Oamaru man Les Quartermaine is about to embark on the biggest walk of his life.
In 10 days, he will start walking the entire length of New Zealand –3000km – for charity.
Starting at Cape Reinga at the top of the North Island, he will walk the Te Araroa trail all the way down to Bluff, at the bottom of the South Island.
Mr Quartermaine said he would walk an average of 20km a day on the five-month journey.
He came up with the idea after seeing the trail advertised on television a few months ago.
Originally, the trip was planned to be simply a personal challenge, he said.
“It was just a personal challenge but we’ve turned it into trying to raise funds for St John.
“I thought, ‘I’m going to give it a shot’.”
Mr Quartermaine plans to raise $100,000 from the trip and believes he can achieve the target.
“That’s my goal.
“Aim for the stars, you get the moon.”
Mr Quartermaine has taken part in smaller walks before, but nothing on the same scale as the Te Araroa trail.
“It’s outside my norm, I can tell you – way outside.”
While he looked forward to the trip, there would also be some challenges along the way.
“South Island’s quite rugged terrain. [The] North Island’s not so rugged but a lot wetter,” he said.
Many of Mr Quartermaine’s friends and family had been supportive of his fundraising campaign.
“I’ve had very good encouragement,” he said.
Southern Wide Real Estate Oamaru had also got behind the cause by sponsoring him.
Mr Quartermaine said it had been a “nightmare” trying to pack food for the trip.
lunches and dinners had been packed for the journey, which took months of planning.
“At this stage, there are over 100 dinners and that’s just for the trail.”
To keep in contact with people along the way, Mr Quartermaine will be using a solar-powered phone.
A Facebook page has also been set up to monitor his progress.
St John Oamaru area committee chairman Terry Kent endorsed the fundraising campaign.
“To be associated with the amazing walk and the journey that’s involved just fits beautifully,” Mr Kent said.
“We really appreciate the fundraising efforts that are going to be behind the journey.”