Been there!

On the adventure, my timetable looked like this:

21 Nov: Flew Christchurch to Kaitaia, got a ride to Cape Reinga, walked 30 minutes. Camped.

22 Nov: Walked the beach (28km-ish). Camped.

23 Nov: Walked the beach (28km-ish). Camped.

24 Nov: Walked too much of the beach! (38km-ish) Camped at Ahipara.

25 Nov: Rest day. Camped at Ahipara.

26 Nov: Herekino Forest. (33km) Camped at Takahue Domain.

27 Nov: Raetea Forest. (21km-ish) Camped at Mangamuka picnic area.

28 Nov: Mangamuka Forest. (25km) Camped at Mangapa.

29 Nov: More Mangamuka Forest + almost to Kerikeri (37km) Hosted by Wheatley’s in Kerikeri.

30 Nov: Rest day in Kerikeri. Hosted again.

1 Dec: Last part into Kerikeri with light pack (17km), then doctor’s visit. Hosted.

2-4 Dec: Recuperating. Hosted.

5 Dec: Kerikeri to Paihia with light pack. Ferry to Russell – camped.

6 Dec: Still not 100% – rest. Camped in Russell.

7 Dec: Blister size of Texas dealt to at doctor. Recuperation. Upgraded (thanks Top 10 Holiday Park Russell!) to small cabin.

8 Dec: Recuperation in Russell.

9 Dec: Recuperation in Russell. Decision to relocate to Auckland by bus and get everything sorted from there, returning to complete the far north soon…

10 Dec: Bussed to Auckland, hosted by Melissa.

11 Dec: Re-dressed the hole in my heel (starting to heal up nicely). Tagged along to a Xmas bbq and experienced my first Auckland version of the Christmas in the Park concert. Hosted.

12 – 18 Dec: Physio appointments, catching up with friends, giving shin and heel time to improve. Hosted.

19 Dec: Walked the Coast to Coast trail, from Auckland’s Queen’s Wharf to Onehunga (16km) in the p-o-u-r-i-n-g rain. Hosted.

20 Dec: Drying out. Hosted.

21 Dec: Onehunga to Manukau (29km) Hosted.

22 Dec: Manukau to Cleveden (30km) Hosted.

23 Dec: Christmas preparations. Hosted.

24 Dec: Clevedon to Upper Mangatawhiri Dam. Camped.

25 Dec: Upper Mangatawhiri Dam to Mangatawhiri. Camped.

26 Dec: Mangatawhiri to Waikato River near Meremere. Camped.

27 Dec: Waikato River near Meremere to Rangiriri. Hotel.

28 Dec: Rangiriri to Huntly. Hosted by Maria in Hamilton.

29 Dec: Drying out in Hamilton. Hosted.

30 Dec: Huntly to Ngaruawahia and almost into Hamilton. Hosted.

31 Dec: Through Hamilton to Mystery Creek Event Centre for the 19th NZ Scout Jamboree. Camped.

1-5 Jan: Jamboree. Camped.

6-8 Jan: Preparation/recuperation in Auckland. Hosted.

9 Jan: Ride to Paihia, ferry to Russell. Camped.

10 Jan: Walked Russell to trig on Russell Track. Camped.

11 Jan: To Whangaruru. Camped.

12 Jan: To start of Morepork Track. Camped.

13 Jan: To Whananaki and then Sandy Bay. Unexpectedly hosted at Tutukaka.

14 Jan: To Ngunguru and then Mackerel Track. Camped.

15 Jan: To Parua Bay. Hosted in Whangarei.

16 Jan: Rest day.

17 Jan: Whangarei to Marsden Point to Ruakaka. Unexpectedly hosted.

18 Jan: Ruakaka to the middle of the Brynderwyn’s. Camped.

19 Jan: To Mangawhai Heads. Camped

20 Jan: Down the coast to Pakiri Beach. Camped.

21 Jan: Over Mt Tamahunga to Matakana. Hosted.

22 Jan: Short day: Matakana to Warkworth in the rain. Hosted.

23 Jan: Long day: Warkworth to Orewa via SH1 in the torrential rain. Hosted.

24 Jan: Over Whangaparoa Peninsula to Browns Bay. Hosted.

25 Jan: Down the North Shore Coast Track to Devonport. ‘Missing part’ complete! Hosted.

26 – 31 Jan: Laundry, sleep, blog updates plus flight to Wellington and back for the board meeting of Scouts NZ. Hosted.

1-2 Feb: In Hamilton, preparing for leg to Wanganui. Hosted.

