Events Round up June 2017

hillary-outdoors_darrenAn update on all the latest Events news from our Events Manager, Darren Ashmore (pictured left)…

Our exciting programme of 20 secondary school outdoor adventure events for 2017 is now well underway.

Senior Get2Go Gaining Momentum

The Senior Get2Go challenge events in the North Island kicked off the season back in March with 81 teams taking part in the four events, which is around a third more teams than we had in 2016, so it is great to see these short, sharp 3hr challenges growing in popularity. Many of the students that took part had previously participated in a Junior Get2Go event, so it was cool to see them taking the next step. Many were also using these events as part of their preparation for the upcoming North Island Hillary Challenge 6hr and others were complete beginners out for a little taste of some adventure racing fun.

Hillary Challenge Finalists Battle it out

In early May we held the 17th annual Genesis Energy Hillary Challenge national final at our Tongariro Centre. Wow what a week! We had the 12 best secondary school adventure racing teams from around New Zealand join us for five challenging days of competition.

On day 1 and 2 the teams undertook 12 sixty minute long team challenges which tested a wide range of outdoor skills including such things as – mountain biking, raft building, climbing, descending and traversing things (like walls/bridges/gullies) using ropes and other technical tools, search and rescue, swimming and puzzling problem solving. With only a 15 min break between each challenge it was go, go, go on both days.

On day 3 and 4 the teams headed into the Tongariro National Park, from the Desert Road, on an 18hr rogaine expedition. Equipped with food, clothing and gear for a couple of nights in the mountains, they had to navigate to up to 70 remote checkpoints, all worth a different score value, and ensure that they made it to the finish line outside the Chateau Tongariro at Whakapapa Village before the cut off time on Day 4. Despite the weather turning for the worse on Day 4, the teams all made it back in time with smiles on their faces and were able to avoid incurring any penalty points.

The heavy rain overnight before the final day forced some safety changes to the final 50km multisport challenge, so instead of completing all 4 stages continuously they were instead broken up into separately timed events with the total added time for each team used to calculate competition points.

When the points were all tallied it was the team from New Plymouth Girls and Boys High Schools that were crowned the 2017 Hillary Challenge champions with a very impressive all-round performance winning all 3 components to the week. Waimea College from Nelson and 2015 champions Thames High were 2nd and 3rd respectively.

View Full results here


New South Island Venue for 6hr Event was Awesome

Just a couple of weeks after the national final our South Island Hillary Challenge 6hr event was held for the very first time in Geraldine. The great folks at the Peel Forest Outdoor Centre helped us run an awesome event for 10 teams in what were perfect conditions.

Some of the teams were taking part in the event purely for the fun experience, while others were there to push themselves just that extra little bit harder, to try and gain one of the top four positions and therefore an invitation to take part in the 2018 Hillary Challenge Final. It was a great competition and congratulations to Cashmere High, Middleton Grange, Rangiora New Life and the combined team from Craighead Diocesan/Timaru Boys High for filling the top four spots. The will be joining Waimea College, who earned their place in Hillary Challenge 18 by placing in the top three at the national event this year.

Expecting a big Turnout for North Island Hillary Challenge 6hr Event

On Sunday 18 June we will hold the North Island Hillary Challenge 6hr taking place near Rotorua. This will be a biggy with nearly 30 teams (240 students) registered to take part, representing schools from Kaitaia to Wellington and Hawkes Bay to New Plymouth. Once again, the top four places will earn a place in Hillary Challenge 18. It will be exciting to see who makes it.

Not too late to Register Get2Go teams

In Term 3 we will be running our 12th annual Junior Get2Go series of events across the country. These events are always very popular and are an excellent entry point into multisport and adventure racing with around 1600 students taking part each year. So far we have over 100 teams registered to take part with some regions closing in on the 24 team capacity.

Just a reminder that all our events are designed to cater for all levels of skill and experience, so all students with a reasonable level of fitness and positive attitude can easily participate. Not only are they a chance for your students to get outside and engage in some different and unique physical activity, they also develop some great teamwork and interpersonal skills – communication, time management, self and team leadership, self-confidence, decision making, problem solving, strategic thinking, working with others, working under pressure…etc. So come along and join in the fun!


If you are keen to catch all of the ‘up to the minute’ coverage of our events and other adventures happening around our two centres then be sure to ‘follow/like’ our social media feeds. We are on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The user name for each is – hillaryoutdoors