Can you believe we're already halfway through the year?
As we welcome in yet another month, we also welcome in some seriously top-notch events that we can't wait to get stuck into.
Auckland is pulling out all the stops, showing us that the colder months don't have to be boring.
Cast your eyes on some awesome photography, catch a doco or two at the Doc Edge Fest, sip on all the vino at a wine extravaganza, treat yourself to a night at the cabaret, celebrate Maori New Year, dance the night away with Drax Project and take a trip to Africa as Disney classic, The Lion King, is brought to life at Spark Arena.
Here are all the events going on in Auckland this month.
Doc Edge Festival
Last year Doc Edge Festival was the first NZ Film Festival to run online due to COVID and following its huge success heaps of this year’s program are still accessible online as well as our fave Auckland Venues, The Civic and SkyCity Theatre. Showcasing the best films from New Zealand and around the world and celebrating all things documentary, Doc Edge is a fest not to be missed. So, if like us, you’re a bit of a film buff, clear your calendars from the 3-13 June and sit back, relax and enjoy the big screen experience before the fest heads to Wellington on the 14 June. Dive into 8 of the best documentaries to catch this year.
Auckland Festival Of Photography
Calling all budding photographers, Auckland Festival of Photography is kicking off this week and we can't wait to see what's in store. There will be installations popping up across Auckland—think lightboxes, projections, outdoor activations, talks, and heaps more. Admire beautiful photography and cast your eyes on work by emerging and established artists. So, check out all the fuss this week and show your support for local emerging photographers.
Queen's Birthday Weekend Market & Whānau Festival
There’s no better way than spending the long weekend at a market full of epic goodies. Celebrate the long weekend in style at the Queen's Birthday Weekend Market & Whānau Festival. The cloud will be transformed into an artsy extravaganza full of local stalls, activities, live music, and interactive workshops. Sign up to a drumming workshop, try your hand at sewing or learn some high-flying circus tricks with 3 Ring Riot Circus. Live beats and awesome treats, sounds like your weekend is sorted. Oh, and did we mention it’s totally free. Even more of a reason to get amongst the fun!
The French Film Festival Aotearoa
Say bonjour to The French Film Festival Aotearoa as it is coming to a screen near you this month, with 22 of the best French films showing in three locations across Auckland. So, put down your phone, pause that Netflix subscription and shout Vive le cinéma to the rooftops as some of the most eagerly anticipated films of the year take over Auckland cinemas for the next 2 weeks. It’s the perfect time to brush up on your French, but don’t worry there will be English subtitles too so everyone can enjoy. Tres Bien!
The Blizzard Of Odd
We all love a bottomless brunch. In fact, the word ‘bottomless’ makes us shriek with joy. So, when we heard about The Lula Inn’s ultimate bottomless brunch, The Blizzard Of Odd, we couldn't contain our excitement. This ain't no ordinary bottomless brunch, no siree! Get your glad rags on for an afternoon of bangin’ tunes, epic dance moves, and a big range of bottomless drinks: mimosas, bloody marys, and prosecco. Count us in! So, if you haven't got any plans on 12 June, then grab your pals and get your boozy brunch on at The Lula Inn.
Banff Mountain Film Festival
Proving that there really ain't no mountain high enough is Banff Mountain Film Festival. The largest mountain film fest in the world is returning to the SkyCity Theatre this month to showcase some of the best action, environmental, and adventure films from around the world. Travel to Colombia and explore the wildest rivers, climb the old man of hoy in Scotland, take on Mount Brunswick in British Columbia and watch in awe as climbers take on the Savage Mountain in Asia. Be sure to check out this inspiring fest, that really is taking the art of film to new heights.
Wine, need we say any more. Whether you’re into red, white, rose, the sweet kind, the dry kind — you name it Winetopia will have it. Round up the troops and head to the biggest wine tasting event in New Zealand this month, where you can get up close and personal with the winemakers, get your hands on the newest wines, and the best part drink as much wine as humanly possible (dreams do come true). There will be free talks and tastings and don't forget to try out ‘wine blind’, where you'll discover taste buds you never knew you had. So, immerse yourself in the New Zealand wine scene and dive into the vinous wonderland that is Winetopia.
19 June-11 July
Celebrate the Māori new year this month at the Matariki Festival—a three-week fest jam-packed with over 20 events across Auckland’s Waterfront. Think Māori performances, art installations, traditional food offerings and heaps more. As well as attending these fun-filled events, we also remember that Matariki is a time to gather with family and friends to reflect on the past, celebrate the present, and plan for the future. So grab your friends and Whānau and get amongst the festivities this month.
Auckland Live Cabaret Season
19 june-4 july
Spice up your month with a spot of Cabaret as Auckland Live’s Cabaret season is brought to life— the raunchy season promises to light up our city and social calendars with splendour. With everything from live performances to much-loved flicks like Dream Girls, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, live music from Tim Minchin, and everything in between. There’s a tantalising line-up of acts in store to delight all, so sit back, grab a cocktail at the secret piano bar and prepare to be blown away.
24 june-18 july
Travel may be off limits for now but with Disney’s The Lion King coming to our shores, spending an evening in Africa just became possible, no quarantine needed. That’s right, this month the Michael Cassell Group (the team behind Les Misérables, Kinky Boots, Priscilla Queen of the Desert and more) in association with Disney Theatrical Productions will transform Spark Arena into the breathtaking plains of the African savannah this month and we can’t contain our excitement. With exquisite costuming, classic bangers like Hakuna Matata, The Circle of Life and Can You Feel The Love Tonight, and feats of lighting genius this is one musical that just keeps on giving.
MOTAT Night Lights
Whether you love a good photo op or simply have an appreciation for the arts—the enchanting Night Lights at MOTAT will be right up your street. From Friday 25 to Sunday 27 June, MOTAT will be coming alive at Matariki with light installations, live music, fire performances and much more. Sink your teeth into glowing sweets at the LED Cotton Candy booth or pick up a doughnut or three from Donut Dudes. We'll see you there!
Comvita Wellness Lab
Wednesday through Sunday WEEKLY
If you're seeking a multi-sensory, immersive experience this month, make a beeline to Comvita Wellness Lab, Auckland Viaduct's newest addition dedicated to golden honey and beautiful bees, inspired by the art of working in harmony with bees and nature. Book in a 30-minute tasting journey in the 180-degree theatre, and sink into the plush comfy chairs and become immersed in New Zealand forests while tasting the unique flavours of three delicious NZ honeys. A must for all the honey buffs out there, book your tickets here.
Kick off the night with a trip to one of the best happy hours in Auckland.
Image credit: William Recinos