About Me

There are a dozen  reasons why it seemed like a good idea to hike the length of New Zealand. I love tramping (hiking), enjoy solitude (an introvert by nature), need to re-energise and rest, and my life is far too sensible are just a few reasons.


I am a very normal 52 year old New Zealander from Nelson, with a 20 year old daughter, Chontelle, and husband Dave, and a dog called Lottie. I have a business with a fantastic team who are running things while I embark on this adventure.


I'm not overly fit. Had hoped to be fitter when I started but no doubt that will come on the trail. My biggest physical achievement is a marathon - just once in 2010 - never again. Don’t be impressed. Although I was ecstatic to complete the event, it wasn't pretty: I walked some of it, hobbled a bit of it, ran most of it and finished just short of the cut off time. My strength is not physical prowess, it is in the ability to plod indefinitely, putting one foot in front of the other.


For the middle part of my life I did very little tramping, but as my daughter (now 20) got into tramping, my love for it was rekindled. We have done a few tramps together, the most challenging was the Wangapeka Track because of the weather, flooded rivers, trees falling around us, and the state of the track. Minor things I'm guessing when compared with the scale of Te Araroa.


In early 2018 I began to seriously consider walking Te Araroa, and bit by bit I have researched, read and planned how to make it possible, made changes to my life, and bored my family silly about it...and now I am committed to starting the journey on 10 October 2019.

lottie muddy 1.jpg
Kay B&W.jpg


  • Getting lost

  • Getting injured

  • Having to ask strangers for help/favours e.g. camping on their lawn/paddock

  • Hitch hiking

  • What happens when I finish it / returning to ‘normal’ life?

  • Whats if I don't finish it / get injured?

  • Running out of chocolate (the most serious concern)


Things I’m looking forward to

  • That the only thing I have to do each day is eat, walk and sleep

  • No responsibility other than for myself

  • The solitude

  • Being in the bush

  • Taking the time to enjoy the experience – (not my usual habit of going all out to get to the next destination as quickly as possible)

  • Eating pipi on 90 mile beach at sunset (I've pack some garlic butter just for this)

  • Eating absolutely anything I want and not worrying about putting on weight.

  • Taking loads of photos


Advantages of be an older tramper

  • No longer feel the need to beat the time on DOC signs

  • Less concerned about what others think

  • Quite like my own company (have a tendancy to agree with myself - much easier)

  • Can afford to no longer need to stay in backpackers (personally would rather sleep in my tent!)

  • I have an in built hot water bottle, that is particularly effective at night!

So here goes!