Macpac Hillary Challenge

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Hillary Challenge



































Open to all secondary school students regardless of experience

The Macpac Hillary Challenge 6-hour outdoor team events are open to all Secondary School Students throughout New Zealand and are a great intro to Adventure Racing and a perfect step up from our Torpedo7 Get2Go Challenge events for year 9 and 10 students. The events are designed to attract students of all levels and you do NOT need a high level of skill and experience to join in and have an awesome time.

There will be a mix of levels from beginner to experienced at the events and the students that have done a bit more adventure racing tend to just do things faster and collect more checkpoints. We also use the events to help us select the best teams around the country to take part in the  5-day long  Macpac Hillary Challenge National Final that is held at our Tongariro Centre at the end of Term 3.

In 2021 we are holding two 6-hour Macpac Hillary Challenge events for teams of 8 to participate in (see details below about who can enter). The dates and locations are;

  • North Island – 9 May (Taupo area) currently 20 places left
  • South Island – 16 May (Christchurch area) currently 26 places left

Registrations for both of these events open Term 1, 2021. Places are limited so be sure to register early!

What does the Macpac Hillary Challenge involve?

Well this is a bit like Adventure Racing, so you will need to be prepared for anything. Typically there will be a bit of running/trekking, mountain biking (not too technical!) and orienteering/rogaining as the base of the event. Each team will need to bring 8 mountain bikes that are in good working order, particularly the brakes, plus helmets and a basic bike repair kit. Make sure you know how to use the repair kit!

To add to the mix there may be other fun challenges and problem solving tasks. Depending on the location of the event these could be on land and/or water and some of these will involve the whole team while others might only require a few team members. All 8 team members will be required to stay together (within 50m) at all times, unless a race marshal says otherwise and you will be trying to score points by finding checkpoints and completing the additional challenges. There may also be some sections that are timed, with these times being converted to points to add to your overall total. The team with the highest overall score will win.

Race registration is at 8.30am, followed by the briefing with the race itself happening between 9am and 3pm. At the end of the race you will understandably be a little tired and hungry, so we will provide a little snack for you to munch on at the finish line (this is included in your entry fee) and also some cool spot prizes that we will draw out at the prizegiving.

Use these events to gain school credits!

Each year we have many schools that use these events (as well as our Macpac Rogaine Series) to work various Achievement Standard into their programmes to enable their students to gain credits . The typical ones they use are these –

Level 1 – 1.1 (90962), 1.5 (90966), 1.7 (90968), 1.9 (90970)

Level 2 – 2.6 (91332), 2.7 (91333)

Level 3 – 3.3 (91500)

Who are the events for?

The events are designed for all levels of experience. You don’t have to be super fit and serious, but you do need to have a sense of adventure and a ‘give it a go’ attitude. In traditional adventure racing style the course route is not disclosed until the day of the race and you only find out the location of the event briefing one week before race day! You can enjoy participating in our 6 hour Adventure Race even if you are not interested in qualifying for the Macpac Hillary Challenge National Final.

  • Open to all year 11-13 students and no prior experience is necessary.
  • Teams of 8 represent their school(s) in one of four categories;
    • All Girls,
    • All Boys,
    • Mixed, and
    • Mixed Premier (4 girls/4boys). The mixed premier category must have a 50/50 gender split in the team i.e. 4 girls and 4 boys. Only teams that enter the Mixed Premier category will be eligible for a place in the Macpac Hillary Challenge Final.
  • A school may join together with one other school to form a team (this applies to ANY school and includes single gender and co-ed schools joining together) for this event. However any single school can only be a part of one team in the National Final.
  • Places are limited to 30 teams per event and will be taken on a first in, first served basis. After the limit is reached a wait list system will operate.

How much does it cost?

Entry fees for each event is $500 +gst per team of 8.

To register a team, click on the button on the top right of this page

Qualification spots for the 2021 Macpac Hillary Challenge up for grabs.

If your school is keen to grab one of the limited places in the 2021 Macpac Hillary Challenge National Final you must first gain a top placing in one of the 2 qualifying events above. From each of these two events the top scoring teams in the Mixed Premier category (the number of spots depends on the event) will receive an invitation to take part in the final and go up against the very best secondary school adventure racing teams from around New Zealand. 

Learn more about the Macpac Hillary Challenge National Final

Information for registered teams

Medical/consent form



Compulsory Gear List