Pig nipples on a stick? Food festivals to eat your way around this summer

Beers at the Basin, Wellington

Wellington’s craft beer spectacle returns to the grass of the Basin Reserve on November 26, 2022. Hop between the region’s best craft breweries, wineries and street vendors. All food menu items are limited to a maximum price of $9 while beverages top out at $7.50 each. See: beersatthebasin.co.nz

South Island Wine & Food Festival, Christchurch

More than 40 of the South Island’s winemakers will set up in the leafy surrounds of Hagley Park for the South Island Wine & Food Festival. Match local drops with ready-to-eat street food or grab something from market vendors to take away for later. Wine seminars, cooking demonstrations and local music from The Feelers and Dillastrate complete the festival line-up on December 3, 2022. See: winefestival.co.nz

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Wellington Wine and Food Festival, Wellington

The capital’s landmark foodie event has been rescheduled to December 10, 2022 at Waitangi Park. The event rounds up Wellington’s finest wine, food and craft beer in one location while live music completes the festival atmosphere. See: wineandfoodfestival.co.nz

Taste Tasman, Nelson

Taste Tasman 2022 was held at Rutherford Park.


Taste Tasman 2022 was held at Rutherford Park.

The top of the South Island offers more than just crisp sauvignon blanc. Tasman’s beer, food and cider festival is returning to Nelson on Saturday, January 14, 2023 to showcase all of the above from local and national hospitality vendors. Complete your experience by signing up for the silent disco. See: tastetasman.co.nz

Great Kiwi Beer Festival, Christchurch

If you think your own homemade beer is something to write home about, enter it in the Great Kiwi Home Brew Contest, taking place at the Great Kiwi Beer Festival in Christchurch on January 28, 2023. If you’d rather leave it to the pros , more than 35 breweries are set to be in attendance as well as 30 food vendors. All that plus cooking demonstrations, tasting seminars and live entertainment across Hagley Park. See: greatkiwibeerfestival.co.nz/christchurch

Marlborough Wine & Food Festival, Renwick

Marlborough Wine & Food Festival will be held at the Renwick Domain on Uxbridge St.


Marlborough Wine & Food Festival will be held at the Renwick Domain on Uxbridge St.

The Marlborough Wine & Food Festival, New Zealand’s longest-running festival of its kind, had to postpone its event in 2022 due to Covid-19. The event and its world-class selection of Marlborough wines, cuisine and entertainment will be back at Renwick Domain on Saturday, February 11, 2023 See: marlboroughwinefestival.com

Wairarapa Harvest Festival, Wairarapa

Celebrate the beginning of Wairarapa’s 2023 grape harvest season by inhaling some of the region’s best food and wine on February 17-18. Wineries, restaurants and food producers from the lower North Island will showcase their goods in a sheltered setting on the banks of the Ruamahunga River, just 10 minutes from Masterton and Carterton. See: wairarapaharvestfestival.co.nz

North Canterbury Wine & Food Festival, Waipara

The exceptional wines of North Canterbury’s wine region will be on show at this little festival under the oaks in Waipara’s Glenmark Domain. Over 4000 turned out for the last event in 2020 and its shaping up to be another spectacle in 2023. Tickets are free for those under 18, while sober drivers score the discounted rate of $24. The festival takes place on March 5, 2023. See: ncwineandfood.co.nz

Havelock Mussel and Seafood Festival, Havelock

Fresh seafood is the order of the day at the Havelock Mussel Festival.

Havelock Mussel Festival

Fresh seafood is the order of the day at the Havelock Mussel Festival.

All roads lead to the small town of Havelock on Saturday, March 11, 2023, as it celebrates its annual Mussel and Seafood Festival. Get your fill of not only the native greenshell mussel, but also a big helping of king salmon and the Pacific oyster which are also grown in the pristine waters of the Marlborough Sounds. This family-friendly event will also have a large helping of entertainment and musical acts. See: havelockmusselfestival.co.nz

Wildfoods Festival, Hokitika

A festival goer tries snails in garlic butter during the Hokitika Wildfoods Festival.

Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images

A festival goer tries snails in garlic butter during the Hokitika Wildfoods Festival.

Weird and wonderful gourmet food will be available from New Zealand and around the world – from huhu grubs and mountain oysters to cow udders and pig nipples on a stick. Dress up, try food you’ve never experienced, and chill out to some top tunes. The 2023 edition of Wildfoods Festival takes place on March 11, 2023 in Hokitika’s Cass Square. See: wildfoods.co.nz

Ripe Wānaka Wine & Food Festival, Wānaka

Wānaka’s Glendu Bay will play host to some of Central Otago’s finest wine and food producers on Saturday, March 18, 2023. Head along for wine tastings, cooking demonstrations and live music right next to the picture-perfect alpine lake. See: ripewanaka.nz

Southland Multicultural Food Festival, Invercargill

Expect more than cheese rolls, oysters and muttonbird at this annual roundup of Southland’s diverse cultures and flavors. The multicultural food festival on March 2023 will feature flavors spanning every continent, including bites like Brazilian coxinha croquettes and Nepalese momo dumplings. See: southlandmulticultural.co.nz

Pasifika Festival, Auckland

Experience the best of the South Pacific at the largest Pacific Island cultural festival of its kind in the world next March 18-19. The annual event now attracts about 60,000 visitors for a celebration of traditional island cultures, food, music and dance, with performances from the Cook Islands, Fiji, Hawai’i, Kiribati, Niue, Samoa, Tahiti, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Aotearoa . The festival will return in 2023 after Covid-19 forced the cancellation of February’s 30th anniversary celebrations. See: aucklandnz.com/pasifika

Flavors of Plenty, Bay of Plenty

Workshops and fresh food markets are part of Flavors of Plenty festival.


Workshops and fresh food markets are part of Flavors of Plenty festival.

Bay of Plenty’s food scene – spanning Waihī, Te Puke, Tauranga, Mount Maunganui, Ōhope and Whakatāne – will be on show at the three-day Flavors of Plenty. Expect all kinds of mouthwatering options, from workshops and demonstrations to tastings and pop-ups. It runs from March 24 to April 2, 2023. See: flavorsofplentyfestival.com

Lantern Festival, Auckland

Food is a main component of the Auckland Lantern Festival.

Bevan Read/Stuff

Food is a main component of the Auckland Lantern Festival.

After a three-year hiatus, the Lantern Festival will make a welcome return to Tāmaki Makaurau in 2023. First held in 2000, Auckland’s largest annual festival draws crowds of up to 100,000 people, and showcases traditional and contemporary Chinese culture and Auckland’s Chinese stories and communities. The festival date changes every year according to the Chinese lunar calendar and every year a new Chinese zodiac animal is celebrated. In 2023 it moves to the Manukau Sports Bowl. See: aucklandnz.com/lantern/history

Taranaki Beer Festival, New Plymouth

Bevvies go down even better in the sunniest place in New Zealand. This year’s edition of the Taranaki Beer Festival will showcase craft beers, cider and seltzer from over 30 breweries from all over New Zealand. The event will take over TSB Stadium from March 31-April 1, 2023 across several sessions. There will be a food village, mingle areas and entertainment. See: taranakibeerfestival.co.nz

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