Rotorua Matariki celebrations continue throughout the school holidays with something for everyone on offer.

The Rotorua Museum Matariki Activity Trail runs throughout the school holidays.

This free trail can be collected from the Rotorua iSite on Fenton St and allows families to explore Government Gardens and learn more about Matariki.

All entries go in the draw for a Matariki prize pack at the end of the holidays.


Rotorua Museum events and engagement co-ordinator Tori Williams said the nine questions on the Activity Trail related to the nine stars that made up the star constellation Matariki, also known as Pleiades.

Some questions will have families searching in the Government Gardens while others include word-finds, drawing pictures and matching seasons.

"It is a great free activity to get kids outside during the holidays and learning about Matariki in a fun way."

Families can also pick up a trail sheet from The Arts Village, with the team from Rotorua Museum running free crafts.

From 10am to 2pm each weekday people can make a Matariki kite to take home.

Williams said a special feature of Matariki celebrations was the flying of kites – according to ancient custom they flutter close to the stars.

People are invited to bring the kites to Te Iwa o Matariki Whānau Day and fly them alongside the large Matariki kites from McCully Kites.

"With the weather a little colder, getting creative inside is a great activity for all the family."

As well as kite making there will be colouring sheets for younger children.

This is the first time the museum holiday crafts will be based at The Arts Village, Williams said.

"Matariki celebrations continue to grow each year in Rotorua and it is important to understand the meaning behind this special time of the year.

"When Matariki reappears in our dawn skies, around June or July each year, it heralds the start of Te Tau Hou Māori – the Māori New Year.

"Matariki is a time to gather with family and friends to reflect on the past, celebrate the present, and plan for the future."

Other activities include checking out the Ngā Purapura o Matariki – The Seeds of Matariki exhibition at The Arts Village.

This exhibition showcases a variety of works by local Māori artists exploring their own perspectives of Matariki.

The Arts Village curator Cian Elyse White was delighted with the local talent that entered the exhibition.

"The exhibition was an exciting platform for local Māori artists to share their talents.

"We have harakeke, muka, bird sketches and contemporary mask sculptures. It's a wonderful time to celebrate and uplift these wonderful artists and their works."

Rotorua artist Anna Hayes has also created an engaging Matariki light and sound art installation at the village, which will be there until the end of the school holidays.

The annual Colour the Night event is on Thursday from 5pm to 8pm.

The evening invites people to wrap up warm and explore the inner city as it comes alive with music, art, performance and light.

Chefs from three local hotels have been busy creating dishes showcasing Māori indigenous cuisine for the Ngā Kai a Matariki – The Foods of Matariki Competition.

Fifty community judges will taste all three dishes at this Sunday's Rotorua Farmers Market and announce the winning hotel who will receive a specially made trophy.

Te Iwa o Matariki Whānau Day is the closing event for Rotorua's Matariki celebrations and welcomes the community to enjoy activities, entertainment and kai on Saturday, July 21 from 10am to 3pm.

It will be at Telly Tubby Hill in Government Gardens.

For more information go to