Top things to do in Auckland: Winter Festivals
Let’s be real, we work in tourism and dream of travel all year round. So when the chilly season hits, it’s the perfect excuse for a winter getaway. But with so much on offer in Auckland this July, we're planning a mini-break to enjoy events right in our backyard. Between Elemental AKL, Matariki - Maori New Year, the New Zealand International Film Festival and the Pop-Up Globe winter season — we're mega excited. So don't hibernate, wrap up, get out and celebrate this beautiful city. Here’s our pick of what’s coming up this winter for both visitors and locals to enjoy:
Matariki - Maori New Year 22 June to 14 July
This time of renewal, when the Matariki star cluster rises in the midwinter skies, will be celebrated nationwide with a series of free and ticketed events. We like the look of these events.
> Hangi at Britomart Lunchtime Tue 25 - Sun 30 June.
The Maori Kitchen crew are bringing their A game to Britomart, digging up the lawn downtown at Takutai Square and laying down a traditional hangi. Listen to music and sample some great food and drink with a guitair party singalong from 5pm till late.
> Vector Lights for Matariki Festival - 8 minute shows, half hourly 27 June - 14 July (FREE)
The Auckland harbour Bridge will be lit up with the sacred star of the Maori New Year, te wetuu tapu o te tau hou Maaori. Includes a soundtrack of songs composed specifically for Matariki Festival.
> Matariki Market on K’Road Thurs 4 July, 6pm - 9pm (FREE)
The foyer of historic George Coutt’s on K’Road will be transformed into an arts and crafts market with the opportunity to learn more about Matariki
> Matariki on the Move: Understanding Maori Astronomy Wed 10 July 7pm - 10 pm Sky City Theatre (FREE)
Join Astronomer, Dr Rangi Matamua, expert Rereata Makiha and master navigator Hoturoa Kerr for one night only as they share their latest research and knowledge on Maori astronomy. Learn how the stars guided traditional customs and navigation techniques.
> Matariki on the Move: Sail a waka from 24th June - 14th July (various times) (FREE)
Board a traditional waka from Orakei Marina and sail out to a dark-sky under the guidance of navigation and way-finding expert, Hoturoa Kerr. Learn about the Matariki star clusters and their meanings.
Elemental AKL - July
This Auckland-wide winter festival curated by ATEED promises to illuminate the city with around 60 free and ticketed events covering art, culture and cuisine. Check out the full programme because here's where we’re heading:
> Turama Festival Albert Park 26 - 28 July
Albert Park will be transformed into an immersive art experience for Turama Festival - an enchanting world of light. The festival will showcase artworks ranging from performance to sculpture, imaginative illumination to interactive installation. Enjoy amazing food and drink, local Auckland musicians and a full service bar. A great reason to explore a magical slice of our inner city.
> Silent Disco Citywalk "Glow in the Dark" Edition
Throw on your dancing shoes and Silent Disco headphones. Then boogie and walk your way around Auckland by night guided by special dance instructors. This multi-sensory 60-min experience begins at Silo Park and ends at Queens Wharf.
> Pop Up Globe Winter Festival From 19 July (Four week season)
The popular Shakespear theatre opens its doors for a limited winter season under a brand new all-weather heated Pop up Globe. New productions include A Midsummer Nights Dream and Twelfth Night with the return of popular shows Hamlet and Measure for Measure.
With so much on offer, the city will be abuzz this winter. Our Hello Auckland small-group walking tours feature Maori art and new installations in place especially for Matariki so walk this way for the highlights.
Image and copy credit: ATEED Elemental AKL website