Dave Alden and Elaine Slater are British Australians.  We arrived in Australia in December 1992 with our 12 week old daughter Rowan. We intended to spend a year working and living in Melbourne.  Since then we have spent 25 amazing years working, living and raising our three fabulous Ausi Kids in Melbourne, where we had our second daughter Bryony and then Canberra where our son Simeon was born.

2017 sees the end of our working lives (for now) and we have decided it is time to take that gap year we forgot to take in our twenties.  Not sure people really took gap years back then.

At this stage we are planning to spend a year undertaking long distance hikes in New Zealand, the UK and Europe.

But while we are away we don’t want to lose touch with family and friends so hope this blog will be a chance to share what we are up to and get the occasional messages from home!


  • The 1700 km trail down the length of the North Island of New Zealand (half of the Te Araroa which translates into English as the Long Path)

A guy called Mick Beckers has done a great video of his Te Araroa walk

  • Walking the 1400km length of the United Kingdom and while there is still breath in our bodies and packs on our backs…..

Another Mike, Mike Brockhurst, has developed a really good website about his end to end walk across the UK.

  • Walking the Grandes Randonnées en Frances (or Grand Routes of France) 5 and 52…..


We are heading off to New Zealand in December 2017 to attend Bryony’s graduation from Otago University and having a family Christmas there in the Catlands. The very high level draft itinerary then  looks like this…..

  • January to April 2018 Te Araroa North Island New Zealand
  • April to August 2018 UK End to End
  • August and September 2018 French Alps


Or more to the point how do we know we can do this? The answer is we don’t!! We have done a few multi-day self sufficient hikes in Australia and New Zealand but the days and distances don’t really compare and for a time there we had teenage kids to carry some of the gear for us!!!

Click here for some of our previous experiences and words on what we have learned so far.