Dunedin: where everything's happening in 2016

The Dunedin Sound, year-round
The Dunedin Sound, year-round

Event-rich Dunedin's calendar bulges with colourful and diverse festivals, celebrations and sports fixtures that rouse a carnival atmosphere across the city that visitors are welcome to celebrate with the local community.

From the big stars to the hidden gems, the city is proud of its rich and internationally acclaimed events and striking local talent.

Boasting some of the country's most impressive performance venues, the city offers extensive opportunities to take part in and enjoy the arts.

Long summer nights are perfect for immersing yourself in the city'svibrant and accessible arts, theatre and cultural community.

Celebrating the city's artistic vibe, the Dunedin Fringe Festival attracts local and international guests alongside Chinese New Year festivities, while iD Dunedin Fashion Week brings together and profiles local and international fashion designers.

Those drawn to sport take advantage of the renowned Forsyth Barr covered stadium, home of Super Rugby champions the Highlanders, and an All Blacks v Wales test later this year.

The NZ Masters Games take place in and around the city's extensive sporting facilities, and every year the Drive South Otago Rally is held in the region.

Dunedin has long been a magnet for musicians of all stripes, and home to some of the best live music venues in the country. The stellar summer programme of local, national and international artists at Chick's Hotel in Port Chalmers runs until March; there's a shuttle service from the city centre.

The intimate Inch Bar hosts music and comedy, lubricated by fine ales, and 52Dundas is both the address of the New Edinburgh Folk Club.

The legendary Crown Hotel is the de facto home base for the local punk and metal scene, with the best jukebox in town between gigs.

Winter brings stargazing and the wonders of Puaka Matariki, the Maori New Year festival, and the Midwinter Carnival lantern parade, as well as the indulgence of the Dunedin Cadbury Chocolate Festival, where 75,000 sweets are raced down the world's steepest street, Baldwin St.

Inquiring minds meet to explore, explode and experiment at this year's International Science Festival, the Dunedin Art Festival will feature a vibrant programme in October and the New Zealand Young Writers Festival will again be held in Dunedin, Unesco City of Literature (see P13).

Throughout the year, events create opportunities to engage with Dunedin's unique heritage: Olveston's Historic Homes Edwardian Games, the Vogel St Party held in the revitalised Warehouse heritage precinct.

Heritage Festival events this year will include Industrial Heritage activities; a Winter Ball in Larnach Castle and the annual Regent Theatre 24-hour Book Sale -- a booklover's happy place set in stunning surroundings.

Be a part of something special while you are in Dunedin.

Vogel St Party, October
Vogel St Party, October

JANUARY
15-24 Vero International Festival of Historic Motoring
25 Robert Burns birthday celebrations
30-7 Feb Southern Trust New Zealand Masters Games
FEBRUARY
8 Chinese New Year celebrations -- Year of the Monkey
13 Thieves' Alley Market Day
20-21 South Island Pipe Band Contests

MARCH
3-13 March Fringe Festival
19-20 Armageddon Expo
12-20 iD Dunedin Fashion Week
21 Sol3Mio

APRIL
8-10 Drive South Otago Rally
16-21 HMNZS Otago visit
22-24 Wild Dunedin nature festival
25 Anzac Day
30 Black Sabbath

MAY
6-8 International Film Festival Autumn Events
3-19 June Puaka Matariki (Maori New Year) Festival

JUNE
10-11 Regent 24-hour Book Sale
19 Midwinter Carnival
21 Royal NZ Ballet, Wizard of Oz
25 All Blacks v Wales
29-6 July International Food Design Experience, Conference and Studio

JULY
8-16 NZ International Science Festival
16-22 Dunedin Cadbury Chocolate Carnival
21-22 Grease Arena Spectacular
21-24 NZ Young Writers Festival

AUGUST
4-21 NZ International Film Festival

SEPTEMBER
30-9 Oct Dunedin Arts Festival

OCTOBER
8 Vogel St Party

NOVEMBER
Dunedin Craft Beer and Food Festival

- NZ Herald

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