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Frequently asked questions


We've done our best to have everything on this website we think you need to know about Oxfam Trailwalker. To make things easier we have compiled these FAQs. If you still can't find an answer to your question, please contact us and if other people have asked us too, we'll add it to this page.

How to enter

How do I enter Oxfam Trailwalker?
It's easy! Just register to reserve your team place for $30 (incl. GST) in either the 100km or 50km event. You've then got 28 days to get your team together and pay the entry fee to confirm your team in the world's greatest team challenge.

How much will it cost?
To reserve your team place is $30 (incl. GST). Then the entry fees for your team of four (incl. GST) are: 

  Deadline 50km 100km
Super early bird      End August 2015      $400      $520
Early bird End October 2015 $430 $590
Standard End January 2016 $480 $680
Late entry After January 2016 $520 $720

These fees do not count towards your fundraising commitment and are not tax deductible.

What does my entry fee cover?
The reservation and entry fee paid by each team is used to cover the costs of running the event. This includes expenses such as venue hire, equipment hire for portaloos, marquees, lighting towers and heaters. It covers the fundraising materials you get, your training weekends, the maps you need, checkpoint staff, medical cover and safety equipment, event staff and more. Entry fees mean that the funds you work so hard to raise are actually going towards Oxfam's work.

Who can enter?
For the 100km event, anyone over 18 years old on the day of the event who wants to challenge themselves and challenge poverty can enter. For the 50km event, anyone over 16 years old can enter provided they have parental consent AND at least two participants in their team are over 18 years old.

What if I've got a team and we're ready to go?
You can register online today! Alternatively email us if it all seems too difficult. We'll give you a call and have your team sorted in no time

Can we change our team name after we've registered?
Absolutely. Once your team is confirmed with four team members and entry fee payment, you will have access to edit your team details via your online team page. Some teams even auction off their team name as a fundraiser.

I’m looking for a team, or, we’re looking for another teammate…help!
Head to our online forum called Lonely Boots - this is where you can join up with teams who are looking for members or vice versa. It’s easy - post a message about yourself and the kind of team you'd like to join. 

Are there any refunds?
Under some circumstances we will refund a team's entry fee as per the refund policy.

Do you have information sessions?
Yes! We have information sessions about once a month in Auckland and always try to hold a few in Wellington. Pending interest we may be able to come to other centres. This page has the latest info session details and keep up to date by liking us on Facebook.

We would love to give a presentation at your workplace if you’re interested in being a corporate team or want to encourage a few more team mates – just let us know at

Why can’t I find my team page using the search function?
Your team page won’t appear in the search function until your team is confirmed (see ‘How do I confirm my team page?’).  This means you'll have to log in to find your team page and also you can’t start fundraising through your team page. Confirm your team now!

How do I confirm my team page?
Awesome – you’ve registered your team but now you want to confirm.

  1. Log on to your team page, click the ‘manage members’ tab and type in three friend’s names and email addresses.  Send them an invitation and once they accept, they’ll appear on your team page. 
  2. Pay your confirmation fee in full. 

Once both of those are done, your team page goes live and you can start fundraising.

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Event options

What event options are there?
New for 2016 there are two event options. You and your team can choose to challenge yourselves to 100km in 36 hours or the new option of 50km in 18 hours. Make sure you choose your preferred event distance on the enter page otherwise you might have some explaining to do to your team mates!

What’s the difference between the 100km and 50km event?
Aside from the distance you have 36 hours to complete the 100km event and 18 hours to complete the 50km event. See ‘How much is it to enter?’ for entry fee differences. See ‘Who can enter?’ for the different minimum age limits.  Other than that not much! They will both be epic experiences and amazing challenges.

Will the 100km and 50km event start and finish in the same place?
Both the 100km and 50km start within close proximity of Whakatāne. We’ll finalise all the details of the course and make sure we keep you updated on the latest news via Facebook, email alerts and our preparation pages on the website. Both courses will pass through a number of checkpoints, some of which will be the same, before finishing at the same place.

