Hellooo 2017! Whether you’re planning a stay-cay in Auckland or you’re sticking around to work, don’t get jelly about other people’s holidays, because there are plenty of things to do in the City of Sails this January.
From adventures and festivals to plenty of soirees involving alcohol and music, there are enough activities to keep you satisfied and away from the sadness of being back in the office. We bring you 20 awesome things to do in Auckland this January!
The New Zealand Herald New Year’s Day Races | 1 January
If you’re up for round two (or three, or four) after your big night, then head along to The New Zealand Herald New Year’s Day Races. Toast to 2017 in style as you watch the races and sip on champagne. Ticket prices vary, depending on how elite you want to be. Get all the deets here.
ASB Classic | 2 – 14 January
Who doesn’t love watching some of the world’s best tennis players smash it out at the ASB Classic? With the likes of Serena and Venus Williams, Ana Ivanovic, Roberto Agut, and John Isner, you’ll see some of the best tennis around. Watch from the stands or opt for the Moët & Chandon Champagne Lounge for something a wee bit fancy. This is one of the best events of the year, so head along on any of the days for a fabulous time. Check out the deets here.
Liquid Lowdown | 3 January
If drum and bass is your jam (and it probably is if you’re heading down from Northern Bass), then be sure to stop off at Liquid Lowdown in Leigh on your way back to Auckland. Leigh Sawmill Cafe will be playing host to some pretty epic drum and bass DJs for the evening, including Dylan C, Rhyas and host MC Tali. Starting at 8pm, you can guarantee it’ll be a late one. So sit back, order a few drinks and nibbles and enjoy some tunes.
The Hendrix Project – Jimi Hendrix Tribute Show | 6 January
Pay tribute to one of the best musicians of all time, Jimi Hendrix. Held at Ascension Wine Estate in Matakana, The Hendrix Project will take you on a journey through the life of the legend himself, with three musicians performing renditions of some of his best-selling songs. The three-piece line-up features UK musicians Phil Roberts on the vocals and guitar, Glen Child on the drums, and Kiwi Steve Sussex on the bass.
Great FitzRoy Mussel Fest |7 January
If you’re a mussel lover, you can’t miss the Great Fitzroy Mussel Fest on Great Barrier Island. The 18th annual event will host live music and entertainment all day. Expect to be served up mussels in every way possible—from au natural, through to mussel chowder, kebabs, fritters, and any other way you can think of! The event is at Port Fitzroy Landing Reserve and runs from 10am to 6pm.
Madame-Rouge Vineyard Run & Walk | 7 January
Take a hike amongst the vineyards on Waiheke with the Madame-Rouge Vineyard Run & Walk. The 10km course track will take you along vineyards, olive groves and over plenty of hills. The walk starts at from Casita Miro at 8am, so make sure you get there early.
Colour Splash | 7 January
Celebrate the ancient Holi festival of India at the Colour Splash in Auckland. Enjoy sharing the love and getting messy in colour with coloured dry powder. The festival is considered to be one to cut loose, renew your energy, celebrate new starts and create harmony and connection with the community. Get the deets here.
Anno Domini At Auckland Art Gallery | 8 January
If the idea of a party on one of Auckland’s coolest rooftops— the Auckland Art Gallery— sounds like your type of party, then you won’t want to miss Anno Domini! Held at the iconic gallery, you can enjoy drinks in the sunshine while listening to some house, techno, and modern funk music. Get in quick, before tickets sell out.
Highlife Summer Sundays | 8 January
If you loved the Highlife New Year’s festival, then keep the party going at Highlife Summer Sundays! The event will be held at Takapuna’s beachside eatery, Regatta, from 4pm onwards. Enjoy drinks in the sunshine with music from resident DJs Karn Hall, DJ AlexQ and more. Dress code is casual summer vibes before 6pm, moving to dressy summer vibes after.
Summer In The Square | 9 — 30 January
Celebrate the best season of the year with Summer in the Square—Aotea Square, that is. Throughout the month of January, us lucky Aucklanders will get to enjoy live music, explore vintage markets, take tours of The Civic and even attend a Latin fiesta! Just a few of the amazing music acts include Australian favourite Borneo, jazz band The Swagettes, and some local faves, Tiny Ruins and The Ruby Suns. The Latin fiesta is all about traditional food, music and dancing, with some of the best salsa teachers to help you out. And, if markets are more your thing, from 13 to 15 January, you can hunt for treasures at the vintage market weekend. Find all the deets here.
