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The Possum Night Trail Run began in 2018, after being dreamt up by Nick Reader from Element Events who wanted something for families and friends to do in wintertime. And now in its fifth year (there was a one-year hiatus in 2020 due to Covid), it’s bigger than ever, with an exciting new course mapped out.
“We’ve just secured permission to hold the event in Kinloch on Saturday the 17th of June. We’re using the incredible Whangamata Stream Walk, and we can’t wait to get set up out there,”Amy Crawford, Event Services Manager
With options for 5km, 12km or 21km, what makes this event so different from anything else in New Zealand is that it is held at night time, with Audio Visual People (a local Taupō business) lighting up the base, start lines and key locations along the course. And, if you fancy it, dressing up is encouraged too!
“Without too much prompting, a large portion of entrants dress up, especially those entering as a team or a family. It really adds to the fun, friendly and unique atmosphere - running through the bush, at night, in the middle of winter. ” says Amy.
“And for our more serious competitors, the 21km is perfect for those looking for a real challenge in the dark.”
Every year the event attracts around 1,500 people, and this time round Amy is hoping it will be the biggest yet, with a bunch of newbies coming along as well as those who have been venturing to town annually for the event.
“While I know how awesome it is, it still impresses me how much people love it. There are two ladies who have come down every year from Warkworth and they camp in their motorhome. It’s just a part of their calendar now,” says Amy.
“It has become a real destination event, with groups of friends and family from all over the North Island congregating here and making a whole weekend out of it. Some do it to celebrate a birthday, or just as an excuse to get together because they know everyone has a great time.”Amy Crawford
When you register for the 12km and 21km course you get a choice to either receive a medal, made of wood, or to have a tree donated to Kids Greening Taupō. And there are spot prizes, for things such as ‘best dressed’, which is an added bonus to an enjoyable night out.
“We have all sorts of people entering and that’s what is so special about it I think, it’s got something for everybody,” says Amy.
“From a girl’s weekend away to groups of teenagers, kids in backpacks and everyone in between, it’s one of my favourite events as it has a sociable, welcoming feel about it, all while being something completely different to do in winter.”
Ready for a night to remember? Register here
Whether you’re in town for an event, or just a family getaway, there’s accommodation in Taupō to suit all budgets, and to cater to all needs. Because when you’re travelling with the kids, comfort is key, as well as plenty of activities to keep them entertained.