This is a complete resupply guide for hiking the Te Araroa Trail in New Zealand in 2020-2021. The guide includes everything from small take away food stores and large supermarkets to places that sell hiking gear and gas canister. It also details which Post Offices will receive Bounce Boxes with their address and open times.
Read the Complete guide to Thru Hiking the Te Araroa Trail if you want to read a daily journal of the trail, hints and tips about hiking the trail and how to guides.
Bounce Box on the Te Araroa Trail
A bounce box is a box that you continually send to yourself while hiking. It might contain a computer, spare shoes and socks, extra clothes that you will not be wearing on trail such as jeans etc. I have used bounce boxes on all the long distance thru hikes that I have hiked and had no problems with lost boxes.
There are also Trail Angels that might accept your bounce box for you or store unwanted gear or clothing while you are hiking.
A Trail Angle is a term used to describe anyone helping out a hiker. It is an important Te Araroa resupply option for those not wanting to carry every bit of clothing or equipment they have with them.
Post Restante – General Delivery on the Te Araroa Trail
It is possible to pick up mail from some post offices in New Zealand. The system is called Poste Restante, in other countries it is called General Delivery. All Poste Restante Packages should be labeled with your name, Poste Restante, Name of the Town or City and the Postcode. You can get a tracking code for your box.
Your Name Poste Restante Street Address City – Post Code New Zealand
Not all Post Offices in New Zealand accept deliveries through Poste Restante. I have listed all of the post offices that accept packages and added the correct postal address next to the relevant towns. In larger cities there are more than one post office but only one of them will accept packages.
Costs to pick up a package: 0-7 days – Free 7-14 days – $11 14-21 days – $16.50 21-28 days – $22.00
The cheapest Te Araroa resupply option is Pac n Save. It is a large warehouse style grocery store and cheapest choice for hungry hikers. The other great options are Countdown and New World which are only slightly more expensive than Pac n Save but they usually have a bigger choice of supplies, a nice deli and a bakery. The next most expensive are the Four Square, Fresh Choice and Supervalue. Some of these have a great selection of food at reasonable prices and others (such as National Park) are incredibly expensive.
There are many Dairies, which are small family owned convenience stores that sell limited supplies and many have take away food such as burgers or fish and chips. The trail can be very expensive if always eating take away food from Dairies.
Freeze Dried meals are usually only available at Outdoor Stores but several grocery stores that see lots of hikers stock them. They are usually very expensive but make a welcome change from rice, pasta or couscous.
Where to Send Food Packages on the Te Araroa Trail
Food can be purchased at every trail town along the trail. But there are a couple of places that have very limited or very expensive options. It is common to send packages to these locations.
There are no places on the North Island that you will need to send a package. All food can be purchased easily along the trail.
The only places on the South Island that you should send packages are St Arnaud and Arthur Pass. It is possible to resupply in these towns but they are rip off expensive. If you are not hitch hiking into Hamner Springs then send a package to Boyle Outdoor Education Centre.
Te Araroa Resupply for the North Island
0km Cape Reinga
No Resupply available. Most hikers pick up all the food they need to hike from Cape Reinga to Ahipara or Kaitaia. Resupply can be done at Kaitaia which has a Pac n Save or in Auckland.
There is a small General Store that is big enough to resupply but a bit expensive. Kaiatia is only 13km away. and a much better resupply option. There is also a cafe which serves a great breakfast.
A large Pac n Save and a 4 Square. Buy enough food to get to KerriKerri 112km away.
Poste Restante address:
Your Name Poste Restante 104 Commence Street Kaitaia 0410 New Zealand
160km Mangamuka Dairy
A great place to stop for a burger, milkshake, coffee and it is possible to do a small but expensive resupply here if you are not fussy.
Has a choice of 2 large grocery stores, New World and Countdown. Many choices of cafes, restaurants and take away food shops. I went to Subway and bought a large Sub, that was all the food I needed to hike the 25km to Paihia.
Poste Restante address:
Your Name Poste Restante 6 Hobson Street KeriKeri 0230 New Zealand
The Countdown supermarket is not as large or cheap as KeriKeri but good enough for a full resupply. There are many cafes, take aways and restaurants. The next good resupply is at Nguruguru 84km away but there are so many options for burgers, snacks and drinks along the way that most hikers only carry enough food until Whananaki 67km away.
