"Now that the dust has settled, I can say that it was the best event ever for me. It will be hard to ever do any other expedition race (and perhaps ever do unsupported) again! You are on a winner with the Pursuit format, and not just as a stepping stone event. It takes a lot of the stuff I (and others) don’t like out of the big expedition events, and focusses on the best bits. The support took a lot of the stresses away. The course length was spot on to allow the sight seeing “competitors” a chance to see most of the scenery in daylight (important for us who don’t see that sort of country every day!), without limiting those wanting to race at the pointy end to still push through the nights. We will be back!"
New Zealand – Aotearoa – The land of the long white cloud is one of the most isolated countries and one of the great tourist destinations of the world. Within its small compass it has an amazing range of scenery and a complete portfolio of every sport and adventure activity. New Zealand is a long way from home for some international teams. However, visiting this country and sporting paradise is one of the most exciting things about entering GODZONE. Despite the large distances this small nation, surrounded by ocean, has never been easier to get to with international flights now returning in earnest.
Most international teams will fly into Auckland Airport and then should look to transit through Queenstown Airport. The host location for Chapter 11 – Fiordland, Te Anau, is a short two hour drive away.
Those teams who have rolled over their entries from previous Chapters will be contacted directly by Keren once the website goes ‘live’ to discuss any entry formalities.
IMPORTANT: TRAVEL AND THE NZ BORDER
New Zealand will fully reopen its international borders from July 31. The border is currently open to New Zealand citizens and residents, citizens’ partners and dependents, visa holders, international students, and vaccinated travelers from 60 visa waiver countries. You can find out more about border entry requirements here. Most foreign nationals entering New Zealand need to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Air New Zealand, the country’s flag carrier airline, has also announced that passengers on its international flights need to be fully vaccinated. If you are a visa waiver traveller you can travel to New Zealand without needing to apply for a border exception.
Equipment and Logistics
GODZONE is a supported event for all race categories. This means that international teams require a support crew and vehicle for Chapter 11. This support crew will be responsible for transporting equipment and gear around the course and between different transition areas. Please read information on support crew requirements here. If you require assistance in finding a support crew or would prefer to have some ‘local’ support crew assistance, please register your interest or check out the Team & Support Crew Finder page.
GODZONE provides high performance kayaks and inflatable canoes for the event. As a general rule, inflatable canoes are used by teams competing at the GZ Pursuit event, with GZ Pure teams providing their own packrafts for the equivalent paddling sections. Teams will be allowed to inspect a double kayak (AR Duo) and inflatable canoe (Hyside) before the event starts to familiarise themselves with features and storage capacity.
- The official language of the race is English. Teams who need assistance with an interpreter please contact Keren at firstname.lastname@example.org
- GODZONE uses 1:50 000 New Zealand Topographical maps which are available here www.topomap.co.nz
- There is a significant magnetic declination in New Zealand and teams must know how to compensate for it
- The South Island is an incredible destination with lots to do. The areas surrounding the course has some of New Zealand’s most spectacular landscapes and wildlife, not to mention a sensational scenery, history and lots of other attractions; make the most of your trip!
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.
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.