Festivals in New Zealand this March 2016

Apparently, March is festival month in New Zealand, having more than 50 festivals around the country. Here are just some of the festivals that you can go to this month and we have been to in the past several weekends:

Wairarapa Balloon Festival – Trust House Night Glow
Saturday, 27th February 2016
Solway Showgrounds, Masterton

Hot air balloons light up the night sky along with music, entertainment, food and drinks stalls available in the showgrounds. Friends and families could do picnic and enjoy the show. I went with my friends two weekends ago to experience this and the crowds were far bigger than expected, hence there were long queues and food got sold out. Since inflating the balloons is weather-dependent, it was disappointing that the wind didn’t play out that nice. Sadly, the organisers had to postpone the show at the last minute. 😦 However, it was pretty obvious from the weather forecast that it was going to be windy that night, so they should have at least postponed the event a day before, rather than crossing-fingers that the winds would die down. (We didn’t get a $10 refund, by the way). Hope the organisers could learn from this next time. Anyhow, what we got out of it was good company with friends and a beautiful sunset!

What we got was a good sunset show 🙂
Wairarapa Balloons
What could have been the show. (From Nzballoons.co.nz/night-glow-2)

Otaki Beach Kite Festival
Saturday-Sunday, 5th-6th March 2016
Otaki Beach, Marine Parade, Otaki

This event brings together kite fliers from New Zealand Kitefliers Association (NZKA). This time, we weren’t disappointed with what we saw as we lay in the beach: kites in different shapes, sizes, styles, and designs from inflatable kites, stained glass windows designs, to animals and bugs kites fluttering in the wind. What I also liked were the food choices around the area. It was definitely worth the roadtrip going to Otaki.


A bit overcast, but it was all good!

New Zealand Festival
26th February-20th March 2016
Wellington, New Zealand

This is not a single event but a series of events for three weeks which transforms Wellington into one of the world’s great Festival cities. The theatres, concert halls and galleries come alive with the best live arts from around the world. It offers different genres and highlights: dance, theatre, music, visual arts, film, and writing. I haven’t been to one of the events yet but I will try to check it out one of these days. It just happens once in two years. Check out the website to see the calendar: http://www.festival.co.nz

Cuba Dupa Festival
Saturday-Sunday, 19th-20th March 2016
Cuba Street, Wellington, New Zealand

Over the weekend of 19th and 20th March 2016, one of Wellington’s most iconic streets is transformed into a lively playground of entertainment, sound and taste. This is one of my favorite streets ’cause even in a normal day, it just feels so vibrant being here. (I particularly love the Wellington night market here every Friday!). All walks of life would gather from day ’til evening in this fest. Restaurants will spill into the streets, people will flow through lanes, exploring the myriad of activity, music, dance, circus, theatre, and installation.

* * *

These are just some of the few festivals in New Zealand this month of March! Here are some more:

Aotearoa Surf Film Festival (February – April , various locations) www.asff.co.nz

Artists Open Studios & Festival of Glass (Whanganui) www.openstudios.co.nz

ASB Polyfest (Auckland) www.asbpolyfest.co.nz

Auckland Arts Festival www.aucklandfestival.co.nz

Auckland City Limits Music Festival www.aucklandcitylimits.com

Auckland Coffee Festival www.aucklandcoffeefestival.co.nz

Auckland International Cultural Festival

Balloons over Waikato www.balloonsoverwaikato.co.nz

Beach Hop Rock ‘n’ Roll Festival (Whangamata) (March/April) www.beachhop.co.nz (Beach Hop blog posts)

Beer Appreciation Day (Havelock North) www.beerappreciationday.co.nz

Canterbury Japan Day www.bethere.co.nz

Chatham Islands Festival www.discoverthechathamislands.co.nz

CheeseFest (Auckland) www.cheeselovers.co.nz

Chocol’Art Festival (Wairarapa) (returns 2017) www.chocolart.org.nz

Clyde Wine & Food Festival www.promotedunstan.org.nz

Controversial Film Festival R18 and no refunds (March/April at Academy Cinema, Auckland)

Coastella International Music Festival (Paraparaumu) www.coastella.co.nz  

Colville Arts Festival www.colvilleartsfestival.co.nz

Crankworx Mountain Biking Festival (Rotorua) www.crankworx.com

Dunedin Fringe Festival www.dunedinfringe.org.nz

Echo Walking Festival (Coromandel during March/April) www.echowalkfest.org.nz

Festival of Cultures (Palmerston North) www.festivalofcultures.co.nz

Franklin Children’s Art Festival (next event 2017)

Frankton Thunder (Hamilton)

French Film Festival (February – April, various locations) www.frenchfilmfestival.co.nz

Gibbston Wine & Food Festival (Queenstown Gardens) www.gibbstonwineandfood.co.nz

Harbour Street Jazz (Oamaru) www.harbourstreetjazz.com

Havelock Mussel & Seafood Festival (Havelock) www.havelockmusselfestival.co.nz

Hokitika Wild Food Festival www.wildfoods.co.nz

Hokonui Moonshiners Festival (Gore) Returns 2017 www.moonshinefest.co.nz

Horse of the Year Show (Hastings) www.hoy.co.nz

International Tattoo & Art Expo (Hamilton) www.tattooart.co.nz

Katikati Avocado Food & Wine Festival www.avofest.co.nz

Maoriland Film Festival (Otaki) www.maorilandfilm.co.nz

MarchFest (Nelson) www.marchfest.com

Matakana Wine & Food Festival

Music in Auckland Parks (not a festival, but great free entertainment: January-March) www.musicinparks.co.nz

Multicultural Festival (Tauranga) www.trmc.co.nz

Newtown Festival (Wellington) www.newtownfestival.org.nz

New Zealand Beer Festival (Auckland) www.beerfestival.co.nz

New Zealand International Tattoo & Art Expo (Tauranga) www.tattooexpo.co.nz

New Zealand Juggling & Circus Festival (Parakai) www.nzja.org.nz

NZ Cuban Festival (Rotorua) www.nzcubanfestival.co.nz

Pasifika Festival (Auckland)

Queenstown Bike Festival www.queenstownbikefestival.co.nz

Rotorua Festival of Walking www.rotoruawalkingfestival.org.nz

Sea Walls: Murals for Oceans Festival (Napier)

Spectrum Street Art Festival (Dec – April 2016) Christchurch www.streetart.co.nz)

Summer Arts Festival in Whakatane (Jan – March) www.whakatane.com

Sundaise Festival (Waihi) (next festival 2017) www.sundaise.com

Thames Heritage Festival www.thamesheritage.co.nz

The Color Run (Auckland)

The Toyota Festival (Cromwell) www.toyota.co.nz

Voices of Sacred Earth Festival (Auckland) www.kawaipurapura.co.nz

Waipara Valley Wine & Food Festival www.waiparavalleywineandfood.co.nz

Wairarapa Wines Harvest Festival www.wairarapaharvestfestival.co.nz

Warbirds Over Wanaka (every two years – next event 2016) www.warbirdsoverwanaka.com

Wellington Dragon Boat Festival www.dragonboat.org.nz

Wellington Pride Festival (includes Out In The Park) www.outinthepark.co.nz

Wellington Summer City Festival www.wellington.govt.nz

Whangarei Fritter Festival Facebook

WOMAD (World Music & Dance Festival) New Plymouth http://womad.co.nz

Writers Week (part of New Zealand Festival in Wellington) www.festival.co.nz/2016/writers-week

(List from The Curios Kiwi)


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