Plan Things to Do in Rotorua, March 2017

Thinking about what things you can do in Rotorua for March? For starters, a couple of popular events this month include Crankworx, NZO Moonride and the Rotorua Walking Festival. These events attract participants and spectators from around the world.

View from Tokorangi Pa Road over Lake Rotorua, Rotorua, NZ.Bike or walk to see this view from Tokorangi Pa Road, in the Whakarewarewa Forest, over Lake Rotorua

The Rotorua Summer Swim Series winds down and the Copthorne Off-Road Half-Marathon, 10km and 5km gets underway.

Rotorua Markets: Every Saturday you can catch the Flea Market at Kuirau Park, the Farmers Market on Sundays and the Lakefront Craft Market takes place on the 5th and 19th.

Things to Do in Rotorua this March Include...

Cubans Take Over the Night Market

Date: Thu 2 Mar
At: Rotorua Night Market, cnr Tutanekai/Haupapa Sts
Time: 5-8pm

The night market features ethnic foods from around the world, local entertainment and this time, Cuban dancers gathered in Rotorua for the Cuban Festival. There will be the chance to get your boogie on by joining in with the free Cuban classes, should be good. Get your hips warmed up now!

Student Pulse Celebration with Sons of Zion

Date: Fri 3 Mar
At: Kuirau Park, Cnr Ranolf St & Lake Rd
Time: 4-7pm

With acts like Sons of Zion, Mai FM and Klee, Stella Maris and Kata and Toi Ohomai Music Students, this community event that celebrates the Student Association of Toi Ohomai changing their name from WITSA to Student Pulse. Take along a can of food to donated to the Salvation Army Food Drive. Food is available or take along a picnic. This event is smoke, alcohol and drug free.

Puarenga Park Run

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:

Celebrate with the Children's Weekend & the Parks Week 2017 for Everyone

Date: Sat 4 Mar 10am-3pm at Government Gardens and CBD
Date: Sun 5 Mar 1.30-4.30pm at The Redwoods, Long Mile Rd (off Tarawera Rd)
Dates: 4-12 Mar for Parks Week at various venues
Cost: Free for the kids

Another one the kids will love. A day full of free family activities around Rotorua. Put together by the Rotorua Lakes Council and various community groups are crafts, music, stories and heaps more things to do. Cool prizes too!

On the Sunday, the fun continues with even more creativity unleashed for family and friends at the Redwoods. Includes scavenger hunts, hut building and The Travelling Tuataras. This goes ahead rain or shine.

The Parks Week includes the previous two days and a whole lot of other happenings. Centennial Park is being turned into a Magical Park in a digital fantasy way, there's Tai Chi in the Park, a Conservation Detection Event and a Lunchtime Art Picnic - to name just a few of the events. Phew!

Find out more and download the info: RLC Celebrate Children's Day and Parks Week

Rotorua Womens Achievement Award Gala

Date: Sat 4 Mar
At: The Blue Baths, Queens Dr
Time: 6.15-10pm
Cost: $75

An evening to celebrate four successful women in our community. Hosted by the Zonta Club of Rotorua, Lizzy Marvelly will be the guest speaker and you can also look forward to a wonderful buffet dinner.
See more and book: Rotorua Womens Achievement Award Gala

Par After Dark - Glow in the Dark Golf Tournament

Date: Sat 4 Mar
At: Rotorua Golf Club, 399 Fenton St
Time: 8.15pm-12am
Cost: Free admission
Age Restriction: R13

Imagine lit up greens, LED glowing balls, and head lamps - your own of course - then again there will be lots of others. Grab 2 others and head out to the golf course and see how well you can play 9 holes of golf in the dark.
Email: to register

Elvis Tribute Show: Brendon Chase

Date: Sat 4 Mar
At: Rotorua Citizens Club, 1146 Rangiuru St
Time: 8-11pm
Cost: Free admission
Age Restriction: R18

Take a trip down memory lane with Brendon Chase, New Zealand's top Elvis impersonator. He's off to Memphis in August to compete for the title of the world's best Elvis impersonator so he must be good.

Aotearoa Cuban Festival 2017

Date: Sat 4 Mar 10am - 5pm and Sun 5 Mar 11am - 4.30pm
At: Western Heights High School, 70 Old Quarry Rd, Selwyn Heights
Cost: $47 - $300

All Cuban dance styles are covered in this 3 day festival that has workshops, parties and performances.

Sold out sorry.

