The Te Araroa Trail New Zealand is a premier long distance hiking trail. It opened in 2011 and at this stage is still a work in progress. Te Araroa is popular with New Zealand and Australian hikers but is becoming more popular with hikers from Europe and North America.
I hiked the Te Araroa Trail in 2018-2019. I have included my complete Te Araroa Trail blog as part of this post for those interested in reading a daily journal. For those that are not, there is more than enough information to assist in planning for the Te Araroa Trail.
Having completed the Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail I was keen to hike another long distance trail. Enter the Te Araroa Trail.
Te Araroa Blog
Te Araroa Guidebooks
As yet there are no Te Araroa Trail guides suitable for hikers. Stick with this blog and soon I will provide a complete guide of Te Araroa Trail for all future hikers on the trail. This Te Araroa Trail Blog should help with a lot of the planning.
When to hike the Te Araroa
New Zealand is called the land of the long white cloud. The trail should only be hiked in the southern hemisphere summer. October would be considered the earliest that a hiker should start the trail if heading southbound. And the southbound hiker should be finished the trail before April. Snow and cold weather blowing in from Antarctica can close the trail.
Northbound hikers should start the trail in the south island around December or January in the hope of reaching the tip of the north island before winter and closures of the trail to allow access for sheep on certain sections of trail.
Te Araroa Trail Maps
Phone Apps provide the best Te Araroa Trail Map. I used the Guthook App on my smartphone as my primary map, GPS and guide for the trail. These are the best Te Araroa Trail Maps. I have previously used these guide on other trails and like the layout and simplicity of using a smartphone to navigate. Using a stand alone GPS is not not necessary, smartphones are best.
Paper maps can be dowloaded for free from the Te Araroa website. Be sure to leave a generous donation in return for this free service.
Te Araroa Trail Notes
A complete list of trail notes are regularly updated by the Te Araroa Trail Trust. Download each individual section from https://www.teararoa.org.nz/before-you-go/maps-and-notes-download/
Bounce Box on the Te Araroa Trail
As with every other long distance hiking trail that I have hiked, I used a bounce box. I would post this bounce box to myself as I hike along the trail. The box contains my computer, cables, extra pairs of hiking shoes and some spare clothes that I will not need when hiking and I’ll have a couple of items of food. I will be sending the bounce box to selected places along the trail where I plan to take a rest day to get some blog updates completed and
I will not be sending food to myself as I will choose to support the local shops and buy local. I’ll update the places I send my bounce box as it happens.
For more information on Bounce Boxes and mailing items in New Zealand check out A Complete Guide to Resupply on the Te Araroa Trail.
Charging Electrical Equipment in New Zealand
New Zealand uses the same 220-240 volt three plug electrical outlets as Australia and China. Europeans, North Americans and hikers from most places in Asia will need to bring an outlet adaptor from home or purchase one locally. They are available at the airport duty free in Auckland. Or this one at Amazon.
Travel insurance will be necessary for most hikers as they may not be covered for accident, illness or injury when in New Zealand.
Read my Complete Guide to resupply on the Te Araroa Trail for all the information about resupply, bounce boxes, sending packages in New Zealand and all the addresses and contact details.
In New Zealand the alcohol used in stoves is known as Metho or Methylated Spirits. As I hike the trail I will update the availability of Metho and Cartridge Gas Canisters. I’ll be using a gas stove on this hike.
All the trail towns that sell gas canisters are listed in A Complete Guide to Resupply on the Te Araroa Trail.
Getting to the start of the trail
Getting to the start of the trail at Cape Reinga can be a mission in itself.
I was lucky to get a lift to the start of the trail with Ross, a long time reader of this blog and all around good guy. Thank you Ross.
Hikers need to catch a bus from Auckland to Kaitaia. From there it is possible to hitch hike to Cape Reinga. There are expensive shuttles that can be arranged from bu Utea Park or Tuatua Rentals, but really, just hitch hike.