A small marina with a Fish and Chips Take away and a very small general store. Not enough to resupply but enough for lunch or a snack. From here if you are not canoeing and choose to do the long roadwalk to Waikare Landing there is a store at the Petrol Station about 4km after the ferry drops you off. They have meat pies, snacks, drinks, water etc. There are no services at Waikare Landing.
It is possible to resupply at The Beach Store but there is not a huge choice. It does have lots of snacks, fish and chips, burgers, beer and gas canisters. Most hikers stay in the campground here.
The general store has a small but not very good resupply. They do have great burgers, fish and chips, milkshakes and more. Great place for a lunch break or dinner.
Small but expensive grocery store. Enough choice of food to do a full resupply here. Also has take away burgers, fish and chips, beer etc.
Small General Store with snacks, drinks and not much to resupply. No take away meals.
Fresh Choice grocery store for a full resupply also a choice of restaurants, cafes and take aways.
Four Square for a full resupply also a choice of restaurants, bars, cafes and take aways.
441-446km Mangawhai Heads and Mangawhai
Two towns very close to each other. Both have a Four Square for a full resupply also a choice of restaurants, cafes and take aways. Best to buy enough food to get to Puhoi 76km away.
Dome Cafe on trail and is a welcome site for hungry hikers, also has electrical outlets to recharge phones. It appears the Dome Cafe is closed until further notice.
It is a hitch south on the main highway to Warkworth which has a New World but most people don’t bother.
General Store with average resupply but also sells fish and chips etc. The bar next door does great meals and beer. From here till Auckland Airport 91km away there are so many places to buy food that it is not really necessary to carry much food.
Small General Store with snacks and drinks etc.
Large New World Supermarket with full resupply and a large choice of restaurants, cafes and take aways.
Large Countdown Supermarket and choice of restaurants, cafes and take aways etc.
About 1km before the well known Stillwater Holiday Park is the Stillwater Marina Club which is super friendly and reasonably priced place for dinner and a beer with the locals.
561km Browns Bay
Large Countdown and New World Supermarkets for full resupply. Choice of restaurants, cafes and take aways.
Large Countdown Supermarket for full resupply and take away food options.
Large Countdown Supermarket for a full resupply.
Large Supermarkets but a bit far from the trail. Many take away food options near the trail.
New World Supermarkets for full resupply. Choice of restaurants, cafes and take aways. This is where the ferry crosses the harbour to Auckland.
580km – 613km Auckland to Auckland Airport
So many resupply options and Outdoor Stores with hiking gear and gas canister. The best option is not to resupply in Auckland but wait until the outer suburbs near the Airport. A small resupply or lunch stop can be bought at one of the many stores at Mangere Bridge (597km). The large Countdown Supermarket near the Airport (613km) is the best place to resupply when heading out of town. The next good resupply is Huntly 106km away but there are many places for meals and snacks along the way.
Poste Restante address:
Your Name Poste Restante Victoria Street Box Lobby 151 Victoria Street West, Auckland Central, 1010 New Zealand
Snacks at the Mobil Petrol Station. Nice place for a rest stop on this long road walk section.
677km Mercer – Podge’s Place
A compulsory stop for all TA hikers. Free camping out the back of the bar which serves great burgers, pizza and cold beer. Check before you arrive as reports indicate camping is no longer free.
A small detour off the trail/road to Meremere which has a small grocery store for snacks, meat pies, drinks etc. Not a great option but if you are low on food you can resupply.
A short 1km detour off the trail to a large Countdown Supermarket with full resupply. Many take away food options.
Large New World Supermarket for full resupply. Many restaurants, take aways and cafes.
Large Pac n Save and Countdown Supermarket for full resupply. Many restaurants, take aways and cafes. Outdoor Stores for those wanting to buy new gear or Gas Canisters. Next good resupply is Te Quiti 112km away.
No resupply but the Backyard Bar next to the trail offers free camping on the grass out the back. Meals, beer and friendly locals. If arriving Friday or Saturday they often have live music, much quieter on other days. Very friendly place.
Small general store with not much for resupply but there are cafes and places for a meal.
870km Te Kuiti
New World Supermarket with full resupply, also many restaurants, cafes and take aways. Gas Canisters at the Hardware Store.
