Olympian Rebecca Wardell has pedalled the long way home - from Switzerland to New Zealand and is stopping in Rotorua on her way to Lake Hawea.

Wardell is speaking at an event this Friday, and Rotorua is invited.

The event is being organised by the Zonta Club of Rotorua, an international service organisation that works to empower women around the world.

Wardell has pedalled from Switzerland to New Zealand, a total of more than 18,000km and 19 countries to raise money for Forward Foundation, which aimed to increase the participation of high school-aged New Zealand girls in sport.


"Zonta is honoured to host Rebecca in Rotorua so that our community can hear her adventurous tales," Rotorua Zonta club member Robyn Cowley said in a statement.

She said Wardell had battled head winds, desert 40C+ temperatures, snow, ice, torrential rain, steep hills and deep mud.

She's dodged camels, goats and trucks and gained personal knowledge of Iran's medical system after a crash.

A former NZ Commonwealth and Olympic athlete, Wardell knew how fundamental encouragement and support was as a young athlete, Cowley said.

The event was being held at the Millennium Hotel this Friday at 6pm.

Tickets were $10 including light refreshments and were available at the door.

Local businesses, Redwoods Treewalk, Reading Cinemas, Rotorua Canopy Tours, Atticus Finch, and McLeods Booksellers had contributed to a raffle that would raise funds for the Zonta International Ending Child Marriage project and for the Forward Foundation.