It’s time to tackle the coldest month of the year the only way us Aucklanders know how—by jam-packing it with events! Filled to the brim with events for everyone, you best plan your month around them ‘cause you’re not going to want to miss all this fun!
From phenomenal productions, themed celebrations from some of our fave restaurants, boozy days of delight and—of course—we can’t forget to mention all the dancing involved, July is set out to be a big one. Aucklanders, it’s time to get ready for all the things July has in store for you!
Lopdell Precinct Film Festival | 1 July
The historical Lopdell Precinct will be showing a wide range of eclectic feature films, short films and live music that’s perfect for everyone—even the kids! Catch films like Whiskey Galore, the laugh-out-loud Adult Life Skills, and the endlessly iconic Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at this equally iconic location!
Chris Rock—The Total Blackout Tour 2017 | 1 July
Returning after nine years, Grammy and Emmy award-winning comedian (among many other talents) Chris Rock is back as part of his The Total Blackout World Tour. Chris Rock is one of the strongest comedic voices in the game today, and this tour is no different. Currently touring the US to rave reviews, get ready to laugh-til-you-cry your way through the night!
West Side Story | 1 July—2 July
Inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, this equally iconic Broadway smash-hit is hitting Auckland’s shores! Set amidst the vicious teenage gang rivalries in 1950s New York, the dance spectacular West Side Story features the original choreography of Jerome Robbins, under the direction of Joey McKneely who learned his craft from Robbins himself! The only production currently showing and dancing the original choreography, it’s the first time it will be performed in New Zealand!
Hudson & Halls Live! | 1 July—9 July
Silo Theatre’s smash hit comedy Hudson and Halls Live! returns to Auckland as part of a national tour to celebrate the company’s 20th Anniversary. Back after winning a bevvy of Wellington Theatre Awards, it’s time for you to take a seat in a 1980s TV studio for a mid-winter Christmas special and for a glimpse into the epic story of two of New Zealand’s most iconic TV personalities Peter Hudson and David Halls. Expect side-splitting laughs, rum-fuelled showdowns and some very questionable cooking!
Te Ara Rama Matariki Light Trail | 1 July—8 July
The 5th Annual Te Ara Rama Matariki Light Trail transforms Maybury Reserve into a magical illuminated landscape for a weeklong Matariki celebration. Rug up and get ready to take a magical journey long a flax-lined pathway among hundreds and thousands of fairy lights! Local performers will keep you well entertained throughout the night from 7pm.
Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone | 2 July
For the first time ever in New Zealand, experience the first instalment of one of the biggest franchises in cinematic history like never before at Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Official Event. The Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra will be performing the music to the entire film LIVE—down to every picture and every single note. Relive the magic as if it’s your first time watching again to John William’s incredible score live in the flesh. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that’ll ignite the Harry Potter flame in your heart even brighter.
Jekyll & Hyde | 4 July—15 July
Comedy. Thrills. Chaos. Delight. The terrifying and at the same time very sexy story of Jekyll & Hyde will make you laugh ‘til it hurts. Be amongst some of the sassiest performers in town for a thrilling, charming, shockingly good comedy with plenty of laughs for a guaranteed feel-good night.
Mexican Café’s 34th Birthday Fiesta | 3 July—9 July
Taco bout a party! The iconic Mexican Café is celebrating the right way with a weeklong fiesta to celebrate a whopping 34 years filled with specials, themed days and a burrito-eating contest! Monday kicks off with $10 margaritas all day and margarita demonstrations throughout the evening! Taco Tuesday sees $3 tacos from the evening, celebrate Frida Kahlo’s birthday on Thursday with rad costumes, and take a trip down memory lane with their first ever menu at ’80s prices on Saturday! It’s not over yet, though—Sunday is the burrito-eating contest where you have to devour as many burritos as you humanly can in 5 minutes. Get ready for a Mex-cellent week to kick off July!
World Press Photo Exhibition | 1 July—30 July
Showcasing 2017’s most powerful photos, the World Press Photo Exhibition is coming to Auckland this month. The moving exhibition will take you through the highs and lows of the past twelve months with imagery from world’s best press photographers and photojournalists. The month-long exhibition will be held at Smith & Caugheys in the CBD.
Orleans 4 July Celebrations | 4 July
Southern American cuisine superstars Orleans are celebrating the 4th of July the right way—with a huge feast, liquor specials and live music! The delicious set menu celebrating American culture will include dishes like warm cobb loaf filled with prawn dip, cheese and scallions, hot wings, hot dogs with buttermilk ranch, loaded cabbage wedges, duck fat smashed potatoes and rhubarb and strawberry shortcake!
The Whisky Masterclass | 6 July
Journey through the early days of the cocktail and fast forward to some more modern creations. Have a hand in mixing them up following the lead of Chivas Ambassador Logan Demmy at The Whisky Masterclass. You’ll be learning what it takes to create the 1820s Mint Julep, 1900s Morning Glory Fizz, 1920s Bobby Burns, and the 2000s Sam Ross’ Penicillin. A must-do experience for any whisky lover, these cocktails will feature Chivas 12, Chivas Extra, and Chivas 18.