3 Feb: Mystery Creek to Pirongia. Hosted.

4 Feb: Pirongia to Otorohanga. Hosted.

5 Feb: Otorohanga to Waitomo to Te Kuiti. Hosted.

6 Feb: Rest day. Hosted.

7 Feb: Te Kuiti to along Ahuroa Road. Camped.

8 Feb: Ahuroa Road to Pureora Forest Park. Camped.

9 Feb: Up Mount Pureora to Bog Inn Hut.

10 Feb: To Waihaha Hut.

11 Feb: To Kuratau Junction. ‘Squatted’.

12 Feb: To end Ketetahi end of Tongariro Crossing. Shuttle to National Park YHA.

13 Feb: Rest day (hosted up Whakapapa for day). YHA again.

14 Feb: Tongariro Crossing to Whakapapa Village Holiday Park. Camped.

15 Feb: To Mangaturuturu Hut.

16 Feb: To Ohakune YHA.

17 Feb: To Pipiriki. Camped.

18 Feb: To half-way along Wanganui River Road. Camped.

19 Feb: To Wanganui. Hosted.

20 Feb: Rest day. Hosted.

21 Feb: Bus to Auckland for Scout-specific conference.

22 Feb: Conference + the Christchurch earthquake news 😦

23 Feb: Conference.

24 Feb: Bus back to Wanganui. Hosted.

25 Feb: Logistics. Hosted.

26 Feb: Wanganui to Turakina Beach.

27 Feb: To Bulls. Hosted.

28 Feb: To Bunnythorpe. Hosted.

1 Mar: Bunnythorpe, around Palmerston North. Hosted.

2 Mar: From Massey University to Levin. (45km!!!) Hosted.

3 Mar: Levin to Waikanae. Hosted.

4 Mar: Rest day. Hosted.

5 Mar: Waikanae to Pukerua Bay. Hosted.

6 Mar: Pukerua Bay to Khandallah (via Colonial Knob and Mt Kaukau). Hosted.

7 Mar: Khandallah to Island Bay. NORTH ISLAND COMPLETE! 🙂 Hosted.

8-13 Mar: Rest and planning. Hosted.

14 Mar: ‘Walked on Water’ – treadmill on ferry crossing Cook Strait. Hosted.

15 Mar: SOUTH ISLAND STARTS! Day 1 of Queen Charlotte Track. Camped.

16 Mar: Queen Charlotte Track. Camped

17 Mar: End of QC Track, onto Linkwater. Hosted.

18 Mar: To Pelorus Bridge via Havelock. Camped.

19 Mar: Along Maungatapu Road. Back to Picton for Scout event. Hotel.

20 Mar: Driven to Nelson. Hosted.

21 Mar: From Nelson over Maungatapu Track to Captain Creek Hut.

22 Mar: Up Mount Fell to Mt Fell Hut.

23 Mar: Up Mt Richmond, down to Top Valley Road. Met by Aaron. Hosted.

24-28 Mar: back to Christchurch (first time since starting this adventure) to rescue items from quake-damaged flat, visit Dad after his surgery and attend the Queen’s Scout Award presentation with the Governor General.

29 Mar: relocated a rental car back to Picton. Hosted by Nicky and Aaron again.

30 Mar: back to Top Valley Road, past Chalice Lake, down to Mid Gaulter Hut.

31 Mar: along Goulter River, then Waiau River. Camped.

1 Apr: to St Arnaud. Hostel.

2 Apr: alongside Lake Rotoiti and up to John Tait Hut.

3 Apr: (daylight savings ended) over Travers Saddle, up to Blue Lake Hut.

4 Apr: heavy, heavy rain. Stayed at Blue Lake Hut.

5 Apr: over Waiau Pass (in the snow!) to Caroline Bivvy.

6 Apr: down Waiau River to link with St James Walkway. Reached Anne River Cullers Hut.

7 Apr: to Boyle River Hut.

8 Apr: chilling at Boyle River Hut (not expected at Boyle Village until tomorrow).

9 Apr: out to Boyle Village. Collected by Janine, Taliya and Kate and whizzed to Hanmer for a soak in the thermal pools and a grocery shop. Hosted.

