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Epic Festivals to Attend in Auckland 

Epic Festivals to Attend in Auckland

As New Zealand’s largest and most diverse city, Auckland has lots of charms and characters hiding within its bustling streets. And what better way to discover its charms than through its dynamic lineup of festivals?

Whether you’re looking for exhilarating music festivals or a unique food festival, the City of Sails has something to turn mundane days into fun ones! If you’re not sure which one to attend, here’s a list of the city’s top must-see festivals.

Auckland Arts Festival 

Location: Various locations in Auckland

Dates: March 7 to 24, 2024

Contact details: +64 9 309 0101


The annual Auckland Arts Festival, or Te Ahurei Toi o Tāmaki, is a vibrant and daring celebration of arts in Auckland. For 18 days, the city comes alive with various performances, encouraging Kiwis to embrace their boldness and have fun.

The festival showcases various forms of arts, including music, dance, theatre, circus performances, visual arts, kōrero, and so much more. Many outdoor shows are also held for free, allowing festival goers to indulge in arts without breaking the bank.

Although the festival is known for its lively showcases, there are also sensory relaxed shows, like relaxed circus performances, for people with sensory sensitivities. There are also shows for those with low vision, like audio-described performances.

Pro Tip: Download the Festival Guide on the website to plan your day better. Each day is packed, and each show has its own ticket, so you’ll have to choose which shows you want to watch and immediately grab your tickets before they get sold out.

Pasifika Festival

Location: Western Springs Park, 731 Great North Road, Western Springs, Auckland 1022, New Zealand

Dates: March 9 and 10, 2024

Contact details: [email protected] 


Since it began in 1993, the Pasifika Festival has continued to celebrate Pacific culture in Auckland. With new performances being added every year and 100,000 visitors, Pasifika is currently the largest festival dedicated to Pacific culture in the world.

This free festival aims to showcase diverse cultures from the Pacific. The 11 nations typically featured include Samoa, Hawaii, Aotearoa, Cook Islands, Niue, Fiji, Tahiti, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Tokelau, and Hawaii—each bringing their traditions to the festivities.

Various musical performances are held by talented performers all around the world during the festival, such as Bob Marley-inspired reggae performances and traditional dance numbers. Food stalls offering local foods are also present during the festival.

Pro Tip: Bring cash with you! Some stalls don’t have EFTPOS, and lines are usually long in the cash-out services in the area because of the number of festival goers.

Auckland Boat Show

Location: Jellicoe Harbour and The Viaduct Events Centre in Wynyard Quarter

Dates: March 14 to 17, 2024

Contact details: +64 9 360 0056, [email protected] 


Dubbed the City of Sails, Auckland, of course, has a festival dedicated to showcasing its beautiful marinas, yachts, and boats. The annual Auckland Boat Show Festival celebrates Kiwi’s love for water and the thriving marine market of the country.

With over 200 local and international marine businesses in attendance, the festival has no shortage of excitement and innovation. From vessel manufacturers and boat brokers to fishermen, every aspect of the maritime industry is represented here.

While children under 16 can enter for free, adults must purchase tickets starting at $23 for a day pass or $40 for a two-day pass. But it’s a small price to pay for the awesome experience and the chance to win fabulous prizes given away throughout the event.

Pro Tip: Park at the Jellicoe Street car park if there’s still a spot left. The first hour is typically free here, and it’s the closest to the harbour, so it’s one of the best spots to park.

Auckland Food Show

Location: Auckland Showgrounds, 217 Green Lane West, Epsom, Auckland 1051, New Zealand

Dates: July 25 to 28, 2024


The Auckland Food Show is a must-attend festival for food enthusiasts in Auckland. This annual event transforms the city into a culinary haven with some of New Zealand’s best food vendors and chefs coming together to share their recipes and dishes.

The festival’s attendees not only get to savour delectable samples but also witness live cooking demonstrations by renowned chefs and cooking experts. Some celebrity chefs also share their special recipes to help cooking enthusiasts.

Various food and beverages are also up for purchase in the show, including artisanal sauces, breads, cakes, churros, wines, and so much more. The place basically has almost everything you’ll need to recreate the recipes you learned in the show!

Pro Tip:
If you’re bringing a car, make sure to bring a card, debit or credit, since the parking spaces around the area prefer card payments. Parking at the Auckland Showgrounds costs $6 for the first hour and 2$ each hour after to a maximum of $18.

If you want to stay at the festival for more than 3 hours, you might save more money if you park at Alexandra Park. It has a flat rate of $10 per day.

Chocolate and Coffee Festival

Location: Viaduct Events Centre, 171 Halsey Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

Dates: September 28 and 29, 2024


The Chocolate and Coffee Festival is definitely one of the most unique festivals you’ll encounter in Auckland. It’s a two-day celebration of two of the best things that ever happened on Earth, coffee and chocolate!

The festival gathers over 50 chocolatiers, chocolate makers, and coffee roasters in New Zealand to showcase their amazing products, which are usually sold at a special rate. You can even join seminars and masterclasses about chocolates and coffee! 

Over 6,500 chocolate and coffee aficionados are expected to join the festival every year. It’s the perfect time to get in-person recommendations from your fellow chocolate and coffee lovers!

Pro Tip: No public parking spaces are available near the area, so it’s better to just use Uber or Ola since there’s a car drop-off area right outside Viaduct Events Centre. You can even use trains and buses since they pass by the area.

Farmers’ Santa Parade

Location: Various locations in Auckland

Dates: November 2024

Contact details: +64 27 459 9634, [email protected] 


Farmers’ Santa Parade is a fun, family-friendly festival that kicks off the Christmas season in Auckland. The jubilant festival, now in its 90th year, takes place in the last week of November and starts at the corner of Cook Street and Mayoral Drive.

The festival invites over 4,000 participants and performers to celebrate the magic of the Christmas season. The parade includes colourful grand floats, marching bands, massive character balloons, cheerleaders, and Santa Claus himself!

Before the official parade, there’s usually a pre-parade filled with various entertainers. After the main event, Aotea Square turns into Santa’s Party Central, where shows like cultural performances, dancing numbers, and Christmas carol medleys are held.

Pro Tip: Arrive early and find a good viewing point at Mayoral Drive in between Cook Street and Queen Street. You’ll get the best view of the parade there as long as you’re near the front.