Can we change event option?
Your team can switch from the 100km event to the 50km event at no extra cost but your full entry fee will be retained by Oxfam. If you wish to switch from the 50km event to the 100km event you need to pay the difference in entry fee at the time of payment i.e. if you paid an early bird entry fee for the 50km you will pay the difference between that and the 100km early bird entry fee if you switch.

Can we participate as a team of two people instead of four?
OxfamTrailwalker is a team challenge for four people.  Walking as a team is one of the unique features of Oxfam Trailwalker and as such all teams must start as a team of four. If you haven't got a complete team of four we recommend Lonely Boots, where individuals, duos and teams missing one person can be matched together to form a team of four. 

Another option if you are not able to find a team is to volunteer at the event  We could not run the event without our volunteers. Almost 300 volunteers are required in many different roles over the entire event.  We have a number of roles available, from trail marking on event weekend to helping at the merchandise desk or helping in the office sending prep-packs.  Find out more about volunteering at Oxfam Trailwalker.  

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How much money do we have to raise? Can we fundraise for the entry fee?
The minimum fundraising amount to take part is $2,000. Teams are not authorised to fundraise on behalf of Oxfam until they have fully completed the entry process and accepted the terms and conditions of the event and fundraising.  Therefore teams cannot engage in fundraising to cover their entry fee.

Must we meet the minimum fundraising commitment?
Teams must raise a minimum $2,000, in addition to the non-tax deductible reservation and entry fees to participate in the event. Team must have fundraised at least the minimum $2000 by March 21, 2016 to be eligible to participate in the event. Teams that fail to do so will be unable to start without the prior approval of the event organisers.

Why is there a minimum fundraising commitment?
Oxfam Trailwalker is the main fundraising event for Oxfam New Zealand’s program work helping thousands of people living in poverty in the Pacific.  The aim of setting a minimum commitment is so that we can plan and sustain our development work and fulfil  the commitments of our programs. By meeting and exceeding the minimum $2000 target you are helping to create a real and positive difference that lasts.

What fundraising rewards do I receive?
All teams who commit to raise $2500 will receive a free Buff and some added Bivouac discounts.  There’s a whole host of rewards for commitments beyond this – check out our fundraising rewards page.

I want to qualify for the awesome fundraising incentives; how do I upgrade my fundraising commitment?
Go team! We recommend upgrading your target when you are within $500 of your current commitment. You can edit this yourself on your team page.  Ensure you are logged into your team page and then use the ‘Edit’ tab to increase your commitment.  Otherwise, give us an email at or come and talk to us at the Training Weekends. Last year 81% of teams increased their commitment and reached their new target successfully.

What fundraising materials do I receive?
Your number one fundraising resource is your online fundraising page. You will also receive posters, fundraising wallet cards to help people find your team page online, a cool donation box to pop up in a lunch room or at your fundraising events, Oxfam information, Oxfam balloons to help your fundraising events stand out…and us! We have a wealth of fundraising tips, so if you need any suggestions, get in touch! Check out other resources on our fundraising page.

How do we use our team page?
We can’t stress enough the value of this team page – trust us, we’ve seen it work time and again.  You can personalise your team page with photos and blogs to keep your supporters up to date and then the key is getting the word out.  We know how important it is so we’ve made life easy – go to our Team 101 page for the inside scoop.

Should we host fundraising events?
Fundraising events are a fantastic way to get people involved and a lot of FUN too! Check out our fundraising ideas page and some awesome resources like our poo map raffle, downloadable pub quiz, chocolate order form and media kit.

I need my Preparation Pack to fundraise. Where is it?
Preparation packs are sent out in batches from mid-October. From November onwards you can expect to receive yours within two weeks of confirming your team place. You can start fundraising without it though – your online fundraising page is the ideal fundraising tool as it is ready as soon as your team is confirmed. The information within the Preparation Pack is also on the website, so have a read.

