• World Harmony Run

    World's Largest Torch Relay
    World Harmony Run

  • 1,000,000 Participants

    Across 6 Continents
    1,000,000 Participants

  • Dreaming of a more harmonious world

    100 countries
    Dreaming of Harmony

  • Schools And Kids

    Make a Wish for Peace
    Schools And Kids

  • Sri Chinmoy: World Harmony Run Founder

    World Harmony Run Founder
    Sri Chinmoy

  • Carl Lewis: World Harmony Run Spokesman

    World Harmony Run Spokesman
    Carl Lewis

  • New York, USA

    New York

  • London, Great Britain

    Great Britain

  • Shakhovskaya, Russia


  • Around Australia

    15,000 kms, 100 days
    Around Australia

  • Around Ireland

    14 Days, 1500km
    Around Ireland

  • Wanaka, New Zealand

    New Zealand

  • Arjang, Norway


  • Rekjavik, Iceland


  • Beijing, China


  • Prague, Czech Republic

    Czech Republic

  • Belgrade, Serbia


  • Lake Biwa, Japan

    Lake Biwa

  • Kapsait, Ethiopia


  • Pangkor Island, Malaysia

    Pangkor Island

  • Bali, Indonesia


  • The All Blacks, New Zealand

    The All Blacks
    New Zealand

New Zealand 16 September: Rotorua – Taupo

All Teams

The route we ran today

Today we started our journey in Rotorua, with the mist lying low over the lake and steam rising from the earth below – a normal sight for the locals, but for the World Harmony Runners it felt like we had stepped into another world.

We met some students at the Rotorua Lakefront for our run into City Focus where our ceremony was to take place.

Two schools from the local area – Mokoia Intermediate and Rotorua Intermediate, often rivals on the sports fields – joined together to welcome the World Harmony Run team to Rotorua. We were all blown away with the power of these two schools performing the Powhiri together.

Watch the following video about a haka, the traditional dance performance:

Mayor Kevin Winters, a keen supporter of the World Harmony Run since his first term in office, was there to welcome us once again to his famous and proud city.

"Your cause is paramount. Your cause is hugely worthwhile. We congratulate you on your 30 years of dedication to world peace," said the mayor.

During the moving reception, two local residents received the World Harmony Run Torch-Bearer Award: Potu Mihaka...

and Alison Perrin...

for their long-standing service to the Rotorua community. They are both very humble and the only way Debbie Tangohau – of the Rotorua Social Services Council – was able to persuade each of them to come to the ceremony was to tell them both they were there to support the other, and only at the last minute did they find out they were both to receive the award!

After Potu and Alison received their awards, each school honoured them for their achievements by performing a Haka for them. This spontaneous show of appreciation was spectacular!

Mayor Winters summed it up perfectly by reading the message inscribed on the back of each medallion:

"To change the world around you,
Give the world
What you have
And serve the world
With what you are."
– Sri Chinmoy

Rotorua is the heartbeat of New Zealand’s culture and people. Today’s ceremony brought us all together in a way which exemplifies the message of the World Harmony Run.

Mokoia Intermediate representatives demonstrate the Pukana, an expression of the dynamic and warrior aspect of Maori culture.

Eddie from More FM Rotorua also attended the ceremony and provided 'live' crosses to the station throughout.

Following the extraordinary ceremony, all teams were treated by Skyline Skyrides to a spectacular Gondola ride to a nearby hilltop, affording spectacular views across Rotorua and its surrounds; followed by a thrilling Luge ride back down the mountainside.

In the solo luge ride, Kallola Brown was the stand-out amongst the girls, while Nigel Webber overtook all his male counterparts to easily take out the title of 'King of the Mountain'.

– Stacey Marsh

Team A

After beautiful Rotorua and its beautiful people, it was back to running, towards Taupo...

Lauren Mettrick from Christchurch was our first runner for the day.

Together we covered over 80 km today!

Sophie Anderson unexpectantly met her brother on the road on his way to work, so he held the Torch and made a wish for world harmony. Nice to see you Mark – maybe you could run with us next year!

Also, we were met by Jules Millar, Abi and Gareth on our way through Reparoa today. What a nice surprise – they held the Torch and gave us lots of joy and encouragement!

