2011-2012 has been an emotional 12 months for us

We became kiwi citizens. Our kids, Ben and Beth survived the Christchurch earthquakes. I lost my mum and brother, Brian, to cancer in the same week. We sold our outdoor activity business in Hanmer Springs that we had run for ten years. We ran the Forest Camp as managers and we will celebrate 30 years of marriage.

It has been a time of intense emotions and hard work but a great network of friends and family has supported us.

Losing Brian at the age of 60 has convinced me that we have to “live life for today”. With that in mind Steve and I have decided that the best way to celebrate surviving, being kiwis and the “life of Brian” is to walk the length of New Zealand. Now here is the irony, Brian would be convinced that we are finally, totally and unreservedly barking mad!

Thanks to Ben and Beth for their support to let us go, to Sharon and Serge our Hanmer backstops and to Shalane for inspiration.

Follow us on our journey – meet us on the way with tea and scones, walk a section with us, join us for a beer or just support our cause and donate to Cancer research!

Feel free to add comments to our blog below, just click on "comments" below the blog entry and write in the box then add your name or be anonymous!!

Sunday, 21 April 2013

We made it to Bluff!!!!

We have walked over 3,000 kilometers  to get here, what an amazing journey and an awesome adventure. New Zealand is such a stunning country and we feel privileged to have been able to walk its length on the Te Araroa Trail.

We made it!!!

Sick of vegetarian food!!

We walked from Colac Bay to Riverton, a beautiful harbour village full of character and charm, then on to Oreti beach, the famous beach where Burt Munro tested his fastest indian !! The forecast was for a rainy day but we had the most beautiful day out of nowhere. We had fantastic views of Stewart Island and Bluff in the distance.

The beach was full of amazing pebbles and strange seaweed (Steve was tempted to try it as he is getting over the dehydrated vegetarian pasta dish.

We felt as if we had come full circle (metaphorically, as it was really a straight line !!) back to a long sweeping beach just like Ninety Mile Beach and it felt very special to be there. The tides were just right for us and our last river crossing of the trip was just a splodge.

Last river crossing. Stewart Island in the distance.

Finally we reached the access road and civilisation - cars on the beach, dog walkers and surfers. Steve celebrated with a quick dip in the Southern Ocean with the emphasis on quick. We the headed inland towards Invercargill.

We had a great day in the city and met the Mayor, Tim Shadbolt, as we were probably the slowest couple to have walked the Te Araroa and he had met the fastest guy. The weather was not kind that day but it did not seem to matter.

Spot the mayor.

Lounging around.

So off on the final sections down by the estuary to the long road walk to Ocean Beach. There are plans to create a walkway all the way to Bluff but the project needs funding.
There was a great boardwalk section and a wonderful bench that Steve made full use of.

The welcoming party.

We saved the last 7.2 Kms for our last day so that we would not look totally exhausted for the photos at the end , but more importantly so that Beth could join us and Dave and Kirsty could be there with us. It was overwhelming to be met by the gang at the signpost and so special, thanks guys!!

Our journey along the Te Araraoa has been a celebration for us of two wonderful people, my Mum Elsie and my brother Brian and they have been with us in our hearts. We have raised over $6,000 for Cancer Research thanks to the generosity of all you guys out there that have read the blog and kept us going.

We have been overwhelmed by the generosity and hospitality of all the people that have helped us along the way. The Te Araroa  has also been a personal challenge to us both as well and I am amazed at what it is possible to achieve when you put your mind to it. So our message to you all is to live life to the full, follow your dreams and come and stay with us!

Lynne and Steve

If you would like to add a donation to our cause click on this link   Donate now

PS there will be one more blog of the out takes, funny stories and a slide show so stay tuned !



  1. Congratulations to the both of you. Well done - what will you do with your time now? John and Helen

  2. Gud ohn ya! Brilliant! and congratulations! Cisco and Roadrunner

  3. Congrats on a job well done!!!! Can't wait to catch up with you for a long over due cuppa!!

  4. Awesome Possums! Congrats! Sorry we missed you on this year's trip but hopefully we catch up next. Really lovely sharing on your blog, thank you! Dave & Amelia.

  5. Congratulations. From Dave (the Chiropractor in Wanaka). Amazing achievement : )

  6. You guys are awesome an inspiration :) well done. Rachel surf queen ;) x