Things to Do in Rotorua, February 2017

Looking for things to do in Rotorua for February 2017? Well, I'll tell you now, the city will be over-run with bikes of all shapes and sizes. That's because the 10 day Bike Festival is back with even more events (21 at last count) and it's getting even more family-friendly by the moment. Don't you love it?

Rotorua Bike FestivalRotorua's tree of many bikes

Runners get a look-in with the gruelling Tarawera Ultra Marathon as do  numerous other events like the 20th Lakeside Concert, Classic & Wooden Boat Parade, BayTrust Rescue Helicopter Open Day, Home & Garden Show, A Gypsy Extravaganza etc.

Rotorua Markets: Waitangi Holiday Weekend falls on the 6th and 7th Feb which means the Lakefront Craft Market is open both days.

If you're visiting that weekend make sure your accommodation is sorted. I'd hate for you to be sleeping kerbside.

Things to Do in Rotorua this February Include...

The Calum Dundas Trio

Date: Thu 2 Feb
At: Ponsonby Rd Lounge Bar, 1109 Tutanekai St
Time: 8pm
Cost: Free entry

First time appearing in Rotorua, look forward to listening to some jazz guitar from Calum supported by Sam MacKenzie on drums and Wynton Newman playing bass.

In the Shadows - Dine & Discover

Dates: Thu, Fri Sat weekly until Sat 25 Feb
At: Rainbow Springs, Fairy Springs Road
Time: 6 - 10.30pm
Cost: Adult $89, Child $45, Family 2 adults & 2 children $250.00 & extra children at $20 each

Get the whole family together for an awesome evening out. Food, fireside storytelling and all the fun creepy, crawly, slithering things, and kiwis. Must book.

Learn more & Book:

Coopers Run Band

Date: Fri 3 Feb
At: Rotorua Citizens Club, 1146 Rangiuru St
Time: 7.30 - 11.50pm
Cost: Free entry
Age Restriction: R18

Winners of the 2010 New Zealand Country Duo/Group of the year, this extremely talented duo comprised of Ashley Cooper (a NZ Idol finalist), and Michael Tipping a singer-songwriter, have racked up some impressive credentials. They've worked with Lady Antebellum, Glen Campbell, Kenny Rogers, and appeared in Nashville.

Lake Rotoiti Classic & Wooden Boat Parade

Date: Sat 4 Feb
At: Lake Rotoiti Okere Falls, SH 33
Time: 10.30am - 11.30am
Cost: Free

See up to seventy wooden kayaks, dinghies, steam powered boats, yachts and a lot more besides as they parade around the Okere Arm (out near Okere Falls) prior to moving off to Wairau Bay. Boat ages range from the 1890's up to recent times. Anyone with a wooden boat can enter.

Read more: Lake Rotoiti Classic & Wooden Boat Assn.

Puarenga Parkrun

Date: Every Sat morning until 1 Jul
At: Puarenga Park, Te Ngae Rd, Owhata
Time: 8-9am
Cost: Free (register first time)

A time 5km run in and out of the geothermal landscape. Fast, slow, makes no difference. Take the kids along too. Have fun and make friends.
See more:

Summer Cup MTB Series (2nd of 3)

Date: Sun 5 Feb
At: Whakarewarewa Forest, Long Mile Rd
Time: 9am
Cost to enter: From $30 - $60

Based at Long Mile Rd, this section of the series includes a short course (10-15km) for those new to MTB or just wanting a challenge, medium (20-30km) with harder trails, and long (30-45km) with up-hills.

See more: Nduro MTB Series

Sam MacKenzie Quartet

Date: Sun 5 Feb
At: Arawa Park Racecourse, next to Rydges at 272 Fenton St
Time: 6-9pm
Cost: Adults $15 (door sales only)

Hosted by the Rotorua Jazz Club, this quartet will play a range of jazz tunes from the oldie but goodie "All of Me", up to and including modern items like "The Next Step". The band showcases Calum Dundas, Frank Talbot, Wynton Newman and of course Sam MacKenzie. There's hot meals and drinks available too.

Swim the Lakes Series - Lake Rotoma Kiwanis Open Water Swim (No. 2 of 4)

Date: Mon 6 Feb (Public Holiday)
At: Lake Rotoma, SH30 heading towards Whakatane
Time: 9am - finishes after 2pm
Cost: $10-$40

An annual event held every Waitangi weekend, it has 20 swim events with distances of 100m for the littlies up to 15km for the not so little. All that's required is a good level of fitness, meaning anyone can have a go. Lake Rotoma is a popular area for holidaymakers. For a caffeine fix, a cafe is attached to the local garage. Prizes!

