We've all spent more than enough time staring at the inside of our houses this year. With the long-awaited warm weather finally creeping up on us, it's time to shake off those cobwebs and make the most of all the exciting events and festivals happening around New Zealand this summer – because we've earned a bit of fun.
Arguably New Zealand's epicentre of good food and great wine, Hawke's Bay is delivering 10 days and more than 60 events for this delicious festival. The Food and Wine Classic sees the best local restaurants, wineries, brewers, and producers join forces for an unforgettable programme, in some of the country's most stunning locations, from street food festivals to exclusive nights combining art and food and hive to table high teas. See fawc.co.nz for details.
The Summer of Cricket
starting November 27
Nothing says Summer like the start of a five-day test match, and despite what 2020 has thrown at the world, the Black Caps will face off against Australia, Bangladesh, West Indies and Pakistan in their upcoming 2020-21 season. Games will be played around the country, and include T-20, ODI and test matches. See nzc.nz for all the details.
Toi tu Toi ora
December 5 - March 31
Staged in the heart of Britomart, this is the official satellite show of Auckland Art Gallery's renowned Toi tū Toi ora, the largest exhibition of contemporary Māori art in New Zealand in almost 20 years, including 300 works by more than 120 Māori artists. See aucklandartgallery.com for more details.
World of Wearable Art: Up Close
December 12 - February 14
If you've ever wondered what really goes into these exceptional creations, this is your chance to experience the World of Wearable Art like never before. The immersive exhibition at Wellington's Te Papa showcases more than 30 extraordinary garments from the world's leading wearable art competition, with visitors able to explore the creativity and incredible detail of the garments and the stories behind the designs. See
for more information.
from December 17
It's finally here. Auckland is gearing up to host the 36th America's Cup and the action starts this December. There are three events that make up the race for the Cup - the America's Cup World Series Auckland sees three challengers take on Emirates Team New Zealand for the Christmas Cup from December 17, before the Prada Cup - and the fight for the chance to battle Team NZ for the big one - starts on January 15. The final race series for the America's Cup runs from March 6 to 21. There is sure to be lots of events happening in and around the Viaduct as the action heats up. Check out aucklandnz.com for details as they are released.
Black Barn Concert Series
Starting December 19
The amphitheatre at this Hawke's Bay vineyard is widely regarded as one of the best outdoor venues in New Zealand, with great acoustics and unbeatable atmosphere. This summer check out the outdoor cinema running as part of the Hawke's Bay Outdoor Film Festival from December 27. If you're in the mood for a bit of music, the summer line up is still in the works, but already confirmed, Kiwi legend Dave Dobbyn will perform alongside 2020's local darlings The Beths on December 19. Tickets from $69, see blackbarn.com for details.
Distinction Hotels Te Anau Tennis Invitational
December 28 - 29
It's a real shame the ASB Classic has been shelved for 2021 (thanks Covid), but this annual tournament showcases some of New Zealand's strongest male tennis players over two days of action in a casual setting, perfect for the whole family. General entry is $15.00 per adult and children are free. See teanautennis.co.nz for details.
Festival of the Other Side
December 30 - 31
Whangamatā, usually thought of as a classic Kiwi beach town, is hosting this two-day music festival on the mysterious-sounding Joe's Farm, just out of the summer hot spot. Visitors can either camp on site, or bus in to see a line-up of stellar Kiwi artists such as Shapeshifter, L.A.B, David Dallas and JessB. Tickets start at $118 from theotherside.nz.
January 22 - 24
Happy 20th birthday to this Raglan favourite. This summer favourite is celebrating the milestone in style, with a line-up of local legends including Fat Freddy's Drop, Ladi6, Che Fu, and Home Brew taking to the four stages in Wainui Reserve, while the markets are back as well. See soundsplash.co.nz for more details.
Six60's Saturdays tour
Various dates in January and February
They are arguably the biggest band in New Zealand, and now Six60 are taking their show on the road, visiting new cities and big venues across six Saturdays in January and February. Starting in Lower Hutt and stopping by Waitangi, Hastings, New Plymouth, Christchurch, Wellington and Hamilton along the way, they'll have special guests and their own big hits in tow. See six60.co.nz for details.
The Ruapehu region is an outdoor lover's paradise and the Tussock Traverse is one of the most scenic and varied courses in New Zealand. An event for both walkers and runners - with distances starting at 6km right up to 50km - offers something for everyone wanting a bit of a different challenge. The event supports the Project Tongariro (Tongariro Natural History Society), and the work they do conserving this spectacular area. See tussocktraverse.co.nz for entry details.
Burt Munro Challenge
February 10 - 14
This Southland classic has forged a name for itself as one of New Zealand's major motorsport events. Over five action-packed days, a number of racing disciplines will get a run including a hill climb, beach racing, track sprint racing, speedway and street racing. And the whole festival honours the legendary Burt, his ingenuity, determination and love of speed and motorcycles. See burtmunrochallenge.co.nz for more details.
Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival
February 19 - March 1
What has now become an iconic open-air summer festival for the city, the Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival combines visual arts, music, comedy, film, theatre, literature and dance for a fortnight of fun. The festival has been the Waikato's premier arts event for well over 20 years and 2021's line up is due to be released any day now. See hgaf.co.nz for the latest news and announcements.
Wings Over Wairarapa Air Festival
February 26 - 28
With its Wānaka sister event cancelled this year because of Covid-19, this Wairarapa favourite will be the first major air show in New Zealand for two years. In addition to the spectacular flying programme, there are fantastic ground displays, as well as activities for small and big kids alike. Previous events have drawn crowds of 25,000 - nearly equivalent to the entire population of Masterton - so we know this is one weekend Kiwis will be lining up to be part of. See wings.org.nz for more details.
For more New Zealand travel ideas and inspiration, go to newzealand.com