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 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
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!
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!
We're almost at the 800km mark now! Half way down the North Island and getting close to 1000. Walking has become such a habit that a 100km doesn't feel that far at all anymore. Hamilton is 100km away you say? We'll be there in no time! This week alone we've covered over 170km. Already now… Continue reading What is another 100km anyway?
Before Auckland we had a moment where motivation was running low. After two glorious falls in the bush, Eef injured her shoulder and took the last 100km in pain. The trail just wouldn't stop detouring to include every single hill on the way. Reaching Auckland, passing the 600km mark and taking a couple of days… Continue reading 20 hours without water: out of Auckland and in to the Hunuas
All along the way, people have been telling us that we should skip the north and head straight for the South Island. Apparently there is a lot of TA hikers doing this as well. Because the north is "boring". Because it's not as wild and off the grid as the south. Because you have… Continue reading Hike the north – Meet the people
Between the west and the east coasts of Northland lies a belt of subtropical forests. Te Araroa runs over the Ocean to Ocean Trail to get from one coastline to the other. A heavy storm damaged this stretch about 3 months ago, turning these beautiful forest walks into challenging mud-and-dense-bush crossings. And we are not… Continue reading The jungle to Kerikeri and Paihia
After arriving in Auckland we both wanted to get going as soon as possible so our long hike could begin. The next day we took a bus to Whangarei and had our last bed and last good meal. From there, we were picked up by lovely Jen who took us up to Kaitaia, the last… Continue reading Cape Reinga, Te Paki and the Ninety Mile Beach
So then, this is it! Tonight will be our final night in a bed and our last good meal before we get on the trail. We just got to Whangarei now, a small city in Northland. Tomorrow morning we are catching a ride with a vey friendly Kiwi woman who has offered to take us… Continue reading A final bed and a final meal