See more: Rotorua Swim the Lakes on Facebook

Waltz of My Heart by Operatunity Entertainment

Date: Tue 7 Feb
At: Rotorua Baptist Church, 100 Malfroy Rd
Time: 11am - 1pm
Lunch: Included
Cost: Individual $31, 30+ group $30 each, 10+ group $31 each

Violinist Jess, and Paul on piano, are joined by Sue, John and Bonnie to celebrate the waltz. If Strauss, Lehar, Romberg and Andre Rieu are you, get in quick. There's also an opportunity to purchase a season pass for upcoming concerts.

Ph 0508 266 237 or Book online: Operatunity Entertainment

The International Māori Volcanics Showband

Date: Fri 10 Feb
At: Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre, 1170 Fenton St
Time: 7.30-9.30pm
Cost: $45-$75

Second time around since November. From losing several members of the International Māori Showband family recently, this Last Stand Tour came about. It involves reuniting all remaining members of the '60s & 70s' Māori Showbands, spread around the world, for a series of 4 North Island only shows. Also features members of The Māori Hi Fives, The Quin Tikis and The Castaways.

Buy at Ticketmaster: Māori Volcanics Showband

Blue Baths Comedy Club - BBQ & Beers on The Balconies

Date: Fri 10 Feb
At: The Blue Baths, Queens Dr
Time: 8-10.30pm
Cost: $20-$35

It's a fab lineup for the first comedy show of 2017. Justine Smith will be the MC, (2 wins as Best MC at NZ Comedy Awards) and Vaughan King is the headline act, another award winning comedian. A must see apparently. He will be supported by James Roque and Cori Gonzalez, both rising stars in their own right.

Burgers and hot dogs will be available from the BBQ before the show.

See more: Blue Baths Comdey Club

Ministocks in Paradise

Date: Fri 10 & Sat 11 Feb
At: Paradise Valley Raceway, 105 Paradise Valley Rd
Time: 6-10pm
Cost: Adult $15, Child $5, Family $30 Purchase at gate

The 12-17yr olds will be bringing the entertainment and around 180 entrants will zoom in from all over NZ to compete for the unofficial NZ Youth Ministock Drivers title.

See more: Paradise Valley Raceway

Rotorua Bike Festival

Dates: Fri 10 - Sun 19 Feb
The Rotorua Bike Festival has amped it up in 2017 with 12 new events added to create a jam-packed 25 event calendar. Over 10 days!!!

The Events Listed by Date

Sport BOP Go By Bike Day:
Fri 10 at 7-9am
Getting the festival off to a great start is this event that has everyone and anyone biking to work, school or just playing around. Stop off at any/all of the 6 pitstops to pick up a spot prize and refreshments plus go into the draw to win one of three $100 vouchers. Contact Lauren on 07 348 4125 or

Velocity Valley Freestyle AirBag BIG AIR Comp Heats 1 & 2: 
Fri 19 at Rotorua Village Green
3.30pm Registration, 4.30pm Practice jumps, 6-8pm Jump
Categories: 8-12yrs mixed, 13-16yrs male, 13-16yrs female, 17yrs+ male, 17yrs+ female
Ever seen those bike riders who perform aerial tricks? Well now's your chance. Agroventures have got the AirBag to cushion any stuff ups so what are you waiting for? And what better way to do it than in front of a crowd. Spectators are free.

Giant 2W Gravity Enduro - Race 3:
Sat 11 at Blue Lake/Whakarewarewa Forest 9am-5pm
Third in the series of 4 one day downhill mountain bike races, spread out over the months of October, December, February and May, getting harder every day. Competitors have 6hrs to complete four or six races per day. Best time overall each day wins. Tons of prizes for giveaway's, spot prizes and performance-based prizes. Ride individually or socially. Limited numbers.

Sport Bay of Plenty Family Fun Ride:
Sat 11 at The Redwoods, Cnr Tarawera & Long Mile Rds. 9-30am - 11.30am
Aimed at beginners, recreational riders and families, the Mokopuna track will be fun. Dress up theme this year is 'fairies, wizards and all things magical'. Couldn't happen in a more magical place. Spot prizes and it's free.

Ride & Reflect - A meditative biking event
Sat 11th at 8 Mile Gate, cnr 8 Mile & Hill Rds. 2-4pm
Make a gold coin donation and cruise along forest tracks getting into the zen(ness) of this corner of the world. Expect some meditative readings too. Easy Grade 2 trails.

The Big Bike Film Night:
Sat 11th at The Blue Baths, Govt Gardens.
Time: 7-10pm,
Cost: From $20
Short movies from around the world with action, drama, and even romance (the bike kind). Croucher Brewing beer available to buy.

Ride the Race Course Family Fun Day:
Sun 12 at Fenton St (by Rydges Hotel) 10am - 2pm
Not for the faint-hearted is a bike ride at Arawa Park Racecourse - usually the terrain of horses. It'll be rough. There's also a short course for the littlies, face painting, bouncy castles, truck rides, more entertainment and food.

