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Hororātā Highland Games

This unique event is best described as a traditional Scottish Highland Games with a Kiwi twist. The competitions are at the heart of the event and the Games are the only event on the South Island that offers all the traditional Scottish competitions.

The Hororātā Highland Games were established as the main fundraising focus for the Hororātā Community Trust, established to help rebuild and promote the community after the September 2010 earthquake. Here you can find out more about who we are, what we do, who supports us, and how you can help.

The Hororātā Highland Games is the Trust’s premier event attracting 8000- 10,500 people annually. The event is held the Saturday before Canterbury Anniversary each year.

The Hororātā Highland Games (HHG) was created in 2011 from the community’s desire to take charge of its own future following the Canterbury earthquakes and the devastation of a number of key community facilities. Rather than wait for assistance a motivated group of individuals developed a theme that resonated with them and filled a unique gap in the event market, the HHG was born and is now a permanent fixture in the Scottish Competition calendar.

The event attracts over 500 competitors who compete in Highland Dancing, Piping and Drumming, Tug O’ War, Highland Spin (a fleece to garment challenge), Small Bore Shooting, Amateur Scottish heavy athletics (men’s and women’s), and the Oceania Heavyweight Championship (professional Scottish heavy athletics). Competitors come from throughout New Zealand and internationally to compete.

The event engages 200 volunteers, many of whom are local. However, there are a number who have been drawn to the event who had no prior association with the community. These people are involved because they see not only what the event is doing for the community, but also what it is doing for the Scottish sports and arts.

Click here to discover more about the Hororātā Community and its projects.

This is a family-friendly event that appeals to all ages and visitors don’t have to be Scottish to enjoy it!

“The Games is very much at the heart of our community.  It showcases our rural area to the world, celebrates our history, brings people together and provides a fundraising platform for groups.”
Kate Foster, 2022 Chieftain

“This was my 3rd visit but brought a friend for their first time and they loved it all Spent 7 hours there.”

Anna , Visitor, 2023
“An amazing experience, an extremely well-run event. I’m definitely coming back again and bringing the family. Best highland games I have ever attended.”
Liam McNeight, Amateur heavy athlete
“As veteran Vendors of large-scale events for 10yrs running, we can say we are delighted and proud to be a part of your events year after year. Your team continues to turn out absolutely outstanding events and we thank you for having us!”
Sheree, Stallholder, Kettle Korn Christchurch

“I was impressed with how well organised the event was and by the number of people who attended which was considerably more than most Highland Games in Scotland. The Hororata Highland Games is most definitely authentic, paying tribute to many Scottish traditions, but I really enjoyed the new elements that have been introduced and the ‘Kiwi twist’ was very special.”

2015 Chieftain, Alex Bruce, Director of Adelphi Distillery, Scotland.