This is how I got into long-distance hiking:
Hello, I'm Caroline, industrial designer, coffee lover and of course I absolutely enjoy the outdoors (most of the time :)
In 2014 I was doing my first Thru Hike, 820 km across the Pyrenees, from the Atlantic coast to the Mediterranean sea. The trail (called Gr.11) was perfect to get a first taste of long distance hiking - and I absolutely loved it!
After living one year abroad in Canada I decided to go to New Zealand, where I came across the Te Ararao Trail. As I heard that the Te Araroa Trail is one of the most beautiful log distance hikes in the world I was curious and gave it a try.
This is how I hiked the Te Araroa Trail:
I walked the TA in a somewhat unusual way. From February to April 2018 I hiked through the South Island (Northbound) and then worked during the New Zealand winter. From September to November 2018 I then crossed the North Island of New Zealand (Southbound).
Both islands were beautiful to hike, but of course, sometimes both the north and south island were a real challenge. When I think back to my time on the trail, I have super positive and beautiful pictures in my mind. There were encounters with incredibly friendly and helpful people that sometimes really left me speechless. Encounters with the other hikers on the trail also resulted in some wonderful friendships (this was a big part of the trail, the people I've been hiking with were amazing). And to the locals, wow! very supportive and super friendly.
The trail from my point of view:
Yes, the TA is incredibly beautiful. On the TA, you hike through every kind of landscape you can imagine! New Zealand is stunningly unique, and during your hike you will see rain forests, turquoise sea, natural beaches, crystal clear rivers, and beautiful mountain scenes.
But, of course, the trail is also a challenge. You will walk on roads and highways (especially on the North Island), cross rivers, trudge in the sand and mud, walk in the pouring rain, in blazing heat. You’ll hike countless vertical meters up and down...but, it's worth it! Even though there were many difficult situations on the trail, in the end, I was proud of my accomplishment.
So don't think about it too much and just do it! If you're reading this, you'll be probably already good to go. You will see, it's an amazing experience.
I wish you a great time on the trail, enjoy:)