News and media
December update: Biggest year yet on Te Araroa
Tēnā koutou katoa
The season is well underway, with reports of large numbers of walkers on Te Araroa.
Joining thru walkers are section hikers, and on many parts of the trail, New Zealanders will be enjoying the outdoors over the summer period whilst sharing facilities with international walkers.
The high volume of walkers will test and strain the trail infrastructure, such as campsites, toilets and re-supply amenities. These challenges are frequently evident and will be ongoing through the summer period, with a peak expected in January through February.
With this in mind, I kindly remind walkers of the need to plan carefully and to allow for some flexibility in your arrangements where possible. Hut facilities will be hot property and therefore expectations may need to be moderated for much of the South Island.
Trail maintenance and improvement
Te Araroa Trust is well into implementing its plans around maintenance and trail development and we’ve been working closely with the Department of Conservation (DOC) and our regional trusts to make sure the trail experience continues to improve.
We now distribute through our regional trusts, funds raised from walker donations to improve the trail in their areas. I’m pleased to say that 100% of walker donations go straight into trail maintenance and development on Te Araroa.
We rely heavily on walker donations and the efforts of our amazing volunteers to keep the trail open, so please do consider making a contribution via the ‘Support the trail’ section of our website.
New trail manager
Another piece of exciting news is that Dan Radford joined the team earlier this month as Trail Manager. He will be responsible for trail development and maintenance, continuing our efforts to reduce road walking, and working with the volunteer network to improve the trail walking experience.
Originally from Georgia, USA, Dan fell in love with the trail – and met his future wife Kate – whilst walking Te Araroa in 2015/2016. He and Kate made the move to Kate’s home town of Twizel in 2017, where Dan landed a job with the DOC off the back of his previous experience with the US Forest Service.
Now he’s made the shift back to Te Araroa, albeit in a new capacity, and we’re delighted to have him on board. His first priorities will be developing relationships with DOC offices, Te Araroa’s regional trusts and supporting them with resolving any issues and undertaking much-needed work on the trail.
Celebrating our partners
There’s some good news to celebrate on the partnership front too, with Wilderness magazine confirming a continuation of their support for Te Araroa as a Gold Partner. We’re also lucky to have outstanding support from Back Country Cuisine and our tee shirt and merchandise partners at Unco.nz, and we’re in discussions with others who we hope will join team Te Araroa in the near future.
The support of our partners plays a vital role in making the trail possible so please consider supporting them in whatever ways you can throughout your own Te Araroa journey.
Enjoy the New Zealand summer and being part of the biggest year on the trail yet.
Ngā mihi nui
Executive Director, Te Araroa Trust