New Zealand's long walk passes only a couple of hundred metres
by our house near the banks of the Manawatu River.
We've held a fascination for the trail since we first heard about it, so it was probably inevitable that we would try to walk it.
Since its launch we have travelled Te Araroa (TeA) most of the way from Feilding to Wellington on foot - along some pretty challenging land in "small" bursts. Walking TeA this way is called Section Walking. Walking it in one go is called Through Walking.
Our TeA adventure is a combination of both of these methods. We are slowly Section Walking the North Island, but doing the South Island as Through Walkers - doing it in one hit. At least that's out aim.
The Tararuas, pictured above, may not be as high as the Southern Alps but they are exposed to some ferocious weather and conditions. Strangely they aren't as challenging as road walking - a big feature of the central North Island section trail.
Road walking is repetitive and the path is often less developed for walkers than mountain travel. The sides of roads are often potholed and cambered. Fast moving traffic and rubbish are constant. Roading infrastructure doesn't allow for foot traffic so there are many bridges where walkers need to be able to run to avoid unsympathetic cars and trucks.
Palmerston North sees the end of this sad state of affairs for TeA walkers in the North Island. On leaving the city after a well earned break and re-supply the walk to Wellington is long but relatively quiet. There are some road sections...but they tend to be side roads.
PALMERSTON NORTH TO WELLINGTON
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