June and the official start of winter is upon us and there are plenty of things happening in Auckland city centre to mark in your diaries, from major exhibition openings to photography and film festivals and more. Check out our evolving list of top things to do below. 


Pink Legs with Diamantes - Virginia Leonard
Image credit: Gow Langsford Gallery website

Breath Holder, exhibition by Virginia Leonard | June 10 - July 4

Celebrate artist Virginia Leonard's debut exhibition, Breath Holder, at the Gow Langsford Gallery. As poems constructed from her clay language, Leonard’s ceramics delight in the viscera of her body. The large structures recall the quotidian shapes of vases, jugs, and urns, but are abstracted, morphed into melting masses of sticky resin and bulging lumps. See here for full exhibition details.


Live Jazz Nights at Wynyard Grill | Thursdays 6:30-9pm

Every Thursday this June (and continuing until October) the Wynyard Grill welcomes you for a night of live jazz, classic cocktails and black & white films of yesteryear. Booking are essential, see here for full details.

I extend my arms

I Extend My Arms | June 5-19

Visit Aotea Square and immerse yourself in the interactive screen-based work that transforms all who pass through into geometric avatars that move in real time across the larger-than-life Auckland Live Digital Stage, leaving colourful trails in their wake. See viewing details, here.


$10 The Cinema of Luis Buñuel Film Series | June 8 - 21

Catch all eight of The Cinema of Luis Bunuel Film Series playing at Academy Cinemas for a very special ticket price of only $10! From June 8-21, Academy Cinemas is proud to present a return to their classic programming with a two-week ‘Cinema of Luis Buñuel’ film series, featuring a selection of eight of the iconoclast director’s best features. See here for more details and to book tickets.

Zhang Xiao

Image credit: Zhang Xiao, Coastline No.2 2009 © Zhang Xiao, courtesy Blindspot Gallery

Auckland Art Gallery reopens with a new exhibition | June 13 

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki is set to reopen its doors to the public from 10am on Saturday 13 June with the launch of a new – and very timely – exhibition, Civilisation, Photography, Now (until 18 October), alongside extended presentations of Enchanted Worlds: Hokusai, Hiroshige and the Art of Edo Japan (until 16 August) and contemporary art show, Honestly Speaking: The Word, the Body and the Internet (until 30 August). For more about Civilisation, Photography, Now click here, Gallery Director Kirsten Paisley says of the exhibition: it examines the hyperconnected world that we live in today – a complex, interwoven system that we’ve watched shutdown and change immeasurably under COVID-19 – so this exhibition is more prescient than ever. More than 200 original photographic images from around the world will have us further consider the way we live, travel and connect. 


Auckland Festival of Photography | On now - until June 15 

The Auckland Festival of Photography will be in full swing from Thursday May 28 - Sunday June 14, with installations popping up around the city. From projections, to lightboxes, and large-scale outdoor activations, the heart of the city is turning into an outdoor photography gallery. With a self-guided tour over 9 nights, explore signature photographic projects at your favourite Auckland city locations including Silo Park, Wynyard Quarter, Queens Wharf, Freyberg Place and Aotea Square. With map in hand, tour your way around central Auckland exploring the festival's photographic projects including large scale outdoor work, photographic light boxes and digital screen projections. See here for more information on this year's Festival of Photography


Matariki Festival 2020 | June 20 - July 15 

This year the Matariki Festival will take place from June 20 until July 15. Matariki season is a time to be with family and friends, reflect on the past, remember those who are not with us and prepare for the year ahead. It marks the beginning of a new year for Māori culture when the Matariki star cluster (Pleiades constellation) rises. There will be plenty happening in the city centre to celebrate Matariki, including a light show over the Harbour Bridge. From 6pm to midnight during June 24-28, the Vector lights will shine for Matariki Festival. Head down to Silo Park to grab the perfect viewing spot and enjoy your night as you watch the colourful lights dart across the bridge.

