Curlers from as far away as Auckland are heading to Central Otago at short notice on hearing that cold temperatures have delivered ice conditions for a national tournament, or bonspiel.
A bonspiel is only called when there is sufficient natural ice on an outdoor rink for the game that is known as "bowls on ice".
A bonspiel has been called for Monday and Tuesday at Idaburn Dam near Oturehua.
The last full bonspiel was in 2010, and this year's will be the fifth since 1995.
"Because two days notice is required, organisers must be confident that a prolonged spell of suitable weather and ice conditions will allow it to be completed successfully," the New Zealand Curling Association says in a newsflash.
Two teams from each club play four games each over two days, with the winning club being the one with most wins from their eight games.
As many as 70 teams are expected to compete at the national bonspiel.
The Otago Daily Times reported that curlers throughout Otago have been dropping everything and heading for Idaburn Dam after temperatures did not climb above zero for several days.
Auckland Curling Club secretary Liz Matthews told NZ Newswire that curlers from Auckland were heading to the national bonspiel, though most of the clubs participating in the sport were in Otago.
Curlers she had talked to did not think there would be a national bonspiel this year but the call went out on Saturday.