Cyclezone Tour of the Valleys:
Sun 12 at Bluff Sports Club, 155 Waikaukay Rd. 10am - 2pm
All ages can take part in this fun road ride. Make it as hard or as easy as you want. Quiet roads, wind in your face, and just 43 or 86km to the finish line, depending on the option you choose.

Frocks on Bikes:
Sun 12 at Band Rotunda in Government Gardens 10am-12pm
Always a popular event involving frocks and bikes, this leisurely ride is for all ages and abilities.

BMX Bike Festival Club Meeting:
Sun 12 at BMX Track on Te Ngae Rd. 11am-3pm
This event is open to affiliated BMX riders. Spectators are most welcome.

Photography Workshops:
Sun Feb 12 and 18th at venue TBC, $75
Mead Norton, one of New Zealand's best sports photographers will teach you how to take great action shots.

The Big Bike Film Night - Cycle Chic:
Mon 13 at Blue Baths, 7.30 - 9.30pm
Tickets from $20
This evening's short films are all about women and the bikes they love to ride. It's going to be great.

Low Key Super D
Tue 14 at Nursery Hill Gate on Long Mile Rd. 6-9pm
A single timed downhill run. Apparently a good intro to 'enduro". This will be fun for the family. Yes, the family, and the dog if you want.

Frocks on Bikes Fashion Show:
Valentine's Special Tue 14 at Eat Streat (Lake end of Tutanekai St. Free.
The models in this fashion show have created their own vintage inspired outfits with the main accessory being, wait for it, a bike. Of course!

16 inch World Dual Slalom Champs
Wed 15 at the end of Long Mile Rd. 5-7:30pm
Small wheels they say, big action they say. This all takes place at Dodzy Memorial Skills Park.

Dipper Dash
Thu 16 at Dipper Trail, Whakarewarewa Forest. 6-8pm
Not satisfied with the children, now they've got to drag women in. This is the event where you get to (hopefully) fall in love with mountain biking too. What a dastardly plan. I love it already.

Agroventures Freestyle AirBag BIG AIR Comp - Heat 3, Finals
Fri 17 at Agroventures Adventure Park, 1335 Paradise Valley Rd at 6-8pm
The biggest aerial trick takes the prize. Scary!

Stars, Spokes & Tent Poles
Fri 17 - Sat 18 at Redwoods to Playnes Farm, Lake Okareka
Sleepover! Grab your PJ's, a tent, food and a hot drink for the morning. Leave from the Redwoods for a bike ride out to your destination. Ah, family bonding time. 5pm - 11am

The Happy Ewe Hot Lakes Ride:
Sat 18 at I-Site, cnr Fenton & Arawa Sts, 10am-1pm and 2-5pm
These guys are experts at taking visitors on leisurely bike ride tours. Learn about the culture, history and geothermal.

Sat 18 at Rotorua MTB Carpark 12.30-8.30pm
A 10km course for everyone at a time when the forest is settling down for the night. Age and ability no problem.

Ride the Runway - 3 Events:
Sat 18 at Rotorua Airport 5-8pm, Free entry
 Recreation biking wise, biking on Rotorua Airport's runway goes down a treat with families in the Ride the Runway event. You only have to see the tiny-tots taking part to know this. First up though is the Elimination Race "Devil Take The Hindmost" where one person is dropped each lap until only one is left. The evening finishes off with the Open Speed Session. That will be fun to watch. There's lots of other fun things to have a try of too, and music, and food.

MTB Adventure Quest
Sun 19 at Waipa Mountain Bike Carpark. 2.30-4.30pm
A navigation-based adventure suitable for everyone.

The Great Electric Bike Challenge:
Sun 19 at Government Gardens, 10am-2pm
Hire an electric bike, register and you're off following the clues to then return with objects and information. If correct, you'll be in with the chance to win.

Cycling Rotorua Hill Climb Fun Challenge:
Sun 19 at Bottom of Mountain Rd, Western Heights. 12-2pm, $5 per rider.
Everyone can take part in this hill climb. And what a hill it is.

Find out more at: Rotorua Bike Festival

Trout Fly Summer Series

Date: Thu 9 Feb & Thu 9 & 23 Mar
At: Neil Hunt Park, Tarawera Rd
Time: 5.45pm registration, 6.15pm run/walk
Cost: Adults $5, Accompanied Children $3

Whether local or from out of town, you can easily make friends or catch up with old ones at this casual drop-in event. It's a run, jog or walk 3km or 5km through Sulphur Flats. Mind the trout flies though. Ha, I just realised the reason for the name. A work-around I found is to have your cap brim low over your face, kind of shading your mouth. There's nothing worse than having one land at the back of your throat. Enjoy a free drink later on and BBQ sausages.

