Poor weather didn't stop a team of seven visually-impaired New Zealanders paddling across Lake Rotorua as part of a 700km challenge.

The group, now on day three, is travelling 700km in seven days for the Blind Foundation's inaugural 7 Day Challenge which began on Saturday.

Blind Foundation chief executive Sandra Budd said the participants would undertake a series of physical challenges as they made their way from Tauranga to Wellington.

Yesterday the team paddled a waka from Ohau Channel across Lake Rotorua to Tunohopu Marae where they stayed for the night.


The group was welcomed by Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick in front of a crowd down at the lake front.

"We as a community wish you really well on your challenge.

"The itinerary is very full on, it's an incredible seven day challenge," she told the crowd.

WELCOME: One of the challengers, Deb Nash, greets a friend as she arrives at the lake front. PHOTO/BEN FRASER
WELCOME: One of the challengers, Deb Nash, greets a friend as she arrives at the lake front. PHOTO/BEN FRASER

Blind Foundation communications manager Jo Cooper said the first two days had been great despite the weather.

"Yesterday they took on white water rafting and some of them had never done it before. It was pretty crazy," she said.

Blind Foundation acting executive director Deb Ward said the welcome to Rotorua was fantastic.

"The team have taken everything in their stride and to come into Rotorua and to be welcomed was such spirit. It was a perfect way for them to arrive."

One of the seven visually-impaired challengers, Neelu Menon, said she chose to do the challenge because she wanted to show people disabilities shouldn't hold you back.

"It's a way to show what all disabled people can do. People wouldn't expect it, but it's possible," she said.

They are set to embark on a tandem cycle from Rotorua to Taupo today.

There is sighted support crew on hand to help guide the participants on their journey.

The team is set to arrive in the capital on October 7 to coincide with the Blind Foundation's Blind Week street collection, said Ms Budd.

People can go to the website to follow the team, make a donation or create their own 7 Day Challenge.

The Blind Week street appeal will take place on October 7 and 8. Keep an eye out for street collectors, donate online at blindweek.org.nz or text "donate" to 305 to make a $3 donation during September and October.