Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

September 26, 2021
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The path to success

It’s so nice when a dream comes true, just ask the Kiwis behind the New Zealand Walkways Commission. They’ve wanted a long trail since 1975 when the Walkways Commission (now the Department of Conservation) was formed. On December 3, 2011, they got one. The Te Araroa, or Long Pathway, stretches 3000 gorgeous kilometres from Cape Reinga, the northern tip of the North Island, to Bluff, the southern tip of the South Island. In between, there are volcanoes and river valleys, forests and farmlands, small country settlements and big cities. Highlights include Cape Reinga itself, one of Māoridom’s most sacred places where spirits of the dead are said to leave to return to their homeland, Hawaiki; Tongariro Alpine Crossing, a one-day, 19-kilometre trek across the moon-like landscapes of an active volcano; and the Richmond Range, the trail’s most demanding section with summits above 1500 metres. Hiker heaven, surely. The Māori believe the Pathway has mana (or power) and the Waikato-Tainui tribe have granted it protection of their taniwha (or water spirit).;

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