Our Story

The idea of a Tulip Festival was first conceived in 2014 by the Inner City Focus Group (a group of innovative business owners) and its primary benefits are seen to be:
  • A major event in Rotorua's visitor 'shoulder period'.
  • An opportunity to capitalise on and celebrate the existing annual spring planting of tulip bulbs in the city and on the reputation Rotorua has for its beautiful city gardens having won for 6 times the Keep New Zealand Beautiful title in the award's eleven year history.
  • Potential to dovetail in to other regional spring garden festivals in Tauranga, Taranaki and Hamilton.
  • Contribution to the Rotorua 2030 goals of a vibrant city; business, innovation and prosperity; and a resilient community.
For over 15 years, Rotorua Lakes Council has planted 45,000+ tulip bulbs around the City as part of its annual spring planting initiative. For the last two years, Council has coordinated a programme of related events against this floral backdrop. This has included talks, demonstrations, guided walks, bus tours, competitions and a range of children's activities.

In 2014 the festival started with three day festival that quickly has grown to a 10 day festival of 100,000 tulips and over 40 separate events on the programme.

Tulip Fest has to date been run on a limited budget provided by Council, funding partners such as Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust and individual in-kind sponsorship. It has been coordinated by Council staff, with the support of a committee of community volunteers who are working hard to do as much as we can to showcase Rotorua and deliver a truly unforgettable festival.

Why not become a volunteer?
One of the best ways to get involved in the festival is to volunteer your time and skills to one or more of the many events on throughout the week.

As well as being part of the delivery team, you get the chance to meet new people, learn new skills and you can even get a reference to add to your CV.

Team Tulip at Rotorua Lakes Council, in conjunction with the event organisers, will be coordinating volunteers across the whole festival. If you want to know more about becoming a volunteer at the festival email Brigitte Nelson - including your name and contact details.

Reference the email 'Rotorua Tulip Festival Volunteer' and we will contact you to discuss how you can help.

Do you have an idea for a Tulip Festival event?
The Tulip Festival needs to grow and change each year to ensure we remain relevant and interesting, which means we are always keen to hear about new ideas for events that can be included.

If you or your organisation have an idea for an event or activity you would like to see part of the festival, contact Brigitte Nelson and let's talk...

Brigitte Nelson
(07) 3517057