The first sizeable chunk of Rotorua Tulip Festival's 100,000 bulbs will be planted this weekend.

Rotorua's Hospital Hill will be the scene of a special working bee on Saturday when Rotarians will be out in force planting 10,000 tulip bulbs.

Rotorua's five Rotary clubs will join forces for the special planting project aligned with optimal tulip planting time.

Rotorua West Rotary Club president David Dowthwaite said more than 70 volunteers, plus council staff - joined by whanau and friends - will be there with wheelbarrows, spades, rakes and many pairs of hands for the planting.


"Rotary is committed to being involved in the local community and this is a project that our families can be involved in as well. It will be great fun, offering fellowship and teamwork under pressure. And it will be good for our health," he said.

Rotorua Lakes Council's decision to plant 100,000 bulbs this year will elevate the annual tulip festival to new heights. That is more than double the amount planted in previous

The planting footprint will be expanded this year. Next week will see 500 bulbs planted at Kea Street Special School, and a further 500 at St Chads Disability Centre. Other planting in council beds started this week to ensure all bulbs are planted in time for blooming during the festival.

The remainder are being planted around the new Children's Art House in the Government Gardens and elsewhere throughout the Government Gardens and the inner-city road reserves.

The tulips feature a mass of different colours and will be in full glory at the start of October.

The festival, to be held from October 1-9, will be New Zealand's largest tulip festival.