A Te Araroa Trail app designed to improve walker experience has been released.
The Trail App is the first to be developed for the 3000km thru-hike, and is available for free on Android and iOS devices.
Wellington software developer Landon Breidenstein designed the app after walking the trail in the 2016/17 season.
Breidenstein said it was his way of giving back to the trail, which he described as “the best thing I’ve done in my entire life”.
Including annotated route navigation, full trail notes, elevation profiles, and links with both Google Maps and topomap.co.nz, Breidenstein hopes the app will help walkers make informed choices about their daily distances, campsites and utilities. The app also allows users to receive alerts on track updates.
Te Araroa Trust chief executive Mark Weatherall is excited about the app’s potential.
“The idea is to help improve communication with those doing the trail, and have the ability to keep them updated with changes, issues and alerts,” he said.
The trail experienced another year of growth, with this season’s numbers predicted at 1200 – a 20 per cent jump on the 2017/2018 season.
With numbers increasing every year, Weatherall said it is important to keep on top of management and ensure walker behaviour is of a high standard.
“We can’t force people to do anything, but we’re trying to create a culture of expectations around how we behave – and would like to see walkers self-policing, and calling out those who don’t behave appropriately,” he said.
“We’re fortunate to be able to use private land, and we want to continue that, and ensure walkers adhere to a code of conduct.”
Pressure on campsites, kauri dieback and over-long stretches of the trail are other concerns facing the route.