The walk of a lifetime has come to a shuddering halt for trampers stuck in the upper North Island's alert level 3 lockdowns.
About 650 people are registered to walk the entire Te Araroa Trail - which runs the length of New Zealand from Cape Reinga to Bluff - this season.
The mammoth 3000km route takes between four and five months to complete. Overnight or back country tramping is not permitted under alert level 3, and Te Tai Tokerau, Tāmaki Makaurau and Waikato are set to be there until at least Monday.
For the dozens of walkers stuck on the road to nowhere, the only walking they are doing is to the local Covid swabbing station to get a test so they can jet out of lockdown. Jean Bell reports.