August, we’re not sure how you crept up on us so quickly but we’re ready to fill you with all sorts of epic events. From an entire month dedicated to food to theatre, cocktail pop-ups and markets, there’s no chance you’ll run out of awesome things to do in Auckland this August. Print this out and make it your bucket list. Let’s go!
Restaurant Month | 1st—31st August
Channel your inner foodie because Restaurant Month is here! Back for its sixth year, this month-long food-centric event is jam-packed with all sorts of awesome events with more than 100 dining offers at more than 100 restaurants. Without giving too much away, there will be a dinner in the dark, a cheese-filled lunch and street food festival. Check out our ultimate guide to Restaurant Month here.
First Thursdays The Great Light Way | 4th August
Head along to K Road on Thursday 4th August for the magical First Thursdays The Great Light Way event. This lighting project will see new under veranda lighting, lit window displays and flashing neon advertising that will transport you back to the 1930s, when a community lighting project was introduced to the street. Fire dancers, light sculptures, luminous hula hoopers and electronic music displays will set the scene, while you marvel at an AUT creative technogies COLAB display, a recycled space lamp exhibition and a performance by Mary Jane O’Reilly’s White Nights Marching Girls. Cafes and restaurants will open their doors for dining by candlelight alongside Twice as Nice Markets and street food at the west end.
World Class House | 4th—6th August
Are you crazy for cocktails? If you just hollered ‘YES,’ then listen up. As the final stage in the New Zealand leg of the Diageo World Class cocktail competition, a World Class House pop-up is coming to Old Ponsonby Post Office. The event will give you the chance to meet five of Auckland (Bedford Soda & Liquor, The Gin Room, Revelry and Matterhorn) and Wellington’s (Roxy) best bartenders, sip on premium bevvies and wander through the interactive cocktail stations. There will be a juice-your-own Bloody Mary station, a chance to try American barbecue with a bourbon cocktail match and a spritz master class—an essential skill for summer. Book your tickets here.
Disney On Ice Presents Magical Ice Festival | 4th—7th August
Disney On Ice has travelled far and wide across the world (over a whopping 35,000km!) and now, its made its way to our little corner. Disney On Ice’s Magical Ice Festival puts a new twist on fairy tale fun with moments from The Little Mermaid, Tangled and Beauty and the Beast being brought the life via mesmerising ice skating. Frozen fans are in for a treat, because for the first time EVER, Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Olaf will be putting on the skates. Grab your tickets before they’re gone.
Leilani | 4th—13th August
Make your way to Q Theatre for the debut work of Mahuika Theatre Company—Leilani. The comedic melodrama is based around innocent Leilani who is left heartbroken by those she holds dear. Homeless, friendless and pregnant, Leilani begins looking for a home, from Queen Street to K Road and finds one in the unlikeliest of places. Leilani forces the audience to take a long, hard look at the society we live in and uses eight half-masks using eight Kiwi archetypes to tell its story.
Auckland Pokemon GO Walk | 6th August
Pokemon trainers, unite! A massive Pokemon GO walk is happening in Auckland this August, which will see Pokemon players take to the streets and play Pokemon around the city. Whether you’ve just got on the buzz or you’re a die-hard Pokemon fan, this event is not to be missed.
Browns Bay Market Collective & Family Fun Day | 6th August
Don’t let the chilly weather stop you from getting out and about with the fam. The Browns Market Collective & Family Fun Day is a mid-winter celebration showcasing a tempting selection of stalls, kids’ activities, live music and yummy street food. Your little ones can hang out with Fairy Alice and Pirate Daisy, blow magic bubbles, make magical wands and pirate flags, and bounce away on the bouncy castle. It’s sure to be a fun day out for the whole famalam.
Auckland Indie Market | 7th August
If you find yourself sifting through Auckland’s vintage stores and opshops on the reg, this market is for you. Taking place at the ASB Showgrounds, Auckland Indie Market merges together some of the city’s best makers, creators, afters and crafters. There will be food trucks to keep the belly full, live music to set the scene and a range of treasures to track down. Check out all the deets here.
Run Riot—Women’s Run Squad | 8th August—30th October
Looking to run the Auckland Half Marathon this year but don’t know where to start? Run Riot has got your back! Run by a skilled musculoskeletal physiotherapist and her partner, the 12-week program will take you right through to the half marathon itself. Between them, they’ve run a whopping 14 marathons and 4 Ironmans, so you’ll be in very, very good hands. The women’s-only group will meet at Ponsonby Central on Wednesday evening and Sunday morning for squad runs in Central Auckland as well as stretching and strengthening sessions to prevent injury and get you over the line in one piece.
He Mana, He Wahine | 9th August
Be at the Auckland War Memorial Museum as a panel of speakers delve into the intricacies of feminism in New Zealand. The He Mana, He Wahine discussion will take a look at the everyday realities for Kiwi women including mama wahine theory, sex and activism with poet, playwright, fiction writer and musician Courtney Sina Meredith. Other panel members include Maori, women’s and LGBT rights advocate Dr. Ngahuia Te Awekotuku, social and critical accounting researcher Dr. Pala Molisa and Annah Pickering, regional coordinator of the NZ Prostitutes Collective Auckland Branch.
