All Race Days entail 5K-12K trail runs (Subject To Change)
It’s registration day! Time to see old friends and meet new ones. Time to grab your race number, shirt, hat, and hear all about what our journey ahead is going to entail. Yes, you can see the rough version on this web page right here, but never forget, the itinerary is…say it with us…”Subject To Change”!
If you have the time to acclimate, we’ll always recommend you come a day or two early before the race start. Quite honestly, we’ve picked our favorite town on planet Earth to start and finish, so coming early just makes sense. Queenstown is known as the “adrenaline capital of the world” and is also the birthplace of bungee jumping. No, we’re not making this stuff up and no, bungee jumping isn’t mandatory buuuuut…when in Rome!
You’re on your own for dinner on this first night, but light apps will be served at registration.
Jump on the buses for our first race at Coronet Peak! It’s a ski resort in their winter, but in their summer, it’s an amazing trail system with ridiculous views of the region. After that, it’s off to our next stop on the journey, Lake Tekapo! You can doze off on the buses if you choose, but we don’t recommend it. There’s way too much to see from point to point. Today we’ll be driving past Mackenzie Basin, Lindis Pass, and through a number of small quaint towns. Lake Tekapo is one of the more stunning lakes you’ll find anywhere. Surrounded by a myriad of colors and towering peaks, this is our home for TWO nights! Get comfortable…for now. Because after this 48 hour hiatus, we’re going to be on the go. How else are we supposed to conquer the South Island?!
We’ll be racing in the Mount Cook area today. Could be at Ohau and might even be the National Park itself! Mount Cook and Lake Pukaki will be some of the highlights today.
Tonight we’ll likely be headed to Tekapo Hot Springs for the famed Stargazing. The ultimate in stellar relaxation, Tekapo Star Gazing is the only guided hot pools and star gazing experience in New Zealand. The tour operates from the renowned facilities of Tekapo Springs, combining the stunning Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve with their soul-warming hot pools.
Today’s race will have us at either Mt Johns Walkway or Lake Tekapo Regional Park. All depends on permitting. Nathan Fa’avae himself is designing the courses so whatever it is, it will be as good as it gets!
After our morning race, we’ll head past the Canterbury Plains and onto our next main destination, Christchurch! Christchurch is the largest city on the south island of New Zealand. But understand that, in NZ terms, that’s only 100,00 residents (Chicago 1.74 million, Denver 700K, London 8.7 million). This city is loaded with great bars and restaurants, so you’re on your own tonight. Enjoy the sites and sounds of the “Garden City”, known for its many beautiful parks, gardens, and tree-lined streets.
The day starts off with an unreal trail run on “Hogs Back” to Castle Hill! We’ll have a beautiful picnic lunch at Castle Hill, compliments of the local bakery. After it’s time for a long haul to the…GLACIERS!
This is a tricky day for us. Nothing we haven’t figured out before of course. Here we’ve got two glaciers to see, so we’ll be splitting up the group where half are staying at one glacier (Franz Josef) and half the group at the other (Fox Glacier). Sometimes, when traveling with a large group, it just has to be this way. Don’t worry as we’ll reunite the next morning on our way to WANAKA!
This morning is much more of a trek than it is a race. We’ll be “trekking” a glacier in all its glory. We’ll be traveling by wild west coast beaches and through Haast Pass today. So much to see! Lunch will break up the time between the glaciers and our next destination…Wanaka! We’ll all be staying at the Oak Ridge Resort. Man do we love the town of Wanaka. Plenty of bars, restaurants, and little streets, but a little less traveled. Resting on Lake Wanaka, we’ll explore as much as we can while here. If you want to get that much more excited about this destination, ask staff member and Lake Tahoe, CA native, Mike Fricke. He couldn’t get enough skiing in the winter so he called this place home for a summer skiing season a few years back. Trust us when we tell you, he’s elated to be reuniting with this town. You’re on your own for dinner tonight. Maybe even catch a movie at Wanaka’s famed “Cinema Paradiso”. You’ll want to get there early if you want dibs on the convertible VW Bug! No…we are not kidding.
We’re racing the famous Outlet Track in Wanaka this morning. Take it all in as we’ll be headed out of the region soon after that. Parting is such sweet sorrow, Wanaka.
There’s no such thing as a trip to NZ without a winery tour. We’ll be picnic’ing at a great winery with expansive views, cave tours, and award winning pinots. Then it’s onto Te Anau for the night. Te Anau is known as the gateway to Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound. The regions cave system features a limestone grotto of glow worms and an underground waterfall. We’ll need to hurry, but we just might fit all of this in!
Our trip around New Zealand is slowly coming to an end. And every day has been better than the last. So why stop now?! We are headed to The Milford Sound! We’ve chartered a private boat, just for Race2Adventure! Power up your cameras as the photographic moments will be endless. Milford Sound is a fiord in the southwest of New Zealand’s South Island. It’s known for its rainforests and waterfalls like Stirling and Bowen falls, which plummet down its sheer sides. The fiord is home to fur seal colonies, penguins and dolphins. You won’t believe your eyes!
After our tour, it’s time to head back to where it all began – Queenstown! And as we all know, no R2A is complete without a gigantic send off! Medals, announcements, photos, and even a weeklong race video all take place tonight. Big hugs, lots of smiling faces, and plenty of chatter about the adventures will embark on together next.
Go home if you must, but we really don’t recommend it. You’ve come all this way! Explore more of the South Island or make your way up to the North Island through Wellington for some kayaking in the Bay of Islands. We hope you’ve had the absolute time of your life and we hope to see you at another R2A soon!