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19 Epic Things To Do In Auckland This Weekend

By Alice Rich
30th Jun 2022

A silhouetted person stands in front of a giant wooden orb sculpture lit from the inside.

Get deep with a ball of light that bends time and space, fill your belly with the tastiest kai, party it up in a Gin Palace, soak up the vibes on a superyacht or pop across to Waiheke for island jazz. Start your Saturday with a croissant, carve pounamu and dance to Southside Beats. Stan over the dandan and support several worthy causes. Do a last-minute dash to Dali, peer into a parallel universe on Queens Wharf, splurge on ethical goodies and contemplate with sound and light.

Here are 19 epic things to do in Auckland this weekend.

Friday 1 July

Light Up The Winter Darkness With Kōhatu And The Sphere

Parnell’s mid-winter light sculpture has just been revealed and spectators are set to have a ball. The stunning wooden sculpture, Kōhatu And The Sphere, was created by Hawke’s Bay artist, Fish Aberadi, and represents time-bending, space and gravity in an ode to the origin of consciousness. Pop along to Heard Park from 5pm to get involved in the Grand Opening, enjoying a live performance by Viva Voce followed by a saxophonist, score yourself a voucher to Parnell’s local hospo joints and, of course, revel in Kōhatu And The Sphere. 

Feast Up Large With The Food Truck Collective

Rock up to Kumeu Showgrounds with an empty belly to fill up with the tastiest European fare in The Food Truck Collective’s first ever European Street Food Festival. Kicking off at 4.30pm and spread over two nights-Friday and Saturday-there’ll be live music and entertainment, and entry is free. The mouthwatering lineup includes Double Dutch Fires, Grownup Donuts, Lalele Organic Gelato, Langos, Sweet As Crepes, Vege Bang Bang, WoodSpirit, Drifters Pizza, The Hungry Swine, Let’s Brezel, A Sweet Life and more. 

Spend The Evening In A Gin Palace

Put on your party pants and leave your work worries behind, easing into the weekend with GIN PALACE, the winter edition. Set in the freshly renovated Bar Non Solo on Britomart’s Tyler Street you’ll be treated to a Malfy G&T on arrival, Italian-inspired canapés, good vibes and sweet, sweet tunes with DJ Peter Urlich on the decks. 

Live Your Best Life On A Boujee Boutique Superyacht 

Your Matariki Superyacht Celestial Charter will begin with a mood-boosting mocktail and brunch canapés before setting sail to a mystery location. Lunch will be whipped up by the exceptional Sea Breeze II chef and then the afternoon is yours—perhaps a spot of fishing or a stroll along a nearby beach. Enjoy a sundowner then tuck into a nourishing farm-to-table dinner by candlelight, sliding into the spa afterwards for an evening of stargazing. Rise early the next morning to marvel at the Matariki stars in all their glory then enjoy a gentle cruise back to the Viaduct. The dream.

Chill Out With Live Jazz On Waiheke

Kickstart your weekend with an evening of live jazz at the stunning Casita Miro vineyard on Waiheke Island. The final in this live jazz series features dynamic duo Hopetoun Brown serving soul, jazz, blues and electricity-free hip-hop. Throw a load of Spanish tapas and a generous pour of wine into the mix and you’re setting the tone for one seriously awesome weekend. 

Saturday 2 July

Immerse In La Vie Française At A French Market

Not-for-profit French language and cultural centre Alliance Francaise is throwing another epic French Day and French Market this Saturday morning. Head along to their new Remuera premises for authentic and local products from France and New Zealand as well as deals on group language learning classes. Fantastique!

Carve Pounamu At A Cultural Workshop

Pounamu is a hard, green stone that is a taonga in Māori culture with great spiritual significance and a multitude of uses from tribal heirlooms and weapons to jewellery and peace agreements. In this Pounamu Workshop at Studio One Toi Tū you will create a pounamu marama taonga or pendant under the wise guidance of Maha Tomo using grinders, drills, wet and dry sanding and polishing tools.

Have A Banger Of A Night Out With Southside Beats

For a Matariki celebration you’ll never forget, nab yourself a ticket to Southside Beats at Vodafone Event Centre. The one-night-only concert boasts a sensational lineup featuring Stan Walker, Sons of Zion, Ardija and DJ Manchoo, with a special appearance by Russell Harrison. Welcoming in the lunar new year, the concert doubles as the debut of Stan Walker’s first-ever Te Reo Māori album ‘Te Arohanui’.

Save Kanye, One Cocktail At A Time

This Saturday’s you’re last shot at clearing Kanye’s name so round up your crew and make for Bozo, Karangahape Road’s exceptional beer and gin bar. An interactive hip-hop murder mystery game Southside Stories Vol 2 is made up of multiple chapters—each with a clue to solve and (conveniently) a delicious cocktail to enjoy. Can you save Kanye? There’s only one way to find out. 

Sunday 3 July

Chopsticks At The Ready

Dominion Road fave, Eden Noodles, has just opened a brand-new outpost in Newmarket. That's right, the hugely popular eatery (which also has branches in the CBD and Albany) is bringing its famously delicious brand of noodles, dumplings and other dishes to 424 Khyber Pass Road and we’re beyond excited. Because nothing says comfort during these cooler months like a piping hot bowl of Eden's Dandan noodles... followed by a mountain of their highly addictive dumplings in spicy sauce. Currently open for takeaway only.

Drink For Good

Not-for-profit group Choice Hospo is hosting a fundraising event for the bartending community in Ukraine this Sunday and it’s going to be lit. Aptly named ‘Bartenders for Bartenders’ the event will feature the who’s who of Tāmaki Makaurau’s bartending talent battling it out in pairs showcasing some very tasty tipples. There’ll also be DJs, games, challenges, raffles and discounts—they’re not messing around. Pop along to The Broken Lantern from 5pm to get amongst. 

Get Lost In The Mind-Melting Universe of Dali

Sunday is your last chance to experience this next-level digital exhibition about the godfather of surrealism, Salvador Dali. Following on from the stunning success of last year’s immersive Van Gogh Alive, the exhibition showcases Dali’s work through cutting-edge technology, imagery, real objects and illusions. Whether you’re new to the Spanish artist’s work and want to know what all the fuss is about or you’ve been low-key obsessed for years like us, Inside Dali will answer all the questions you never even knew you had.

All Weekend

Discover A Secret World On Queens Wharf

There’s a secret world hidden in plain sight on Queens Wharf that’s only discoverable with your smartphone. Simply scan the visual cues to get lost down a rabbit hole of dancing Vospertron robots, photography by the Women’s Work Collective, mindfulness, larger-than-life marine litter, original beats by acid lords Kédu Carlö, and nature-inspired paintings by Paris Kirby. Download the Mish Mosh app and get exploring.

Treat Yourself To Something Nice

Ethical shopping bags at the ready, cool concept store This Is Nice is back until 10 July. A local indie brand collective, This Is Nice is a showcase of high-end NZ-made products from local women-led businesses like Velvet Heartbeat, Alyssa Lloyd Design, Agnes and Me, Beautifully Frank, Yulip, Hey Val Ceramics, Reca, Shereena Noelle and Statements By Brooke. Swing by their set-up in Ponsonby Central or do a spot of online shopping here

Nab A Free Ticket To The Samsung Foldable Films Festival 

Feast your eyes on six short films created by some of Aotearoa’s best up-and-coming directors that are shot entirely on folding screens. From homeward-bound journeys and reconciliations to the humankind’s connection with the natural world, tickets to the Samsung Foldable Films Festival include popcorn and a drink, and if you opt to watch online (available from 8 July) you can vote on your fave and be in to win a Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3. Ace. Tickets are free and super limited so do your future self a solid and grab yours now so you can live it up next weekend. 

Pause To Contemplate With This Incredible Sound Play

Sound Play MAURI TAU invites listeners to reconnect with their own mauri (life force, essence) alongside Te Kāhui o Matariki (the star cluster of Matariki). The immersive, guided audio experience is written and directed by Scotty Cotter in collaboration with sound designers Fran Kora, Matt Eller and Komako Silver and is commissioned by Silo Theatre. It will be streamed online at dawn and dusk every day from now until 17 July and while you could absolutely listen from the comfort of your couch, a wander to your local maunga will make the experience extra special.

Be Dazzled By A Light Show That’s Conducted By A Piano

Melodies move light in Illuminate, a twilight concert series where the notes of a piano trigger a spectacular visual show. The evenings, which will be held at a range of locations around the city, begin with waiata by Tereora about Te Whānau Marama (Family of Light) and the magic of Matariki and are followed by some exquisite piano-based performers. Free to attend and whānau-friendly this is one of the best ways to celebrate Matariki, be sure to pack a picnic rug, chair and warm blankets.

Wrap Up In Some Pre-Loved Knits

Head over to Karen Walker Newmarket this weekend to peruse an eclectic array of one-of-a-kind pre-loved hand knits in the annual Dove Hospice & Wellness x Karen Walker pop-up. Each piece is hand-picked by Karen and the Dove team from the Dove Hospice Shops and dry-cleaned by Regal Drycleaners. Up for grabs are sweaters for adults and children, blankets and accessories. All profits will go to Dove Hospice & Wellness.

Be A Good Sort With Actual Warm Fuzzies

Winter is coming and the harsh reality is one in nine kids here in Aotearoa lack the right clothing to keep them warm, well and cosy. Fortunately, there is something you can do thanks to Jumper for Jumper, a collab between Middlemore Foundation and Standard Issue. For every Standard Issue jumper purchased until the end of July, a child in need will be gifted a woollen jumper. And if your wardrobe is already kitted out for winter, you can purchase a child’s jumper which Standard Issue will knit and gift on your behalf. 

Get all the wintery feels at one of the best places to go ice skating in Tāmaki Makaurau.

Image credit: Kōhatu And The Sphere via Parnell Business Association.

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