Things to Do in Rotorua - October 2017


Tulips dominate the list of things to do in Rotorua in October with the Tulip Fest running for 16 days straight. I've got to admit, our city looks gorgeous with all the spring flowers. Over 100,000 of them are Tulips alone.

Rotorua TulipsTulips

It's time too for the school holidays, and Labour Weekend, the last public holiday before the stretch leading up to Christmas.

Featuring this month is the annual Okere Store's Beerfest, the America's Cup paying us a visit and House of Horrors 2017. It's shaping up to be a busy month.

Don't forget, there will be plenty of Rotorua Markets held throughout the month as well.


Discover things to do in Rotorua in October

TulipFest 2017

Spanning Dates: Sat 30 Sep - Sun 15 Oct
Locations: Various
Costs: Free - $25

Features a tulip walking tour, Sudima children's cupcake decorating, outside the walls guided tours with a tulip twist, drop-in school holiday craft activities, tulips for sale at the night market, a children's art house open day and the Dutch market, there will be something of interest for mostly everyone.

Learn more and download flyer: RLC TulipFest


Rotorua Mega Fun Carnival

Date: Tue 3 Oct - Sat 7 Oct
At: Village Green, Lakefront, lake end of Tutanekai St
Time: 1pm & 7pm depending on the weather

Take the family along for some fun at the Carnival. Includes the Giant Slide, Merry Go Round, Dodgems, Hurricane, Extreme Turbo Boost and much more. Eat hot dogs and candy floss, family favourites from way back.


Digi Kids - School Holiday Activities at Rotorua Library

Dates: Mon 2 - Fri 13 Oct
At: 1238 Pukuatua St
Times: Various
Cost: Free admission
Bookings: Required for all activities

Take the kiddies along for any of the free techie activities - Digital Storytelling Rhyme & Rumpus, Smartphone Projectors, Kip McGrath Education Centre Lego Session.

Learn more: Rotorua Library Digi Kids


Arts Village School Holiday Programme

Date: Mon 2 Oct - Fri 13 Oct
At: Arts Village, Cnr Hinemoa & Hinemaru Sts
Time: Various
Costs: $15-$25 depending on sessions and ages

Create pop up books, dream catchers, jewellery and trinkets, abstract paintings, tin foil art, unique monsters and a heck of a lot more.

Find out more and download the flyer: Arts Village


Flip Out These School Holidays

Dates: Tue 3 Oct - Wed 11 Oct
At: Flip Out Trampoline Arena, 12 Ti St
Times: 10am
Cost: $15 (door sales only)

Trampolining seems to be THE thing to do lately. Anyone can do it so don't hold back. There's interlocking trampolines, slam dunks, wall runners, a huge foam pit and a gladiator battle beam (and I have no idea what some of those are). Toddlers have their own arena so parents can take full advantage of some R&R with a beverage.

See more: Flip Out Rotorua


Blue Baths Comedy Club

Date: Sat 7 Oct
At: The Blue Baths, Queens Drive
Time: 6:30pm Kitchen, BBQ & Bar
Doors Open: 7:15pm, Show: 8pm
Prices: General Admission $25, Premium $40 (allocated seating)

A new line-up of fantastic comedians feature in this show with the headliner being Dai Henwood (famous in NZ). It doesn't stop there. Justine Smith, a past Billy T Award winner and the NZ Comedy Guild Best Female Comedian, will by the MC for the evening. Backing up will be a new generation comedian Eli Matthewson and Rotorua's own Lana Walters.

Book Online at The Blue Baths: Blue Baths Comedy Club


Podium Rotorua Ekiden

Date: Sat 7 Oct

At: Village Green Start/Finish (Lakefront)
, Memorial Drive
Time: 8am First race starts
 to 3:45pm
Restrictions: All ages
Cost: School Teams $245, Std Teams $295

Teams of 3-6 people make their way around the beautiful shores of Lake Rotorua in this fun event. Six segments are broken into distances of 5-8km. Get a group together, make it a family event, a work challenge. Look forward to making friends with 2,000 odd people.

Learn more: Ekiden Relay


Children's Fishing


Dates: Sun 9 Oct

At: Fish & Game Grounds, 1130 Paradise Valley Rd

Time: 9am-12pm and 1-3pm
Cost: $3 suggested donation (how cheap is that?)

Immerse your children, 6-14yrs, in learning how to cast and fly fish. Everything is provided and it's so much fun for the whole family. Sausage sizzle, tea, coffee and soft drinks make for a party atmosphere and dads can talk about the monster fish that got away. No! Really?

Put this on your annual list of things to do in Rotorua.

Bookings:  Children's Fishing


America's Cup Visit to Rotorua

Date: Mon 9 Oct
At: Te Papaiouru Marae, Mataiawhea St, Ohinemutu
Time: 5pm - 7pm
Restrictions: Nil
Price: Free admission

Get a close up view of the America's Cup when it lands in Rotorua together with some of the Emirates Team NZ sailors. They will be here to thanks us for our support. Very cool. Make sure to take the kids along for this one.


