1. The best time to walk Te Araroa
The best time to walk Te Araroa | Choosing a direction | How long it takes | Fitness and experience | Permits and fees | Accommodation | Clothing and equipment | Cost | Visas | Safety precautions | Fishing | Resupplying and food parcels | Getting to and from Cape Reinga | Getting to and from Bluff | Stewart Island Rakiura | Taking my dog, bike, horse | NavigatingThere is a wide window of opportunity to walk Te Araroa. But the South Island high country and/or the Tararua Ranges are susceptible to harsh weather.
If southbound, we recommend a late September-December start. January is possible if you're a swift traveller. You should not risk being in the South Island high country later than early-to-mid April.
If you start early expect plenty of spring rain in the early stages. Some tracks close for periods between April and October.
Furthermore, NZ weather can be very unforgiving during this period.
Because of this, we recommend not starting earlier than mid-late September, or finishing later than late April.
Consider your plans carefully. Please do not put future access to routes for other walkers at risk by ignoring track closures. If you travel northbound, November-January starts are safest. Bear in mind these are broad guidelines - the weather in New Zealand can be hard to predict even in summer. If you're not comfortable in wet/cold weather, the safest approach is to aim for the middle of the travel windows. That is, a late October/early November southbound start, or a December/early January northbound start.