Te Araroa (TA) – What the… and why the…?

I have spent many years wanting to do Te Araroa trail but this has always been just a dream! The idea of not working for months on end, especially over summer seemed unrealistic financially, and the gear required for a trip like this was not cheap either.

However it was in May of this year (2021) that I decided to lock this trip in and essentially just ‘wing it’. I had just lost my dog Rosie to a brutal battle with cancer and this left a massive gap in my life and my finances. I had also just recovered from a 2 year back injury which debilitated me, and it had left me unfit and overweight after previously being able to run hours at a time in the mountains and playing tennis in Germany competitively. And most difficult was my siblings and I spending the last few years trying to cope with both parents having advanced cancer at the same time, our mother losing her battle, and our father just barely surviving.

So fuck it! – It is now time to experience this life fully again, selfishly I know, and do as much as I can. I have no interest in gaining wealth, money has never meant a lot to me, but experiencing what this planet still has to offer while I’m on it is more fitting with my ambitions. Te Araroa is just a step on what will be a long list of endeavours and I hope this blog does some justice to what I experience.

My girl Rosie, still miss her everyday – RIP 😦

Why walk Te Araroa the official trail of New Zealand? It is the most common question I’m asked in regards to doing this. Simply put, I love the outdoors, I love the simplicity of putting one foot in front of the other until camp is reached, and I didn’t want to spent my next 20 years working until retirement without exploring and experiencing what this country has to offer, much of which I still have not seen.

A friend of mine called Gabrielle heard about my planned ‘little walk’ and wanted in, took a mini sabbatical from work, and now she is joining me on the South Island section as we start from Bluff on the 18th December and head north (referred to as ‘NOBO’ – North bound). The North Island section I will be on my own! In charge of logistics is my sister Sandra, with help from my sister Brenda and Gabrielle’s sister Mel. Planning to walk over 3000km through mountains and not many towns requires a lot of planning, care parcels sent out, figuring out fees for huts, ferries, and planes is a little of what is involved.

Anyway, time to get back to planning, packing and getting excited for what will be a ridiculous adventure! I hope to get basic posts online as I get into areas with cell reception to keep you all informed on our whereabouts and of the crazy adventures that we have undertaken!

Vaughan πŸ™‚

Pic Left – The Trail of Te Araroa – starting in Bluff and heading north for 3100km

Pic Middle – Gabrielle and I on a recent 3 day hike of St James Walkway, picture was at the start which is why there is much joy shown

Pic Right – Sandra in full planning mode, maps are all over many walls, even up the stairs, which is where I finish inadvertently!

8 thoughts on “Te Araroa (TA) – What the… and why the…?

    • You are certainly on this adventure with us, hoping the updates make it enjoyable to follow along. Yourself and the ‘sister’s’ crew are definitely figuratively carrying the packs for Gabe and I, wouldn’t mind if it was literally too lol


    • Thanks Lisa, super impressed with all your adventures – inspiring! If you are planning to get out on the trail somewhere let me know and I’ll try to figure out where and when we are in the area πŸ™‚


  1. Happy Christmas Vaughan! Glad Gabe came through with the Chrissy treats. Looks like your trail will get a bit more rugged shortly. Enjoying you posts, a small source of amusement for us sofa slouchers.
    Keep chugging on.
    The Barry Family


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