GO NZ: New Zealand’s summer season festivals and occasions to guide now

We’ve all spent more than enough time staring at the inside of our homes this year. With the long-awaited warm weather finally approaching us, it’s time to shake off those cobwebs and make the most of all of the exciting events and festivals taking place in New Zealand this summer – because we deserve some fun.

The epicenter for everything edible: the Hawke's Bay Food and Wine Classic.  Photo / Kirsten Simcox, includedThe epicenter for everything edible: the Hawke’s Bay Food and Wine Classic. Photo / Kirsten Simcox, included

Summer FAWC!

6-15 November

Hawke’s Bay is arguably New Zealand’s epicenter for good food and great wine, with 10 days and more than 60 events for this delicious festival. The Food and Wine Classic brings together the best local restaurants, wineries, breweries and producers for an unforgettable program in some of the most beautiful places in the country, from street food festivals to exclusive evenings that combine art and food to high tea tables. See fawc.co.nz for details.

Nothing says summer like the Black Caps in the Bay Oval.  Photo / Andrew Cornaga, Photo Sports, FileNothing says summer like the Black Caps in the Bay Oval. Photo / Andrew Cornaga, Photo Sports, File

The summer of cricket

from November 27th

Nothing says more about summer than the start of a five-day friendly match, and despite the global impact of 2020, the Black Caps will face Australia, Bangladesh, the West Indies and Pakistan in the upcoming 2020-21 season. The games are played across the country and include T-20, ODI and test games. See nzc.nz for full details.

The largest exhibition in the history of the Auckland Art Gallery: Toi o Tamaki in Britomart.  Photo / Patrick Reynolds, suppliedThe largest exhibition in the history of the Auckland Art Gallery: Toi o Tamaki in Britomart. Photo / Patrick Reynolds, supplied

You you you ora

December 5th – March 31st

In the heart of Britomart, this is the official satellite show of the Auckland Art Gallery’s acclaimed Toi tū Toi ora, the largest exhibition of contemporary Māori art in New Zealand for almost 20 years, including 300 works by more than 120 Māori artists. For more information, please visit aucklandartgallery.com.

Extraordinary creations: the world of wearable art at Te Papa.  Photo / suppliedExtraordinary creations: the world of wearable art at Te Papa. Photo / supplied

World of wearable art: up close

December 12th – February 14th

If you’ve ever wondered what’s really inside these extraordinary creations, this is your chance to experience the world of wearable art like never before. The impressive exhibition at Wellingtons Te Papa shows more than 30 extraordinary pieces of clothing from the world’s leading competition for wearable art. Visitors can discover the creativity and incredible details of the garments and the stories behind the designs. See

for more informations.

Finally here: The America's Cup World Series takes over the Auckland waterfront.  Photo / Richard Gladwell / Sail-World.com, fileFinally here: The America’s Cup World Series takes over the Auckland waterfront. Photo / Richard Gladwell / Sail-World.com, file

America’s Cup

from December 17th

It’s finally here. Auckland is gearing up for the 36th America’s Cup and the action begins in December. There are three events that make up the race for the trophy – at the America’s Cup World Series in Auckland, three challengers will compete against Emirates Team New Zealand for the Christmas Cup from December 17th before the Prada Cup – and the battle for the chance to fight the team New Zealand for the great – starts on January 15th. The final racing series for the America’s Cup will take place March 6-21. There are sure to be plenty of events in and around the viaduct when the action gets hot. Visit aucklandnz.com for details as soon as they are published.

Great acoustics, unbeatable atmosphere: Black Barn Amphitheater, Havelock North.  Photo / Glenn Taylor, Hawke's Bay todayGreat acoustics, unbeatable atmosphere: Black Barn Amphitheater, Havelock North. Photo / Glenn Taylor, Hawke’s Bay today

Black Barn concert series

From December 19th

The amphitheater in this Hawke’s Bay vineyard is widely recognized as one of the best outdoor venues in New Zealand, with great acoustics and an unbeatable atmosphere. Check out the outdoor cinema this summer starting December 27th as part of the Hawke’s Bay Outdoor Film Festival. If you’re in the mood for some music, the summer program is still in the works, but it’s already confirmed that Kiwi legend Dave Dobbyn will perform on December 19th alongside local 2020 favorites The Beths. For tickets starting at $ 69, visit blackbarn.com.

