Inaugural Mudtopia festival debuts in Rotorua New Zealand in December 2017

New Zealand's newest event, Mudtopia will make its debut in Rotorua this December.

Festival fans are set for an epic new mud and music experience later this year, with the announcement of the southern hemisphere’s first Mudtopia Festival, to be held in Rotorua from 1-3 December.

The three day festival at Arawa Park will boast an awesome line-up on Saturday 2 December, with work well underway to attract international headliners to perform on the night. 

Festival directors Scott Rice and Simon Brady describe Mudtopia as being uniquely New Zealand and a festival designed with something for everyone.

“As well as the mud stage and mud arena, there will be mud sports, mud pools, mud obstacle courses, a mud run and a dedicated mud zone for kids,” Mr Rice says.

“When you’re not in the mud or chilling out in front of the stage enjoying the music and entertainment, you can check in to a day spa treatment or check out one of the other interesting exhibitors on site.”

The three-day, high-energy festival is designed to create a playful sensory experience that awakens the world to Rotorua and the world of mud, by enabling people to get muddy and unleash their inner child.

Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick says the concept of an international mud festival for the city was first developed more than 10 years ago, but has gained traction in recent years through a growing relationship with its sister event in Boryeong City, South Korea.

Through Mudtopia’s partnership with the Boreyong Mud Festival, ticket holders will get a taste of the globally iconic festival. Mudtopia will also be a special feature at the Boryeong event, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary in July this year.

In order to assist this, professor Gang Hoan Jeong, inventor of Boryeong Mud Festival, came to Rotorua and advised Mudtopia based on his 20 year experiences of the Korean Mud Festival.

“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,” Mayor Chadwick says.

“Mudtopia will really put Rotorua on the map for its unique spa and wellness attributes, as well as cement our position as a leading events destination.” 

Rotorua mud is extremely high in minerals, particularly silica, due to its contact with natural geothermal and mineral waters that come from deep within the earth. This high mineral content ensures the mud stores heat easily when warmed, making it ideal for wellness treatments – as well as for the activities planned for Mudtopia.

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

“Rotorua is perfect for events like this, which quickly become a ‘must-do’ on the festival calendar.”

Muddiness on offer

  • Mud Stage – Chilling on a blanket during the day or up front in the ‘mud mosh pit’, the mud stage is the place to chillax and be entertained with two and a half days of music and entertainment, plus a R18 licensed concert on Saturday night featuring high profile international artists.
  • Mud Arena - An adventure land of muddy madness and mayhem. Strap on your togs or that horrible t-shirt your nana gave you and make your way to the giant inflatable obstacle courses. Think kid’s bouncy castles on steroids covered with slippery mud, giant pools of liquid mud with coordinated games to get you out of your comfort zone, muddy and having a blast with mates and strangers alike.
  • Wikimedia - Learn about Rotorua’s 150-year history with mud, featuring interactive displays telling the story of mud in Rotorua and an expo highlighting Rotorua’s tourism, spa and wellness, and adventure tourism businesses.
  • Mud Wellness - Realign your Zen and awaken to the world of natural mud skincare products along with best practice health and wellness living. Start your Saturday or Sunday morning with a 1.5km walk or 3km run (on grass) followed by a group yoga jam to some relaxing beats, and subsequent coffee and donuts for those not wanting to overdose on wellness.
  • Mud Indulge - Pamper yourself with a mud massage, mud facial and other beauty treatments at Mud Indulge.
  • Mud Games - Go on, channel your inner child and play in some mud – at your own pace and degree of muddiness! An open-format playground of games to enjoy. In the mud. From a casual mud wrestle to gum boot throwing to horizontal mud bungy and much much more – there’s something for everyone.
  • Mud Run - An epic purpose built course rammed with mud obstacles to challenge and enjoy. Run, walk or crawl around a fun-filled course at your own pace with your mates or solo. Varying degrees of difficulty (and mud factor) to choose from.
  • Piglet Pen (Kids) - Take the young ones to the Piglet Pen, a designated kids’ areas from little tots up to 10 years. It has a magnitude of mud entertainment including, mud games, bouncy castle, mud slides, mud face painting and mud craft areas. As well as farm animals including the kings and queens of mud indulgence – pigs!