Since the mid-1970s it has been a Kiwi dream to have a continuous path from one end of the country to the other. In recent years, Te Araroa – The Long Pathway (w teararoa.org.nz) has been championed by the Te Araroa Trust, a private group that aspired to compete the whole 2900km route, from Cape Reinga to Bluff, which opened in December 2011. Short trails, built with the trust’s involvement, link the fragmented network of existing tracks into a continuous whole. A provisional, impressively varied, route exists, much of it running through fairly remote country, although it intentionally visits small communities so that trampers can re-supply.
A few hardy souls have already tramped the whole route but it’s envisaged that most people will tackle short sections.