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About this epic challenge

The New Zealand Epic, powered by Altum Consulting, was an epic challenge to be undertaken by adventuring cartoonist Tegan Phillips of the webcomic Unclipped Adventure. Upon winning Altum's inaugural "The Altumate Challenge" grant for 2016, she designed and completed a 1400 mile triathlon around the whole of New Zealand's magnificent South Island in 25 days. Along the way, she raised money to fund bicycles for school children in Africa through World Bicycle Relief - a cause especially close to her heart since her 11,000km bicycle adventure through Africa last year.

progress chart - tegan finished this epic adventure on her birthday 25/11/2016!

world bicycle relief fund raising is continuing - so far:

81 bikes raised (YAY!)



Watch this video to find out a little bit about the inspiration behind this adventure...


The plan & ROUTE

blazing a trail around New Zealand's South Island

On the 1st of November 2016, Tegan will begin her attempt of the carefully planned 1400 mile triathlon - the equivalent distance of 10 full Ironman triathlons. She'll be swimming through New Zealand's famously icy lakes, cycling over its tallest mountains and running through its legendary trails. She is aiming to complete this challenge by 25th of November (her 24th birthday) which will mean completing just under a half Iron Man (70,3 miles) every day for 25 days. If she succeeds, she will set the record for the longest triathlon to take place in the country!

Rough dates (November)

  1. Nelson
  2. Havelock
  3. Picton
  4. Clarence, Hundalee
  5. Waipara
  6. Christchurch
  7. Ashburton, Timaru
  8. Oamaru
  9. Dunedin, 
  10. Balclutha
  11. Gore
  12. Invercargill
  13. Clifden, 
  14. Manapouri
  15. Athol
  16. Queenstown
  17. Wanaka
  18. Haast
  19. Karangarua
  20. Harihari
  21. Hokitika
  22. Charleston
  23. Murchison
  24. Motupiko
  25. Nelson

SWIM: 40km       CYCLE: 1800km       RUN: 422km

World Bicycle Relief

A bike can be the difference between a 20km ride to school, or a 20km walk to school, or not being able to get to school at all. MOBILITY IS EVERYTHING. To give somebody the ability to be mobile is to give them the opportunity to get closer to living their dreams without telling them what those dreams should look like.


HELP US RAISe 250 bicycles to change 250 lives

Clicking this link will take you directly to my page on the WBR fundraising website - 100% of funds goes to funding bicycles for school children through World Bicycle Relief!


World Bicycle Relief provides specially designed, locally produced "buffalo bicycles", to underprivileged communities around the world. This helps communities prosper and grow when the issues of distance and lack of transport are taken out of the picture. They also aid communities by providing job creation through the production and sales of these specialised bicycles as part of social enterprise initiative. To date, they have assembled 299,253 bikes and trained 1209 mechanics from countries including Angola, Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Click here to read more

Their Work

  • DESIGNING, SOURCING & MANUFACTURING rugged bicycles engineered specifically for rural terrain and load requirements
  • ASSEMBLING bicycles locally with proper tools and close attention to quality
  • DELIVERING bicycles through purchases, work-to-own & study-to-own programs
  • ESTABLISHING maintenance infrastructure by training local field mechanics
  • EVALUATING their work through independent studies
  • COMMUNICATING program results to donors and partners

All the cartoons

As part of the NZepic fundraising, donors who donated before or during the adventure could get personalised cartoons like these ones. Although the personalised cartoon deal is now over, donors will still receive a special thank you cartoon!


We've been able to connect with some awesome people through these wonderful media channels. Click the pictures to watch/listen!

Interview on New Zealand's biggest morning news show - Breakfast!

Interview on New Zealand's biggest morning news show - Breakfast!

A fun chat on Cape Talk with the fantastic Kieno Kammies.

A fun chat on Cape Talk with the fantastic Kieno Kammies.




We're very sociable! South African filmmaker Niela Gie will be recording our progress in short clips and photographs as we go, and uploading lots of adventure inspiration until then, follow us on social media to connect and add some adventure to your news feed. Alternatively, pop us an email at