What’s happening in New Zealand? Well, you have come to the right place. New Zealand looks forward to many events each year, whether it’s to party to live music or to celebrate how much they love food. So, expect to be well-fed at many New Zealand festivals.
Backpackers, especially, will enjoy some of the free events happening regularly in the bigger cities. After all, a buzzing atmosphere is priceless. Otherwise, some highly anticipated music festivals or workshops could be something to save the cents for. What’s more, those on a working holiday visa have the opportunity to volunteer at New Zealand festivals.
Top 5 free events in NEw Zealand
On a budget? Check out some of these free festivals and events.
Silo Cinema, Auckland (summer)
Meridian Gardens Magic, Wellington (part of Summer City)
Balloons Over Waikato, Hamilton
World Buskers Festival, Christchurch
Wellington Sky Show
Wellington Summer City
Starting from the new year, Wellington hosts more than 90 free events around the city over three months, including frequent live music in the Botanic Gardens. Find out more.
World Buskers Festival
Head to Hagley Park, Christchurch for music performed by buskers from all over the world. Find out more.
St Jerome’s Laneway Festival
An alternative music festival in the alternative setting of Silo Park, Auckland. Find out more.
Auckland Seafood Festival
Taste the finest the sea has to offer on Halsey Wharf, Wynyard Quarter. Seafood stalls, musical acts, cooking demonstrations and competitions all take place on this three-day festival. Find out more.
Auckland Pride Festival
The list of events of this festival celebrating the LBGT community is extensive: theatre, cabaret, debates, drag, burlesque, sports, parties… and the list goes on throughout the majority of February. Find out more.
Auckland Lantern Festival Chinese culture is showcased in this three-day festival with stage performances of martial arts, dance, music, and concludes with the Sky Tower fireworks. Find out more.
Art Deco Weekend
Vintage buffs will love this event celebrating the 1920s and 1930s in the “Art Deco Capital”, Napier. Find out more.
Kawhia Kai Festival
Get your cultural and food fix in the Maori food festival hosted for one day in the coastal town of Kawhia. Find out more.
Te Matatini Festival
Immerse yourself in the Maori culture and watch some top kapa haka groups compete. Find out more.
NZ International Comedy Festival
Like laughs? Prepare for a lot of them between April and May with heaps of stand-up. Most of the action is in Wellington and Auckland, but some comedians will tour across the country. Find out more.
Queenstown Winter Festival
The start of winter is a magical and manic time in Queenstown. Expect 10 days of mountain races, street parties, fireworks, jazz, comedy and competitions. Find out more.
Mt Ruapehu Mountain Mardi Gras [Update: cancelled for the foreseeable future].
Get pumped for the start of the winter season in Ohakune, the North Island’s apres ski area with fireworks and live music. Find out more.
Dunedin Cadbury Chocolate Carnival
One week of chocolate – it doesn’t get much better than that… The highlight of the festival is the Jaffa Race down the world’s steepest street. Find out more.
New Zealand International Film Festival
The season of film from both NZ and international filmmakers is between July and September. All over New Zealand, you can see something different from your everyday blockbuster! Find out more.
As the days start to get warmer, relax in the mountainous Southern Lakes region with gigs, movies, costume, food and drink! And if it wasn’t obvious from the name, this festival is in Wanaka. Find out more.
Celebrate the sea and everything that comes from it! Expect good food, live music and daft costumes. Find out more.
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