Te Araroa - The Top 6 Multi-Day Walks
Got a little more time on your hands?
Ready to take the big step and camp out?
Try these Multi-Day walks - though remember to prepare well and take the right safety precautions.
Cape Reinga Coastal Walkway - Northland (2 Days)
The whole of the northern tip of the North Island is steeped in Maori tradition and in the heritage of their past. It is the most spiritually significant area in the country for it is here that, after death, all Maori spirits travel to the pohutukawa tree on the headland of Cape Reinga (Te Rerenga Wairua) and descend into the underworld (reinga) by sliding down a root to fall into the sea below. They climb out again onto Ohaua, the highest point of the Three Kings Islands to bid their last farewell before returning to the land of their ancestors, Hawaiiki-A-Nui. Cape Reinga to Te Paki Stream is also the beginning of the (southbound) Te Araroa journey.
Pirongia Traverse - Waikato/King Country (2 Days)
Pirongia Mountain is a distinctive landmark 25km south-west of Hamilton. An ancient volcano, its dramatic skyline and dark, green forests contrasts strongly with the surrounding farmland. The mountain rises up from the farmland in a series of steep ridges, culminating in a number of subsidiary peaks before the summit at 959 metres above sea level. Extensive views of the Waikato Basin across to the Kaimai Ranges and the west coast harbours are available from the various high points. Pirongia has the distinction of having the first hut on the Te Araroa (southbound) route.
Breast Hill Track - Otago (3 to 4 Days)
One of the newest Te Araroa tracks (opened in 2011), the Breast Hill Track is 18 km long and boasts a variety of highlights, including access to the summit of Breast Hill (1578 m), from where trampers are rewarded with stunning panoramic views over Lake Hawea and the surrounding ranges. The climate is typically Central Otago, and very hot, dry conditions are common in summer.
Queen Charlotte Track - Nelson/Marlborough (4 Days)
The Queen Charlotte Track, located at the top of New Zealands South Island in the Marlborough Sounds, offers a spectacular trip through the Marlborough Sounds, from the historic Ship Cove through to Anakiwa. Queen Charlotte Track is a 71km track renowned for its stunning views and contrasting landscape, historical landmarks and wonderful variety of native bush and wildlife. Visitors to the Queen Charlotte Track will find this a unique walk as it passes through lush coastal forest, historic bays, and along skyline ridges with unsurpassed views of Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru Sounds. This walk is as much about a walking holiday as it is an environmental, cultural and lifestyle experience. Complementing the unique natural features of the track is the variety of accommodation available along the track and the water transport services which allow your luggage to be transferred each day, whether you are walking guided or freedom.
Harper Pass Track - Canterbury (4 to 6 Days)
The long and famous route over Harper Pass, or Hurunui Saddle, was once used by Maori as they visited the West Coast to trade in pounamu. Later, it was used in the 1860s by diggers and stock drovers heading for the West Coast goldfields. The long, straight valleys of the Taramakau, Hurunui, and Hope Rivers are all aligned along the Hope Fault. The track follows the Hope Fault east-by-northeast along 65km of its length, only departing from it briefly around Lake Sumner. Here, the route bends around the northern shore of this large but isolated lake, climbing over a glacial moraine on the Kiwi Pack Track, and dropping back to the fault along the Hope River. Much of the journey is along riverbeds with little or no track marking, and frequent river crossings.
Longwood Forest Track - Southland (2 to 3 Days)
The Longwood Forest Track opened in 2011 and is marked and fairly straight-forward. There are some sections though where a ground trail is not always obvious. Much of the trail falls within the Longwood Forest Conservation Area, though some sections are through privately owned indigenous forest. The southern part of the track follows the Ports Water Race to Round Hill, where gold mining operations were undertaken between the 1870s and 1950s. A number of interpretation panels have been installed to highlight mining artefacts and to elaborate on the mining history.