Bi-Monthly Dutch Market

Date:  Sat 7 Oct
At: Dutch Club Bldg. Neil Hunt Park, turn left off Tarawera Rd (just past Outdoorsman Headquarters).
Time: 10am-1pm

Find yourself some delicious traditional Dutch specialties. If you haven't tried salted herrings, smoked eel, croquettes or Oliebollen you're missing out on a treat. Grab yourself a coffee while you're at it and find out more about the Dutch way of life.
NB: Cash only as there are no eft-pos facilities.


Operatunity Presents: Fabulous 50's

Date: Tue 10 Oct

At: Rotorua Baptist Church, 100 Malfroy Rd

Time: 11am - 1pm

Lunch: Included

Cost: Individual $34, 30+ group $30 each, 10+ group $31 each


This will be fun. Suzanne Lynch, together with a troupe of singers and band will relive the best of the 50's. Think Elvis, Doris Day, Connie Francis, Everly Brothers and most recent Michael Buble

Book online: Operatunity Entertainment



The Sound of Music

Date: Wed 11 Oct
At: Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre, 1170 Fenton St
Time: 7-9:30pm
Cost: from $69

We all know the story, about how Maria, a governess, steps in to change the lives of the von Trapp family when she brings music into their lives. And then, they escape from Austria over the mountains. That's it in a nutshell. Apparently it's still the most successful movie musical in history. Look forward to renditions of Edelweiss, Do-Re-Me, Climb Every Mountain, and more as the story unfolds.

Buy Tickets: Sound of Music (Ticketmaster)


House of Horrors 2017 - Purgatory

Date: Wed 11 - Sat 15 Oct
At: Rotorua Youth Centre, 6 Te Ngae Rd
Time: 7pm for kids 8+ & 9pm for youth 12+ to11pm
Cost: $13 online or $15 at RYC

RYC's annual Horror event puts you into a maze, a scary, horrifying maze... and there will be scary characters... and grisly scenes. You've been warned. And don't come crying to me if you have nightmares afterwards. :)

See more at Eventfinder: House of Horrors


Animates Rotorua - School Holiday Activities

Date: Thu 12 Oct
At: Animates, 124 Lake Rd
Time: 11am-12pm
Price: Free

Teaching kiddies how to safely interact with dogs is a great skill to impart, so why not let the experts do it? You might get yourself a new pet while you're at it.

See more on Eventfinder: Rotorua Animates School Holiday Activities


NZ Country Music Entertainer of The Year

Date: Sat 14 Oct
At: Civic Theatre, Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre, 1170 Fenton St
Time: 7-11:30pm
Cost: Adults $40, U15yrs $10

NZ's top amateur country music entertainers compete for the prestigious title of NZ Country Music Entertainer of the Year Award.

See more at Eventfinder: NZ Country Music Entertainer of The Year


Guy Buttery - Debut NZ Tour for South African Guitar Legend

Date: Sat 14 Oct
At: Princes Gate, 1057 Arawa St
Time: 7:30-9:30pm
Restrictions: R15
Cost: $20 online, $25 door

Brought to you by The Rogue Stage, look forward to listening to "one of the finest exponents of the acoustic guitar in the world". High praise indeed.

Learn more at Eventfinder: Guy Buttery


Rotorua UkeBox - Ukulele Jam & Open Mike Sessions

Date: Sun 15 Oct
At: Te Runanga Tea House, Queens Dr, Government Gardens
Time: 3-5pm
Ages: All
Cost: Gold coin donation

Pop 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


Okere Falls Beerfest 2017

Date: Mon 16-Wed 18 Oct and Fri 20-Sun 22 Oct
At: Okere Falls Store, 759 SH33, Okere Falls
Time: Starting 5pm, 12pm or 9am
Costs: Various (different days, different specials)

Beer Fest at its best in Rotorua. Local and specialty events with main ticketed events on the Friday and Saturday nights. Some of the lineup includes The Noise, Whitechapel Jak, Otium, Sonic Delusion, Albi & The Wolves and Clap Clap Riot.

And look out for specialty German biers and the Schweinshaxe pork roast dinners, griller burgers, bratwurst sausanges and more. You've got to book though.

$10 return trip buses laid on.

See More & Buy Tickets: Okere Falls Store Beer Fest


Pink Walk 10th Anniversary - Rotorua Breast Cancer Trust

Date: Wed 18 Oct
At: Lakefront Village Green, Memorial Dri
Time: 4.30-7.30pm
Price: 13yrs+ $5, U13yrs donation

A fun-filled family event to raise money for the Trust. Entertainment begins prior to the 3.4km walk that starts and finishes at the Village Green. Have spare cash on hand for the face-painters, cup cake stalls, raffles and food. Get dressed up too and you might win a prize.

Read more and register online: Pink Walk or phone 021 209 6099


Aotearoa & International Indigenous Weavers Open Day

Date: Sun 22 Oct
At: Te Waiiti Marae, SH30, Rotoiti
Time: 10am-2pm 

Cost: Gold coin donation

It's not often you get to see flax weavers in action, let alone both local and international. Head on out to Rotoiti to enjoy and support the weavers. There will be food and market stalls, and live entertainment.


