If you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.

Erica Jong

click here for Blissful’s updated gear list

click here to access the Te Araroa Trust official site which includes history, planning guide, trail notes, accommodations, closures, warnings, etc. as well as how to register and support the TA.

“before”

Te Araroa means “the long pathway” in Maori. Completed in 2011, it’s a 3000 kilometer trail extending from Cape Reinga in the North to Bluff in the south.

It traverses the entire country; beaches, forests, mountains, volcanoes and cities and should likely take me four to five months to finish.

Thus far in my “career” the furthest I walked all at one time was the GR5, 450 miles over the spine of the Alps. While taking on that challenge I wondered if I was made of the right stuff to sustain a thru-hike of not just weeks, but months.

Aside from the logistical nightmare and the risk that I might not be missed at my place of employment, I hadn’t the faintest idea if I possessed the grit, the fortitude and determination, and the sheer pig-headedness to stick with a walk of 1,864 miles.

The Te Araroa means "long pathway" in Maori. Blissful Hiker Alison Young walked it in 2018-19.
The Te Araroa is not a trail or even a “route.” It’s more of an idea.

Over the ensuing years, I decided there’s only one way to find out, and that’s to go and do it. Keeping in mind the fact that I’m not getting any younger and my arthritic toes are continuing to protest, I made the decision to request a leave of absence, and put myself directly on the path of enormous change.

Sure, it was a change in scenery and routine, but also in how my life looked and felt because I hiked alone. Don’t worry. Richard followed my every step through the magic of GPS tracking and shared the final three weeks with me in this beautiful country. 

Thank you to Randy and Kathy McCarty for their generous contribution to the Te Araroa Trust and helping to support my – and many, many other’s – successful and safe journeys.

I can’t think of any better representation of beauty than someone who is unafraid to be herself. —Emma Stone The
Of course, there had to be just one more tramp before leaving. A mini-tramp that actually returned me to a
https://youtu.be/GdJKiLVk3bg
Fungus was certainly among us walking the Kepler Track in the South Island. Seeing these pictures again brings back for
https://youtu.be/0dJMs782hlg Erica Jong writes, “Jealousy is all the fun you think they had.” I opt for joy in missing out...
Kia ora, Mark.Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me by phone on that cold, blustery
Music is the great uniter. An incredible force. Something that people who differ on everything and anything else can have
Walking is also an ambulation of mind.Gretel Ehrlich Today I'll present my first talk about my epic hikes. I was
The chorus of birds on both the Te Araroa and the Pacific Crest Trail were glorious. Hear them for yourself!
Taking my bike across town to Orchestra Hall, then a ten-mile ride back after the concert.
My biggest successes come when I went easier on the training and was more intentional.
I didn't always find soulful campsites on the Te Araroa.
We suffer thru-hiking for the transcendent, and appreciate it more because of our suffering.