Starting in November 2018, I will be solo walking the 3,000km Te Araroa trail down the length of New Zealand.
The thru-hike (or through-tramp as it’s known in kiwi land) will take five to six months, starting from Cape Reinga in the north of the North Island all the way to Bluff at the bottom of the South Island.
There will be golden sand beaches to walk, rich farmland to cross, otherworldly ancient native forests to pass through and imposing and rugged mountains to climb over. There will be bustling cities and small lonely settlements along the way, as well as days on end with no civilisation for as far as the eye can see. There will be bridgeless and wet-footed crossings of many little streams and fast-flowing rivers – and even one I’ll have to paddle down. I’ll likely battle temperamental weather extremes, have nights wild camping without toilets and running water, and I’ll be forced to walk miles and miles of mindless road between trail heads.
There is also the inviting prospect of several volcanoes along the way to add to my #40by40 challenge.
I’m walking Te Araroa to raise awareness of self-doubt and low self-esteem, which can be linked to mental health problems, and to prove that these negative thoughts don’t have to hold us back from achieving our goals and dreams.
In aid of this cause, I’m also fundraising for Mind, the mental health charity in the UK, and also the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand, so that money can go to services and support systems to help people with mental health problems, some of whom may also have been affected by the debilitating effects of self-doubt and low self-esteem. To lend your support and donate, please visit my Mind fundraising page here or my Mental Health Foundation of NZ fundraising page here.
For more information on why I’m doing #WalkNZ: