New Zealand’s 3000km thru-hike, Te Araroa Trail, has celebrated 10 years.
The Walking Access Commission’s chief executive Ric Cullinane would like to see all New Zealanders walk the trail in sections over their lifetime
“Starting as children we can explore the corners of our country, taking our time while walking to meet each other, to learn our history and ecology and to marvel at our special places,” he said.
Cullinane would also like to see the trail become safer, moving forward.
“Currently about 15 per cent of Te Araroa involves walking on the road,” he said.
“We’re working with councils, mana whenua, private landowners and local communities to move more of the trail off road and into nature.”
Since COVID-19, the number of New Zealanders walking the trail has increased significantly. Thousands of international tourists are no longer taking months to walk the length of the 3000km Cape Reinga to Bluff trail.
But tens of thousands of New Zealanders are taking a few hours, a day or a week to walk a local segment of the trail instead.