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Counting down to the walking season

  • 12 Sep 2022
DSC 3371 Photo Credit Margaret Hedderman 900x600
An update from Matt Claridge, Executive Director, Te Araroa

With the walking season just around the corner, many will be well into planning their Te Araroa experience.

I am very pleased that we are able to once again welcome international walkers to Te Araroa this season following the relaxation of New Zealand’s Covid-19 border restrictions. I know many international walkers will be looking forward to experiencing the world-famous Kiwi hospitality that has become a legendary part of the trail.

Weather and storm impacts

It has been a relentlessly wet winter in New Zealand and you may have read about the widespread damage to many of our country’s walking tracks, including some of those that make up Te Araroa. Slips, fallen trees, and trail damage will all take some time to identify and rectify.

Our fantastic and wonderful volunteers are working closely with DOC, local councils and landowners in a team effort to restore and reinstate the trail. A special mention must go to our incredible regional trust volunteers, many of whom have been working tirelessly to make tracks accessible again.

While we would love the full trail to be open in time for summer, the reality is that there will likely be some alternative routes in place. There will be a little more road walking in some areas this year, particularly where the usual backcountry trail routes are just too damaged to be walked safely. These alternative routes will likely be in place for some of Raetea Forest in Northland and the Link Pathway in Marlborough, among others.

Useful information on the status of all sections of Te Araroa can be found on the trail status page of our website. Even when tackling sections that are open it’s a good idea to expect the unexpected, as existing minor damage can be quickly exacerbated by weather conditions. 

Welcoming a new trail manager

I am very excited to share that all going well, our new Trail Manager should commence in the role during November. Interviews are scheduled for mid-September and I am pleased with the response to advertising. In effect, the success of this role will be judged on the condition of the trail, which means making maintenance happen and working with volunteers in the regions, DOC and other landowners and stakeholders. Standby for more news on this appointment – I am looking forward to having another member of the team working alongside me.

Whatever your plans are for spring and the coming walking season, we wish you an unforgettable experience. Thank you for your much valued support – it helps us all to enjoy the treasure that is Te Araroa.   

Ngā mihi nui,

Matt Claridge
Executive Director, Te Araroa Trust

Page last updated: Sep 12, 2022, 8:18 PM