Tāmaki Makaurau is set to come alive later this month with the launch of a new festival, the return of two popular ones and a suite of other events to make Auckland the place to be in February and March.

The inaugural Moana Auckland, New Zealand’s Ocean Festival promises something for everyone. From 24 February to 24 March, the festival includes 19 events, kicking off with beachside festival Splore, then carrying on with everything from competitive sailing and swimming to manus, and education sessions about ocean health and sustainability. At the heart of it all is the Moana Auckland festival hub at Te Wero Island, which will be entertainment central for the whole family.

A snapshot of some of the festival highlights include the first ever Z Manu World Champs, with dive-bombers from around the motu showing off their skills in Viaduct Harbour, the return of New Zealand’s largest boat show – the Auckland Boat Show, and the inaugural Wooden Boat Festival celebrating New Zealand’s maritime heritage.

Another event for those who are keen to soak up a vibrant atmosphere is the return of the popular BNZ Auckland Lantern Festival after a four-year hiatus due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and weather events. While this year’s four-day festival will have a new home at the Manukau Sports Bowl, it will still feature some familiar and much-loved elements from Thursday 22 February – Sunday 25 February.

Festivalgoers can expect to enjoy traditional and contemporary cultural performances, over 500 illuminated lanterns, a newly commissioned zodiac animal lantern commemorating the Year of the Dragon, retail and craft stalls including calligraphy and fortune telling, and the festival’s infamous line up of food stalls. Among the tasty options is a mince and cheese dumpling, brought to the festival by Sumthin Dumplin and BNZ. Featuring the classic Kiwi mince and cheese pie filling, the dumpling brings an irresistible taste of east meets west to the BNZ Auckland Lantern Festival.

Western Springs will once again be the backdrop for one of Auckland’s longest-standing events when the Pasifika Festival is held there on Saturday 9 March – Sunday 10 March. Eight villages will celebrate Pacific culture through food, dance, music and entertainment.

Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown says Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland sure knows how to turn it on when it comes to events: “This lineup of activity shows why Auckland continues to live up to its reputation as a world-class destination for events.

“I am excited about attending as many of these festivals as I can, and I know what it means for Aucklanders to have such an array of local events happening on their doorstep. The impact of these events is priceless – from social and wellness benefits to job creation and economic benefits.”

Aside from these festivals, a string of other events and exhibitions are happening in Auckland over the same period, including:

  • Warriors pre-season challenge match vs Redcliffe Dolphins, Go Media Stadium Mt Smart, Saturday 24 February
  • Warriors NRL season opener vs. Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, Go Media Stadium Mt Smart, Friday 8 March
  • The Robertson Gift: Paths through Modernity exhibition at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, from 9 February
  • Guo Pei: Fashion, Art, Fantasy 郭培 :时装之幻梦 at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, until 5 May
  • Auckland Live Summer in the Square until 25 February
  • Te Ahurei Toi o Tāmaki Auckland Arts Festival, various venues around Auckland, 7 - 24 March
  • Zoo Lates at Auckland Zoo from 4 – 8pm every Thursday until Thursday 7 March
  • P!nk in concert at Eden Park on Friday 8 March – Saturday 9 March
  • Always Song in the Water exhibition at the New Zealand Maritime Museum until Sunday 10 March

Notes to editor

  • Find out more about the free and ticketed events in Moana Auckland at aucklandnz.com/moana
  • Head to aucklandnz.com/lantern to learn about the BNZ Auckland Lantern Festival
  • Further information about Pasifika Festival is available at aucklandnz.com/pasifika
  • To receive media accreditation for any of the festivals mentioned, please email communications@aucklandnz.com