International Teams

We appreciate that for some international competitors 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 and international flights that arrive within a 15 minute drive of the host location venue.

There are a variety of ways to get to Queenstown via air, coach or self drive. For many people the most convenient option will be to fly either domestically or internationally direct to Queenstown airport. From there you can make your way to Queenstown centre which is a short 15 minute drive away. Alternatively, you can catch a flight direct to Christchurch, hire a car and drive to Queenstown allowing you some time to enjoy some exploring. The most convenient option, we think, is to fly directly into Queenstown Airport and then enjoy the vibe and scenery on offer at the host location.

Getting here and around Getting to Queenstown and exploring our area is easy, with a wide selection of transport options. There is a good public bus network which links the main suburbs and outlying areas of the town. You’ll also find free transport provided by many local activity operators making it easy to get out and about and experience what the region has to offer. Many attractions and accommodation options are located in the downtown area and can be reached easily by foot.

Queenstown airport is serviced by Air New Zealand, Jetstar, Qantas Airways and Virgin Australia. Air New Zealand is the national airline and flag carrier of New Zealand, offering regular domestic services to Queenstown from Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington as well as direct international services from Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. Jetstar offers domestic services between Auckland and Queenstown and trans-Tasman services from Sydney, Melbourne and the Gold Coast to Queenstown. Qantas offers trans-Tasman services between Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Queenstown and provides a premium service across an extensive international network. Virgin Australia and alliance partner Air New Zealand operate trans-Tasman flights to Queenstown from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

Queenstown Airport Christchurch Airport
Drive time to host venue – 15mins Drive time to host venue – 7hrs
Domestic flights by Air New Zealand & Jetstar Domestic flights by Air New Zealand and Jetstar
International Flights by Air New Zealand, Jetstar, Qantas Airways, Virgin Australia 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
Queenstown Airport flight information Christchurch Airport flight information

Important:

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.


Transfers

Due to the multiple number of flight arrivals into Queenstown and varying team schedules and requirements, we are currently exploring transfer options with a local operator. This will allow any team/competitor to book and pay for a bespoke transfer, independently, to get you to and from your accommodation in a timely fashion upon arrival and prior to departure, thereby maximising your stay in Queenstown.

On the basis of previous schedules, these select transfer options from Queenstown Airport to your accommodation* would be available on the Tuesday 21st February and Wednesday 22nd February and then return transfers from your accommodation back to Queenstown Airport available on Sunday 5th March.

Rest assured you’ll be picked up by a friendly face and whisked away to your host venue final destination. What could be easier? Whatever way you decided to get to Queenstown 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 can make it to you in time. For more information about travel please view the Schedule for a better idea of event timing.

More specific detail about these transfer options & booking information will be available in Newsletter 1.

*Accommodation must be within a certain proximity of Queenstown CBD. Details to be advised.


Equipment and Logistics

Your bike box and gear box requirements will very much depend on whether teams decide to take on the GZ Pure event or the GZ Pursuit event. GZ Pure is an ‘unsupported’ event meaning the organisers transport all gear and equipment around the course for the teams for access at transition areas. GZ Pure teams will have to pack away all 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.


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 www.topomap.co.nz/
  • Ensure you know how to compensate for the significant magnetic declination in New Zealand
  • Don’t rush your trip. Queenstown 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.

Driving

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.

Language

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.

Safety

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

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.

Tipping

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