New Zealand’s Iconic Events

Although justly famous for action and adventure, New Zealand boasts a wide range of other activities and festivals to keep you entertained from dawn till dusk … and beyond!

New Zealanders love to celebrate, and you’ll find all manner of parties and festivals happening throughout the year. Wine, music, arts and crafts, sports, horse racing, dance and fashion, flowers, architecture, scallops and even huhu grubs take their turn – New Zealand loves to highlight its natural talents and bounty! So whether you are a fashionista, want to get a dose of Kiwi live music or sample colourful New Zealand cuisine, ensure you catch some of the country’s classic events.

Iconic Events

From the American Express Queenstown Winter Festival in June, to top-notch fashion shows such as New Zealand Fashion Week in September, New Zealand hosts a range of iconic events. In April music lovers flock to the National Jazz Festival in Tauranga and the Bay of Islands Jazz and Blues Festival in August, while art buffs relish the Otago Festival of Arts in Dunedin and the Nelson Arts Festival both in October, and WOMAD in New Plymouth in March. If you’re here in May, you can catch the New Zealand International Comedy Festival on tour, and a must-do in June is a visit to the National Fieldays in Hamilton, the country’s biggest agricultural event. Matariki is the name of a cluster of stars visible in May and June. The stars’ rise indicates the beginning of a new crop season, marks the start of the Maori New Year and is celebrated around the country.

World Buskers Festival [Christchurch, Jan] A 10-day frenzy of street theatre, clowns, acrobats and more. Indoor and outdoor, day and night events.

Art Deco Festival [Napier, Feb] Built in Art Deco style, Napier is the perfect place to celebrate the exciting razzmatazz style of Art Deco.

PASIFIKA [Auckland, Mar] A kaleidoscope of events celebrating NZ’s Pacific roots. Cultural performances and competitions, markets and Pacific-flavoured events.

Ellerslie International Flower Show [Christchurch, Mar] Astonishing and inspiring display of landscape design.

WOMAD [Taranaki, Mar] The World of Music, Arts and Dance brings together international artists in a dynamic celebration of music, arts and dance from around the world.

American Express Queenstown Winter Festival [Queenstown, Jun] New Zealand’s biggest winter party is a 10-day celebration featuring street parties, fireworks, comedy, music and competitions.

Montana World of WearableArt™ [Wellington, Sep] Spectacular wearable creations presented in an amazing choreographed stage show.

Oamaru Victorian Heritage Week [Oamaru, Nov] The whole town gets out and about in period costume in the historic whitestone precinct.

Kiwi Holidays

New Zealand’s national day is Waitangi Day in February, marking the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840. Another public holiday is Anzac Day in April, a commemoration of the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps’ ill-fated Battle of Gallipoli during World War I. And Christmas Day is extra-special, too. It falls in summer in this part of the world, so many Kiwis love to spend their Christmas Day at the beach!