Rotorua Model Aircraft Model Airshow

Date: Sun 5 Mar
At: RMAC Flying Field, Mead Rd
Time: 10.30am-2.30pm
Cost: Free

Model aircraft flying, scale models, gliders, electric park flyers, drones, control line combat and stunt, radio control aerobatics, phew, there's going to be lots happening. And some of these "models" are huge. BBQ and drinks available.

Rotorua Off-Road Half Marathon, 10km and 5km

Date: Sun 5 Mar
At: Waipa Mountain Bike Park
Start Time: 9am Fun Runs & Walks
Cost: Half Marathon $45, Quarter Marathon $35, 5km $30, Kids Run $10, Late fee after 21 Feb adds $10.

Located at Whakarewarewa Forest, the scenic trails and forestry roads of this family-friendly event make for an attractive course. Spot prizes can be won at the prize-giving ceremony at 1.30pm.

Find out more at: Event Promotions

BayTrust Rescue Helicopter Open Day

Date: Sun 5 Mar
At: Rotorua Hospital, off Lake Rd or Arawa St
Time: 10am-2pm
Cost: Free

The people who are there when we need them most. Find out all about the guys, gals and helicopters at this super family-friendly event.

Bay City Ramblers

Date: Sun 5 Mar
At: Arawa Park Racecourse, Fenton St (Behind Rydges Hotel)
Time: Doors open at 5pm, 6-9pm
Cost: Junior $2, Adult $15 Door sales only
Restrictions: Nil

Hosted by the Rotorua Jazz Club, look forward to 20's and 30's acoustic blues, Americana and jazz played by the Bay City Ramblers from Tauranga. Cash bar and hot meals available.

That's Amore - Operatunity Entertainment

Date: Tue 7 Mar
At: Rotorua Baptist Church, 100 Malfroy Rd
Time: 11am - 1pm
Lunch: Included
Cost: Individual $34, 30+ group $28.50 each, 10+ group $31 each

Ah, Italy. Close your eyes and the 3 Tenors will whisk you there in a heartbeat singing famous ballads and songs. Purchase a season pass for upcoming concerts at a discounted rate.

Book online: Operatunity Entertainment

Two Ballets by Roland Retit: Carmen with L’Arlésienne

Date: Thu 9 and Fri 10 Mar
At: Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre, 1170 Fenton St
Time: 7.30pm-9.15pm
Cost: $25 - $78
Restriction: R13

Two ballets never before seen in NZ. L’Arlésienne: A young man is captivated on his wedding day by an unseen, unknown woman. He abandons his bride and ultimately loses his life in his quest for a vision. Carmen: Who hasn't heard of Carmen? Usually in operatic terms though so this should be interesting.
See more at Eventfinda: Carmen with L’Arlésienne

Trout Fly Summer Series

Date: Thu 9 & 23 Mar
At: Neil Hunt Park, Tarawera Rd
Time: 5.45pm registration, 6.15pm run
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. 

Learn more: Lake City Athletic Club

NZO Moonride

Date: Fri 10 Mar & Sat 11 Mar
At: Waipa Mountain Bike Park, Waipa Mill Rd
Time: 8pm-12am & 10am-10pm
Cost: Starts at $85 for 6hr solo ride to $295 for a 12hr team

Two epic races, 12hrs and 6hrs, take place in the Whakarewarewa Forest. The trails are grade 2-3 so not too strenuous. Ride solo or as part of a team. Tent City shoots up literally overnight and part of the 9km circuit winds through that too. Much fun.

My daughter took part one year and said it was so scary biking in the dark but she thoroughly enjoyed it anyway. Be prepared to dress warmly because it becomes extremely cold - think bone-chillingly cold.

Find out more: Event Promotions NZO Moonride

Rotorua's 21st Lakeside Concert

Date: Sat 11 Mar
At: Village Green, Memorial Drive
Time: 7.30pm show starts. Finale fireworks at 10.15pm
Cost: Free or Reserved Seating $35
Restrictions: All ages

A free outdoor concert held at the Village Green. Each year (it started in 1997) we see a line up of stellar performers. Past acts include Dame Malvina Major and Kiri Te Kanawa. This year features local Tim Beveridge, The Dust Palace (aerial entertainers) Jason Kerrison, Simon O'Neill, The Koi Boys (the Voice Australia), Annie Crummer and The Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra.
Buy tickets at Ticketmaster: Rotorua Lakeside Concert

Tummy & Tots Expo

Date: Sat 11 Mar
At: Distinction Rotorua Hotel & Conference Centre, 390 Fenton St
Time: 10am - 5pm
Cost: Fri $5, U5yrs free

All things relating to pregnancy, children under 5 and family life. The main expo features local, national and international brands, products and services. Alongside this are educational workshops and seminars and a market with locally made products.

