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. The Te Araroa Trail trail 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.
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 Trail
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.
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.
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 atAmazon.
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Travel insurance will be necessary for most hikers as they may not be covered for accident, illness or injury when in New Zealand. On all my travels I useWorld Nomadswhich cover thru hiking.
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.
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: