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They’re doing our trail here.

  • 05 Sep 2008

Two walkers have now finished their Te Araroa tramp - or those parts of it open to tramping - and other groups are still pressing ahead along the route .

Eric Martinot, an American who was inspired by Te Araroa's website, finished April 8 after tramping 2,900 km the length of New Zealand - including some 807 kilometres directly on Te Araroa's route. Te Araroa Trust's Geoff Chapple and Miriam Beatson accompanied Eric on the last seven km of the Foveaux Walkway to Sterling Point, when he was heard to mutter:

"I feel I COULD go on. Whether I've got the inclination to go on is another matter." A link to Eric's extensive journal is in the 'Trail Stories' section of this website.

David Gibson, a Canadian, finished April 15, following Te Araroa's route closely most of the way through the South Island.

His hike is also described, with pictures, in the 'Trail stories' section of the website.

Meantime others are also walking the route. Matthias Maard from Berlin - a 37 year-old lighting designer and technical adviser for theatre and shows - completed his South Island route, the first tramper to do it from south to north - and has completed much of the North Island. His tramp included one diversion into the difficult Otehake Valley where he fell off a rock wall into the river. He took just a few startled seconds, to discover how to pack float.

In addition the Endless Step Club ESC (see news stories of December 15 and January 1) have now reached Erua on the far side of National Park, and are scoping their next section through to Pipiriki. The group of Taranaki women - Kathleen Weston, a dairy farmer, Fay Edwards a practice nurse and Margaret Leake an ex-beef and cattle farmer - and one bloke, Jim Reed, a retired joiner and marathoner - walked 700 kilometres of the trail in 35 days. They'll pick it up again in the coming summer.

Meantime, Dr Norm Sharpe - a member of Te Araroa Trust's new Auckland Trust - and Sue Sharpe, though both working, take every chance to tramp Te Araroa - to date they've followed the route Cape Reinga to Auckland, then diverted south.

"The far north and then the coastal section could scarcely be surpassed and we had many unforgettable encounters," wrote Norm of his North Island leg. And of the South Island he wrote:

"The alpine route over the Rintouls with heavy packs had us VO2 max on occasions and this section is not to be taken lightly. The first winter snow beat us to Waiau Pass, but we will continue there next summer."

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