|Track on beaches, mud and bush|
|Track on thick bush, rivers, overgrown grass tracks and roots|
|Straightup and straight through|
When planning use the timings in the Te Araroa Trail Notes or on the Department of Conservation (DOC) signs. You will note that most trail signs give time and not distance (though new DOC signs are now giving both). This is because the condition of the track and the trail can really affect how fast you can go. Once you become a super fit Te Araroa Tramper (hiker) you will most likely be much faster than the given timings but take note if the timings change from a 3 km/h to 2 km/h recommended time as this is the difference between a good condition track and an average condition track. There are some tracks where you will be going slower than 2 km/h. To make it even more difficult the recommended track times are not consistent. Some seem to have used a 80 year old grandmother with a zimmer frame to get the track time and some seem to have used a professional trail runner on energy drinks. However on the whole the track times are what an average person is expected to do. Learn how you compare to this average person and then use that as your guage. For example if I see a track is saying 3 hours I would expect to do it in 2 hours 30 on average.
|Lots of climbing|
|Standard DOC signpost. This is a more modern one as it has distance as well as time.|
|Example of a regional marker, the black arrow in yellow circle|
It's not only the untrained who die. Experienced and skilled people have drowned after being tempted to give it a go against their better judgement.
You should not take any river crossing lightly: the risks are too great. You must take particular care with children playing in or near moving water.
Whenever possible, plan to use bridges or cableways to cross rivers.
Before you or your party attempt to cross a river, there are questions you need to ask
1. Should we cross? If in doubt, stay out.
2. Where do we cross? The choice of the safest place to cross is vital. Try to view the river from a high bank. You may be able to see gravel spits or sandbanks just below the surface and get some idea of the depth and position of channels.
3. How do we cross? Use mutual support methods. The more people in the party, the more strength there is for crossing and for supporting anyone who slips or falls. All river-crossing methods have their advantages and disadvantages and, in difficult conditions, no method is absolutely safe. (my comment - If you are by yourself place your walking pole upstream and brace off that. Even better if you have two poles always have one firmly planted before moving the next)
|One of the older Huts but still has mattresses|
|A more modern Hut|
|Standard layout of bunks with matresses, bench, table and a fire|
|Cows on the track|
|Curious cows to walk through|
|Seal on the beach the track goes on|
|Close up of Gorse|
|Close up of Matagouri|