With the arrival of autumn in New Zealand, the temperature has settled and the landscape is a perfect picture of startling golds and warm reds, making it the ideal time for international tourists.
From March to May visitors have free reign to explore at leisure, as Kiwis have gone back to work and school, leaving New Zealand an international visitors’ playground.
Relax in one of the many picturesque wineries, feast on local delicacies, get actively involved in sporting events, or enjoy an art or music festival - all while taking in the diverse and beautiful New Zealand landscape and sharing the experience with friendly locals.
Hokitika Wildfoods Festival - West Coast
8 March, 2014
The world-famous Hokitika Wildfoods festival in the South Island''s West Coast region brings a unique approach to mixing local and wild delicacies particular to this part of the world.
Visitors can sample all sorts of weird and wonderful foodstuffs, including garlic ice cream, huhu grubs, "mountain oysters", and garden snails and enjoy the friendly festival atmosphere for which this event has become famous.
Pasifika Festival - Auckland
8 - 9 March, 2014
Pasifika Festival is a celebration of New Zealand’s diverse Pacific communities that has developed into a multi-day, multi-venue event. The festival, which attracts more than 200,000 people including 1000 performers, is a colourful celebration of Pacific Island food, dance and cultural workshops.
Balloons over Wairarapa - Wairarapa
13 - 16 March, 2014
Up to 30 hot air balloons from around the world will participate in a three-day event with spectacular group flights, town parade and the Genesis Energy Night Glow where tethered balloons light the sky with a dazzling musical display.
Balloons over Wairarapa
Dunedin Fringe Festival - Dunedin
13 - 23 March, 2014
Dunedin vibrates with artistic activity and creativity during the 10-day Dunedin Fringe Festival, the largest festival of its kind in the South Island.
Known for featuring experimental and innovative art forms of all kinds, the 2014 festival is set to be bigger, brighter and better than ever as an estimated 200 artists from New Zealand and around the world showcase their unique talents.
Dunedin Fringe Festival website
WOMAD - New Plymouth
14 - 16 March, 2014
Known as the ‘world’s festival’, WOMAD brings together a selection of some of the biggest artists from round the globe with the aim of celebrating different forms of music, art and dance.
Held in the beautiful surroundings of New Plymouth’s Pukekura Park (a New Zealand ''Garden of National Significance), WOMAD is a family-friendly event that celebrates its 10th New Zealand birthday in 2014. Key music acts of 2014 include New Zealand songstress Kimbra and American hip-hop veterans Arrested Development.
Havelock Mussel Festival - Marlborough
15 March, 2014
Visitors can join this annual celebration of the greenshell mussel harvest, and experience the freshest tastes, sights, and sounds available in Havelock - greenshell mussel capital of the world. Activities include family entertainment, great food, wine and beer, competitions, market stalls, cooking demonstrations, and a whole lot of mussels.
Havelock Mussel Festival
Te Houtaewa 90 Mile Beach Marathon - Northland
21 March, 2014
The annual beach run honours the Maori legend of the great athlete Te Houtaewa - the fastest runner of his day who was known to play many pranks on his people’s enemies. Now in its 22st year, the event attracts competitors from around the world.
90 Mile Beach Marathon
Queenstown Bike Festival - Queenstown
22 March - 1 April, 2014
Set in the stunning surroundings of Queenstown - New Zealand’s No.1 tourist destination - the Queenstown Bike Festival combines the best of mountain bikes, downhill and road bikes through a diverse series of events suitable for all ages and abilities.
Some of the highlights are the Mountain Bike Night Ride; this event is for riders who want to try the unique experience of riding and navigating at night. The technically demanding course of the Vertigo Bikes Dirtmasters Downhill will push world-class downhill riders to their limits, while the Queenstown Bike Tours Coffee to Grape is an afternoon of wine, food and spectacular scenery from Arrowtown to Gibbston Valley.
Queenstown Bike Festival
Balloons over Waikato - Waikato
26 - 30 March, 2014
Balloons over Waikato is a visual spectacle featuring magnificent hot air balloons from New Zealand and overseas, and five days of fun and competition, culminating in the Hamilton Night Glow - an orchestrated show with live music and fireworks.
Balloons over Waikato
Goldrush Multisport Event - Central Otago
29 - 30 March, 2014
The Goldrush is a multi-sport event set in the dramatic back country of Central Otago covering old trails opened up by the pioneers in their search for gold. 2014 sees the event debut its new 2 day multisport race, include kayaking, road biking, mountain biking, running and a swim option.
Goldrush Multisport Event
Cateye Moonride - Rotorua
29 March , 2014
The Cateye Moonride is a mountain bike event set in picturesque New Zealand forest just outside Rotorua. Races are open for teams and solo riders in a 24-hour, 12- and 6-hour events. For the past eight years the event has attracted more than 2000 riders of all abilities representing 375 teams.
Le Race - Christchurch
29 March, 2014
Le Race - staged in Christchurch - is one of New Zealand’s most iconic and exciting cycling events. The lure of Le Race attracts top competitors from around New Zealand as well as a diverse range of international cycling enthusiasts.
