Auckland, are you ready for a new festival? Get excited because throughout the month of July the city will come awake with all sorts of sensational cuisine, mesmerizing light installations and cultural inspo. Elemental AKL draws on the elements, air, fire, earth and water, Auckland will transform as eateries and bars, theatres, parks, islands and public spaces become a part of the festival for you to enjoy.
The festival is broken into four sections—light, culture, cuisine and entertainment. To help you navigate your way throughout the month and ensure you get the most out of the incredible month-long experience, we have chosen top picks and must-sees.
Here's everything to see and do at Elemental AKL.
Te Hono – The Gathering
Matariki on the Waterfront
Matariki on the Waterfront returns to Silo Park in an action-packed three-day event during Elemental AKL. Celebrating New Zealand’s Maori culture and tikanga, each day has a diverse range of traditional performances and workshops to immerse yourself in. There is also the Silo Markets in full swing, hosting a smorgasbord of tasty food and drinks from the Silo Park Bar for you to enjoy. The event runs from Friday, 5 to Sunday, 7 July.
Want to up your 'gram game? This is your chance to learn all of the best-kept secrets behind capturing those drool-worthy photos and expert food styling tips. Entertaining, interactive and extremely fun, five-course Foodography Dinner will set you up with all of the knowledge you need to become the next big foodstagrammer. The dinner kicks off with a presentation covering tips on phone-photo techniques, lighting, food styling and Insta-blogging. Then it is your turn to experiment with pre-prepared ingredients that you can photograph before tucking into. It takes place on Friday, 26 July and so book your ticket now.
Sunset Sail And Graze
If you are looking for a little bit of luxury then listen up, because you can sail the Waitemata Harbour on the New Zealand Maritime Museum’s Heritage vessel while sipping on wine and nibbling on canapes. The trip takes you for a stunning tour from Queens Wharf, under the Harbour Bridge and past the West Haven Marina. The best part about Sunset Sail and Graze is the incredible view of the dazzling Vector Lights lights up the Harbour Bridge. The gourmet canapes feature beautiful local ingredients and the best local wines which you can enjoy during the 90-minute sail. The sailings take place from Saturday 20 to Saturday 27 July and bookings are essential.
Stellar Festival of Lights
Smales Farm will host a three-day event that brings incredible interactive and innovative light installations to celebrate Matariki, the Maori New Year. Stellar Festival of Lights has been a part of the North Shore community for the past few years, but the 2019 festival is the most impressive yet. It includes a series of light installations designed and created by local schools, a stunning zone of interactivity and light design in the new state-of-the-art B:HIVE building, DJ’s and entertainment all alongside the dazzling light installations which were designed by the award-winning architect Angus Muir. Stellar Festival of Lights is a free event and runs from the 12th of July to the 14th of July.
Elements Of Parnell
Throughout the Festival, Elements of Parnell will run in Heard Park. It showcases the incredible light sculptures by HYBYCOZO, an international collaborative art project that explores patterns and geometry in traditional art forms. Every Friday evening from 6pm, the light installations are accompanied with element-themed performances. These stunning shows will completely mesmerize you with the impressive array of lights and movements. There is also a range of Parnell’s much-loved eateries popping-up for you to grab some dinner before or after the show.
Night Lights By Electric Bike
Explore Auckland at night on a bike in a specially guided tour. Night Lights by Electric Bike connects the Vector lights and the Heard Park Parnell street performance and light installations so that you can see it all in one evening and get a good dose of fresh air while you are at it. There are pop-up food trucks along the way to grab a beer and bite to eat, it is a great night out on electric wheels to be had. Tickets are required.
The Mahurangi Winter Festival of Lights
The perfect festival for the whole family to visit, the streets of Warkworth will sparkle with colourful lighting installations decorating retail shops and restaurants during the Mahurangi Winter Festival of Lights. Launching on Friday, 19 of July with a Parade of Lights through the streets, there is an incredible laser light show, an always fun pop-up ice-skating rink and amazing food trucks all weekend. The dazzling installations will give you all of the winter-wonderland vibes and it is only a gold coin donation, no booking required.
Image Credit: Supplied