For those of you planning your holiday to New Zealand in 2025, you’ll find a great number of events and activities taking place throughout the country.

If you’d like to include any of those we feature or perhaps one’s that are still due to be organised on your holiday, let us know about them early in your planning and we’ll endeavour to integrate them into your trip.

The standout events in 2025 are, as often in New Zealand, of a sporting nature. The big ones in 2025 being the Special Olympic National Games to be held in Christchurch in July and the six white ball cricket matches between England and New Zealand in October (venues TBA).

January to March 2025

A great time to escape the northern hemisphere winter and enjoy the warm Pacific months, when many New Zealand towns and cities will feature Summer Festivals and outdoor events.

Food & Drink

As always, we recommend attending the Marlborough Food and Wine Festival because it’s probably the best in the country and you’ll have your pick of the best seasonal fare and wines.

Not to be outdone, Hawkes Bay on North Island, the other major wine area of New Zealand, promotes its Food and Wine Festival which is expected to be held around February/March.

Sport and Recreation

Tennis fans can take in two excellent tournaments held in early January as a precursor to the Australian Open. The ASB Classic (or Auckland Open) starts with the women’s tour event with the men’s event held the following week.

And sailors should stay in Auckland to enjoy the Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta, a colourful annual sailing event, which attracts both local and international competitors and spectators.

If you enjoy participating or watching challenge events and endurance races, then the one to look out for is the Kathmandu Coast to Coast in February – this is a major multisport endurance race from Kumara on the West Coast to Sumner, Christchurch – featuring a 33km (20-mile) mountain run followed by a 67km (42-mile) kayak race and a 142km (88-mile) cycle dash.

Horse racing features in events throughout the country but the main programme is the Wellington Cup Race Meeting, held in late January.

Arts and Culture Festivals

If you are likely to be in Napier in the third week of February then you do need to have your accommodation booked because you’ll likely encounter the Art Deco Festival. A fun packed celebration of the city’s Art Deco heritage that includes dancing, jazz, vintage cars, walks and tours. Most participants dress in 1920s and 1930s fashions to really get in the swing of things.

Auckland’s Pacific Island communities celebrate the largest 1-day cultural festival in the South Pacific at the Pasifika Festival in the first week in March.

The largest and most prestigious event on the New Zealand arts calendar though, is the Aotearoa New Zealand Festival of Arts held in Wellington – featuring top overseas and national artists and entertainers. A vibrant mix of all art forms, from contemporary dance to fine music and theatre, starting in late February through to mid March.

April and May 2025

Check out the Arrowtown Autumn Festival. A week of market days, music and street entertainment celebrating the gold-mining era – it’s a great family day out and usually starts the week after Easter.

The Bay of Islands Country Rock Festival in the second week of May draws musicians from all around New Zealand, and there’s at least one international act each year.

Matariki is the Maori New Year, which coincides with the time when the Pleiades constellation is visible. It is traditionally a time for planting new crops. Since 2000 there has been renewed interest with the Matariki Festival becoming a standout event. A diverse range of cultural celebrations are now held throughout the country in late May and June, many of which are centred around Auckland.

June to September 2025

Hamilton hosts Fieldays Festival, one of the largest agricultural shows in the world in mid-June, exhibiting the best of New Zealand agriculture, horticulture, floriculture, and forestry products.

Late May to early June marks the start of the Queenstown Winter Festival, Queenstown officially goes mad with a host of zany mountain events and street entertainment running all the way through to September.

At the Bay of Islands Jazz and Blues Festival, more than 50 jazz bands from New Zealand and overseas provide live entertainment at various places around Paihia and Russell, night and day, for a magical weekend in early August.

The World of Wearable Art Awards takes place in Wellington from mid to late September. This creative extravaganza should not be missed if the avant garde is more to your taste.

In Alexandra, the Blossom Festival is an annual parade of floats and entertainment. It’s a fantastic day out for all ages where you can celebrate the onset of spring. The parade usually takes place in late September.

October to December 2025

In mid-October, the Nelson Arts Festival is a fabulous twelve days of music, dance, theatre and street performances throughout the city.

And once you’re into October in Southern Hemisphere, spring is well on its way and flower festivals are brought to the fore:

On North Island, the Taranaki Garden Festival showcases some of the most outstanding gardens, parks and open spaces in New Zealand. The Festival includes the highest number of gardens of National and Regional Significance in the country.

Christchurch also hosts a wide variety of events through the season to showcase its parks and botanical gardens.

That’s our round-up of some of the main events taking place in New Zealand in 2025, but you’ll also come across smaller community celebrations as you travel through the country and we encourage you to join in the fun!