The return of the stars Puanga and Matariki to the morning sky signals Aotearoa New Year. Whanganui Regional Museum is offering the chance to experience a virtual journey to discover more about the stars of Puanga and Matariki. Visitors can sit back in an inflatable Stardome while thousands of stars shine in a simulation of the night sky. Sessions will be held May 13-18. The stars can also be viewed from the Ward Observatory on Friday evenings. See details below.

River City Artists
From beginners to established artists
When: 9.30am-4pm
Where: Christ Church Community Hall, 243 Wicksteed St
Details: Val 343 6316 or 027 459 9448.

Victoria University
Undergraduate Information Evening
When: 6pm-8pm
Where: Whanganui War Memorial Centre, Queen's Park, Watt St
Details: Free information evening to learn about study options, scholarships and enrolment as well as what to expect in your first year. Hear from academics in a variety of subject areas.

Thoughtful Thursday
When: 6.30pm
Where: Confluence, 15 Watt St
Details: Crossing Rachmaninoff - the story of pianist Flavio Villani and his preparation of Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 for his first ever performance with an orchestra. $10 entry. Book at or call 06 281 3474.


When: 6pm-7.30pm
Where: Whanganui Community Arts Centre, 19 Taupo Quay
Details: Drop-in classes from Gen Demo from Amitabha Buddhist Centre. Suggested donation $12.

My Name Is Moana
When: 7.30pm
Where: Royal Whanganui Opera House
Details: An intimate 90-minute tribute to the Ocean led by singer and songwriter Moana Maniapoto. Tickets $25 adult, $20 senior/students. Book at opera house or online at
When: At sundown (clear sky permitting)
Where: Ward Observatory, Cooks Gardens, St Hill St
Details: Entry is by donation (suggested charge $2). Call Ross 027 245 8066 with queries.

World Peace with Billy TK Snr
When: 7pm
Where: Whanganui Musicians' Club, 65 Drews Ave
Details: Fundraiser for Christchurch. Featuring the Conrays - sweet soul music. Cost $20 non-members, $15 members. Contact Clare Gibney on 021 0227 9729 for further information.

River Traders' Market
When: 8.30am-1pm
Where: Downtown Whanganui riverbank
Details: Goods, produce, food.

Walking Tours
When: By appointment
Where: Whanganui i-Site.
Details: Learn about Whanganui's history, buildings and people. $10 per person. Book at Whanganui i-Site.

When: 7pm
Where: Hiruharama, Jerusalem
Details: Poetry with Chris Gallavin accompanied by Paul Turner on bagpipes and fiddle. Tickets $30 (cash at the door). Supper provided. All proceeds to the Guyton Trust and the Convent Trust. Accommodation available. Transport by arrangement Ph 021 238 8349.

Bill Hickman - Crossbones Tour
When: 8pm
Where: Lucky Bar + Kitchen, 53 Wilson St
Details: Nice lads, a bit noisy, left a trail of broken hearts and beer bottles. $20 at the door.

Castlecliff Market
When: 11am-3pm
Where: 5 Bryce St, Castlecliff
Details: Goods, produce, food.


Mable the Tram
When: 1pm-3pm
Where: Tram Shed, 27 Taupo Quay
Details: Take a ride on the No 12 vintage electric tram, $2.

Mothers Day High Tea
When: 2pm-4pm
Where: Grand Hotel, St Hill St
Details: Whanganui Cancer Society presents a sumptuous Mother's Day spread. $25 per person. Limited bookings available Ph 06 348 7402.

Puanga - Celebrating Aotearoa New Year
When: 3.30-4.30 pm and 5pm-6pm
Where: Whanganui Regional Museum education room. Entry at Davis Theatre door, Watt St
Details: The inflatable Stardome provides a virtual journey to discover more about the stars of Puanga, Matariki and Aotearoa New Year. Cost: $2 per person, bookings essential. Ph 06 349 1110. See more at
Whanganui Film Society
When: 7pm
Where: Davis Theatre, Watt St
Details: The Young Karl Marx - An engrossing, classically conceived biopic about how Karl Marx, as a struggling family man, and Friedrich Engels, the son of a wealthy industrialist, came to create The Communist Manifesto. See
Grassroots Singers
When: 6.30pm
Where: Duncan Pavilion, Castlecliff Beach
Details: We welcome new (and current) singers. Ph Mary Ann 06 343 9981.

Slimmers Support Group
Lose weight and keep it off.
When: 5pm.
Cost: $10 joining fee with $2 weekly. Inquiries: Ngaire 06 347 1613.

If you have an item for this free column, email with the details. The deadline for information about events from, and including, Thursday, May 16 to Wednesday, May 22, is noon on Tuesday, May 14.