|Curling in New Zealand|
|Written by Craig Parr-Whalley|
|Tuesday, 24 July 2007 11:51|
Unfortunately, not all areas of New Zealand have curling facilities (yet!) so your ability to try out this great sport may currently be limited, depending on where in the country you are.
In the North Island, the only curling clubs are in Auckland. The South Island has dedicated indoor rinks open year-round to the public and for competition in Dunedin and in Naseby, Central Otago. There are many small curling clubs through the central and southern South Island, some of which have the use of seasonal outdoor rinks.
Click here for contact details of all curling rinks and clubs.
The Auckland Curling Club administers all curling in the region. Due to the demand for ice facilities, the club can only hire limited ice time from Paradice Avondale. The Club league is on Sunday evenings from approximately April through to October, and the Secondary School competition is on Thursday evenings. The Club runs introductory "have a go" sessions at the start of the season, and there is sometimes a sheet free on Club nights - contact them for details.
The Dunedin Ice Stadium at St Kilda has both a full-size ice arena for skating and ice hockey and a separate dedicated 4-sheet curling rink. This can be booked by the public for casual games. Contact the Dunedin Curling Club if you want to learn more about the game or for information on their regular club league, which caters for both hack and the traditional crampit curling.
Central Otago and the Maniototo are the traditional heart of curling in New Zealand, with the game first introduced from Scotland by gold miners who came to Otago in the early 1860s.
The Maniototo Curling International rink at Naseby became the first dedicated indoor curling rink in the Southern Hemisphere when it opened in 2005. It is open year-round for both casual and competition play, and has hosted a number of international tournaments. Keith Wendorf, Tournament Director for the World Curling Federation, has described it as one of the best facilities in the world.
Adjacent to MCI is the outdoor Maniototo Ice Rink which provides for traditional crampit curling through the winter months, approximately May-June until August. There is also an outdoor rink at Alexandra , and the Gore Curling Club has an indoor winter league at its local ice rink.
The region has a host of small clubs which participate in organised events through the winter season, and also in The Bonspiel, played outdoors on the frozen Idaburn Dam every few years when ice conditions allow. This is a truely magnificent event!