The Easter Weekend ahead is expected to be a bustling one for Rotorua, with the sun even coming out to join the crowds.

Events appealing to people of all ages and walks of life will take place around the region from Friday through to Sunday.

Among the events, the popular Rotorua Museum Easter Egg Hunt, that started last Saturday will run through to April 28.

Easter letters were hidden throughout the Government Gardens, with participants encouraged to be an "Easter detective" and follow the series of clues to find the letters and create a mystery word.


Successful participants will go in the draw to win an Easter prize pack and entry boxes will be at Rotorua iSite and Children's Art House.

The Soundshell Market will take place this Sunday and the Night Market will go ahead on Thursday evening.

The annual Good Friday Combined Service has also been planned to take place again at 10am under the sails at the Redwoods.

Reverend Scott Clifford said this was the biggest combined service of the year, and it did not take into consideration denominational lines. "Instead we chose this day of the year to focus on things that unite us as Christian faith communities."

Good Friday service at the Redwoods.
Good Friday service at the Redwoods.

Destination Rotorua executive manager visitor services Graham Brownrigg said accommodation was limited as rooms filled up fast for the weekend.

He said the school holidays and Easter had fallen on the same week this year, creating a busy couple of weeks.

A big crowd turned out for the Good Friday procession and service in the Redwoods.

The benefit this would have on the Rotorua economy would be huge, he said, with cafes, restaurants and attractions expected to be bustling.

He said a large number of domestic travellers were expected to visit the city.

This will also be the third year traders can trade on Easter Sunday and a number of local businesses say it is worthwhile being open.

McLeods Booksellers will be open on Easter Sunday and were last year too.

Owner David Thorp said it was a busy day last year and he was expecting it to be busy this Easter Sunday.

"McLeods is a destination bookshop so we find it's always worthwhile being open."

McLeods Booksellers owner David Thorp outside the shop. Photo / Ben Fraser
McLeods Booksellers owner David Thorp outside the shop. Photo / Ben Fraser

Robert Harris owner Manroop Grewal said they would be open and that the Easter weekend was a great one.

"It is definitely worthwhile. We are expecting to be busy again."

Footloose Shoes owner Christine Vincent said opening on Easter Sunday was worthwhile because there were people around and plenty of visitors in town.

She said the lead up to Easter had been busy, though that may be due to school holidays.

"We are having a good April. I would expect it to be busy."

Meanwhile, NZ Transport Agency, New Zealand Police and ACC put out a joint statement asking people to plan ahead and follow the basics of road safety over the holiday period.

Since Easter Monday, Anzac Day and school holidays all fall in the same week, it's likely to be extra busy on our roads, NZTA acting director safety and environment Niclas Johansson.

MetService Weather New Zealand: April 18th-20th

NZTA predicts traffic will be especially heavy today and tomorrow, and then on the return journey on Sunday .

ACC chief customer officer, Emma Powell said there were 387 motor vehicle accident claims over the Easter period last year which was a substantial increase from the previous year of 312.

Metservice meteorologist Claire Nickson said with a current high ridge of pressure sweeping the country, a fine week was expected for the Bay of Plenty.

She said conditions were expected to be fine this weekend, with the odd cloud here and there.

Easter Weekend activities
1. Easter Pixel Art at Rotorua Library, ground floor April 20 and April 21, all day, no booking required
2. Rotorua Aquatic Centre Easter Egg Hunt, April 21, noon
3. Sport BOP school holiday scavenger hunts, Tikitapu (Blue Lake), clues available at
4. Have an egg race at a local park
5. Diversion Maze Park Big Maze Egg Hunt, April 20, 10.30am, prizes for best Easter
outfit, normal admission prices
6. aMAZEme Easter egg hunt, April 21, first hunt 11am, second hunt 2pm, general admission price
7. Bake and ice cookies in Easter-related shapes
8. Trevor Nathan's Easter Sculpture Exhibition, April 19 to April 28, 10am to 4pm, free
9. Hickey Contractors Ltd Easter Extravaganza, Paradise Valley Raceway, Saturday and Sunday, 5pm to 9pm, tickets available at
10. Lumberjax Easter Eggstravaganza, Easter egg hunt at 10.15am, $2 entry, colouring in competition