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Winter 2013 events highlights

Wellington Jazz Festival

Wellington Jazz Festival

Snow is gathering on New Zealand’s high country and mountain resorts are grooming their fields as the country says goodbye to autumn and welcomes visitors for another season of uniquely Kiwi winter events.

Food shows and wine festivals, music, arts, fashion and family fun events, plus some Kiwi-only cultural experiences are all part of New Zealand’s year-round experiences.

Matariki – the traditional Māori celebration of the winter solstice – is marked by the arrival of the Matariki / Pleiades star constellation in the southern skies. This ancient festival plays out across the country with a huge variety of community and family events to celebrate and give thanks for the end of the season’s harvests and anticipate the lengthening days of the approaching summer.

On the international events calendar, New Zealand will host the 2013 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games – a biennial event that brings many of the world’s elite winter athletes to the Southern Alps for a competition series that is a lead-up to the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Whether it’s more gentle outdoor action and adventure, or cosy fireside relaxation that whets the appetite, there’s a varied menu of New Zealand event highlights this winter.

Wellington Jazz Festival on Cuba
6 – 8 June, 2013
New Zealand’s hottest little jazz festival puts the groove in the world’s coolest little capital. As the season cools, hundreds of musicians turn up the heat in the capital’s famous Cuba Quarter at the 2013 Wellington Jazz Festival. The three-day programme includes major international acts, home-grown super groups, relaxed afternoon sessions and riotous late-night jams – all crammed into some of Wellington’s best loved music venues, bars and eateries.
Wellington Jazz Festival

Fieldays in Hamilton – Waikato
12 – 15 June, 2013
New Zealand’s iconic rural trade event, now in its 45th year, displays the latest technology and innovation to the national and international agricultural community. The annual four-day event attracts 125,000-plus visitors, and more than 1000 exhibitors are signed up for the 2013 show. This year’s theme is ‘Getting down to Business in the Global Economy’.

Winter F.A.W.C! – Hawke’s Bay Food & Wine Classic
20 – 23 June, 2013
Winter F.A.W.C! – following on from the packed and highly successful inaugural Summer F.A.W.C! 2012 – is another new and cheeky little festival in this premium food and wine destination. The winter festival wraps around intimate and authentic foodie events featuring food and wine personalities, roaring fires, glasses of rich full bodied Hawke’s Bay Syrah and lashings of local lamb and venison prepared in warming ways. Locales range from spectacular settings in vineyards and underground cellars to al fresco and Art Deco delights – setting the scene for great food, wine, and music.
Winter F.A.W.C.

American Express Queenstown Winter Festival
24 June – 3 July, 2013
Winter gets underway with a bang in the South Island alpine resort of Queenstown with a 10-day celebration that is billed as the southern hemisphere’s most legendary winter festival – and gets bigger, better, more fun and slightly wackier each year. Now in its 39th year, the Winter Festival has a well established reputation and the 2013 programme includes some intriguing new events in sports, music, arts, comedy, food and wine – as well as annual favourites on and off the snow.
Winter Festival

Dunedin Midwinter Carnival
22 June, 2013
Dunedin – in southern New Zealand – celebrates midwinter with a colourful Midwinter Carnival held on the Saturday nearest to the Winter Solstice. The 2013 theme is ‘Journeys of Discovery’ and will include new giant lanterns, dazzling costumes and entertainment, fireworks, wonderful food stalls, music and a fire performance. Locals can attend pre-carnival night there will be a series of lantern making workshops.
Dunedin Midwinter Carnival

Matariki – Māori New Year
22 June – 2 July, 2013
New Zealand celebrates Māori New Year or Matariki during winter. The month long event is associated with the first sighting of Matariki – the Pleiades or the Seven Sisters star group.

Matariki is the most important date on the Māori calendar, and each year celebrations become more widespread as families and local communities pay greater attention to the traditional significance of the festival. It is a time to farewell the past year and welcome new life and new beginnings with festivities centred on kai / food sharing, hospitality, art and crafts, cultural workshops, traditional Māori games, concerts and performances.

