8 great winter festivals

Photography by: Elementalakl.co.nz, F.A.W.C!, Queenstown Winter Festival

8 great winter festivals 1 Queenstown Winter Festival 8 great winter festivals 1
8 great winter festivals 2 Elemental AKL 8 great winter festivals 2
8 great winter festivals 3 F.A.W.C! 8 great winter festivals 3

Embrace the big chill and enjoy some of the great winter festivals happening around the country. Here are eight great winter festivals to help you chill out and make the most of the season!

Dunedin Midwinter Carnival:

22 June

The annual Dunedin Midwinter Carnival takes place on the Saturday closest to the Winter Solstice (the longest night). The event starts at 5pm with a live band, local food stalls, a merry-go-round and lots of other great entertainment. The carnival procession starts at 6pm, followed by a fireworks display.

Get more info at midwintercarnival.co.nz.

Queenstown Winter Festival:

20-23 June

The annual Queenstown Winter Festival gets bigger and better each year. The event is kicked off with a traditional powhiri greeting and a fleet of waka ama, followed by a guided torchlight procession through the streets of Queenstown.

There will also be loads of great acts by New Zealand artists, comedy events, Splash for Cash, fireworks and more. You can even get the dog involved with the Dog Derby and dog barking contest!

Find out more at winterfestival.co.nz.

Auckland Matariki Festival:

22 June – 14 July

Celebrate the Maori New Year with activities and events across Auckland. The festival begins each year just before the break of dawn as Matariki, or the Pleiades, rises above the horizon.

Events will include a Matariki Dawn Karakia at Auckland Domain on 22 June, the Manu Aute Kite Day on 29 June at three locations across Auckland, live performances, harbour sailings and more.

Find out more at ourauckland.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

Taupo Winter Festival:

4-14 July

The fourth annual Malcolm Flowers Insurances Taupoō Winter Festival offers an action-packed programme over the upcoming school holidays.

Check out the ice rink, a giant inflatable snow globe with snow directly from neighbouring Mount Ruapehu, a 35-metre-long inflatable obstacle course, community art projects, bubble soccer, live music, free hot chocolates and much more.

Find out more at taupowinterfestival.co.nz.

Renault French Festival (Auckland):

11-14 July

Oh la la, the French Festival is back! Head along to Shed 10 and The Cloud on Queens Wharf and indulge in all things French, from boeuf bourguignon to macarons. Plus there’ll be live music, a kids’ corner, a petanque contest, market stalls, fireworks and more!

See frenchfestival.co.nz.

Elemental AKL (Auckland):

1-31 July

Auckland’s newest winter festival kicks off for a month on 1 July. Elemental AKL draws on the elements of air, fire, earth and water to unlock a unique and inspiring calendar of more than 50 free and ticketed events, including dazzling light shows that will illuminate Auckland’s parks, waterfronts, city streets, and public spaces.

Find out more at aucklandnz.com.

F.A.W.C! Winter (Hawke’s Bay):

7-30 June

The Winter F.A.W.C! programme runs over four consecutive weekends each June and features over 60 events that showcase the best of Hawke’s Bay food and wine.

As is tradition with Winter F.A.W.C!, many of Hawke’s Bay’s dining hotspots are serving up special ‘F.A.W.C! by 5’ offerings – all priced in multiples of $5 between $5 and $50 – which are on offer throughout the event.

Christchurch Arts Festival:

26 July – 4 August

Bold, dynamic and unashamedly local, the Christchurch Arts Festival is set to light up the heart of the city and bring warmth, soul and togetherness to the depths of winter.

Prepare for a unique experience of light, sound, movement and food, as extraordinary artists and producers come together for this fabulous festival.

Visit artsfestival.co.nz.

Keep up to date with news by signing up to nzmcd.co.nz's free newsletter or by liking us on Facebook