Beautiful vineyards, lush countryside and everything from majestic mountains to fabulous beaches make perfect settings for all kinds of sporting and cultural events, festivals and concerts. As you will see on the calendar, there are many local events featured throughout the year. Kiwis are passionate hosts so there’s no better way to get to know them than at a local get-together - whether you’re sipping famous wine together at one of the many food and wine festivals or sharing the thrill of a major sports match.
February 2017 - Wellington
Westpac Stadium, Wellington
The Sevens is the fourth leg in the HSBC Sevens World Series, played at Westpac Stadium in Wellington each year. A major event on the national sporting calendar, particularly for a rugby-loving country such as New Zealand, the Sevens features teams representing 16 countries from all over the world in a two day action packed tournament.
A hugely popular event, each year 35,000 fans flock to the kiwi capital but not just for the rugby. The tournament is known just as much for its party atmosphere and fancy dress. The streets of Wellington become a carnival of colour as groups flock to the streets dressed as superheroes, robbers, pirates and ninjas, before heading to Westpac Stadium to cheer on their team.
February 2017 - Marlborough
The Marlborough Wine and Food Festival
Brancott Estate, Marlborough
Over 8,000 wine lovers from New Zealand and overseas attend the Marlborough Wine and Food Festival, which is held every second Saturday in February on one of the region’s oldest and most beautiful vineyards, Brancott Estate.
Festival-goers can sample the crisp sauvignon blancs that the region is famous for, along with many other delicious varieties of wine, scrumptious local produce and gourmet cuisine. For wine aficionados, there are wine tutorials from the region’s leading winemakers, a food and wine matching competition and, of course, tastings and sales of Marlborough’s award-winning wines. The festival also celebrates fashion, with its popular Fashion in the Vines competition, and there is musical entertainment from some of New Zealand’s top performers.
- Hawke's Bay
Art Deco Weekend
Held on the third weekend of February every year, the stylish celebration incorporates over 200 events held in Napier and across the Hawke’s Bay area, on New Zealand’s North Island.
Thousands of locals and visitors dress in 1920s and 1930s fashion, bringing elegance to the streets of Napier. Hundreds of vintage cars, aerobatic flying displays, steam train rides, a Great Gatsby picnic, dinner dance extravaganzas and free outdoor concerts all combine to make this a memorable, atmospheric event.
March 2017 – West Coast
Hokitika Wildfood festival
Seagull eggs, huhu beetle grubs, whitebait patties and mountain oysters are just some of the delicacies on offer to the 12,000 daring gourmets during the festival, which is held on the second Saturday in March.
Celebrating the wild food and drink of the West Coast, and the culinary creativity and originality of the locals, this unique event is unlike any other. The festival programme includes live entertainment, cooking demonstrations, a photography competition and prizes for the best-dressed festival-goers.
21-30 April 2017 – Auckland
World Masters Games
You could call the World Masters Games a sporting kaleidoscope. 30 sports played over 10 days across more than 45 venues. The sporting programme is diverse – covering athletics, water sports, racket sports, team sports and individual pursuits. And in Auckland those sports will be played against a breathtaking backdrop of harbours, lakes, forests and purpose-built sporting stadiums. Spurred on by the ‘sport for all’ philosophy of the Olympic Charter, the World Masters Games is an event that understands no limits.