North Island Resupply
This is a list of the most convenient resupply locations on or near the trail on the north island. The "trail location" column is the closest point on the trail to the "resupply town" it is listed with. In most cases, these are the same, because you walk directly through the towns. In some cases, however, you need to walk or hitch off the trail to get to a resupply point.
|km||trail location||resupply town||off trail km||location||notes|
|0||Cape Reinga||Auckland||0||Countdown||initial supply|
|0||Cape Reinga||Kaitaia||11||PakNSave||Intercity buses will drop you in Kaitaia. Can shop at PakNSave before heading to Cape Reinga|
|100||Ahipara||Ahipara||0||Four Square||small and expensive|
|100||Ahipara||Kaitaia||11||PakNSave||cheap, easy hitch from Ahipara|
|159||Mangamuka Bridge||Kaitaia||30||PakNSave||It's common to go from Ahipara to Kerikeri without resupplying here|
|222||Kerikeri||Kerikeri||4||Countdown, New World||4km from Pagodas campsite, comprehensive. Bunnings have gas canisters.|
|???||Matapouri||Matapouri||0||Dairy||Takeaways, Dairy. Off Trail 100m East of the Morrison Rdad intersection at Wehiwehi / Matapouri Road Intersection|
|336||Ngunguru||Ngunguru||0||Four Square||small supermarket. expensive but useful. Takeaways adjacent to shops. Salt Air Cafe has WIFI.|
|396||Taurikura||Taurikura||0||Four Square||On Whangarei Heads Rd. Opposite Taurikura Rd.|
|407||Ruakaka||Ruakaka||2||Four Square, SuperValue||have to cut in off of beach|
|530||Puhoi||Puhoi||0||Puhoi General Store|
|547||Orewa||Orewa||0||Countdown, New World|
|629||Auckland airport||Auckland airport||0||Countdown|
|643||Clevedon||Clevedon||0||Superette||bit expensive but sufficient|
|760||Huntly||Huntly||0||Countdown||good supermarket a short walk from town|
|797||Hamilton||Hamilton||0||Countdown, Pak’n Save||big town, many shops|
|903||Te Kuiti||Te Kuiti||1||New World|
|1045||Taumaranui||Taumaranui||0||New World||4km before the campsite|
|1158||National Park||Ohakune||30||New World|
|1210||Whakahoro Campsite||Whakahoro Campsite||0||Food can be delivered with canoe for river journey, arrange with rental company|
|1370||Whanganui||Whanganui||0||Countdown, New World||big town, many shops|
|1469||Palmerston North||Palmerston North||0||Countdown, Pak’n Save||big town, many shops|
|1530||Gladstone Road||Levin||9||New World||small town, might be a hard hitch, good shops|
|1600||Waikanae||Waikanae||0||Countdown||big town, many shops|
|1645||Porirua||Porirua||0||New World, Four Square|
South Island resupply
See also: Food Drops
|km||trail location||resupply town||off trail km||location||notes|
|1700||Ship Cove||Wellington/Picton||0||New World, Fresh Choice||Wellington is before a ferry ride, but bigger|
|1782||Havelock||Havelock||0||Four Square||Big enough and right in town|
|1930||St. Arnaud||Blenheim||102||New World||Very common to mail food box to St. Arnaud, see Food Drops|
|1930||St. Arnaud||Nelson||87||Countdown||Very common to mail food box to St. Arnaud, see Food Drops|
|1930||St. Arnaud||St Arnaud||0||Alpine Store||General store in town|
|2043||Boyle Village||Hanmer Springs||50||Four Square||Common food drop, see Food Drops|
|2154||Arthur's Pass||Greymouth||50||New World||Common food drop, see see Food Drops|
|2226||Lake Coleridge (Rakaia)||Methven||50||Four Square||Can also mail a food drop, see Food Drops|
|2226||Lake Coleridge (Rakaia)||Christchurch||120||New World||Can also mail a food drop, see Food Drops|
|2389||Lake Tekapo||Lake Tekapo||0||Four Square||A bit small and expensive but could be useful, would need 2 days|
|2446||Twizel||Twizel||0||Four Square||2 Four Squares in Twizel, big one is quite good|
|2587||Wanaka||Wanaka||0||New World||In the centre of town (Arrowtown on the way but very expensive)|
|2674||Queenstown||Queenstown||0||Four Square||Larger New World at Frankton, and Countdown at 5 Mile (on trail from Arrowtown)|
|2829||Highway 94||Te Anau||30||Fresh Choice|
|2916||Otautau-Tuatapere Rd||Otautau||12||SuperValue||In town - bigger than the Four Square|
|2990||Riverton||Riverton||0||SuperValue||Just enough to get to Bluff or Invercargill|
|3023||Invercargill||Invercargill||0||PakNSave, Countdown, New World|
There are several areas on the trail where it is convenient to mail a food drop, rather than struggling to resupply out of a tiny dairy or hitchhiking extremely long distances on low traffic roads. Below are common places to mail food drops.
When mailing a food drop, always write your name and rough expected arrival date in an obvious place on the box. It is generally preferable to call the place you wish to send your package ahead of time and let them know to expect it in the mail.
