Te Araroa Trail: Family adventure for the ‘Swift five’ on the Te Araroa Trail
We wanted to give our kids some adventure. For most families that would probably mean a trip to Disneyland or a cruise.
We decided to walk the length of the South Island instead! Two months following the Te Araroa Trail (the New Zealand long path) through the back country, with limited internet access and hundreds of kilometres of landscape to scamper through. Crazy? Yes, that’s exactly what everybody else said!
We spent a whole year and countless hours of research on the internet and found a huge amount of information for solo hikers or for couples; but feeding and accommodating five people turned out to be a completely different beast.
The more we planned the bigger the logistics became, especially with resupplying specialised food (dehydrated) for such a big group.
We learnt that weight of gear and money are inversely related and this meant searching sales and clearance racks for affordable equipment because everything had to be bought times five.
Maybe I forgot to mention at the start we had never even hiked overnight!
We did a handful of two to three night hikes to practice and iron out gear trouble during 2017. Some were more successful than others and we had a few disasters and miles of excel spreadsheets (our blog details those and more: www. justgrablife.wordpress.com). … and then it began We took the water taxi from Picton to ship cove on a beautiful Tuesday morning in early December.
It was a stunning, clear day with hardly a cloud, the sound was calm as a lake and we even saw dolphins. When we started on the track though, reality bit home quickly. It was a horrendously steep first climb and we were red-faced and puffing.
For the first time in over a year I seriously questioned my sanity in starting this adventure. The views were worth it though!
The next 70km introduced us to
Above: The mountains at Waiau Pass. lake scene.
Below: At St Arnaud. with a peaceful