Feeling the heat? That, our friends, is summer settling in. We’re on the final stretch of 2015, which means it’s time to start planning what to do and where to do it this summer. ‘Tis the season to let your hair down, be excessively jolly and enjoy the sunshine—and we’ve found Auckland’s best summer events to help you do just that. Get amongst!
Summer In The Square | 2nd December—19th February
Who said summer was all about beaches?! Aotea Square has been transformed into an inner-city summer hub of live music, massive backyard games, food trucks and so much more. Golden Dawn’s Matthew Crawley has handpicked the music acts, which pretty much guarantees awesome performances.
Food Space Silo Park | 2nd December
Your hump day just got a whole lot better thanks to Food Space Silo Park. Every Wednesday throughout the summer months, Silo Park will be taken over by food trucks serving up the best of Auckland’s street food and ice-cold bevvies. Food truck faves Dixie Barbecue, Taco Loco and The Beverage Sisters were amongst the group to kick start the event this Wednesday, and we’re excited to find out who’s next! Bask in the sunshine and enjoy the live entertainment at this gorgeous waterfront spot.
Silo Markets & Cinema | 4th December
Silo Markets, how we’ve missed you! The Silo Markets opens today for summer with arts and crafts, food stalls, street performers every Friday evening, and Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Our favourite part, the Silo Cinema is also back. Every Friday night during December and January, grab a posy on the grass and enjoy the film projected on one of the silos.
Takapuna Summer Days Festival | 15th—18th January
The first week back at work after the summer hols isn’t easy. Luckily, Takapuna Summer Days Festival will be there as your mid-week pick me up! The four-day festival is all about capturing the spirit of Kiwi summer and has something for everyone—from a park screening of Jurassic World on Thursday night, to the epic Friday night Sun & Sand house party on the beach, and the Family Beach Day on the Saturday. The festival finishes off with a Sunday Grill On The Green, so stock up on them sausies!
Flamingo Pier | 23rd January
London’s best Kiwi-curated party is returning to Waiheke this January, and it’s an event you don’t want to miss. On 23rd January the beautiful Rangihoua Estate is set to pump with live beats, restaurant pop-ups and dranks for an all-round good time. With multiple party areas (including the new Into The Forest dance floor), food from Miss Moonshine’s, The Bearded Clam and Te Matuku Oysters, plus Auckland’s famous Bedford Soda & Liquor cocktails, Flamingo Pier is quite literally the place of summer happiness.
ASB Auckland Seafood Festival | 29th—31st January & 1st February
Seafood fans, this event is made for you. Taking place at Hasley Wharf, the welcoming sea breeze will keep you cool as you eat your way around the festival. From gorgeously plump Bluff oysters to classic whitebait fritters, there will be 50 food stands with over 100 fresh seafood dishes to sample. The music is set to pump, and Auckland’s top chefs will take to the stage, spilling their seafood secrets. Head down for the annual Blessing of the Fleet to wish NZ’s fishing fleet a safe and prosperous year at sea, as well as remembering those who were lost. Or give the Slippery Pole a go—a traditional Sicilian competition which sees participants walk a greased pole in hope to nab the red flag.
Laneway Festival | 1st February
Silo Park seems to buzz all summer long, and Laneway 2016 on 1st February will be the biggest event of the season. With a stellar line-up featuring Flume, Grimes, Chvrches and Hermitude alongside awesome Kiwi artists, this Laneway fest might just be the best one yet.
Fly My Pretties at Auckland Zoo | 13th February
Fly My Pretties will be taking over Auckland Zoo with their sweet, sweet tunes this summer. The Black Seed’s Barnaby Weird has assembled 15 of New Zealand’s finest musicians including his fellow band member Jarney Murphy and Nigel Patterson. Electric Wire Hustle’s Mara TK is also part of the crew and you’ll be sure to see a couple of talented new faces. The gig will be raising funds and awareness of NZ’s native coastal birds. Gather up the fam and head along!
Splore | 19th—21st February
Art, music and culture comes together at the stunning Tapapakanga Regional Park for three days of community-focused celebrations. Set up camp at the Splore site, soak up the festival vibes and boogy to Leftfield and Klangkarussell—two of electronica’s biggest acts making their NZ debut. There’s plenty of activities for the kids, including a rumpus room, sand sculptures, circus workshops and a chance to add their Splore memoir the the Bower—a bottle tower of memories.
Land Rover NZ Polo Open | 21st February
Ditch the jandals, slap on some lippy or that snazzy collared shirt and make your way to the sporting and social event of the summer. The Land Rover NZ Polo Open in Clevedon is an exciting day of style, sunshine and polo. Guests can compete in a fashion comp, get rowdy during the traditional ‘stomping of the field’ and place bets on the infamous Car vs. Horse Race. Pick up your tickets here.
The Hillary Trail Run/Walk | 27th February
Scoffed and glugged a bit too much over Christmas? Not to worry! The Hillary Trail will whip that booty back into shape. Channel the tenacious attitude of Sir Ed and tackle the 16, 34 or 80km course through the Waitakere Ranges, taking you through beaches, native bush, waterfalls, sand dunes and cliff tops.
Dîner En Blanc | 27th February
This secret dinner party phenomenon is back! Dîner En Blanc will be a stunning evening of outdoor dining in a yet-to-be-revealed Auckland location. Diners must wear all-white attire, bring their own table, silverware and food, and be prepared to dance the night away. Register your interest to one of the best nights of 2016 here. Best of luck!
Vegan Food Fair | 28th February
Get your vegan on at the 2016 Vegan Food Fair. Whether you’re a full-fledged vegan or are interested in giving it a go, this fair will bring the best of Auckland’s vegan food stalls in one place! More details to come, but rumour has it that Little Island will be there with their irresistible vegan milk.
Man O’ War Summer Lunch | 28th February
Take a day trip to Waiheke for the Man O’ War Summer Lunch. This annual Westpac Chopper fundraiser is set to sell out, so get in quick! A 9-course walking degustation will be catered by Masterchef queen Chelsea Winter, MKR’s Gareth Stewart, The Oyster Inn’s Anthony McNamara and other brilliant chefs. If diamonds are your thing, then you’ll want to buy a glass of the Man O’ War Tulia blanc de blanc on the day—a real diamond could be at the bottom of it!
Auckland City Limits | 19th March
While we were sad to see Big Day Out go, we’ve been blessed with an epic new summer festival—Auckland City Limits. Taking inspiration from the legendary Austin City Limits festy in Texas, Auckland City Limits promises to deliver a day of over 40 acts at Western Springs, with Kendrick Lamar leading the pack.
Want more? Check out our list of 50 Things You Should Have Done If You Live In Auckland.