Lennon: Through A Glass Onion | 10th—14th August
This stage show celebrates the one-of-a-kind musician and man—John Lennon. Award-winning Aussie actor and singer John Waters and Bill Risby combine the spoken word and concert to capture the life of Lennon in a powerful performance. Featuring a variety of Lennon songs including Jealous Guy and Woman, as well as collabs with Paul McCartney (Strawberry Fields Forever, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds and Revolution), the show will take you back to another era and give you insight into the wonderful mind of Lennon.
Semi Permanent | 12th—13th August
This annual design and think event is back for another year with a cracking line-up of speakers from Google Creative Labs, Twitter, 72 and Sunny, Cleo Wade and more. As a two-day event, Semi Permanent is set to inspire and enable the creative community, from business leaders to entrepreneurs. It is a mass discussion of the evolving nature of design and will help you hone your craft and find collab opportunities in no time.
Fly My Pretties—String Theory | 12th—14th August
Music lovers, get excited because Fly My Pretties are back in action for four epic shows at Auckland’s Mercury Theatre. String Theory will see Barnaby Weir take to the stage with 13 Kiwi musos including Jarney Murphy and Nigel Patterson (The Black Seeds), Ria Hall, Iraia Whakamoe and Tiki Taane. The family-friendly show will explore human life through music with the help of breath-taking visuals. Don’t miss out! Lock in your tickets here.
General Collective Winter Market Day | 13th August
What’s August without a market? The General Collective are back, this time with their Winter Market Day. Held at Cawley Street in Ellerslie, the market will be stocked with homewares, textiles, art, jewellery, fashion, kids gear and so much more. Pop by for a coffee and bite to eat and expect to find some goodies.
Selena Gomez | 13th August
Selena fans, the time has come. The pop star will be landing on our shores this August as part of her worldwide Revival Tour. Expect to boogie the night away to Come and Get It, Slow Down, Hands to Myself and Good for You with Selena herself. Get your tickets here.
SKYCITY Variety Of Chefs Fine Dining Event | 18th August
Whip out your snazzy dress or black tie, enjoy some world-class Asian cuisine and help raise funds for the Children’s Charity Kiwi Kid Sponsorship program. The evening will see MasterChef Asian expert Judge, Audra Morrice and MASU’s Nic Watt cook up a storm in the kitchen, resulting in guests tucking into a menu with wine matches. Proceeds will go directly to the Kiwi Kid Sponsorship programme—helping with everything from glasses prescriptions to blankets, winter shoes and undies. A good cause and a great night out? Be there.
Oreste | 20th—21st August
Be there as some of New Zealand’s freshest opera talent wow Mercury Theatre alongside opera veterans. Handel’s Oreste is a fiery tale of sacrifice, danger and triumph, first performed at the Covent Garden Theatre in 1734 (!) and explores the ties between love and lust, and destiny and desire. Magically saved from sacrifice at her own father’s knife, Iphigenia is bound to serve the goddess Diana on the island of Tauris. The production will see Auckland Opera Studio and NZ Barok Orchestra for two unmissable evenings.
Sister Anzac | 23rd—28th August
A must-see for all Kiwis, Sister Anzac celebrates our country’s brave women who went to war. Taking place at Q Theatre (and the New Zealand Maritime Museum in September), the play takes place in 1915, when the nurses aka Angels of Mercy arrived at Gallipoli during one of WWI’s darkest hours. Nurses upon the first hospital ship, The Maheno, saved lives, healed battle wounds and provided hope—something that Sister Anzac recognises and honours.
The Absurdity Of Humanity | 24th—27th August
The New Zealand Dance Company is at it again, this time with a show-stopping duo of shows. The Absurdity of Humanity couples the works of Ross McCormack (Matter) and Lina Limosani (Whispers From Pandora's Box). Matter explores relationships with different environments, while Whispers showcases the tie between good and evil within human nature in a cunning, comedic way. Not to be missed.
Official New Zealand Premiere For Paddle For the North | 26th August
In 2013, six mates and two dogs spent two months canoeing from Canada to Alaska to raise awareness for one of the last undeveloped, untouched river systems left in the world—The Peel Watershed. PADDLE FOR THE NORTH documents the 1500km canoe trip, their ups, their downs, the awe-inspiring landscape and the stories of the people they met along the way. The film has been five years and took the Banff Mountain Film Festival by storm earlier this year. The premiere is your chance to meet the directors behind the film and engage in conversation with the conservation and adventure communities in Auckland. Pick up your tickets here.
Royal New Zealand Ballet Presents Giselle | 31st August—1st September
Ballet superstars Ethan Stiefel and Johan Kobborg are coming back to New Zealand with their Wellington-born production in tow. As one of oldest surviving ballets, Giselle includes some of the most breath-taking and iconic ballet scenes in history, which will be danced by a stellar cast of RNZB dancers. The story shows how forgiveness and redemption can repair the hurt from betrayal and will have you on the edge of your seat!
After more winter activities? Here are 51 Ways To Make This Winter A Whirlwind Of Fun.
Image credit: World Class