Looking for Christmassy things to do in Rotorua this December? We've got 'em. Twinkling lights, outdoor movies, suffering (do you really want to know), mystery and intrigue
We've got our very first Mudtopia Festival at the start of the month, and die-hard sports fans can still find a few events such as the Rotorua ½ and ¼ Ironman (where the suffering comes in, apparently), and the Giant 2W Gravity Enduro mountain biking races.
Don't forget to pop along to the Rotorua Markets. The Lakefront craft market will be winding up now and taking place every weekend in the lead up to Christmas. The Arts Village have a Christmas Market on the 6th, and the Night Market takes place each Thurs. The new Farmers Market is held each Sunday.
Date: Fri 1 - Sun 3 Dec
At: Arawa Park Racecourse, Fenton St (by Rydges Hotel)
Times: Fri 3-8pm, Sat 10am-10:30pm, Sun 10am-4pm
It's 3 days of Rotorua mud by the bucket load, and an awesome lineup of music and entertainment including Hollie Smith, Anika Moa, Troy Kingi, Jupiter Project plus more, and for the Saturday R18 concert look for Shapeshifter, Peking Duck, and Chores - so far.
Get it on in the Mud Arena, Mud Games Zone and Mud Run, then relax with the wellness and spa experiences, finish up with great street food, a drink or two in the licensed areas, and the music. It's going to be turbo-charged fun.
Learn more: Mudtopia
Date: Fri 1 & Sat 2 Dec
At: The Blue Baths, Queens Dr, Govt Gardens
Time: 7pm sharp
Groups choose a country, dress up in theme, and get to go globetrotting. Be greeted with a drink on arrival at the Kiwi gardens, depart through the Blue Baths international airport into a Cultural Extravaganza finishing up with a DJ until midnight. These popular parties always sell out fast.
Book at The Blue Baths
Date: Sat 2 Dec
At: Blue Lake (Tikitapu), Tarawera Rd
Cost: Spectators free
This is the second round of the national canoe sprint regattas. This popular sport includes all age groups from novices to Masters. The sprints will cover distances of 100m, 200m, 500m and 1000m right up to a 5000m race. A fun day out for the family.
Read more: Blue Lake Canoe Sprint Regatta
Date: Sat 9 Dec
At: Waipa Mountain Bike Park, Waipa Mill Rd
Race Entry Prices: From $74 - $140
Now includes Southstar Youth Enduro Champs.
Whakarewarewa Forest sees downhill racing at it's best with this event
for individuals, teams, serious racers and social ones too. Spectator or
competitor, it doesn't matter, you'll have fun with the carnival
atmosphere, delicious food and foaming beer available at the
For the uninitiated, Enduro mountain bike racing has the competitors completing 4-6 stages, in any order, of downhill racing. In 4-6 hours!!! The riders can be shuttled back to the top for the next stage or bike back up. Apparently, it's all about strategising. They have to complete the stages and get back to the race HQ before the time runs out or risk incurring penalties.
Some huge prizes and spot prizes are up for grabs so it's every man, or woman, for themselves.
Learn more: Giant 2W Gravity Enduro
Date: Tue 12 Dec
At: Rotorua Baptist Church, 100 Malfroy Rd
Cost: $34 or cheaper with groups of 10+ and 30+
You can look forward to taking a break from the Christmas madness and enjoy lunch accompanied by all the Christmas songs you can think of.
Buy Tickets: Toll free 0508 266 237 or online: Operatunity
Date: Fri 15 Dec
At: Ohinemutu Village, Tunohopu St
Cost: Table Seating (6-10 people) $500
Restrictions: All ages
Features Howie Morrison as MC, Reverend Tom Poata as Quiz Master, Charles Sturt as Auctioneer, and special guests Shane Cameron, John Tamihere, and Temuera Morrison, plus live music. It's set to be a hilarious night by all accounts.
To get in the mood, go along dressed up as your favourite bible character.
There will be platters and a cash bar available.
Email show.time.nz1(at)gmail.com or Ph 027 527 5080 for more info.
Date: Sat 16 Dec
At: Blue Lake, Tarawera Rd
Cost: Varies depending on team/individual and packs
'Suffer' is the catchword for this event and suffer the competitors will. The body shivers just thinking about it.A 2km swim, 90km bike, 21km run, and then there's the Quarter Ironman. If you're
Learn more: Rotorua ½ Ironman & ¼ Ironman
Date: Sun 17 Dec
At: Te Runanga Tea House, Queens Dr, Government Gardens
Cost: Gold coin donation
along to enjoy ukulele music, whether you play or not. Local group Thermaleles get things going with a short session
before everyone joins in with singing or playing. There's also an open mic session for anyone who would like to perform.
See more: Rotorua UkeBox
At: Lakefront Village Green, Memorial Dr
Times: 1-5pm and 7.30pm till late (weather dependent)
Rides, food and fun. The place for families or friends to come together and enjoy some light-hearted fun on the Dodgems, Train, Explorer etc. and for the first time, the Flying Dragons. Make sure your wallet is full.
Date: Tue 26 Dec
At: Rerewhakaaitu Domain, 91 Ash Pit Rd
Cost: Door sales only. Adults $10, Children 5-15yrs $5, U5yrs Free
Competitors from all round the country, ranging in age from 5 to 70yrs, follow the rodeo circuit building up enough points to take part in the National finals. The spectators get into it as much as the contestants, and the animals trying to unseat them. Food and drink will be available. Hopefully the weather turns it on too.
Date: Wed 27 Dec
At: Arawa Park Racecourse, Fenton St
Cost: Adults $10, U18 $0
Take a picnic and relax with live on-course music, lots of activities for the kids, oh, and racing of course.
Find out more as it may change: Racing Rotorua
Date: Every Sat
At: 1057 Arawa St (by entrance to Government Gardens)
Price: Adults $89.00 & Children under 12yrs $44.50
The place to go in Rotorua for live cabaret entertainment. Can feature Broadway, Opera, Las Vegas and more, designed to appeal to a broad range of tastes. The food's undeniably tasty too. Look for the Dinner, Show & Accommodation specials.
Bookings: Princes Gate Dinner & Show
3 Days - 3 Locations - 3 Fun Events
Save the Date - 29, 30 & 31 Dec
Stay up to date: www.facebook.com/rotoruaglofestival/
The holiday season is in full swing in January so you can look forward to lots happening. Here's a teaser. Think seafood!
If you need a place to stay for any of these events or activities, here's where you can check out your accommodation options.