People visit Naseby for a myriad of reasons. Some come to enjoy the tranquility and space, while others come for the thrill of some serious mountain-bike action or a spot of competitive or recreational curling.
Curling is an old Scottish game, which became popular in Central Otago because of its long cold winters. While it has traditionally been played outside on ice, Naseby has become the country’s curling capital, thanks to the completion of New Zealand’s first International and Olympic standard indoor curling rink. Operated by Maniototo Curling International, the indoor rink is open to all – whether you’re a beginner, or an Olympian. If you would like to have a go, it is recommended that you book in advance. Prices and opening hours are available on the Maniototo Curling International website.
For the traditional curling experience, you may want to spend some time on the outdoor ice, situated right next door to the indoor rink. Of course, this is only open during the winter months – usually June to August – and it’s a good idea to phone ahead if you are travelling in especially for the outdoor ice. Prices and opening hours are available on the rink’s website.
Tel 03 444 9270 / Website
The outdoor rink is also the place for ice skating – always popular with the children and often an excuse for the parents to take a trip down memory lane. Again, if you are travelling to Naseby especially for the ice, do phone ahead to check the rink is definitely operating. Prices and opening hours are available on the rink’s website.
Tel 03 444 9270 / Website
The Southern Hemisphere’s first luge track was opened in Naseby in June 2008. The 360m track is hard packed snow covered with a layer of ice, within low wooden walls. It’s an adrenalin rush for those who enjoy a thrill, racing around the 10 curves of the track on a sled, reaching speeds of 60km/hr. Situated next door to the curling rinks and winding back into the Naseby’s Forest, the luge is a wonderful winter experience for anyone eight-years-old and upwards. Sleds, safety equipment and tuition are provided. Bookings are essential and more information can be found on the luge website.
Tel 03 444 9270 / Website
If you enjoy history, yesteryear buildings and a leisurely stroll, do pop into the Information Centre and pick up the “A Walk Through History” brochure. It includes a detailed map of the village, with buildings of interest singled out for a closer look.
Early Settlers Museum
On the corner between the two hotels, you will find the Early Settlers Museum. It is home to many treasures from Maniototo’s past, including old photographs and newspapers, household items and mineral samples. The museum includes the much photographed watchmaker's shop and old Chronicle newspaper office. See the website for opening times and further details
Tel 03 444 8299 /Website
No village is complete without a playground. Naseby’s playground is right next door to the Recreation Ground and suitable for a range of ages. It includes a popular junior BMX track.
At the back of the Recreation Ground – on the corner of Oughter Street and Evans Lane – are two sealed tennis courts, which are available for anyone with a ball and two rackets to use at their leisure. There is a donation box by the courts.
If a friendly game of bowls under the Naseby summer sun, sounds like an ideal way to pass an afternoon, a club member will happily sort you out with bowls and access to the club grounds on Lua Street.
Tel 03 444 9760
The swimming dam is tucked up the hill, opposite the camping ground, on Swimming Dam Road. It is filled each year from the water race and is a popular spot for swimmers of all ages. There are plenty of shallows for the youngsters at one end, and a lovely deep hole and diving board for the older children, at the other. Coalpit and Hoffman Dams are also suitable for swimming.
Naseby Motoring Museum
The Naseby Motoring Museum is situated in the Old Butcher’s Shop and includes cars of all shapes and sizes – from matchbox dinkies, through to classic British and American vehicles.
Tel 03 444 9917
Naseby’s Forest is a major attraction for bikers and walkers alike. It is privately owned by forestry company, Ernslaw One, but includes a significant area available to public access. The final stretch of the 112km-long Mt Ida water race winds its way through the Naseby forest and provides a flat, tranquil path, suitable for all ages and fitness levels. Please note that the forest is privately owned and can be closed for logging operations, due to high winds or if the fire risk becomes extreme. Fire risk readings are taken at 1pm each day and this reading determines whether the forest will be open or closed. Please phone Ernslaw One Forestry Headquarters to check the current status.
Tel 03 444 9995/www.ernslaw.co.nz
If you are not familiar with the forest, it’s worth picking up a copy of the forest map from the Information Centre. You are unlikely to get lost, but with a map in hand, you can follow other paths and trails leading off from the water race.
Like the walkers, a forest map is useful to tuck in your pocket before you set off, particularly if you are looking for the more adventurous trails. Contact Kila at the Naseby Lodge for track information or bike hire.
Tel 03 444 8222
Within the forest, there are two dams, which are good for trout fishing. Coalpit Dam is especially good for children, due to its location and shallow waters. It is open all year round and often receives a welcome top up of trout from Fish and Game Otago. You will need a licence, and it’s recommended you secure that before you arrive.
“Colour” can be extracted from most waterways and gold pans can be purchased from the Naseby Information Centre.
Three kilometres out of Naseby, on the Naseby-Ranfurly Road, is the nine-hole Naseby Golf Course. Green fees are $15 per person for 18 holes. There is no need to book, but do note that Sunday is club day.
Tel 03 444 9334 (Secretary) / firstname.lastname@example.org
On the corner of Ranfurly Back Road, adjacent to Naseby Golf Course, is the art studio of local artist Jane Whitaker, where Jane works and exhibits her landscape paintings of the mountains and open skies of the Maniototo. Visit her at the studio (give her a ring or send a text to make sure she is around).
You can see some of her pictures at www.nasebyartist.co.nz
Tel 03 444 9373 or 021 156 1436
Off Trail Tours
They provide comfortable, modern 4WD vehicles to take you on your choice of activities, sights and explorations, and cover the area inland from the East Coast of Otago (Palmerston) to Central Otago (Alexandra). This is an ideal addition to your Rail Trail experience, or just a great way to explore on your way through from Queenstown to Dunedin (or vice versa)
Tel 03 444 9127 / Website
Fishing is not restricted to the forest. In fact, the Maniototo is rich with fishing spots. There is an excellent Fish & Game brochure for the area, which outlines the main fishing spots and access. Again, it’s a good idea to sort your licence out before arriving in Naseby.
Tel 03 477 9076 / Website
There are several interesting pioneer cemeteries around the district: Naseby, Kyeburn Diggings, Lower Kyeburn (Sow Burn), Waipiata (Hamiltons), Gimmerburn, Blackstone Hill and Ranfurly. Volunteers at the Information Centre will be able to show you the locations on a map.
Ranfurly swimming pool, in John Street, is open in summer only. Check the the Ranfurly i-SITE for further details
Tel 03 444 1005 / Website
Real Dog Adventures
Kennel tours and sled dog rides
Tel 03 444 9952 / Website