10 Apr: Back to the Boyle, along to Hope Valley Trail. Reached the Half-Way Shelter.

11 Apr: to Hurunui Hut.

12 Apr: over Harper Pass to Locke Stream (#4) Hut.

13 Apr: down Taramakau River, along to Otira. Hotel.

14 Apr: through Arthur’s Pass to Bealey Hut.

15 Apr: to Hamilton Hut.

16 Apr: down Harper River to Ryton River campground on Lake Coleridge. Camped.

17 Apr: around bottom of lake to Lake Coleridge Village. Camped.

18 Apr: resupply day in Methven, courtesy of Vicki and Jennifer. Camped.

19 Apr: down road to Rakaia Gorge Campground. Camped.

20 Apr: to Pudding Hill Lodge. Hostel.

21-23 Apr: rest (hosted)

24 Apr: Mt Somers (camped)

25 Apr: almost to Arundel (hosted)

[You’ll need to read my book ‘Blisters, Bugs and Abandoned Underwear’ to find out just what happened to stop me short of my goal…]

If I was to continue for the 700km remaining to reach Bluff, I would walk through/near:




Lake Hawea

Albert Town






Te Anau



Will I ever do that? Time will tell… 🙂

23 Responses to Been there!

  1. Karen Boyes says:

    Will ask at Scouts tonight if they would like you… 🙂 Do you have an approx date you will be in Wellington – or is it too soon to know?

  2. Sarah Reaburn says:

    hey stuart,
    suspected time for auckland city, i know it will be difficult to tell now but an indication and us rovers will arrange sumthing a meal and what not..
    roskill rovers

    • Hey Sarah!
      Best guess at this stage is just before Christmas. I’ll have a better idea in the next couple of weeks, once I get into a routine and see how many kms I’m doing on an average day.
      Would be awesome to catch up with everyone and share some Rover Luv! 🙂

      • Sarah Reaburn says:

        hey stuart,
        awesum thats great, u know what us rovers are like we can arrange it last minuite!
        I take it u can let people know when u are expected to be in the place by text or sumthing?

      • Letting people know my whereabouts is certainly the plan Sarah, though today my ‘sure thing’ Blackberry and calling/data was pulled. Eeeekkkk! So now I’m searching for another eager and adventurous sponsor…

  3. Sarah Reaburn says:

    oh no what a pain and just before the start date too, that must not be a good feeling.
    hope u find one soon so u can continue with your prep.

    • It has certainly changed the shape of my day today Sarah, searching for a replacement phone provider instead of a practice walk with my new pack. Ah well… I’m sure it will all work out 🙂

  4. Sarah Reaburn says:

    i hope it does!!who wouldnt want to cover such an amazing adventure!!

  5. Sarah Reaburn says:

    awesum news about the fone stuart!! now u can stay in contact with all of us!!
    and we can support u!
    i knew things would work out for you, you must be happy!! 🙂

  6. Sarah Reaburn says:

    yep coz vodafones awesum anyway haha! so u got a vodafone number and everyhting for the time ur gone then?
    and people will be happy you can update ur blog on the go, should mean more scouts to meet you!

  7. Sena Smith says:

    Hi Stuart
    Sena-Mahurangi Zone Cub Leader here. Do you know approx when you’ll be in Orewa. Some of our Zone kea, Cubs, Scout, and Ventures want to meet up and walk a bit with you.

  8. Sena Smith says:

    Hey Stuart.

    Orewa Sea Scouts welcome you to crash for the night and share a meal with us. Hopefully we will have our local rag here as well to cover your news. We all wish you well : )

  9. Sarah Reaburn says:

    Hey Stuart, not long to go now!! u must be nervous but excited at the same time!
    ALL THE BEST! stay strong.
    let us know if u need anything, and i look forward to catching up with you when u arrive in aucks, and im sure we can put on a good meal for you and a place to stay overnight etc. whatever suits you.
    stay in contact.
    Cheers Sarah

  10. Oh, you’re going through Havelock! That’s where I grew up! Wave to my old school as you go through! They used to have a good Guides, Brownies and Scouts movement. Is Christmas going to be lonely for you this year? Or are you hoping to share it with some scouts or friends along the way? I am imagining those scouts and cubs walking along with you….hey Forrest!!! 😉 Are you going to grow a beard, too?

  11. Howdy Stuart

    Wondering where you are on your fabulous journey ….

    Wondering how those self made intellectual conversations are going? Are the replies returning different concepts or is it a vicious circle? Is it an intellectual thicket? Hahaha.

    Keep the pace. Keep safe. Keep happy. Holler out if you are back in sunny Christchurch.



  12. Strider says:

    He Buddy,

    Be carefull crossing the big rivers. Make sure to unbuckle your belts before crossing otherwise you have to do it under water like me …… and there time is short 😉

    Great job on the snowy Waia pass (thats a dangerous bitch)

    Just finished the south Island 4 months ago…… ITS BEAUTIFULL…..have fun enjoy and B carefull.

    Strider aka Justin

    • Heya Strider/Justin!
      It’s easier being careful when safely tucked up in urban civilisation… I’ve put the adventure on hold until further notice. The body gave up at the same time winter took over, so finally got my head around ‘stopping’ to walk another day.
      Where do you call home? 🙂

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