What beautiful countryside it was, lush rolling hills, lambs, birds, sunshine, deer, bunnies and lots of friendly cars-waves and beeps.

Thank you also to Jucy Rentals, for our awesome vans – we couldn't have done it without you!

Last visit of the day – the beautiful Huka Falls, outside Taupo.

Ready for a good wash?

– Sophie Anderson

Team B

After the tremendous ceremony in Rotorua this morning, and a great time on the gondola and luge, we went to the studios of T.V. Rotorua for an interview about our morning ceremony and the World Harmony Run in general.

With Uddipan Brown as our spokesperson, the rest of us just had to sit still, smile and nod our heads a lot. Thanks to T.V. Rotorua for covering the World Harmony Run.

Upon the advice of Rotorua Mayor Kevin Winters, we next visited one of this city's most famous and significant attractions. In terms of New Zealand history and Maori culture nothing beats Te Puia geothermal park.

Hot jets of water spurt high into the air as dense clouds of steam swirl around you in this fairy-tale landscape. Most impressive is the display of the Pohutu Geyser, which was erupting almost continuously throughout our visit.

We also had a chance to visit the Marae – a Maori meeting house – with its dramatic carvings and intricate flax weaving.

Then it was time to be back on the road for our section of the route, blessedly covered for much of the way by a tall pine forest that shaded us from the hot afternoon sun. The road then wound its way up and down towards Taupo.

This is an area of intense geothermal activity, and the world's largest power station, harnessing energy from underground steam.

Along the way, our route passed the THC Wairakei, where the founder of the World Harmony Run, Sri Chinmoy, spent a few weeks in December 2002. While here, he composed several hundred beautiful songs, as well as lifting overhead 1000 lambs, and 100 cows using a standing calf-raise machine!

The tennis court where Sri Chinmoy enjoyed playing tennis during his stay.

The small city of Taupo is an adventurer's Mecca. There is every kind of outdoor pursuit – gentle and extreme – to explore here. And what makes it more special is beautiful Lake Taupo and the mountains of Tongariro National Park that watch over it. Many of the team took the time to visit Huka Falls, where the Waikato River emerges from Lake Taupo, as it is channelled down a narrow pass to a spectacular drop, resulting in spectacular masses of white water.

Prachar Stegemann bravely volunteered for our next appointment, the Taupo Bungy. For those of you who haven't tried it, you basically tie thousands of extra-long rubber bands to your feet, say a few prays and leap off a very tall structure – or in this case into a very deep ravine over the Waikato River. It sounds insane, I know, and after the event I think Prachar agreed: "If you want a photo of someone holding the Torch at the end of rope, why not just photoshop it?"

The view from the top of the jump...

Ready(?) to jump...

Our sincere thanks to the team at Taupo Bungy for providing this unique and exhilarating opportunity!

Tomorrow we head off into the mountains and we only hope that we have another beautiful day like today, which was rounded off with sunset views of serene Lake Taupo.

– Budhsamudra Knox

Team C

Our gratitude to the kind and friendly staff of Kiwi Paka YHA in Rotorua for accommodating our entire girls' team last night.

After the events at Rotorua this morning (see reports above), Team C drove ahead to Taupo for a reception at Wairakei School. Daniel, a teacher from the school, had organised for the senior students to meet the runners and accompany us into the school, where we ran around the playground with the Torch, followed by the junior school children.

One student from each class signed the large map of New Zealand, after the singing of Sri Chinmoy's World-Harmony-Run song.

The Deputy Principal, Marie, then received one of Sri Chinmoy's 'Peace' paintings on behalf of the school, after which one of the students, George, thanked us for the visit. We were all impressed by the children's enthusiasm and open hearts.

The day closed with a goofy team photo and some reflective moments beside Lake Taupo.

– Nipura Brown

Here is the mountain we are going to visit tomorrow:

Team Members:
Erika Pongracz, Gabor Horvath (both Hungary), Nigel Webber, Prachar Stegemann (both Australia), Rupashri Brown, Kallola Brown, Nipura Brown, Lauren Armstrong, Ujjwala Mettrick, Nishima Knowsley, Niribili File, Stacey Marsh, Brenda Marshall, Uddipan Brown, Budhsamudra Knox, (all New Zealand)

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New Zealand 17 September >