Whangārei probation officer Dean Raynel has set of from Cape Reinga to walk the length of the country to raise awareness of Alzheimers.

Raynel set off from the cape yesterday on the 1700km stretch to Wellington.

''My goal is to walk the length of New Zealand in two sections. I am starting by hiking the North Island from Cape Reinga to Wellington. This section of the trail is approximately 1700km long and I expect to take around 70 days to complete it,'' Raynel said.

''Why have I decided to do this? There are many reasons. But mainly I am motivated by a desire to get outdoors and experience the back country of my beautiful homeland. And there is no better way to experience it than on foot, taking the path less travelled.

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''I will also be raising awareness and donations for Alzheimers Northland. This is an incredible charity helping those living with such a tragic disease.

"I want to help raise awareness and money for their cause so they can continue to support those in our community and their families, suffering from dementia. Please donate by searching for The Ultimate Memory Walk on my Every Day Hero page.''

Raynel can be followed on his Everyday Hero page: https://give.everydayhero.com/nz/the-ultimate-memory-walk-2, through his blog www.thepathlesstravelled.org or on Facebook search @thepathlesstravellednz