Dark chilly nights and magical light festivals go hand in hand and, this winter, Auckland will deliver the goods. As a part of the month-long Elemental AKL festival, there are light shows galore to light up your life.
Spread across the city, here are the light shows to catch this winter.
Elements Of Parnell
1 - 31 July
Throughout the month of July, Parnell’s Heard Park will be lit up with immersive light installations and pop-up performances. Pictured above, it features light sculptures by HYBYCOZO and explores geometry, maths and patterns in traditional art forms. Each Friday from 6pm to 6.45pm, there are live performances celebrating the elements of earth, fire, air and water. And, even better, many of Parnell’s top restaurants have Elemental AKL-inspired dishes throughout the month. You can’t go wrong with Cibo’s magical rose pavlova or 46 & York’s beef short ribs and root veggies.
Stellar Festival Of Lights
12 - 14 July
Head to Smales Farm for three days of wonder and magic this July at the Stellar Festival of Lights. Devoted to the art of light design, it is a celebration of Matariki. Here you’ll find enchanting pathways, interactive lights and installations by popular artist Angus Muir (the man behind the recent light festival on the Viaduct). There will be workshops, entertainment and food trucks serving up delicious kai. It’s also a great time to check out the bars and restaurants at Goodside if you haven’t already.
Ellerslie Winter Nights
12 - 21 July
Local artist Andy Flint has designed a delightful series of installations at Ellerslie Village for the Ellerslie Winter Nights Festival. Don't miss the Rain Forrest—opaque umbrellas suspended in the air with LED digital rain. Held over ten days, the event is free but select local bars and restaurants will be open, so make a night of it.
Mahurangi Festival Of Lights
19 - 20 July
Warkworth is exactly where you want to be this July. Not doing things by halves, the two-day Mahurangi Festival of Lights features lights, lasers, snow and food. It kicks off on Friday at 6.30pm with a parade through the town of all sorts of vehicles lit up. The following day there’s ice skating in Baxter Street, food trucks and then a spectacular laser lights show from 6pm until 9pm.
26 - 28 July
Step into an enchanting world at Albert Park this July. An immersive art experience will see the popular spot transform into a playground for the curious. Expect performances, sculptures, illumination and interactivity. This free event will also have healthy food available to purchase and it’s all set to a backdrop of homegrown music.