We’ve all spent more than enough time looking inside our homes this year. With long awaited warm weather finally creeping up on us, it’s time to let go of those cobwebs and take advantage of all the exciting events and festivals happening around New Zealand this summer – because we’ve had a little fun.
Arguably New Zealand’s center for great food and fine wine, Hawke’s Bay hosts 10 days and over 60 events for this delicious festival. The Food and Wine Classic features the best of local restaurants, wineries, brewers and producers joining forces for an unforgettable program, in some of the country’s most stunning locations, from street food festivals to exclusive evenings combining art and food and honeycomb to tables high tea. see fawc.co.nz for details.
starting 27 November
Nothing says Summer is like the start of a five-day trial match, and despite what 2020 throws at the world, the Black Caps will face Australia, Bangladesh, West Indies and Pakistan in the upcoming 2020-21 season. Games will be played across the country, and include T-20, ODI and test matches. see nzc.nz for all the details.
You you you or
December 5 – March 31
Staged in the heart of Britomart, this is the official Toi tū Toi ora satellite show at the Auckland Art Gallery, New Zealand’s largest contemporary Māori art exhibition in nearly 20 years, including 300 works by more than 120 Māori artists. see aucklandartgallery.com for more details.
Wearable Art World: Up Close
12 December – 14 February
If you’ve ever wondered what actually goes into these incredible creations, here’s your chance to experience a World of Wearable Art like never before. The in-depth exhibition at Wellington’s Te Papa showcases more than 30 extraordinary outfits from the world’s leading clothing arts competitions, with visitors able to explore the creativity and extraordinary detail of the clothes and the stories behind the designs. see
for more information.
starting December 17th
Finally it’s here. Auckland is set to host the 36th Copa America and the action starts this December. There are three events that round out the race for the Cup – the Auckland American Cup World Series brings together three challengers against the Emirates New Zealand Team for the Christmas Cup starting 17 December, before the Prada Cup – and the scramble to take on Team NZ for the big – starts on January 15. The final series of races for the America’s Cup runs from March 6 to 21. There will definitely be a lot of events going on in and around the Viaduct as the action heats up. check aucklandnz.com for details when released.
Black Barn Concert Series
Starting December 19
This amphitheater in the Hawke’s Bay vineyard is widely considered to be one of New Zealand’s best outdoor spots, with great acoustics and an unbeatable atmosphere. This summer, check out an outdoor cinema that opens as part of the Hawke’s Bay Outdoor Film Festival from December 27th. If you want a little music, summer queues are still in the works, but it’s confirmed, Kiwi legend Dave Dobbyn will be performing alongside 2020 local darling The Beths on December 19. Tickets start at $ 69, look blackbarn.com for details.
Distinction Hotels Te Anau Tennis Invitational
It’s a shame the ASB Classic has been postponed for 2021 (thanks Covid), but this annual tournament features some of New Zealand’s strongest male tennis players over two days of action in a relaxed atmosphere, perfect for the whole family. General admission is $ 15.00 per adult and children are free. see teanautennis.co.nz for details.
The Other Side Festival
December 30 – 31
Whangamatā, usually considered a quintessential Kiwi beach town, holds this two-day music festival at the mysterious-sounding Joe’s Farm, just outside the summer hot spot. Visitors can camp on site, or take a bus to see a lineup of famous Kiwi artists such as Shapeshifter, LAB, David Dallas and JessB. Tickets start at $ 118 from theotherside.nz.
Happy 20th birthday to Raglan’s favorite. This summer’s favorite celebrates milestones in style, with lineups of local legends including Fat Freddy’s Drop, Ladi6, Che Fu and Home Brew taking to four stages at the Wainui Reserve, while markets also return. see soundsplash.co.nz for more details.
Saturday Six60 Tour
Various dates in January and February
They are arguably New Zealand’s biggest band, and now Six60 have their gigs on the road, visiting new cities and big venues on six Saturdays in January and February. Starting in Lower Hutt and stopping at Waitangi, Hastings, New Plymouth, Christchurch, Wellington and Hamilton along the way, they’ll have special guests and big hits of their own. see six60.co.nz for details.
The Ruapehu region is an outdoor lover’s paradise and the Tussock Traverse is one of New Zealand’s most beautiful and diverse courses. Events for hikers and runners – ranging from 6 km to 50 km – offer something for everyone who wants a different challenge. This event supports the Tongariro Project (Tongariro Natural History Society), and the work they are doing to preserve this spectacular area. see tussocktraverse.co.nz for entry details.
Burt Munro’s challenge
This Southland classic has cemented its name as one of New Zealand’s premier motor sporting events. Over the course of five action-packed days, a number of racing disciplines will race including hill climbing, beach racing, sprint racing, speedway and road racing. And the whole festival honors the legendary Burt, his ingenuity, determination and love of speed and motorbikes. see burtmunrochallenge.co.nz for more details.
Hamilton Park Arts Festival
February 19 – March 1
What is now an iconic outdoor summer festival for the city, the Hamilton Park Arts Festival combines visual arts, music, comedy, film, theater, literature and dance for two weeks of fun. This festival has been Waikato’s premier arts event for over 20 years and the 2021 list will be released any time. see hgaf.co.nz for the latest news and announcements.
Air Wing Festival Over Wairarapa
February 26 – 28
With the Wānaka sisters’ event canceled this year due to Covid-19, this Wairarapa favorite will be New Zealand’s first major air show in two years. In addition to the spectacular flying program, there are fantastic ground shows, as well as activities for kids little and big. Previous events have drawn crowds of 25,000 people – almost the equivalent of the entire Masterton population – so we know it’s the weekend Kiwis will be lining up to be a part of. see wings.org.nz for more details.
For more New Zealand travel ideas and inspiration, visit newzealand.com