Close to home: Arts in Christchurch

By Heather Ramsay

The biennial Christchurch Arts Festival runs from August 12 to October 2, and offers a diverse programme of music, theatre, dance, visual arts, food and family events. This year the festival will have a distinctly Christchurch focus, with talented performers returning to their hometown and events reflecting the city's sense of community and creativity. Generous sponsorship means the shows are available at a low ticket price of $20.

Pacific treasures

Oceania, a collaborative exhibition project of visual art, culture and history from across the Pacific, runs at both Te Papa and City Gallery Wellington until October 23.

Oceania: Imagining the Pacific at City Gallery focuses on contemporary art while Oceania: Early Encounters is a collection of objects and taonga exhibited in Te Papa's Visa Platinum Gallery.

Mountain bike magic

Opening on October 1, Toratora is a new mountain bike experience in Tora Station, 30 minutes' drive from Martinborough.

The professionally designed, purpose-built trail weaves for 14km through spectacular native bush, past meandering creeks to breathtaking ridges that overlook the coastline. There are also two walking trails - a 13km walk to the coast and an easy 6km coastal ramble. On-site accommodation and catering is available.

Contact: (06) 307 8151

Night lights

Creative artists bring a riot of light and colour to the craggy rock faces and open meadows of Whangarei's Quarry Arts Centre during the Centre's annual Festival of Light & Art, September 14-18. Entry by gold-coin donation.

Information hub

Formerly located in Cathedral Square, Christchurch's i-SITE Visitor Centre will soon open in a new location beside Canterbury Museum, at the entrance to the Botanic Gardens in Rolleston Ave. The i-SITE will provide sightseeing advice, ticketing for events and bookings for activities and accommodation in the Canterbury region and beyond. It will be open daily 8.30am to 5pm, with longer hours during summer.

- NZ Herald

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