Hunterville Huntaway Festival (first run in 1998) was thought up at the local pub by some local folk – Tony Theed, Richard Horrocks and Thomas Powell. They suggested a run like the Cardrona Shepherd's run in South Island but it was quickly pointed out we don’t have a mountain, but we do have a steep hill. The event evolved from there and since then the country styled event has continued to grow and grow into what it is today and it is the only event of its kind in the North Island – it is trademarked so no one else is permitted to use our name or style. It attracts between 4000 – 5000 visitors to our Festival every year. A family day filled with lots of entertainment and fun. You won't want to miss it with every age group covered.

For the young children we have various attractions such as face painting, magic show as well as a bouncy castle.

Children’s Shemozzle for ages 9 – 13 years old, has capacity for 200 competitors and entries sell out well in advance every year. Compete for your school as well in a team for the Interschool Challenge. Prizes for first, second and third over the line.

Our Teens' Shemozzle, designed for ages 13 – 18, was held for the first time in 2013. As gruelling as the Shepherds race but no dog required. Spaces available for 200 competitors but be in quick to secure your place in this race! Prizes for first, second and third over the line. Team up with school mates to form an Interschool team or enter your Teen Ag Club.

The Shepherds' Shemozzle is the main race of the day, where competitors do the full course with their Huntaway by their side and the first across the line with all the requirements of the race met, will win the prestigious title for the year as well as valuable top prizes. A race not to be missed!

If you’ve got courage, stamina and the mental ability to do any of the Shemozzle races, entries open August 1st and can be done online from this website.

All competitors to attend the race will receive a ‘doggie bag’ full of goodies and a Shemozzle t-shirt.

After the Shemozzle races we have the Shearing Contractors Challenge in the marquee. A not to be missed speed shearing event.

We also have fantastic shops in Hunterville perfect, for a spot of Christmas shopping, food stalls, craft stalls and to finish the day off we have a marquee, bar and band for the evening.

We hope to see you there!


Hunterville was established in 1884. The village takes its name from George Hunter who walked from Wellington and placed a peg on the site.

The village has a population of 429 according to the 2013 Census and services the numerous farms in the district many of which are still in the hands of the original settlers’ families.

There are a number of shops in the village as well as two pubs, a café and the Hunterville & Districts Settlers Museum which is open on Friday afternoons or by arrangement and is well worth a visit.

We have a resident pipe band – the Rangitikei Scots formed in 1923 which supports local events in the region as well as competing nationally in competitions – be here on a Monday night to hear them practise.

Have your photo taken on one of the sheep sculptures in Bruce Street, the main shopping street, or by the Huntaway dog statue on State Highway One erected to celebrate the fact that Hunterville is known as “the Huntaway Capital of the World” boasting more Huntaway sheepdogs in the area than anywhere else.

The Hunterville Huntaway Festival is a fun day and one not to be missed!

Search and review accommodation around the festival on www.trivago.co.nz