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Rotorua To Host First Ever North Island GODZone in 2020

Press Release / 19.03.2019

In 2020, Rotorua and the Bay of Plenty region, will become the first North Island area of New Zealand to host the world’s largest expedition adventure race, GODZone.

It was announced on Saturday, at the GODZone prize giving in Akaroa, that the Rotorua Lakes Council has succeeded in securing the hosting rights to GODZone Chapter 9 with the international event set down for November 2020.

Sitting within the Pacific Rim of Fire, the Rotorua region is known for its active geothermal mud pools, geysers and natural hot springs. According to GODZone Event Director Warren Bates, Rotorua offers an extraordinary landscape with unique features not seen before in adventure racing the world over.

“Our event philosophy is to take competitors to world class adventure locations and give them a unique experience they won’t forget,” says Bates. “ Rotorua has a stellar reputation for delivering 'out there’ events such as the Tarawera Ultra Marathon and the Crankworx Bike Festival. GODZone in Rotorua is a logical extension of this adventure theme and we’re looking forward to pushing teams further afield into some magical terrain."

The seven-day adventure racing competition has been held every year in the South Island of New Zealand since its inception back in 2012. Bates says taking the expedition event north is ‘bucket list’ for him and founding GODZone race director Adam Fairmaid.

"This is a ground breaking move for GODZone and adventure racing in New Zealand. This will be first time a major expedition race has been held in the North Island. What better place to kick off than in the adventure capital? The region has a phenomenal reputation for mountain biking alongside the geothermal backdrop, which is a major drawcard for visitors. The area has an incredibly strong cultural history and we very much look forward to showcasing this and the varied environments to all. ”

The extra ordinary Bay of Plenty district is renowned for its tourism dynamism and world class attractions. Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick, who made the announcement, says the Rotorua Lakes Council is very much looking forward to welcoming the GODZone to the region.

“We’re very proud this great event is coming to Rotorua,” Mayor Steve Chadwick says.

“Being chosen as the new location for GODZone comes off the back of other successful international events like Crankworx and the Tarawera Ultra and reinforces our reputation for successful event hosting. It’s further recognition of the fantastic environment we can provide for these types of events and provides another opportunity to showcase what makes us unique on an international stage.”

“Combined with our strong Te Arawa culture and our active natural environment, Rotorua’s long history of hosting and manaakitanga will ensure a unique and special experience for competitors, their supporters and media.”

GODZone Chapter 9 will be a showcase of the stunning landscape features the Rotorua area has on offer. Chief Executive of Rotorua Economic Development, Michelle Templer, say the local environment is befitting of the race dubbed ‘ an adventure like no other’.

“Rotorua’s natural environment offers a year-round destination for authentic adventure activities so it is the perfect location for GODZone’s first North Island event.  

“We’re looking forward to hosting hundreds of competitors and their supporters in Rotorua and seeing the beauty of this district shared with thousands of event followers around the globe.”

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