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What’s on in New Zealand – Events in NZ in autumn


April has been a pretty sucky month so far. I think we can all agree on that. The North Island has been battered with some torrential rain as we get the backend of some tropical cyclones and things look pretty wet for the weeks ahead. Not a particularly positive start to our latest blog but bear with us – it gets better we promise! As the nights get darker much earlier and the weather gets colder, that doesn’t mean it’s time to lock yourself and hibernate for the winter! There is in fact a lot to look forward to. At the end of this month New Zealand, and Auckland specifically, will welcome visitors from around the world, all competing in the World Masters Games. There’s also the Anzac Day Dawn Services – a chance to remember and honour New Zealander’s who have served and commemorate those who gave their life for their country. Then in June, the country is set to be gripped by rugby fever as the British and Irish Lions arrive for their month long tour. See, we told you it wasn’t all bad!

Let’s take a look at some of the biggest events coming up in autumn across New Zealand…


April is a pretty packed month when it comes to events in New Zealand. Here are a couple of the biggest:

Anzac Day Dawn Service – 25 April

Anzac Day poppy field

Anzac Day is a time for all Kiwis to take some time out and remember those who fought so bravely for their country. Whilst Anzac Day marks the anniversary of the landing of the New Zealand and Australian soldiers – the Anzacs – at Gallipoli, Anzac Day is also about remembering all of those who have fought for their country and continue to do so. This year Anzac Day falls on a Tuesday and all around the country, Dawn Parades will be taking place. The parades are led by returning servicemen and women and are followed by a short service at war memorials around the country. To find out more and to see where your nearest Dawn Parade is taking place, visit the RSA website:

World Masters Games – 21 April to 30 April

This is a huge event for Auckland and for New Zealand.  The World Masters Games is the world’s largest multi-sport event. Like the Olympics, the Games are held every four years and they are the pinnacle for masters competitors around the world. It’s too late to enter this year’s Games but it’s not too late to show your support. The only entry criteria for the games is age – most have a minimum age requirement of between 25-35 depending on the sport but other than that, anyone can enter. Unlike the Olympics, you don’t enter to represent your country – just yourself but with huge opening and closing ceremonies planned and events taking place at venues across Auckland, the city promises to deliver an atmosphere that is akin to the Olympics so make sure you get out and about and soak it all up!


May is a little bit of a quieter month, however there does seem to be a bit of a push on marathons and wine drinking – sounds like a good combo to us!

St Clair Vineyard Half Marathon – 13 May

St Clair Half Marathon

Image credit:

We are big fans of the Marlborough wine region. There are heaps of ways to explore the region – by bike, bus, car – they’re all great ways to get your way from vineyard to vineyard, however perhaps one of the most interesting ways is running! The St Clair Vineyard Half Marathon weaves its way through 21 of New Zealand’s most picturesque vineyards and it’s a half marathon that’s more about fun than finish times. You can stop off along the way for some gourmet food, listen to some live music and of course sample some wine. Now that sounds like our kind of race. Find out more:

Air New Zealand Hawke’s Bay International Marathon – 13 May

On the same day as the St Clair Half Marathon, the hardcore runners can get involved and give the Hawke’s Bay International Marathon a whirl. This is another great sounding race to us (although it’s a bit far for our liking!) as you run on a relatively flat and easy course through vineyards, olive groves and quiet country roads. To be fair, there are also lots of distance options from 3km for kids through to the full 42km marathon. The race finishes at the Sileni Estates Winery where you will be able to reward yourself with a nice glass of vino. Winner!


Ah June. The one we have all been waiting for. The return of the British and Irish Lions to New Zealand. It’s been 12 years in the waiting but finally the tour is nearly upon us – let’s GO team All Blacks!

British and Irish Lions Tour – 3 June to 8 July

Eden Park, Auckland will play host to two Test matches in the 2017 Lions Series. Image credit: D St George

Eden Park, Auckland will play host to two Test matches in the 2017 Lions Series. Image credit: D St George

After a 12 year wait, the British and Irish Lions will be back on New Zealand soil this June. With a packed schedule of matches against all of New Zealand’s Super XV franchises plus games against the Provincial Barbarians and Maori All Blacks in the lead up to the main event – 3 Test matches against the All Blacks, it promises to be an epic month to be in New Zealand. The country will welcome thousands of visitors from the British Isles throughout June and July and the atmosphere around the country promises to be electric. Keep up to date with all the latest news from the tour and plan your trip to New Zealand with our unique tour itineraries making sure you never miss a thing on or off the field –

Queenstown Winter Festival – 22-25 June

As we get to the end of autumn, the Queenstown Winter Festival celebrates the start of winter and the season ahead. This year the celebrations will begin on Thursday 22 June and will be followed by four days of fireworks, street parties, music, comedy and of course some mountain madness! The festival programme will be announced later this month so make sure you keep an eye on the official website as well as our own blog where we will be updating last year’s post with all the latest news on this year’s programme of events –

Looking ahead…

If you are planning a ski trip to Queenstown  this winter, you might want to check out Gay Ski Week taking place from the 2-9 September. GO Rentals are going to be sponsoring this event and it is shaping up to be a pretty awesome week. Make sure you book early to avoid disappointment and check out the website for more information:

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