Te Araroa Trail in New Zealand
Hiker: Dan Ransom, filmmaker
In His Words: What puts the Te Araroa on the top of my dream list is the variety. New Zealand is famous for its diverse landscapes, and the Te Araroa links close to 2,000 miles of coastal sand, alpine ridges, and jungle bushwhacks traversing national parks and farmland and winding past volcanoes. After bagging the Triple Crown of long trails in the U.S., the Te Araroa would be the obvious target for that next big thru-hike.
Distance: 1,864 miles
Why You Should Go: Maori for “the long pathway,” the Te Araroa, which is split into 160 tracks and typically takes five months to finish, cuts through the heart of New Zealand from Cape Reinga at the North Island’s tip to Bluff on the South Island’s edge. Amble along bays flanking the South Island’s Queen Charlotte Track, explore river valleys bursting with Maori culture in the North Island’s Whanganui National Park, tramp over slopes of the active Tongariro volcano, or meander through the otherworldly Takitimu Forest.
When to Go: October through April
About Ransom: Landscape photographer, adventurer, and filmmaker Dan Ransom is well known for his striking work on Last of the Great Unknown, a documentary detailing the escapades of explorers Rich Rudow and Todd Martin as they attempt numerous technical first-descents of slots in the Grand Canyon. In addition to exploring slot canyons of the Colorado Plateau, this Utah resident enjoys long backpacking trips in the Utah’s Uinta Mountains and Wyoming’s Wind River Range. When he’s not out adventuring, he uses words, videos, images, and graphics to tell stories for a variety of clients.