Victoria Bruce and her eight-year-old daughter Emilie are hoping all Kiwis will benefit from their fundraising efforts after walking Te Araroa Trail.
They have donated $10,000 to both the Federated Mountain Clubs and the Mental Health Foundation.
“We hope these funds will go towards ensuring all New Zealanders can enjoy the mental health benefits of spending time in our wild places,” Bruce said.
She and Emilie arrived in Bluff on April 14 after walking 2200km over six months, including the length of the South Island and a good chunk of the North.
‘I won’t lie, at times it was a long and lonely journey as we were damp, smelly, sore and tired, but you believed we could do it and we did!’ Bruce wrote on the pair’s fundraising page, which amassed $24,000.
They aimed to raise $20,000, with 10 per cent of funds going towards their own gear, food and essentials for the trip. They handed over their donation to FMC in May.
“It’s been so good to have the backing of the team at FMC during our journey on Te Araroa,” Bruce said.
Then president Jan Finlayson received the donation on behalf of the FMC, and said: “My heartfelt gratitude goes to Victoria and Emilie for the huge sum they’ve raised for FMC.”
The duo had been “sterling ambassadors for FMC’s kaupapa”, Finlayson said. “They’ve met nature on its own terms.