Trio of Adventurers Ready to Launch New Zealand 9 Expedition

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Last year, a trio of adventures – Ben Southall, Luke Edwards, and Pat Kinsella – took on an incredible feat of endurance by trail running and climbing to the top of the highest peaks in each of the eight Australian states in just eight days. It was a tough challenge not only for the physical aspects, but also the logistical ones as well.

In June, the same team announced that they were preparing to take on a similar challenge, this time in the land of Kiwis. They call their latest expedition the New Zealand 9, as they’ll not only be attempting complete all nine of New Zealand’s “Great Walks,” they’ll try to do it in just nine days.

All told, the journey will cover more than 545 km (338 miles), as Ben, Luke, and Pat trail run for more than 400 km (248 miles), and travel by kayak an additional 145 km (90 miles) along the Whanhanui River. They’ll begin the challenge in the extreme south of New Zealand, where they’ll kick things off on the Rakiura Track (32km/19.8 miles) located on remote Stewart Island. From there, they’ll head to the Routeburn (32km/19.8 miles), Milford (53.5km/33.2 miles), Kepler (60km/37.2 miles), Heaphy (78.4/48/7) and Abel Tasman (55.2km/34.2) tracks on the South Island. Once finished there, they’ll then take on the Whanhanui River Journey (145km/90 miles), Tongariro Northern Circuit (43km/26.7 miles), and Lake Waikaremoana (46km/28.5) on the North Island.

If successful, the NZ9 team will set a new speed record for completing all of the Great Walks. It won’t be easy however, as they’ll have to average more than a marathon per day on foot, and that doesn’t even include the kayaking leg of the expedition.

You can follow the team’s progress at, and learn more about them, as well as the challenge ahead, in the video below.

New Zealand 9 – Where adventure lives from Ben Southall on Vimeo.

Kraig Becker