It all starts in late autumn 2015: During another long, slow day at work, with the uneasy feeling that life is passing by me, I'm looking at a world map, thinking of doing something special. Not just another short vacation but rather something different: Like doing a round the world trip by bus, train and ship, trying to avoid flying or doing some extensive island hopping in the South Pacific Ocean. You know, things that one can usually only do when you are still young (or retired ;) without all the obligations.
And it's later that day at home while browsing through the web, when I stumble across a hike called "Te Araroa, The Long Pathway". Sure, I like hiking, the outdoors in general, but I can’t say why exactly this long-distance trail is instantly fascinating me. I guess it is the idea of hiking five months - living on the trail in an unkown country far abroad, leaving behind the daily grind, the comfort of home. Venture something different, taking up a challenge.
While doing more research, I make the decision to attempt this (hopefully) marvelous but surely unique adventure the following year. Although I don't want to plan every little detail but rather "just walk", I'm aware that until leaving for New Zealand, there would be many, many of things to plan nevertheless. Especially because it's my first thru hike. Lots of things to learn and gear that needs to be acquired.
In Mid-September 2016, a long flight takes me from Zurich via London, Singapore and Sydney to Auckland, from where I hitch up to Cape Reinga, my starting point of Te Araroa. The first steps are truly emotional. After all the planning finally on the Trail!
Time flies and a bit more than 4 months later, my Te Araroa adventure comes to its end. In pouring rain, after walking for 128 days from the northern- to the southernmost point of New Zealand, I touched the famous signpost at Stirling Point.
Re-experience the hike, the scenery, my ups and down and much more in my video, on my blog, which I updated daily while on the trail or read about my preparation, a brief overview of the trail and thoughts about it by clicking on the pics below.