Can we ask businesses to sponsor us?
Your workplace is a great spot to start fundraising – where else do you have a whole bunch of people captive for eight hours a day! Approaching local businesses in your community is a great chance to get them involved.  Let us know if you need an official letter to say you’re fundraising for Oxfam.

How do we get credits from regular givers?
Oxfam’s regular giving programme is a fantastic opportunity to make a lasting difference to the lives of people living in poverty. Ask friends and family to commit to donating to Oxfam on a regular basis through your team page and your team will receive a fundraising credit of up to $200.  Just click on ‘Support this team as a regular giver’ button on your team page. More details and terms and conditions

Do I get a tax receipt for my donation?
If you donate directly to a team page, you will automatically receive an e-receipt which allows you to claim back a third of your donation at the end of the financial year.  If you don’t have a valid email, you will need to contact us to send you a printed receipt.

How do I get offline funds onto my team page such as cash or cheques?
The first thing to establish is if these people would like a receipt for their donation.

If yes - you have two options (in order of preference for us to reduce admin): 
1. Bank the money and make individual credit card payments through your team page for each sponsor/pledge, completing your SPONSORS' details rather than your own in the donation screen. Make sure you include your sponsors' email addresses so they receive the eReceipt.

2. Send us the money or cheque.  Be sure to include your sponsor’s details so we can issue them with a receipt as well as your team page so we can add the credit to it.

If no - you have three options (in order of preference for us to reduce admin):

1. Make a lump sum credit card payment through your team page to cover the total of the relevant offline funds and list your sponsors in the comments field to acknowledge them.

2. Make individual credit card payments through your team page to cover each donation. Include your own details and reference your sponsors in the comments fields.

3. Send us a cheque to cover the total of the offline funds. Please include a note very clearly itemizing which donations your cheque covers. We will add these donations to show as funds raised on your team page.

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What does Oxfam do?

You might get a couple of people asking what Oxfam does or where their money is going.  We’d love for you to be able to tell them about our incredible work.  Listed below are some questions or comments you might get when asking for donations with some answers that might help you out.

What does the name "Oxfam" stand for?
Oxfam was originally founded in Oxford in 1942 as the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief which is now Oxfam Great Britain & is still based in Oxford, UK. It was one of several local committees formed in support of the National Famine Relief Committee. Their mission was to persuade the British government to allow food relief through the Allied blockade for the starving citizens of Greece. The committee changed its name to its telegraph address, OXFAM, in 1965.

What does Oxfam do now?
Oxfam is a world-wide development organisation that mobilises the power of people against poverty. Oxfam New Zealand is part of a global network of Oxfam affiliates who all exist for a very simple reason – because poverty and injustice are unacceptable. One person in three in the world lives in poverty and Oxfam is determined to change that. Around the globe, Oxfam works to find practical, innovative ways for people to lift themselves out of poverty and thrive. We save lives and help rebuild livelihoods when crisis strikes. And we campaign so that the voices of the poor influence the local and global decisions that affect them.  In all we do, Oxfam works with partner organizations and alongside vulnerable women and men to end the injustices that cause poverty. Read more about what we do

All the communities we work with are working really hard to make ends meet and to improve life for themselves and their children. With the right support, a lot of passion, drive, enthusiasm and sheer hard graft on their part, many are already getting there.

Where does Oxfam work?
Oxfam New Zealand works primarily in our neighbourhood – in the Pacific and Southeast Asia. We also support humanitarian work in Africa. From clean water to fair trade, from East Timor to Haiti, we believe in the power of people to change the world. Together we can address the root causes of inequality and help people lift themselves out of poverty. Find out more about where we work

Is the money just taken by corrupt governments?
Corruption is a sad fact of life, but turning our backs on poor communities in badly run countries is not an option. While Oxfam does work with some governments – to get permission to work in their country or to work alongside an existing initiative – we don't give them money. Oxfam supports, and finances, independent local organisations; and our projects are always administered by Oxfam staff.