Award Hotels Te Anau Tennis Invitational

December 28-29

It’s a real shame the ASB Classic has been set for 2021 (thanks Covid) but this annual tournament features some of New Zealand’s strongest tennis players over two days of action in a casual setting, perfect for the whole family. General admission is $ 15.00 per adult and children are free. See teanautennis.co.nz for details.

Festival the other side

December 30th – 31st

Whangamatā, usually considered a classic kiwi beach town, hosts this two-day music festival on the mysterious-sounding Joe’s Farm, just outside the summer hotspot. Visitors can either camp on-site or hop on the bus to see a number of stellar Kiwi artists including Shapeshifter, LAB, David Dallas, and JessB. Tickets start at $ 118 on theotherside.nz.

Soundsplash

January 22nd – 24th

Happy 20th birthday for this raglan favorite. This summer favorite celebrates the milestone in style. A number of local legends like Fat Freddy’s Drop, Ladi6, Che Fu and Home Brew are entering the four legs of the Wainui Reserve while the markets are back too. Please visit soundplash.co.nz for more information.

Six60’s Saturday Tour

Different dates in January and February

Arguably the biggest band in New Zealand, Six60 are now touring with their show, visiting new cities and major venues for six Saturdays in January and February. Depart from Lower Hutt and visit Waitangi, Hastings, New Plymouth, Christchurch, Wellington and Hamilton along the way. You will have special guests and their own big hits in tow. See six60.co.nz for details.

    Tussock Traverse is one of New Zealand's most scenic spots.  Photo / Kurt Matthews, supplied Tussock Traverse is one of New Zealand’s most scenic spots. Photo / Kurt Matthews, supplied

Tussock traverse

January 30th

The Ruapehu region is an outdoor lover’s paradise and the Tussock Traverse is one of New Zealand’s most scenic and varied golf courses. An event for hikers and runners – with distances of 6 km to 50 km – offers something for everyone who wants a different challenge. The event supports the Tongariro (Tongariro Natural History Society) project and the work they are doing to preserve this spectacular area. Details on the listing can be found at tussocktraverse.co.nz.

A celebration of ingenuity and speed: Burt Munro Challenge, Invercargill.  Photo / James Jubb, suppliedA celebration of ingenuity and speed: Burt Munro Challenge, Invercargill. Photo / James Jubb, supplied

Burt Munro Challenge

February 10-14

This Southland classic has made a name for itself as one of the most important motorsport events in New Zealand. A range of racing disciplines will be put up and running over five action-packed days, including mountaineering, beach racing, track sprint, speedway and road racing. And the whole festival honors the legendary Burt, his ingenuity, determination and love for speed and motorcycles. More information is available at burtmunrochallenge.co.nz.

Fortnight of fun: Hamilton Garden's Arts Festival.  Photo / Mark Hamilton, included visit to WaikatoFortnight of fun: Hamilton Garden’s Arts Festival. Photo / Mark Hamilton, included visit to Waikato

Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival

February 19 – March 1

The Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival, now one of the city’s iconic open-air summer festivals, combines visual arts, music, comedy, film, theater, literature and dance for fourteen days of fun. The festival has been Waikato’s premier art event for more than 20 years, and the 2021 lineup is released every day. Visit hgaf.co.nz for the latest news and announcements.

Flying Circus: New Zealand's best exhibition teams at Wings over Wairarapa.  Photo / suppliedFlying Circus: New Zealand’s best exhibition teams at Wings over Wairarapa. Photo / supplied

Wings over Wairarapa Air Festival

February 26-28

With its Wānaka sister 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 flight program, there are fantastic ground demonstrations and activities for children of all ages. Past events have attracted 25,000 people – almost the total population of Masterton – and we know this is a weekend that Kiwis will attend. More information is available at wing.org.nz.

For more travel ideas and inspiration for New Zealand, visit newzealand.com

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