Te Araroa (New Zealand) thru hike planning and gearlist

I am just a few weeks away till I start a thruhike on New Zealands TE ARAROA wich runs from Cape Reinga (North Island) to Bluff (South Island) covering a distance of approx. 3000 km on foot and small parts with a canoe.
I am looking forward to start from Cape Reinga on January 10th and finishing about 3.5 Month later at Bluff.
Right now I am getting all the gear together and so I thought it might be interesting for aspiring thruhikers to show it here.
The route runs right through a lot of towns and places where a resupply is possible so I am not planning on many food drops along the way.
After completing the 4265 km long journey along the Pacific Crest Trail in ´11 I knew that I want to do more trips of this sort. I thought about going back to hike the Continental Divide Trail as soon as possible. Then I came across New Zealands Te Araroa which sounded a bit more appealing to me. I think it will give me a whole new experience compared to the US and the CDT. I have heared many storys about it, read almost every blog I could find and now it is time to get the picture for myself and see what its like to walk the length of New Zealand.

Trail overview:

North Island: Northland, Auckland, Waikato/King Country, Whanganui, Manawatu, Wellington;
South Island: Nelson/Marlborough, Canterbury, Otago, Southland;



My main resources for planning on the web are:

and the great help of Thomas who hiked in 2012

The official Guidebook from Geoff Chapple is nice but not very usefull for the hike itself. It got some nice pictures and overall route descriptions but nothing that really helps while on the trail.

Please note that you must be comfortable with the gear for yourself, just because it works for me should not mean it does work for you. I have used a set up like this in thousands of kilometers hiking in different environments. So should you.



As expected my gear worked just fine, also in New Zealand. I have seen many hikers hauling way too many stuff on their backs which made them exhausted and slow.

Shell (365g):


Haglöfs OZO Jacket (Gore-Tex paclite) 202g
Montane Minimus Pants (Pertex Quantum) 125g
MLD Waterproof Mitts (Event) 38g

Insulation (357g): 


Fleece Hat 30g
Mountain Hardware Ghost Whisperer Down Jacket (hooded) 217g
Nike Running Gloves 37g
Sleeping Socks 73g

I forgot the Fleece Hat at home and used a Buff when I had to.

Backpack (730g):



MLD Exodus Backpack, 2x hip belt pockets, 2x shoulder strap bottle holders 670g
Exped UL Waterproof Liner 60g


Sleeping System(2151g):


MLD Solo Mid Silnylon with bug netting 510g
MLD Superlight Bivy 219g
TAR NEO AIR S + 6 Segments TAR Z-Rest 440g
Katabatic Gear Sawatch Quilt 650g
Silk Liner 132g
Tyvek Ground Cloth 91g
Trekking Poles 492g
8x Easton Stakes and pole repair 109g

The Katabatic Gear Quilt was too warm in most of the nights. I just used the liner and bivy a lot of times.

Clothing worn(1203g):


Visorcap 49g
Sunglasses 26g
Bandana 31g
Running Shorts with liner 133g
Icebreaker Tech Tlite Shirt 150g Merino 140g
DG Gaiters 34g
1x Running Socks 40g
Brooks Cascadia Trail Shoes 750g

Bounced the Gaiters after 90 Mile Beach.
I added a pair of lightweight flip-flops to my kit. I liked them a lot in hostels, huts and for walking around town. 

Clothing carried(682g):


Buff 37g
Headnet (not pictured) 20g
Ibex Indie Hoody Merino 283g
Icebreaker Merino Tank 150 Merino 100g
Icebreaker Merino Boxershort 54g
Smartwool Merino  pants 150g
1x Running Socks 38g

Never used the Headnet. Sandflies where still bad in places.



Cat Alcohol Stove 7g
Windscreen 33g
MSR Titan Kettle + Lid 125g
Titan Spork 8g
Pot Cozy 27g
2L Platypus 33g
0,7L Plastic Bottle 67g
Sawyer Mini Filter (dry) + backflush + 0,7l squeeze + stucksack 100g
Aqua Mira Drops (Mini Dropper)
Mini Victorynox knife 22g
Mini Bic lighter 11g

I bounced the waterfilter on the South Island and just carried Aqua Mirra Drops. I have hardly used them and drank most of the water without purification.

First Aid & Hygiene (200g):


Duct Tape
TAR Repair Kit
Seam Sealer
Medical Tape
Anti Allergic Pills
Emergency Blanket
Antiseptic Lotion (Mini Dropper)
Deet (Mini Dropper)
Safety Pins

Dr. Bronners Magic Soap
Mini tooth paste
Dental Floss
Hand Sanitizer (Mini Dropper)

 I did not bring the emergency blanket nor the handwarmers. Was happy about the pollen medication, hayfever was an issue on the South Island.

