About


The annual Hilux New Zealand Rural Games are a great family weekend of traditional sports and live entertainment. In 2017 the Games will be held on The Square, Palmerston North from 11-12 March with the Running of the Wools in Feilding on Friday 10 March.

Entry is FREE!

Click here to download a 2017 schedule.

Click here to download a 2017 site map.

The Games are managed by the non-profit NZ Rural Games Trust established in 2014. The trust’s board features respected New Zealand professionals including former All Blacks captain and World Cup winning coach, Sir Brian Lochore and other representatives from the rural and commercial sector.

Here’s where to find us:

To find out more about Palmerston North and how to get to the Games click here.

‘Sports that built the nation’

At the heart of the Games are a series of traditional sports attracting top competitors from throughout New Zealand and Australia. You can expect to see several national and world champions battling for the prestigious Hilux New Zealand Rural Games titles.

Together with Sport New Zealand and rural sports associations around NZ we’ve developed exciting new formats for sheep shearing, speed fencing, speed tree climbing and other traditional sports. We’ll also be hosting the ANZAXE Wood Chopping Championship, NZ Harness Racing Gearing Up Championship and the NZ Rural Highland Games ‘Heavies’ Trans-Tasman Competition that has been so popular at the first two events.

Even the kids can get involved – Kids ‘n Country features a host of fun events over both days to keep under-12s active and entertained. And there are some great spot prizes.

sheep shearing new zealand rural games

Live entertainment

As well as the competitive element, the Games will feature a fun-packed festival programme including live music and entertainment, delicious local food and wine and heaps of fun Powerco ‘Have a Go’ events like olive stone spitting, wine barrel racing and – of course – cowpat tossing!

And don’t miss the annual ‘Running of the Wools’ – hundreds of sheep herding through the centre of Feilding on Friday 10 March.

All in all the Hilux New Zealand Rural Games will be a fantastic family event, so see you in Palmerston North and Feilding in March!

The Hilux New Zealand Rural Games are sponsored by Toyota, Fonterra, Husqvarna, Line 7, Mitre 10 and Norwood with major support from the New Zealand Racing Board and Simpson Grierson plus Palmerston North City Council and Manawatu District Council.