Chapter 9

Host Location

“ I have wanted to see GODZone in Rotorua for a long time. Finally, we have committed and we are pretty excited about it! Living in ‘Vegas for three years in the early 2000’s I got to explore much of the surrounding wilderness and have always thought there is the basis for 2 or 3 great courses there. Many factors will differentiate Chapter 9 from previous editions of the event. The nature of the terrain will provide contrasting navigational challenges and the water sections will be very scenic. I am particularly excited by the variety of environments racers will get to experience in GODZone Rotorua. From that point of view alone the race will be unequalled. “

“ Add the cultural component that comes with racing in the Bay of Plenty and we have the full package. From the moment we first met with Rotorua Council we have been blown away by their hospitality. We feel very welcome here and know that the same aroha will be extended to competitors and supporters alike. And, if you think this might be a bit easier than the South Island races to date, don’t be fooled. We will be taking you to extremes. This will be a GODZone to remember. "

- Adam Fairmaid (Race Director)

Rotorua - NZ's most beautiful city

There’s nowhere else in the world where earth, wind, fire and water exist in such a potent way. Rotorua is the place to combine all the elements, bringing people and place together to create the ultimate experience.

New Zealand is seen as clean, green and 100% pure, and staying true to that Rotorua has been voted New Zealand’s most beautiful city six times in the 11-year history of the Keep New Zealand Beautiful competition. Along with stunning floral displays, perfectly manicured gardens and litter free streets, sustainability also has a crucial role to play in Rotorua being perceived as a ‘beautiful’ destination. We are still the current holder of this award.

One of the things that strikes most newcomers (other than the distinctive sulphur smell that is noticeable for the first day or two) is the high quality of both private and public gardens and the standard of maintenance of most homes and other buildings. It’s a mark of the pride that we, the people of Rotorua take in our city and our community.

The total size of the Rotorua district is 261,906 hectares. This consists of 41% forest, 43% agriculture and 8% lakes. Rotorua’s central business district (CBD) is located on the southern shore of Lake Rotorua. The city is nestled in a huge, ancient caldera 20km across at its widest point and 16km at the narrowest, with Lake Rotorua nearly 300 metres above sea level. The forests, coupled with extensive trees and gardens in the city, suburbs and parks, support a rich and varied bird life, both native and introduced. Some of New Zealand’s rarer birds, such as the formerly endangered kokako and the spectacular native falcon, karearea, thrive in the district.

The region includes:

  • 18 lakes
  • 800 hectares of parks, gardens and reserves free for public use
  • 3 Major rivers
  • 7 geothermal fields with hot pools and spectacular steam eruptions
  • 100,000 hectares of native and exotic forests – with the largest commercial plantation forest in the Southern Hemisphere
  • 100,000 hectares of farmland
  • 120 wetlands
  • Stunning volcanic landscapes with Mt Tarawera, Rainbow Mountain, Mt Ngongotaha and Mokoia Island as local icons
  • Hundreds of kilometres of walking, cycling and mountain biking tracks

For more information about the myriad of things to do in Rotorua, please visit their excellent website here.

What Rotorua Offers

Geothermal Wonders

7 geothermal fields with hot pools and spectacular steam eruptions

Geothermal Wonders
  • Maori Culture
    Maori Culture

    Steeped in cultural history, Rotorua is the home of ‘Maoridom’ where you can experience all aspects of this amazing culture.

  • Adventure

    Rotorua is an adventure playground with a huge range of activities and attractions to enjoy. Home to the highest commercially rafted waterfall in the world, Tutea Falls and to NZ's Supreme Tourism Award winner for 2016, Rotorua Canopy Tours. There really is something for everyone in Rotorua.

  • Mountain Biking
    Mountain Biking

    Rotorua is a mountain bike haven famous for the Whakarewarewa Forest with a diverse and unique mountain bike trails. Rotorua is also home to a number of international events throughout the year, including the ever popular and community based Rotorua Bike Festival through to being the first stop on the Crankworx World Tour.

  • Lakes & Rivers
    Lakes & Rivers

    Rotorua is famous for its lakes and rivers and the opportunities they offer for swimming, fishing, paddle boarding and other water sports. Relax in a lake edge thermal hot pool or take a picnic and enjoy our most popular lakeside reserves. The sparkling lakes and cool clear rivers around Rotorua make the region a water lover's paradise.

  • Forest

    Just five minutes from downtown Rotorua, a beautiful forest awaits you. Known to locals as ‘The Redwoods’, the 5600ha Whakarewarewa Forest is a perfect playground for horse riders, mountain bikers, walkers and hikers with magnificent stands of towering native and exotic trees. Amateurs to experts from across the country and around the globe agree mountain biking doesn’t come any better, with free access to a plethora of scenic, continually evolving forest trails.

  • Coastline

    The Bay of Plenty region is renowned for its white sandy beaches, you will be spoilt for choice here. Our wide, welcoming coastline stretches for 125km. Lifeguards patrol most popular beaches during peak summer months so choose a spot and enjoy the surf.

  • A Post Race Spa Like No Other!
    A Post Race Spa Like No Other!

    Rotorua's spa and thermal activity are unlike anything you'll see elsewhere in the world. A myriad of spa options are within easy reach; whether you're after a simple soak in a natural bush-lined thermal stream or hot pool, or a full day at a luxuriously-appointed spa complex. Rotorua's geothermal water, mineral-enriched muds, Maori massage and indigenous herbs play a special role in local spa culture.