Wellington is known for being a melting pot of arts, culture, food and celebration. The result is a myriad of beautiful festivals and events, which Wellingtonians are lucky enough to enjoy all year round. Here, we’ll discuss just a few of these great occasions that we recommend attending while in the capital - here are HiAtlas’ picks for Wellington’s must-see festivals.

To get the ball rolling, let’s start with the delicious flavours and unique experiences that make up Wellington’s food and drink festivals. 

We’ve mentioned the Night Noodle Markets on the blog before, and for good reason - nothing beats the great experience of indulging in the best oriental-style food. 

We’d be remiss not to mention Wellington on a Plate, arguably the biggest food festival the capital has on offer. Many of Wellington’s finest eateries create a unique dish for the WOAP festival, and it’s our pleasure to explore what they come up with on any given year.

Next up we have the Wellington Wine and Food Festival in Waitangi Park, a delicious and family-friendly affair to enjoy on a hot summer’s day.

Beervana is a must for any brew-oriented folks who love trying original creations from the best local breweries.

Being a real cultural hot spot, Wellington puts on the best displays of celebration from people of all walks of life.

Te Papa’s Matariki event is a truly special midwinter’s evening of sharing, storytelling and music - likewise, the Wellington Chinese New Year sees a gorgeous display of creative and colourful parades and celebrations.

Diwali in Wellington is an occasion not to be missed, showcasing the beautiful Indian festival of lights all the way over here in New Zealand.

Finally, the Wellington Pride Parade marches through the streets each year in a loud, proud and colourful celebration of diversity and acceptance.

How could we talk about Wellington festivals without mentioning the capital’s many thriving music scenes.

Homegrown is one of the biggest events on the Wellington calendar, drawing crowds from all over the country to see a great lineup of New Zealand acts.

Cubadupa is a similar affair, sprawling all the way up Cuba St. and beyond in a wonderful blend of good food, music and people.

While being a little more out of the way, the Newtown Festival is a place to easily spend a whole day, highlighting the best parts of one of Wellington’s most quirky suburbs.

The arts are a prominent part of Wellington’s identity, bringing all sorts of kooky creatives out of the woodwork to showcase their labours of love to the world.

The Wellington Fringe Festival is a celebration of theatre in all its forms, spreading across multiple venues all over town.

Wellington is world famous for producing talented film makers, and the 48 Hour Film Festival beautifully showcases this - it challenges small film crews to produce a short film in just two days, and the results are staggering.

Last but certainly not least, we highly recommend the Meridian Gardens Magic. Experience the lush Botanic Gardens lit up with an impeccable light show - this sure is an event to put on your bucket list.

From music to food, arts, culture and beyond, our little capital is a place full of fun events and unique experiences. No matter the occasion, Wellington always knows how to celebrate.