Swiss Ultralight

Swiss Ultralight

All about trekking, thru-hikes and ultralight equipment

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Waterdrops on plant

Gore-Tex (Pro) vs Ascentshell, FutureLight, eVent and co.

Comparison of waterproof and breathable laminates for jackets, bivouacs, etc.

Shower in the river

5 quick-tips for good hygiene when hiking

Keep body and equipment clean

Marker of Te Araroa

Overview Te Araroa thru-hike in New Zealand (2020)

Thru-Hiking in New Zealand - a summary

Poncho-Tarp selfmade

Cuben Fiber vs Silnylon vs Silpoly

Advantages and disadvantages of each material for tents and tarps

Balls of wool

Merino vs Synthetic vs Cotton

Improve your comfort with the right material

Ultralight Footprint

Ultralight Footprints DIY

The 1 Euro tent pad - protection for the tent floor

Passport for customs

Visa and entry in New Zealand

Applying for the right visa for Te Araroa

Emergency lego image

Insurance and precautions for the hike

Avoid high costs in case of an accident

Finances and administration

How much does it cost to hike Te Araroa?

Start with enough money and minimize worries

Hiker looking up mountain

My gear list of Te Araroa

PLB and other equipment

Mobile phone

Phone providers in New Zealand

Watch out when buying data

Compass in hand

Navigating Te Araroa

Using apps to not get lost on the trail

Food on trail

Resupply / Water / Gas / Poste Restante

Stocking up on supplies on Te Araroa

Bluff sign in New zealand

Starting point of Te Araroa in New Zealand

Where the trail starts and how to get there

Hot sun

UV Rays and the New Zealand Heat

Protect your skin

Stormy weather

Unpredictable new zealand weather

Te Araroa can be stormy

Hat and sleeping bag

Hut's and wild camping on the Te Araroa

Backcountry Pass and other preparations

Helping hand at hiking

Trail Angels and Koha in New Zealand

Give and take on Te Araroa

Beach with single person

Other hikers and HYOH

Don't lose sight of your goal

Cute Rat

Sandflys, rats and possums

Some annoying fellow hikers

River in NZ

Crossing rivers on Te Araroa

Be prepared and don't risk anything!

Kayak on Whanganui River

Whanganui River kayaking

Spend 7 days on the water

A random road

Shuttle for river crossing Raikaia and Rangitata

Bypassing the two big rivers

Oldschool gaiters

Gaiters to keep stones out of your shoes

Minimize blisters and sores while hiking

Man drinking water

Nalgene VS CamelBak VS PET bottle

Which hydration system for hiking?


Vitamin 'I' also called Ibuprofen

Painkillers for hiking

Rainwear for hiking a comparison of options

Poncho vs Rain Jacket

Elevation profile Te Araroa Compass Example Image

Elevation profile - Te Araroa 2019/2020

Elevation profile according to the latest data

Garmin InReach Mini

SOS devices (PLB) for thru-hikes and dangerous hikes

Cell phone reception at the end of the world

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite Large shortened

Ultralight sleeping pads for hiking

The difference between shivering and sleeping at night.

Shoes, Gore-Tex and Gaiters

From leather boots to sandals made from car tires

Mosquito seeks blood

Insect protection in comparison

DEET, permethrin, picaridin: what helps against insects?

Different Fabrics and Yarn

Cuben-Fiber (Dyneema Composite), X-Pac, Cordura and co.

Comparison of different ultralight materials

Backpacks in grass

Ultralight hiking backpacks tips and recommendations

...and the fall from Mount Everest

Tiny Backpack

Base Weight Definitions

What do the different terms mean?

Guy with Quilt

Quilt or sleeping bag the pros and cons

Synthetic vs Down


Buff - bandana, headband, sweatband

An insanely versatile tube scarf

Cooker at night

The Super Cat Alcohol Stove (aka Fancy feast stove)

Gasoline stove from metal can

Survival knife

Knife, axe and shovel

Survival on the hike

Starting point of Te Araroa in New Zealand

Where the trail starts and how to get there

3 minutes read

Bluff sign in New zealand

Most people start the trail in Cape Reinga in October-November and walk soutbound (SOBO). To get to the northern start point, most hikers book the Intercity Bus from Auckland City to Kaitaia early in the morning at about 7:30am. The trip takes about 6.5 hours and costs about 30 euros. There is no public transport from Kaitaia to the Cape. Some private ones offer shuttles. However, most of them hitches. The population up there is very used to TA hikers and are very happy to take you for a ride. In my case, I needed 3 rides. However, many other road trip tourists also drive directly to the Cape and so sometimes only 1 hitch is needed. The whole thing usually only takes a few hours.

Hitch-hiking can seem a little strange or scary the first time. However, as the hike progresses, it becomes clear that this is very common in New Zealand. Ideally, women and sometimes men should possibly not hitch-hike alone. Although I never met anyone with really bad experiences, there are some unpleasant stories. In the bus are usually other TA-hikers who want to start at the same time.

There is no real sign with “TE ARAROA starts here” or similar at the Cape. The starting point is at the sign post by the lighthouse. The first hurdle will be the 90-Mile beach, which is not really 90 Miles but rather 100 km long. However, walking on sand is tiring and without gaiters and the sand grains in the shoes can cause blisters very quickly. On the third day I already met other TA hikers with blisters in their blisters who had to take more than a week off.

Another very important point is not to overpush the body. The TA is not developed to the same degree as other thru hikes such as the PCT. The trail can be rough and unforgiving. Therefore, be sure to give the body enough time to regenerate with zero days. Some started the TA with the intention of doing 35-50 km right away like the PCT. Many of them had to take weeks off due to injuries.

For hikers starting in Bluff and thus hiking northbound NOBO, probably the easiest option from Auckland is either a very long bus ride or a short flight to Invercargill. From there either hitch further south to Bluff or book a taxi/shuttle. The road is relatively short (about 20-30 min). The trail starts at the sign with the many place markers near the ocean.

In any case, start the hike slowly and listen to your body’s alarm signals!

Back to Te Araroa overview

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