Setting off from Cape Reinga in November last year 23-year-old Daniel Lee embarked on a unique mission to walk the length of the country and raise funds for the Hawke's Bay Lowe Corporation helicopter.
It took him four months to walk the Te Araroa trail from Cape Reinga to Bluff and his primary motivator was to "give back" to the local rescue chopper that had flown him to hospital after he was involved in a serious tractor accident at 6-years-old.
On Thursday afternoon Mr Lee was celebrating at a local bar with his family after completing the walk and raising more than $18,000 for the local rescue chopper.
"I was never, ever going to quit. I always really wanted to do this walk and I also wanted to give back as well so they were the two big drivers to do it.
"I had a lot of tough days for sure where I asked myself what the hell I was doing but I never, ever once thought about stopping."
As Mr Lee neared the end of his journey he also decided to extend his fundraising campaign to the Hawke's Bay Hospital children's ward.
The ward had taught him to talk again after his accident and Mr Lee's head, which had been laden with dreadlocks during the walk, was shaved on Thursday with the locks selling for $200 each.
Despite finishing the walk Mr Lee admitted he faced low points; one of them being falling ill and vomiting for hours during a 12km stretch of the journey.
"I was happy to finally see that day out," he said.
On Thursday Mr Lee's fundraising efforts culminated at the helicopter hanger in Hastings after his family organised a surprise homecoming.
He was greeted by a performance of Tika Tonu Haka and after speeches his dreadlocks were cut off by children from the ward.
"I wasn't expecting that [chopper ride] at all so that was a real surprise and then I got a hell of a welcoming at the hangar which was fantastic,
"It was just nice to see everyone smiling and happy. It made me feel pretty good now that I've done what I wanted to do."
Mr Lee said he had plenty of time to think about what he wanted to accomplish in the future through his walk.
"I thought about how I would keep the ball rolling. It doesn't just end at Bluff. I definitely want to do more big walks, and more walks around New Zealand. Although I've walked the length of the country I still haven't seen all of the country."
Mr Lee said he came across about 250 other walkers during the journey and estimated only 10 of them were from New Zealand.
"Not a lot of people know there is a track from Cape Reinga to Bluff .I'd like to say to all Kiwis that you don't have to travel the world to see amazing things."