What percentage of my donation goes to the cause?
As you can see in the graph below, 75 cents out of every dollar goes directly to support our programmes and advocacy work.  But administration isn't a dirty word – it's essential to the running of any organisation, and actually helps us to raise significantly more money. Read more about where your money goes.

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What is the terrain like?
The course travels through open paddocks, forest and native bush, coastal sections, some existing public walkways, forestry roads and a few sections cleared especially for Oxfam Trailwalker. Once the course is finalised, take a look at our course map and profile or watch the Welcome to Whakatāne video to get a glimpse of the terrain.

Is the trail open to the public pre-event?
Our trail comprises both public and private land as well as being subject to change each year.  Much of the trail is on public land, so you are able to walk through it. Check out our trail section on the website for more info.

Am I fit enough to do OxfamTrailwalker?  How much training will I need to do?
We firmly believe ANYONE with the right training and attitude can complete Oxfam Trailwalker. In 2014 a team with an average age of 68 years old completed the event!  Training is the difference between just scraping through and absolutely loving your Oxfam Trailwalker experience. No matter how fit you are, it's still important to do a substantial amount of off-road training (your feet move very differently on varied terrain and your body uses different muscles), practise walking at night and walking when you're fatigued.  Our #1 tip is to spend time on your feet on various terrain. Make sure you walk together regularly and build up towards a 40-60km walk.

We have basic training plans for beginners, intermediate and advanced starters.

What should we wear?
Sportswear is a good start – the fabrics have technical properties to keep you cool/warm and importantly dry from sweat and moisture. Apart from that – just make sure you've tried it, and it's comfortable. Have a look at the recommended gear list for clothing suggestions or visit a Bivouac store near you for expert advice.

Are trainers or hiking boots better for this event?
The debate continues and ultimately, it is up to you.  Whatever you choose, we recommend multiple pairs of one or both. The best thing to do is get training to find out what is best for you. Different socks will also feel more or less comfortable in different shoes so try multiple combinations to find the most comfortable fit.

Shoe Clinic is passionate about finding the perfect shoes for your feet through their specialised fitting service. In support of the physical and fundraising challenge Oxfam Trailwalkers' undertake, Shoe Clinic is kindly donating 10% of all Oxfam Trailwalkers' purchases back to Oxfam (please identify yourself as an Oxfam participant when you are in store). Plus Oxfam Trailwalker participants will find $10 of Shoe Clinic Money in their preparation pack and will get further benefits through the Shoe Clinic Advantage Club!

Do I need poles?
This is one of those personal preference options. Some people find it helps take some of the weight off their legs, provides a bit of steadiness or helps prevent hand swelling.  If you can, borrow from a friend, try them out and then see the helpful staff at Bivouac for more advice and discounts!

How can I prevent blisters?
There is plenty of old wives tails out there and we’re sure some of them work! Our best advice is to start training early so you can figure out where you’re going to get them and prevent, prevent, prevent! Change your socks regularly to keep your feet dry and a second pair of shoes to mix up the friction is a good idea.

Can you tell me about training weekends?
Our free training weekends in Auckland and Wellington are an awesome weekend away with your team and support crew. They are specifically organised for teams to gauge how training is going. Past participants rave about these! More information about these fantastic weekends can be found on the training weekend page.

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Event weekend

Where can we find out more about where to stay and what to do in Whakatāne?
Whakatāne is an awesome spot and officially the sunshine capital of New Zealand. Check out www.whakatā for more information about the new home of Oxfam Trailwalker.

What happens if we lose a walker pre-event?
Accidents happen and sometimes there are injuries before the event. Rather than the whole team pull out, you only need to replace the injured team member. All teams must start the event with four team members.

What happens if we lose a walker during the event?
If a team member gets injured or cannot continue, the team can continue as a group of three. If two members pull out, the remaining two must walk with another team for safety reasons.

