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Great New Zealand Trek History



Completed stages so far

Stage One – 2006

Started at Cape Reinga. Trekkers travelled 225 kms which included trekking along 90 Mile Beach and finishing at Kohukohu on the Hokianga Harbour. $ 22,048.13 was donated to the MS Society in Wellington.

Stage Two – 2007

began across the Hokianga harbour at Rawene trekking 212 kms down the west coast along Bailys Beach and finishing at the bottom of the Pouto Peninsula. $13,165.70 was donated to the MS Society in Wellington.

Stage Three– 2008.

The trek began at the top of the Coromandel Peninsula to avoid the congestion of Auckland trekking from Port Jackson to Tairua trekking 148 kms and raising another $20,986.37 for the MS Society in Wellington

Stage Four – 2009.

Port Waikato to Kawhai – trekkers covered 164 kms, raising $29,545.74 for the Malaghan Institute in Wellington. These funds are used for research into Multiple Sclerosis so that one day they can find a cure for this debilitating disease.

Stage Five – 2010.

Kawhia to Taumaranui – leaving the sea behind we trekked through the farmlands of the King Country covering 179 kms. Raising another $ 29,169.00 for the Malaghan Institute for research into MS.

Stage Six – 2011

Taumaranui to Mangaweka. Distance travelled 202 kms. We donated $20,000 to the Malaghan Institute with a further $10,000 going to the MS Society in Christchurch to help out MS suffered after the earthquake.

Stage Seven – 2012

This stage saw us hop across the Ruahine Ranges to start in the Hawkes Bay at Tikokino and finish on the east coast at Akitio covering 190 kms. $30,000 was donated to the Malaghan Instutute for research into MS.

Stage Eight – 2013

The last stage in the North Island starting at Alfredton and finishing on top of the cliffs at Lake Ferry. Distance trekked 180 kms – $35,000 donated to the Malaghan Institute for research into MS.

Stage Nine – 2014

The first stage in the South Island. The logistics of planning the route were challenging with the big mountains and rivers. The route took a bit of a turn from the normal north to south. We travelled west to east before heading south. Starting at Wairau Valley and finishing at Clarence. Distance 172 kms – $33,000 donated to the Malaghan Institute for research into MS.

Stage Ten – 2015

This stage saw us take into the iconic Molesworth Station which meant travelling south to north before heading south again. We started at Hanmer Springs, travelling north up through the Hossack to the DOC camping ground at the Acheron. The next day we did a loop ride seeing a part of Molesworth Station not normally accessible to the general public. After this we headed south through Hanmer springs, along the foothills of the Tekoa Ranges and finishing at Hawarden. Distance 216 kms for Mt Bikers & Horse Riders 202 kms for Walkers. $35,000 was donated to the Malaghan Institute for research into MS. A further $1222 was donated to the Malghan Institute as a memorial fund for Bo Patel.

Stage Eleven – 2016

There was a huge variation in this stage starting at Springfield. Travelling across farmland and forestry to High Peak Station. Then across the bridge on the Rakia River. It was interesting following the irrigation canals in the Mt Somers area. We had a great campsite at Peel Forest then onto the rocky pass through to Blue Mountain and finishing at Clayton Station, Fairlie. We travelled 184 kms and had 220 entries. $35,000 was donated to the Malaghan Institute of Medicine

Stage Twelve – 2017

Starting in the beautiful Burkes Pass and over the range into the MacKenzie basin camping at Grays Hills. Then across the Tekapo River crossing the Ohau canal at the power station. From here we climbed over the hill to Glenbrook Station. Then we went over the Ben More Range and down to Omarama camping at Ben Omar Station for our rest day. From here we went on to Twinburn Station, the over the Omarama saddle to St Bathans, finishing at Hopehill, Becks. We trekked 191 kms and had 238 entries. $35,000 was donated to the Malaghan Institute of medicine for research into Multiple Sclerosis


The Great New Zealand Trek began its journey of traversing the length of New Zealand in 2006, an event for Walkers, Mt Bikers and Horse Riders to raise funds for Multiple Sclerosis. This event was the vision of Steve Old whose mother suffered from Multiple Sclerosis. Steve ran this event for the first three years through his company “Farout Events” with the help of dedicated volunteers. Steve became involved with movie work and was unable to give the trek the time it needed. The Great New Zealand Trek Charitable Trust {Trust} was set up in August 2008 with a group of volunteers as trustees. The Trek remained the property of Steve Old.

The Trust employed a route manager to plan the route each year, with the exception of 2009 when Brad Johnson with the help of Andrew Kershaw donated their time for free. This enabled the trust to put the funds normally paid to the route manager into a savings fund, this fund was to be used in future years as an emergency fund. The financial success relies on the trek reaching a threshold of 220 entries, if it was to fall below this there would still funds available to pay the bills. As the trek gets further South it becomes more expensive for our trekkers and our logistics but we are reluctant to raise the entry fee if practically possible, we work hard to apply for funding and get sponsors. Our emergency fund will ensure we get to Bluff!

Steve Old was employed as the route manager in 2010 and part of 2011, by this stage Steve was heavily involved with film work and could not do both justice. Hepa Paewai was employed by Steve Old as the route manager to finish 2011 and Hepa has been employed by the Trust as the route manager for 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2017

In 2013 Steve sold ‘The Great New Zealand Trek’ to the Trust

The administration/treasurer of the trek is also another paid position. Kitty Johnson has been involved since 2006 donating her time to do the financial & administrative work for the first seven years, Kitty is now paid for this position.

The current Trustees are

Wally Bell (Chairperson/ Logistics) Christine (Kitty) Johnson (Treasurer/ Admin) Hilary Heath-Caldwell (Funding/Minutes) Janet Campbell (Councils) Simon Edwards (H & S)