The 100km race starts in the Garden City and leads riders on a diverse and challenging track all the way to Akaroa, a small New Zealand village rich with French history and a fitting finish to New Zealand’s very own Tour.
iD Dunedin Fashion Week - Dunedin
30 March - 6 April, 2014
iD Dunedin Fashion Week sees some of the hottest talent from the fashion world, including overseas guests and retrospective celebrations, converge on the South Island region for a thrilling week of all things fashion. 2014 also sees the 10th anniversary of the iD International Emerging Designer Awards.
iD Dunedin Fashion Week
Forrest GrapeRide - Marlborough
5 April, 2014
The Forrest GrapeRide - which takes recreational riders on a journey through the world- renowned Marlborough wine region in the South Island - is one of the most unique events on the New Zealand cycling calendar.
The ride is a 101km circuit that starts at the Forrest Estate Winery passing through historic New Zealand towns, the stunning Marlborough Sounds and beautiful beaches. But the highlight has to be the ‘100 Virgin Grape Crush’ which sees 100 female riders help crush 3 tonne of pinot grapes ready to be turned into wine.
TSB NZ Surf Festival - Taranaki
8 April- 4 May, 2014
The annual NZ Surf Festival, held in the North Island surfing mecca of Taranaki, has a revamped format for 2014, including new divisions for up-and-coming surfers from New Zealand and the world.
Sixty of the world’s best surfers will converge on Taranaki for the event for the women’s 6-Star Qualifying Series. In Addition to the women’s QS event, the NZ Surf Festival will also feature men’s and women’s ASP Pro Junior divisions that will see the best surfers under 21, from the Asia Pacific region compete for valuable rating’s points and prize-money.
NZ Surf Festival
100km Flyer - Rotorua to Taupo
5 April, 2014
The 100km Flyer biking event is an annual race that sees over 3,500 people cycle from one New Zealand tourist mecca to another, taking in some of the most scenic countryside the North Island has to offer as they cycle 100km from Rotorua to Taupo. There are no age restrictions on this event which is open to anyone with a bike.
ITU World Triathlon Series - Auckland
5 - 6 April, 2014
The ITU World Triathlon Series is the pinnacle of the sport which is showcased at some of the most iconic venues around the world. This innovative series was created to allow the world’s top athletes to compete on an on-going basis and is held at some of the top cities in the world.
The 2014 ITU World Triathlon Series starts in Auckland and features nine different classes of competition. The newest addition to the event is the Queen Street Golden Mile which sees runners making their own history, running their fastest mile down Auckland’s main street.
ITU World Triathlon Series
Aoraki Mt Cook Marathon - Mt Cook
13 April, 2014
Taking place in April 2014, the Aoraki Mt Cook Marathon is attracting international athletes wanting to put their endurance to the test in one of the most pristine running environments in the world.
The principle event offers challenges for all ages and abilities and sees competitors taking in the glacial wonderland of the Aoraki Mt Cook National Park. Located on the South Island, near the popular tourist towns of Twizel and Tekapo, the Aoraki Mt Cook National Park is home to the spectacular Aoraki Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain. A half marathon, 10km and 5km run, set across diverse terrain, make this a truly unique event.
Aoraki Mt Cook Marathon
Contact Epic, The Ultimate Mountain Bike Challenge - Wanaka
26 April, 2014
The Contact Epic is a challenging race that circumnavigates the shores of Lake Hawea, located on the edge of Wanaka in the South Island of New Zealand. The epic ride is a 125km journey of discovery where visitors take in a variety of landscapes and unique New Zealand places including the Hunter Valley and Dingle Burn high country farming stations of Lake Hawea.
Contact Epic, The Ultimate Mountain Bike Challenge
Routeburn Classic - Fiordland
26 April, 2014
The Routeburn Classic is a 32.6km adventure race for 350 runners on New Zealand''s famed Routeburn Track. The race climbs to 1127m above sea level as it crosses the high alpine Mount Aspiring and Fiordland national parks - a World Heritage conservation area.
Bluff Oyster Festival - Bluff
24 May, 2014
The Pearl of the South is once again bursting at the seams with its world-famous delicacy as the Bluff oyster season begins. Bluff oyster season usually lasts from March to August, and even though the oysters begin to appear on restaurant menus around New Zealand, that doesn’t stop people flocking to the Southland town to enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of the annual Bluff Oyster Festival.
The festival - which takes place on May 24, 2014 - is one of the most loved in New Zealand and continues to attract visitors from all over the world. Visitors to the festival can enjoy the delicious seafood delight straight up or in a variety of dishes. A selection of wild foods, live entertainment and the annual Bluff Oyster Sack fashion show round off the experience.
Bluff Oyster Festival
Auckland Festival of Photography - Auckland
29 May - 20 June, 2014
Auckland’s annual Festival of Photography is a stunning signature visual arts event that provides a unique insight into one of New Zealand’s largest and most multi-cultural cities. The lengthy event is the biggest of its kind in New Zealand and includes a programme of exhibitions and events. These include free and professionally curated exhibitions.
Auckland Festival of Photography
More New Zealand Events