A month ago we completed the South Island portion of the Te Araroa, New Zealand’s national trail, which runs the entire length of the country. We were amazed at the rich diversity of scenery and landscapes. From the steamy rainforest and hidden coves of the Queen Charlotte Track to the craggy cliffs of the Richmond Range to the endless golden tussock fields of the Rangitata, we felt like every day was a new discovery. New Zealand packs a tremendous amount of variety into a small country. Sore feet and heavy packs are already fading memories. Instead, we think fondly of the people we met along the trail who shared the journey with us or welcomed us into their homes.
Continue reading “Te Araroa – New Zealand’s National Trail”
From Riverton we walked along the long sandy beach all the way to the outskirts of Invercargill, New Zealand’s southernmost city. The walking was quick and easy, although high tide was in the middle of the day, forcing us up into the sand dunes briefly.
Continue reading “Te Araroa – Bluff & The End”
After a night in Otautau, we hitched back to the trail. It’s our final climb on the Te Araroa – the very last one after walking the whole South Island! We quickly reached Bald Hill with views of the sea and Stewart Island (New Zealand’s third largest) far in the distance. And there’s Bluff – the end of the trail
Continue reading “The final forest and now the sea”
We had a very nice break from hiking with our visit to Milford Sound. Mind and body refreshed, it was time to get back on the trail. We began with a nice farm track heading into the mountains.
Continue reading “Takitimu Forest”
Arriving in Te Anau two days earlier than planned, we jumped on the opportunity to see something completely different – the famous Milford Sound.
Continue reading “Magnificent Milford Sound”
Queenstown was an exciting place for a break from hiking but I was happy to get back on the trail. Less shopping, more walking.
Continue reading “Queenstown to Greenstone”
From the gold mining ruins of Macetown, we walked down to Arrowtown. Unlike Macetown, Arrowtown is a happening place, bustling with tourists. It has that somewhat tacky but fun feel of an old west gold town re-creation, not unlike Ballarat (Australia), Tombstone (Arizona), or Dawson City (Yukon).
Continue reading “Hitting the pause button in Queenstown”
After enjoying Wanaka with Alison and Brian, we set out on the final section of mountainous walking on the Te Araroa.
Continue reading “We struck gold!”
The walk from Lake Hawea to Wanaka is along a pleasant cycle track. We saw many people out for fun rides and jogging and lots of happy dogs.
Continue reading “Wanaka, New Zealand’s most picturesque town?”
We had a wonderful break at the Lake Ohau Lodge. All rested up, we were ready to hit the trail again. We began by following the A2O (Alps to Ocean) cycling track for a few miles. This is a continuation of the same cycling route we rode from Lake Tekapo to Ohau a few days earlier.
Continue reading “Lake Ohau to Hawea”