Another week of fun-fuelled events is upon us.
This week enjoy the last of the Auckland Cabaret Season, help to declutter Aotearoa, catch a mid-week laugh, explore Auckland Museum after dark, get your jam on at beats by bingo, and giggle for a good cause. This month welcome in spring as Sapphire Lane takes over Ponsonby Central, get lost in the stunning lanes at the NZ Cherry Blossom Festival, then later in the year check out the massive Frida Kahlo And Diego Rivera exhibition and Festival Italiano is back, plus foodie deals, gigs galore, New Zealand’s most spectacular theatrical show and so much more await you.
Here’s what’s on in Auckland this week, this month and this year.
What's On In Auckland This Week
Be Part Of A Global Movement
Various locations | Until 23 September
Put your time to good use this week by taking part in clean-up week to help declutter New Zealand's streets from litter. Last year, approximately 300 tonnes of litter across an area equivalent to 2,589 rugby fields were collected and this year sets out to be even bigger. There is plenty of clean-up events to get involved in across the country, so round up the troops and lend a helping hand to clean up Aotearoa — after all, every litter bit counts—pun intended.
Explore Auckland Museum After Dark
Auckland Museum | Tuesday 20 September
If like us, you love an exhibition but hate the crowds, listen up! Auckland Museum is opening its doors on Tuesday evenings so you can explore the whole museum after hours. Take in the relaxed setting and wander around the new Te Ao Mārama South Atrium. Exploring is thirsty work, so grab some dinner and drinks at Tuitui Bistro & Café, and don't forget to finish your evening by checking out the epic sunset over the domain.
Catch A Mid-Week Laugh
Pocket Bar | Wednesday 21 September
Are you in need of a good laugh? Well, you're in luck—head to Pocket Bar for a night of pure belly chuckles as a cracking line-up of comedians, including the hilarious Ben Hurley takes centre stage to bring us all the laughs. So, If you’re after a mid-week lol then round up the troops and hit up Pocket Laughs, we promise this crack-up event will leave your jaw aching and will be responsible for plenty of ab workouts.
Network With Some Badass Women
Non Solo Pizza | Thursday 22 September
If you’ve missed a good old sesh with the gals, Ladies Who Lunch is back this week, so head to Italian hotspot Non Solo Pizza and treat yourself to a two-course meal, drink on arrival and plenty of social fun and networking. Oh, and don’t forget to collect your cheeky gift bag on the way out.
Giggle For Good
Wynyard Pavilion | Thursday 22 September
Feel bad for always laughing at inappropriate jokes? Well, now you don't have to. Head to Wynyard Pavilion this Thursday as they bring you Giggle For Good. A night of epic lols from some wicked comedians—think Guy Montgomery, Tom Sainsbury, Tony Lyall, Becky Umbers and Ben MacGougan. The best part is that $5 from every ticket sold is donated to the good folks at Sustainable Coastlines. So, catch a much-needed laugh this week whilst doing your bit for Kiwi coastlines.
Get Your Jam On At Beats By Bingo
The Flying Moa | Thursday 22 September
Gather your music-loving pals and head to The Flying Moa this week for a night of musical madness. Beats by bingo is no ordinary bingo night, no siree! It’s a musical experience where song titles take over numbers on your bingo card. All you’ve got to do is get the right songs in the right line and you're a winner. Simples. Expect throwback jams, sing-alongs, prize-winning and a grand old time.
Get Amongst The Glitz And Glam Of Auckland Live Cabaret Season
The Civic | Until 25 September
If you love high glamour seasoned with a little grit from the gutter, send the Auckland Live Cabaret Season straight to the top of your September must-do list. Let yourself be seduced by the beauty and grandeur of The Civic, where this wicked and awe-inspiring celebration of cabaret calls home while you drink in the talent of Auckland’s best performers. The all-star line-up features drag legends Kita and Anita, in a high-octane and hilarious champagne cabaret. Also on the agenda is Hollie Smith, who will lend her inimitable voice to renditions from Joni Mitchell, Billie Holiday, Peter Gabriel and Nina Simone. Oh, and be sure not to miss the ballad-belting drag show from the incomparable takatāpui queens from Te Whanganui-a-Tara, The Tiwhas. With an extensive programme of shows on offer featuring over a hundred furiously talented artists, Auckland Live Cabaret Season is the ultimate rabbit hole of glitz, glamour and debauchery to fall on down this September. Nab your tickets here.
What's On In Auckland In September
Sapphire Lane At Ponsonby Central
1 September- 2 October
Dreaming of warmer days? As we welcome springtime Ponsonby Central will be donning its most glorious garb—in the form of colourful umbrellas and glowing lights with pops of neon at night—to bring you, Sapphire Lane. Wander through the laneways and sample a limited-edition Bombay Sapphire cocktail or three on offer at the many bars, restaurants and eateries that make up this buzzing Ponsonby hotspot for the month of September only. Definitely a good start or end to any evening on the strip.
