This is the ultimate,  outdoor adventure challenge for teams year 11-13 students.

Open to all Year 11 – 13 school students regardless of experience. The Hillary Challenge 6-hour is a great introduction to adventure racing and a perfect step up from our Torpedo7 Get2Go Series.

There are typically 2 regional challenges held each year – one in the North Island and the other in the South Island.

NO prior experience is necessary as these challenges are designed to attract students of all levels so you don’t need a high level of skill and experience to join in and have an awesome time. Perfect for students in that senior Outdoor Education and P.E class who want to test their teamwork skills and fitness in unique way. 

 REGISTER your team today!

Thanks to the generous support of Round the Bays, we are offering two lucky teams from decile 1-5 Auckland schools the opportunity to attend a 2-day training camp and entry to the Hillary Challenge North Island Regionals!

APPLY here for the Hillary Challenge Scholarship!

Here is what you need to know

  • Teams of 8 represent their school(s) in one of four categories; All Girls, All Boys, Mixed, and Mixed Premier (4 girls/4 boys). Teams can be a mix of year 11, 12 and 13 students. ONLY teams entered in the Mixed Premier category will be eligible for a place in the National Final.

  • A maximum of two schools may join together to form a team (this applies to ANY school and can include single gender and co-ed schools joining together). However a single school can only be a part of one team in the National Final.

  • 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!

  • Each regional event typically includes running/trekking, mountain biking (not too technical!) and orienteering/rogaining as the base of the challenge. To add to the mix there may be other fun  problem solving tasks - these could be on land and/or water, depending on the location.

  • Some tasks 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 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 wins.

  • On the day, race registration is held at 8.30am followed by the race briefing. The race itself takes place between 9.00am and 3.00pm. The day ends with some snacks (included in your entry fee) and prizegiving (including spot prizes!).

  • In true adventure racing style, the course route is not disclosed until the day of the race, and you only find out the location of the challenge briefing one week before race day!

  • There is a limited capacity of 30 teams at each regional Hillary Challenge, with teams taken on a first in, first served basis. Don’t miss out – register early!

Gear List

This is a challenge taking place in the outdoors at the start of winter.  The New Zealand weather can do anything at any time, so we want to know that you are prepared for whatever it throws at you and your team-mates.  The weather could be clear and warm or wet and extremely cold. Ensure you have multiple changes of clothes and be prepared to wear all of them at some stage. You need to be able to move around quickly and comfortably during the day. Below is the minimum gear that you will need to have with you at all times throughout the day.  Your team will need 8 mountain bikes and helmets (in good working order) plus things like a puncture repair kit, spare tubes, pump...etc for your bikes. Note – no electric bikes are allowed!

Every team member must carry or wear (as a minimum)

  • A windproof/waterproof parka or raincoat with a hood

  • 1 x long sleeve polypro or woollen base layer top.

  • 1 x long sleeve fleece or wool insulation layer top.

  • 1 x long john’s/pants. Polypro or woollen base layer.

  • Suitable shorts, tights to race around in.

  • A warm hat/beanie. BUFFs are ok for this.

  • Poly-pro or wool gloves

  • At least 2 litres of water

  • Energy snacks or bars to keep you going

  • Personal medication e.g. asthma inhalers, bee sting pills…etc

  • A pack to carry everything in

  • One pair of running/trail shoes

Each team needs to carry

  • At least 2 compasses

  • At least 2 pencils for writing down information on waterproof paper

  • A team first aid kit including a minimum of - 50cm strapping tape for ankles/knees, pain killers, 2 x large crepe bandages (minimum 4cm width), 1 x tri-angular bandage, 6 x non-adherent dressing or gauze pad, 6 plasters.

  • At least two charged up cell-phones, ideally on two different networks (to be used only in the event of an emergency, if you need assistance from a marshal) Make sure these are in a waterproof bag

  • At least 2 watches

  • At least 2 whistles

  • At least 2 headtorches

  • At least 2 survival blankets (the thin silver ones)

  • At least 2 High Visibility Vests for the front and rear member of the team to wear on the MTB stage.

Gain school credits!

Each year we have many schools that use these challenges (as well as our Macpac Rogaines) to work various Achievement Standards into their curriculum to enable their students to gain credits . These have included:

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)

Keen to qualify for the National Final?

We use the regional Hillary Challenges to help us select the best teams from around the country to take part in the Hillary Challenge National Final held at our Tongariro Centre at the end of Term 3.

If your school is keen to grab one of the limited places in the Final you must first gain a top placing in one of the 2 qualifying regional events (North Island or South Island). From each of these two challenges the top scoring teams in the Mixed Premier category 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.
Register NowMedical/Consent Form


South Island – 22 May (Christchurch area)

North Island – 29 May (Rotorua area)


  • Per team of 8 students $575.00