Thousands turn out for Rotorua's first Mudtopia Festival

Sometimes mud can be the bane of your life, but at Mudtopia Festival in Rotorua, it was the guest of honour.

Every kid and big kid's dream is plunging into a pool of dirty, sloppy mud, and thousands got it when they turned out for the inaugural festival.

Some wrestled, others braved the huge slide, and everyone got dirty.

Some came well prepared, sporting goggles and ear plugs, while one couple saw it as a chance to celebrate their wedding anniversary.

The mud crusted onto people's skin as they baked under the hot sun, and all the mud doubled as a beauty treatment.

Originally organisers had wanted to import the mud from Korea. That caused huge controversy, and so all 100,000 litres of mud ended up being locally sourced.

The festival finishes on Sunday, but the mud will likely stick around a lot longer.