More information can be found by going to the Tourism New Zealand website at For an exhaustive list of even more events beyond those listed here, check, where you'll find a searchable, up-to-the-minute roster of what's happening in cities all over the world.


ASB Bank Tennis Classic, Auckland. International women's tennis tour event preceding the Australian Open. Attracts leading overseas players. Call tel. 09/373-3623, or check First week of January.

Heineken Open, Auckland. International Men's ATP tour for leading international tennis players. Call tel. 09/373-3623, or check Early January.

Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta, Auckland. "The City of Sails" hosts this colorful annual sailing event, which attracts both local and international competitors and spectators. Call tel. 0800/734-2882, or check Last Monday in January.

World Buskers Festival, Christchurch. A week of zany street entertainment provided by leading entertainers. Call tel. 03/377-2365, or visit Mid- to late January.

Wellington Cup Race Meeting, Wellington. Leading horse-racing event (galloping), held in conjunction with the National Yearling Sales. Call tel. 04/528-9611, or check Late January.


Hawke's Bay Wine and Food Festival, Hawke's Bay. A showcase of the region's world-class wines and good food. Call tel. 0508/946-326 in New Zealand, or check First week of February.

Speight's Coast to Coast, South Island. A major multisport endurance race from Kumara on the West Coast to Sumner, Christchurch, featuring a 33km (20-mile) mountain run followed by a 67km (42-mile) kayak race and a 142km (88-mile) cycle dash. Call tel. 03/348-3282, or check February 5-6.

Waitangi Day Celebrations, Bay of Islands. New Zealand's national day celebrating the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. Call tel. 09/402-7308. February 6.

Garden City Festival of Flowers, Christchurch. Ten days of garden visits, floating gardens, and floral carpets in the "Garden City." Call tel. 03/365-5403, or visit Mid-February.

Brebner Art Deco Weekend, Napier. A fun celebration of the city's Art Deco heritage that includes dancing, jazz, vintage cars, walks, and tours. Most participants dress in 1920s and 1930s fashions. Call tel. 06/835-0022, or check Third weekend in February.

Devonport Food and Wine Festival, Devonport. Held near the Ferry Wharf in this picturesque Auckland village, the festival includes jazz, classical, and opera performances. Call tel. 09/378-9030, or visit Late February.

Auckland Arts Festival. A biennial extravaganza of national and international dance, music, theater, and visual arts. The next festival will be in 2013. Call tel. 09/309-0101, or check Late February to March.


Celebrate Pasifika Festival, Auckland. Auckland's Pacific Island communities celebrate the largest 1-day cultural festival in the South Pacific. Not to be missed. Check for more info. First week of March.

New Zealand International Festival of Arts, Wellington. The largest and most prestigious event on the New Zealand arts calendar features top overseas and national artists and entertainers. A vibrant mix of all art forms, from contemporary dance to fine music and theater. Call tel. 04/473-0149, or visit Beginning of March.

Ellerslie International Flower Show Christchurch, Christchurch. New Zealand's premier garden event has shifted from Auckland to Christchurch. It showcases the best of garden design over 5 days in Hagley Park. Nurseries and garden retailers also participate. Call tel. 03/941-8999, or visit Early March.

Hokitika Wildfoods Festival, Hokitika. A culinary adventure for the brave and curious, this 1-day event presents the weird and wonderful of New Zealand's wild foods, including wild pig, possum pâté, goat, various bugs and insects, honey, fish, and venison. Call tel. 03/756-9048, or check Mid-March.

Arrowtown Autumn Festival, Arrowtown. A week of market days, music, and street entertainment celebrating the gold-mining era. Call tel. 03/442-0809 or 027/210-1570, or visit The week after Easter.


Warbirds Over Wanaka, Wanaka. Now classified as one of the best Warbirds air shows in the world, it combines classic vintage and veteran aircraft, machinery, fire engines, and tractors with dynamic Air Force displays and aerobatic teams in the natural amphitheater of the Upper Clutha Basin. Call tel. 03/443-8619, or visit Easter weekend (in even-numbered years only).

Fletcher Challenge Forest Marathon, Rotorua. A full marathon around Lake Rotorua for serious competitors. Attracts over 500 runners. Call tel. 07/348-3301, or check Late April to early May.


Bay of Islands Country Music Festival, Bay of Islands. This festival draws musicians from all around New Zealand, and there's at least one international act each year. Call tel. 09/404-1063, or check Second weekend in May.

Matariki, nationwide. Matariki is the Maori New Year, which coincides with the time when the Pleiades constellation is visible. It is traditionally a time for planting new crops. Since 2000 there has been renewed interest in Matariki, and a diverse range of cultural celebrations are now held throughout the country. Visit and for more information. Late May through June.


National Agricultural Fieldays, Hamilton. One of the largest agricultural shows in the world, exhibiting the best of New Zealand agriculture, horticulture, floriculture, and forestry products. Call tel. 07/843-4499, or visit Mid-June.


Queenstown Winter Festival, Queenstown. Queenstown officially goes mad with a host of zany mountain events and street entertainment. Call tel. 03/441-2453, or check Mid-July.

Christchurch Arts Festival. Biennially in July to August, this festival showcases the best of national and international dance, music, theater, and visual arts. For more information, visit


Bay of Islands Jazz and Blues Festival, Bay of Islands. More than 50 jazz bands from New Zealand and overseas provide live entertainment at various places around Paihia and Russell, night and day. Call tel. 09/404-1063 in New Zealand, or go to Early to mid-August.


Montana World of Wearable Art Awards, Wellington. This creative extravaganza in Wellington should not be missed. Call tel. 03/547-0863, or go to Mid- to late September.

Alexandra Blossom Festival, Alexandra. An annual parade of floats and entertainment, celebrating the onset of spring. Call tel. 03/377-2823, or check Late September to early October.

Gay Ski Week. A week of celebrations on and around the slopes. See for more information. First week of September.


Kaikoura Seafest, Kaikoura. An annual celebration of the best seafood and Marlborough and Canterbury wines, plus fun and entertainment for the entire family. Call tel. 0800/473-2337 in New Zealand, or visit Early October.

Dunedin Rhododendron Festival, Dunedin. Fun-filled days highlighted by garden tours and cultural events to celebrate the city's magnificent displays of rhododendron blooms. Call tel. 03/477-1092, or check Mid- to late October.

Nelson Arts Festival, Nelson. Twelve days of music, dance, theater, and street performances throughout the city. Call tel. 03/545-8734, or check Mid-October.

Queenstown Jazz Festival, Queenstown. Over 200 musicians attend and play in bars and restaurants in a nonstop jam session with food and dancing. Call tel. 03/441-2453, or visit Late October.


Toast Martinborough, Martinborough. An annual wine-and-food festival. Call tel. 06/306-9183, or go to Mid- to late November.

Canterbury A&P Show, Christchurch. The South Island's largest agricultural and pastoral event, which includes thoroughbred and standard-bred racing and the New Zealand Cup. Call tel. 03/343-3033, or go to Second week of November.

Southern Traverse, South Island. An adventure race for teams of three to five serious competitors through New Zealand's toughest terrain. The endurance events cover high ridges, lakes, and river crossings throughout Otago. Call tel. 03/441-8215, or check out Late November.


Nelson Jazz Festival, Nelson. A wide variety of local and national jazz bands perform in a weekend event, culminating in a special New Year's Eve concert. Call tel. 03/547-2559, or visit Late December to early January.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.