A major new festival will bring mud, music and indulgence to Rotorua later this year.

The southern hemisphere's first mud and music festival, Mudtopia, will be held at Rotorua's Arawa Park Racecourse from December 1-3.

The three-day festival will boast a Mud Arena with mud sports, mud pools, mud obstacle courses, a mud run, and a mud zone built specifically for the kids.

Festival director Scott Rice said Mudtopia would have something for everyone, with the mud stage hosting an "epic line-up" of entertainment on Saturday, December 2.


Mudtopia will include an interactive display telling the story of mud in Rotorua, a licensed mud bar for over-18s and a high profile international artist.

"When you're not in the mud or on the dance floor, you can check out the interactive spa and wellness expo, snap away in the photo booths or delight in delicious food experiences," he said.

There'll be something for everyone at the inaugural Mudtopia event. Photo/Supplied
There'll be something for everyone at the inaugural Mudtopia event. Photo/Supplied

Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick said the concept of hosting a mud festival had gained traction in recent years due to a growing relationship with its sister event in Boryeong City, South Korea.

"Part of Rotorua Lakes Council's economic development vision for Rotorua is to become a spa and wellness destination, based on its unique geothermal and mud properties," Mrs Chadwick said.

"Mudtopia will really put Rotorua on the map for our unique spa and wellness attributes, as well as cement our position as one of the leading events destinations in the country."

Rotorua's Mudtopia festival will include a Mud Arena, with giant pools of liquid mud. Photo/Supplied
Rotorua's Mudtopia festival will include a Mud Arena, with giant pools of liquid mud. Photo/Supplied

Mudtopia is owned by the Rotorua Lakes Council, and has secured New Zealand Major Events funding for the next five years.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment announced, last June, that $1.5 million would be invested in the new festival through its Major Events Development Fund.

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Council major events co-ordinator, Jason Cameron, said over time the event was forecast to attract a significant number of domestic and international attendees, which would generate strong economic returns for both Rotorua and New Zealand.

The mud for Mudtopia will come from a quarry, rather than any protected geothermal features.

"The mud is not cosmetic grade clay but suitable as a thermal clay (dried mud) which in the Rotorua region is usually formed from volcanic ash or the local volcanic bed rock," he said.

Registration is open for pre-sale tickets which will be available from July 4. Tickets start at $50.

For more information visit www.mudtopia.com
Mud Stage - 2.5 days of music and entertainment, featuring the mud bar, mud mosh pit and R18 licensed concert featuring 'high profile international artists'. Mud Factor: 1/10

Mud Arena - Giant inflatable obstacle courses, giant pools of liquid mud and an interactive expo on Rotorua's 150-year history with mud. Mud Factor: 10/10

Mud Wellness - Group walks and yoga, shop the best of Rotorua's health and wellness offerings and find out more about the mineral properties of mud. Mud Factor: 1/10

Mud Indulge - Mud massage, mud facials and other beauty treatments, sample and purchase locally sourced products. Mud Factor: 1/10

Mud Games - An open format playground of games, including mud wrestling, mud slip'n'slide, gumboot throwing, mud super soakers, tug-o-war, mud dunking machines and mud pools. Mud Factor: 6/10

Mud Run - A mud obstacle fun run organised by the Tough Guy and Gal challenge. Mud Factor: 8/10

Piglet Pen - A designated area for kids under ten, mud obstacle courses, games, bouncy castle, mud slides, mud face painting and mud craft areas. As well as farm animals. Mud Factor: 6/10