New World Supermarket with full resupply. Most people taking the Canoe trip on the Whanganui River will purchase all their food here and leave it with the canoe companies based nearby. Gas Canisters at the Outdoor/Hunting Store.
1096km Tongariro Holiday Park
They have a couple of snack options but not much. Friendly place if staying, not so friendly if you are passing through and want to use their services for free.
1130km Whakapapa Village
Limited resupply and snacks at the Whakapapa Holiday Park. A couple of cafes and restaurant options in this tourist town.
1150km National Park
The Four Square at the Petrol Station has a full resupply and gas canisters but is very expensive. There is also the Service Centre nearby which is much smaller. Several restaurants, cafes and take away options. Last stop before taking the canoe trip on the Whanganui River.
Full resupply with choice of Pack n Save, Countdown and New World Supermarkets. Many restaurants, cafes and take away food options. Outdoor stores for gas canisters.
A short 1km detour along the main highway to Turakina which has a Mobil Petrol Station with meat pies, snacks and drinks.
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Four Square grocery store and many fast food, cafes and restaurants.
Large Countdown Supermarket with full resupply options. Many fast food options, cafes and restaurants.
1468km Palmerston North
Palmerston North is a complete Te Araroa Trail resupply town with choice of Pack n Save, Countdown and New World Supermarkets. Many restaurants, cafes and take away food options. Many Outdoor stores for gas canisters and hiking gear. I purchased extra food here and posted it to the South Island towns of St Arnaud, Arthur Pass and Havelock. I found Palmerston North to be a great option for me, most people do this in Wellington.
Important Note: Prepare to pack and carry extra food for crossing the Tararua Mountains. This mountain range has notoriously bad weather and it is possible to be stuck in a hut for several days waiting for the weather to pass. I was stuck in a hut when I crossed these mountains but had planned for this by carrying extra food. For your safety pack extra food.
Other things to Consider: Start to think about what date you will be in Wellington. During the peak periods of Christmas and New Year they may already be fully booked. Due to the possibility of bad weather in the Tararuas which might cause you to loose a day or more it is better to make the Ferry Booking directly after crossing the Tararuas in Waikanae.
A hitch off the trail to the town of Levin which has a Countdown and New World Supermarket. Not many people take this option but if the weather is very bad for the Tararua Mountains and you have to wait, this is a good option. Sometimes the good people at the very hiker friendly Makahika Outdoor Pursuits Centre give lifts into Levin. If the weather is forecast to be bad in the Tararuas, which is very often, consider waiting for better weather. The Makahika Outdoor Pursuits Centre is hiker friendly and a good place to wait out bad weather.
Full Te Araroa Trail resupply at the New World and Countdown Supermarkets. Many restaurants, cafes and take away food options. Gas Canisters at the Hardware stores.
Important: Make your Ferry Booking from Wellington to the South Island. It is easy hiking to Wellington 91km away. You will need an extra day or two in Wellington to purchase, pack and send your resupply packages to the South Island unless you did it in Palmerston North.
Grocery Store with small resupply option. A couple of cafes and take away food options.
Small grocery stores with snacks and very basic resupply.
1635km – 1638km Plimerton to Paremata
Many grocery stores, restaurants, cafes and take away food options just off the trail on the main road.
Full resupply at Pac n Save, Countdown and New World Supermarkets. Many restaurant, cafes and take away food options.
Wellington is a full Te Araroa Trail resupply town with Pac n Save, Countdown, New World and many Outdoor Stores for hiking gear and gas canisters. Buy enough food for the 85km Queen Charlotte Track between Picton and Havelock.
Buy and ship food for South Island from here unless you have done it earlier.
Wellington is the capital city of New Zealand and a great place for a couple of days rest. This is the last large town most hikers will see for many weeks or months. Enjoy a movie at the cinema, a drink at a bar, visit a museum or two and have a rest for a day or two while waiting for the ferry.
Poste Restante address:
Your Name Poste Restante 7 Waterloo Quay, Pipitea Wellington 6011 New Zealand
1688km Southern Terminus of the North Island
Most people make this an easy half hike from their accomodation in Wellington. A couple of small places for food along the way and a place for a snack near the end of the trail. There is a bus stop right next to the park at the end of the trail which will take you back to Wellington.
