NZOLA..........Naseby Ice Luge

New Zealand Olympic Luge Association, Ice Track: Naseby

Natural Luge in New Zealand

                                        

Opened on July 12th 2008, the Southern Hemisphere’s first & only ‘snow and ice’ luge track, is based in Naseby, Central Otago (15kms from Ranfurly) 

                       

The 360 metre, 10 curve track, is in the forest, above Naseby’s Indoor International Curling rink, and close to the outdoor ice- skating/ice-hockey rink.

 

                         

The luge has a gradient of 7.5% over a total fall of 22.5m from the top to bottom, allowing riders to reach a maximum speed of 60kmh on a sled.  

Over the summer months of 2009, refrigeration pipes (linked to the curling rink) were laid, providing better security of surface along the entire track and less dependency on 'mother nature'.   

                           

 

In August 2009 and again in 2011 Luge was a demonstration sport at the inaugural New Zealand Winter Games. 

 

Luge competitors come from varied sporting backgrounds ranging from mountain-biking, roller-blading to skateboarding.

 

This is a sport Kiwi's have the potential to compete at the top level in and N.Z Luge has the total support of The International Luge Federation getting N.Z athletes on the international 'World Cup' circuit, World Champs and ultimately to The Olympics. 

 

In 2011 a group of six, including four athletes, travelled to The Whistler Track in Canada for a two week training camp.

 

The same year four graduates from The Naseby 'natural' track made two trips to North America to compete in the Junior World Cup on the Olympic run, due in no small part to the support of The International Luge Federation.

 

From these races Matheson Hill represented New Zealand at the inaugural 2012 Winter Youth Olympics held in Austria.

 

Outside international events there are also competitions for 'Natural' and 'Artificial' Luge run annually in Europe & North America over the Northern Hemisphere winter at both senior mens/woman & junior levels - so there is massive scope for Kiwi athletes to compete at these events.

 

In January/February 2013 and 2014 Josh Fogo and Jack Leslie travelled to Europe and competed in Natural Track World Cup races and World Championships. In December 2014 and January 2015 Jack Leslie, Olivia Leslie and Tayla Ward trained and competed in Europe. Following his three trips to Europe Jack has made amazing progress, placing 16th overall (out of over 70 athletes) in the 2014/15 World Cup series and 23rd in the 2015 World Championships. And Jack is still a Junior!   

 

 

 

New Zealanders have competed in Olympic Luge events, including World Cup and World Championship competitions beginning in 1987. The highlight of this was Angela Paul competing in the 1998 (19th overall in Nagano, Japan) and 2002 (23rd overall in Salt Lake City) Olympic Games. In 2001 Angela consistently finished around the top ten in World Cup events, injury preventing her from replicating her performances in Salt Lake City.

 

So we know Kiwi's can compete on the world stage in the sport of luge.

 

The first steps on our road to Olympic glory have already been made with our athletes attending training camps overseas, competeing in age-group and open events.  

 

The track is available to casual 'public' use with an instructor on-hand or to members at the allocated club sessions, ask at the office for times.

 

For those that want to luge regularly, a season pass/membership is available from the office.

 

Season Passes/Memberships New Zealand Olympic Luge Association Inc, are:

 

Adult:    $175

School Student:  $90

Family:  $275

All our race results current & archived are located here.  

 

Ten years in the planning, the idea to develop an ice-luge is largely down to drive & passion of one man. 

 

Geoff Balme.

 

Cheers Geoff and the volunteers from The Maniototo, for making ice luge a reality in New Zealand.

 

Special mention has to go to Jock Scott, Allan Dunford, Rae Ward, Kim Vowles, Stew Francis, Hazel Harrison, Gerald Dowling, Bill Carson, John Steele - you guy's are legends!

 

Read more about the construction process here.

 

More info about the first season of operation, which co-incided with the inaugual Naseby Ice Festival, available to read here.

 

Note: If you are wondering where to stay or what else there is to do in the region? Look no further than our links page.