Embark on a trail to check all the spectacular light and art installations in our public spaces for Matariki Taimoana.
First time celebrator of Matariki? We've got you covered for everything you need to see and do during Matariki Taimoana in the city centre this June and July.
What is Matariki?
Taking place mid-winter every year, Matariki signals the Māori New Year, and begins with the rising of the star cluster of the same name. It appears on slightly different dates each year, as it is dependent on Maramataka (the Māori Lunar calendar) and its phases. The appearance of the Matariki cluster brings the old lunar year to an end, marking the beginning of a new one. Traditionally, Tohunga (experts) would look to the Matariki star cluster to forsee the success of the coming season's crop harvest. Bright, clear stars promised a warm and successful season. Hazy stars, however, warned of cold weather and poor crops.
Traditionally - and still today - festivities are conducted to celebrate Matariki, including live music and cultural performances, storytelling, the sharing of kai (food) and more. Matariki festivities showcase and highlight the tangata whenua (local people) view of the world. That again is present in this year's Matariki Taimoana festivities on the city centre's waterfront, with guided tours led by experts from this year's host iwi, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei.
You can see the Matariki cluster for yourself from early July! Before sunrise, look to the north-east horizon and search for Tautoru - Orion - ''the pot'' constellation. Trace a line northwards from the three stars of the pot, look for a faint sparkle of tiny dots, about the same width as the pot is long. This is the Matariki star cluster.
This year, over 20 incredible events, installations and activations will take place along the city centre's waterfront as part of Matariki Taimoana. From Silo Park to the Viaduct, Commercial Bay, Britomart and beyond, there's something for everyone. Check out these must-know highlights below to get inspired, and planning your Matariki celebrations!
Take a trail to see the range of artworks on display
From the Viaduct to Te Tōangaroa, the Auckland Art Gallery and more, there's incredible art and light installations on display during Matariki Taimoana, check out our article below for the best route to take to view them all.