Te Araroa Resupply for the South Island
The Ferry to and from the North Island arrives in this town. There are many restaurants, cafes and take away food options. There is a Four Square and Fresh Choice Grocery Store but most people resupply in Wellington which is cheaper and has better options. The Water Taxis depart from here to the start of the Queen Charlotte Track. It is possible to just turn up and get a seat, which is what I did, but most people make a booking when in Wellington.
A small petrol station with snacks and a tavern across the road with meals.
Full Te Araroa resupply at the Four Square which is a little expensive but not too bad. I sent a package to Blue Moon Backpackers with my food resupply for the Richmond Ranges but it is not necessary. The Four Square is not too expensive and has a good selection of food. If I hiked the trail again I would not send a package here.
This is the last resupply until the town of St Arnaud 161km away. The Richmond Ranges took me only 5 days but most fit hikers that already hiked the North Island will take 6-7 days. Those just starting the trail in the South Island and not ‘Trail Fit‘, may take much longer. So plan your food wisely. The trail gets harder on the South Island.
1795km Pelorus Bridge Campsite
Campground and Cafe with great meals and limited snacks. Many hikers camp at this hiker friendly campground. Even if it is full they always find a place for TA hikers.
1935km St Arnaud
General Store/petrol station is very expensive but it is possible to resupply there if desperate or if you have lots of money. They also have an attached cafe/take away food. Across the road at the Alpine Lodge Backpackers there is a restaurant with great Pizza and beer.
Packages can be sent toAlpine Lodge in St Arnaud. Call them before sending the package so they can tell you how to send it. It will cost $10 to pick it up from them.
The next section across Nelson Lakes is a highlight of the South Island and often bad weather can make crossing the passes slower than in bad weather. Often hikers might need to wait out bad weather which can make this section of trail dangerous so take extra food just in case.
2050km Hamner Springs/Boyle Village
There are two options here. Send a package to Boyle River Outdoor Education Centre or hitch hike into the town of Hamner Springs. For those wanting to avoid towns send a package. For those wanting a shower and a good meal, hitch into Hamner Springs. Buy or send enough food to make it to Arthur Pass 113km away.
Boyle River Outdoor Education Centre – Right on the trail at the junction of Highway 7. They accept packages and there is camping nearby at the DOC Campground. Contact Boyle River Outdoor Education Centre before sending packages as they have strict rules on package size etc. It costs $10 to pick up packages from them. https://www.boyle.org.nz/tramping-services
Hamner Springs – It is a long 55km hitch into Hamner Springs. Many hikers, myself included found it very easy to get a ride. there is a great YHA hostel in Hamner Springs and many cafes, restaurants and take away food options. Resupply at Four Square is reasonable.
Important Information – The next section of trail involves more than 100 river crossings, many of which can be waist deep and fast flowing. In heavy rain this section can be impassable. At Morrison Footbridge, 2139km, there is a bail out option to Arthur Pass if the weather is bad. The section from there to Arthur Pass via Goat Pass can trap a hiker in bad weather making it impossible to go forward or backwards. Plan on taking extra food and keep an eye on the notoriously bad weather in this section.
2163km Arthurs Pass
It is a short hitch uphill from the trail to Arthur Pass. There are 2 cafe/restaurant options and it is possible to resupply at the general store, although it is very expensive and not recommended. It is cheaper to send a package to The Sanctuary Backpackers. Contact The Sanctuary for their postal address and how to pick up the packages which will be locked in a secure room. https://www.thesanctuary.co.nz/ . There are other options for resupply boxes in Arthur Pass but they all come at a cost to you so save your money and use The Sanctuary. It is a great place to stay and put your money back into this great service.
Resupply Options between Arthur Pass and Lake Tekapo – It is 216km between Arthur Pass and Lake Tekapo. I chose to carry 7 days food (I’m a strong hiker) to complete this section of trail but most hikers break up the hike by stopping to resupply in Methven. There are two potentially dangerous rivers which will require a shuttle or long hitch hike around.
2235km Rakaia River / Lake Coleridge / Methven – No resupply option.
The dangerous, silty and very wide crossings of Rakaia River is rarely possible to be crossed by hikers and with just a very small amount of rain in the headwaters it can be life threatening. I’m very experienced at river crossings and would not attempt this crossing. I would have needed to swim and float my pack across on my air mattress. Just don’t even bother considering it. You have been warned. Most people hitch or organise a shuttle from Lake Coleridge to Methven. I hitched to the other side and was very lucky and had no problem, most hikers find this a difficult place to hitch hike to and from.