Swan Lake | 12 January — 14 January
If you haven’t seen Swan Lake yet, now is the time to go. Celebrating a classic love story between a prince and his swan, the heartbreaking story will keep you on the edge of your seat. Who said ballet was boring? Swan Lake aka one of the world’s best ballet performances will be held at ASB Theatre in Aotea Square. Book your ticket here.
Sun & Sound | 14 January
The infamous Sun & Sound session in Takapuna is back! For the fourth year running, you can do exactly as the name says—enjoy sun and some sounds while laxing out at Takapuna beach. This R18 festival has beach games such as volleyball, beach soccer, cricket, jumps and slides as well as a fabulous line-up of DJs and a food and bar stall.
Hipstamatics’ Soul Revue Tour | 19 January
If you love a bit of Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and James Brown, then you’ll love seeing Hipstamatic’s performance that draws inspiration from these singers. If you haven’t heard of them, here’s the d-low: Hipstamatics are an 11-man band that thrive off classic ‘70s soul music and have been performing for the past six years. So, if you’re ready to get down to funky town, don’t miss their performance at Ponsonby Social Club.
Chinese New Year Festival & Market Day | 21 January
Celebrate the Chinese New Year and welcome in the year of the rooster with the annual festival and market day. The event, which has been running for over 30 years, boasts around 30,000 guests…and for good reason. You don’t want to miss the grand opening, with the infamous Dragon Dance, and be one of the first to explore the grounds. The festival will have more than 200 stalls selling Chinese traditional and exotic delicacies, from food through to arts and crafts. There’ll also be entertainment from acrobats, games and rides, performance by Chinese pop singers, and even martial arts and tai chi classes. Get all the deets here.
Ignite Light Show | 21 January
Experience the magic of light at the Ignite Light show. There’ll be laser light shows, fire dancers and a hot air balloon night glow. This event is also family-friendly, so you can have the sprogs in tow, with bouncy castles and carnival rides to keep them entertained. Bring a picnic, or enjoy a bite from one of the food vendors on site.
Auckland Folk Festival | 27 – 30 January
Grab the parents and head along to New Zealand’s largest folk festival! The Auckland Folk Festival has been held for 43 years and includes some of the best folklore music, with performances from Irish, Scottish, North American and European artists. There’s also a campsite available in case one day isn’t enough for you. Find the lineup and more info here.
International Buskers Festival | 27 January — 30 January
If you’ve travelled to large cities, you’ll appreciate the skill that many buskers have—more skills than your average joe, that’s for sure. Celebrate the wonderful world of buskers, because, let’s be honest, they make wandering the streets a lot more exciting. The International Buskers Festival will play host to some of the top performers from around the globe. Expect to see contortion acrobatics, pro hula hoopers, juggling, stunt work, unicyclists, illusion and a whole lot more circus acts. For the full line-up of performers and its schedule, check here.
Ha! The Classic Comedy Summer Festival | 27 January — 6 February
If you feel like laughing your way into February, then you won’t want to miss Ha! In other words, The Classic Comedy Summer Festival. In celebration of The Classic’s 20th anniversary, the festival brings you the top comedians from around New Zealand. Basically, there’s a whole bunch of shows over the week, with our must-see list including the New Pro’s showcase, the Future Quiz and Comedy Debate, because who doesn’t love seeing comedians get rarked up over nothing? Peep the deets here.
SeePort Festival | 29 January — 30 January
Explore the ports of Auckland in a way you haven’t seen them before at the SeePort Festival. Jump the iconic red fence and discover the port from land, sea or sky. Yep, that’s right, there’ll be a bus tour, a boat cruise and even a helicopter ride! If you prefer to stay safely on land, you can keep entertained at the summer carnival with kid-friendly rides, food stalls, a mini-golf course and an evening symphony with fireworks show. Get all the deets here.
St Jerome’s Laneway Festival | 30 January
If you’re into music festivals, trendy peeps and some alty music, then you won’t want to miss the well-acclaimed St Jerome’s Laneway Festival. This year, the festival is changing venues and will be held for the first time at Albert Park. Some of our top picks include The Veils, Flight Facilities, Nick Murphy (Chet Faker) and Tame Impala. Word on the street is it’s Tame Impala’s last gig together for a long time—now we know you won’t want to miss that! Aside from the music, we’re pretty darn excited about the food that’ll be on offer, with vendors from The Bearded Clam and Miss Moonshine’s to Wise Boys Burgers and Lord Of The Fries.
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Image credit: Laneway Festival