GPS & Maps

Saturday, November 26, 2016 Hauke 4 Comments

Which GPS should I buy?

In general you need a GPS device of our choice and the topographical maps of New Zealand, together with the route or waypoints from the official Te Araroa website. There are several options to achieve this. I will try to explain the different possibilities.

The company Garmin has probably the widest range of products with different sizes of the display, handling (touch or joystick) and several more options. Since we already had the Garmin Dakota 20, we could skip that decision. It's advantages are probably the weight (155g/5.5 oz) and the high running time with AA batteries of up to 20h.

How to get Maps on the GPS device

Next thing to do is getting the topographical maps of New Zealand. You can either buy them from Garmin quite expensively, buy them on a microSD card on the web (which is roughly 40$) or download and install them from an open source project (HERE). We will use the maps from the open source project and it seems to work pretty well.

Overlay the GPS Waypoints/Route of Te Araroa on the Maps

After installing the topographical maps, we need to overlay the waypoints (.GPX) or routes from the Te Araroa website (HERE). There is also a ready-to-go file which just needs to be copied to the GPS device. The file and the associated instructions can be found (HERE).

To be continued...


  1. Thanks! I'm just wondering, did you need the GPS device a lot? I've been thinking of dropping my Garmin and using the TA hiker app, which is supposed to be a lot more user-friendly. Did you think it was worth carrying?

  2. Hi! Yes, we dropped our GPS, too. Leave it at home. The TA App is the best thing ever :) Have fun!

  3. Thanks for the quick reply Jule, that's great. I'm serously considering that now, another 142 grams dropped :) I am also carrying the maps so it all feels like i'm carrying too much!

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