Hiking the Te Araroa Trail

by Christoph Karallus September 15, 2016

Hiking the Te Araroa Trail

Christoph is talking about what it meant to him to hike the Te Araroa Trail and what made him becoming part of the tribe and the team.

Hiking the Te Araroa Trail wasn’t a coincidence. I heard about the TA right from its beginnings in 2011 and I instantly saw myself conquering it. The question wasn’t IF but WHEN.

After selling all my belongings and going on a world travel in summer 2013 I saw, did and experienced a lot of crazy stuff. Eventually I ended up diving and enjoying the paradise of the small island of Koh Tao in Thailand. I loved it! But after months of warm ocean water, beaches and palm trees I was craving something different. I wanted mountains. And forests. And I wanted to move my body differently than swimming. It was time for Te Araroa!

I traveled back home to Germany, visited friends and family and started planning this epic journey. I was experienced in traveling and hiking and I already lived in New Zealand for six months before I went to Thailand. I hiked the Camino in Spain, twice. But that was NOTHING in comparison to what I was about to see on the Te Araroa Trail.

My biggest issue was the right footwear. Because I get blisters fast and often, I was concerned about all the river crossings. There was a big discussion in the small TA community about which shoes are the best. Will they dry fast? How long will they last? How is the support of the feet? How will they work in deep mud?

Walking in wet shoes just wasn’t an option for me. So I looked for fast drying shoes and after a bit of research I came into contact with Dan and Naresh. They told me about their experience with hiking the TA in Bedrock Sandals and after a couple of emails the decision was made.

The jungles and beaches of the North Island were exhausting and beautiful. But there was also a lot of road walking. When I came to the South Island I thought that the TA for me is finally really beginning. Hiking on the South Island of New Zealand was everything I dreamed of when I was sitting on my small island in Thailand. Mountains, valleys, passes, summits, ice-cold rivers, huts… OH the HUTS!!!

Hiking from hut to hut was the best part of the entire trail for me! The system of backcountry huts in New Zealand is really unique. There are big and small ones, old and new. It doesn’t matter how shabby they sometimes were, they all had style, character and history. And the view! Almost every tiny hut was located in a remote area with stunning views. The same goes for the toilets next to the huts. One of the best moments on my TA was having a poo in the morning at Nichols Hut in the Tararua Ranges. Sitting there with the door open and this view:

Hiking the Te Araroa Trail in Bedrocks was the best decision for me. I got asked a ton of questions along the TA wether this is an appropriate footwear for this kind of trail. After hiking the 3000 km in four months and conquering beaches, forests, mud, mountains, scree, sand, roots, tussock, boulders, snow and everything else you could possibly imagine, my answer is YES. Although it might not be for everyone to hike completely in sandals, I loved it and I will continue wearing them wherever I go.

And thanks again to Dan and Naresh who supported me, answered all my questions and gave me good advise. Because of these two guys I became a Bedrock Sandals customer and part of the TRIBE. And because of my experience on the Te Araroa Trail and the opportunity to spread the word in Europe I became part of the TEAM. And that is where the story of Bedrock Sandals Europe begins.

And last but not least, what the Te Araroa Trail is for me other than an adventure, a hike, a journey or what ever it might be for you, it was about friendship. I met so many awesome people with good hearts. The most important one for me you can see on this very last picture. Thank you Bruce.

Christoph Karallus
Christoph Karallus





SYNCLINE Sandal Size Outline (click to open)

CAIRN Sandal Size Outline (click to open)