I plan to write more about our overall impressions and feelings about the Te Araroa, as well as some tips for people considering it, but for now, it’s just the facts. Anyone who knows me knows I keep track of as many trail statistics as I can! So here you go, the Te Araroa in numbers.
3000 kilometers/1076 miles
***the TA is advertised as a 3,000-kilometer trek, but our GPS shows that we did closer to 3200 kilometers! We’ve also heard reports of it actually being 3,300 kilometers, so who knows???
Rough Breakdown of Ks / Ms
1477 Ks / 919 Ms of trail (this includes a variety of types: forest, ridgeline, skree fields, boulder hopping, 4WD tracks, forestry roads, cycleway paths, urban walkways, etc)
1104 Ks / 687 Ms of road walking
177 Ks / 110 Ms of beach walking
103 K / 64 Ms of farm walking
88 Ks / 56 Ms of river canoeing
68 Ks / 42 Ms of river/estuary “walking” (in/through the river)
13 Ks / 8 Ms of boat rides
8 zero days (days off)
11 nero days (days less than 15K into a town)
Biggest day: 45K (25.8 miles)
Shortest day: 11K (6.8 miles)
Average pace (based on a 3,000-kilometer total): 24.4 K (15.1 miles)
Weight Loss: 20 lbs (J) and 17 lbs (P) -don’t worry, we’ve already started gaining it back!
15 days of rain (this is an estimate; I didn’t actually count)
Coldest night on the trail: 32 degrees F
32 swingbridges crossed
200+ river crossings (with one shuttle around the too-dangerous Rakaia River)
71 nights in a tent
22 nights in a backcountry hut along the trail
29 nights in a bed
35 showers (with the longest stretch between showers being 10 days)
0 Injuries, aside from 1 wasp sting (J) and 2 lost toenails (P)
2 pairs of Hi-Tec shoes each
3 pairs of socks ruined
25 falls for P (this means I was on my butt)
10 falls for J
34 holes dug for “business” for J
22 holes dug for “business” for P
150 or so questions from “The Book of Questions” answered while hiking the South Island with Kevin, the US guy we met and hiked with for 50 days or so
40 FaceTime calls
18 Hitchhikes (only 4 to avoid highway sections of the trail; the rest were in/out of towns for resupply)
Most Unique Hitch: from a police officer; 2nd place would be the 2 different postal service workers that picked us up!
Favorite Section: Nelson Lakes National Park (South Island)
Least Favorite Section: Ratea Forest (North Island)
Best Campsite: Hunua Falls (North Island) and Lake Pukaki (South Island – pictured)
Favorite Hostel: Adventure Queenstown Hostel (we plan to write a full post dedicated to all the hostels)
Favorite Trail Town: We couldn’t decide because all of NZ rocks
Best Breakfast: Top of the Dome Cafe (North Island)
Best Lunch: Fergburger (North Island)
10 portions of Fish & Chips consumed
10 Meat Pies consumed
Favorite Whittaker’s Chocolate Bar: Dark Rum Raisin (J)
Hokey Pokey (P)
Thank you to all our trail angels!! Trail magic on the Te Araroa came in the form of a “good on ya” in passing (essentially means good for you), a ride in a car, fresh water, letting us camp on their paddocks (farm), picking up our tab at a restaurant, packages/letters from stateside, comments on the blog, Instagram and Facebook, and of course, the bigger package of feeding/housing us! We’d like to publicly recognize the Kiwis who really went above and beyond. In no particular order …
*Paula, Michael and their son Nathan from Hamilton, who let us camp in their yard, cooked us dinner & breakfast and drove us to Hobbiton for a day of fun.
*Terry and Sam from Te Awamutu, as well as Mike and his family who arranged this from the states and were visiting when we came through. They collected packages for us, picked us up from the trail, let us camp on their lawn, fed us dinner and breakfast and took us to resupply.
*Karen from Owhanga who put up a sign in her storefront welcoming TA hikers. When we arrived, she invited us to a BBQ and to tent camp on her lawn.
*Jo, Mike and family from Bulls who gave us our own room/bathroom, cooked us dinner and breakfast, sent us off with Whittaker’s chocolate and surprised us on the road walk later that day with cold drinks.
*Sally and John from Mahika Outdoor Pursuits Centre who have a sign outside their place welcoming hikers to stop in for a cold drink. We contacted them in advance about camping, but instead, they gave us our own room/bathroom and cooked us dinner.
*Carole and Tony from Wellington who we met on the trail at a hut up north and invited us to stay with them when we reached Wellington. They collected packages we had sent there, gave us our own room/bathroom, cooked us countless meals, took us snorkeling for paua, and drove us around Wellington.
*Mike from Invercargill who gave us a lift to avoid a state highway section north of Auckland, then told us to give him a shoutout on Facebook when we got down to the end. We did and he surprised us at the trail end in Bluff with champagne, then took us out for beers at the local pub.
*Max and Lyn from Christchurch, who we met in the Richmond Range and invited us to stay with them when we fly out there later this month (no pix yet)