The feat of walking the entire length of the North Island for charity is still sinking in for Whangārei man Dean Raynel.

The community corrections probation officer set off from Cape Reinga on December 2.

He reached his finishing point at Te Araroa's foundation stone at Shorland Park in Island Bay on February 9.

During those 70 days, he covered 1688kms across the contrasting scenery of the North Island.

Advertisement

He said he wasn't "really over joyous" on the finish day as he had been winding down and getting used the idea of finishing in the few days beforehand.

However, he was "really happy to be finished and get home to the family".

Raynel has three young children, Ayla, 6, Abby, 4, and Jesse, 2, with his wife, Katie.

The Tararua Ranges were one of Dean Raynel's top three highlights of his trek. Photo / Supplied
The Tararua Ranges were one of Dean Raynel's top three highlights of his trek. Photo / Supplied

The children at Abby's kindergarten had followed Raynel's trek.

"They had a big map and they were following my progress. They would move the arrow each day. That was quite cool."

Raynel said there were plenty of times it got hard and he struggled through the day but he never got to the point where he wanted to give up.

"I knew that I couldn't stop. I built up a lot of resilience."

While he didn't have "a big life-changing" moment he said he learnt about himself and what he's capable of.

Advertisement

He didn't have any trouble with blisters either, which he puts down to looking after them with a lot of blister prevention techniques but he did have sore feet for the first four or five weeks.

"I had two pairs of boots. I started with two brand new pairs and I was swapping them out. By the end I had one pair that were stuffed."

The Tongariro Crossing, which he completed during his walk, was "really impressive".

It was one of his top three highlights, along with the Tararua Ranges and paddling down the Whanganui River.

It wasn't all smooth paddling though.

"I did tip out. I was floating on my back hanging on to my kayak until I could get back to shore."

The Tongariro Crossing was a really impressive part of his 70-day walk and paddle down the North Island. Photo / Supplied
The Tongariro Crossing was a really impressive part of his 70-day walk and paddle down the North Island. Photo / Supplied

While he was on his walk over the Christmas and New Year period he was able to spend the evenings of the festive period with his family.

He was in Auckland around Christmas time and his family headed down from Whangārei and he would get picked up and taken back to his father-in-law's place each evening after walking.

For New Year, he did the same with his brother in Hamilton.

The walk was all in the name of raising money for Alzheimers Northland. He set a target of $5000, which he achieved and still has a few donations coming in. His total sits at $5279.99 so far and he is still accepting donations.

To donate go to https://give.everydayhero.com/nz/the-ultimate-memory-walk-2