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.
Celebrate Maori New Year, dance the night away at a warehouse rave, take a trip to Africa as Disney classic, The Lion King, is brought to life at Spark Arena, learn how to live plastic-free this month, sink your teeth into some cheesy goodness this Bastille Day, celebrate arts, eats, and beats and everything that is exceptional about Auckland, learn how to cook up a storm with mushrooms, party it up on Waiheke and heaps more—it's going to be a gooden, so clear your calendars and get amongst the fun.
Here are all the events going on in Auckland this month.
until 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.
Aotea Square Ice Rink
All of July
Whether you’re a born figure skater or one of those people who fall on their butt, the Aotea Square Ice Rink will provide the perfect entertainment on a winter’s day in the City of Sails. Lace up and work your magic on the ice and don’t forget to tackle the 35-metre, multi-level ice slide. So, what are you waiting for? Don’t be an ice queen and get amongst the fun this week.
Vector Lights For Matariki
Until 11 July
Auckland is getting lit big-time this Matariki with one of the city's most prominent landmarks—the Auckland Harbour Bridge—playing host to an incredible light show portraying the history of the host iwi, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and their migration to New Zealand. The show will play for five minutes, every half hour from 6pm until midnight, right through until Sunday 11 July. Te Ara I Whiti/The Lightpath (aka the hot pink cycleway winding its way through central Auckland) will also feature a light show in celebration of the season, so grab your bike (or you best pair of walking shoes) if you want your festivities with a side of fitness.
Winter is almost here, but that doesn’t mean the party season is over. No siree—so put on your fun pants and embrace the chillier nights. Warm yourself up at an epic drum and bass gig, featuring the notorious English DJ Dimension bringing his banging electronic tunes such as "Offender”and "Desire" to life at Shed 10 this month. So, if you’re looking to spice up your winter season then lock this event in, it’s going to be lit!
Deep Hard And Funky Winter Music Festival
Get your dancing shoes on this month as Deep Hard N Funky— a one-day festival extravaganza is coming to town on the 10 July. This winter edition of the much-loved summer fest is going to be big, bold and boisterous as 40 acts take to 8 stages at Ellerslie Racecourse. Warm-up your cockles at this inflatable nightclub, it’s the perfect spot to live it up large.
Raclette Pop-Up By Le Chef
Is there any better way to embrace the colder days than with shed loads of cheese? We think not. This winter, we’re in luck, as Le Chef brings us the perfect solution on Bastille Day – France’s national day. Let’s face it, we all miss the thrill of international travel. But what better way to bring Europe to New Zealand than with a cheesy celebration that’s sure to take your palette and mind straight to the streets of France. On this special night, share your table with fellow cheese-lovers, or book your own, as Le Chef serves up some warm, cheesy Raclette on the streets of Vulcan Lane.
Auckland, get excited because throughout the month of July Elemental AKL will take over the city with all sorts of sensational cuisine, mesmerizing light installations and cultural inspo. Elemental AKL will transform eateries and bars, theatres, parks, galleries and public spaces into immersive experiences for you to enjoy. Celebrate arts, eats, and beats and everything that is exceptional about Auckland. Featuring delectable feasts, musical delights and spellbinding tales of our wonderful city of sails—what’s not to love?
All Things Mushroom
If you’re a fun-gi looking for a fun time, then look no further. A culinary wonder is coming to Auckland this month as part of Elemental AKL. All Things Mushroom is a mushroom extravaganza, where you can learn how to inoculate your own mushrooms, the health benefits of mushrooms and discover all sorts of fascinating facts like did you know they’re closer to animals than plants? Insane! Learn how to whip up some spectacular mushroom dishes, including tarte tatin, smoked mushroom risotto, mushroom stock, pickled mushrooms and more—the best part is you get to dig into these tasty dishes after. So, what are you waiting for? Book your slot to explore the extraordinary world of edible fungus.
