Top ChoiceCultural in Napier

Art Deco Festival

In the third week of February, Napier and Hastings co-host the sensational Art Deco Festival. Around 125 events fill the week (dinners, picnics, dances, balls, bands, Gatsby-esque fancy dress), many of which are...

Top ChoiceFashion in Wellington

World of WearableArt

A two-week run of spectacular garments (dresses or sculptures – it's a fine line) displayed in a spectacular show. Tickets are hot property; hotel beds anywhere near the city sell out weeks in advance.

Top ChoiceMusic in New Plymouth


A broad sweep of local and international artists perform at the Bowl of Brooklands each March. Hugely popular, with music fans trucking in from across NZ. Camping sites available, too (buy 'em online).

Cultural in Auckland

Pasifika Festival

Pasifika Festival

Western Springs park hosts this giant Polynesian party with cultural performances, and food and craft stalls; held over a weekend in early to mid-March.

Cultural in Paihia

Waitangi Day

Various ceremonial events at Waitangi Treaty Grounds, including speeches, a naval salute and an annual outing for the huge waka taua (war canoe) Ngātokimatawhaorua. The day then continues with food, music and...

Cultural in City Centre & Britomart

Lantern Festival

Three days of Asian food, culture and elaborately constructed lantern tableaux in Albert Park to welcome the Lunar New Year (usually held in February).

Cultural in Auckland


Massive Auckland secondary schools’ Māori and Pacific Islands cultural festival.

Sports in Hamilton

New Zealand Rugby Sevens

Held at Hamilton's Stadium Waikato, usually across the last weekend of January, this is the New Zealand leg of the international Rugby Sevens Series. Look forward to lots of running rugby from teams representing...

Cultural in Te Kuiti

Great New Zealand Muster

The highlight of the Great New Zealand Muster is the legendary Running of the Sheep, when 2000 woolly demons stampede down Te Kuiti’s main street. The festival includes sheep-shearing championships, a parade,...

Cultural in Whangamata

Whangamata Beach Hop

This annual celebration of retro American culture – expect hot rods, classic cars, motorbikes and rock and roll – is a great time to be in town. Dust off the classic white T-shirt and leather jacket combo and...

Music in Auckland

Auckland Folk Festival

An annual family-friendly long-weekend festival of traditional, Celtic, Americana and folk music held in the Kumeū Showgrounds in West Auckland. Camping is available, so you can enjoy the music, dancing, kids'...

Cultural in Wellington


Three weeks of way-out-there experimental visual arts, music, dance and theatre. Although it's held around the same time as the biennial (and much more highbrow) New Zealand Festival, Fringe happens every year.

Art in Waiheke Island

Sculpture on the Gulf

A 2.5km clifftop sculpture walk, held for a month in March in odd-numbered years. The next event is in 2021. Check the website for details of special shuttle buses and a dedicated festival information centre...

Music in Gisborne

Rhythm & Vines

A huge event on Gisborne's music calendar, R&V is a three-day festival leading up to New Year’s Eve, featuring big-time local and international bands and DJs and boundless East Coast wine. Local accommodation...

Performing Arts in Hastings & Around

Hawke's Bay Arts Festival

Barely half-a-dozen years young, this innovative arts fest draws the crowds to venues in Havelock North, Hastings and Napier for two weeks of dance, drama, songs and interactive installations, with lots of free...

Cultural in New Plymouth

Festival of Lights

Complete with live music, 1000 light installations and costumed characters roaming the undergrowth, this colourful display illuminates Pukekura Park from mid-December to early February.

Wine in Gisborne

First Light Wine & Food Festival

Cellar-door spectacular, with local winemakers and foodies pooling talents. Buses leave from the Gisborne i-SITE, transporting revellers between the venues. Live music ahoy.

Sports in Waipu & Bream Bay

Waipu Highland Games

Only 10% of current residents are direct descendants of the original Scots, but there’s a big get-together every year, when the Highland Games, established in 1871, take place in Caledonian Park.