Kids play areas, Dad's Zone, Parents room make this a great event for the whole family.

Buy Tickets: Door sales or at Tummy & Tots

Nathan Haines

Date: Sun 12 Mar
At: Rainbow Springs, Fairy Springs Road
Time: 6.30 - 10pm
Cost: $55

Pop along to Rainbow Springs to hear some great music over the summer period (minus the resident squawking birds). This time around it's electronics and dance rhythms which Nathan has infused with his love of jazz and soul music. One of New Zealand's most influential recording artists, you won't want to miss this.
See more:

Swim the Lakes Series - Rotary Rotorua Open Water Swim (No. 4 of 4)

Date: Sun 12 Mar
At: Lake Okataina,
Time: 8am-5pm
Cost: ?

This event has a range of distances that accommodate all ages from 8ys and up, and all abilities. Distances: 3km, 6km, 400m, 800m and 1500m.

Incorporates the Rotorua Swim the Lakes Series
and the Ocean Swim Series

NZSO Presents: Summer Pops with the Modern Māori Quartet

Date: Thu 16 Mar
At: Rotorua Civic Theatre, 1170 Fenton St
Time: 7.30-9.30pm
Cost: $15 - $50

Lovers of showbands (more especially Māori showbands) will thoroughly enjoy the harmonies and fresh cool beats of this group. Take a wander down memory lane with the nostalgic, the classics and originals.

See more & book at Eventfinda: Modern Māori Quartet

Targa Rotorua

Dates: Fri 17, Sat 18 & Sun 19 Mar

At: Village Green, Memorial Dr
Time: Fri 3-7pm
Time: Sat 7-10am & 3-8pm
Time: Sun 7-10am & 2-6pm

Cost: Free

New Zealand's largest competitive rally series visits Rotorua with cars ranging in age from classics to modern day super cars. You can pop down to the Village Green to view the vehicles and meet the competitors.

First car leaves the Village Green on Saturday at 8am and the first car is due to arrive back at 5.30pm. Sunday they start at 8am again, due back at 3.30pm at the Novotel Hotel Lakeside.

Why Am I Like This?

Date: Sat 18 Mar
At: Shambles Theatre
Time: 7.30-8.30pm
Cost: $25 or Concession: $15
Restrictions: Ni

This sounds like a comedy. Aiming to address gender and racial privilege is a privileged white man whose life is fantastic. Say what! It also features 2017 Billy T Award nominee Paul Williams as the opening act.
See more at Eventfinda: Guy Williams

Rotorua Walking Festival

Dates: Sat 18 & Sun 19 Mar
At: Neil Hunt Park, Tarawera Rd
Time: Sat 8am, Sun 8am for the start of the first events
Cost: See Event Programme

Be prepared to walk your feet off with this two day festival. Forest walks are on the agenda for Saturday with the Whakarewarewa Forest Marathon (42km), Half-Marathon (21km) and 10km Walk. Sunday it's around town for the 30km Challenge, 20km Town Walk and 10km Family Walk.

Rebel Round Up

Dates: Sat 18 & Sun 19 Mar
At: Arawa Park Racecourse, Fenton St
Time: 8am-4pm & 8am-3pm
Cost: Adults $8, U10yrs free with paying adult. Door sales only

This is going to be fun. If you want to step back into another era, head along to the racecourse for a fix of vintage, retro and rockabilly. Of course, classic cars and hot rods will be on show, then there's the pin up markets. On the Sunday is an Automotive Swap meet and the Pin Up Pageant.

Enquiries Email:

Tami Neilson

Date: Sun 19 Mar
At: Rainbow Springs, Fairy Springs Road
Time: Doors open 5.30pm, 6.30-10pm
Concert Cost: $49
Restrictions: Nil

Pop along to Rainbow Springs to hear some great music over the summer period (minus the resident squawking birds). This time around it's Tami Nelson. Country and rockabilly have never sounded better. Tami has a piercing soulful voice that makes you feel grateful she has chosen NZ as her home (Canadian by birth). Not to be missed.
See more:

Anna Hawkins - Bold, Brave & Beautiful NZ Tour

Date: Sun 9 Mar
At: The Blue Baths, Queens Dr
Time: 3pm
Cost: $50
Restrictions: All ages Licensed

An exclusive High Tea and concert for what's set to be a special afternoon. With a 5 week chart topper album 'Divine' under her belt, the release of the latest 'Bold, Brave & Beautiful' album promises a colourful new world of music. And you'll hear some of it right here along with songs of singers that are her heroes.
See more: Blue Baths What's On

