Queen's Birthday means Monday off work and endless possibilities. While certain spots close over the holiday, there is still plenty to do and ways to fill your glorious three days with. After all, it is our last public holiday until October so make the most of it.
Here are all of the best things to do in Auckland over Queen's Birthday weekend.
Queen’s Birthday On Queens Wharf
All weekend Queens Wharf will be buzzing with British-inspired festivities including market stalls, food vendors, fast rides, car displays, stage performances and activities. From 10am till 4pm Saturday, Sunday and Monday the waterfront space will host dancers, puppeteers, parades and live music every hour. Grab a bacon sammie and wander the stalls scouting crafty gems to buy, before settling in for the entertainment.
Doc Edge Festival
The Doc Edge Film Festival runs over Queen’s Birthday weekend and is a must. There are dozens of films screening across various genres, including dance, food, human rights and politics, all shown in various languages. On Saturday catch Kabul, City in the Wind, a story of life amidst a conflict and war zone and all of the heartbreak and struggle that comes with it. Or, see More Human than Human, which explores the rise of artificial intelligence and the effects it has on our lives. Check out the full timetable and get your tickets here.
Auckland Festival Of Photography
An Auckland-wide contemporary art and cultural event takes place every June at the city’s major galleries, project spaces, non-gallery venues and public sites and it is back for 2019. The Auckland Festival of Photography programme features a range of new and established artists, showcasing their existing and new work. Images of deer throughout Auckland’s CBD, a dedication to countering Islamophobia and extremism, and photojournalism on the Venezuela crisis are among the line-up of what to expect at this year’s festival. Check the full timetable and locations here.
Meera At ASB Waterfront Theatre
A bold love story that combines the mortal and immortal world, Meera is based on a 16th-century Indian tale of a princess and her endless love for the Hindu god Krishna. Through theatrical and musical numbers, opera singing, dancing and narration the show tells an epic story of love and loss. Bharatanatyam is one of India’s classical dancing forms and rarely seen on New Zealand stages. The strong footwork, rhythm training and technical movement will have you captivated from the start. The multi-cultural cast of around 100 includes local and international performers and an incredible amount of talent on one stage. Be sure to catch the show at the ASB Theatre.
Chromacon Indie Arts Festival
Chromacon is a non-profit indie arts festival happening this Queen's Birthday weekend. The free event celebrates the coming together of communities, artistic excellence and creativity. Connecting New Zealanders with the best local illustrators, comic artists, designers, animators and game developers, Chromacon is open to everyone. Expect amazing original artwork and creative projects across a range of media and styles, with the opportunity to purchase some of the work. There will also be live events, painting and drawing demonstrations and artist talks and panels on different subjects throughout the weekend. Check the full details here and be sure to head along.
Friday 31st May
Kick off your long weekend with a bang and head down to the Rydges Auckland for a legendary Rooftop session. Cheap drinks, good music and epic harbour views are what is in store from 4pm. Drink specials include house wine, beer and spirits for $8, cocktails for $10 and a bottle of prosecco for $35. Entry is free so rally the crew get set for the perfect Friday night.
Saturday 1st June
After exceeding expectations with two new tracks from their highly anticipated album Langata, Crooked Colours is heading to our shores. This Saturday night catch the Australian trio bring their unique brand of electronic dance music to Auckland’s Galatos. Known for high energy performances and dance fuelled audiences, the show will feature old favourites as well as the groups' newer tracks.
Marina Cantina’s Bottomless Lunch
Mexican food with bottomless sangria? Yes, please. This Saturday head to Marina Cantina for their Mexican bottomless lunch. The light-filled restaurant overlooks the boats in the marina, making for beautiful views to enjoy while digging into the delicious food. The two-course Mexican feast is served with your choice of bottomless sangria, Estrella Damn Cerveza or Mexican mocktails. Book in at either 11am or 1.30pm for the perfect Saturday lunch.
Nina Nesbitt at The Tuning Fork
Catch UK pop starlet Nina Nesbitt for her first time on New Zealand shores this Saturday night. Playing at The Tuning Fork, Nesbitt will perform her hits including The Best You Had and Somebody. Her soft and angelic vocals match her meaningful lyrics beautifully, creating the signature, emotive sound she is known for.
Auckland Beer Mile
This Saturday is the launch of the Auckland Beer Mile. Join the dots from Kingsland to Uptown, stopping along the way at a world-class array of breweries and bars. You’ll get served the best selection of craft beer on offer enjoying the uniqueness of each spot. Among the line-up of stops is 605, with friendly neighbourhood vibes, Urbanaut Brewing Co with fresh beer brewed onsite, Save Ferris Craft Beer Parlour with epic hot dogs and retro arcade games, and Brothers Juke Joint BBQ with the best Southern-style BBQ around. Public transport runs the length of the Auckland Beer mile with trains and bus stops near all locations.
Sunday 2nd May
Sunday Roast At Wild on Waiheke
Escape the mainland and head to Waiheke for a real Sunday treat. Not much says comfort better than a Sunday Roast and Wild on Waiheke and Waiheke Island Brewery bring back the traditional lunch with a twist. Have a light breakfast and arrive hungry because the feast includes roast pork with crackling, smoked pear puree, Waiheke Brewery porter gravy, potato roasties, cauliflower cheese, Brussel sprouts, Asian spiced carrots and pork and prune wonton.
Music In The Vines
Hop in the car Sunday morning and head up to beautiful Mangawhai for a day of live music and great wine. Te Whai Bay Wines are hosting Music in the Vines, an afternoon of acoustic music, great wine and tasty platters to enjoy in the extensive and scenic grounds. Settle in either the picnic area outside or inside the Pavilion. Entry is free and the day out of the city will give you the vacay vibes you're after this Queen's Birthday weekend.
Rangitoto Summit Hike
If you haven't yet made it over to Rangitoto, this weekend is the perfect time to tackle the hike and earn those stunning views. The Offgrid Outdoor Club is hosting a summit hike of the island. The well-formed paths through ancient lava fields that now support the largest pohutukawa forest in the world are home to dozens of beautiful birds which fill the air with song. At the summit, the track circles the rim of the crater, where you can also take a side trip to the lava caves. Click here for more details and ticket purchases.
Monday 3rd May
Go For A Walk
Auckland is full of scenic walks that need to be experienced and this long weekend is the perfect time to do so, you get the endorphins going, explore a new spot and it's all for free–win win win. Beautiful coastlines, stunning waterfalls and native bush are what is on offer and these walks will give you the nature buzz you need before heading into the new week. Here are the best hikes and walks in Auckland.
Image Credit: Crooked Colours