With only 5.29 million people, New Zealand is a paradise brimming with pristine beaches, awe-spiring mountains, lush forests, and rugged landscapes. Despite its small population, the country offers a list of exhilarating sports activities and long-distance running is among them. The country hosts several world-class marathons and half-marathons that combine breathtaking sceneries and challenging courses.

Here are the five best marathons that New Zealand has to offer in 2024.

  • Auckland Marathon

The Auckland Marathon is arguably the most awaited premier running event in New Zealand. The annual event is hosted every October or November in Auckland, featuring a full marathon, several short races, and a half-marathon. In 2024, the marathon will kick off on 3rd November, making it among the top marathons for punters looking for what New Zealand offers with Bet365 sports betting promo code.

During the marathon, the course traverses through the Auckland Harbor Bridge, giving athletes a birds-eye view of the harbor and city. The city-based event combines Auckland’s urban landscape with its stunning coastline, ranking among the best for marathon runners looking for a blend of seascape and cityscape.

  • Rotorua Marathon

The Rotorua Marathon is New Zealand’s oldest major running event, featuring a mix of stunning natural beauty and the country’s rich history. The running course is a loop circling Lake Rotorua, with the runners going through downtown and the amazing countryside.

Participants can also enjoy diverse sceneries, including verdant farmland, geothermal hotspots, and pristine lake views. In 2024, this annual event will happen from 4th – 18th May at the Rotorua Hawkes Bay.

  • Queenstown Marathon

Dubbed the most beautiful marathon in the world, the Queenstown Marathon is another premier racing event hosted in November every year. This annual marathon gives runners a scenic view of New Zealand’s adventure capital, with the course going along Lake Wakatipu’s shores to the scenic Queenstown Gardens.

The runners enjoy the picturesque Southern Alps panoramic view and also get a taste of Queenstown’s unique heritage. This annual event will take place on Saturday 16th November 2024, welcoming over 10,000 participants in both the marathon and half-marathon.

  • Hawke’s Bay Marathon

While the Hawke’s Bay Marathon is a new addition to New Zealand’s annual marathon calendar, it has established a solid reputation for its vibrant atmosphere and fantastic course. The annual marathon will be hosted on Saturday, 18th May 2024, with the runners going through picturesque vineyards and the beautiful coastline. It’s an excellent treat for athletes looking to appreciate the sophistication and fine blend of the sport, against a backdrop of an incredible natural canvas.

  • The Kepler Challenge

For athletes looking for a different marathon experience, the Kepler Challenge is the solution for you. This 60 km mountain run gives you a unique and thrilling running experience that goes beyond the traditional marathon. As such, its challenge and popularity make it worth your time.

In 2024, the race will take place on 7th December at the UNESCO World Heritage site, Fiordland National Park, and lead the runners across mountain ridges with a lush rainforest and breathtaking alpine vistas. However, the Kepler Challenge has a strict limit on the participants and tickets to the event sell out within minutes.


These top five marathons showcase various aspects of New Zealand’s sports culture and natural beauty, with runners enjoying everything from its tranquil countryside to bustling cities. However, every race offers the runners a distinct experience, although they have a common trait that gives you an unforgettable adventure through breathtaking landscapes.