Urban Explorers

Become an Urban Explorer | Now - until June 28 

Get active and competitive with this free family activity brought to you by Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland Live and New Zealand Maritime Museum. Urban Explorers is a self-guided trail through some of Auckland’s coolest landmarks. Groups will need to work together to complete the missions and solve the puzzle. Some answers will be outside, some you will be about a boat, some will be about great New Zealand artist’s and some will need a photo or video to complete. Missions are scattered throughout the city centre with the majority around the Aotea Centre, Auckland Art Gallery and the New Zealand Maritime Museum. Simply play the game by downloading the Goosechase app. See here for all the details. 


Reflecting on the outbreak of the Korean war | June 27

Join the Ellen Melville Centre on June 27 to commemorate and learn about the Korean War. This year marks 70 years since the beginning of the war in 1950 and the team from Splice will be hosting a day of Korean activities, food, and educational resources. See here for full details. 


English Writing for Kids | June 9

The Ellen Melville Centre is hosting a free English writing class for kids aged 7-13 where English is their second language. The friendly and knowledgeable volunteers look forward to helping children to write English creatively and to express themselves and their ideas well. See all the details, here.

Auckland Writer's Festival | On now until July 26 

The Auckland Writers Festival 2020 Winter Online Series is live now! Continuing once a week for 13 weeks, three writers chat every Sunday morning with series host Paula Morris - who will read from their work and answer audience questions. Each episode features live on Sunday mornings at 9am, free to view on the Festival's YouTube and Facebook channels, and will then be uploaded to their website, where you can also see the programme now. Authors appearing in the series include Bernardine Evaristo, Ann Patchett, Neil Gaiman, Barbara Ewing, Richard Ford, Elizabeth Knox, Robert Macfarlane, Philippe Sands, Lisa Taddeo, Alan Bollard, Chanel Miller, Freya Daly Sadgrove, Simon Armitage, Maggie O’Farrell, Deborah Eisenberg, Wallace Shawn, Caroline Barron, Amy McDaid, Anthony Byrt and more.


American Factory, winner of the Academy Award for Best Documentary 2019

Doc Edge Festival 2020 | 12 June - 5 July 2020

In 2020, Doc Edge is moving its full festival online, translating the physical festival to an innovative digital environment. Doc Edge intends to reimagine the collective experience of the Festival by creating digital spaces for interaction and conversation, including the popular Q&A sessions with filmmakers. More than simply a library of online content, Doc Edge will bring the in-cinema festival experience into the home. Keep watching for the full programme announcement here

Chocolate essentials workshop

Chocolate Essentials Workshop at New Zealand School of Food and Wine | 6 June 

One of winter's (and every season really!) great comfort foods, discover the diversity of chocolate in this one day workshop at the New Zealand School of Food & Wine as you make lots of tempting goodies to take home. Expand your understanding of the ingredients, temperatures, techniques and tools involved with recipes on the day including chocolate gateau, ganache, tempering and chocolate runouts and spun sugar. See here for more details

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International Day of Yoga | 21 June A day marked to celebrate one of the most ancient practices ever, head to one of the city cente's many yoga studios to take time for yourself to open your mind and re-ignite your spirit. See our list here for inspiration on where to go to celebrate international day of yoga.

The Good George

Dinner with the squad in a private glass house | The Good George | North Wharf

Dine under the stars and watch the world go by at The Good George on North Wharf. Book your private dining experience in one of the private glass house now. 


Together Again | Tuning Fork | 06 June

This weekend marks the second weekly session of Together Again - a brand new series of small weekly (physically distanced) events live at The Tuning Fork! Presented by Live Nation and backed by Vodafone, Together Again will feature this Saturday, the New Zealand rising indie stars, Daffodils!

Jonathan Pasion

Join a cooking class with Chef Jonathan Pasion | Auckland Fish Market | 17 June

Join international celebrity chef Jonathan Pasion as he teaches class participants how to prepare the ultimate seafood feast that is perfect for entertaining guests or enjoying with family.

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30% off Auckland Transport buses and trains | June

Throughout June this year, there will be a 30% discount on AT HOP fares for adults and tertiary students who travel on weekdays after 9am and before 3pm. The discount also applies after 6:30pm, until the end of service, Monday to Friday only. Click here to read the full details on AT's June discount.

Last updated: 14 July 2020