NZ's Annual Hot Sauce Festival
Sweat Shop Brew Kitchen | 24 September
Aucklanders, forget being sad about the cold weather because we've found the perfect place to catch some heat. The Hot Sauce Festival returns for its seventh year this month. If you’re a lover of spice, then you won’t want to miss this one, folks. The Annual NZ Hot Sauce Festival will have you trying international and locally-made hot sauces to enjoy or take home. Be sure to check out the NZ Chilli Eating Comp final too—things are about to get hot, hot, hot!
Grab The Ultimate Blossom Pic For The 'Gram NZ Cherry Blossom Festival
English Cherry Tree Manor, Hamilton | 24-26 September & 1-3 October
Spring means one thing and one thing only—Cherry blossom season. The NZ Cherry Blossom Festival is back and is in full bloom this month at the stunning English Cherry Tree Manor in Hamilton. This year, the highly-anticipated festival will run across six days—Saturday 24-26 September and 1-3 October, when the cherry blossoms are looking bloomin’ marvellous—pun oh-so intended. Wander the lanes and gardens taking plenty of snaps for the 'Gram, of course. You can also view the local cows and alpacas while you get amongst the food and drink vendors, book a dreamy and delicious High Tea or book a tent for you and the crew under the blossoms. You can even hire costumes to dress up and really go to town. There’ll also be Japanese drummers and Chinese fan dancers to keep you entertained all day long.
World Of WearableArt (WOW) Awards Show
Wellington | 29 September–16 October
New Zealand’s most spectacular theatrical stage production, the epic World of WearableArt™ (WOW) Awards Show, is back baby! WOW is a renowned international design competition that attracts hundreds of entries from around the world and is New Zealand’s largest theatrical production. COVID managed to ruin last year's show, so this year is going to be bigger and better than ever before with over 100 designers from 20 countries finally getting their moment to shine at the awards ceremony. Each night the stage will come alive with incredible works of wearable art, dancers, aerialists, foot-tapping beats, and insane AV creations created by Executive Creative Director Brian Burke (creative producer of America’s Got Talent, and co-executive producer of American Idol) - alongside Show Director New Zealand’s Malia Johnston. It's going to be a grand affair, so don't miss out on the biggest show of the year and book your tickets pronto.
Food Truck Collective
Victoria Park | 30 September
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 as Food Truck Collective takes over Victoria Park on Friday 30 September. Heaps of our fave food vendors will be cooking up a storm, alongside plenty of outdoor entertainment and even a craft beer pop-up bar. So if you’re a food enthusiast then grab your pals and sink your teeth into some of the tasty grub on offer and wash it down with a craft beer or two. Can Fridays get much better? We think not.
What's On In Auckland In October
Commercial Bay | 1 October
Quench your thirst, and get your hop on at Brewfest—an Octoberfest-inspired beer festival where you can sample a variety of brewskies and mingle with the local brewers to learn the secrets to a good pint. Commercial Bay’s famous food hall, Harbour Eats will be transformed into an Oktoberfest extravaganza, where some top-notch craft breweries will be setting up shop for you to sample their best brews. Brothers Beer, Hallertau, Urbanaut, Parrotdog, and Sawmill are among those popping up for the day. For those that don’t like beer, ciders will be on hand from Morningcider to make sure you don’t miss out on all the fun. There will be plenty of food on hand to line your stomachs—think Good Dog Bad Dog frankfurts and schnitzel bites from South American Oven.
Stitch And Wine
The Bridgman | 6 October
Introducing Stitch and Wine, Paintvine’s newest event that’s got us utterly obsessed. If you’re lucky enough to score yourself a ticket you’ll be guided through using a needle and thread, and a splash of paint, to create stunning line art in a relaxed, friendly setting. Suitable for all levels of artistry (even if that’s zero), come the end of the night you’ll be more than lowkey impressed with yourself. Tāmaki Makaurau’s first official Stitch and Wine will take place at The Bridgman on Thursday 6 October and it couldn’t be a better location-do try their Passionfruit Martini. As is the case with all Paintvine events, Stitch and Wine is sure to sell out quickly so if this sounds like a bit of you, nab your ticket now.
Art In The City
Various locations | 7-16 October
Unleash your inner art critic at art in the city— a unique exhibition, where you'll get to engage with art like never before. Discover over 100 installations, exhibitions, guided art walks, performances, talks, markets and workshops all over Auckland city centre. Cast your eyes on epic pop-up art in Auckland's Laneways, embark on an outdoor art trail, treat yourself at the late-night art market and learn a thing or two at a mask-making workshop. The city will literally be transformed into a work of art from the 7-16 October, so you don't forget to add these magical 10 days to your calendar.
Show Me Shorts Film Festival
Various locations | 7-30 October
The Show Me Shorts Festival returns to Auckland this October and yep, as you can guess, it’s better than ever. With 92 flicks selected from around the world, you can expect the crème-de-la-crème of short films. There are local as well as international films at more than 30 cinemas around the country. Escape your world, see things differently and enjoy.
