What's On

18 Astounding Things To Do In Auckland This Weekend

By Hana Okada
22nd Jun 2017

things to do in auckland

Auckland is illuminated for you this weekend! We're not just talking about the stunning seven star cluster of Matariki, either. Celebrate the Maori New Year with special productions, planetarium shows and light illuminations! Which of course, will all be accompanied with New Zealand and Maori inspired delights for you to feast on.

It’s also time to show your alliance with face paint, clothes, flags and the works for the DHL New Zealand Lions Series 2017—which colour will you be rocking loud and proud? It’s supporter central in the City of Sails this weekend with events all around the city, including an entertainment-filled Fan Trail walk all the way to Eden Park!

It’d be rude if we didn’t mention the 3am donuts AND veggie burgers you’ll be able to score this weekend! It’s up to you to decide now—how will you spend this fabulously chock-a-block weekend in Auckland?

All Weekend

Matariki Dawn

This is one uniquely New Zealand Stardome show you won’t want to miss. Celebrate the Maori New Year by learning about this important open star cluster—fly out to Matariki and learn the Maori names of the seven visible stars, find out why we only see it at certain times of the year and the importance of the lunar calender. Sit back and watch the tale of Rangi and Papatuanuku and the story of Rona and the Moon, and the next time you look at the Matariki night sky, it’ll never be the same!

Where: Stardome Observatory, Epsom
When: Friday 23 June—Friday 30 June, 7pm
For more info, click here

Night Lights

Exclusive to this weekend only, celebrate Matariki in this spectacular illumination event. Inspired by the Museum’s heritage collection, you’ll see transport and technology artefacts like never before, as unique and local up-coming artists for this event create engaging interpretations. Catch Lustrous, the art installation designed by a group of architecture students from UNITEC, giving waste materials a second life—by using 1,500 resued lightbulbs, 1,500 ziptipes and 15 mitres of wire mesh all lit up! Expect live performances and grab a feed from Puha & Pakeha for some Maori cuisine with a twist!

Where: Museum of Transport and Technology, Western Springs
When: Friday 23 June—Sunday 25 June
For more info, click here


Back for a big third year, Stellar brings a mid-winter light festival like no other. Immerse yourself in an abundance of installations that will dazzle, delight and impress, representing the seven stars of the Matariki cluster. Food Space is also bringing Puna Kai to Stellar, a range of street food vendors creating a dish with an ingredient with a Maori or New Zealand influence. Think crayfish pasta, kina sauce, the lot! There will be workshops, activities and performances for all ages and it’s FREE to attend!

Where: Smales Farm, Takapuna
When: Friday 23 June—Sunday 25 June, 5pm—10pm
For more info, click here

Friday 23 June

Bean Supreme Pop Up Café

Fridays just got even better (yes, that’s possible!). Warm up with a scrumptious Bean Supreme veggie burger and raise money for the SPCA! Head over to Aotea Square for a Friday lunch like no other—for a gold one you’ll be treated to a Bean Supreme whole food burger designed by Michelin Star Chef Jamie Miller from Mint Kitchen! Guilt-free indulgence and helping our furry friends in need, all money raised will go straight to the SPCA AND Bean Supreme will match the total!

Where: Aotea Square, Auckland CBD
When: Friday 23 June, 12pm—3pm
For more info, click here

I Ain’t Mad At Cha

Throw yourself into 1999 and meet Kiwa—he’s struggling with the whole ‘being Maori’ thing. Facing racism on a daily basis, he’s done with being judged, especially by his own people. So, how do black American fullas who live 20,000km away make him feel more at home than ever? A expression through music and exploration, follow Kiwa and his love for rhymes in this stellar performance part of Basement Theatre’s Matariki season.

When: Friday 23 June—Saturday 24 June, 6:30pm—7:40pm
Where: Basement Theatre, Auckland CBD
For more info, click here

Pacific Dance Festival

Providing an opportunity for Pacific choreographers to create, develop, and perform original dance works, this is a celebration of Pacific cultures like no other. The double bill on Friday and Saturday are the last shows for the Festival so don’t miss it! It features ‘Aumaga’ by Le Moana and ‘Le Mau’ by Jasmine Leota, and running alongside the festival you can catch an exhibition of Pacific dance costumes that isn’t to be missed!

Where: Mangere Arts Centre, Mangere
When: Friday 23 June—Saturday 24 June
For more info, click here

Queen’s Wharf Fan Zone

This is the buzzing hub for the DHL New Zealand Lions Series 2017 and it’s bringing all of the action along! Make yourself at home at Queen’s Wharf for the weekend and you won’t be missing a minute of the action. Kicking off on Friday, watch the first Test match live on the big screen on Saturday, or walk the fan trail with fellow rugby-heads from 4pm to Eden Park with live entertainment on the way! There will be exhibitions, free entertainment and food and drink to keep you sustained throughout the fun!

Where: Queen’s Wharf, Auckland CBD
When: Friday 23 June—Saturday 8 July
For more info, click here.


Part of Basement Theatre’s Matariki Season, this two-person show brings critically acclaimed songwriter and performer Mara TK and innovative theatre practictioner Tola Newberry for a meditation on pre-European Aotearoa, the emergence of Maori prophetic movements and their fracture with modern day capitalist dystopia. Told in movement, sound, sound and theatrical lyricism, this beautiful surrealist duet is not to be missed!

