Air New Zealand has started a worldwide search for four adventurers who can take part in the challenge to complete all nine Great Walks of New Zealand in a time frame of just nine weeks. These nine Great Walks of New Zealand include Milford, Rakiura, Routeburn, Whanganui Journey, Tongariro, Abel Tasman Coast, Heaphy, Kepler and Lake Waikaremoana.
New Zealand’s Department of Conservation (DOC) is going to co-sponsor this challenge along with Air New Zealand. It is estimated that more than the usual 75,000 travelers who comes to enjoy these wilderness tracks are going to take part in this challenge for an once-in-a-life-time experience. Spanning a distance of 550 Km of stunningly beautiful New Zealand terrain, these walks will take the four adventurers through lush green alpine forests and peaks, glacial valleys, rainforests, bushes and the pristine golden beaches of the country.
Both the Department of Conservation and Air New Zealand expects to create a lot of buzz around this challenge. The four lucky competitors will be selected out of thousands of applicants on the basis of their performance in an online competition. Hikers, walkers, wilderness enthusiasts and travelers will be required to put on their creative caps and create a YouTube video or a Pinterest board of images promoting their cause and explaining why they are a worthy candidate for a place in this group of four.
Once the challenge begins, the four challengers will start the first leg of their journey on the southern most tip of the county, at Rakiura, on the Stewart Island. Thereafter each subsequent week they will need to complete the next leg of the challenge. Apart from walking these tracks the competitors will also get to enjoy a taste of some of New Zealand’s other offerings, such as local wildlife and of course adventure sports such as mountain biking, jet boating and canyoning. While on their walks and in between the legs, celebrity guests, Air New Zealand and DOC staff will come to meet them and share their experiences. They will also be required to maintain a regular Blog where they will be expected to update their experiences during each leg of the challenge.
James Gibson, the Head of Sponsorship and Community at Air New Zealand, rightfully describes this whole experience an once-in-a-life-time for all the four competitors. The stunning beauty of New Zealand’s wilderness and the pristine wildlife is something that travelers crave for. As a co-sponsor of this challenge Air New Zealand is thrilled to be able to provide an opportunity to travelers to come and experience these for themselves.
Dave Wilks, Director Commercial Business Unit for DOC describes that what they are looking for in these four competitors is a complete package of traveler, nature lover, adventure enthusiast, story-telling, personality and the creativity that goes with all of that. He also releases a caveat when he says that New Zealand’s wilderness is beautiful but at the same time rugged. As such the competitors must have a certain level of physical fitness to be able to last all nine legs of it.
The DOC has recently gone into a three year commercial partnership with Air New Zealand. As a part of this, Air New Zealand will be sponsoring a lot of the conservational programs in the Great Walks, wilderness tracks and national parks around the country. Along with that they will also be using their domestic network to relocate endangered species.
If one is interested in taking part in The Walker Challenge, one can log on to www.greatwalkernz.com and register for the same. Registration is open until Monday 22 October, 2012.