Top New Zealand events

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From food, sport, arts and culture, there's always something going on. Here are some of New Zealand's best festivals and events.

Balloons over Waikato

Balloons over Waikato is New Zealand's premier hot air balloon festival. Held annually in Hamilton, this five-day iconic event attracts balloonists from all over New Zealand and around the world. Experience the fun, friendship and warmth this balloon-friendly city provides and watch the professionals demonstrate their skills in a range of competitive activities. 

Hokitika Wildfoods Festival

A food festival like none other, you'll find seagull eggs, huhu beetle grubs, whitebait patties and mountain oysters on the menu at the Hokitika Wildfoods Festival held every March. Celebrating the wild food and drink of the West Coast, the festival programme includes live entertainment and cooking demonstrations.

Beach hop

The popular seaside resort of Whangamata roars to life once a year for Beach Hop, a five-day festival celebrating the music, culture, fashion, music, hot rods, motorbikes, dancing, dragsters and scooters of this golden era. The festival has grown from 4,000 to over 70,000 people since its inception in 2001, making it one of the largest events of its kind in the world.

Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge

From humble beginnings in 1977, the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge has become New Zealand's largest cycling event, with around 7,000 riders visiting the pristine and picturesque Lake Taupo every year. With options for all ages and experiences, anyone can enjoy New Zealand's premier cycling event.

World of Wearable Art

The World of Wearable Art (WOW) is a leading design competition that includes a spectacular stage production - a must-see event for nearly 60,000 people every year.  WOW also produces ongoing exhibitions within New Zealand along with a successful international touring exhibition programme.

Rhythm and Vines Music Festival

Ring in the New Year at Rhythm and Vines, the internationally acclaimed three-day music festival showcasing the world’s best musicians in one of the most beautiful locations on earth. The festival has become a rite of passage for more than 30,000 local and international fans who travel to experience the first sunrise of the year at New Zealand’s biggest music festival.

Art Deco Weekend

Napier's annual highlight is the Art Deco Weekend held on the third weekend of February when the town turns back the clock and dresses in its Deco finest. Vintage vehicles and planes, picnics and jazz concerts, parades and dancing in the street, good food and wine are some of more than 100 events that help celebrate the city's unique heritage.


WOMAD (World of Music, Arts and Dance) is an internationally established festival which brings together artists from all over the globe to celebrate many forms of music, arts and dance. Held annually at the stunning New Plymouth site in Taranaki, the three-day festival is family-oriented, with different camping options, food stalls and plenty of activities.


Warbirds over Wanaka

Pilots, aviation enthusiasts and families flock to the unique Warbirds Over Wanaka airshow ever year for four days of high-octane aviation excitement. Check out Air Forces from around the region, view the Nasa display, talk to pilots or even purchase your own aircraft! 

Food and Wine Classic

F.A.W.C! is one of New Zealand's premier food and wine outings with winter and summer editions. Sample a wealth of food and wine that has been sourced, fished, foraged and blended right in the heart of Hawke's Bay, a region recognised the world over for its fresh produce.

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Where to next?

11 must-do North Island experiences →

11 Must do experiences in the South Island →

Travel Guide →