International Teams

We appreciate that for some international teams New Zealand is a long way from home. For some teams that’s the most appealing thing about doing an adventure race here – the simple fact that they are going to feel like they are on the other side of the World. Despite the large distances this small island, surrounded by ocean, has never been easier to get to with the proliferation of air travel and there are daily domestic flights that arrive within an hour drive of the host location venue.

There are a variety of ways to get to Tasman District or Nelson (which is the closest major city) via air, coach or self drive. For many people the most convenient option will be to fly either domestically or internationally to Christchurch airport. From there you can elect to catch a domestic flight with Air New Zealand direct to Nelson, self drive or you can even hire a car in Christchurch and leave it at Nelson Airport if you want to spend a few days exploring. The most convenient option, we think, is to fly into Nelson Airport and then make your way to Kaiteriteri from there.

Nelson Airport is the fourth busiest airport in New Zealand with around 60 scheduled flights daily with frequent flights on Air New Zealand’s 50 seat Q300 Bombardier aircraft and 65 seat ATRs. Air New Zealand provides convenient direct access to the region from international gateways in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, with additional domestic directs from Palmerston North. In addition, Sounds Air and air2there operate scheduled flights in fleets of 10 seater or smaller aircraft connecting Nelson, Paraparaumu, Wellington and Blenheim seven days a week. Golden Bay Air operates scheduled flights all year between Wellington and Takaka in Golden Bay.

Nelson Airport Christchurch Airport
Drive time to host venue – 1hr Drive time to host venue – 5hrs
Domestic flights by Air New Zealand, Sounds Air and air2there Domestic flights by Air New Zealand and Jetstar
No international flights International flights by Air New Zealand, Air Asia X, Air Pacific, Emirates, Jetstar, Pacific Blue, Qantas and Singapore Airlines from Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and the UAE
Nelson Airport flight information Christchurch Airport flight information


All overseas competitors must have a current passport, valid for at least three months after the intended date of departure from New Zealand. Most visitors to New Zealand do not require visas unless they intend to work, study or seek employment. We advise you to check with your local travel authority before travelling.

map nelsonFree Transfer

The organisers will provide a free transfer for international teams from Nelson to Kaiteriteri on the afternoons of Tuesday  29th March and Wednesday 30th March 2016 – final times will be released in the Newsletters but we anticipate that transport will depart Nelson mid to late afternoon on those dates, so ensure you book your flight to arrive before this time. The organisers will also provide a free return service for International teams from Kaiteriteri back to Nelson Airport on the morning of Sunday 10th April. More specific details about these transfers will be available in Newsletter 1.

So, jump on that flight, kick back, enjoy a few movies and you’ll soon be arriving into Nelson Airport. Once you arrive you have the option to spend some time in Nelson, the wider Tasman District, or time your arrival to coincide with the free transfer – you’ll be picked up by a friendly face and whisked to the host venue. What could be easier? Whatever way you decided to get to Kaiteriteri we always recommend that international teams arrive in good time to allow themselves time to settle in, enjoy the breathtaking scenery and ensure that any delayed baggage (it’s never happened yet) can make it to you in time. For more information about travel please view the Schedule for a better idea of event timing.

Equipment and Logistics

Your bike box and gear box requirements will very much depend on whether you decide to take on the GZ Pure event or the GZ Pursuit event. GZ Pure is an unsupported event meaning the organisers will transport all gear and necessary equipment around the course for the teams. This means you will have to pack away all your equipment into standardised bike and gear boxes for us to move. If you prefer, you can source the gear boxes (but not bike boxes) needed for the event from us when you arrive. If you have decided to do the GZ Pursuit event then you will have a support crew who will be responsible for the transport of your bikes and gear. Therefore, you do not have to bring the standardised gear and bike boxes and are free to transport items as you wish. Full information about equipment requirements for boxes and bikes will be released in Newsletter 1.

International teams will be delighted to learn that GODZone provides high performace kayaks and canoes for the event. This takes away the stress of securing suitable kayaks and arranging transport to and from Event HQ and allows a level playing field for all competitors. Teams will be allowed to inspect a double kayak (AR Duo) and Inflatable (Hyside) before the event starts so they can familiarise themselves with any features and storage capacity. Teams will not have access to their actual race boats prior to the event start. Teams doing the GZ Pursuit event will have a support crew, however, they will not be responsible for the movement of canoes or kayaks.

Other Considerations

  • The official language of the race is English. If you need assistance with an interpreter please let the organisers know so arrangements can be made
  • Before your fly out familiarise yourselves with 1:50 000 New Zealand Topographical maps at
  • Ensure you know how to compensate for the significant magnetic declination in New Zealand
  • Don’t rush your trip. Lake Wanaka and New Zealand are a beautiful part of the World so make the most of it
Currency, Banking and Travellers Cheques

New Zealand’s currency is based on Dollars. Most banks are not open Saturday, Sunday or public holidays. Currency exchange facilities are available at the International Airports – hours of trading link with arrival and departure times. Travellers cheques can be changed at banks, bureaux de change, hotels and trading establishments in cities and towns.

Credit Cards

Paying by credit card is widely accepted throughout New Zealand. Visa, Mastercard, Diners Club and American Express cards are commonly used. Please note credit cards with “Smart card” technology, which often have no magnetic strip, are not accepted everywhere in New Zealand.

Medical and Emergency Services

All emergency services can be contacted throughout New Zealand by dialling 111. New Zealand’s medical and hospital services are both public and private. Medical services are not free to visitors (except as a result of an accident – click here to find out more about ACC which covers accident claims). It is strongly recommended that visitors purchase health insurance.

Environment & Water

There are no snakes or dangerous wild animals in New Zealand, just lots and lots of pristine wilderness and stunning views. Few people treat their water in New Zealand when out in the back country. However, the decision whether to treat water or not is left with the teams themselves.

Goods and Services Tax or GST

All goods and services (except certain financial transactions) in New Zealand are subject to a government 15% Goods and Services Tax, commonly known as GST. Overseas visitors cannot claim back GST, however some stores sell goods to overseas visitors exclusive of GST provided you show proof of onward travel arrangements (i.e. departure ticket). It is possible to purchase duty free and GST exempt goods upon arrival at all international airports in New Zealand.


Reciprocal driving rights exist between New Zealand and most other countries. Most rental car companies will ask for an International Driver’s Licence. The driver will need to be 21 years of age. Driving in New Zealand is on the left hand side of the road. The majority of roads are one lane wide in each direction and sealed.


English is the common language of New Zealanders with indigenous Maori the second official language. Japanese, Korean, and major European languages are also spoken in some restaurants, hotels, visitor centres and by tour guides. In New Zealand translators are available for most languages.


New Zealand is one of the safest travel destinations in the world, with a relatively low crime rate, few endemic diseases and a first-class healthcare and accident compensation system. Wellington has also been designated a World Health Organization (WHO) Safe Community – the only capital city of any country to currently be recognised in this way. However, we recommend you observe the same precautions with your personal safety and your possessions as you would in any other country or at home.


Electricity is supplied at 230 volts, 50 hertz. Hotels and motels provide 110 volt 20 watt sockets for electric razors only. Most power sockets in New Zealand accept three-pin plugs or similar international adapters.


Employees in New Zealand do not depend or expect tips as part of their income but recognition for good service is always appreciated.