Look I’m gonna be candid about this. I through walked Te Araroa as a challenge and I was dedicated but after finishing the North Island I really thought about quitting because quite frankly it was not a particularly enjoyable hike— roads, farms, mud, roads, farms, mud…..(you get the picture right?). I wrote a lot about those feelings here. One of the reasons I kept going was because my partner Jack convinced me too and in hindsight I am glad I did because the South Island was amazing and I am able to look back on the North Island as a character building adventure!
I’m also a New Zealander so I knew I could dedicate time to all those other trails out there that were tempting us off Te Araroa but if you are an international something to consider is this—you only have a certain amount of time in the country right? maybe its your once in a lifetime trip right? and you maybe you only have a certain amount of money as well, yeah?. There are thousands of other walks in New Zealand and I’ve suggested 1,500 kilometers of alternatives for your consideration.
While none of them are a ‘through walk’ all of them are designed to be walked as loops or returns so you can cruise onto the next adventure easy! If you are keen on a ‘through walk’ alternative for the North Island you can read more about THE SPINE OF THE FISH–completed by Anthony and Fiona Behrens in 2018 HERE
Ahhhh the North Island– its more than cows and scathing mud forests!
- Northland -Te paki coastal track
- Great barrier island- Aotea track
- Whangamumu– Whangamumu track & Cape Brett track
- Taranaki – Round the mountain
- Tongiriro National Park (Turangi/Taupo) – The Northern Circuit & Round the mountain
- Lake Waikaremoana (Te Urewera) – Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk & Manuoha Track
- Coromandel – Pinnacles Hut & Crosbies Hut
- Kaimai mamaku Forest Park (Tauranga) —North–south track
- Ruakumara Forest Park (Gisborne) — Mt hikurangi return
- Mahia peninsula (Mahia) — low tide beach circuit
- Rotorua – Tarawera ultra marathon route from Kawarau to Lake Rotorua hot water beach
- Taupo – Great Lake trail (Technically a bike route but can be walked)
- Kaimanawa Forest Park (Turangi/Taupo) —Clements Hill Road end circuit via Cascade Hut
- Kaweka Forest Park (Hawkes Bay) — circuit from Mangatutu road end via Makina, Rocks, Ballard, Tira, Kiwi mouth, Kiwi saddle, Mackintosh, Makahu and Middle huts
- Ruahine Ranges (Manawatu/whanganui) – Purity and Kelly knight Hut loop & Crow Hut loop
- Tararua Forest Park (Wairarapa) — Bag all 42 huts in the park (with careful planning this is possible!)
- Aorangi forest park (Wairarapa) – Aorangi crossing
- Remutaka Forest Park (Wellington) —Mt Matthews return
- Wellington coast walk to Makara via Red rocks