Australia & NZ

7 of Auckland’s Most Incredible Festivals

Every country has its own set of historic and cultural festivals. Each is designed to highlight and important aspect of life or society, and the festivals held in the city of Auckland and the surrounding suburbs each year are certainly no exception.

Auckland New Zealand FestivalsImage credit: wonderferret

Those looking for a bit of adventure and culture rolled into one will want to make an attempt to visit Auckland while one of these incredible events is in progress.

7. Pasifika Festival

Auckland 3/12/05

The Pasifika Festival attracts more than 200,000 visitors each and every year. The focus is to bring community members together in a place where they can become engaged in both entertainment and the development of their neighborhoods.

Auckland 3/12/05

The festival features a number of artistic performances and is one of the strongest festivals in Auckland. The event, held in March of each year, usually has dates locked down more than 4 years in advance.

6. Auckland Heritage Festival

The Auckland Heritage Festival is held from the middle of September through the beginning of October each year. During this time the Auckland Heritage Festival staff encourages Auckland residents to reflect on their heritage – both natural and socially built.

This unique festival features a myriad of incredible musical performances, fashion shows, and art displays. There is, without a doubt, something for everyone in Auckland throughout the entire two week event.

5. Highlife New Years Eve Experience

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Auckland natives definitely know how to ring in the New Year and while the Highlife New Years Eve Experience is only one of the myriad of events occurring on New Years Eve it is certainly one of the best. Held in Matakana Country Park, the festival will feature 8 stages of music and a myriad of themed party spots.

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You’ve got to hand it to folks in the Southern Hemisphere – they get to ring in the New Year during their warmer season. This event, featuring music from almost every genre, is growing every year. You must purchase tickets in advance and if you’re traveling from afar to ring in the New Year in Auckland you’ll want to book your hotel room in advance as well. The Peace & Plenty Inn Auckland and the Ventura Inn & Suites Auckland Airport are both popular and affordable options.

4. Parnell Festival of Roses

Parnel Rose Festival 051

The Parnell Festival of Roses is held over two days at the end of October and is one of the area’s unofficial summer kickoff parties. Held at the Dove-Myer Robinson Park, the festival features musical entertainment in a bustling festival environment.

Parnell Rose Garden

While the lineup for 2009 has not yet been released, the events during the 2008 festivities were astounding. They featured readings by Sam Hunt, dances by Fairy Claire, and dozens of international food stands. The festival isn’t restricted to the park, either – you’ll find activities and events welcoming summer throughout Parnell and the rest of Auckland.

3. New Zealand Schools Choral Festival

The New Zealand Schools Choral Festival is held towards the end of July and beginning of August each year. The winter festival gives high school choirs from all over New Zealand and the Northern Hemisphere the opportunity to get together, sing, and perform with each other.

Auckland- Post Cruise

The festival is designed to give choirs from around the world the opportunity to “experience life down under.” Each traveling high school is matched with a New Zealand choir for hosting in both schools and local homes. The program gives children the opportunity to study Polynesian and Maori music, explore Auckland, and compete in the Holy Trinity Cathedral. The cathedral, located in the Parnell section of the city, is surrounded by several quality accommodations. Book early in an affordable hotel, such as the Parnell City Lodge, if you plan on traveling to hear the international high schools come together and sing. It’s an event you won’t want to miss.

2. Matariki Festival

A Maori meeting house at Te Papa museum

The Matariki festival, held on July 24th, is the official Maori New Year. One of the most important events on the Maori calendar, the festival honors Matariki constellation and gives natives the opportunity to give thanks for all of their bountiful blessings – including the earth itself.


The festival includes more than 60 different activities scattered throughout Tamaki Makaurau and the rest of Auckland. Relax, have fun, immerse yourself in Maori culture, and start planning for the future. The city really comes to life for this festival so make sure you book your Auckland hotel as far in advance as possible if you plan to attend during festival months.

1. Auckland International Film Festival

The Auckland International Film Festival, formerly known as the New Zealand International Film Festival is held in July of each year. While the festival welcomes films from all over the world it is really looked upon as an opportunity for Auckland film makers to put their documentary projects and feature films at the forefront.

Auckland held an international film festival here, good flicks

Throughout the course of the film festival you’ll see projects appropriate for individuals of all ages. The festival features a collection of eclectic categories including “Incredibly Strange Films” where you’ll see Nazi zombies, vampires, and whatever other odd creations the film producers were able to dream up.

These festivals represent some of the best Auckland has to offer. Kick back, relax, and explore the city during some of its most educational and entertaining events.  You won’t regret the trip!

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