The Otago Highlanders took some time out from pre-season training over the weekend and hiked into the Greenstone Track for a few days of ‘R&R’ and team building.
The team stayed at Steele Creek Lodge, part of the Grand Traverse Guided Walk operated by Ultimate Hikes. The Grand Traverse combines the Greenstone Track with the Routeburn Track Guided Walk.
The Highlanders have been in pre-season training since December, but this was the first opportunity for the whole team to get together.
Highlander coach Jamie Joseph said with nine new players this year, and most of the team coming from out of the region, it was the perfect location to bring everyone together and give them a sense of the place they represent.
“The All Blacks in the team even came back a week early to join the group,” he said.
“This weekend was about some team building, establishing values and just getting a chance for them to experience this amazing part of the country that they’re living in and playing for.”
As well as hiking into the lodge, the team got in some swimming, fishing, and hunting.
Ultimate Hikes General Manager Noel Saxon organised the logistics of the trip.
“We’re great supporters of the Highlanders at Ultimate Hikes and are delighted to show them the beauty of the Otago/Southland landscape,” he said.
The Grand Traverse is a six-day, five-night guided walk with three days on the Greenstone Track and three days on the Routeburn Track.
The walk departs from and returns to Queenstown, and includes accommodation on track, all meals and snacks, hot showers and warm beds, backpacks and rain jackets. Bookings for the 2012/13 and 2013/14 walking season can be made online at www.ultimatehikes.co.nz<http://www.ultimatehikes.co.nz or through the reservations centre – 03 4501940 or email@example.com<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org