HAILSHAM: Charity walker can finally rest after New Zealand trek

Steve Cleverdon walking for charity
Steve Cleverdon walking for charity

A FUNDRAISER will finally get the chance to put his feet up after completing a gruelling 2,000-kilometre solo walk across the length of New Zealand.

Steve Cleverdon, of The Holt, completed the equivalent of 21-and-a-half marathons in just 20 days, in his bid to raise awareness for environmental charity Forest and Bird in New Zealand.

After a difficult start, back on November 5, the 22-year-old finished his walk on Monday January 10), completing the journey from Cape Reinga to Bluff in 65 days and seven hours.

He hopes his efforts will earn him a place in the record books for the fastest crossing of New Zealand on foot by a man.

Steve’s journey saw him getting off on the wrong foot after he was rescued by a native Maori when his walking boots caused his feet to swell with blisters in the heat.

“On the first day his feet blistered up so badly it took six days for his feet to recover,” said his dad, Steve Cleverdon-Reed.

“He had the wrong type of walking boots on and his feet just sweated too much.

“He was rescued by a native Maori for six days until his feet recovered.

“At the start, he was walking up to 35km a day but towards the end he was walking between 45km to 56km a day.

“In the last 20 days, he walked the equivalent of 21 and a half marathons.” His route from Cape Reinga to the most southerly point in New Zealand saw him complete the entire journey on foot, and he even received special permission to walk over the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

“He loved walking through New Zealand,” said Mr Cleverdon-Reed.

“It was the best way to see the country.

“He saw sea lions, seals and penguins. He had people stopping him in the side of the road and talking to him.

“He said in one town he felt like a minor celebrity.”

Anyone who would like to find out more, or to make a donation to Steve’s fundraising efforts, should log on to the website www.fundraiseonline.co.nz/SteveWalkNZ/