Auckland Events and Festivals 2014 / 2015

(Auckland, North Island, New Zealand NZ)




Auckland Events, Festivals and Things to DoAll through the year, the North Island plays host to some of New Zealand's biggest and most well-supported annual festivals, with things to do in Auckland ranging from live music and annual sporting events, to traditional themed Maori performances, huge flower shows and national holidays. Particular highlights include the St. Patrick's Day carnival-style parades along Queen Street each March, followed by the Waiheke Jazz Festival and the Royal Easter Show.

Also at this time of the year is the fun Sky Tower Vertical Challenge, where teams and individuals compete, racing up the 1029 steps to the tower's observation level. Later on in the year, the Comedy Festival is staged towards the end of May, followed by the New Zealand National Agricultural Fieldays in June and the Auckland International Film Fest each July, which lasts just over a fortnight and features more than 150 movie screenings.

First held in 1948 until the 1980s, and resurrected once more at the turn of the new millennium to promote local culture, the popular Auckland Arts Festival is worth looking out for, being held every other year around Aotea Square and drawing thousands to the city. Visitors can expect concerts within the 'festival garden', circus performers, ethnic dancing, comedy gigs, Maori drumming and dancing, opera, community events, family workshops and puppetry, as well as White Night, where some 60 local galleries stay open until midnight


National Public Holidays


  • 1st January - New Year's Day
  • 29th January - Auckland Anniversary Day
  • 6th February - Waitangi day
  • Good Friday / Easter Monday March / April - Easter
  • 25th April - Anzac Day
  • 1st Monday in June - Queen's birthday
  • 4th Monday in October - Labour Day
  • 25th December - Christmas Day
  • 26th December - Boxing Day

Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015



January


  • Heineken Open Tennis Championships - men's tennis tournament
  • The Big Day Out - one-day music party featuring numerous bands, food and drink, and an array of stalls
  • Great Fitzroy Mussel Festival - free event on the Great Barrier Island, with a wealth of seafood and music
  • National Yearling Sales - end of January, popular eight-day event
  • South American Fiesta - late January, special anniversary featuring New Zealand's famous Latin performers, held at the Auckland Zoological Park
  • Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta - famous one-day regatta

February


  • New Zealand Open Golf Championship - annual golf tournament featuring New Zealand's finest players
  • Devonport Food and Wine Festival - two-day event featuring food, wine, music and entertainment
  • HERO Festival - mid to late February, gay and lesbian extravaganza
  • Te Matatini: The Many Faces / National Festival (Aotearoa Maori Performing Arts Fest) - late February, Maori culture and arts event
  • Lantern Festival - late February, featuring dancers, puppeteers, musicians, thousands of spectacular lanterns and mouthwatering Chinese New Year dishes
  • Mission Bay Jazz and Blues Street Fest - jazz and blues concerts staged in various venues around the city
  • Teddy Bears Picnic - fun-filled family entertainment at the Auckland Domain

March


  • St. Patrick's Festival - mid-March, Irish-themed St. Patrick's Day celebrations
  • Auckland Arts Festival (biennial) - with family orientated activities taking place around Aotea Square, along with carnival-style processions and live music galore
  • Waiheke Jazz Festival - March / April, five-day Easter event featuring various styles of jazz
  • Royal Easter Show - March / April, Easter week, featuring endless entertainment and fun for all the family
  • Pasifika Festival - March / April, Polynesian celebrations at Western Springs
  • Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra Guild Summer Concert - annual fundraising concert
  • Sky Tower Vertical Challenge - March / April, annual event to race up the tallest building in the southern hemisphere

April


  • Baby Proms - popular event featuring the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra
  • Rally New Zealand - early to mid-April, annual rallying event

May


  • Comedy Festival - two weeks in early May, featuring local and international comedians
  • New Zealand Boat Show - famous boat show
  • Auckland Writers and Readers Festival - three-day literary celebration

June


  • New Zealand Boat Show - early June, popular annual boat show
  • New Zealand National Agricultural Fieldays - agricultural show featuring fencing, tractor driving, chain sawing and sheep dog trials

July


  • Auckland International Film Festival - late July to early August, popular film fest and movie screenings in central cinemas and theatres
  • Mid-Winter Swim - many swimmers brave the New Zealand winter weather for this spectacle, with music, entertainment and hot food

August


  • The Food Show - early August, featuring an array of cooking demonstrations and wine tasting

September


  • Auckland Home Show - mid-September, popular annual home and garden exhibition

October


  • Auckland to Russell Yacht Race - an exciting boat race, first held in the 1920s with speedboats
  • Armageddon Pulp Culture Expo - late October, large computer fayre for all the family
  • Italian Film Festival - October / November, popular Italian film fest

November


  • Ellerslie Flower Show - mid-November, five-day floral design event also featuring music and food
  • Auckland Marathon - the city's annual marathon and half-marathon sees runners take to the streets
  • Farmers Santa Parade - popular seasonal celebration with a parade, entertainment, activities and a visit from Santa
  • Grey Lynn Park Festival - music, dance and food event

December


  • Auckland Cup - popular horse race
  • Christmas in the Park - Christmas festival held in the Auckland Domain
  • Ellerslie Boxing Day Races - 26th December, horse race meeting with a variety of prizes in best-dressed competitions
  • First Night - 31st December, musical New Year celebrations based around Aotea Square







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