Electronics ():


Canon PS S100 + 3 batteries + charger + poutch 309g
Fuji X-E1 + Fujion 18/2 + Fujion 18-55
ND Filter 64
iPhone4 + headphones + charger + poutch 209g
Kindle e-book reader (not pictured) 160g
Spot3 Satellite Messanger (with 4 lithium AAA Batteries and mini biner) (not pictured) 120g
gumPro mobile battery 121g
small USB cord 13g
short powersupply cord 30g
Adapter EU to NZ 7g
SD-Cards + poutch 40g
Card reader 5g
Casio Watch 20g
Petzl e-lite headlamp 29g
Gorilla Pod with Manfrotto Ballhead 350g


Like on all the other trips before I got rid of the tripod early and used logs, photobag or rocks instead.
Used a waterproof lightweight photobag from Ortlieb to carry the Fuji Camera. This bag was indeed waterproof.


Maps (from the TA website printed doublesided on A4)
Compass (basic) 35g
iPhone with Topo NZ app and TA waypoints for backup

I hardly used the maps, the GPS App on the phone worked perfect.

Other Stuff (150g): 

Pen + Paper
Waterproof Stuffsacks
Zip Loc bags


BODY: 1695g

I use a bounce box along the way mostly for maps, shoes,socks, gear replacements, trekking pole tips, toiletries;

13 Responses

  1. Looks like you’re well prepared for your hike. Have a look at http://followmyspot.com for using your SPOT tracker, the latest V32 map is uploaded and it works quite well for long distance hikes like this. As an example have a look at Jane’s trip last year of the South Island portion of the Te Araroa http://janeandshane.followmyspot.com/te-araroa-south-island


    23. Dezember 2013 at 05:24

    • admin2

      Thanks Shane, will check it out!


      23. Dezember 2013 at 17:58

  2. olivier

    I was wondering , is it easy to resupply on water, food and fuel? And how much time should be expected to pass before resupplying.


    10. Februar 2014 at 15:59

    • admin2

      Hi Oliver!
      Sorry for the late reply, the resupply along this route is not too hard, better look at the facebook group for the exact distance inbetween resupply locations. The Time depends of course on your walking speed which is very individual.
      Hope this was a help for you.

      3. April 2014 at 23:08

  3. Jan

    Nice gearlist and very useful comments. Thanks!

    Is there anything you would have done differently in your total clothing choice? (trying to get an idea of lowest temperature/ weather conditions). Did you ever have to wear all of you clothing?

    8. Januar 2015 at 13:55

    • Matthias

      Hi Jan!
      Regarding to the months I was there I would not do anything different. There might have been some cold mornings where I was wearing my rainjacket over the down one.
      Overall I had very good weather over the whole time on the TA.

      3. März 2015 at 07:37

  4. Spaceman

    Hey Ich glaube du hast dich ein wenig beim Gesamtgewicht verrechnet! Nicht das ich pingelig bin aber ich komme auf ein anderes Ergebnis!

    16. Dezember 2015 at 18:09

    • Matthias

      Mag sein, was machen wir jetzt?
      Ich hoffe du weißt was du brauchst 😉

      29. Dezember 2015 at 16:05

  5. Jukka Sundberg

    What kind of fuel you used and how did you optimize the fuel carried as the bottle bought is normally bigger than your need?

    8. November 2016 at 07:04

    • Matthias

      Hey Jukka!

      I used Alcohol as fuel for most parts of TE ARAROA.
      How I did that was very different. In NZ I could only found 1L Bottles, I carried never more than 500ml with me. Sometimes I left the rest behind, sometimes there where people to share with and often I found half full bottles at hostels so I did not have to buy my own. So It is never the same!

      8. November 2016 at 09:34

  6. Kelly

    Hey Mick,

    Love the blog, and the documentry as well!
    This is a great overview of your gear list- very much appreciated. I am hiking this October and I have long gaiteres of 146 grams and was thinking of getting lighter ones (saving another 100 grams) but am worried about plants and such scratching my shin’s till they bleed? I heard there’s alot of sharp grass everywhere.
    I am however bringing a lightweight climbing pant, both for really cold days and/or town/laundry days so I could use that on grassy days, then again i won’t be changing in the middle of the day I guess, so still wondering if the small ones will cut it? Did you like the short gaiters?

    Thanks 🙂

    3. August 2017 at 09:45

    • Kelly

      Sorry! Wrong blog hahahahha. You may notice theres about 5 tabs open with different gear lists at the moment 🙂

      3. August 2017 at 09:46

      • Matthias

        haha no worries 🙂

        3. August 2017 at 10:50

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