Activities & Itineraries

Your Guide To The Ultimate Action-Packed Summer In New Zealand

By Avril Treasure
1st Sep 2019

A shot of the front of a stage, Your Guide To The Ultimate Action-Packed Summer In New Zealand

Turn off Netflix this November, December and January as we’ve got a bunch of action-packed events for you to check out. From the best summer festivals to head to with your mates, to art exhibitions, comedy shows, wrestling and a musical, here’s what to do over the coming months. Carpe Diem etc.

November

Wellington

POTENTIALLY FIND ‘THE ONE’, SPEED DATING STYLE

Forget Tinder, and go back to the ‘90's way' of potentially meeting ‘the one’—speed dating. Put your best foot forward and take turns chatting to other singles for five-minute intervals. You may get nervous and blabber too much, or you may come away with date number two. At the very least, it will make for a fun night out and, a good story.

When: 21 November, 7pm-10pm
Where: The Establishment, Cnr Blair St and Courtenay Place, Wellington
For more information, click here.

GET CULTURED AND GO TO AN ART EXHIBITION

Come and admire the artwork created by the artist who’s responsible for Wellington’s iconic sculpture Solace in the Wind, Max Patté. See his latest additions to his current exhibition held in their gallery on Jessie Street. His work includes sculptures, light works and print in bright colours.

When: 21, 22, November, 10am-2pm, 23 November, 9am-2pm
Where: Wrestler, 21 Jessie St, Wellington
For more information, click here.

Auckland

TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB AND FLIGHT FACILITIES

Watch indie-pop band, Two Door Cinema Club, as well as Sydney duo, Flight Facilities at Spring City in Auckland. Dance away to upbeat tunes, electric dance songs and your favourite bangers. Crooked Colours and Foley will also be playing at the day and night event held at Ellerslie Racecourse, which is a 10 minute drive from the city.

When: 24 November, 3pm-10.30pm
Where: Ellerslie Racecourse, 100 Ascot Ave, Remuera, Auckland
For more information, click here.

LES MISÉRABLES AT THE CIVIC

Impress your mum and invite her along to an evening to watch the musical, Les Misérables, which is now playing at the grand Auckland theatre, The Civic. Set in 19th-century France, Les Misérables explores a range of human emotions and experiences, including sacrifice and redemption, broken dreams, passion and love.

When: 21, 22, 23, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 November, 7.30pm-10pm, 23, 30 November, 2pm-4.30pm, 24 November, 4pm-6.30pm
Where: The Civic, Cnr Queen & Wellesley Sts, CBD, Auckland
For more information, click here.

Christchurch

LAUGH AT THE CLOWNS AT THE CIRCUS

From awe-inspiring acrobatic moves, to daredevil stunts that make you want to look away, and of course, the clowns, a visit to watch the circus is a pretty fun experience. Zirka Circus has been entertaining Kiwis for over 10 years and they are heading to Christchurch, showcasing theatre and performing arts. And, there’s a pretty intense motorbike skit. Popcorn and candyfloss recommended.

When: 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30 November, various times
Where: Zirka Big Top, Ferry Road, Ferrymead, Christchurch
For more information, click here.

Hamilton

VOLUNTEER TO HELP CONSERVE THE NATIVE ENVIRONMENT

If you love the forests, wetlands, lakes and ecosystems in Hamilton, then this may be the ideal green hobby for you. Volunteer your time and join the Friends of Waiwhakareke, a group that focuses on conservation and bringing back the native flora and fauna to the area. The ​Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park project was established in 2004 and since then the local community and volunteers have planted over 220,000 native plants. The group meets once a month, and new members are always welcome.

When: 30 November, 9am-12pm
Where: Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park, 188 Brymer Road, Hamilton, Waikato
For more information, click here.

Tauranga

IT DOESN’T GET MUCH MORE ACTION PACKED THAN PWE

Watch some of New Zealand’s best wrestlers battle it out at the Mount. PWE, or Pro Wrestling Entertainment, is a family-friendly event, as it combines athletics with theatrical performance—the results being quiet humorous. It’s almost worth going just to see the names and costumes alone.

When: 30 November, 6pm-8.30pm
Where: Mount Maunganui Intermediate, 21 Lodge Avenue, Mt Maunganui, Bay of Plenty
For more information, click here.

December

Wellington

GET LOST DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE AT AN ALICE IN WONDERLAND EXHIBITION

Fans of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland should come along to an immersive exhibition celebrating all things Alice and her adventures. It’s an interactive experience where you can get lost in the hallway of doors, play at the queen’s croquet ground and enjoy a drink at a digital Mad Hatter’s tea tarty. For the real thing however, you can enjoy some food at a high tea before you enter into the exhibition. And if you’re feeling bonkers at all during your time there, remember, all the best people are.

When: 7-31 December (excluding Christmas), 10am-6pm
Where: Te Papa, 55 Cable St, Wellington
For more information, click here.

Auckland

CREATE YOUR OWN PERFUME IN THIS MASTERCLASS

Discover the craft of making fragrances with an artisanal perfume workshop, hosted by Perfume Playground in collaboration with Auckland Art Gallery. The half-day event will see you learn the science behind scents and experience 18 botanicals that are native to Asia-Pacific. What’s more, you will create your very own solid perfume to take home with essences, jojoba and beeswax.

When: 1 December, 10.30am-1.30pm
Where: Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Cnr Kitchener and Wellesley Streets, CBD, Auckland
For more information, click here.

Christchurch

LEARN TO GARDEN IN THE BOTANIC GARDENS

Calling all everyday gardeners—improve your skills with a two-hour event held at The Kiosk in the beautiful Botanic Gardens in Christchurch. Meet like-minded and friendly people and chat about all things nature. There will be guest speakers, as well as helpful tips and tricks.

When: 2 December, 7pm-9pm, 3 December, 9.45am-11.45am
Where: Christchurch Botanic Gardens, Rolleston Ave, Christchurch
For more information, click here.

Hamilton

PICK A BUNCH OF LAVENDER FROM THE FIELDS

Lavender is now in bloom, and you can pick your own bunch from fields of it. Lavender Backyard Garden is the only lavender and blueberry farm in New Zealand, and a short drive from Hamilton. Sit back and relax amongst the rural surrounds and enjoy some natural blueberry ice cream. You can also purchase some essential oils and skincare items to take home.

When: 20 December, 9am-5pm
Where: Lavender Backyard Garden, 398 Marshmeadow Rd, Hamilton, Waikato
For more information, click here.

Tauranga

GET IN THE XMAS SPIRIT AND RAISE MONEY FOR CHARITY WHILE HAVING FUN

Tauranga’s annual Christmas in the Park is an event for the whole community to get together and raise money for charity, all the while having a good time. There will be live music and local performances at Blake Park as well as food stalls and craft drinks. It’s a gold coin entry, with all proceeds going to charities and community groups that work with families and children in need.

When: 7 December, 10am-5pm
Where: Blake Park, Maunganui Road, Mt Maunganui, Bay of Plenty
For more information, click here.

January

Wellington

SEE COMEDIANS TRY THEIR LUCK AT THE SNATCH GAME

Made famous by RuPaul’s Drag Race is the legendary snatch game—where contestants (hilariously attempt to) impersonate famous people. The Fringe Bar in Wellington are hosting their version—The Schnatch Game—where comedians will try their luck at becoming someone else for the evening. Britney Spears, Nigella Lawson and Austin Powers will make an appearance, as well as Mary Poppins and Cardi B.

When: 10, 11, 12 January 2020, 8pm-10pm
Where: The Fringe Bar, 26 Allen Street, Wellington
For more information, click here.

