Festivals and Events

New Zealand’s vibrant culture comes alive through its diverse array of festivals and events, offering travelers a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the country’s rich heritage, culinary delights, artistic expressions, and sporting prowess. From traditional Maori celebrations to contemporary music festivals, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. In this guide, we’ll take you on a journey through some of New Zealand’s most exciting festivals and events, each offering its own unforgettable experience. So pack your bags and get ready to join the festivities!

Cultural Festivals:

  • Te Matatini: Experience the power and beauty of Maori performing arts at Te Matatini, the world’s largest celebration of kapa haka (traditional Maori dance), where teams from across the country compete in an exhilarating showcase of song, dance, and storytelling.
  • Pasifika Festival: Immerse yourself in the vibrant cultures of the Pacific Islands at the Pasifika Festival in Auckland, where you can sample traditional food, enjoy live music and dance performances, and browse arts and crafts stalls showcasing the diversity of Pacific heritage.

Religious Festivals:

  • Diwali Festival: Celebrate the Hindu festival of lights at Diwali Festival events held in cities like Auckland and Wellington, where you can enjoy colorful performances, traditional music, delicious Indian cuisine, and the lighting of diyas (oil lamps).
  • Chinese New Year: Ring in the Chinese New Year with festive celebrations in cities across New Zealand, featuring dragon dances, fireworks displays, lantern festivals, and traditional food markets.

Food and Drink Festivals:

  • Taste of Auckland: Indulge your taste buds at Taste of Auckland, a foodie paradise showcasing the best of the city’s culinary scene, with gourmet tastings, cooking demonstrations, wine and beer tastings, and opportunities to meet top chefs and producers.
  • Marlborough Wine and Food Festival: Sip and savor your way through New Zealand’s premier wine region at the Marlborough Wine and Food Festival, where you can sample world-class wines, gourmet cuisine, and local delicacies amidst stunning vineyard settings.

Music and Arts Festivals:

  • WOMAD: Immerse yourself in the sounds and rhythms of the world at WOMAD (World of Music, Arts and Dance), a global celebration of music, arts, and cultural diversity held in New Plymouth, featuring performances by international and local artists, workshops, and interactive activities for all ages.
  • New Zealand International Film Festival: Discover the best of New Zealand and international cinema at the New Zealand International Film Festival, a showcase of acclaimed films, documentaries, and short films screened in cities nationwide, with opportunities to meet filmmakers and attend Q&A sessions.

Sporting Events:

  • ASB Classic: Experience world-class tennis action at the ASB Classic in Auckland, where top-ranked players compete in the lead-up to the Australian Open, offering fans the chance to witness thrilling matches and up-and-coming talent.
  • Hilux New Zealand Rural Games: Celebrate New Zealand’s rural heritage at the Hilux New Zealand Rural Games, a family-friendly event featuring a range of traditional and modern rural sports and activities, including wood chopping, sheep shearing, sheep dog trials, and more.

Seasonal Festivals:

  • Lantern Festival: Welcome the arrival of spring at the Auckland Lantern Festival, a dazzling display of lanterns, performances, and cultural festivities held in Albert Park and the Auckland Domain, celebrating Chinese New Year and the beginning of the Lantern Festival season.
  • Winter Festival: Embrace the magic of winter at the Queenstown Winter Festival, a ten-day celebration of all things snow and ice, featuring live music, fireworks, street parades, ski and snowboard competitions, and a range of family-friendly activities.

Community Events:

  • Matariki: Join communities across New Zealand in celebrating Matariki, the Maori New Year, with a range of cultural events, workshops, and performances that honor the traditional Māori lunar calendar and the rise of the Matariki star cluster.
  • Christmas in the Park: Get into the holiday spirit at Christmas in the Park events held in cities nationwide, featuring live music performances, festive entertainment, and fireworks displays to celebrate the Christmas season with family and friends.

Arts and Crafts Fairs:

  • Craft Central Artisan Fair: Discover unique handcrafted treasures at the Craft Central Artisan Fair in Wellington, where local artisans showcase their skills and creativity in a wide range of crafts, including ceramics, textiles, jewelry, and woodworking.
  • Canterbury Artisan Festival: Browse the works of talented artists and makers at the Canterbury Artisan Festival in Christchurch, featuring a diverse range of handmade goods, live demonstrations, and workshops that celebrate the region’s vibrant arts and crafts scene.


As you plan your travels in New Zealand, be sure to check out the country’s vibrant calendar of festivals and events, where you can immerse yourself in the culture, cuisine, arts, and traditions of Aotearoa. Whether you’re a music lover, foodie, sports enthusiast, or cultural explorer, there’s something for everyone to enjoy on the festival circuit in New Zealand. So pack your sense of adventure and get ready to join the celebration!

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