This food drop is usually not needed, as most hikers make it from Cape Reinga to Ahipare in one go. It is possible to hitch from Hukatere to a small 4Square in Houhora. However if you want to start with a less heavy backpack from Cape Reinga, this might be for you.
- Hukatere Lodge is 70km south from Cape Reinga
Host phone is 021884145. The parcel needs about 3-4 days to arrive.
This is a less common food drop, as there is a Four Square in Havelock. However, it is relatively small and expensive, and usually has to supply 9+ days of food for the Pelorus River/Richmond Alpine Range section. Some prefer to mail cheaper/more varied food from Wellington or Picton. Note that the postage cost probably cancels out any real savings on food.
- Blue Moon Backpackers accepts packages from people planning to stay there:
St. Arnaud is probably the most common town to mail a food drop to. It is very remote, and catching a ride back after resupplying in Nelson or Blenheim is very difficult.
- The Travers-Sabine Lodge accepts packages from people planning to stay there:
- The Alpine Lodge also accepts packages for guests. Contact them directly for the address.
Boyle Village is a relatively popular food drop destination. The "village" is not much more than a wide spot in the road. Many people choose to hitchhike to Hanmer Springs, and resupply there.
- The Boyle River Outdoor Education Center is located directly on the trail, and will accept packages for guests.
Arthur's Pass is another fairly common food drop destination. This is a more active tourist town, so hitching to/from AP is somewhat easier than, say, St. Arnaud.
The Mountain House accepts packages for guests (10$), or non-guests for 20$:
There are no shops in Lake Coleridge so most people hitch to Methven and resupply in person although supplies are limited and can be expensive. Methven travel also offer a shuttle service to the start of the trail head on Monday to Friday during the school term. Lake Coleridge is just north of the Raikaia River Hazard Zone.
Alternatively the Lake Coleridge Lodge accepts packages for walkers that stay at the Lodge free of charge and also offer a shuttle service. This is more expensive (and there is no camping option) but convenient and full details are on their website under the activities tab. You should definitely book in advance though (TA walkers get free date changes) since the owners run their business around booked guests and can be closed at other times.
Note there is no easy access public land between Harper campsite and Rakaia Gorge that is available for camping so it is best to aim to get from Harper campsite to either Lake Coleridge Lodge, Rakaia Gorge campground or Methven.
Taylors Lodge (03 225-4510; 021 307 505) accepts parcels for guests. It is 3 to 4 days south of the Te Anau road and another 3 to Colac Bay (where the only food to speak of is a meal at the pub, so add another day's food required if you want to cook your own before Riverton).
Thru hikers commonly (but not universally) use "bounce boxes" to mail supplies to themselves along the trail. They are called a bounce boxes because you "bounce" them from post shop to post shop as you walk along the trail. Common items for bounce boxes include things like extra shoes, extra clothing, contact lenses, batteries, and special food items.
Some, but not all, New Zealand post shops offer "poste restante" services, and will hold packages for up to 3 months. Standard postage rates apply when mailing the package, and there is generally a per-week charge for holding packages (although most post shops don't actually make you pay this).
Bounce boxes make it possible to access heavy and/or rarely used items without having to carry them with you. However, there are some downsides to using a bounce box. Postage for a bounce box can be expensive, especially if it is a large or heavy box. Using one also commits you to stopping in a specific town, and being there when the post shop is open.
Mailing a package
All Poste Restante mail should be addressed as follows:
Poste Restante locations on or near the TA
|102||Kaitaia||104 Commerce Street, Kaitaia 0410||09 408 6159||Hitch from Ahipara|
|226||Kerikeri||6 Hobson Avenue, Kerikeri 0230||09 407 9721|
|246||Paihia||2 Williams Road, Paihia 0200||09 402 8623|
|336||Whangarei||16 - 20 Rathbone Street, Whangarei 0110||09 430 2762||Hitch from Ngunguru|
|606||Auckland||Ground Floor, Bledisloe Bldg, 24 Wellesley Street, Auckland 1010||09 379 6714|
|808||Hamilton||536 Angelsea Street, Hamilton 3204||07 838 2708|
|1055||Taumarunui||47 - 49 Miriama Street, Taumarunui 3920||07 895 8146|
|1379||Wanganui||115 Victoria Avenue, Wanganui 4500||06 345 0348|
|1473||Palmerston North||328 Church Street, Palmerston North 4410||06 353 6195|
|1687||Wellington||2 Manners Street, Wellington 6011||04 801 2422|
|1700||Picton||72 High Street, Picton 7220||03 520 3021|
|2613||Wanaka||39 Ardmore Street, Wanaka 9305||03 443 8247|
|2707||Queenstown||13 Camp Street, Queenstown 9300||03 442 4972|
|3036||Invercargill||51 Don Street, Invercargill 9810||03 214 7702|
For a complete list of poste restante locations in New Zealand, visit: http://www.nzpost.co.nz/home/receiving-mail/poste-restante
Other Bounce Box Addresses on or near the TA
Hilton & Melva Ward
The Riverbank Homestay and B&B
12 Old Mill Ln
Ph +64 9 9460074 (Please call the day before pickup so we can be sure to be home to give you your parcel)