Although officially the first month of autumn, March is a great time to enjoy the last of the summer festivals throughout New Zealand. It’s a great time to travel as the weather is warm and settled and our roads are not as busy as in the peak summer period. With holidaymakers back to work and school, our parks are not as full and activities up and down NZ are less crowded making for a more relaxing trip.
An added year-round bonus is that you’re entitled to some great discounts when you use your Kiwi Card at both our holiday parks and at over 65 tourism activities (including tours, adventure activities, food and beverage, museums and spa treatments) in the North and South islands.
The settled weather is also the perfect time for the staging of many fantastic events and festivals. Here are our picks for both the North and South islands for you to consider as you take a road trip of New Zealand.
15-17 March 2019
New Plymouth, Taranaki
WOMAD — World of Music, Arts and Dance is an internationally established festival, which brings together artists from all over the world. Co-founded in 1980 by the musician Peter Gabriel, WOMAD has held over 250 festivals in 27 countries across the globe. New Plymouth is home to WOMAD in New Zealand for the 15th year running and it’s where you’ll discover a world without borders in music, food, dance and art.
23-24 March 2019
Western Springs Park, Auckland
The Pasifika Festival is held annually in Auckland and offers a free family-friendly taste of the sights, sounds and flavours of the South Pacific. Now in its 26th year, the Pasifika Festival is the largest of its kind in the world and features around 220 local and international performance groups and over 200 food and craft stalls — with many of the artisans travelling from the Pacific Islands to take part.
Performers from Tonga
1-24 March 2019
NZ Fringe is Wellington’s answer to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and was indeed inspired by that event and brought home to NZ in 1990. Over 1000 artists from all over New Zealand and the globe perform some 700 events at venues throughout Wellington city and beyond — check out the programme here. Performing at an open-access festival, the NZ Fringe artists are encouraged to take artistic risks that delight their audiences. You can enjoy anything from busking to clowning to dance to fashion to theatre to poetry and everything in between.
9 March 2019
Celebrating its 30th year, the iconic Wildfoods Festival in Hokitika takes you for a walk on the wild side and tempts you to sink your teeth into local favourites such as whitebait and venison while also offering some of the stars of the festival including huhu grubs, mountain oysters (lamb testicles!), colostrum shooters and possum kebabs! Not for the faint-hearted, the festival is sure to please those that want to try some once-in-a-lifetime ‘delicacies’.
Feral Fashion at the Wildfoods Festival
9 March 2019
Founders Park, Nelson
It’s a tough choice when two great festivals are held on the same day, but if you’re not sure that wild foods are quite your cup of tea then Marchfest — a unique craft beer and music festival held in the middle of the beautiful hop-growing region of Nelson — might be more your style. New in 2019 is the Tasting Bar where punters can sample new beers that have been specially commissioned for the event. Awesome food stalls and live music make this an event well worth checking out.
NORTH CANTERBURY WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL
Waipara Valley, North Canterbury
The North Canterbury Wine & Food Festival is dubbed ‘the coolest little wine festival in the country’. And it’s the perfect way to enjoy a beautiful day under giant oak trees in the Waipara Valley. The festival celebrates North Canterbury wineries plus local food producers and restaurants. The day is topped off with ‘pockets’ of laid-back music throughout the park plus talks from the region’s top winemakers and viticulturists.
Aside from our top picks for the last of the summer festivals, you might also like to check out this site which offers a comprehensive range of events throughout New Zealand for the remainder of 2019 and into 2020.
We hope you have fun experiencing some of New Zealand’s not-to-be-missed events in March. Remember to travel safely through our gorgeous country and don’t forget your Kiwi Card to make excellent savings on the different types of accommodation KHPA offer.
Feral Fashion 2018 – Wildfoods Festival
Tonga Performers - AucklandNZ