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Wellington's annual events

Here's a guide to the big events that are the heart of Wellington’s calendar of good times each year.

Wellington Cup Day (January)

The jewel in Wellington Racing Club’s crown, Wellington Cup Day sees impeccably dressed crowds head to Trentham Racecourse to see the best horses in New Zealand compete for Wellington’s most prestigious horse racing trophy. 

New Zealand Festival (February-March)

On even-numbered years, Wellington welcomes the world's most outstanding artists, performers, musicians and writers for three incredible weeks of imagination and inspiration at New Zealand Festival.

CubaDupa (March)

Wellington’s hippest inner city street hosts a two-day festival of food, music and community. The CubaDupa street festival celebrates the vibrant, bohemian spirit of the world’s coolest little capital. 

NZ Fringe Festival (March)

Experience bold, inspiring, unexpected and daring works at NZ's oldest and largest Fringe festival. With over 1000 artists, the NZ Fringe Festival attracts talent from around NZ and all over the globe for this three week season of cutting edge performance art housed in venues all over Wellington city. 

Newtown Festival (March)

Explore the colour and character of one of Wellington's iconic suburbs while enjoying delicious food, live music, craft stands and entertainment at the annual street fair, Newtown Festival.

Jim Beam Homegrown (March)

End your summer on a high note with Wellington's epic festival of homegrown Kiwi music. Spread across multiple stages in a stunning central waterfront location, Jim Beam Homegrown features rock, dub 'n' roots, reggae, pop and R&B music. 

Highball and Wellington Cocktail Week (May)

Celebrate the art of the cocktail, meet the makers, taste their tipples and learn about the true art of cocktail-making at Highball. Followed by Wellington Cocktail Week, where Wellington’s best cocktails are mixed, shaken and stirred by local leading purveyors.

Wellington Jazz Festival (June)

Our biggest mid-winter music fest, the Wellington Jazz Festival brings you over 100 gigs in five days and countless good vibes. International headliners and top quality local acts fill the city's venues with soul tunes, cool jazz, bebop and more. 

Visa Wellington On a Plate (August)

New Zealand’s largest culinary festival, Visa Wellington On a Plate, makes Wellington a foodie paradise every August. The city’s chefs and the regional producers go into creative overdrive for a fortnight of spectacular menus, competitions and events.

Beervana (August)

Beervana is a huge celebration of the magic and mayhem of brewing - think thousands of beer enthusiasts, hundreds of mind-bending festival beers, delicious food and great entertainment all in one hoppy spot. 

World of WearableArt™ Awards Show (September-October)

Mind-blowing designs from visionary, creative folk take to the stage for the World of WearableArt™ Awards Show. An internationally acclaimed, fantastical blend of art, fashion and stagecraft.

HighLight: Carnival of Lights (October)

The beautiful Riddiford Garden in Lower Hutt is transformed by a four-day carnival of lights over Labour Weekend. HighLight is a free all-ages event features immersive displays, live performance and interactive light features, plus family-friendly activities.

Verb Festival (November)

Verb Festival is a celebration of books, writers and Wellington with international guests alongside Aotearoa’s top writers, publishers, performers, musicians, activists, artists and comedians. The festival features the famous LitCrawl Wellington on Sat 9 November and is a fast-paced lit-adventure all on one night. Join Verb Festival for performances, talks and readings in venues ranging from vintage clothes stores to record shops and bars. 

Toast Martinborough (November)

Savour fine wine, cuisine and music in the open air at Toast Martinborough. In the picturesque surroundings of this famous wine-growing village, right on the doorstep of Wellington, this a memorable day of fun in the sun.  

Summer City (December - March)

Celebrate summer in the city with the famous Gardens Magic concerts, Pasifika Festival and Chinese New Year celebrations. Soak up the community vibes at the Newtown Festival and reflect on what makes New Zealand so unique at Te Rā o Waitangi.