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 and international flights that arrive within a 45 minute drive of the host location venue.

There are a variety of ways to get to Lake Wanaka: air, coach or self drive. Wanaka has its own airport with daily flights (though these are traditionally used for scenic tours or sight-seeing) to Christchurch. For most people the most convenient option will be to fly either domestically or internationally from Christchurch or Auckland to Queenstown Airport. Some operators even fly direct from overseas to Queenstown airport. Queenstown airport is super convenient for Lake Wanaka as it is just a short 45 minutes drive away across the beautiful Crown Range – giving you a nice scenic introduction to the Kiwi outdoors. Slightly further afield, Christchurch and Dunedin Airports are within 5 hours drive of Wanaka and are linked by good bus services and car rentals.

Regular coach services link Lake Wanaka with Queenstown, Dunedin, Christchurch, Invercargill and the West Coast including Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers. Once you arrive in Lake Wanaka a number of companies provide transport around the area to Mt Aspiring National Park, the skifields and various points of interest including walks and cycling tracks. Wanaka itself is a compact town which means you can easily walk around to get what you need once you arrive. There are plenty of sports and outdoor shops and a large supermarket to buy those items you need for the race – no need to bring in a large supply of food on the flight.

Queenstown Airport Dunedin Airport Christchurch Airport
Drive time – 45mins Drive time – 3hrs Drive time – 5hrs
Domestic flights by Air New Zealand, Jetstar and Pacific Blue Domestic flights by Air New Zealand Domestic flights by Air New Zealand and Jetstar
International flights by Air New Zealand, Pacific Blue and Qantas International flights from Australia by Air New Zealand and Pacific Blue 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 Dunedin 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.


Free Transfer

The organisers will provide a free transfer for international teams from Queenstown to Wanaka CBD on the afternoon of Tuesday 24th of February 2015 – final times will be released in the Newsletters but we anticipate that transport will depart Queenstown around 4pm so ensure you book your flight to arrive before this time. The organisers will also provide a free return service from Wanaka CBD for international teams that will travel back to Queenstown Airport on the morning of Sunday 8th of March. More specific details about these transfers will be available in Newsletter 1.

Transfers between Wanaka CBD and your accommodation will be your responsibility but we will provide details of taxi, shuttle and transport options in Newsletter 1 so you can pre book your individual team requirements.

So, jump on that flight, kick back, enjoy a few movies and you’ll soon be arriving into Queenstown airport. Once you arrive you have the option to spend some time in Queenstown 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 Lake Wanaka we always recommend that all 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

As GODZone is an unsupported event, the organisers will transport all gear and necessary equipment around the course for the teams. You can even source the gear boxes needed for the event from us when you arrive (details 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. 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 12.5% 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.