The Sydney Male Choir

Date: Sun 19 Mar
At: Rotorua Civic Theatre
Time: 7.30pm
Cost: $20
Restrictions: All ages

These guys have sung at every ANZAC Day dawn service in Martin Place, Sydney, since it was first held in 1930. Now you too can hear the wide variety of music that encompasses classics, opera, Welsh hymns - musicals, pop and modern Australian compositions.
See more at Eventfinda: The Sydney Male Choir

Rotorua Ukebox - Ukulele Open Mic Sessions

Date: Sun 19 Mar
At: Te Runanga Tea House, Queens Drive
Time: 3-5pm
Cost: Gold coin donation
Restrictions: All ages

Rotorua's Thermaleles open the show with a short ukelele performance. After that, everyone can jump in to sing, play along or use the open mike. Included with museum admission.

Rotorua to Taupo 100k Flyer

Date: Sat 25 Mar
At: Copthorne Hotel (previously Kingsgate), 111 Fenton St
Time: 8.30am-3.30pm
Cost: Adult $65, U19yrs $60, 2/3 person team $115, Tandem Team $115
Restrictions: All ages

Thousands of road riders of all ages turn up to the start line of this annual event (Rot-Taupo direction due to roadworks). One minute there's not a single space to be had on the road, the horn blows and all of a sudden it's empty, and quiet. The riders disappear that quick. They will wend their way through scenic countryside, wind blowing through their hair - oh, that's right, they've got helmets on, duh - all the way to Taupo. If they've got a tailwind it's all good. A headwind, not so much.

See more: Event Promotions 100k Flyer

Crankworx Rotorua 2017

Dates: Sat 25 - Sun 2 Apr 2017
At: Skyline Rotorua, 185 Fairy Springs Rd
Time: 9am-9pm and last 2 days 9am-6pm
Adult 5 days $80 (first 4 days no tickets required)
Child 5 days $60 (first 4 days no tickets required)
Restrictions: All ages

The four-stop Crankworx World Tour finds the best male and female mountain biker - in the world obviously. Rotorua (cough, cough) was added to this renowned event fixture in 2015 and we're up first this year. The next leg is in Les Gets, France followed by Innsbruck, Austria and finishes at the home base of Whistler, BC.

For Rotorua, the 5 events take place either on the slopes of Mt Ngongotaha  or in the Whakarewarewa Forest. Race styles are downhill, slopestyle and enduro. Running alongside Crankworx will be family-friendly Kidsworx races. 

The event is not fully finalised yet so keep up to date at

Talk: The Art and Symbols of Da Vinci

Date: Sun 26 Mar
At: Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre, 1170 Fenton St
Time: 2-3.30pm
Cost: $5 Door sales only
Restrictions: Nil

Enjoy hearing a talk by renaissance scholar Emma Jameson about the art and symbols of the scientist, inventor and artist Leonardo da Vinci.

Pink High Tea

Date: Sun 26 Mar
At: Arawa Lounge, Arawa Park Racecourse, Fenton St
Time: 2-4pm
Cost: $35
Restrictions: All Ages

Put on your best hat (you might win a prize) and have fun with a Pink High Tea. Bubbles too. And lots more prizes (lucky number tickets).
Get your ticket: Ph 07 345 9179

Art in The Park 2017

Date: Sun 26 Mar
At: Government Gardens (bordering Hinemaru St)
Time: 10am-4pm
Cost: Free
Restrictions: Nil

Expect live demonstrations from local artists and artisans, and lots of other things to see and buy as you move amongst stalls in the beautiful Government Gardens. There will be music, and art activities for the kids as well. You can take a picnic along or buy food at the Te Runanga Tearooms pop-up cafe to support Steiner Kindergarten.

Professionals National Schools MTB Championships

Dates & Time:
Tue 28 Mar 8am-3pm
Wed 29 Mar 8am-2pm
Thu 30 Mar 8am-2pm
At: Skyline Rotorua, 185 Fairy Springs Rd and various venues
XCO - Spectators nil for Event HQ and Whakarewarewa Forest course.
DH/XCR - Spectators Day Pass $45, $80 Week Pass to access Skyline Gravity Park. Includes Crankworx action.
Cycling NZ Schools are running the Professionals National MTB Champs. Cross country, Downhill and Teams Relays.
See more: National Schools MTB Championships

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 Up in April

Look forward to a large event taking place most weekends as the weather cools down. The month begins with Crankworx continuing and the Radix XTERRA Festival kicking in. Stay tuned.

Have your accommodation booked early.

More fun things to see and do in Rotorua

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