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Te Araroa CEO update 14: NZ’s borders remain closed to international visitors
Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the COVID-19 outbreak is escalating globally and New Zealand’s borders will remain closed to non-New Zealand residents and citizens. New Zealanders are able to return home but must undergo two weeks of strict managed isolation in Government-certified accommodation.
There was no official word on when overseas tourism to New Zealand might resume but the Government has stated that it is actively investigating a ‘travel bubble’ with Australia and many Pacific Islands. However, this limited travel bubble is only likely to be viable if cases of COVID-19 remain low or non-existent in all countries that are party to the agreement.
We’re aware that yesterday’s Government announcement is unlikely to provide a lot of clarity for overseas walkers considering walking Te Araroa this summer. However, it does suggest the border will remain closed for a while longer. We will provide further updates when new information is available and look forward to welcoming overseas walkers again when it is safe to do so.
In the meantime, Te Araroa remains an outstanding option for Kiwis who want to explore their own backyard and support the many rural communities the trail passes through.
Most Te Araroa thru-walkers begin their three- to five-month hike of the 3,000 km trail in spring or summer, when the weather is warmer. If you are planning a multi-day hike on the trail during winter, please make sure you have adequate experience and gear and make sure to carry a personal locator beacon (PLB) or SEND device.