A full-speed ride into history

8 Dec

Speedway is the beating heart of Manawatu sporting culture. It’s bigger than rugby; even the All Blacks might struggle to match its popularity if they showed up. The noise, the crashes, the sheer kinetic energy have drawn huge crowds decade in, decade out; if you go along Cuba or Pascal Street on teams champs night, you might think you were in Auckland or Wellington. Manawatu people love it so much we’ve even written a musical about it!

The fun’s been a part of who we are for 85 years. Until 21 February, Te Manawa is looking back at the sport’s origins and its greatest heroes, both man and machine, with a new exhibition. Dust Devils has been developed at Te Manawa with support from the local community, and celebrates every minute of engine-revving, metal-shredding mayhem that the Arena has seen over the years.


Featuring the vehicles of yesteryear as well as those of today, Dust Devils puts you right in the action. Flip up the ride-on motorbike’s kickstand and take a virtual spin around the dirt. Grab trackside seats in our mini-theatre and watch some of the sport’s biggest thrills and spills like you were actually there. See classic collectibles and one-of-a-kind memorabilia.

From 90-year-old racing bikes to the gallery of signed spoilers, there’s plenty to awe all ages, and Dust Devils promises to be a high-octane adventure for petrol-heads and history buffs alike.

Dust Devils, on now until 21 February at Te Manawa . Entry $5, under-5s free. Additional $2 charge and age/height restriction applies to ride-on motorbike – purchased from the front desk only.

Rob Mildon is Te Manawa’s motorsport correspondent. He has engine oil for blood and his eyes are actually 100W headlights.