Events are a great way to connect with like-minded locals and other travellers, and a to get to know the local culture or enjoy one of your passions during your trip. Whether you’re into food, fashion, sport, art, or music, you’ll find something going on in New Zealand to pique your interest. Here is an overview of some of the key events on the New Zealand events calendar for 2018.
Volvo Ocean Race Auckland Stopover, 24 February – 18 March 2018
Auckland, aka “The City of Sails” will host the stopover at the end of the sixth leg of the world’s premier sailing event. Auckland’s Viaduct transforms into a lively race village to welcome the Volvo Ocean 65’s fleet. Check out the Volvo Ocean 65 boats on the dock and enjoy loads of free activities, live entertainment and racing, ending with the departure and start of the race to Itajaí, Brazil.
Related: Set off on your own voyage from Auckland, in style; check out our 6 Day Ultimate North Island Luxury Tour.
ISPS Handa New Zealand Open, Queenstown, 1- 4 March 2018
Picturesque Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand plays host to this world-class golf event. A key event on the PGA Tour of Australasia, the event’s Pro-Am format blends together a combination of professional and amateur players.
Related: Discover the most luxurious way enjoy Queenstown and the South Island, see our 8 Day South Island Luxury Lodge Tour.
Queenstown Winter Festival 21 – 24 June 2018
The Queenstown Winter Festival is the epitome of winter fun. The event celebrates winter sports and even includes some crazy made-up sports like suitcase racing, and the Undy 500 (participants wear only their underwear). Queenstown comes alive with a programme that features all kinds of activities and entertainment.
Related: Check out Ultimate 11 Day South Island Adventure Tour.
There is no activity more iconic to include in your trip to New Zealand than seeing the All Blacks play on their home turf. Witnessing the famous haka performed live is chilling. Here are some of the dates and venues on the calendar for the year.
2018 Steinlager Series V France
- First Test v France: Eden Park, Auckland 9 June 2018
- Second Test v France: Westpac Stadium, Wellington 16 June 2018
- Third Test v France: France Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin 23 June 2018
2018 Investec Rugby Championship
- Vs Australia: Eden Park, Auckland 25 August 2018
- Vs Argentina: Trafalgar Park, Nelson 8 September 2018
- Vs South Africa: Westpac Stadium, Wellington 15 September 2018
Related: check our Private Guided Tours to see which you could adapt to include a rugby match.
ASB Classic, Auckland, 1st-13 Jan 2018
Top international players face off at this annual Tennis event. At the time of writing, this event has already been and gone for 2018, but if you’re thinking of spending New Year’s Eve in Auckland this year then keep an eye out for info on ASB Classic 2019. It’s a great way to start the new year.
Related: let the summer fun continue after the tournament and head off on our 5 Day Winterless North Explorer Private NZ Tour.
Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge, 24 November 2018
New Zealand’s largest cycling event, the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge is held on the last Saturday of November every year. The event is held around the country’s largest lake, pristine Lake Taupo in the centre of the North Island, just a one-hour drive from Rotorua. Anyone can participate as there are different rides to choose from depending on your cycling ability.
Related: Combine this event with our 8 Day North Island Highlights Private NZ Tour.
Hokitika Wild Foods Festival, 10th March 2018
Probably the most famous food event in the country, the Hokitika Wild Food Festival is foodie’s adventure playground. You’ll need to bring your curiosity and daring because this event is all about sampling weird and wacky ingredients. From seagull eggs to huhu beetle grubs and beyond, you’ll find things on offer that you’ve never even thought of eating.
Beervana, 10 – 11 August 2018
Boasting 70 or so participating brewers, Beervana is a celebration of New Zealand craft beer culture. Immerse yourself in the vibrant New Zealand brewing scene and sample the wares on offer while enjoying great food and music.
Wellington On A Plate 10 – 26 August 2018
WOAP is not your average food festival, the whole region comes to party for 17 days of food and beverage celebrations. Restaurants, venues, laneways, even car parks play host to all kinds of foodie events, from exclusive set menus to quirky pop-ups.
Related: If you love food and wine you’ll love out 15 Day Classic New Zealand Wine Trail Tour.
NZ Fashion Week, 27- 30th August 2018 & NZ Fashion Weekend, 31 August – 2 Sept 2018
Held at the ANZ Viaduct Events Centre in Auckland, NZ Fashion Week is a platform for local and international designers to showcase their latest collections and promote their brand to media and industry buyers.
NZ Fashion Weekend is an invitation to the public to catch an early peek at upcoming trends and enjoy a weekend of amazing shows and treats including a designer pop-up sale and a beauty hub offering seminars on the latest tips and tricks, plus a dry style bar and a nail bar.
Related: Pick one of our luxury tours to combine with your NZ Fashion Week experience.
Arts and Culture
The New Zealand Festival, Wellington, 23 February – 18 March 2018
Held every two years on Wellington’s waterfront, the New Zealand Festival is the country’s biggest celebration of culture, showcasing top international and local cultural performers and artists. The event kicks off at dusk on 23rd February with A Waka Odyssey followed by a night of cultural performances including a 1000-strong Haka and a mass choir.
World of Wearable Art, Wellington, 27 September – 14 October 2018
Originating in Nelson in the Tasman region, the World of Wearable Arts (WOW) has grown into such an epic event that Nelson’s facilities could no longer house it. Now located at TSB Arena in Wellington, the event is celebrating its 30th year in 2018. Showcasing stunning wearable creations, the event invites designers and spectators to step into a world only limited by the imagination.
Related: Our 8 Day Northern Highlights Private tour is a fantastic way to make Wellington part of your New Zealand experience.
New Zealand is home to loads of music festivals, especially during summer. Here are just a few of the most popular annual music festivals you could make part of your New Zealand adventure.
- National Jazz Festival – Tauranga, 28th March – 2nd April 2018
- WOMAD – New Plymouth, 16 – 18 March 2018
- Rhythm and Vines – Gisborne, 29 December 2018 – 1st January 2019
- One Love – Tauranga 27 – 28th January 2018
When planning to your trip to New Zealand, it’s worth checking what events are on while you’re here; some fantastic events are happening around the country, and if you can make it to any of these it would make your trip even more special.
At The Road Trip, we love finding ways to make your trip spectacular, so get in touch to talk with us about how we can tailor your itinerary to around an event. You can call us at +64 2191 0433, email us at [email protected] or use our contact form.