Inspired by a South Auckland charity, Red Lunday De Waal is walking the Te Araroa Trail to raise money for that charity, Time To Thrive - To Stay Alive.

That's 3000km of walking, from Cape Reinga to Bluff. Mrs Lunday De Waal started the trail at Cape Reinga in April, walked to Auckland, had the winter off, and started from Auckland about a month ago.

She hopes to finish the entire trail before her next birthday in April. She decided to do the walk to combine two of her passions.

"I've wanted to walk it for a while, and I wanted to do something to help Time To Thrive - To Stay Alive. This way, I'm bringing the two together."


Mrs Lunday De Waal passed through Whanganui in the weekend, her visit timed to coincide with a friend's birthday.

"I got to kayak on the Whanganui River, and I loved it. An absolutely highlight of the trail so far was staying at the convent at Hiruharama (Jerusalem)."

Mrs Lunday De Waal said the walk had "had its ups and downs", particularly with the weather, but had overall been a positive experience.

"I'm really enjoying it - I get to meet so many different people."

So far she has raised $10,000 of her target of $30,000.

Time To Thrive - To Stay Alive is a Mangere-based charitable trust which helps people live a healthier, more active lifestyle.

To find out more about Mrs Lunday De Waal's charity walk, search for Red Walks Te Araroa on Facebook.

Trail is a growing attraction

Spring is well under way and so are Te Araroa Trail walkers.

They are again passing through Whanganui, with about six hosted at the Tamara Travellers Lodge so far, owner Rory Smith said. He had a total of about 50 pass through last year, mainly in spring and summer.

He's predicting there will be lots more.

"It's going to be an avalanche. It's a huge thing, and it's going to get huger."

The Te Araroa trail runs from Cape Reinga to Bluff, passing down the Whanganui River, then down the coast and heading inland to Palmerston North and the Tararua Range.
Most people walk it from north to south and start it in spring.