A festival of a different kind is about to be added to the New Zealand international events’ calendar in the form of the Rotorua Mud Festival.
Rotorua Lakes Council has launched a new festival celebrating Rotorua’s distinctive geothermal and volcanic environment. From 2017 onwards, the event is scheduled to take place in early December - inviting the world to a completely immersive experience of Rotorua’s one-in-a-kind mud.
The festival sets up an international event partnership agreement between Boryeong City and Rotorua. Boryeong in South Korea runs an annual mud festival which attracts more than three million visitors a year. Rotorua Lakes Council wants to establish a similar event in Rotorua based on the city’s 150-year history of using mud as a therapy and treatment.
The Rotorua Mud Festival will take place in downtown Rotorua and include a mud-arena, spa and wellness experiences, and education and historical story-telling.
Over time, the event is forecast to attract a significant number of domestic and international attendees, which will generate strong economic returns for both Rotorua and New Zealand.
Rotorua mud is very high in minerals due to its contact with the volcanic gases and minerals from the earth’s centre. When warmed, it also stores heat easily which makes it ideal for heat treatments.
“The festival will be fun, there will be an opportunity to feel the mud on your skin but it will also be about the beauty of the mud product,” Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick says.
“In Rotorua, culture, dirt and steam is what we are about and mud fits our proposition.”