Now that our journey to Bluff has become under a 1000km long, an optimistic mood set in. Only a few mountains, a couple of valleys here and there, a river or two to deal with, we'll be there in no time! Yet we feel that our bodies are tired, and our heads too. There is… Continue reading Life on Trail
Nelson Lakes National Park: Waiau Pass Track
There are few things more satisfactory in life than enjoying lunch in the sun on top of a remote alpine pass. Waiau Pass Track is my number one favourite track on the TA so far. It's landscapes are high up with the other highlights, with the wonderful addition that it is a quiet place. Rugged… Continue reading Nelson Lakes National Park: Waiau Pass Track
Pelorus River and the Richmond Ranges
Nice as it was, the Queen Charlotte Track was merely a warm up to the rest of the South Island, an easy stroll along the coastline leading us to the mountains ahead. This is it. The 700 roughest, wildest, most physical kilometres of our journey across New Zealand. It's exciting, slightly intimidating, somewhat astonishing that… Continue reading Pelorus River and the Richmond Ranges
South Island Logistics & Queen Charlotte Track
After a good rest in Wellington we went on a mission. We had to figure out where to send food parcels to and get all the food to put into them. We loaded two carts almost to the brink with food that will fuel us for 31 days. We sent out food parcels to Havelock,… Continue reading South Island Logistics & Queen Charlotte Track
Traversing the Tararuas
The Tararua Ranges are the first real mountain section of the trail before starting the South Island. They are notorious for their rapidly detoriating weather, their steep ridges, and their high amount of altitude difference along the path. Almost bordered by the sea and overlooking the southern half of the North Island it is a beautiful… Continue reading Traversing the Tararuas
The halfway mark
Between Whanganui and the Tararuas we had a relaxed section to get back into the trail rhythm. First, we had a long thought about what to do with the stretch to Palmerston North. It consists of 100km almost purely on the road, mostly asphalted. Unpleasant memories of how our feet used to cope with this… Continue reading The halfway mark
The Whanganui River Journey
Back in Taumarunui we got a welcome home lunch from Josie and Ray at Kelly's motel. It was such a treat to return to the same spot, especially one with a couple of trail angels going out of their way to help TA hikers. Resupplying for the river journey took us hours. Suddenly all weight… Continue reading The Whanganui River Journey
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing, Mount Doom and a TA Christmas
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is one of the absolute highlights on the trail and a stretch I was most looking forward to. We had been talking about it for ages, keeping a close look on the weather forecast hoping for that sunny day to come. I was really, really wishing for it to be nice… Continue reading The Tongariro Alpine Crossing, Mount Doom and a TA Christmas
Three point seventy five Belgiums or half a Norway. It’s the 1000km mark!
Right before the Hauhungaroa range (commonly pronounced by us as the Huanuahua range) we reached the motivational low point of the hike. The trails were horrible, the weather was miserable, our moods intolerable. We contemplated quitting for a few days. We wondered why we weren't enjoying it. And I tried to answer a seemingly simple,… Continue reading Three point seventy five Belgiums or half a Norway. It’s the 1000km mark!
Now that we’ve come to think about it, they did have a lot of sh*tty weather in The Lord of the Rings too!
Much more than a physical struggle this trail is becoming a mind game, challenging our mental fitness beyond our physical capabilities. After walking for such a sustained period of time you are so fit that you will keep walking without problems as long as your head wants you to. The biggest challenge is to keep… Continue reading Now that we’ve come to think about it, they did have a lot of sh*tty weather in The Lord of the Rings too!