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17 Epic Things To Do In Auckland This Weekend

By Alice Rich
26th May 2022

From t-shirts that change lives for the better and the bright lights and irresistible beats of Africa to neon joy and markets that celebrate the immense creativity of our indigenous and LGBTQIA+ artists and makers. Melt your mind with Dali and make a guitar pedal, soothe your soul with a new moon retreat or freshly baked pie. It’s all here and more—seeing out the month of May in style. 

Here are 17 epic things to do in Auckland this weekend.

Friday 27 May

Make A Difference This NZ Music T-Shirt Day

Part of Te Marama Puoro O Aotearoa NZ Music Month, NZ Music T-Shirt Day is a chance to support your favourite New Zealand artists. Getting involved is easy; head to the NZ Music T-Shirt Day website to sign up or create a team, strut around wearing your favourite music tee (or scoop one up here) and encourage your friends, whānau, workmates and social networks to donate. All funds go to MusicHelps to support New Zealand music workers whose livelihoods have been shattered (we’re looking at you, Covid), and to help the most vulnerable in our communities through projects that use the power of music to help and heal. 

Sip Cocktails To Clear Kanye’s Name

Earlier this year you managed to save Queen B in Southside Stories Vol 1 but now Kanye’s in trouble and the only way to clear his name is (conveniently) to drink cocktails. That’s right the highly anticipated Southside Stories Vol 2 has landed. Round up your team and make a beeline for Bozo, Karangahape Road’s exceptional craft beer and gin bar to take part in an interactive hip-hop murder mystery game where each chapter is paired with a delicious cocktail. Do you have what it takes to clear Kanye’s name? 

Have A Feed With The Food Truck Collective And Friends

We just can’t get enough of the Food Truck Collective and, as luck would have it, they’re popping up at Metro Park in Millwater this Friday. The supremely tasty lineup includes Akemi Gyoza, Brooklyn Dogs, Canteen Bali, Grownup Donuts, Ice Cream Social, Jo Bros, Napoli Central and Sweet As plus a brand new pop up container bar. That’s right, you can now wash down those delicious street eats with your choice of Behemoth craft Beer, The Hunting Lodge wines, Pals or Karma Drinks. Ace. 

Saturday 28 May

Get Amongst The Bright Colours And Irresistible Beats Of Africa

A women-led, free one-day cultural festival is coming to The Bases (behind Silo Park) this Saturday and we’re here for it. Commemorating the first union of African countries back in 1963, Africa Day 2022 is a celebration of African culture with dance, art, markets, tasty food truck offerings and live music performances by Rwandan-Kiwi rapper Raiza Biza, DJ Banty, PHAROAHSWAMi (pictured above), Burundian Kiwi DJ ORIKoL and more. Vibes. 

Shop Up A Storm At Queers & Wares

The QueerAF Queers & Wares market is back at Studio One Toi Tu and it’s brimming with LGBTQIA+ creative talent. Pop along from 10am-2pm to delight in a diverse array of stalls and come away with some wonderful sustainable pieces by queer artists from around Aotearoa. Scoop up three new issues of Overcommunicate Magazine, rock a cute crochet top by Charfish Starfish, pick up some joyful pottery pieces by Hemi Pottery, adorn your walls with original screenprints by Jessie Kanji and more. 

Get Lost In The Mind-Melting Universe of Dali

A next-level digital exhibition about the godfather of surrealism Salvador Dali is coming to New Zealand this May, direct from electrifying audiences in Florence, Italy. Following on from the stunning success of last year’s immersive Van Gogh Alive, Kiwis will be the first in the Southern Hemisphere to experience 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.

Have A Seriously Fun Night Out At Q Theatre

The Q Theatre has reopened its doors and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate than by heading along to One-Off Fest. With a top-notch lineup of acts like Guy Montgomery, Paul Williams, Two Hearts duo Laura Daniel and Joseph Moore, Courtney Dawson and Keegan Govind you’re in for a night of hilarity. And it doesn’t stop there; after the show you’ll be treated to rave-worthy beats by “the chart-topping enemy of landlords everywhere” Dick Move, LIPS and DJ Matthew Crawley. Party.

Sunday 29 May

Support Indigenous Creatives At Te Mākete

On the last Sunday of every month, Te Mākete // The Market appears at The 312 Hub thanks to Poi Yeah. The freshly squeezed meet-up market is a space for indigenous creatives, small business start-ups and local movers and shakers to share their amazing taonga and goodies with the world. Peruse the stalls and meet the makers while getting down to live performances and enjoying tasty kai. Open from 10am ‘til 4pm. 

