Road-tripping: Some of the 50 Pork Pie Charity Run teams in Queenstown on Wednesday before setting off on their final leg to Invercargill


Fifty teams of Kiwis, crammed into their Minis, arrived in Queenstown on Tuesday on their way to completing an epic 2350km trip from Paihia to Invercargill.

The Pork Pie Charity Run for KidsCan loosely follows the route taken by the Blondini Gang in the 1981 Kiwi classic, Goodbye Pork Pie, and organiser Tracey Brake says it’s a ‘‘true test of endurance’’ for the cars and their drivers.

‘‘We’ve got Minis from 1964 with 850cc motors.

‘‘Travelling long distances in a classic Mini is a bit like being a marble in a biscuit tin.

‘‘But it is so much fun.’’

She jokes to get to the finish-line teams need a finely-tuned sense of humour, a chiropractor on speed dial and an AA Plus membership.

Teams left Paihia last Friday and arrived in Queenstown late on Tuesday afternoon, before leaving on Wednesday for the final drive, to Invercargill.

The biennial event started in 2009 — the last Pork Pie Charity Run, in 2019, raised more than $290,000 for KidsCan, which provides food, jackets, shoes and health items to kids living in hardship so nothing prevents them from learning.

Brake says they’re also stoked they’ve been able to bring a bit of business to towns ‘‘really suffering from a lack of tourism’’ due to Covid-19.

By Wednesday morning they’d raised about $260,000 of their $300,000 goal — donations are still being taken through the website,