Te Araroa is a continuous 3,000km walking track from Cape Reinga in the north of New Zealand to Bluff in the south.
It's known to be one of the world's diverse long walks. The track starts and finishes on the edges of New Zealand's seas and will take you past beaches, volcanoes, mountains, rivers, lakes and valleys. The trail takes around four months, averaging 25 km a day. Most walkers start in the north, making Stirling Point in Bluff the final destination of their journey.
Once you've reached Murihiku Southland, you're in the home stretch of it all. Taking you from Mavora Lakes to the Takitimu Mountains, down to the south coast for a long walk on Oreti Beach, to finish with the last 35 kilometres from Invercargill to Bluff. The southernmost end of the tail has plenty of character and a rich and varied history. Standing beneath the famous signpost at Stirling Point while overlooking Foveaux Strait to Stewart Island is a feeling you will never forget. Enjoy the famous Bluff oyster with a cold drink or two to celebrate the end of your expedition.
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If you're planning on returning to Invercargill, storing your luggage in town is possible before walking the last part of your trail to Bluff. It might be considered cheating by some, but you've already walked 2965km with your heavy backpack, so -in our humble opinion- it's OK to leave it behind for the last bit and make it a little easier on yourself. You can store your luggage at the Tuatara Lodge.
Te Araroa Finisher's Medal
After travelling the length of New Zealand by foot, you might want a lasting piece to commemorate your achievement! You can get a finisher's medal at a few places in Bluff or Invercargill. In Bluff, you can go to the Bluff Service Centre or call Lloyd Esler at 213—0404 or 021-176-6580 or pop into Sold Coffee and Gifts. In addition, medals are available for sale at the Tuatara Lodge in Invercargill, where you can also find the best pizza in town. It will be your most-deserved pizza ever!
You can get your medal engraved with your name and dates.
After finishing this epic journey and collecting your winner's medal, we can only imagine how badly you'd like a nice hot shower to rinse away the blood, sweat and tears (of happiness?!). At Wachner's Place in Invercargill, showers are available daily from 8.00 am - 7.00 pm. It's next door to the Tuatara Lodge, so you won't have to walk far after picking up your medal here. You have done enough of that for now!
Being well-informed and prepared is key. Make sure you know everything you need to know before starting this life-changing experience. From permits and visas to food parcels and equipment, make sure you know what you're getting into. Visit the official Te Araroa Trail website for all the information you need.
See below for more inspiration on where to go for a well-deserved delicious meal and warm & comfy bed in Bluff or Invercargill.
Bluff is seafood central. Many varieties of quality fish and shellfish are gathered from the surrounding ocean and can be enjoyed in local restaurants and cafes, including rock lobster, blue cod, and of course - oysters!
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