Contact Wayne at Alps to Oceanto organise a shuttle when in Arthur Pass.
Has a choice of two grocery stores for resupply and a hardware store for gas canisters. There are also cafes, restaurants and take away options.
2305km Rangitata River – This is another very wide, very silty dangerous river. If there has been no rain for a long period of time and the hiker is VERY EXPERIENCED at river crossings then it is sometimes possible to hike through this deep and wide crossing. Just a little bit of rain in the headwaters make this crossing dangerous and impassable. I organised a shuttle to get me to the other side. Contact Wayne at Alps2Ocean who also makes a short stop for a burger and snacks before dropping hikers back to the trailhead.
2379km Lake Tekapo
There is a Four Square with good Te Araroa resupply options. Many cafes, restaurants, take away food options. Many hikers do the long hike all the way to Twizel in one big long push. Others hike several kilometers out of town to a freedom campsite at Lake Pukeki which has toilets and great views of the highest mountain in New Zealand in good weather. In bad weather there are protected campsite in the trees near the lake.
Good resupply at Four Square. Many cafes, restaurants and take away options. Gas canisters at the hardware store.
Beware of the Ahuriri River crossing between Twizel and Wanaka at 2490km. It can be very dangerous to cross but there is a bridge downstream that hikers can use to cross. It will add a half a day to your hike.
2550km Lake Hawea Village
There is a small grocery store with basic resupply, it is attached to a take away with great burgers etc.
2563km Albert Town
200 meters off the trail is a store with good resupply options.
Full Te Araroa Trail resupply at New World Supermarket. Outdoor stores with gas canisters and hiking gear. Many choices of restaurants, cafes and take aways.
Poste Restante address:
Your Name Poste Restante 39 Ardmore Street Wanaka 9305 New Zealand
2589km Glendhu Bay Lakeside Holiday Park
Campground with a small store that has snacks, burgers, drinks and a nice shady place to relax.
Basic Te Araroa resupply at the Night n Day Food Store. Many choices of cafes, restaurants, and take aways. A nice campground in town too.
Frankston is just outside of Queenstown and is a much better, much cheaper Te Araroa resupply option than anything in Queenstown. Pac n Save Supermarket is the cheapest option and right on the trail. There is also a Countdown, New World and several fast food options. Gas canisters at the Mitre 10 Hardware Store.
Several resupply options like Fresh Choice and Four Square but best to resupply at Frankston. Many restaurants, cafes and fast food options.
Glenorchy and Kinloch
Both are on route to the start of the trail and popular places to stop on route to other hikes in the area like the Reese Dart, Routeburn, Greenstone and Capels Track. Cafes and camping options in both towns.
2760km Te Anau
Hitch into town. Resupply at Four Square. Many cafes, restaurants and take away food options.
2833km Birchwood Station
1km walk to this operational farm which has a cheap cabin for hikers. It has a kitchen, hot showers and accepts resupply packages. Contact Sarah at Birchwood Station for details and mailing address. There is a short cut through the property to get back on the trail.
Another option is an easy hitch to the town of Nightcaps which has a Four Square for resupply.
Hitch to Otautau for a resupply at the Supervalue and take away food across the street.
2918km Colac Bay
No resupply options but it is compulsory to stop at the Colac Bay Tavern for a burger or fish and chips with your beer. Also a very cheap and hiker friendly campsite attached to the tavern.
Resupply at the Supervalue. Also has a couple of cafes in town.
Resupply at the Four Square which also has a bakery and an undercover shelter across the road which makes a great lunch rest break.
Full Te Araroa resupply at Pan n Save, Countdown or New World Supermarkets. Pac n Save is the cheapest. Many outdoor stores for gas canisters. If you are starting the trail northbound this is a full service town with everything you need to resupply for the start of the trail.
Invercargill Post Office Poste Restante:
You Name Poste Restante 66-74 Tay Street Invercargill, 9840 New Zealand
Four Square, liquor store with champagne, beer, spirits and wine if you are in the mood to celebrate finishing the trail. Many cafes and fast food options.
Do you have any questions about resupply on the Te Araroa Trail? Have you noticed anything that needs to be updated or changed? Let me know in the comments below.