10 BEST Summer Festivals in New Zealand šŸŒž [2023]© ATEED
10 BEST Summer Festivals in New Zealand šŸŒž [2023]

10 BEST Summer Festivals in New Zealand šŸŒž 2025

Article Single Pages© NZPocketGuide.com
Article Single Pages© NZPocketGuide.com
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Which Summer Festivals to Check Out This Year in New Zealand

Wild music, wild food and wild locations: New Zealand knows how to throw an awesome summer festival.

The Kiwi nation produces its own homegrown artists and draws big international names to its lively music festival scene in summer. On the other hand, there is a lot more to a New Zealand festival than just ‘mega tunes’. If anything, New Zealand hosts some insanely creative events that showcase the local culture and passions, such as festivals dedicated to hot air balloons, bizarre food and Pacific Islands’ cultures. Start planning the best summer yet with this list of New Zealand’s summer festivals and events.

Looking for more things to do this summer? Check out annual events in our New Zealand Calendar: What’s Going On?

1. Laneway Festival – The Biggest Music Festival Down Under

What started as a festival down some laneway in Melbourne is now one of Auckland‘s biggest music festivals. St Jerome’s Laneway Festival is a dominance of international and homegrown indie artists, which transforms a different central city location each year, whether it’s the funky Albert Park or the birds’ local hangout, Western Springs. Either way, tickets sell out fast, so get yours as soon as they’re on sale!

When? January 2025!

10 BEST Summer Festivals in New Zealand šŸŒž [2023]© ATEED

2. Hokitika Wildfoods Festival – The Weird and Totally Wonderful West Coast Food Festival

The Hokitika Wildfoods Festival not being in summer is just a technicality that can be overlooked. The South Island’s West Coast event is a gathering of weird foods such as boiled possum, chocolate beetles, seagull eggs, snails, whitebait patties and “mountain oysters”. Just so you know, the latter is sheep’s balls… Need we say more? Combine your visit with the 10 Best Things to Do in Hokitika!

When? 8 March 2025!

Eli Duke on Flickr© Eli Duke on Flickr

3. Soundsplash – Family-Friendly Festival in the Surf Mecca of Raglan

If you’re travelling with youngsters, then check out this family-friendly music festival in Raglan. Where better to have a summer festival than New Zealand’s most popular surf spot? The small North Island town is especially buzzing in January with the Soundsplash festival boasting heaps of acts performing across three stages over four days. The festival is located at the Wainui Reserve right on the coast, so you can dance in the sea breeze!

When? January 2025!

Wiremu Stadtwald Demchick on Wikipedia© Wiremu Stadtwald Demchick on Wikipedia

4. Rhythm & Vines – New Zealand’s Biggest New Year’s Party

New Zealand’s easternmost city of Gisborne is one of the first in the world to see-in the New Year. What better way to celebrate than at New Zealand’s biggest New Year’s party since 2003, Rhythm & Vines taking place among the vines of the Waiohika Estate?! The three-day summer festival invigorates with big international headliners, as well as local favourites. Needless to say, this one easily earns its spot in our 10 Best New Year’s Eve Events in New Zealand.

When? 29-31 December 2024-2025!

AFlickion from New Zealand on Wikipedia© AFlickion from New Zealand on Wikipedia

5. Rhythm & Alps – New Year’s in the South Island

The name doesn’t quite have the same ring to it as ‘Rhythm & Vines’ but it is an awesome alternative to celebrate the New Year with a festival among the stunning mountains of the South Island. Based in the Cardrona Valley, Rhythm & Alps couldn’t have a more scenic festival location, with the “party capital” of Queenstown and the breathtaking lakeside village of Wanaka in close proximity. As Rhythm & Vine’s sister festival, expect an almost identical lineup; just on different days.

When? 29-31 December 2024-2025!

Pexels© pexels

6. Dimension Festival – A 4-Day Psychedelic Music and Arts Festival

Experience summer at the Dimension Festival in the beautiful Northland region! Escape to this four-day electronic music festival featuring more than 80 international and local acts. There are three zones of non-stop music, including Psytrance, DnB and Chill, as well as an exotic market area to taste some tantalising cuisine. In between partying, there are plenty of ways to chill in the stunning festival setting from hanging out under the shade of the trees or even going for a swim in the river!

When? 31 January – 3 February 2025.

Dimension - Phat Productions© Dimension - Phat Productions

7. Pasifika Festival – Explore the Pacific in Just One Epic Weekend!

Auckland is the largest city in Polynesia making it unmatched in hosting the mind-opening and inspiring Pacifika Festival. It’s Auckland’s largest and oldest cultural event, which is always a blast every year with captivating cultural performances and mouthwatering island food. The festival celebrates 10 Pacific Island nations across eight different villages, so there’s a lot to explore over the two-day event. Check out more of New Zealand’s best cultural festivals in The Top New Zealand Events & Festivals This Year!

When? March 2024.

10 BEST Summer Festivals in New Zealand šŸŒž [2023]© NZPocketGuide.com

8. Marlborough Wine & Food Festival – Do Festivalling in Style

In the heart of wine country, the Marlborough Wine & Food Festival is a treat for all of the senses. Located in the heart of Marlborough’s wine country, Renwick Domain, the event is an explosion of award-winning wines, local fare, Kiwi-tastic beats and unforgettable scenery; it’s a match only made in Marlborough. Join a masterclass to learn from the experts or simply kick back with a glass and some tunes.

When? 8 February 2025.

10 BEST Summer Festivals in New Zealand šŸŒž [2023]© MarlboroughNZ

9. Homegrown Festival – Kiwi Beats in New Zealand’s Capital

If you’re around the capital in March, don’t miss New Zealand’s biggest festival for local artists, Homegrown. With an epic location on the Wellington Waterfront combined with a carnival atmosphere and 40 acts across five stages, this massive party packs in a lot in just one day. All genres are represented here, so there’s something for everyone. Learn more about Kiwi music in What Music is From New Zealand?

When? March 2025.

© Annette Geneva on Wikipedia

10. WOMAD – A Fun and Diverse Festival in Taranaki

WOMAD stands for “World of Music, Arts and Dance” so expect great diversity in one of the most vibrant art hubs of the North Island, New Plymouth. Six stages are set up over three days bringing you energetic performances, workshops and much more! Find this summer festival in the TSB Bowl of Brooklands Park and check out more things to do while you’re in the area in the 15 Best Things to Do in New Plymouth.

When? 14-16 March 2025.

10 BEST Summer Festivals in New Zealand šŸŒž 2025© NZPocketGuide.com

More Summer Festivals in New Zealand

That’s it for our list of the best summer festivals in New Zealand. For more festival fun, check out more events:

Finally, if there’s anything we’ve missed, you’re likely to find it in our New Zealand Events Calendar: What’s Going On?


The information in this guide has been compiled from our extensive research, travel and experiences across New Zealand and the South Pacific, accumulated over more than a decade of numerous visits to each destination. Additional sources for this guide include the following:

Our editorial standards: At NZ Pocket Guide, we uphold strict editorial standards to ensure accurate and quality content.

About The Author

Laura S.

This article has been reviewed and published by Laura, the editor-in-chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Laura is a first-class honours journalism graduate and a travel journalist with expertise in New Zealand and South Pacific tourism for over 10 years. She also runs travel guides for five of the top destinations in the South Pacific and is the co-host of over 250 episodes of the NZ Travel Show on YouTube.

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