Learn more: Lake City Athletic Club

Tarawera UltraMarathon

Date: Sat 11 Feb
At: The Redwoods, Cnr Tarawera & Long Mile Rds
Start Time: 6am
Cost: $260-$400 for participants.

Only New Zealand's most prestigious ultra marathon. Just sayin'. From Rotorua to Kawerau the participants will cover 102km or for those building up to that type of distance, 87 or 62km. Details of spectator points are on the marathon website (the runners are going to need all the support they can get).

Find out more at: Tarawera Ultra

Don McGlashan - Rainbow Springs Summer Series

Date: Sun 12 Feb
At: Rainbow Springs, Fairy Springs Rd
Time: 6.30-10pm (doors open 5.30pm)
Cost: $49

One of NZ's best songwriter's who recently opened for Crowded House on a US and Canada tour, and was a guest musician in the band. He's also had 5 entries in APRA NZ's Top 100 Songs of All Time.

See more & book: Rainbow Springs Don McGlashan

Rotorua Home & Garden Show

Date: Fri 17-Sun 19 Feb
At: Energy Events Centre, Queens Drive
Time: 10am - 5pm
Cost: Adults $5, Seniors (Fri only) $3, U16 free with adults

A lot of exhibitors come together with trends and innovations to make the best of your home. Home decor, plants and products for the garden, furniture etc. Get tips and advice from the professionals. Refreshments will be available.

The Extravaganza (Gypsy Fair)

Date: Sat 18 & Sun 19 Feb
At: Soundshell and Village Green
Time: 9am - 5pm
Cost: General Admission Free - Reserved seating $35

Look forward to fun and entertainment at the Gypsy Fair featuring sack races, tug of wars, musical bean bags and prizes. There's woodcraft, leather work, tattooing, hair braiding, soaps & oils for sale, jewellery & crystals, lead light creations, handmade clothing plus lots more. And live entertainment including K2 the Power.

NZ Ocean Swim Series - Legend of the Lake

Date: Sat 18 Feb
At: Blue Lake
Time: 10am-3.00pm
Cost: From $25 - $79.50

This event is the latest addition to the NZ Ocean Swim Seven Event Series calendar - except it's at a lake. This one has a range of distances that accommodate all ages from 8ys and up, and all abilities. Distances start at 200m for kiddies up to 3.5km for adults.

Incorporates the Rotorua Swim the Lakes Series
See more at: Ocean Swim Series

Teddy Bears Picnic

Date: Sat 18 Feb 
At: Kuirau Park, Cnr Ranolf St & Lake Rd
Time: 11am - 1.30pm
Cost: Nil

Take a picnic or enjoy the sausage sizzle, cake stalls and cold drinks available at the Teddy Bears Picnic. A bouncy castle, face painter and lots of other entertainment will be happening. $2 gives the teddy bear and child a certificate and the opportunity to win a spot prize. Woo hoo. Make sure your bear/child is dressed in their party best.

Art in The Park 2017

Date: Sun 19 Feb
At: Government Gardens, Queens Drive
Time: 10am - 4pm
Cost: Free admission

An outdoor showcase of regional art and craft. There will be demonstrations, live local music at the rotunda and onsite catering from Steiner Kindergartens as part of their annual fundraising. Free admission.
Government Gardens
Queens Dr
More info: Rotorua Arts Village

Tour De Science - A Science Storytelling Show

Date: Fri 24 Feb
At: Te Runanga Te House, Queens Dr
Time: 6.30 - 7.30pm
Cost: Adults $10, Seniors, children, students $5

You've heard of Tour de France, well David Klein bikes into town with his Tour de Science Show. In it he shares his journey of discovery about the world we live and helps us to learn more about it using storytelling. Think atoms and cells, evolution, stars and more of what's out there.

Website: Tour de Science

The Phoenix Foundation

Date: Sun 26 Feb
At: Rainbow Springs, Fairy Springs Rd
Time: 6.30 - 10pm
Cost: $75 General admission

This six-piece Wellington band is well regarded with 6 albums under their belt. They have performed at the Glastonbury Festival and toured in Australia, USA and Europe. Doors open at 5.30pm with food and drinks available for purchase.

Learn more & Book:

Princes Gate Cabaret Dinner & Show

Date: Saturdays
At: 1057 Arawa St (by entrance to Government Gardens)
Time: 7pm-10pm
Price: Dinner, Show & Accommodation is $350 for 2 people. Dinner & Show is $178 for 2.

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 Cabaret Dinner & Show

Coming in March - An influx of people from around the world will be here for Crankworx (more bikes) as well as for the Rotorua Walking Festival. That makes for a change of pace. 

Don't forget to book your accommodation early.

More fun things to see and do in Rotorua

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