The Te Araroa Walkway is a 3,000km route that runs the length of New Zealand, connecting Cape Reinga in the North to Bluff in the South via public walkways and tracks. Officially opened in December 2011, the route passes through the spectacular high country in our region.
While the Rakaia and Rangitata rivers in our area pose a natural barrier to Te Araroa’s trampers in much the same manner as the Cook Straight does, they also make natural beginning or end points for Te Araroa section trampers. It is really only through-trampers that have to deal with the issue of getting across these rivers. (The Te Araroa website has some travel suggestions and links to operators that may be able to provide assistance, and you can also contact the Methven i-SITE Visitor Centre for help).
Te Araroa can be walked in either direction. Those who combine both islands, however, usually start at Cape Reinga in October or November and are then able to walk the majority of the South Island during the optimum period. In the process they will (most likely!) avoid problems with snow and snow melt and the Southland lambing closures.