Te Araroa Trail between Herikino and Raetea forest

Meeting a psychopath on New Zealand’s Te Araroa trail: Raetea Forest

I don’t know how to describe these forests best for you, but I think a killing psychopath comes close. They invite you in, welcoming with a gentle path, charming and pleasing you with the sounds of birds and sight of beautiful plants and trees. When entering Raetea, the track was wider and easier to navigate than in Herikino. For a second, Raetea even lured me in thinking that its forest would be enjoyable. Yes, that is how manipulative Raetea is.

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Road to Herikino forest

The hell of Herikino: following the Te Araroa through Northland’s forests

Why oh why tramping Herikino?

“Doing it all”: I think the feeling of doing an entire thru hike lured me into starting in the North of New Zealand instead of sticking to my original plan of hiking New Zealand’s south island only. Tempted by “not wanting to miss out” on kauri trees, beach walking, Maori culture, Tongariro National Park  – where Frodo destroyed the ring –  and more, I ignored the amount of road walking and bush tramping, despite knowing that I’m not particularly a forest girl.

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starting Te Araroa - 90 mile beach

The Beach & The Forests: A tough beginning of the Te Araroa

There are two types of hikers: beach trampers and forest trampers. Right from the start, the first sections of the Te Araroa – a 3000-kilometres-long trail in New Zealand – will determine in which camp you belong.

Without doubt, I’m a beach tramper (kiwi for “hiker”). This means that I’d rather walk the first 100 kilometres along the beach a second time than ever doing the brutal forests once again. Forest trampers and I totally disagree on this subject as they were totally wrecked by the beach.

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Our travel memories of 2016

Hello there! I’m back! Back on the blog, back from a long adventure in New Zealand. During my travels overseas, I soon discovered that I’m not made for blogging while travelling. First of all, hiking – or tramping as the kiwis call it – is exhausting. On ‘zero days’ (hiking jargon for days of zero walked kilometres, but not to be confused with rests days) I was happy if I could get a little bit of rest, because usually zero days were filled with ‘camp chores’ such as resupplying food, and doing laundry. I also tried to keep up with my personal diary, and instead of blogging I tried to frequently post short updates on instragram. Even that was a challenge from time to time. Blogging is even more time-consuming and frankly, although I like writing very much, I like hiking and travelling even more. So I decided to fully live the hiking and travel life. But here I am, back in the Netherlands. One of my resolutions is to incorporate blogging in my normal life. Before I share my resolution and reflect on those of last year, it is time to look back at 2016 (even though we’re already entering spring…)

Dutch readers can now read my blog here (in het Nederlands). All others, stay tuned, and continue reading below!  Continue reading

Am I nuts?! The Why of hiking the length of New Zealand

I’m freaking out. I bought a plane ticket to New Zealand. So what? That’s nothing to freak out about. I know, but I’m planning to hike there. Yeah, of course, New Zealand is a hiker’s dream come true. Well, I’m going to hike the length of New Zealand for 5 months continuously. From Cape Reinga in the north to Bluff in the south, following the Te Araroa Trail. Can you see why I’m freaking out?!

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