Where: Basement Theatre, Auckland CBD
When: Friday 23 June—Saturday 24 June
For more info, click here

Last Night at the Proms

Now in its 16th year, get ready for a jolly good evening of musical fanfare! From patriotic Rule Britannia to iconic British pop and much-loved classics, Auckland Symphony Orchestra will have you forgetting about your cuppa (again!) and singing, stomping and serenading your heart out! Get your vocal chords and your Union Jack at the ready for the most feel-good concert of the year!

Where: Bruce Mason Theatre and Auckland Town Hall
When: Friday 23 June and Sunday 25 June, 7:30pm–10pm
For more info, click here

Saturday 24 June

Test Your Limits and Support Emirates Team NZ

This is your chance to get on board with Emirates Team NZ and test your pedal power with the cycle grinder simulator—just like on the black boat! Bring your friends and family and race against them in a 30-second sprint on this revolutionary technology. You can even post your results online and send your support to our boys in Bermuda to bring the Cup home!

Where: North Wharf Eastern Ridge, Auckland CBD
When: Saturday 24 June—Sunday 25 June
For more info, click here

Auckland Fan Trail

The best and easiest 4.2km you’ll walk in your life! Join thousands of rugby fans for a walk from Queen’s Wharf to Eden Park, and on the way you’ll encounter roaming street performers, roller skaters, bagpipiers, cheerleaders, light installations, DJs, drag artistes, the Clan Celtica Drummers and Celtic Flyers Band and the Puha & Pakeha Food Truck! You’ll be there before you know it!

Where: Queen’s Wharf, Auckland CBD
When: Saturday 24 June, 4pm—7:30pm
For more info, click here

West Rugby Fan Zone

Auckland Central won’t be the only ‘burb getting the rugby treatment! Share the buzz of the world’s most iconic touring rugby series out West on the big screen. Take a seat on the grandstand or pull up a beanbag to get amongst the iconic match. There will be free entertainment, including inflatables, Matariki arts and crafts, face-painting and of course lots of food and drink!

Where: The Trusts Arena, Henderson
When: Saturday 24 June, 6pm—10pm
For more info, click here

Doornuts Happy Hour

Now if you weren’t planning on going out this weekend, this might just convinced you. It’ll probably still seem like Friday to you as you continue your casual-drinks-turned-night-on-the-town, and you’ll also be starving after all that dancing. You won't feel like fries, nor a kebab, because the legends at Doornuts will be open! Yep, that’s right—you can get your scrumptious donut fix from 2:30am ‘til the wee hours of 4am!

Where: Doornuts, Karangahape Road
When: Saturday 24 June, 2:30am—4am
For more info, click here

Sunday 25 June

Matariki in Matakana

As if a weekend in Matakana couldn't get any better! Celebrate the Maori New Year in the picture perfect Matakana—there’ll be kids activities, entertainment, food and drink, a special hāngi and a screening of one of our fave homegrown movies, Hunt for the Wilderpeople! It’s the perfect day for the whole family and you won’t have to worry about Auckland’s precarious weather, either—it’s all going down rain or shine!

Where: Matakana Village, Matakana
When: Sunday 25 June, 11am—3pm
For more info, click here

Inner Light Market

Running in conjunction with the monthly Titirangi Market, there’ll be beautiful holistic treats and divine treatments at this wonderful market. Health practitioners will be there to give free health checks, health therapists giving mini or full massages, and loads of eco-friendly, local and organic products to get your hands on!

Where: Titirangi Community House, Titirangi
When: Sunday 25 June, 10am—2pm
For more info, click here

The Great One Hundred and Under Vintage Clothing Sale

Glory Days and the exhibition team will be selling their personal collections of vintage and retro clothing and accessories from the 20’s to 80’s all for under $100! Nab a piece of fashion history at this unique second-hand sale! Sizes will rages from teeny tiny to 32+ inch waists so no doubt you’ll find a gem that’s as if it was made for you. While you’re there, you’re best to check out the vintage wedding dress exhibiton Till Death Do Us Part!

Where: Highwic, Epsom
When: Sunday 25 June, 11am—4pm
For more info, click here

Slow Sundays—Mini Workshops

Join Amber and Gold as she shares the goodness of organic spices to make your very own chai blend. Perfect for the cold nights ahead, bring your favourite bowl and spoon to mix up a storm with their offering of organic chai, nut mylks, fresh garden herbs, tailored juices, essences and oil blends!

Where: WE-AR Ponsonby Store, Ponsonby
When: Sunday 25 June, 2pm—2:30pm
For more info, click here

Orphans Kitchen and Embla Collaboration

One of our fave dining spots is collaborating with the co-founders of Melbourne’s The Town Mouse and its wine bar sibling Embla! Taking Best New Restaurant for 2017 in the Age Good Food Guide Awards, the good people of Embla will bring its Aussie rustic charm and fuse it with some Kiwi Orphan’s Kitchen goodness for a match made in heaven. Unwind after a jam-packed weekend with this relaxed, sharing-style menu—it’s best enjoyed for larger groups of four or more so bring the entire crew and make a night of it!

Where: Orphan’s Kitchen, Ponsonby
When: Sunday 25 June
For more info, click here

Image credit Auckland Tourism

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