Rapsey children youngest to walk length of New Zealand

Jonathan and Elizabeth Rapsey are all smiles with their mother Jorinde after officially being...
Jonathan and Elizabeth Rapsey are all smiles with their mother Jorinde after officially being named the youngest people to walk the length of New Zealand. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
After walking up to 30km a day for the past six months, you could forgive the Rapsey family for being a little fidgety.

It was one of the side effects Chris, Jorinde, Elizabeth (9) and Jonathan (7) Rapsey found after completing the 3000km Te Araroa Trail from Cape Reinga to Bluff on Wednesday.

The Rapsey family (from left) Jorinde, Jonathan, Elizabeth and Chris stand beneath the signpost...
The Rapsey family (from left) Jorinde, Jonathan, Elizabeth and Chris stand beneath the signpost at Bluff, having completed the 3000km Te Araroa Trail from Cape Reinga on Wednesday. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
On their drive from Bluff back home to Dunedin, the family was already planning their next walk - hopefully to be completed before winter arrives.

"We're happy to be home," Mrs Rapsey said.

"But it will be difficult to settle back into normal life.

"Elizabeth, in the car on the way home, said, `I want to walk again'.

"We're finding it hard to sit still after a trek like that so we're going to the beach this afternoon."

A Te Araroa Trust spokesman was delighted the family had completed the journey and confirmed Elizabeth and Jonathan were the youngest people to walk the length of the country.

Mrs Rapsey said the children found the trip tiring at first, but a few weeks later, they were carrying their own packs and were still full of energy at the end of the long days.

They were inspired to walk the trail after venturing into Fiordland with the children twice in the first half of 2018 and being amazed at how well they did on the Hollyford Pyke Loop and a five-day return tramp to Monowai Hut.

The family rented out their house to help fund the Te Araroa trip, and the children have been able to keep up their home schooling while walking.

They were among more than 1000 people who were expected to walk the full length of the trail over the 2018-19 summer.

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