Curlers from around the country will descend on the Idaburn Dam in Central Otago on Monday and Tuesday after the New Zealand Curling Association called a national bonspiel.
The bonspiel will be open to all 36 curling clubs throughout the country and can only be played on natural ice. Organisers must be confident a prolonged spell of suitable weather and ice conditions will allow the competition to be completed successfully.
About 130 curlers from the 16 clubs that make up the Idaburn Curling Council gathered yesterday for the Wilson Cup, the first time since 2009.
"Conditions were just fantastic - cold, clear and crisp. We couldn't have asked for better," said Stewart McKnight, icemaster and convener of the Bonspiel committee.
The last bonspiel was played in 2010 and this year's will be just the fifth since 1995. Many of the clubs have been in existence since the gold miners of the late 1800s began curling as something to do when the water froze and they could not mine gold.