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Major Events in New Zealand

New Zealand has gained a reputation for being a world class host for international sporting and cultural events. The Rugby World Cup 2011 brought thousands of visitors here to experience the second biggest sporting event on Earth. New facilities were constructed, public transport extended and upgraded, and hundreds of new businesses focused on serving visitors sprouted up. New Zealand is now, well and truly, up there with the best host countries.

Major Event Calendar

The following international events are scheduled to be hosted in New Zealand:

Lions Tour 2017

A Lions Tour to New Zealand only happens every 12 years. It is a highlight on the global rugby calendar and New Zealand is a favourite destination. Seven New Zealand cities will host the British & Irish Lions in 2017, featuring the best players from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

The best way to do the Lions series, which spans almost six weeks, is to rent a Wilderness motorhome and follow your team across New Zealand. See our suggested itinerary here.


Tour of New Zealand 2017

An 8-day amateur event designed to celebrate everything good about cycling, scenery, competition and community, played out on some of the best roads the country has to offer. Plans for 2017 are already underway (Saturday 1st to Saturday 8th April 2017).
Entries open 1st November 2015.

Tour of New Zealand

World Masters Games 2017

The 2017 World Masters Games will bring over 35,000 visitors to Auckland between 21 to 30 April for up to 30 different sports, including track and field, basketball, surfing, swimming, cycling and volleyball.

World Masters Games 2017 logo

Christchurch Golden Oldies 2018

The Golden Oldies Sports Celebration 2018 will take place in Christchurch in April 2018. This month-long event of sporting extravaganza with a difference will be one the biggest ever staged in the city.

Spread across 10 sports, the Golden Oldies movement, which had its origins in New Zealand in 1979, has captured a special niche on the sporting scene, catering for over-35s with the accent on 'Fun, Friendship and Fraternity'. The sports on show during the four weeks in Christchurch will be rugby, cricket, netball, football, hockey, golf, basketball, lawn bowls, squash and softball.

Golden Oldies 2018 logo

Rugby League World Cup 2017

With New Zealand co-hosting the Rugby League World Cup in 2017, along with Australia and Papua New Guinea, this tournament is said to be a pinnacle event that’s not to be missed in international Rugby League. Over a span of five exciting weeks (from 26 October to 2 December), the Rugby League World Cup will see 14 teams play 28 games to compete for one of the most sought after prizes - The Paul Barriere Trophy. Not only does the event celebrate New Zealand’s most popular sport, but also the diversity of cultures and countries of the tournament’s players and fans around the world.

Logo of the 2017 Rugby League World Cup

Local Event Calendar

Here's a sample of local events that are happening around the different regions of New Zealand:

Whangarei Fritter Festival

Celebrate five years of fritter at the 2017 Whangarei Fritter Festival on 25 March at Northland Events Centre (Toll Stadium). There will be a feast of fritters from the region's best restaurants and cafes, who will also be battling it out for the Best Fritter Trophy. Kiwi music pioneers The Feelers and The Black Seeds are only two of the many musicians playing at the event, along with local acts Cake and Eat it, Less the Harp and Rangitane Riot. 

Fritter Festival

Paradox: Tauranga Street Art Festival

If you’re looking for a unique experience and thought provoking street art from the likes of Banksy, Faile, Paul Insect, Swoon and Anthony Micallef, then look no further than Paradox, the Tauranga Street Art Festival. Aptly named since it brings street art into a gallery setting while also turning the city into a gallery itself, the festival will showcase international as well as local street artists in a big way from the 28th of March through the 15th of June.


Easterfest NZ

Hosted by the churches of Taupō, Easterfest is a free family festival from 12 - 16 April 2017. There will be plenty of music, food trucks, activities for the kids, and a range of Easter services that will be held across the weekend.

Easterfest NZ

LUX Light Festival

The LUX Light Festival is a celebration of light in one of New Zealand's favourite cities. This free festival taking place in Wellington from the 12th of May through the 21st is guaranteed to inspire as light sculptors, architects and performers all come together to create works of art that are simply dazzling.


The Great NZ Food Show

The Great NZ Food Show, taking place in Hamilton from the 13th - 14th of May, is all about embracing your inner gourmet. Not only is this event a great chance to indulge in both local and celebrity creations, it also features a multitude of cooking classes so you can bring the tastiness home. Plus, you'll be able to enjoy a selection of scrumptious produce and exciting new toys for your kitchen.



From the 2nd through 5th of June, Queenstown will once again be hosting the LUMA Southern Light Project a culture and arts festival that showcases artists, musicians and light sculptors alike. Free of charge, you'll be able to enjoy sculpture trails, illuminated forests, live music, outdoor movies and much more, all in one of the South Island's most gorgeous cities.


Queenstown Winter Festival

For over 40 years the Queenstown Winter Festival has been a must-do for locals and visitors alike. An iconic celebration featuring winter themed activities, live music, and much more, the Southern Hemisphere's largest winter festival will be taking place from the 22nd through 25th of June.

Queenstown Winter Festival

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