Aotea Square And Queen Street | 8-9 October
Auckland Diwali Festival celebrates Auckland's vibrant Indian culture. From October 8-9, heaps of events and experiences will be taking over Aotea Square and Queen Street. Join in the free festivities, with an exciting array of live music and dance, whilst sinking your teeth into the delectable range of Indian cuisine on offer. Explore the vibrant market filled with art and craft stalls and finish off your weekend with a bang (literally) as a stunning firework display will light up the sky. Be sure to get amongst the fun.
Late Night Lego
Auckland Art Gallery | 13 October
Who said LEGO is just for kids? Whoever they are, they’re wrong. Let your imagination run wild at this adults-only Late Night Lego event at Auckland Art Gallery, where you can indulge in a glass of wine whilst challenging your inner designer. Grab some inspiration from their current exhibition, Walls to Live Beside, Rooms to Own: The Chartwell, as you sit back, relax and design your dream city or home—after all, there are over 900 million different ways of putting together six Lego bricks, so the possibilities are endless.
A Huge Frida Kahlo Exhibition Comes To TownFrida Kahlo And Diego Rivera: Art And Life In Modern Mexico
Auckland Art Gallery | From 15 October
Art lovers unite! An exciting new exhibition is coming to Auckland Art Gallery this October. Explore the fascinating exhibition and discover the art of cultural icons Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Cast your eyes on over 150 artworks, including Kahlo's stunning self-portraits, and learn all about their drive to articulate a new Mexican art. Alongside beautiful paintings, you can expect drawings, murals, photography and work by other leading artists.
Auckland Plant Market
Goodside, Smales Farm | 16 October
Who doesn’t love a good plant, after all, they not only brighten our rooms but also our mood. For all you crazed plant people out there, you’ll be pleased to hear that Aucklands got its very own Botanical Market in Smales Farm this month, full of lush green goodness such as Indoor plants, Palms and cacti. So, whether you want to introduce greenery into your house, or start adding a little sass to your garden, this plant-astic event will certainly fuel your addiction.
Rosé All Day
East Street Hall | 23 October
Is there anything better than a glass of ice-cold rosè? If like us, you just can't get enough of the pink stuff then you'd be pleased to hear that our fave one-day wine fest, rosè all day, is back—bringing with it 50 different varieties of rosè from New Zealand and all over the world. As well as sipping on rosè all day, you can learn a thing or two with a variety of masterclasses including a food pairing class.
Shed 10 | 28-29 October
Vino drinkers, it’s time to raise a glass or three and say cheers because the ultimate wine event is coming to Auckland—Winetopia. Now in its seventh season, the much-loved event is back for two days of wine celebration and we can't contain our excitement. 60 prestigious wineries from all over Aotearoa will showcase their wines serving everything from Albarino to Syrah and plenty of Pinot too. So, round up your pals and get ready for two days of tasting all of the best drops in the country.
What's On In Auckland In November
Urban Wine Walk
Ponsonby | 12 November
Wine, need we say any more. Whether you’re into red, white, rose, the sweet kind, the dry kind — you name it Urban Wine Walk will have it, that’s right a walk where you can drink wine (dreams do come true). Stroll along the streets of Ponsonby and Grey Lynn and join in the fun as the neighbourhood's best bars transform into an Urban Cellar Door for you to visit on a self-guided wine tasting trail and the best part is you don’t even have to leave the city.
The Largest Italian Festival In NZ Is Back For 2022Festival Italiano
Newmarket | 13 November
Pizza, pasta, vino, formaggi, gelato— have we caught your attention? And no, this isn’t our shopping list, but a list of delicious Italian delicacies that will be at Festival Italiano on the 13 November. New Zealand’s largest Italian festival (and rightly so) returns to Newmarket bigger and better than ever before, with a range of pop-up restaurants, a festival bar, Italian cars and scooters plus an Italian-style market with over 40 stalls. The list goes on, live music, entertainment, you name it, they’ve got. Magnifico!
ZM Friday Jams Live
Western Springs Stadium | 13 November
Clear your calendars as New Zealand’s hottest party of the year is here and joining in the fun is reggae legend Shaggy, Macklemore, Akon, Craig David, TLC— and that’s to just name a few. Illusive Presents, Frontier Touring and ZM are bringing the nation’s colossal concert series, Friday Jams Live, back to Auckland for one show only. Western Springs is where the party’s at and it’s going to be a day to remember with all these legends under one roof. Get involved.
Farmers Santa Parade
Queen Street | 27 November
We’ve waited all year for this event and it’s finally arrived. You know Christmas is just around the corner when the Farmers Santa Parade hits Queen street. In its 89th year running, this Xmas festivity continues to put a smile on people’s faces and bring joy to Auckland with the amazing array of floats, giant inflatables, musicians, and entertainment galore. After the parade, bust out those elf-ish moves at the Santa’s party, you never know, you may even get to meet Saint Nich yourself. Don’t be a grinch and be sure to check out the party.
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Image credit: Josh Hild, Ponsonby Central, NZ Cherry Blossom Festival, Auckland Art Gallery.