Ngongotaha was the place to be this weekend as crowds flocked to check out a public display of vintage hot rods.

The Rotorua branch of the National Street Rod Association (NSRA) hosted its annual Nationals on Saturday at the Ngongotaha Domain for the first time since 1996.

Rotorua delegate Barb Sundgren said close to 600 spectators came out for the day.

"The turnout was phenomenal and the good weather just made it better."


More than 150 vintage cars from both NSRA members and locals were on display.

"Members came from as far north as Whangarei and as far south as Wellington. For us it's a big family reunion," Ms Sundgren said.

More than $1700 was raised from entry fees and was given to the Ngongotaha Fire Brigade who are fundraising for a new truck shed at the station.

Fire brigade representatives had a kitchen fire on display to raise awareness about oil fires and what not to do when putting one out.

Fire station officer Tai Thompson said the main point of the demonstration was to remind people never to throw water on an oil fire because it would explode.

"The day was a success and people really tuned in and paid attention when we put the kitchen fire display into action," he said.

Kathryn Howes, a member of the event's organising committee, said the Ngongotaha Domain was the perfect venue.

"It was such a great spot to show off the cars and volunteers from the Ngongotaha bowling club have made our job so much easier."

She said the best part was seeing how creative people were with how they designed and restored their cars.

"Everyone has their own unique taste and you see that in the work they have put into their cars. There was really something for everyone on display."

Some of the biggest attractions from the day were vintage tractors as well as a fully restored American school bus.