33 people found this article useful

5 Winter Festivals in New Zealand

Queenstown Winter Festival

Winter is coming and so are some of the best parties of the year.

What better way to warm yourself up than pulling some shapes at a music festival and eating obscene amounts of chocolate? That is how New Zealand celebrates the winter season. Skiers and snowboarders come from all over the world to hit the slopes for ‘summer skiing’, so going to a festival or two makes a really cool apres-ski session. So with all that in mind, here are some of the best winter festivals in New Zealand.

Check out where else you should head for winter in our article: 5 Places to Visit in Winter in New Zealand.

XE - Money Transfer

1. Matariki

This nationwide event celebrates the Maori New Year, which is indicated by the Matariki star cluster visible in the night sky. Most cities have performances, kite flying, workshops and exhibitions of Maori art. In Auckland, there are Haka competitions, pop-up hakas and Maori story performances. For more information, check out What is Matariki – The Maori New Year

When? Matariki usually beings around the end of May to the end of June.
Tourism NZ

2. Queenstown Winter Festival

Winter starts with the Queenstown Winter Festival’s huge fireworks display. The 10-day event is full of fun/daft competitions, such as the dog derby, dog barking, dodgeball, iHeart Radio Day on the Bay and 70’s disco workout. There are live music and comedy acts to enjoy in the evening. Make sure to book accommodation in advance for this busy festival. Check out the 5 Best Hostels in Queenstown.

When? Mid-June
Queenstown Winter Festival

3. Dunedin Cadbury Chocolate Carnival

Start storing the winter fat by eating heaps of chocolate! Dunedin is the home of Cadbury World, where you can take tours, learn about chocolate making, and eat chocolate (duh!). Festival highlights are chocolate decorating, painting and facials. The biggest event is the Jaffa race down the world’s steepest residential street: Baldwin Street.

When? Mid-July
BackpackerGuide.NZ

4. Whitianga Scallop Festival

Ok, so technically the Whitianga Scallop Festival isn’t in winter… But it’s pretty close. The festival in the Coromandel area celebrates the start of the scallop season with around 60 food and wine stalls, cooking demonstrations and scallop shucking competitions. Don’t know what shucking is? Go to the festival to find out.

Location: September
MaxPixel

5. Nelson Winter Festival

Weird how a music festival must-see is the poetry slam: a comedy poetry competition. The Nelson Winter Festival is a celebration of New Zealand’s popular music.

When? Mid-July
Tourism NZ

Nomads Hostels
Was this article useful? Useful Useless
Help other travellers, share this article now:
Pin
Haka Tours
Alpine Adventures
Natural Attractions

5 Epic Queenstown Helicopter Tours

Helicopter Flights in Queenstown. Nothing captures the dramatic alpine scenery of Queenstown [...]

THL
North Island Cities

Waitomo – Guide for Backpackers

Backpacking in Waitomo. Above ground Waitomo is exciting, but underground it is [...]

Working Holiday Insurance
Hot on Backpacker Guide
Work For Accommodation
Pexels

WWOOF vs HelpX

Find work for accommodation and meals. No, this article is not about […]

Ski Season
Julian Apse on Tourism NZ

Ski Season in New Zealand: North Island or South Island?

Should you spend the New Zealand ski season in the North Island […]

Holidays
Tourism NZ

5 Places to Visit in Autumn in New Zealand

Where to visit in Autumn in New Zealand. There’s something quite addictive […]

We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, click here. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies, revised Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.
I accept

Menu