Gypsy Caravan Wine & Dine Series | 7 July
The final instalment of the Mount Michael Wine and Gypsy Caravan collaboration is bound to be a good one. Mount Michael Wines have been flown in fresh from Central Otago especially to feature at The Gypsy Caravan in a series of food and wine inspired events guaranteed to get your tastebuds rolling. Freeze out the winter blues and warm up with a cocktail-style party—think belly-warming food, a fire and phenomenal Pinot Noir to purchase on the night. While dancing shoes aren’t compulsory, they definitely recommend it…
The Mooncake And The Kumara | 30 June—8 July
Layered with myth and fable, The Mooncake and the Kumara is a moving story about a mixed-up Chinese Maori love affair, taking place nearly 90 years ago on a New Zealand market garden. This tale is told in a rich mixture of English, Maori and Cantonese in a story of history, duty, secrets and the delicate balance that is needed to grow families. A compelling story loosely based on award-winning Chinese-Maori playwright Mei-Lin Te Pua Hansen’s grandparents’ relationship, don’t miss this sell-out show as it hits Auckland.
David Attenborough’s Zoo Quest Screening | 8 July—23 July
Watch the very best of David Attenborough’s early Zoo Quest TV adventures seen like never before—in high-definition colour. Bringing with them is the remarkable story of how the pioneering television series was made, which completely changed how viewers saw the world. Using the newly found colour film matched with new behind-the-scenes stories from David Attenborough and cameraman Charles Lagus showcases the very best of the series.
My Dead Best Friend | 12 July—22 July
A comedy about death, revolution, unfulfilled love and a possum set in December 1998, Dunedin. My Dead Best Friend is a true story about heartbreaking grief and enduring friendship is a joyful comedy from a heavy heart, featuring a soundtrack from The Verlaines to The Backstreet Boys, and words from Tuwhare, Baxter and Bishop. First performed in 2016 at Perth Fringe World at the prestigious Blue Room Theatre, it boldly takes its place at Q Theatre in July.
New Zealand International Film Festival | 20 July—6 August
Find the perfect respite in the warm haven of a cinema and escape into a different world at the New Zealand International Film Festival. A team of programmers that attend premier festivals around the globe has curated more than 150 features and documentaries for the festival. Taking over five cinemas throughout Auckland—you’re bound to find the perfect one for you.
Hollie Smith | 21 July
One of New Zealand’s most iconic musicians Hollie Smith, is performing an acoustic duo alongside extremely talented Marika Hodgson. After releasing her album Water of Gold in 2016, she is ready to take over Leigh Sawmill with her powerhouse vocals, along with support from Tali, who will be sure to bring down the house with her international electronic dance and acoustic set.
Mid-Winter Vegan Feast | 22 July
The Heritage Hotel is hosting a scrumptious Mid-Winter Vegan Feast to warm you from the inside out. Executive Chef Gerrard O’Keefe and his team have designed a delightful menu that’s vegan like you’ve never tasted it. Whether you’re a vegan or otherwise, these scrumptious dishes will be guaranteed to blow you away. All part of the Heritage initiative to promote healthy eating practices and sustainable decisions, this feast is good for you and the planet.
The Simon And Garfunkel Story | 23 July
After a sold-out season on London’s West End and all over Europe, the UK production of The Simon & Garfunkel Story returns to New Zealand for a national tour. Starting from their beginnings as a ’50s rock ‘n’ roll duo Tom & Jerry, follow the journey through all the songs and stories that shaped them, to the dramatic split, and into their individual solo careers which ended with a breathtaking recreation of the legendary 1981 Central Park reunion concert. The show features 1960s photographs and film footage, as well as a full band performing all their hits.
The Cheesemonger & The Sommelier | 25 July
If you’re all about cheese and wine (you are), make a beeline for Sabato this month. The oh-so delightful fine food store is hosting The Cheesemonger & The Sommelier aka a night of—you guessed it—wine and cheese! Their in-house cheesemonger Calum ‘Curd Nerd’ Hodgson will be joined by ex-The French Cafe sommelier Andy Gladding to create an out-of-this-world pairing for your eating pleasure. Think exclusive artisan cheeses, Italian wines and Spanish cava...yes, please!
The Auckland Food Show | 27 July—30 July
The much-anticipated Auckland Food Show is back, and it’ll have you drooling over and discovering all things food. Foodies come in masses to taste a huge range of international and local food, wine, beer, coffee and kitchen equipment. There’ll be a stellar line-up of culinary pros showing you how it’s done in the kitchen featuring headline cook Annabel Langbein, as well as new additions including the Ceres Organics Hub Kitchen and Barilla Pasta Masterchef.
Urban Street Fest: Henderson | 27 July
Let your love of street food take you west this month. Auckland’s much-loved Urban Street Fest is back—and this time it’s taking over Henderson! Showcasing an evening of live music and street food, devour dishes from Double Dutch Fries, Judge Bao, The Rolling Pin and more. The event will be housed in Shed 1 of Corban Estate Arts Centre, keeping you dry and warm from unpredictable Auckland weather.
Little Mix Glory Days Tour | 30 July
Are you ready to give a shout out to your ex? Little Mix is bringing their Glory Days Tour to Auckland for one night only. Get ready to sing your heart out to hit tunes like Hair, Wings, Change Your Life and Move. Jesy, Perrie, Leigh-Anne and Jade are bringing their extravagant outfits, staging and talent to have you grooving and jamming all night!
Image credit: Matariki Light Trail