Can my team complete the event like a relay? 
No, teams must travel the full 100km or 50km together. This means teams must check-in and check-out of each checkpoint as a team.

What time do we start?
There are two start times for the 100km event and one for the 50km event. Times will be announced and allocated closer to the event - please make sure you check your allocated time. Bib numbers are assigned by start time so we will know if any sneaky changes have taken place.

Do we need to attend registration?
All four team members plus two support crew must register together in Whakatāne on Friday April 1, 2016. For your own safety, it is essential all team members and one of your support crew attend an event briefing, of which there will be plenty held on the Friday.

What is the average completion time? What is the fastest time?
The average completion time in 2015 was around 25 hours but Oxfam Trailwalker is not a race – it’s all about starting together, walking together and finishing together.  We always do have a few teams who run it too and the fastest team on record clocked out 100km in under 11 hours!!!

Do we need a support crew? What do they do?
Yes!  You will be overjoyed to be greeted by their smiling faces at each checkpoint.  They carry the bulk of your food and equipment (in cars not as sherpas), prepare your food, boost morale & keep in regular phone contact.  It’s also a safety requirement and condition of your entry to have at least two support crew. We also ask support crew to have two or less vehicles – it helps reduce congestion and our carbon footprint.  For more info, check out our support crew materials.

What facilities are at checkpoints?
We’re keeping it to the basics. We’ll have hot and cold water, coffee and tea for your reusable cups and bottles as well as some medical support. Of course your support crew will be there to greet you too.

How long between each checkpoint? How long do we stay at each checkpoint?
The distances between each checkpoint vary from 5km to 20km.  Therefore, you will need to be able to carry whatever you need to walk for 20km – think water, snacks, spare warm layer and a waterproof.  You can stay as long or as little as you like at each checkpoint but we do have closing times simply to ensure you make the finish line in under 36 hours for the 100km event or 18 hours for the 50km event.

Do we sleep during the event?
Everybody loves a snooze but we don’t recommend it. We have it on good authority sleeping makes it much harder to keep going. If you decide to sleep, checkpoint closing points still apply.

Will my mobile phone work?
There are some areas of the trail where mobile phones do not work. We advise that you carry at least two phones on two different networks to extend the coverage, and advise your support crew to do the same

How is the event sustainable?
Oxfam Trailwalker is committed to ensuring the event has minimal environmental impact. The event has been part of Instep Sustainability Event Programme since 2009. All environmental impact areas are identified yearly and measures put in place to limit these impacts.  In organising Oxfam Trailwalker we aim to minimise the environmental impact of the event however possible – from reducing our energy use to reusing our course markers.

How can we, as participants, contribute to the sustainability?
Oxfam cannot achieve its environmental reduction targets without your help! In 2015 we had a record low of emissions per team.  We’d love to see the same again. Here’s how:

  • The biggest thing you can do to reduce your carbon emissions is bring one less car.
  • We are ‘cup-free’ to reduce our waste.  Bring your own cup along for hot tea and coffee (don’t worry you don’t have to carry it the whole way – leave it with your support crew!)
  • Stay all together in a bach - It is best to stay in self-contained accommodation such as houses, apartments or baches as these produce less carbon emissions than hotels and motels. 
  • Use our recycling and compost stations
  • You can even win the coveted prize of being the most sustainable team!
  • For more, check out our sustainability tips

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What volunteering roles are available?
You can check out our volunteer information from previous years.  We’ll update this in Jan-Feb of each year for the upcoming event so keep a look out!

How do I express interest to volunteer?
Thank you! Please fill out our general volunteer registration form and our volunteer coordinator will contact you for more information. 

Will I receive training before the event?
Yes! We like to keep you updated on all things Oxfam Trailwalker and make your volunteering journey as easy and enjoyable as possible. Your main point of contact prior to Oxfam Trailwalker will be the Volunteer Coordinator who will ensure all volunteers are up to speed before the big weekend.

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