Interesting Places: The Subterranean Sessions
Who said Waiheke Island is just for wine lovers? Picture this, descending underground for an intimate session of only up to 50 people, starring NZ’s finest musicians. Interesting Places: The Subterranean Sessions is set to be an absolutely awesome series of musical matinee shows, as part of Elemental AKL, featuring performances by the best musicians in town. When it’s cold up high, you’ve got to get down low, both literally, and figuratively. Taking place at Stony Batter on the eastern coast of Waiheke Island, this venue is a kilometre-long network of subterranean tunnels, built under absolute secrecy during WW2. But don’t worry, after 60 years and a whole lot of renovation, it has been built into a beautifully reverberant space, perfect for its first acoustic masterpieces.
Grey Lynn Food Truck Market
Who doesn’t love a good food truck? Basically, a kitchen on wheels, what’s not to love? Start your weekend off the right way, by filling your belly with some tasty grub at Grey Lynn’s evening food truck market, where you can experience new iconic Kiwi and Pacific kai all night long. There will even be traditional Kiwi music and Maori art alongside a selection of stalls featuring traditional hand-woven crafts and heaps of other goodies. So grab your pals and explore Grey Lynn with your taste buds this month.
Art In The Park
Unleash your inner art critic at art in the park—a unique art exhibition, where you can discover 100 of New Zealand’s best contemporary artists and take home the art that inspires you. Cast your eyes on original paintings, sculptures, photography, prints and meet the talented artists behind the masterpieces. The legendary Eden Park will literally be transformed into a work of art as they swap out athletes for artists in this magical weekend of creativity where you can engage with NZ art like never before.
Morning People's Fifth Birthday
If you haven’t yet experienced the epicness of a morning rave with morning people, then now is the time. Ditch the booze and bust some moves at Morning People, a rave that will leave you feeling fresh and ready to take on your day. Join them in celebrating their 5th birthday at Auckland Town Hall on the 24th of July as they’ll be throwing the mother of all morning parties featuring electro-world phenomena Weird Together and Sambora from the legendary Shapeshifter. So, dress to sweat and dance away your inhibitions at this sunrise rave, where you’re guaranteed to leave with feel-good endorphins pumping through your body. Don’t worry you won’t go hungry as complimentary fruit, coffee and Club Mate will be served.
Ever considered yourself a bit of a foodographer? Well, now’s your chance to show off your mad skills and those tantalising food pics. The New Zealand School of Food and Wine are hosting an epic foodography event this month where you can learn how to take mouth-watering photos of food while styling your own 4-course menu of Kiwi-inspired dishes—and the best part is it’s all edible. The theme this year is mid-winter Christmas, so don’t be a grinch—whip out your camera and get snapping for the gram.
Takapuna Winter Lights Festival
If you missed out on light fest extravaganza LUMA in Queenstown this Queen’s Birthday then you’ll be stoked to hear that a dazzling free light festival is due to land in Takapuna this winter. The Takapuna Winter Lights Festival will be lighting up the shore for two nights this July as part of the Elemental AKL festival and this year promises to be bigger and better than ever. Headlined by none other than one of the country’s leading light artists Angus Muir (AMD) who dazzled spectators at Splore and LUMA this year. On Friday 30 and Saturday 31 July from 5pm to 10pm Takapuna will come alive in a riot of colour, performances and live music.
These days, the best kind of food comes straight from the streets. Whether it’s a cart, caravan or truck—these tiny, portable kitchens seem to be pumping out some of the best food in town. This July, the city's expert chefs will be slinging their moreish creations at a two-day multi-level festival extravaganza. Hosted at the iconic Shed 10 as part of the Elemental AKL in the dead of winter, Street Eats is one event definitely worth venturing outdoors for. Packed to the rafters with pop up restaurants serving their favourite street foods, pop up bars serving craft beers, boutique spirits and natural wines and live bands and DJs across both floors you'll have the chance to choose from a family-friendly afternoon event or the adults-only (R20) after-dark sessions.
Silent Disco Citywalk: Glow In The Dark Edition
We all love a good walk at the best of times—throw in some music and some glow sticks and you've got yourself a party on the go. This unique interactive city adventure brought to you by Papaya Stories will see you groove and shimmy together as one through the streets of Auckland, whilst jamming out to a space-themed playlist. That's right, the theme is aliens and life on other planets, so whip out your intergalactic costume and get amongst this free event on the 30th July.
Fancy a midweek party? Check out the best happy hours in Auckland.
Image credit: Morning People