I spent quite a bit of time planning what equipment would be best for the Te Araroa.  Knowing that it was going to get a lot of use, I invested in some new gear and some I just made do with what I had.

We met some Ultra Light Weight hikers and it is impressive to see how light their packs were and we were a bit envious but I was happy with my gear choice.  Philippa

Brand / specification Weight   Comments
Camping stuff  
Backpack Golite Woman's Pinnicle 875 Comfortable and lasted the trip
Waterproof pack liner Sea to Summit ultra-sil 70 litre 98 Brilliant bit of kit
Tent Terra Nova Laser Competition 940 Not free standing but it did the job very well.
Sleeping bag Rab Neutrino 400 Woman's 890 A bit too warm for most of the trail but I needed the extra warmth when we were in snow and frost on the SI.
Sleeping mat Thermarest Womens ProLite Plus 680 Comfortable but heavy.
Cooker Caldera Cone stove with caddy 130 Loved it!
Fuel container Coke bottle
Used the same one the whole way
Cooking pot MSR Titanium Titan Kettle 130 Cooked, drank, ate and washed in it.
Walking poles
Liki Makalu Shiva Corklite Antishock 
Never used poles before but I am a convert.
Pen knife
Victorinox Waiter
Did the job – could have shared one with Madeleine
Did the job
Road kill
Found it on the road on NI and used it the rest of the way
Did the job – shared with Madeleine
Water bottle bags
Source 2 litre water bag
Great light and foldable
Water treatment
Aquamira Chlorine Dioxide Water Treatment Drops
Did the job. Half the price, compared to NZ if brought in the UK. Pleased I didn't buy a water filter. Much of the water along the trail is safe to drink untreated.
It was light, long sleeved for the sun and quick drying. Wore it every day.
No Brand. Light & quick drying
We agreed that shortest and quickest drying shorts are best. They get wet a lot and the quicker they dry less chance of getting sore.
Base layer long sleeve
Icebreaker Oasis Crewe
Loved it.
Old pair I use for running & hiking
Did the job.
Meindl Borneo Lady Pro MFS
Good boots. Totally trashed two pairs.
Waterproof Jacket
Rab Women's Latok Alpine
Useless – just got use to being wet
Waterproof Trousers
North Face HyVent DT
See above
Down Jacket
North Face
Horrible jacket, just one I had. Didn’t carry it most of the way posted it forward and only used in latter stages of SI.
Liner socks x 2
We discovered that you don’t need many pairs of socks and the thin ones seemed to be most comfortable.
Socks x 1
Hat for sun
Outdoor Research Helios Sun Hat
Brilliant. Looked stupid but stayed on and kept the killer sun at bay
Hat for Cold
Only used last half of the SI.
Gloves for cold
Cheap fleece
Only used last half of the SI.
MSR pack towel
It was tiny and did a great job.
Cheap Nokia
NZ$ 50 brought in NZ on 2 Degrees pay as you go. Heard Telecom had better coverage?
Cannon IXUS
Did the job
Universal charger
Really good recharged batteries for GPS, camera, head torch & phone.
Garmin Etrex 20
Spare set of rechargeable AA for GPS and AAA for head torch
Did the job.
Medical / Personal
Blister packs
We tried all brands and Compeed is the baby!
Low adherent dressing
Adhesive Tape
Insect Repellent
Toothpaste & brush
Shower gel
Set off with these but we abandoned all such luxury items!! Unnecessarily weight.
Shampoo & conditioner
Sun block
32ml SPF 30
Lip salve
Nivea SPF 25
Sun glasses
Lost and not replaced
Lighter & matches
Cheap Casio
Gaffer tape
Wound onto walking poles and was used for emergency repair to tent pole and burn in sleeping bag
Needle and cotton
Zip lock bags
Used for maps & trip notes and all sorts of stuff. Can be acquired from supermarkets in NZ.
Credit cards
Travel Insurance details
TA maps
Depending on how tricky a section looked, we printed the maps in colour A3 (to scale) or A4. Carrying the maps from one town to the next where we could print more.
Trip notes
Printed as small as we could and carried a section at a time.  


I spent £4,000 in almost 6 months in New Zealand, five months and a week of which were on the trail.  I didn’t allocate myself a budget as such; Madeleine and I lived fairly frugally but I didn’t watch every penny.  In trail towns we stayed mostly in hostels but we tended to eat out as we wanted a bit of variety in our diet and we didn’t have all the basic ingredients such as cooking oil and spices to make nice meals.

My expenditure included the purchase of an SD card with New Zealand topo maps for the GPS, a few small pieces of camping equipment, a couple of items of clothing and return flights to Stewart Island for a ‘walking’ holiday after completing the trail. 

The exchange rate wasn’t great, less than NZ$2 to the GB£1 and I did find New Zealand more expensive than I had expected it to be.   

In addition to the £4,000 I brought my return flight from the UK, travel insurance and quite a bit of camping gear. 

Madeleine’s funds were entirely separate to mine.