Event Info

Challenge Wanaka Triathlon Festival

Challenge Wanaka features one of the world’s toughest and most honest triathlon courses set against the stunning alpine backdrop of New Zealand’s Southern Alps and the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area.

It is New Zealand’s largest triathlon festival, featuring events for all ages and abilities involving over 2,000 participants, attracting 10,000 spectators and a global audience of millions.

Watch the highlights of Challenge Wanaka 2020 race here.

Part of the legendary Challenge Family global series of middle distance triathlons, renowned the world over for their memorable events, Challenge Wanaka is the race of a lifetime for athletes wanting to compete and holiday in paradise.

Watch over 1,500 top professional and amateur athletes from all over the globe compete on the world’s most scenic course in the 1.9km swim in crystal clear waters, the 90km bike alongside an alpine lake and the 21.1km run through Wanaka’s amazing mountain bike park, Bike Glendhu. 

The festival includes the Puzzling World Junior Challenge for budding triathletes aged six to fifteen. There’s also the Bay to Bay Competitive Swim during the week before the two highlight events.

The week culminates with the flagship Challenge Wanaka race on Saturday 20 February 2021 which features both the half distance race and Aquabike race. Thousands of spectators line the route and finish chute cheering on these inspirational contenders as they compete in the most arduous of the triathlon disciplines. The finish line is in the heart of the Lake Wanaka township and, in true ‘Challenge’ style, there’s a fun finish line party with music and food to welcome the athletes home.

The Challenge Wanaka Sports Trust

Challenge Wanaka is run by The Challenge Wanaka Sports Trust together with a team of dedicated individuals with many of years of event experience between them, all united by the desire to provide athletes with one of the most memorable long distance races of their careers.

The Challenge Wanaka Sports Trust is a charitable trust whose primary objective is to arrange and provide events and activities having a sporting, recreational and/or social value for the benefit of the citizens of both the Southern Lakes area and the citizens of New Zealand in general.

It applies the trust funds in and towards the benefit of the community and New Zealand in general by way of financial contribution towards the establishment and maintenance of recreational, educational and health facilities and services with particular reference to people having disabilities or other extraordinary needs.

To read about the causes supported by the Trust click here.

Watch the highlights of Challenge Wanaka 2020 race here.