Entertainment in North Island

  • Entertainment in Rotorua

    Tamaki Māori Village

    Modestly proclaiming itself one of the 10 best experiences in the world, Tamaki offers a 3½-hour twilight Māori cultural experience in its recreated precolonial village, 15km south of Rotorua (transfers included). The encounter is very hands-on, taking you on an interactive journey through Māori history, arts, traditions and customs. The concert is followed by a hāngi.

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Gisborne

    Dome Cinema

    The excellent, artful Dome is located inside the charming old Poverty Bay Club building (1874): beanbags and art-house flicks now occupy the glass-domed ballroom. There's a cool bar next door serving beer, wine and pizzas amid black-painted floorboards. The very serviceable PBC Cafe is also here. Occasional live bands, too.

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Masterton & Around

    Screening Room

    An urbane addition to workaday Masterton's cultural life, the Screening Room is a top spot to catch a movie (two plush 60-seat cinemas) or sip wine on the terrace, along with some top-flight tapas (share plates $8 to $24). Lunch and dinner roam from Balinese sweet soy pork to BBQ-bacon-and-beef burgers (mains $19 to 29).

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Wellington

    Embassy Theatre

    Wellywood’s cinema mother ship is an art-deco darling, built in the 1920s. Today she screens mainly mainstream films with state-of-the-art sound and vision. Be sure to check out the glam Black Sparrow cocktail bar out the back.

  • Entertainment in Napier

    Globe Theatrette

    A vision in purple, this boutique 45-seat cinema screens art-house flicks in a sumptuous lounge, with ready access to pizza and dumpling snacks from a little eatery out the front.

  • Entertainment in Auckland

    Whoa! Studios

    Exciting and educational kids' shows are performed at this innovative theatre in Henderson – expect extreme fun and irreverence – and the whole shebang also features a brilliant kids' playground and the excellent Grounds Eatery. Check the website for what's scheduled in the theatre – usually across school holidays – but it's worth visiting just for the restaurant and playground.

  • Entertainment in Kingsland & Mt Eden

    Eden Park

    This stadium hosts top rugby (winter) and cricket (summer) tests by the All Blacks (www.allblacks.com) and the Black Caps (www.blackcaps.co.nz), respectively. It's also the home ground of Auckland Rugby (www.aucklandrugby.co.nz), the Blues Super Rugby team (www.theblues.co.nz) and Auckland Cricket (www.aucklandcricket.co.nz). Catch the train from Britomart to Kingsland and follow the crowds.

  • Entertainment in Rotorua

    Mitai Māori Village

    This family-run outfit offers a popular three-hour evening event with a concert, hāngi and glowworm bush walk. The experience starts with the arrival of a waka taua (war canoe) and can be combined with a night-time tour of Rainbow Springs next door, including a walk through the kiwi enclosure, or a soak at the Polynesian Spa. Pick-ups included.

  • Entertainment in Stratford

    King's Theatre

    When Stratford's fine old picture house opened on the last day of 1917, movies were still silent, King George V was on the throne back in London and New Zealand had only been an independent country for a decade. Saved from the wrecking ball after it closed in 1986, the restored King's Theatre is now Stratford's cinematic pride and joy.

  • Entertainment in Opunake

    Everybody's Theatre

    This restored 1920s theatre, run by volunteers, has been redeemed as Opunake's cutural beacon, with couches downstairs and regular movie theatre seats upstairs. Shows new releases as well as classic, foreign and fringe films on 'boutique nights' (tickets $28). Check out the amazing old projector in the lobby.

  • Entertainment in Martinborough

    Circus

    Martinborough has its own stylish art-house cinema – a mod, micro-sized complex with two comfy studio theatres and a cafe opening out on to a sunny, somewhat Zen garden. Food offerings (mains $24 to $34) include pizza, curries, chowder and bar snacks. Take your Wairarapa wine into the movie with you.

  • Entertainment in Whanganui

    Royal Wanganui Opera House

    Whanganui's magnificent white weatherboard opera house (1899) is New Zealand's (and some suggest the southern hemisphere's) last working Victorian-era theatre, with room for 830 bums on seats. The architecture is inspiring; wandering Tina Turner and Bruce Springsteen tribute shows, perhaps less so...

  • Entertainment in Wellington

    Meow

    Truly the cat’s pyjamas, Meow goes out on a limb to host a diverse range of gigs and performances: country, ragtime, DJs, acoustic rock, jazz, poetry… At the same time the kitchen plates up good-quality, inexpensive food at any tick of the clock. Mishmashed retro decor; cool craft beers.

  • Entertainment in Whanganui

    Savage Club

    The first Friday of every month is club night here; that means a scheduled performance from local and international stars, and even open mic earlier on. This is where the musos go for gigs. Search Whanganui Musicians Club on Facebook to see what's on. Better yet, it's BYO before 9pm.

  • Entertainment in Wairoa & Around

    Gaiety Cinema & Theatre

    The long-derelict Gaiety has been architecturally redeemed, and exudes gaiety once again! Art-house and mainstream movies on the Wairoa riverside and occasional music gigs too. The excellent Eastend Cafe is next door.

  • Entertainment in Whanganui

    Embassy 3 Cinemas

    Nightly new-release blockbusters selling out faster than you can say ‘bored Whanganui teenagers’. Arthouse films screen too, plus a new 20-seat boutique cinema called 'The Lounge' with plush seats and superior sound. Cheap tickets on Tuesdays.

  • Entertainment in Wellington

    Michael Fowler Centre

    The city's major concert hall stages regular performances by the NZ Symphony Orchestra (www.nzso.co.nz), Orchestra Wellington (www.orchestrawellington.co.nz) and assorted pop stars and contemporary musicians.

  • Entertainment in Napier

    Napier Municipal Theatre

    Not only the city’s largest venue for the likes of rock concerts, dance and drama (1000 seats), but also one of the world’s few working art-deco theatres. Worth going to for the original foyer lighting alone! Box office on-site.

  • Entertainment in Wellington

    Light House Cinema

    Tucked away near the top end of Cuba St, this small, stylish cinema throws a range of mainstream, art-house and foreign films up onto the screens in three small theatres. High-quality snacks; Tuesday tickets $11.50.

  • Entertainment in Rotorua

    Matariki

    The Novotel's 2½-hour Māori cultural experience includes a performance of traditional song and dance followed by a hāngi. It's held in a separate building adjacent to the hotel, facing the village green.