It’s a sport traditionally associated with pristine white uniforms, grey-hair retirees and an ultra conservative vibe. However, Barefoot Bowls has recently undergone a youthful transformation and it’s being taken over by 20-something larrkins. The new relaxed rules and free flow of shandy (hold the lemonade) makes this the perfect activity for your bucks party.
Lawn bowls date back around 7,000 years and the relatively light physical demands and relaxed pace traditionally attracted your Grandpa and his mates. While the oldies are still going strong on the greens, the younger generations have revitalised the sport – giving it a peeled back refresh. Kick off your shoes, cancel your arvo plans and prepare to grab some balls.
Barefoot bowls is the not-so-new but definitely improved version of the sport, where grey hair is no longer a requirement for playing. The aim of the game is purely to have fun. If you’re a little too competitive for that you’ll need to get your bowl to the precise target area, or closer to the mark than anyone else. The higher the number of bowls closest to the jack, the higher the score. The game is generally played in teams of 2 – 4 players, but can really be tailored to suit a group of any size.
Our favourite part of playing lawn bowls is that it’s probably one of the only sports that you can play shoeless, with a beer in hand and without breaking a sweat. Whether you win, lose or cheat your way to the end, the oldies promise one thing – the bar is always stocked for post game drinks and the banter is top notch.
5 Reasons to do Barefoot Bowls in Dunedin
- Although barefoot bowls is a low-impact, easy sport, there is an aspect of fitness involved. It’s probably the only time you can actually claim that you’ve worked out, while still drinking beer, taking the piss out of your mate’s poor skills and enjoying the view.
- Barefoot bowls is probably the easiest skill to pick up. The game literally takes just minutes to understand the fundamentals and get the action rolling. We must warn you though – it can take a lifetime to master. That’s probably why the greens are typically dominated by the golden oldies.
- If you’re like most Aussie guys, you probably love your sports. Removing the stuffy white uniforms, shoe requirements and strict rules has opened the door of bowls to a younger generation of beer drinking hooligans. This is your opportunity to add another sport to your repertoire which could even rival your love of Australian Rules Football (Okay, maybe not but you never know!)
- All good sports take advantage of pearler outdoor conditions, and Barefoot Bowls is no exception. Dunedin is a quietly beautiful and jaw-droppingly stunning destination, with views like nowhere else. While you’re testing your skills and showing your mates how it’s done, you can also enjoy the outdoor wonderland in all its glory.
- Bowls has literally existed forever. Even Caesar was fond of the game when he ruled Rome back in the day. Anything that lasts that long is worth recognition in our books.
Making the most of Barefoot Bowls Dunedin
As the locals like to say, Dunedin is a #dunnerstunner. Nestled in a sheltered harbour on the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island, this city is an all-rounder. The landscape is like something out of an art gallery. Being a coastal city, there are several beaches scattered along the coastline, offering the chance to sunbathe, surf, swim and snorkel.
A little further back from the water, the region transforms into a biker’s playground. The summer climate of mild temperatures and relatively late sunsets lends itself to mountain biking. The compact and flat terrain of the CBD means it can easily be scaled by bicycle or foot – that is except for Baldwin Street, which is considered the steepest residential street in the world. Locals take advantage of this unusual slope by hosting an annual Jaffa Race down the road. All that adventuring is likely to leave you a little parched.
Thankfully, Dunedin has plenty of watering holes, pubs and cocktail bars, so that you can sip your way through the city every night of the week. Being a student city means that there is always a bustling dance floor, always a welcoming crowd and never a shortage of drink specials. Wicked Bucks has done the hard yards to uncover the local gems and we’re ready to share our top secrets with you. Get in touch and we’ll start tee-ing up the party of the century.