Auckland reveals bright new winter festival to ignite the senses    

Auckland is gearing up for a new city-wide winter festival this July, lighting up the longer darker winter nights with illuminations, theatre, food and family activities.

WHAT: Elemental AKL, Auckland
WHEN: July 1- 31, 2019

  • Auckland has announced a new winter festival, Elemental AKL
  • 1 - 31 July 2019 
  • 40+ free and ticketed events in bars and eateries, theatres, hotels, public spaces 
  • Elemental plays on the elements of air, fire, earth, and water 
  • Unique, inspiring programme of events themed around sensational cuisine, dazzling lighting installations, impressive entertainment and culture  

Auckland is gearing up for a new city-wide winter festival this July, lighting up the longer darker winter nights with illuminations, theatre, food and family activities. 

The inaugural Elemental AKL is a month-long festival (1 – 31 July) inspired by air, fire, earth and water and destined to cast a new light over the city, also known as Tāmaki Makaurau.  

Elemental AKL will play out during Matariki – the traditional Māori new year season celebrated when the Matariki / Pleiades star constellation rises in the southern sky. Focused on harvest, food, arts and family, Matariki is increasingly celebrated across New Zealand.  

More than 40 events taking place in public places, theatres, bars, eateries and hotels will transform the city into a creative canvas themed around sensational local cuisine, dazzling lighting installations, impressive entertainment and culture.  

Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) has worked with event partners from throughout the region, along with the local food sector to create a new festival to liven up the traditionally quieter mid-winter period for New Zealand’s largest city.  

Locals and visitors will have their pick of everything from Shakespeare, live music, art and performances to Māori dance and storytelling, a giant glowing puppet show, scintillating lighting installations and food, craft beer and boutique wine events.    

ATEED General Manager Destination, Steve Armitage says Elemental will be “an exciting new winter festival programme of events, experiences and activities designed to make Auckland a more compelling visitor destination during winter”.  

“We are looking forward to revealing the full line up of events in late April but wanted to start spreading the word now that something exciting is coming this winter.”  

As a small taster of what’s to come, the first light-inspired events for Elemental are revealed alongside a delectable region-wide cuisine event.  

Tūrama, Albert Park:  25 – 28 July 2019  
Inner city Albert Park will emerge as Tūrama - a living art piece with a radiant array of lighting installations and immersive spaces of curated sensorial experiences including fire and performance. 

Stellar, Smales Farm: 12 – 14 July 2019 
Across the harbour bridge, Smales Farm will celebrate Matariki (Māori New Year) with Stellar – a family-friendly after-dark experience for featuring innovative, interactive lighting installations, food and music. 

InMotion Matariki, Wynyard Quarter: 6 July 2019   
Harbourside Wynyard Quarter will light up for one big night (6 July) with InMotion Matariki – an illuminated parade on wheels themed Matariki. Anyone can join in by decorating their own wheels - bikes, scooters, wheel and power chairs, carts, skateboards. 

The Matariki Glow Show, various locations: throughout July   
A troupe of 40 giant glow-in-the dark puppets will illuminate The Matariki Glow Show, appearing on stage at various locations throughout July. This is a magical and fun story of Māori myth and legend (including a 5-metre Taniwha monster) about the Matariki stars as they prepare for the Māori New Year. 

Lights Out on Great Barrier Island: dates TBC 
Across the waters, the awe-inspiring dark sky sanctuary of Great Barrier Island will host a series of night sky activities themed around astronomy, photography, navigation, sundials, and an Island ball. With the island’s “lights off” visitors will be in for a compelling and magical night sky display.   

Elemental Feast, regionwide: a smorgasbord throughout July   
Auckland’s world-class hospitality scene is gearing up to participate as chefs everywhere, from fine dining to food trucks, plate up a unique festival dish or menu using ingredients sourced from the region and inspired by the elements. 

There will be further announcements over the coming weeks as Auckland prepares to inject vibrancy, colour and excitement into the region this winter.