Walking the Te Araroa Trail: Raising awareness for Parkinson’s New Zealand
I am raising money and awareness for Parkinson’s New Zealand, in memory of our beautiful sister Margery Simpson.Nationwide
I have long had an ambition to walk the length of New Zealand, perhaps inspired when I was a little boy at primary school in Southland and the book publisher A.H Reed road-walked from North Cape to the Bluff in 1960 – 1961.
Te Araroa traverses 3,000 kilometres of stunning scenery as it winds its way from Cape Reinga in the far north to Bluff at the bottom of the South Island. Although the walking season traditionally begins in October, back in late May 2019 I travelled to Cape Reinga and spent the following two and a bit weeks trekking down Te Oneroa-a-Tōhē (90 Mile Beach) to Ahipara, across through the Northland forests to Kerikeri then down through the Waitangi Forest to Waitangi and Paihia, finishing at Opua Wharf – a total of 250 kilometres. This was a ‘test run’ to see if my 68-year-old body could cope. Apparently it could, so I came home to Napier for winter and I reconvene from Waikare Landing (the next trail point South of Opua Wharf) on Friday 11 October.
As well as the personal challenge and enjoyment associated with this trek, I am raising money and awareness for Parkinson’s New Zealand. Our beautiful sister Margery Simpson (photo in gallery) suffered from MSA (multiple system atrophy), a ‘Parkinsonism condition’ that eventually claimed her life. We were very close and her death was a huge sadness for ourfamily and all who knew Margery. I figure that whatever I can do to help Parkinson’s NZ in their support for people who experience these types of conditions has got to be a good thing.
Parkinson’s is a great cause to support. This Givealittle page allows anyone who would like to support to donate directly to Parkinson’s New Zealand.
Everything I need I carry in my backpack - tent, sleeping gear, clothes, food, safety and navigation gear. I have a Spot Gen3 tracker that sends a GPS signal of my location every hour I am moving if it has a clear view of the satellite (doesn't work so well in dense bush, steep gulllies etc - thus the gaps). If you want to see where I am at any time, click on this link:
I also have an Instagram page where I will post photos from time to time:
Who knows how I will go? But if no injuries or other emergencies I should finish sometime late March 2020. Thanks in advance for your support of this great cause!
Photo of my sister Margery Simpson, Stewart Island, 1995
Syd King's involvement (page creator)
Our beautiful sister Margery Simpson suffered from MSA (Multiple System Atrophy), a ‘Parkinsonism condition’ that eventually claimed her life. Parkinson’s NZ provide support for people with Parkinson's and who experience these types of conditions.
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This page was created on 8 Oct 2019 and closes on 8 Apr 2021.