5 reasons to visit Wellington, New Zealand

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Wellington provides quirky, creative and out-this-world festivals and events like no other. From a concert of dogs, wearable art and a culinary festival all month.

Here’s your quick guide to this little capital’s jammed packed year of events to inspire your for your next planned getaway:

CubaDupa Street Festival – March

CubaDupa is New Zealand’s largest free-access performance festival taking place March 28 and 29.  More than 300 performances feanturing close to 1500 artists bring the city to life non-stop for 19 hours!

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Every March, Wellington’s iconic Cuba Street is filled with a bunch of vibrant, creative and fabulous performers, stalls and delicious food to choose from with 100 food vendors serving up some epic feeds. The festival takes part not only down Cuba Street but throughout the Cuba Quarter which include nearby parks and laneways. Restaurants, shops, bars and cafés who all get amongst the festivities as art, music, and performance. Watch the quarter fill-up with excitement over two days.

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The highlight will definitely be CubaSonic, where musicians and electronics connect in a mass musical interruption involving over 450 musicians and a custom-made sound system spanning the length of Cuba Street. From street theatre, dance, roving performances, family entertainment, musical genres from opera to Te Reo thrash metal, second line brass to Balkan beats, indie rock to post punk and dozens of parades, as well as visual, kinetic and tactile installations – the festival has become a creative playground that blurs the line between the audience and performer.

New Zealand Festival of the Arts – February to March

The New Zealand Festival of the Arts 2020 is going to be a biggie. With three high-profile artists invited to curate a signature series of events that will take place alongside the overall festival programme of work from Aotearoa and the world.

The curators have each been assigned a week of the three-week-long festival, so that each week will have a different feel and flavour, with a programme of works that are more varied, surprising and inspiring than ever before. Wellington darling, resident and Oscar winner, Bret McKenzie will work alongside Grammy Award-winning Laurie Anderson and contemporary artist and radical theatre-maker Lemi Ponifasio.

Matariki Maori New Year – June

The Māori New Year is becoming an annual event of national significance. Matariki celebrations illuminate the tangata whenua (original people of the land) worldview, reminding us of natural ways to mark the passage of time – in contrast to artificial timekeeping mechanisms, such as the watch. They help to revitalise customary knowledge and encourage the flourishing of new knowledge.


Matariki offers a time for New Zealanders to consider their relationship with the natural world – the islands, sea, and sky of their home. The star cluster Matariki (also known as the Pleiades) reappears in the dawn sky above Aotearoa New Zealand in late May or early June. The new moon following the rising of Matariki signals the Māori New Year. Today, Matariki has been revived as a celebration of people, culture, language, spirituality, and history. It is a time for whānau (family) and friends to come together to reflect on the past 12 months and look towards the year ahead.

Wellington On a Plate / Beervana – August

The culinary extravaganza that takes over the city and the wider Wellington region for the whole of August, Visa Wellington On a Plate is the ultimate culinary festival in the capital.


With a long list of guest chefs and local restaurant collaborations it’ll be a struggle to choose between the hundreds of pop-ups, events, special menus, burgers, cocktails and exhibitions in the programme.

And during one August weekend every year, beer enthusiasts descend on Wellington for Beervana. This huge celebration of all things beery is a must-do whether you consider yourself a seasoned expert or don’t know your Simcoe from your Amarillo (hops, that is).

World of WearableArt – September to October

It’s been described as ‘Part Cirque du Soleil, part Broadway play and part avant-garde couture show.’ After three decades of thrilling audiences, it’s unsurprising the World of Wearable Art Awards Show is now New Zealand’s largest and most spectacular theatrical production, entertaining 60,000 people for three weeks every year in Wellington.

With a range of talented designers from all over the world – gracing the capital city with their outstanding and out-this-world wearable art. Did we mention that recently artist Lizzo was seen wearing a World of WearableArt garment in her Rolling Stone feature!

Photography: Michael W., Yerchak Uladzimir , 


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