The Auckland Matariki Festival is a month-long celebration that puts a modern take on this ancient tradition.
Matariki Events

Waipu in Tartan – Northland
29 June – 4 July, 2013
The Celtic heritage of this favourite Kiwi holiday destination at Waipu – north of Auckland – comes to the fore during a festival week that features a local Highland band, whisky tasting at the jail museum, wearable art awards, clan dinners, Highland dancing competitions, a mid-winter swim, a men in kilts rugby challenge and ‘Grand Finale Ball’. The local butcher offers a taste of haggis, and shops give tartan-wearing customers free shortbread.
Tartan Week – Bream Bay

Māori Language Week – National
1 – 7 July, 2013
Kiwis across New Zealand get to talk up their Māori language skills as they join in the annual Māori Language Week. Organised by New Zealand’s Māori Language Commission, Māori Language Week is a national event encouraging all Kiwis to have a go at increasing their knowledge and use of te reo Māori in everyday life. The 2013 theme is Ngā Ingoa Māori (Māori names), and activities during the week will highlight Māori place-names meanings and encourage use and good pronunciation.
Maori Language Week

Cadbury Chocolate Carnival – Dunedin
20 – 26 July, 2013
Dunedin promises a chocolate dipped programme for the 2013 carnival with lots of family-friendly events that entice visitors with sweet rewards. Otago’s legendary nature and wildlife attractions plan special events and there are chocolate related arts and crafts, chocolate factory tours, food classes and competitions, chocolate facials, a Gold Rush train ride and treasure hunt, and the Cadbury fun run to tempt visitors. A highlight is the annual Jaffa Race down Baldwin Street – the world’s steepest street.
Cadbury Carnival website

The Food Show – Auckland
1 – 4 August, 2013
The Food Show is a culinary mid-winter feast of the latest trends and treats, freshest flavours and new ideas brought together in a food, wine and beer expo. Celebrity chefs give live demonstrations and share hot tips and special recipes to thousands of hungry fans. For 2013 The Food Show Auckland Masterclass Series will feature top chefs Peter Gordon, Sean Connolly, and Simon Gault in a series of intimate, exclusive classes.
The Food Show

12th World Heli Challenge – Wanaka
4 – 22 August, 2013
A posse of 32 world champions, Olympians and leading ski and snowboard athletes compete in the ultimate snow adventure in the awe inspiring Southern Alps. Helicopters allow access to the ultimate snow conditions and terrains, where the athletes demonstrate their skills, speed and aerial technique. The event also attracts top photographers and film makers for a ‘snow show’ that incorporates art, creativity, lifestyle and cultural experiences against the dramatic backdrop of Lake Wanaka.
World Heli Challenge

Visa Wellington on a Plate
9 – 25 August, 2013
New Zealand’s largest and tastiest food festival, Visa Wellington On a Plate returns for the fifth season with a massive programme of great food-themed events inspired by some of the country’s renowned chefs. The festival is based around DINE Wellington, a fortnight where 100 of the region’s finest eateries offer lunchtime set menus and delectable dinner deals, and the Beervana beer fest. Wellington’s best also take part in the battle of the burger with Burger Wellington, bakeoff honours in the Wellington Bake Club or the supreme Wellington On a Plate Award for the menu best reflecting the culinary capital’s flavour. Watch this space as the full menu of events is revealed on 6 June.
Visa Wellington on a Plate

Winter Games NZ – Southern Alps
15 – 25 August, 2013
Winter Games NZ is one of the top five events on the international winter sports circuit featuring seven World Cup events over an 11-day programme of alpine skiing, cross country skiing, freeskiing, snowboarding, and curling. It is the first major event to include adaptive racing alongside their able bodied counterparts in cross-country and alpine skiing as they prepare for the 2014 Paralympics. Competitions play out in New Zealand’s top Southern Alps alpine resorts, and the programme includes the off-snow Downtown Sessions festival of adventure films, live music and entertainment and a series of downtown extravaganzas in Queenstown and Lake Wanaka.
Winter Games

Taranaki International Festival of the Arts
15 August – 1 September, 2013
Winter provides the seasonal platform for Taranaki’s biennial international arts festival of theatre, dance, music, comedy, visual arts, community and literary events. For 2013, the festival’s headline event is the breath-taking avant-garde circus TRACES – featured in Time magazine’s 2011 ‘Top 10 Plays and Musicals’ and acclaimed as a high-flying, astonishing spectacle.
Taranaki Arts Festival

North Face Freeski Open of New Zealand – Southern Lakes
28 August – 7 September, 2013
Halfpipe, slopestyle and big mountain skiers compete in the largest multi-discipline open freeski event in the southern hemisphere. Attracting skiers from across the globe, the event is internationally recognised alongside the world’s biggest freeski events.
NZ Freeski Open

DNA Gay Ski Week QT – Queenstown
31 August – 7 September, 2013
The southern hemisphere’s largest winter ‘Pride’ event attracts hundreds of colourful international visitors for a week-long party that sizzles with events on and off-piste including cabaret, Bingay, karaoke, a festival dance party – the ‘Queens on the Lake‘ party held aboard TSS Earnslaw – Queenstown’s iconic Lady of the Lake steamship.
DNA Gay Ski Week

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