New Zealand South Island trip – trailer

A few days ago I arrived back home after finishing my New Zealand trip. It has been a fantastic period, and I feel privileged to have spent such a long time wandering through the wild and unspoilt backcountry of the South Island. It will be a pain to get used to the rat race again, and it could take a while before I will start publishing my trip report.

This trailer is a tribute to NZ’s wilderness, but also to all organisations, individuals and passionate volunteers at the other side of the globe caring about the conservation of it, and without whom a trip like this would never have been the same. Thank you!

10 thoughts on “New Zealand South Island trip – trailer

  1. debbekes says:

    Dat wordt weer een fantastische diavoorstelling, ik ziet het nu al voor me. Wij dromen, jij doet het!

  2. Willem says:

    Cheers guys!
    @ poksumdo: de Waiau Pass valt best mee als je aan ‘t begin van het korte klauterstukje aan de zuidkant meteen op de juiste route zit, goed de markeringen volgen dus. Op de Te Araroa vond ik bvb. de Mount Rintoul uitdagender. Heb je plannen om de tocht te gaan lopen?

  3. Wim says:

    Hi Willem. Superb trip… again. The section Arthur’s pass – Mt. Cook village has been on my radar for a couple of years. I already found & bookmarked some trip reports. But little info can be found regarding logistics (… and I suppose I am not the only one). I might question you on, but I think this – English – blog is more opportune.

    Perhaps you can enlighten us a bit:
    – You left the main divide to resupply in Hokitika. Did you hitchhike from & two the trailheads? Or is there a (tour)bus service?
    – How did you get your packraft to Erewhon farm? Did you just drove up there before starting your hike? Or do they accept resupply packages? If so, with NZ post ?
    – Oh, the limited trip reports I found on this section did not involve a packraft (but with spare days though, to sit out a river in spate). An ok approach?
    – Last but not least: was a ice axe necessary on this section? I believe you walked it in February, not?

    Thanks and kind regards,


    • Willem says:

      Hi Wim, thanks for dropping by again!

      – I hitchhiked all of the distance between the trailheads – hitchhiking is super easy in New Zealand. I must have been in 30-40 cars over the entire three months, often it was the very first driver passing by which picked me up.
      – Prior to the traverse I made a 3-week road trip with my girlfriend. On the way we dropped 7 resupply packages along my route, including the one at Erewhon. I’ve met a lot of TA hikers who used the NZ post service, which seemed to work quite well. Erewhon might be a an exception to that – I can’t imagine the mail carrier driving over 40km on a gravel road just to get to that farm 🙂 So you better contact the Station in advance to know what is possible.
      – You could do the trip from Hokitika to Lake Pukaki without a packraft. The Rakaia, Rangitata and Godley rivers will be the main obstacles. Rakaia River down Whitcombe Pass is a no-go in any conditions below optimal (I had to hitch around it). The Rangitata and Godley Rivers should be ok with low to normal flow, but will be impassable after precipitation on the Divide. I had to paddle across the Rangitata as it was impossible to ford. The Tasman River is impossible to ford.
      – I walked this section in early february and did not need an ice axe. But there was not a lot of snow after winter, and a super warm january made the situation even ‘worse’. I took a shorter, alternative route to enter the Jollie valley because the weather forecast was very bad for the night and I wanted to make it down as far as possible. From the valley I could see there still were steep snowfields lingering below Jollie Saddle, so you might want to avoid that pass if you choose to travel without an ice axe.


  4. leon says:

    Prachtig Willem, had het soms wat moeilijk met de engelse tekst maar de super mooie foto’s en de trailer zeggen meer dan genoeg.

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