Waitaki hosts the South Island Spring Challenge women’s adventure race

The beautiful and rugged Waitaki landscape hosts the South Island Spring Challenge women’s adventure race from September 22 – 24, and hundreds of teams rafting, biking, and hiking across the countryside.
The Spring Challenge is the creation of adventure gurus and husband and wife team Jodie and Nathan Fa’ave, who started the event in 2007 to encourage more women into adventure sports. They take the event to a new centre each year.

The waters and topography of the scenic Waitaki district provide the key elements for the race with rivers, lakes, and good hiking and biking trails over a varied landscape.

Race day is Sunday 23 September when all three team members of each team complete each section together in either the three-hour (beginner), six-hour (intermediate) or nine-hour (advanced) category.
When the race is over and it’s time to relax there’s plenty to do and see in the Waitaki district. Enjoy the delicious cuisine of local cafes and restaurants and quality local produce at Oamaru’s Sunday farmer’s market.

Experience nature and cultural history of the area with a day trip to the internationally recognised Waitaki Whitestone Geopark,, an official UNESCO Global Geopark.

Other geological sites include the Moeraki Boulders, Elephant Rocks, the Takiroa Māori Rock Art site, Omarama Clay Cliffs, and learn about the fossils of unique creatures now extinct at Duntroon’s Vanished World Centre.

A visit to Waitaki is not complete without a visit to Oamaru’s Little Blue Penguin or Kororā colony. Just five minutes walk from the town centre you can see the world’s smallest penguin come ashore, and learn about the conservation and research work at the Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony.

To see Hoiho the Yellow-eyed Penguin, and Kekeno, New Zealand fur seals, take a short walk from Bushy Beach Road to a cliff-top viewing hide for visitors. It’s an easy walk with breathtaking views. Note the beach is closed from 3pm to allow the penguins to move ashore undisrupted.

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