Spectacular backdrops, stunning scenery and a vibe that can’t be beaten - it has to be the Hydro Half.
The annual event was created in 2019 by the Fiordland Trails Trust to raise funds to expand the trail network and help maintain the existing “Lake2Lake” trail. The community-focused event also features a 10km option for those keen on a shorter saunter.
The course offers riverside and lakeside running, trails through native bush and small sections of road and 4WD tracks - there are also some undulating sections, with a maximum elevation of 240m, and even a ford (the water kind, not the car).
Next event date: 6 August 2022
Keen to learn more: www.fiordlandtrails.nz
Held in August, it’s a fantastic opportunity to experience the bracing freshness of a Fiordland winter’s day, when crisp clear days are the norm.
With mighty Mt Titiroa behind you and the World Heritage Fiordland National Park to your left, the scenery will enthral even the seasoned runner.
Starting at the location of the original Hydro Construction Village, you cross the Te Anau-Manapouri Highway and drop into Balloon Loop where you join the Fiordland Trails Lake2lake track and head on past Rainbow Reach, Horseshoe Bend and onto Queens Reach.
A relaxed and enjoyable vibe flows through the field as you draw inspiration from the breath-taking scenery.
You then follow the Upper Waiau River before reaching the Lake Te Anau Control gates - from here you make your way around the stunning lakefront trail. There’s plenty to take in as you pass Tui Bay and the Te Anau Bird Sanctuary (try spot a takahe or a kākā) before heading along the town waterfront to Lions Park.
Walkers are welcome to enter the event - but you’ll need to beat the time cut-off buzzer.
Support crews and cheer squads wave you on from the Kepler Track carpark and Tui Bay, and of course there’s legions of fans at the finish line at Lions Park (not to mention a fantastic kids’ playground).
Listen to the magical sounds of nature, run with a mate, or throw on some sounds to kickstart your experience.
Don’t take it from us though - check out some of the feedback: “I've been banging on to anyone who will listen about how good this event is and how fantastic Te Anau is.”. We couldn’t agree more.
There’s spot prizes - some of which are awarded during the race - and some at prize giving - a memorable way to wrap up a great event. Then it’s time check out everything else Fiordland has to offer.
Fiordland (Ata Whenua - Shadowlands) is a place of extraordinary scenic beauty. One of New Zealand’s oldest tourism drawcards, this rugged and remote region offers awe-inspiring landscapes and wide range of recreational activities. It’s a world-class sightseeing destination and a must-do for anyone exploring New Zealand.