An Auckland man was hugely relieved to return home today after spending half a year walking the length of the country for charity.
He was raising money to support and bring awareness to Fostering Kids New Zealand.
It hasn't exactly been a walk in the park -- 3000 kilometres of rough waters, mud and mountains.
Gareth Owston-Doyle has walked the entire length of New Zealand to raise money for Fostering Kids New Zealand, returning to a surprise welcome home.
"No I thought it was only my little sister to be honest," he says. "She's brought all her friends."
He followed the Te Araroa Trail -- a challenging walking route that runs the length of the country.
"I haven't touched the pole, yet I might injure myself from here to there."
But Mr Owston-Doyle says the cause made it worthwhile. Along the way he stayed with foster families observing the importance of the work they do.
So far he's raised more than $9000 for them.
"The day that I got back I didn't feel any different, but now that I'm here I feel home."
Feeling at home, it's the gift he wants to give to those without one.