New Zealand on track to hosting its first ever mud festival

Rotorua mud is known to be high in minerals. Pic: Hells Gate

IF you’ve ever imagined wading knee-deep in mud when on holiday, New Zealand will soon have just the thing for you. 

The inaugural Rotorua Mud Festival is slated to take place in December next year after an international partnership was signed between Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick, Boryeong City Mayor, Kim Dong-Il, and International Festival and Events Association president, Professor Gang Hoan Jeong.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has also announced its backing for the venture by pumping in US$1.08 million via the Major Events Development Fund.

Boryeong in South Korea runs an annual mud festival that draws in over three million visitors each year, and the Rotorua Lakes Council wants to establish a similar event in their town to take advantage of the city’s long history of using mud as therapy and treatment.

“When we are looking at what events fit the Rotorua destination and what is missing, then a mud festival proposal is very exciting,” Steve Chadwick said.

“In Rotorua, culture, dirt and steam is what we are about and mud fits our proposition. The festival will be fun, there will be an opportunity to feel the mud on your skin but it will also be about the beauty of the mud product.”

Rotorua mud is known to be high in minerals due to contact with volcanic gases and minerals from the earth’s center, and the mud is able to easily store heat which makes it ideal for heating treatments.