Summer is in full force and with the heat and clear skies comes the usual roll-out of summer festivals, and Auckland has a proud history of being host to some of the best festivals in the country, featuring a mix of local and international acts, if you are planning to stay with us over these times, it’s always crucial to book ahead of time, but before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s have a closer look at what’s coming to the city this summer season:
FOMO By Night
The summer festival that has been a popular staple in Australia is finally making its way to Auckland, taking over Spark Arena on January 9. FOMO By Night features top musicians that have topped the charts and are constantly pumping in our nightlife scenes. Acts including Mura Masa, Nicki Minaj, and local New Zealand DJs, The Katayanagi Twins. FOMO, Fear of Missing Out, is an accurate name if you miss this one.
Ellerslie Summer Race Day
A visit to the Ellerslie races is an Auckland summer must do, rock up with your own picnic basket with your favorite treats, enjoy a cold beverage of your choice, sit back in the sun and maybe even place your best bet on a racehorse. Summer Race Day has a more chilled out vibe than Ellerslie’s regular races and is a perfect activity for large groups visiting the city.
Takapuna Beach Summer Days Festival
The perfect day out for any beach loving family, this small festival by the water is a popular day outing everyone can enjoy. On January 19 from 11am, Takapuna beach brings in the new year in style and is truly kiwi: music, the beach and good food. From live performances and food trucks to keep your bellies full, lock it in your calendars for a classic Kiwi summer day.
St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival
Summer wouldn’t be the same without St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival. It’s the biggest and easily the most popular music event in Auckland, with so many people coming from across the country, its almost become an annual tradition for many. Just when you think this it has reached its peak, they outdo themselves the following year with a stellar line-up. This year we’re lucky enough to have international favourites such as Florence + The Machine and Courtney Barnett as well as local hitmakers Daffodils and Miss June.
The best way to sell this festival is by describing it as a small Coachella on Waiheke Island. Held at the secluded Rangihoua Olive Grove, Flamingo Pier is where you can bust out your festival fashions and rock out to the live music on the open fields.
End of February marks the end of the long summer for Aucklanders and there’s no better way celebrate than hitting up the three-day festival, Splore from February 21 – 24. The Beths, Lady Flic and Forrest Bump are just a fraction of the mega line-up and it doesn’t just stop at music. Tapapakanga Regional Park is transformed into an art extravaganza from workshops, installations, wellness centres and a whole lot of love, so get amongst it.
Heineken Urban Polo
Wrap up the summer season at one of the bougier events Auckland has to offer. Watch a game of polo-otherwise referred to as the sport of Kings-while listening to live music at Heineken Urban Polo. Heineken has taken the classic sport of royalty and created a fusion event with urban live tunes with their impressive line-up including Kilter and Miami Horror.
One thing we can be proud of in our city is its diverse culture – and that diversity spreads to food. Having such a big city that sprawls across so many locations you are guaranteed to find something that pleases each dietary need.
With vegetarian and vegan diets coming more and more prominent, the city has adapted and some of the best restaurants in the city are vegetarian, so if you fall into this category, or just want to explore how the other half lives, here’s a guide to what the city has to offer:
Odettes Eatery offers a menu that has it all and is enjoyed by people no matter what their dietary requirements are. Although Odettes is not a café that is targeted at the vegetarian public, they won’t let anyone miss out on a tasty experience. Cauliflower lentil and halloumi, wild mushrooms doused in whipped feta, vanilla crepes and maple granola with peanut yogurt are just a few of their many vegetarian creations. This hotspot is located in the city works depot for those looking to explore the city center.
Little Bird Unbakery
Located in both Ponsonby and Britomart, Little Bird Unbakery was one of the first in Auckland to introduce us to the raw vegan movement with their bird bowls of absolute health, superfood smoothies and of course, their raw cheesecakes and slices. Home of one of the best caramel slices in town, it’s hard to believe that these tasty treats aren’t only free of animal products but also refined sugar! The Unbakery also whip up the richest raw vegan raspberry and cacao brownie, which is so decadent and rich, you won’t believe that it’s made from only natural ingredients.
Lord of the Fries
If you’re looking for a burger but avoid both meat and dairy, look no further than Lord of the Fries. This 100% pure vegan fast food joint doesn’t fool around with food and has created what many of us thought was impossible. Their mock meats make you forget that you’re not actually consuming any animal products—and they don’t just stop at burgers and fries. They serve uploaded up hot dogs, onion rings, nuggets and fried “chicken,” making Lord of the Fries the ultimate cheat meal eatery for the vegetarians of Auckland. With locations in queen street and k’road, this one is an easy find.
Located in Mt. Eden, this offering mixes American inspired diner food with a vegetarian twist. Ralph’s vegetarian sloppy joe with nacho cheese, jalapeños, and lime cream is one that will stay in your minds as it’s just that good. Located in Mt. Eden, Ralphs will quickly become a guilty pleasure for all those who enter.