Health-conscious locals were in their element at Tauranga's first ever vegan festival over the weekend.

Vegan Vibes was held in Mount Maunganui on Saturday and attracted more than 2000 people to sample plant-based food and animal and cruelty-free health and beauty products.

Held on Soper Reserve the festival was "humming" and organisers were overwhelmed with the turnout.

"The turnout has been epic," Rachelle Duffy, founder of Vegan Vibes and Little Big Markets, said.


The live music, food and range of products had been a great success for "all types of people" who came out despite the threatening clouds.

Ms Duffy said she would definitely hold the vegan festival again, around the same time next year.

"It's nice to not have all the events in summer," she said.

The festival brought musical performances, speakers and education around veganism together.

Festival-goers were drinking vegan beer brewed by Mount Brewing Co and chewing on all types of sweet and savoury dishes.

A burger food truck offered a "Kiwi" burger with a beetroot and black bean patty, with all the regular burger toppings on a toasted bun.

A Chinese food stall offered braised faux beef with black bean sauce and pickled daikon on a hand-rolled steam bun.

Candles, yoga mats, clothes, woven baskets and custom peanut butter were on sale.

Ivey Van Zyl, 8, has a swing at the first vegan fest in Tauranga. Photo/Andrew Warner
Ivey Van Zyl, 8, has a swing at the first vegan fest in Tauranga. Photo/Andrew Warner

Gates opened from 10am and closed at 4pm but by 2pm some food vendors were already putting up "sold out" signs.

Angela Van Zyl "dragged" her meat-eating husband and two children along to the festival.

Ms Van Zyl proved anyone could go animal-free, turning vegetarian when she was 14 despite her father being a butcher.

She said the festival was awesome and had a variety of everything from food to yoga mats to buy.

Her husband had tried the vegan beer and was pleasantly surprised at the result.