>>

 

NZ First Conflicts Of Interest: New Details Around Timeline

New information has emerged showing it was the New Zealand First chief of staff who identified potential conflicts of interest between a forestry company and two senior government ministers, sparking a series of declarations. More>>

Earlier:

Donations:

Five New Cancer Meds In Six Months: Pharmac Funds More Cancer Medicines, Faster Assessment

PHARMAC has confirmed that two new medicines – olaparib for ovarian cancer and fulvestrant for breast cancer – have been approved for funding... Rituximab and bortezomib, which are already funded, have also been approved for widened access following successful commercial proposals from new suppliers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Stoking Fears About Cannabis Law Reform

It was always going to be hard to have a rational debate on cannabis reform. Far easier for politicians to win votes by stoking alarm... More>>

ALSO:

Tūhoronuku Mandate Recognition Ends: "New Opportunity" For Ngāpuhi Treaty Negotiations

The Crown is providing an opportunity for the hapu of Ngāpuhi to rebuild its framework from the ground up for collective negotiations to deal with its historical Treaty claims... More>>

ALSO:

Pike River: Next Phase Of Recovery Underway

“Fresh air will be pumped into the Pike River Mine drift this week, following acceptance of the plan for re-entry beyond the 170m barrier by New Zealand’s independent health and safety regulator WorkSafe." More>>

ALSO:

Peters Stoic: Russia On Afghan Firing Range Deaths

The foreign minister won't be calling in the Russian ambassador concerning comments made about New Zealand soldiers in Afghanistan. In a media briefing late last month, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said New Zealand must investigate crimes against civilians. More>>

ALSO:

Christchurch Call: Online Crisis Response Workshop In Wellington

Governments and tech companies are holding a two-day workshop, hosted by YouTube/Google in Wellington, to test the Christchurch Call Shared Crisis Response Protocol. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels