What’s On: Your guide to what’s happening in Rotorua, Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty region


There’s plenty happening in the Bay of Plenty. Photo / 123rf


Friday, August 25 to Sunday, September 10: Kurungaituku netball tournament. Rotorua Netball’s 88th year of hosting the end-of-season social netball tournament for all grades of players. Held over three weekends. A staggering 600+ games of netball are played each weekend. We host teams from all over NZ and often some international teams too. Play begins at 8am until 4pm and all spectators are welcome.

Thursday, August 31 to Saturday, September 9: Priscilla Queen of the Desert — The Musical. A heartwarming, uplifting story of three friends who hop aboard a battered old bus searching for love and friendship and end up finding more than they had ever dreamed of. Sir Howard Morrison Centre. Tickets via Ticketmaster.

Saturday, September 2 to Friday, September 8: Zespri Aims Games. The Zespri AIMS Games is the largest junior sporting event in Australasia, held annually in Tauranga Moana. It provides 11-, 12- and 13-year old’s an opportunity to compete as an individual or a team across 20+ sporting codes.

Saturday, September 2: NPC — Bay of Plenty Steamers v Otago. Rotorua International Stadium 2.05pm to 6pm. Gates open 11.05am, curtain raiser 11.35am (Bay of Plenty Ngawha v North Harbour). Steamers v Otago Kick off 2.05pm.


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Saturday, September 2: Rockaria — The ELO Experience. A show that delivers a live concert, recreating the sound of Jeff Lynne’s The Electric Light Orchestra. Performing classics such as Evil Woman, Living Thing, Don’t Bring Me Down, Telephone Line, Rockaria and many more. Also including songs by Jeff Lynne’s The Travelling Wilburys such as Handle Me With Care, End of the Line, and Last Night. Baycourt theatre, 7.30pm, tickets via Ticketek.

 Goldsmith and Baynes.
Goldsmith and Baynes.

Sunday, September 3: Goldsmith Baynes at Rotorua Jazz Club. Allana Goldsmith’s soulful jazz vocal combines with Mark Baynes’ contemporary jazz stylings to produce this remarkable ensemble. In Rotorua they will be presenting jazz standards as well as their own compositions. 2022 album E Rere Rā. Rotorua Citizens Club 4.30pm to 8pm $20 casual, $10 members, $2 students.

Sunday, September 3: Be a seller at the Ōtūmoetai Rotary Club Car Boot Sale — it’s the last one before Daylight Saving begins. Ōtūmoetai College carpark. Opens for sellers to set up at 7.30am. Buyers welcome at 8am. Runs until 11am or it’s all gone. Sellers $10 a space. Proceeds for Rotary projects. Contact Brian 0211 1228735 or Bevan 027 4612127 for details.

Sunday, September 3: Tauranga Musica Argyle Trio (Wilma & Friends) at X-Space Baycourt at 4pm. Wilma Smith violin, Matthias Balzat cello, Laurance Matheson piano. Tickets at Baycourt box office.


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Thursday, September 7: Half of the Sky. The Rose sisters journey home for a weekend of birthday celebrations beside their awa. Ny, Rua and Rika find themselves caught in a whirlwind of realisations, as incomplete truths become whole, and the ties that bind their whānau together are tested. Sir Howard Morrison Centre. Tickets via Ticketmaster.

Monday, September 11: Coterie — Aronui Indigenous Arts Festival. Nau mai te wiki o Te Reo Māori! Join us, for the sweet-soulful vibes of this band of Māori brothers, who whakapapa to Tauranga Moana ft their te reo Māori hit song, Purea.

Thursday, September 14: Pōhutu — Aronui Indigenous Arts Festival. Pōhutu is an ode to the human experience navigating the ever-shifting nature of memory, time, place and loss. Created by visionary Aotearoa artists, choreographer Bianca Hyslop, designer Rowan Pierce and Mātanga Mātauranga Māori Tūī Matira Ranapiri-Ransfield. The work has two performers and is innovative in its use of image and design-based storytelling. Incorporating traditional and contemporary dance/movement practices it is a highly visceral experience for audience members and offers a truly live performance experience. Sir Howard Morrison Centre. Tickets via Ticketmaster.

Saturday, September 16: Miss Rotorua — Crowning Night. Sir Howard Morrison Centre. Join us for a night of gowns and geysers, where a predominantly indigenous cohort share their talents to be crowned, Miss Rotorua 2023. Led by Māori fashion designer and leader, Kharl Wirepa.

Sunday, September 17: Gift of Music Concert at Western Heights High School, 2pm. Come and enjoy a variety showcase of local youth talent across the arts, and support the Michael Pilaar Memorial Fund. Four more scholarships to young musicians will be awarded at the concert. Tickets $15 and $5, available at the door.

Sunday, September 17: NPC — Bay of Plenty Steamers v Wellington. Rotorua International Stadium 2.05pm to 6pm. Gates open 11.05am, curtain raiser 11.35am (BOP Toa U19 vs Auckland U19). Steamers v Wellington Kick off 2.05pm.

Thursday, September 21: Kairākau, Red Carpet Premiere — Aronui Indigenous Arts Festival. Step inside the world of historic Māori Warriors, Kairākau, as they battle for life and death in this action drama series. Sir Howard Morrison Centre, Sir Owen Glenn Theatre. Tickets via Ticketmaster.

Thursday, September 21 to Saturday, October 7: Matilda The Musical — Tauranga Musical Theatre. The story of an extraordinary girl who, armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, dares to take a stand and change her own destiny. Inspired by the twisted genius of Roald Dahl, the Tony Award-winning Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical is the captivating masterpiece from the Royal Shakespeare Company that revels in the anarchy of childhood, the power of imagination, and the inspiring story of a girl who dreams of a better life.

Saturday, September 23: Dr Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat. Sir Howard Morrison Theatre. Two bored kids, one rainy day, and one crazy cat wearing a red-striped hat. In 1957, Dr Seuss used only 200 words to write his classic tale. More than 50 years later, The Cat in the Hat is a much-loved children’s phenomenon. Tickets via Ticketmaster.


Sunday, October 1: Tauranga STEM Festival. STEMFest will showcase 50+ exhibitors from across Aotearoa. Bringing organisations that are creating and developing amazing things around science, technology, engineering, and mathematics together under one umbrella.


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Saturday, October 8: Sun to Surf — Run and Walk, Ōhope — 21.1km, 10km, 5km or kids’ 1km. Hang out in the Sun to Surf Craft Food and Beverage Village and enjoy entertainment in the beautiful Mahy Reserve.

Thursday, October 12: Ladies Night — Nationwide Tour 2023. This comedy is about to get its gear off again, in a nationwide tour this October. This hilarious new production of Ladies Night promises to be this year’s funniest night out as these real Kiwi blokes dare each other to put on a male strip show, after falling down on their luck and needing some extra cash. Sir Howard Morrison Theatre. Tickets via Ticketmaster.

The Ultimate Drag Show brings a line-up of Wellington's fiercest drag queens and kings to Baycourt Community and Arts Centre.
The Ultimate Drag Show brings a line-up of Wellington’s fiercest drag queens and kings to Baycourt Community and Arts Centre.

Friday, October 13: The Ultimate Drag Show. Baycourt Addison Theatre. The Ultimate Drag Show features a sensational line-up of Wellington’s fiercest drag queens and kings who are bringing you gag-worthy lip-syncs and drag excellence that’ll leave you screaming shantay, you all stay. Tickets via Ticketek.

Monday, October 16: Somi Kim: Mozart and More! A winner of the Royal Over-Seas League Accompanist Prize and the Gerald Moore Award for Accompanists, Somi enjoys an impressive career as a chamber musician and soloist. She performs as the official pianist of NZTrio, one of New Zealand’s most indispensable ensembles. Somi was recently awarded the Associate of the Royal Academy of Music (ARAM) to recognise her contribution to music. Sir Howard Morrison Centre, Sir Owen Glenn Theatre. Tickets via Ticketmaster.

October 19 to 29: Tauranga Arts Festival. The festival is 10 days of music, theatre, comedy and visual arts. Escape is delivered in alternate years to the festival and is a readers and writers weekend with thought-provoking talks.

The Haka Party Incident, Tauranga Arts Festival.
The Haka Party Incident, Tauranga Arts Festival.

Thursday, October 19: Tauranga Arts Festival — The Haka Party Incident will open the 2023 festival at Baycourt Community and Arts Centre. Following its renowned sold-out premiere season in 2021, this groundbreaking work will come to Tauranga following a six-centre tour that has played to standing ovations and sell-out crowds.


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Stand-up comedian Wilson Dixon  is performing at the  Tauranga Arts Festival in October.
Stand-up comedian Wilson Dixon is performing at the Tauranga Arts Festival in October.

Thursday, October 26: Tauranga Arts Festival — Wilson Dixon stand-up comedy. He claims to be the greatest country singer Cripple Creek, Colorado has ever produced — in fact, he is the only country singer Cripple Creek has ever produced, but doesn’t let that stand in the way of a wealth of funny stories and songs about his extended family and horse Andrew.

Saturday, October 22: Vegan Vibes, Soper Reserve, Mount Maunganui 10am to 3pm. Vegan Vibes will bring a curated line-up of some of some favourite local and national brands that epitomise the vegan lifestyle along with a great host of speakers, workshops and live music.


Sunday, November 5 to Monday, November 6: The Royal Czech Ballet — Sleeping Beauty at Baycourt Addison Theatre. Sleeping Beauty follows the story of Princess Aurora. When the bad fairy Carabosse is not invited by the King to the Princess’ christening, she casts a spell on the Princess that will mean she will die if pricked by a needle from the age of 16. The King tries to protect his daughter by banning all needles in the Kingdom, however Princess Aurora accidently pricks her finger on her 16th birthday. 100 years later, a handsome prince stumbles upon the Sleeping Beauty, Princess Aurora, where she is awoken from her sleep and witchcraft is defeated. Tickets via Ticketek.

Friday, November 10 to Saturday, November 11: Legend of the Peak, Redwoods — Whakarewarewa Forest. New Zealand Forest Marathon — 4 Peaks — 42km, Moerangi Half Marathon — 2.5 Peaks — 21km, Titokorangi 10K — 2 Peaks — 10km, 5K Trig Loop — 1 Peak — 5km, Kids Forest Run — 2km.

Saturday, November 11: Queen — It’s a Kinda Magic. Get ready for a night of non-stop rock anthems including We Will Rock You, We Are the Champions, Radio GaGa, I Want to Break Free, Somebody to Love, Don’t Stop Me Now, Another One Bites the Dust, A Kind of Magic, Bohemian Rhapsody and so many more. You’ve seen Bohemian Rhapsody at the cinemas, now see it all come alive on stage and in concert, with big sound, big screens, crazy lighting and outlandish costumes. Baycourt Addison Theatre. Tickets via Ticketek.

Friday, November 17: Cosmic Psychos New Zealand tour — Totara St. The Cosmic Psychos are (almost) an Australian punk rock institution who formed in Spring Plains, Victoria in 1982, spearheaded by founding member and bass player Ross Knight.


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Saturday, November 25: Polo in the Bay, Trustpower, Baypark — a fresh, fast-paced format designed for spectators that requires zero polo knowledge to enjoy. The event will feature some of NZ’s most talented players going head-to-head in their provincial colours. Teams include Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Hawke’s Bay. Gates open at 2pm , first game 2.30pm.


Saturday, December 2: Rotorua A&P Show — Agrodome Rotorua, 8.30am to 5pm.

Sunday, December 10: The Sweet Caroline Tour: A Tribute to Neil Diamond. Baycourt theatre. Take a step back into the glory days of music and musicianship with this beautiful tribute concert, featuring Sweet Caroline, Cherry Cherry, Red Red Wine, Crunchy Granola Suite, Shilo, Cracklin’ Rosie, You Don’t Bring Me Flowers, Both Sides Now, Heartlight, Forever In Blue Jeans, Song Sung Blue, Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show, I Am… I Said, Girl You’ll Be a Woman Soon and more.

Regular events

Now until September 23: I/O Exhibition at Kūwao Space at 35 Devonport Rd, Tauranga. An exhibition fusing technology and tradition. Featuring artists Kauri Wharewera and Kereama Taepa.

Sunday, July 30 to Sunday, September 24: RATS Winter Duathlon Series 2023. Three events over three months — Sunday, July 30, Sunday, August 27, and Sunday, September 24. Mountain Bike Rotorua. Entries at

October 9 to December 4: Skate Fit Class. Join Moana Roller Derby for fun and fitness on skates with our NEW Skate Fit Classes. These classes are an awesome mixture of fitness drills and strength exercises – and it’s all done on roller skates. Open to all, 16 years and older. You must have a basic level of skating ability (be able to stand up and skate/roll with some confidence, without assistance) and your own skates and protective gear. Mondays 6-7pm from October 9 – December 4 (excl Labour Day) at Mount Sport Centre. $80 for 8 classes. See Moana Roller Derby on Facebook for more info.


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Now until January 31: Western Bay Museum presents Treasures of Culture. An opportunity for the Katikati community to share personal taonga / treasures as a way celebrating our community’s rich diversity and honouring the traditions and stories of those who make this place such a vibrant and dynamic place to live.

Weekly: Cards 500 at the Mount Community Hall every Tuesday and Thursday 12.30 to 4pm. Afternoon tea provided. All welcome. Inquiries to phone 0276586848.

Tuesdays: Rotorua District Cadet Unilt Parades — if you’re Year 9 and up, come along to see if you are the next Cadet to join the ranks. Where: 23 Geddes Rd, Rotorua on Tuesdays, during school term, 6.15pm to 9pm.

Thursdays: Rotorua Night Market, weekly at Tutanekai St from 5pm until 9pm. Weather dependant.

Thursdays: The Mount Art group meets every Thursday at St Peters Anglican church hall, 15 Victoria Rd at the Mount, from 9am until midday. Call Merilynn on 0274846874 for more information.

Thursdays: Air Training Corp, Parade during term weeks from 6.15pm at 23 Geddes Rd. Age 13-plus. Come down and have a look or contact for more information. You are welcome to come and have a look.


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Fridays: Friday Night Fun Night at Baywave Enjoy two hours of racing down the Hydroslide, bobbing through the waves in our wave pool and bombing off a special platform to the latest tunes for $6 per person. From 6pm to 8pm Fridays, excluding public and school holidays.

Saturdays: Kuirau Park Saturday Market , operated by the Rotorua North Rotary Club, opens every Saturday morning, wet or fine, 7am to 2pm. Stalls selling vegetables, wide range of takeaway food, coffee, meat, jewellery, clothing, massages, gift cards, and more. Proceeds used in the community. Sites for stalls cost $30.

Saturdays: Tauranga Farmers Market rain or shine, 7.45am to midday at Tauranga Primary School.

Saturdays: Book sale on the first, third and holiday Saturday of each month. All funds raised go back to the library. From 9am to 1pm at Kuirau Park.

Saturdays: The Little Big Markets Mount Maunganui at Coronation Park on the first, third and last Saturday of every month from 9am to 2pm.

Saturdays: The Greerton Hall Market on the second and last Saturday of every month from 8am to 12pm.


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Sundays: Waihi Beach Sunday Market 9am to 1pm at Wilson Park.

Daily: Government Gardens Guided Tours, 11am, outside Rotorua Museum.

Monthly: Sol Markets at Simpson Reserve includes products, services and information from local stallholders that consider sustainability in their business practises. From 9am to 2pm on the first Sunday of the month.

Monthly: The Little Big Markets Pāpāmoa from 9am to 2pm at The Pāpāmoa Pony Club. January 15, February 19, March 19 and April 23.

Monthly: Geyserland Country Music Club meets on the first Wednesday from 1pm-3pm and the third Sunday of the month from 1pm -4.30pm at the Rotorua Bowling Club. Non-members $5, children under 13 free. For more information go to Geyserland Country Music Club Facebook page.

Monthly: Rotorua UkeBox Ukulele Open Mic and Strum Along. Third Sunday of the month, 3pm to 4.30pm at Te Runanga Tea House. Free to strum or sing along or watch.


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Monthly: Western Bay Crop Swap, a free event for backyard gardeners, home bakers and food foragers to swap and share high quality local food on the first Saturday of the month, 10am to 11am at SuperGrans Western Bay of Plenty, 14 Jocelyn St, Katikati.

Monthly: Rotorua Jazz Club meets first Sunday of every month, 4.30pm to 8pm, winter and summer. Rotorua Citizens Club, Arawa St. $20 entry for adults, $2 for juniors. The public is always welcome. For upcoming events and bands go to Rotorua Jazz Club Facebook page or email

Monthly: Historic Village Wellbeing Market on the third Saturday of the month from 10am to 3pm.

Monthly: Omokoroa Market featuring arts and crafts, produce, plants and car boot, plus more. Held on the last Saturday of the month 9am to midday at Omokoroa Settlers Hall.

Monthly: Maketū Market from 7am at Maketū Village Green on the third and fifth Sunday of the month. Vendor stalls $10. Phone Maureen 021 2671 685

Monthly: Improv Comedy with The Honest Liars — 16th Ave Theatre. First Saturday of the month 7.30pm to 9pm, entry $15.


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Monthly: BOP Blues Club Jam, first Wednesday of the month. 7.30pm to 10.30pm. Rotorua Citizens Club.

Monthly: Art By Bike Tours, third Saturday of the month, (finishes April 15) 10am, Te Manawa.

Fortnightly: Pakihi Ora Māori Business Network Māori Business Rōpū focused on bringing together and supporting ngā pakihi Māori. Anchored in Māori values, knowledge and cultural practices, dedicated to creating spaces that are mana-enhancing. A place where Māori business owners can come together and feel connected through mātauranga. This is a Wednesday fortnightly kaupapa held at Kai Caff Aye, Fenton St, 7.30am — 9.00am. Visit Pakihi Ora on Facebook for more information.

■ What’s On runs weekly. To include your event, email details to at least a week before the event.

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