Is This The Hardest Trip Ever Taken In Kiwi Sport?

It's expected the Sal's NBL will break new ground this week when for the first time an Australian sports team will step foot in New Zealand and take its place in a New Zealand national sports league.

While over the years we have seen Kiwi teams take a spot in Australian leagues, the Southern Huskies from Hobart, Tasmania, will this week take up tenancy in the New Zealand's National Basketball League, the first ever team to repay the favour, so to speak.

However, with the Huskies' position comes what can only be described as the most daunting road-trip any team has faced to participate in a New Zealand domestic competition. From take-off to touch-down the Huskies will spend more than five and a half days on the road.

The Huskies will depart Hobart at 6am (local time) and fly to Melbourne on Wednesday April 17, before waiting for a 12:10pm flight to Auckland. Once they touch down on foreign soil they will pass through customs and jump an 8:25pm flight to Palmerston North, hoping to touch down at 9:35pm, nearly 12 hours after they took their seats on a plane earlier in the day.

Once in Palmerston North the Huskies will quickly try and get a full night's rest, before hitting the Fly Palmy Arena for a training session on Thursday morning, which will be followed by their first ever Sal's NBL game later that night against the Manawatu Jets.

Once the game is completed, it will be back to the hotel for recovery and sleep before packing up on Friday morning at about 7:30am and driving to Wellington, where they will familiarise themselves with a one-hour session at TSB Arena from 11am. Again, the afternoon will provide a chance to rest ahead of Friday's big clash against the Saints from 7pm.

Once game two is done and dusted, the team will stay in Wellington overnight and take in a few sights along the picturesque harbour on Saturday morning before jumping back in their 7-seater vehicles and driving back to Palmerston North, checking back into their original hotel.

Saturday night will come and go, no doubt serving more as a chance to rest their tired bodies, and then come Sunday morning it's up early and off to Napier for a showdown with the Hawke's Bay Hawks later that day (3pm).

Once game three is complete, the team will pile back into their three vehicles and immediately travel back to Wellington, expecting to arrive late Sunday night and with bleary eyes and sore bodies no doubt searching for a comfortable bed.

Come Monday morning it will be somewhat of a sleep-in before heading to Wellington Airport for a 3:55pm flight to Sydney, followed by a 7:15pm flight to Hobart, eventually touching down in familiar territory at 9:15pm Monday night.

All up, the Huskies will spend just over 135 hours travelling to play three games in three different cities. And, by the time they awake on Tuesday morning they will have just four days to prepare for their next Sal's NBL game.

So, the question stands - is this the hardest trip ever taken in Kiwi sport?


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