Whaka 100

Date: Sat 21 - Sun 22 Oct
At: Waipa Carpark, Waipa State Mill Rd

Time: 12-5pm and 8am-7pm 

Cost: From $20 - $360

Looking for the best 140kms of mountain bike single-track trail racing? You've found it. Individuals and teams compete for cash prizes, category wins, or mostly to achieve personal goals. If the 100km is to much, try the Whaka 50, or 25km races, kids can ride too.

Find out more: Whaka 100


Lake Tarawera Spring Fair

Date: Sun 22 Oct
At: Stoney Point Reserve, 151-153 Spencer Rd, Tarawera
Time: 10am-2pm
Price: Free entry

A great way to relax and just potter is a visit to the Lake Tarawera Spring Fair situated on the shores of Lake Tarawera. There will be arts, crafts, pottery, kids stalls, yummy food, diggers, canvas goods and lots more besides. Lots of new stalls this year. Cash only.

More on Facebook Page: Lake Tarawera Spring Fair



Giant 2W Gravity Enduro (1st in a series of 4 downhill mountain bike events - Oct, Dec, Feb, Apr)


Dates: Sat 28 Oct, Sat 9 Dec 2017 and Sat 10 Feb, Sat 14 Apr 2018

Race 1 At:  Holiday Inn, Cnr Foude & Tryon Sts, Rotorua

Time: 9am-5pm

Race Entry Prices: Various
Spectators: Free


The 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 start/finish.


For the uninitiated, Enduro mountain bike racing has the competitors completing 6 stages, in any order, of downhill racing. In 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


Hell-O-Wheels: Halloween Roller Derby Spooktacular

Date: Sat 28 Oct

At: Southern Trust Sportsdrome, Queens Dr

Time: 6:45-9pm 

Cost: Adult $15, Child $7, Family (2 adults, 2 kids) $40 


It's that time of the year. Rotorua's Sulphur City Steam Rollers' Motley Crew, will take on the Northland Nightmares Roller Derby's Hell's wives in what's bound to be a bruising roller derby event (battle really). Think 'rugby on skates'.


Prizes for Best Dressed Adult & Child and for Best Supporter Signs. Half-time Rocky Horror Picture Show inspired performance is to be put on by the Lakes Performing Arts Company, and there will be a Hell-O-Wheels 'Time Warp' Dance Competition.

Stay up to date at Sulphur City Steam Rollers on Facebook
 where you can find out how to buy tickets before they sell out: Ph 07 928 4500


The Original Gypsy Fair

Date: Sat 28 & Sun 29 Oct
At: Village Green, Memorial Dr (Lakefront)
Time: 9am-5pm
Cost: Free admission

Look forward to fun and entertainment at the Gypsy Fair. There will be glass blowing, woodcraft, leather work, tattooing, hair braiding, soaps & oils for sale, jewellery & crystals, leadlight creations, segway rides, handmade clothing plus lots more. And live entertainment.


NZ Aria Finals Night

Date: Sun 29 Oct

At: Civic Theatre, Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre, 1170 Fenton St

Time: 7.30-10pm

Age: 12+yrs
Cost: $60

10 finalists compete to win prizes of 1st $20,000, 2nd $10,00 and 3rd $5,000 in this, New Zealand's largest classical singing competition. Each contestant will sing their chosen aria backed by the full Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in front of international judges. The guest artist will be Simon O'Neill, the recipient of scholarships to the Manhatten School of Music and the Julliard Opera Centre.


Book at Ticketmaster: NZ Aria Finals Night


Led Lenser Night Trail Run

Date: Sat 29 Oct

At: The Redwoods, Cnr Tarawera & Long Mile Rds

Time: 8pm-10pm

Cost: Until 24 Oct $30 - Late entries $40

Headlamp? Check. Trail shoes? Check. Guess you're ready to take part in this 7.5km off road run/walk event at the Redwoods then.

It's uphill on forestry roads and tracks to where you will be treated to night views of Rotorua (hope the weather is good). Good music, food and hot coffee. Ah. Spot prizes too.

Bonus: Free entry for the Redwoods Treewalk between 6-7:30pm.

Get all the juicy details: Night Trail Run


Princes Gate Cabaret Dinner & Show

Date: Saturdays
At: 1057 Arawa St (by entrance to Government Gardens)
Time: 7pm-10pm
Price: Dinner & Show is $89pp.

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 out for accommodation specials.

Bookings: Princes Gate Dinner & Show



Coming Up in November

Take your pick of outdoor adventures to take part in or to support -  Podium Rotorua 1/2 Marathon, Tarawera Trail Marathon and 50km Run & Walk and the Tikitapu Trail Run.

For those not so inclined the popular Rotorua Festival of Gardens is back and for pure entertainment you might like the Saturday Night Fever Musical.



More fun things to see and do in Rotorua


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