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History of New Zealand Curling

The history of curling in New Zealand is unique. New Zealand is now one of the last countries in the world where traditional ‘crampit’ style of curling is still played on the outdoor ice.

Curling was introduced by Scottish gold miners, with the first reported game in Maniototo, Central Otago, on 6 July 1878. The long, cold winters made outdoor work difficult and curling provided a way to pass the time. In spite of war and depression, the game flourished.

Scottish and Irish immigrants would go to the small towns such as the village of Naseby, and in the harsh winter conditions they would use the natural ponds and the miner’s dams to play their native homeland sport of curling.

The long history of curling in New Zealand makes it one of the oldest winter sporting activities in the country. The traditions of curling strongly emphasise fair play and proper etiquette on and off the ice. It is a sport where beginners are warmly welcomed into more experienced company.

Curling boasts the oldest national sporting trophy still being contested, the Baxter Cup. The treasured trophy was first played for in 1884 as the Dunedin Club’s point’s trophy. Following the dissolution of the club in 1895 the Baxter Cup was handed to the Mount Ida Club, one of the founding clubs in the Naseby Curling Council, and can now only be competed for on natural ice at a one day Council Bonspiel.

The Naseby Indoor Curling Rink opened in 2006 and offers all-seasons curling for locals and tourists travelling the South Island. If you’re planning your Otago Central Rail Trail trip, two nights in Naseby is a must! In the winter, Naseby also offers an Ice Luge, Outdoor CurlingIce Skating and Ice Hockey .
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