Daniel Lee has just hiked the length of New Zealand for charity - now he's getting his beloved dreads chopped for charity too.

His mother Margo Lee says: "I'm really sad to see the dreads go, actually."

Daniel's dreads were auctioned off - proceeds go towards an outdoor area for immune compromised child cancer patients at Hawke's Bay Hospital

The event - part of a celebration to welcome Daniel back to Hawke's Bay - after a five month hike along the 3000km Te Araroa trail.


Among the welcoming party are children from Hawke's Bay Hospital's children's ward.

"To just see them there in front of me with the welcome sign and one of the little boys to hold my hand, that was pretty cool, that made me feel special," Daniel says.

During the hike he raised more than $17,000 for Hawke's Bay's Lowe Corporation Rescue Helicopter.

"There were definitely times where it was pretty hard and I thought...what am I doing, but in the back of my mind I always knew what I set out to do and what I wanted to do."

And that was to give back to the service which saved his life 17 years ago when he was involved in a serious agricultural accident.

Daniel's mother says the helicopter's service is amazing.

"When we needed them they were there very quickly."

And - they were on hand again for the homecoming - to thank him for his fundraising drive.

Overwhelmed, Daniel says he was "completely blown away by the surprise first thing this morning being choppered in".

And Daniel's brothers were on hand too

"We love you Daniel, good stuff bro, real proud of you."

Mrs Lee says her son isn't likely to grow another set of dreads and he is now well into the next stage of his life.

Made with funding from