A young tramper set her sights on walking all nine Great Walks, finally finishing them this year at the ripe old age of 11.
Most people don’t tick off a major bucket-list item in their childhood, but after four years, 11-year-old Hannah Currie has now ticked off all nine Great Walks.
The Hastings tramper set the goal while on her first Great Walk, Lake Waikaremoana. Her mother, Sarah, thought it would be something to achieve over a lifetime, but Hannah had other ideas. The Hastings family has completed two or three Great Walks every year since.
Hannah’s favourites have been the Heaphy and the Kepler.
“I like seeing wildlife,” Hannah said. “On the Kepler, the terrain was pretty cool and the native birds were good. We saw seven whio and nine kea.
“On the Heaphy, each day was really different, which I liked.”
Despite her size and youth, Hannah isn’t shy of hard yacker – her mum has to limit her pack to 5kg.
“My legs do get a bit tired sometimes,” Hannah says.
“She never says that out loud though,” Sarah says. “She always wants to carry more.”
Sarah hadn’t been an avid tramper before but says it has been a great experience.
“These are things I’ve always wanted to do, but it’s hard to organise it around everything else in life. Hannah’s motivation has given us the kick in the pants to do it.
“She is in her element when she’s tramping. All the usual challenges of parenting go away.”
So, now Hannah has knocked off the Great Walks, what’s next?
“One of the rangers on the Kepler said some people try and bag every hut in the country,” Sarah says. “I saw Hannah’s face light up, and I was quick to say that was definitely a goal to complete over a lifetime.”
Hannah has also been eyeing the Ruapehu Round the Mountain Track and the Dusky Track, but Sarah says “maybe when she’s a bit older”.
When she is older, Hannah hopes to forge a career in the backcountry, either working as an outdoor recreation teacher or a guide. With her determination, you might see her guiding on a Great Walk very soon.