If you want to take the whole tour, you have to budget 50 to 80 days on each island – depending on your personal fitness level and the weather conditions. If this is much too long for you, "Te Araroa" offers a lot of possibilities for one- or multiple day tours through the wonderful nature of New Zealand as well.
The way can be walked into both directions. Walking from North to South, it is best to start between end of September and December – then there is a fairly high change of having good weather conditions at critical points of the route. Especially the mountain area on the southen island is not easy to cross and therefore not recommended after april.
Since the countryside through which the "Te Araroa" leads is often deserted and wild, it is very important to have knowledge of routing and navigation. You should also know how to cross rivers without tools, how to put up a tent, which first aid equipment you should always take along and how to prevent undercooling.
On the southern island, there are two rivers which can not be crossed. To reach the other side of Rakaia and Rangitata River, you have to go around the road in a vehicle. You will find more information here:
Between Queenstown and Greenstone the only passable way is the main highway along Lake Waikatipu. It is recommended to use a shuttle bus.
Tips, hints and links
You will find further information at the official homepage of the "Te Araroa".
For a short distance on Queen Charlotte Track, you need a permit.
If you want to stay in one of the official huts of the Department of Conservation, you need a pass.
On arrival in New Zealand, you need a visa.