With a roaring food scene, a harbour-front location and a range of top wineries as neighbours, Auckland certainly has a lot going for it. It’s the city’s events, however, that keep residents and guests entertained year-round. Check out these five Auckland events that you can – and should – mark in your diaries for the later half of this year.
1. The Food Show
New Zealand’s favourite national food and wine event hits Auckland on July 31 and runs until August 3. This is where you can sample the best of New Zealand’s local produce, with many of the country’s top chefs and suppliers showing off their latest creations.
You can roam from stall to stall sampling homegrown delicacies and discovering emerging foodie trends. There are also free cooking demonstrations and the chance to take advantage of some seriously good prices on gourmet produce.
2. New Zealand International Film Festival
Many film lovers plan their Auckland holidays around the annual New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF). This year the festival will take over the city's cinemas for 18 days this year from July 17 to August 3.
Highlights include the Best Short Film Competition, which this year has a new category – the inaugural Allen Guilford Cinematography Award. The full program for the event is not announced until a few weeks prior to the event. With the Wall Street Journal describing it as “an Indie Festival that loves film more than hype”, you’re allowed to have high expectations.
3. The Coastal Classic Yacht Race
The Coastal Classic Yacht Race is a race from Auckland to Russell, Bay of Islands. It has been held annually during the Labour weekend since 1982 and is this year scheduled for October 24. These days, the race attracts well over 100 boats to the water, making it a beautiful sight to watch from the city.
With weather conditions sometimes being a little unpredictable, it can be a challenging race for those who compete and action-packed for those who watch.
4. Auckland Marathon
Running 42-kilometres through the streets of a city is certainly an interesting way to take in a new place. On November 2, that is exactly what thousands of Auckland residents and visitors will do. There are several races to take part in, from shorter charity runs to the big one itself, and runners of all ages and abilities can give it a go.
On race day there’s a buzz in the city that’s hard to describe. It’s as if everyone in Auckland is feeling the pangs of adrenaline – whether they’re taking part or not.
5. Christmas In The Park
Live musical performances, fireworks, food and dancing can only mean one thing – it’s Christmas in Auckland. The Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park, held in the Auckland Domain, is one of New Zealand’s biggest outdoor Christmas concerts.
There’s nothing quite like the atmosphere in the Domain at Christmas. It’s a real family event with dancers, musicians, choirs and bands. This year is the 21st anniversary of Christmas in the Park, so it’s guaranteed to be huge. Concert dates will be announced closer to the event.