About


The Hilux New Zealand Rural Games is New Zealand’s premier celebration of rural sports.

A great family weekend of traditional sports, entertainment and heaps of opportunities to have a go.

The Square, Palmerston North

9-10 March 2019

Entry is FREE!

– 2019 Events Schedule and Event Map to come –

The Games are managed by the non-profit NZ Rural Games Trust established in 2014 – CC50438 . The Board Chair is Margaret Kouvelis and the Board is made up of Athol Stevens, James Stewart, Richard Lange, Richard Fitzgerald and Steve Hollander.

The Games are held in The Square in Palmerston North:

Find out more about Palmerston North and Manawatu how to get to the Games.

‘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, 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.

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

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

The Hilux New Zealand Rural Games is a fantastic family event, so see you in Palmerston North in March!

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