Tauranga Rocks is an apt name for a new craze which has gone viral with up to 1400 locals becoming rockers in the past couple of weeks.

The craze of painting rocks and hiding them in secret places around the city for others to find has taken off, helped by a Facebook group of the same name.

The idea has been sparked by similar groups which recently popped up in Palmerston North, Whanganui and Hamilton.

The craze has proved a huge hit. "It's like Easter egg hunting but more fun", the Tauranga Rocks Facebook page said.

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The idea is to paint a rock and place it in a public area for other hunters to find and members take photos and post them on the Facebook page to share with other rockers.

Rockers can either take the rock home or hide it somewhere else and post a clue where to find it.

Bethlehem mother Kendyl Van Dragt said her husband and 3-year-old son Jacob first discovered a painted rock while visiting Hamilton Zoo a couple of weeks ago.

"We asked someone what the heck is this all about and once we were told, we thought it was a fun idea and decided to hide the rock at the zoo for someone else to find."

Mrs Van Dragt said she and her son had painted a few rocks since and hidden some at Carmichael Reserve and up at Yatton Park.

"I know quite a few people have also hidden painted rocks at Yatton Park, Memorial Park, Mount Drury, and up at Fergusson Park," she said.

"People have been hiding rocks in trees, in playgrounds, on the edge of parks and reserves, and even some have been hidden in ponds," she said.

One resident told the Bay of Plenty Times she had even noticed people had starting hiding rocks in and among the Hairy Maclary sculptures on The Strand.

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"It's gone absolutely crazy. In the past two weeks I understand about 600 people have joined the Tauranga Rocks group," Mrs Van Dragt said.

"I think it's great craze for parents because it's free, and it's a bit of old-fashioned fun. Our son absolutely adores being Tauranga Rocker," she said.