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. Earth Beat Festival – A 5-Day Legendary Party and Family Wonderland
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better festival vibe than the mind-expanding, captivating, sustainable and just-damn-fun Earth Beat Festival. The five-day party located at the glorious Atiu Creek Regional Park, Wellsford, just 75 minutes north of Auckland, has an eclectic lineup of workshops and wonder-filled experiences for the whole family. Not to mention, there’s a pulsating lineup of local and international music across the genres of dub reggae, jazz, indie and dance. You don’t know until you go, so book your tickets now at earthbeatfestival.com!
When? 22-26 March 2023!
2. Laneway Festival – The Biggest Music Festival Down Under
What started out 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? 30 January 2023!
3. 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? 11 March 2023!
4. 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? 20-22 January 2023!
5. 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 2022 & 2023!
6. 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 2022 & 2023!
7. 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? 3-6 February 2023.
8. 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? 18-19 March 2023.
9. 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? 11 February 2023.
10. 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? 18 March 2023.
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:
- 10 BEST Winter Festivals in New Zealand
- The Top New Zealand Events & Festivals This Year!
- How to Volunteer at a Festival in New Zealand
Finally, if there’s anything we’ve missed, you’re likely to find it in our New Zealand Events Calendar: What’s Going On?