NZ walk to aid Hollows charity

Adam Chambers prepares to walk New Zealand to raise money for the Fred Hollows Foundation. photo by Peter McIntosh.
Adam Chambers prepares to walk New Zealand to raise money for the Fred Hollows Foundation. photo by Peter McIntosh.

A dislocated arm may have slowed him down but Adam Chambers is still determined to walk the length of New Zealand to raise money for the Fred Hollows Foundation.

The Australian live audio technician has given himself eight months to walk New Zealand's Te Araroa trail - a continuous 3000km tramping track from Cape Reinga to Bluff - while raising money for the foundation which helps restore eyesight in developing countries.

''I wanted to support a visual impairment charity. I've lived all my life with glasses or contacts as I had amblyopia (lazy eye).''

Mr Chambers (22) also strongly believed in equality and that the work of the Fred Hollows Foundation gave people in the Pacific Islands and Southeast Asia access to treatment they would otherwise not get.

He was due to start his walk last week, but a cycling accident on the way down Dunedin's Mt Cargill derailed plans that had been a year in the making.

''I flipped over the handlebars and landed on my arm. There was a fair bit of crunching but I'm so grateful it wasn't fractured.''

He gave himself five days for the arm to heal and planned to start his walk in Bluff on Thursday.

It involved spending three to six-day stretches in the back country, stopping in towns in between to restock for the next leg.

Fully stocked, his pack weighed 23kg, with an average weight of 19kg, including water, food and camping gear.

He had added to the challenge with a diversion in the North Island for a five-day canoeing trip.

''All up, it's about six months worth of walking days, but I've given myself eight months for the trip.''

He was carrying a personal locater beacon and cellphone and planned to check in regularly with a friend.

From Bluff, he would head to Te Anau, then Queenstown, before continuing up trails to the east of the Southern Alps.

''I want to see as much of this country as possible. I love New Zealand.''

His journey can be followed on www.rambleon.co.

rebecca.fox@odt.co.nz

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