Make Your Own Guitar Pedal In A Subterranean Creator Workshop

Make your very own fuzz guitar pedal from scratch with Women About Sound, an initiative that encourages the development of a thriving diverse music community for cis and trans women and gender diverse in Aotearoa. Led by Lora Thompson you’ll take to the soldering iron and come away with a fuzz guitar pedal that channels the psychedelic rock of the ‘60s. And just when you thought it couldn't get more rad, the workshop is taking place at the Audio Foundation, an organisation all about independent and adventurous music that's in the sub-basement of a Parisian Tie Factory behind St Kevin's Arcade.  

Release And Restore With A New Moon Retreat

See the sunset out this Sunday with this gorgeous New Moon Yoga & Evening Retreat at the Kohimarama Yacht Club. You’ll start with an hour of restorative yoga flow to release tension followed by journaling to process and reflect, with optional tea and chats afterwards. If the hustle is bringing you down and you feel like you've got the weight of the world on your shoulders, this retreat is, hands down, the best thing to do this weekend. The evening will be led by Emma McKenzie, a yoga teacher certified in Mindbody Therapy. 

All Weekend

Discover Neon Joy At Objectspace With Wharenui Harikoa

Wharenui Harikoa (House of Joy) is an unmissable exhibition at Objectspace by husband and wife duo, Lissy Robinson-Cole and Rudi Robinson. The pair have spent the last eight years using neon crochet sculpture to explore mātauranga Māori (traditional knowledge) and their personal whakapapa, and have now embarked on an ambitious, near full-scale rendition of a Wharenui to express the importance of joy and aroha within te aō Māori. The exhibition, which is a sharing of their mahi to date, kicks off at Objectspace with a late-night opening this Thursday followed by an Artist Talk with Lissy and Rudi on Friday, ‘Movement for Harikoa’ by Atamira Dance Company on Friday evening, and a knitting and crochet for beginners workshop on Saturday. 

Celebrate With The Pie Piper

It’s been five delicious years since The Pie Piper brought American pie happiness to Karangahape Road (and we’re so glad they did!). To celebrate, Danielle and the team have whipped up some absolutely decadent deals. They’ll be slinging cake and pie slices, tiny pies and donuts all weekend long for just $5. That’s right, $5. Make a beeline for Pie Piper Karangahape Road or Eastridge to take part in the festivities. Come hungry.  

Cast Your Eyes On Some Atmospheric Photography

If you’re a music fanatic and a fan of photography it’s your last chance to check out FromThePit—New Zealand’s longest-running music photography exhibition that celebrates some of the country’s best music photographers. You can catch the exhibition at a variety of venues across the city including the Auckland Live Digital Stage in Aotea Square until Tuesday. 

Put Your Core To The Test With Strong Victoria Park 

If you haven’t heard, Strong Pilates has landed in Tāmaki Makaurau, at Victoria Park to be exact. Strong is a pilates-inspired, cardio infused workout which uses a high tech ‘rowformer’—part reformer and part rower—for an epic low impact, high-intensity workout. A must for anyone who loves a new way to work out, Strong Victoria Park has an intro offer you’ll want to get involved in. At just $50 for 10 days of unlimited training or $20 for a one-off introductory class, it’s an absolute steal. 

Treat Yo' Self To Sangria Season

Thanks to a sweet little collab with Campo Viejo, Viaduct rooftop bar Dr Rudi’s is serving endless sangria realness and you’ll want to get yourself a slice (or should we say slurp?) of the action. $59 will get you two hours of bottomless sangria and a snack platter packed full of chicken wings, tempura veggies, shoestring fries, popcorn squid, ciabatta bread and hummus. Bookings essential. 

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 between 1 May and 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. 

Eat, Drink, Love In Ponsonby

There’s a lot to love about Ponsonby. Top-notch boutiques and eateries as well as a constant parade of pocket-sized pups make this inner-city suburb truly one of a kind. In case you needed to conjure up another excuse to visit Ponsonby anytime soon you’ll be thrilled to know that the Eat Drink Love Ponsonby festival is in full swing. Over 50 of the suburb’s restaurants, bars and cafes are involved and they’re dishing out slamming deals on meals, bites and beverages until the end of the weekend. Santé!

Isolating? These secret codes will unlock a whole lot of hidden Netflix movies and shows for hours of prime viewing. 

Image credit: Pharaoh SWAMi by Africa Day Aotearoa. 

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