Queenstown is always pumping year round – the energy in this resort town is palpable. One highlight of the sporting event calendar is the legendary Motatapu Race. Held on March 7, 2015, the iconic off multi sport event has grown to a total of six events, drawing thousands of entrants every year. Uniquely, it offers biking, running and swim challenges, all held on the same day in spectacular southern high country. There are rivers to cross and steep valleys and hills to traverse, passing through Motatapu, Soho and Glencoe Stations, which are only opened by owners to the public for this event once a year.
The Motatapu Speight’s 47km mountain bike event and Motatapu Icebreaker off road marathon begin on the shores of Lake Wanaka and finish in Arrowtown, as do the R&R Sport 51km team and solo adventure runs – the latter two for experienced mountain runners only.
The Xterra Motatapu UDC Financial triathlon for individuals and teams is equivalent to a half Ironman, consisting of a swim in Glendhu Bay at Lake Wanaka, a 47km mountain bike ride and a 15km run along Miners Trail. There will be some age group qualifying spots up for grabs to the world championships, to be held in Hawaii. The Arrowtown 15km Miners Trail event follows an epic loop starting and ending in Arrowtown, joining up with the mountain bike and marathon course toward the end.
There’s an optional transport service available from Queenstown, Arrowtown and Wanaka, bringing competitors to the Motatapu Station start line. After the race, transport will be available from Arrowtown back to Queenstown, Wanaka and Glendhu Bay. With thousands of people coming and going from Arrowtown, parking will likely be at a premium.
If you’re travelling to take part in, support or observe any of the Motatapu Race events, we recommend you stay in Arrowtown or Queenstown, for easy access with your Queenstown Airport car rental. Arrowtown is brimming with cosy lodges, B&Bs and apartments – Pittaways Cottage is a perfect example of a historic cottage on the tree-lined Buckingham St, while Crawford’s – just a few minutes’ walk from Arrowtown’s centre – offers private gardens and character in spades, being a renovated stable and police station originally. Queenstown also has a massive variety of accommodation and a number of luxury hotels, such as the upmarket Rydges Lakeland Resort with breathtaking views over the lake and surrounding mountains, or the European inspired Chalet Queenstown, as well as intimate guesthouses like B&B on the Hill.