The following days between Nikau Bay Camp and Ruakākā they turned out spectacularly beautiful and challenging.
The following days between Kerikeri at km 223 and Ngunguru at km 348 were characterized by lots of kilometer along roads and through farmland.
The last few days, a huge variety of weather, terrain and scenery were awaiting.
The first 5 days on Te Araroa.
After having hiked the South Island in 2018, now, it is time to check out the North Island by hiking Te Araroa.
Rangitoto is rugged, raw, dense vegetation covering most, but not all of the sharp edges of the dark lava rock. The very moment you step on Motutapu, the feel is very different: Motutapu is a 15 sqm mass of rolling hills, farmland that is still (better: again) cultivated by the local iwi (Māori tribe), some windswept trees and some fine beaches and bays to go for a swim or to sit and enjoy being away from the world.
Not far into our road trip, we came up with the idea to go to the Adirondack Mountains in the north of New York State to check out some hiking trails. Neither John nor I have ever been there, and now is the time to go eventually!
As being somewhat adventurous and in love with hiking, I would not just fly to Christchurch to visit the concert. So, the plan was to take a night bus from Auckland down to Wellington, hop on a ferry to the south island, and meet up with a good friend, Jakob, to hike the 71-km-long Queen Charlotte Track in the beautiful Marlborough Sounds. After the hike, which would take four days, we decided to make our way to Christchurch, visit the concert, and afterward, I would fly back to Auckland for work.
When I took a closer look at the map, a relatively big island caught my eye: it does not only work as a barrier between the Gulf and the open Pacific, but it is also, appropriately, called Great Barrier Island. And apparently, there is also a hiking trail. The Aotea Track is a 25 km long trail that loops around the island’s rugged interior and climbs up to the island’s highest peak, Mount Hobson/Hirakimata (627 m). After doing some further research on the island, I learned that it lies about 100 km northeast of Auckland, is about the same size as Auckland, but only has a bit more than 1000 inhabitants (Auckland, on the contrary, has over 1.6 Mio inhabitants). Life on the island is often described as being „life in New Zealand many decades back „.
I always liked Arizona quite a bit. I love the heat, the dry and the desert-like country. Ever since I was in Flagstaff to visit Gran Canyon NP after finishing my Pacific Crest Trail hike in 2017, I have wanted to return. On a road trip, I crossed the state by Amtrak on one of my cross country trips by train.
Yes, indeed – plural! Many people escape the cold winter weather in Europe and fly to one of the Canary Islands for a vacation and do some day hikes in fantastic weather. But we decided to escape the cold and miserable winter weather, especially in Germany, and hike the length of the GR131 hiking trail that covers almost all of the Canary Islands. Ever heard of these islands? They are a region of Spain, that politically and economically belongs to Europe but is only about 60 miles off the western coast of the African continent.