The heart of the city will light up for three weeks over the Matariki period with a range of spectacular illuminating installations. From a giant waharoa in Silo Park to an incredible water installation, there's plenty to see. 

Don't miss the following installations below - and click through on each for more details - and check out the full programme of activations and events on offer as part of Matariki ki te Manawa here

Light Shows

Art installations

Stroll around the city centre exploring these incredible pieces of Māori artwork

Start at Smith & Caughey's window display

MĀTAHI is a new installation that takes a contemporary look at the star cluster for Matariki. MĀTAHI brings kōrero (conversation) of waka (canoe) and kete (baskets) to the window of Smith & Caughey’s store in Queen Street, reminding us of the water that flows beneath our feet as we traverse this historic street.

Te mātahi o te tau
Te kohinga whetū i te uma o Ranginui
E pīataata mai ana, whakaataata i te rangi
E tohu ana i te tau hou Māori e

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Head over to Elliott Street to see Taurima

Expected to become a Matariki Festival super-highlight, check out Elliott Street and discover Taurima where pātaka kai (food storehouse) symbolism will be suspended above the street in beautiful fluoro-neon art.

Narrative from Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, designs from Lissy Robinson-Cole (Ngāti Kahu and Ngāti Hine), Rudi Robinson-Cole (Waikato, Ngaruahine, Ngāti Pāoa, Te Arawa), Ataahua Papa (Ngāti Koroki Kahukura, Ngāti Mahuta), and Angus Muir Design.

Rudi and Lissy

Journey down to Britomart for some incredible photography

Explore Te Ara Tahuhu, Galway Street and the Atrium on Takutai where a portrait series is on display. 'What Matariki Means to Me' is by photographer Mataara Stokes featuring students from Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Hoani Waititi Marae who also answer the question ‘What does Matariki mean to you?’

Image credit: Mataara Stokes

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Wander along the Waterfront towards Viaduct Harbour to IWA

IWA, a new water installation off lookout structure Te Mata Topaki, conceived and curated by Tuhirangi Blair (Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Awa) will be illuminated throughout Matariki with a special activation each night at 6pm and 8pm.

The light show (approx. five minutes long) comes alive using colour, lighting, sound and other special elements to create an immersive experience. The lookout structure features the mahi of Graham Tipene (Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, Ngāti Kahu, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Hauā, Ngāti Manu).

Te Mata Topaki is located in Viaduct Harbour, Waitematā Plaza, 117 Customs Street West.

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Continue along to Silo Park and marvel at Te Tomokanga ki te Pō

Be sure to check out Te Tomokanga ki te Pō – the gateway to the night by artist Graham Tipene (Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, Ngāti Kahu, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Hauā, Ngāti Manu). This incredible mahi toi is a glowing waharoa standing 26 feet tall. The waka on either side of the waharoa represents the harbour; the two internal pou represent male and female; and the two hands and the bottom are the tupuna, Tumutumuwhenua, reaching through the earth.

Matariki on the Waterfront

Buildings & landmarks lit up for Matariki

While you're out exploring make sure to look up, down left and right at the various buildings and landmarks lit up in vibrant orange, purple and pinks to celebrate the Māori new year. 

  • Queen Street Lights
  • Viaduct Harbour, Marina Seawall
  • KZ1 (The Big Boat from the 1988 America's Cup, outside the Maritime Museum)
  • PwC Tower
  • Sky Tower

Join a free guided walk

For the full line-up of events and activations as part of Matariki ki te Manawa, click here


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Last updated: 19 July 2023