January / February - Big Day Out
New Zealand’s biggest mainstream music festival tours around the country in the middle of summer. Some of the biggest acts from round the world perform on multiple stages in what is always one of New Zealand’s ‘biggest days out’.
January - World Buskers Festival
Any festival tagline that says ‘expect the unexpected’ has to be good, and the World Buskers Festival is not just good, it’s great. In to its 18th year over 300,000+ attend each year making Christchurch one of the places to be.
March - Auckland Cup Week
Australia has the Melbourne Cup. New Zealand has the Auckland Cup. This is a thoroughbred racehorse competition competed over 3,200 metres. It is the equivalent of the ‘Grand National’. Go on, take a punt...
March / April - Balloons over Waikato
It doesn’t take much to explain this festival. It is balloons over Waikato. Done. OK, a little bit more. It is based in Hamilton and is the biggest hot-air balloon event in New Zealand. There are competitions too, and it’s free to enter.
April - Festival of Colour
The Southern Lakes Festival of Colour is a biennial celebration of the arts set against the beautiful backdrop of Central Otago lakes. The festival is based in Wanaka but also includes Queenstown, Luggate, Hawea, Cromwell and Glenorchy, so wherever you are in NZ you’ll be covered.
April - ANZAC Day
A national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand to honour members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who died in honour for their country.
May - New Zealand International Comedy Festival
This is the biggest comedy festival in NZ and it is in its 19th year, featuring hundreds of comedians from all over the world. If you want comedy in NZ then Wellington is the place to be.
June / July - Matariki Festival
Otherwise known at the Maori New Year, the Matariki Festival is a celebration of Maori culture, language, spirit and people. This annual event in Auckland has a broad range of such as art workshops & displays, flax weaving, kapa haka performances, music, storytime, movies & many other events.
October - Auckland International Carnival
Experience the dazzling spectacular of 'Carnival'! Two day festival extravaganza, offering visitors the opportunity to experience the melting pot of cultures and people that makes Auckland unique. Costume parade, entertainment shows, masquerade ball, stalls & much more.