Before You Go

Te Araroa is a life-changing experience, both rewarding and challenging. There is no one way to walk Te Araroa. You can walk the whole trail in one go, complete each of the many sections over time, or just do a section you are ready for now. However you chose to walk, Te Araroa is your trail to enjoy.

The first thing to consider is whether you want to walk a little, or walk the lot!

Walking sections

Te Araroa is a tapestry of diverse landscapes, from sandy beaches to rugged mountain passes, challenging singletrack to peaceful farm tracks, and even urban streets. Each section offers a unique adventure, ensuring you’ll never tire of the scenery. 

If you don’t have a few months to spare, or want to increase your hiking skills and improve your fitness first, you can ‘section walk’ Te Araroa. You can take as long as you like to complete the trail, if that is your goal, and you can walk the sections in any order you choose.

For many people, walking the trail over the course of several years or even decades becomes a fulfilling lifelong adventure. Choose the sections that ignite your imagination and prepare for a journey that will leave you in awe.

Manawatu Te Araroa

Walking the whole trail

Walking the whole trail is called ‘through-walking’. It is not for the faint-hearted, and many of the tracks require the skills of an experienced backcountry hiker. You’ll need at least a moderate level of fitness and to be comfortable with navigation and decision-making, river crossings and survival skills. 

Your journey will take between 50 and 80 days per island, depending on how fast you walk, the weather and how long you choose to stop at places along the way. 50 days is quick and would need a high degree of fitness and some luck with the weather. 80 days is leisurely, giving leeway to walk slower and for shorter distances on most days. It would allow you to build fitness levels as you go, extend town stays, and allow greater margins for weather-related variables.

You’ll be passing through some of the most beautiful and fascinating places in Aotearoa, so we recommend taking your time, having a breather here and there and truly enjoying the experience.

Te Araroa Membership Pack

Getting started

Before you set off, you will need to plan well and have a good understanding of what lies ahead. 

Trip planning begins by deciding when and where to start Te Araroa. From there, you will need to think about transport to your start point, accommodation along the trail, where you’ll be able to get food and supplies, how long you expect to take to complete the walk, and how much money you will need while you’re away. We have some useful resources available to help you answer all these questions and our Trail Logistics page is a great place to start.

Whether you plan to walk the whole trail, cover a single island or section walk, you must register to walk Te Araroa. As a registered walker, you’ll have access to the most up to date information, support and benefits through our trail partners. You’ll receive Te Araroa walker information pack and locally made merchandise exclusive to registered walkers.

As part of registration, you will be asked to make a donation. Te Araroa Trust relies heavily on donations from walkers to maintain and improve the trail. So, before you go, make sure to do your bit to help us care for the trail and make it even better for future generations..