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Festival 2016

GCI's annual festival has been the highlight of the church's calendar since its inauguration in New Zealand in 1969, in Taupo.  Each year it is a time for celebrating Christ's presence and working in our lives, his love for each person and the mission he sends the Church to.  It is a time of teaching and equipping, of worship, and of being strengthened spiritually for life and service.  And it is also a time of fellowship, renewing friendships and making new ones. The festival for 2016 will be again in the Rotorua region: for the second time in a row, we will be meeting in the nearby lakeside town of Ngongotaha. Rotorua has many natural and cultural attractions: unique scenery, geothermal wonders, historic and cultural locations, and entertainment. Apart from having much for the visitor to do, it is a relaxing and congenial region to visit.

Our special guest speaker this year is Dr. Rey Taniajura, a longtime pastor and educator within GCI Philippines.  He was program director and professor at the Asian School of Developmental and Cross Cultural Studies, and has been active in pastoral, missional and tertiary education over many years.  He and his wife June will be with us for the whole period of the festival, and hope to be able to visit our two small Filipino congregations also.

The venue for 2016 is the Willowhaven Holiday Park, Ngongotaha.

Festival Dates & Service Times:  As in 2015, this year's festival has been positioned in the fortnight of school holidays, beginning on Wednesday, 28 September and concluding on the morning of Sunday, 2 October.  For early arrivers there will be an evening supper from 7:00pm for catching up on friends and general socialising on Tuesday, 27 September.  The festival itself will begin with a song service followed by sharing communion together, starting at 11:00am.  The afternoon service, our first full service, begins at 2:30pm.  Thereafter daily services will begin at 10:30am.

Travel Information

Ngongotaha is easily accessed by road or air, sitting on the western shore of Lake Rotorua and only 8 km from Rotorua City's centre.
AIR: Rotorua is an international airport.  Overseas visitors can book direct via Air New Zealand to Rotorua.  The Rotorua International Airport is only a short 10-15 minute taxi or shuttle ride to the city and then a further 10-15 minute drive to Ngongotaha.
ROAD: If travelling by car, Rotorua is about three hours from Auckland.  Rental cars are available from airports.

The two main coach companies are InterCity and Nakedbus.

Local commuting between Rotorua and Ngongotaha: Baybus provides inexpensive trips every 30 minutes.

Other useful websites:

Directions for travel - NZ Road Maps

Ngongotaha, Rotorua and the surrounding area are reasonably well endowed with a range of accommodation options, from hotels to campsites, motels to backpackers, farmstays, etc.  The costs also span a wide range but there are many budget opportunities to be had.  As a place to begin, you might wish to check the following websites: