Hiking the length of NZ - the Te Araroa Trail - to raise money for Women's Refuge.
This summer I will be hiking the Te Araroa Trail to raise money for Women’s Refuge. The TA is 3000km long, and runs from Cape Reinga in the north to Bluff in the south. It will take me at least 5 months to hike, and I will be carrying everything in a pack on my back. I’ve been training and planning for months, have taken leave from work, and am keen to hit the trail! I’ll be walking down beaches, along roads, through mountains and valleys, across farmland, rivers and alpine passes, from the top of the country all the way to the bottom. There’ll be wet feet, blisters, sore muscles, wearing the same clothes every day, a Christmas away from home, and a LOT of dehydrated food. But! There’ll also be the simplicity and beauty of nature, interesting people to meet, and the satisfaction of pushing myself to my limits, all for a good cause.
Why am I taking on this crazy challenge? Well, violence against women is something I feel very strongly about. For such a beautiful country, we have some very ugly domestic violence statistics here in Aotearoa, and unfortunately even more women have been left vulnerable as a result of the COVID-19 lockdowns. Did you know that:
* NZ has some of the highest reported rates of intimate partner violence in the developed world (and 76% of family violence incidents are NOT reported to Police). *1 in 3 women experience physical and/or sexual violence, and over ½ experience psychological/emotional abuse from an intimate partner in their lifetime. *In around 70% of households with violence, children are also direct victims of some form of violence.
We tolerate an unacceptable level of violence in NZ, and that is not ok. I want to do something about it by supporting a charity doing such important work in supporting the women and children who experience violence and abuse. Women’s Refuge is NZ’s largest nation-wide provider of family violence services, with a vision for all women and children in Aotearoa to live free from domestic and family violence. They provide a crisis line, confidential support, 24/7 access to safe houses, home and community visits, advocacy when dealing with social-service organisations, referrals to support services, and education and support groups.
Please donate to help me support such a worthy organisation!
It’s a big challenge – the biggest of my life so far! I will be hiking from October 2020 to March 2021 and you’re welcome to follow my journey on Instagram @afarmilo.
Please note that if I can’t complete the whole TA Trail (due to injury, illness, weather, worldwide pandemics…) your donation will still go to Women’s Refuge regardless.
Thanks for your support, everyone!
Just a regular Kiwi wanting to address the issue of violence against women by using a personal challenge to fundraise for Women's Refuge.
Final Update 2 January 2021
If you've been following my journey on social media, you'll know that I've sadly had to stop hiking due to injury. While I did complete 1000km, which is 1/3 of the trail, I'm disappointed that I haven't been able to complete the entire length of the country in one go. My knee injury is serious enough to require surgery, so there is really no way I can continue this season. I still hope to complete Te Araroa, but it will now be done over the next few years.
Many, many thanks for all your support and generous donations! The fundraiser is currently sitting at $11,750 which is just amazing! I know this money will be a big help to Women's Refuge and the women and children they support - thank you once again for getting behind such a good cause.