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Te Araroa Track on Google

August 20, 2010

I’m a bit of a nerd. I’ve subscribed to Google Alert for the keywords “Te Araroa”. That way I know all that’s going on on the interwebs regarding the track. The way it works: whenever Google trawls the web and indexes a site with those particular keywords, it sends me an email notification. Neat.

So far it’s helped me discover a stack of great stuff. I’ve stumbled upon a few new blogs by people planning to do, or have already completed the journey, have been notified of news updates by the Te Araroa Trust and DoC, and even discovered a book on eBay that had something on the track in it – turns out it was a mere page so suffice to say, I didn’t shell out for it.

Two discovers from a notification I got an hour ago:

A replacement bridge has been built over a river that is crossed on the Waitewaewae Track which is part of the Te Araroa Track.

A 22-year-old English bloke by the name of Steve Cleverdon intends to set a World Record by completing the Te Araroa in 100 days.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. August 24, 2010 6:51 am

    That second link is confusing. I don’t understand what the criteria is which they’re referring to for setting a “record time”. He’s not the first person to walk the length of New Zealand, solo or otherwise. By that site’s own admission the “official” Te Araroa won’t be complete until several months after he’s started, so presumably he’s also not trying to be the first person to walk the official route.

    Is he meaning to be the first person to record the dates that he starts and finishes on?

  2. August 24, 2010 7:47 am

    Hmm, okay. I just re-read it (and re-read your post) and noticed the 100 days criteria, so maybe there’s some reason to assume nobody’s yet done it so quickly. Still mildly confusing. Oh well.

    • Paul permalink
      August 24, 2010 8:10 am

      I’m a bit confused myself Mike. As you say, that’s a hell of a short time to complete this trip. Let’s just hope he doesn’t cross rivers that are high in desperation.

      It seems from my research that 150 days (5 months) is the minimum it usually takes. One hundred days seems like a number randomly picked from the air.

      • August 24, 2010 8:20 am

        Yeah. 30km/day sounds feasible (at walking pace… maybe he’s planning to do some kind of mountain running thing…), but it doesn’t leave much room for contingencies, or for inevitable delays with weather conditions and such. Maybe he’s planning to stick to the state highways.

  3. Steve Cleverdon permalink
    August 25, 2010 7:22 am

    Hey just to clarify.. The record I am going for the fastest crossing of New Zealand on foot and a majority of it will walk along the Te Araroa for convenience and my own personal enyjoyment but the record itself has nothing to do with the Te Araroa trail. The route will differ from the trail at points due to rivers, lakes and ferry crossings along the way as the entire country must
    be walked, Im only allowed to get on a ferry to cross between the two island. 100 days is just an ideal goal based on 30km per day as mike said and there will be some highway stretches.

    • Paul permalink*
      August 25, 2010 12:33 pm

      Thanks for sharing that with us Steve. 🙂

    • August 25, 2010 1:22 pm

      Hi Steve. Thanks for clearing it up, and good luck with the record attempt.

      It might be my ignorance speaking, but are there places along Te Araroa that aren’t meant to be walked? (Maybe the things like ferry crossings to which you’re referring.) I’m just thinking of the statement on your website about deviations from the route due to regulations and guidelines for the Guiness World Records. I’d thought it supposed to be a full-length walking route, but it sounds as if maybe that’s not the case.

      • Steve Cleverdon permalink
        August 25, 2010 6:14 pm

        Mike..That was my original thought too! Ive come into quite a few problems now when planning my route, short ferry crossing are needed around Paihia and Whangarei then again around Auckland. Other big problems are South of Ruapehu and Queenstown in which boats are needed to link trails and of course a few major rivers in South Island, two inparticular! I’m in the process now of planning a new trail entirely on hard ground which unfortunately mean missing on parts of the trails and walking highways. still looking forward to exploring this beautiful country!

      • August 29, 2010 3:33 pm

        @Steve — Ah, okay. Thanks for the info. I hadn’t realised Te Araroa needed swimming, but I guess they might have decided it was generally better that way scenically or something.

        I don’t know how specifically relevant it is for your record attempt, but I’ve noticed there are a few ultra-marathon runners who have supposedly run the length of New Zealand. This guy recently did it in 28 days, and one of the comments below that article reckons that Siegfried Bauer ran the length in 18 days in the late ’70s. This person split the country into 52 marathons late last year, and finished after 43 days.

        What I don’t know are the details of how they did it, so it might or might not be relevant to the record thing. Being marathon runners they presumably stuck to roads so Te Araroa probably had little to do with the route. Obviously they’d have been running rather than walking, they probably weren’t carrying a mobile house and several day’s food supply on their backs. Maybe they also skipped certain bits that are relevant for the record requirements or just didn’t register it officially, but I wouldn’t know details.

        I’ve no doubt that Paul and yourself (Steve) will both have an awesome time, though.

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