A relatively new thru-hike, the Te Araroa Trail was officially opened in 2011 after 30 years of planning.
Meaning “The Long Pathway” in Maori, Te Araroa stretches for 3000km, 1700km in the North Island and 1300km in the South Island. Starting at the famous lighthouse in Cape Reinga, the trail takes walkers over beaches, volcanoes, mountains and swingbridges, and through forests, gullies and rivers before arriving at Stirling Point in Bluff.
Best done North to South due to the section of canoeing down the Whanganui River, the trail takes roughly 4-5 months to complete, at an average of 25km per day.
Seeing hundreds of thru-hikers each year and thousands more section or day hikers, the Te Araroa Trail continues to grow in popularity, inspiring numerous books and documentaries.