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Wellington's winter festivals

The temperature might be dropping, but we're cranking up the heat with a hot line-up of winter festivals around Wellington. Cosy down for great tunes, kai, comedy, culture and craft beer during the chillier months.

Wairarapa Balloon Festival

This magical event is a must-see for all ages. Be mesmerised as hot air balloons light up the night sky to choreographed music, and join in the exciting carnival atmosphere with roving stilt walkers, costumed characters and live entertainment.

NZSO: Star Wars - The Empire Strikes Back

Experience the NZSO live in concert performing Oscar-winning composer, John Williams', iconic musical score from the cult hit film Star Wars - The Empire Strikes Back. This is one classical concert you don't want to miss.

NZ International Comedy Festival

Prepare to laugh your socks off for the best part of May when Comedy Festival rolls full-steam into town. Featuring 140 shows from 17 countries, you'll find the whole spectrum of comedy that'll tickle even the fussiest of tastes. 

The Mousetrap

The world's longest running West End stage show is coming to Wellington this May. This legendary murder mystery will keep you guessing with every twist and turn. Grab tickets now and prepare to grip your seat.

The Greater Wellington Brewday

Don't miss this huge one-day celebration of craft beer and food from across the Greater Wellington Region. Hosted in the heart of Brewtown - the capital of craft brewing in Upper Hutt - you'll enjoy live entertainment and community spirit.

Highball and Wellington Cocktail Week

Prepare to be shaken and stirred at New Zealand’s first festival dedicated to cocktails and spirits. Meet Wellington's best local bartenders, imbibe on delicious concoctions and learn lots about the local industry during this exciting celebration.

Black Swan, White Swan

In this eloquent re-telling of an international ballet classic, the Royal New Zealand Ballet presents Swan Lake like you've never seen it before. This stripped down version by Slovak choreographer, Mário Radačovský, is a beautiful adaptation for the 21st century.

Wellington Jazz Festival

For a foot-stomping, toe-tapping good ol' time, warm your soul this winter with Wellington Jazz Festival. Choose from more than 100 gigs across the city, featuring the world's finest local and international artists.

West Side Story

Hailed as the greatest Broadway musical of all time, this is your chance to see a truly iconic theatre performance right here in Wellington for an exclusive New Zealand season, ahead of its international tour.

Ahi kā (Matariki)

Wellington Fireworks Image - 1648x1326

Gather your friends and family and celebrate Māori New Year at this spectacular fireworks display over Wellington harbour, along with waiata, poi and taonga pūoro by some of the country's most gifted performers. Find the perfect perch on the waterfront just after dusk and see the sky light up.

New Zealand Opera: The Barber of Seville

With a reputation for being one of the craziest operatic comedies ever written, you'll be doubled-over in hysterics during Rossini’s razor-sharp technicolour production of The Barber of Seville. Book now and be tickled by a series of hare-brained schemes.

New Zealand International Film Festival

Cosy down at a cinema near you and see the best New Zealand and international films unfold. Featuring more than 150 films from across the globe, including Cannes winners and NZ Shorts, you'll be hard-pressed to whittle down a must-see list.

All Blacks vs South Africa

all blacks 1 v2

Make your way to the 'cake tin' for Wellington's only All Blacks game of the season. Cheer on the boys in black as these two long-time rivals go head-to-head in this highly-anticipated opening pool match for the Rugby World Cup in Japan later this year.

Vodafone Warriors v Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks

Get ready to experience the best in NRL action in the capital: The Vodafone Warriors return to Wellington for a chance at defeating arch rivals, the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks.

Visa Wellington on a Plate

This epic month-long culinary festival is a wild celebration of local food and beverage that's jam-packed with unforgettable events and pop-ups, special menus and the iconic Burger Wellington competition. Dive in and whet your appetite.



Beervana is New Zealand's biggest craft beer festival. From new and innovative brews, to silent discos and colourful beer cocktails, you'll find yourself immersed in the most exciting celebration of that famous frothy beverage.