Wanaka is the base for the 2015 GODZone adventure race.
Fifty five teams are contesting GODZone the world’s largest adventure race which started in Wanaka, on February 28th, running nonstop over up to seven days.
In its fourth chapter, the race has gone from Milford in its first year, to Mt Cook, Kaikoura and now Wanaka.
Over 200 competitors from around the world take on a journey traversing some of New Zealand’s most challenging and mountainous terrain.
Cure Kids New Zealand which funds research into finding cures for the serious illnesses suffered by children has been chosen as the recipient of this year’s event.
The route was not revealed to the teams until the early hours of race day morning. The race started at Fantail Falls near Haast Pass on a small island. From here they raced up towards the Brewster Glacier where they got their first sight of the major challenges ahead, whilst affording breathtaking views across the Southern Alps and the Mount Aspiring National Park. From here teams took on the Makarora river, Albert Burn Saddle, and Matukituki River, before a refreshing swim in Lake Wanaka. After circling briefly back through Race HQ at the Wanaka Rugby Club to collect some more course maps, the teams headed off again and headed up the Criffel Range on their way to Lake Wakatipu where they kayaked to Kingston. The Hector and Garvie mountains were the next hurdle before tackling a stunning orienteering challenge in the Waikaia forest. The teams then turned and headed back towards Wanaka over the Old Man range. The final leg of the journey was a testing paddle which visited the lovely scenic beaches, bays and islands of Lake Wanaka.
Wanaka is a base for many successful athletes and hosts some of New Zealand’s best events. The climate, network of natural training facilities and altitude make it a sportsman’s paradise. Many unsuspecting locals have even been converted after volunteering in one of the many events. The following year many find themselves off the sofa and donning the lycra!!!