Guides to the Best Lightweight Gear for Thru Hiking the Te Araroa Trail
Some of the best outdoor gear for hiking in New Zealand is made by Macpac. With the extremes of weather they make some awesome gear, they also sell gas canisters and have stores all along the Te Araroa Trail. My personal favourite ultralight gear items from Macpac are:
- Macpac Icefall Ultralight Down Jacket
- Macpac Tempo Ultralight Rain Jacket
- Macpac Nitro Ultralight mid layer
Complete Te Araroa Trail Blog
Te Araroa Trail Gear list
Te Araroa Trail Gear Review
Complete Guide to Te Araroa Resupply
Te Araroa Trail North Island
TA Day 1
TA Day 2 – The Beach Walk
TA Day 3 – Man Lipstick and Rogue Waves
TA Day 4 – Then it Rained
TA Day 5 – Kaitaia Resupply
TA Day 6 – Roadwalking through Farmland
TA Day 7 – The Muddy Death Forest
TA Day 8 – Illness and Stupidity
TA Day 9 – Man Flu
TA Day 10-12 Resting in Kerikeri
TA Day 13 – Back on Trail
TA Day 14 – River Walking Paradise
TA Day 15 – Forest Hiking
TA Day 16 – More Hikers
TA Day 17 – I hiked too far
TA Day 18 – The Brewery
TA Day 19 – Solo Again
TA Day 20 – Farmland Trails
TA Day 21 – 500km
TA Day 22 – Stillwater Paradise
TA Day 23-24 – To Auckland
TA Day 25 – Urban Hiking in Auckland
TA Day 26 – Hiking more than 50 kilometers
TA Day 27 – Attack Dogs
TA Day 28 – Hakarimata Forest
TA Day 29 – To Hamilton 25% done
TA Day 30 – Friendly Locals
TA Day 31 – Mt Pirongia best day yet
TA Day 32 – You can’t always get what you want
TA Day 33 – Heavy rain brings out the birds
TA Day 34 – Rest in Te Quiti
TA Day 35 – A bit of trail maintenance needed
TA Day 36 – All day roadwalk
TA Day 37 – The Timber Trail
TA Day 38 – 1000km one third done
TA Day 39-40 Tamaranui decision time
TA Day 41 – Hiking solo
TA Day 42 – River Crossings
TA Day 43-44 – Alpine Crossing retreat
TA Day 45 – Hiking backwards
TA Day 46-47 – Tongariro Crossing
TA Day 48 – The Fisher Trail to Whakahoro
TA Day 49-52 Canoeing the Whanganui River
TA Day 53-58 – An Early Christmas Break
TA Day 59 – Halfway
TA Day 60 – Wine and Bread with Dinner
TA Day 61 – River Walk into the Tararuas
TA Day 62 – Bad Weather forces retreat
TA Day 63 – Stuck in a hit for Christmas
TA Day 64 – The hardest section of the whole trail
TA Day 65 – A PCT Reunion
TA Day 66 – The Escarpment trail
TA Day 67 – 69 – Wellington to the South Island
Te Araroa Trail South Island
TA Day 70 – Happy New Year
TA Day 71 – Summer is Coming
TA Day 72 – Food is Important
TA Day 73 – Seven Days of Food is Heavy
TA Day 74 – Too Many things are breaking
TA Day 75 – This is the TA I’ve been looking for
TA Day 76 – River valleys and mountain passes
TA Day 77 – St Arnaud Village
TA Day 78 – Conservative Hiking
TA Day 79 – The Drought has broken
TA Day 80 – Two high passes in one day
TA Day 81-84 – 2000km
TA Day 85 – One too many slips
TA Day 86 – 100 river crossings
TA Day 87 – Arthur Pass
TA Day 88 – Rescued on the Te Araroa Trail
TA Day 89 – It’s windy in New Zealand
TA Day 90 – The long wide valleys
TA Day 91 – Rangitata river crossing
TA Day 92 – Thunderstorm on the High Pass
TA Day 93 – Highest Point on the trail
TA Day 94-99 – Lake Tekapo to Twizel
TA Day 100 – Back on Trail
TA Day 101 – Almost washed away on a river crossing
TA Day 102 – So cold I was peeing Ice Cubes
TA Day 103 – Best Views Yet
TA Day 104 – I am not immune to stupidy
TA Day 105 – Long steep climbs
TA Day 106 – Riverwalk to Arrowtown
TA Day 107 – Queenstown and Beyond
TA Day 108 – Hiking up Glacial valleys
TA Day 109 – I hate sandflies
TA Day 110 – Windy Roadwalk
TA Day 111 – In Sight of the Southern Ocean
TA Day 112 – A Day on the Farm
TA Day 113 – Toilet Paper Everywhere
TA Day 114 – Cracking my head on a tree
TA Day 115 – I Just Hiked the Te Araroa Trail
12 thoughts on “Complete Te Araroa Trail Blog”
Hi Brad, I through-hiked Te Araroa in 2015-16, and I loved it. I am considering doing one of the three American trails. Did you have a favourite among the three? How did the scenery / your enjoyment compare with Te Araroa? Thanks mate.
I would pick the PCT. It has the best variation in scenery and while it is difficult, it is not as difficult as the CDT. The AT is also nice but the visual scenery is not as good as the PCT. Pick the PCT.
Do you plan to make a video about the Te Araroa Trail for YouTube? I’ve just finished reading the whole story and it was fascinating!
Greetings from Hungary.
Yes, that was the plan but it is a lot of work and I just don’t seem to have the time to put it all together into a nice video. Maybe one day.
You are a true inspiration. greetings from a fellow blogger and hiker from Bulgaria!
Hike on from your Canadian “brother”
Cheers, will do.
Wow fantastic! Looking forward to following you on another hike!
Cheers Anna, I just can’t stop hiking.
Look forward to following along on your journey Shepard, and hopefully seeing you in the not too distant future
Thanks Lee, should be down your way around Christmas/ New year