MY DAD WROTE A PORNO (THE PODACST) WORLD TOUR

If you haven’t heard of the podcast, My Dad Wrote A Porno, you may be living under a rock. In that case, it’s essentially about Jamie Morton, a television writer, finding out that his father has been writing erotic fiction using a different name. He then reads out passages of the novel on the podcast and chats with friends Alice Levine and James Cooper. The three of them are hitting the road with a world tour, where laughs are pretty much guaranteed.

When: 21 January, 2020, 8pm
Where: The Opera House, 111 - 113 Manners Street, Wellington
For more information, click here.

Auckland

GET DOWN AND BOOGIE WITH LIZZO AT FOMO

The American singer, songwriter, rapper and all round queen, Lizzo, is headlining FOMO, and frankly, we are here for it. Is there anyone out there who hasn’t played Juice as loud as their car speakers will go? Anyway, we digress. Lizzo will be joined with Brockhampton, Kaytranada, Octavian and more as they play outdoors at The Trusts Arena on 15 January 2020.

When: 15 January, 2020, 5pm-10.30pm
Where: The Trusts Arena, 65-67 Central Park Dr, Henderson, Auckland
For more information, click here.

DANCE THE DAY AND NIGHT AWAY AT LANEWAY 2020

Laneway 2020 is happening in Auckland on 27 January. The 1975, Rüfüs Du Sol, Charli XCX, Ruel, Earl Sweatshirt, Hockey Dad and more will be playing at Albert Park. Bring your best friends for a potentially sweaty day of dancing and grooving. Bucket hat optional (but recommended).

When: 27 January, 2020, 11.25am-10.30pm
Where: Albert Park, Princes St, CBD, Auckland
For more information, click here.

Christchurch

COMEDY SHOWCASE WITH LOCAL AND INTERNATIONAL COMEDIANS

Belly laugh at a local stand up comedy night held at Kensington Fun House. The showcase will feature a range of up and coming comedians as well as local ones, and national and international guests. Entrance is free—you will only need to pay for your drinks and snacks—so it’s a pretty affordable way to see some live comedy and change up your regular weekly routine.

When: 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 January, 2020, 8pm-10pm
Where: Kensington Fun House, 185 Manchester St, Christchurch
For more information, click here.

Hamilton

CATCH KIWI BAND THE NARCS ON THEIR NATIONAL TOUR

Award-winning Kiwi band The Narcs are on their summer tour of New Zealand and are heading to Hamilton in January 2020. It’s an unplugged show with the members of the group getting up close and personal with the audience. Expect to hear stripped-back well-known classics and your favourites. There will be some new songs, too, including I Don’t Want To Go To Work Today.

When: 12 January, 2020, 7.30pm-10pm
Where: Nivara Lounge, Basement 266 Victoria Street, Basement, Hamilton, Waikato
For more information, click here.

Tauranga

START THE NEW YEAR RIGHT AT BAY DREAMS

You haven’t done New Year’s celebrations properly in the Mount if you don’t head to Bay Dreams, the super-popular one-day festival on 2 January, 2020. International artists Halsey and Tyler, the Creator will be headlining, as well as Winston Surfshirt and Ocean Alley from Australia, plus a selection of other artists and bands. Get in quick, ticket sales are on their final release. We’ll see you there.

When: 2 January, 2020, 12pm
Where: Trustpower Baypark, 81 Truman Ln, Mt Maunganui, Bay of Plenty
For more information, click here.

A TWO-DAY FESTIVAL FOR REGGAE LOVERS

For everyone’s sake, we’re hoping Shaggy will sing It Wasn’t Me at the One Love festival in Tauranga. In any case, you can catch him and Sean Paul, Sons of Zion, Etana, L.A.B. at the two-day summertime event. Toots and the Maytals, Common Kings and Third World will also playing at the festival where reggae always shines.

When: 25, 26 January, 2020, 12pm
Where: Tauranga Domain, Cameron Rd, Tauranga, Bay of Plenty
For more information, click here.

Need more activities on your plate? Check out the Best Summer Ever Adventure itinerary here.

Image credit: Kate Mason

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