ALERT LEVEL 3 - STEP 2 UPDATE: Events are postponed or cancelled while we are at Alert Level 3. Many cafes and restaurants are open for contactless pick up or delivery, see here for more and retailers have re-opened, with customers able to enter premises, wearing face coverings and keeping 2-meters apart. Public facilities like libraries, galleries and museums can also reopen with face coverings and 2-meter physical distancing required.

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Archived: Top Things to Do This Queen's Birthday Weekend

Next weekend, we celebrate the Queen's birthday which means we get an extra day to relax and recharge. The Queen's birthday on June 1 is our last public holiday until October, so we think it's important to make the most of the upcoming long weekend and plan some fun things to do to get out and about. We've listed our top recommendations for you to consider for the long weekend below. There's so much to do! From night markets, to concerts, comedy and high tea, we are sure you're going to want to pencil some of these into your weekend plans.

Roaring 20's High Tea | Hotel De Brett | Saturday & Sunday 1-4pm


There's no other way to celebrate the Queen's birthday other than with a high tea. Book yourself a table at the Hotel De Brett's Roaring 20's High Tea, and take a step back in time to the decade that the Queen was born in, the 1920's! The "1920's-inspired high tea menu will tantalise the taste buds of all cake and cocktail lovers, and the gramophone sounds of the Great Gatsby era will have you tapping your toes". For more information and to book your table, click here.

Together Again | Tuning Fork | 29 & 30 May

This weekend marks the beginning 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 a rotating line-up of local musicians, comedians and performers. Friday looks set up to be a night of comedy with Urzila Carlson taking the stage, accompanied by comedians Nick Rado, Ray O'Leary & Ruby Esther. Saturday night, soul singer-songwriter Hollie Smith is the star of the show as her angelic voice travels through the crowd. 

Event information and booking details:

Auckland Night Markets | 115 Fanshawe Street | Sunday 31 May, 5pm-11pm


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End your Sunday by heading to the new Auckland Night Market location on Fanshawe Street. Eat your way around the world with the range of international vendors at the market and enjoy the performances by local musicians and artists. 

Take a self-guided photography art tour | Auckland Festival of Photography | 29-31 May 

Auckland Festival of Photography

This year, the Festival of Photography is going digital (for festival information, click here). As well as the digital festival, there will also be installations popping up around the city and this weekend holds the first three nights in which you can take a self guided tour of the displays. Tour your way around central Auckland exploring the festival's photographic projects including large scale outdoor work, photographic light boxes and digital screen projections.

It’s EASY and FUN! View the map and route online, here.

Some of the works light up so we encourage you to view the photography work after dusk - we highly encourage the following times / stops and recommend allowing 2-3hrs to complete the self guided tour.

Self-guided tour route:

  • 5:30-5:50pm, Silo Park
    View outdoor work at Silo number 7 & Gantry Walls (these are located at the end of Beaumont Street).
    - Head toward Te Wero Bridge in the Viaduct Harbour (allow approximately 10 min for walking)
  • 6:10-6:30pm, Queens Wharf
    View large scale prints: photojournalism work by Werner Bischof - from the Werner Bishof archive
    - Head up Queen Street and onto High Street to view next installation at Freyberg Place (allow approximately 10 mins for walking)
  • 6:50-7:10pm, Freyberg Place & the Ellen Melville Centre
    View lightboxes featuring photographer Judith Crispin's work and window screening work at the Ellen Melville Centre
    - Head back up Queen Street and into Aotea Sqaure
  • 7:30pm, Aotea Sqaure
    View the large-scale outdoor Digital Screens projection work on the Aotea Centre (screening starts at 7:30pm)

The Classic 'Comeback' Comedy All-Stars | The Classic Comedy Club | 29 & 30 May 7:30-10pm


Laugh your socks off at the Classic Comedy Club in their first few nights back up and running. The Classic is known their All-star comedy nights, so we are sure you'll be in for an hilarious night out! Get a group together and book yourself a private table for the night. For more details and booking information, click here

Explore online collections with Auckland Art Gallery and curate your own exhibition 

Enchanted Worlds virtual tour_0

While Auckland Art Gallery prepare to open its physical doors in late June, it is now open to all Aucklanders, New Zealanders and, in fact, anyone in the world, via a new digital exhibition platform that it has just launched. It invites all art lovers to access the Gallery's once-in-a-lifetime exhibition, Enchanted Worlds: Hokusai, Hiroshige and the Art of Edo Japan, as an interactive virtual tour.  Enchanted Worlds is the first exhibition of original paintings by the leading artists and schools of Japan’s Edo period (1603–1868) to be held in New Zealand. But, just two weeks after its opening, Auckland Art Gallery was required to close the exhibition’s doors as part of New Zealand’s response to the global outbreak of COVID-19. This new virtual tour platform transforms the Gallery’s exhibition into an engaging digital experience with in-depth interpretation, high-resolution digital reproductions and immersive soundtrack - check it out now via web browser on computer, tablet or smartphone devices. There are three different tour experiences to choose from: a family tour with fun facts and art-making activities; a curator’s highlight tour that covers insights and stories on Edo-period poetry, music, theatre, fashion and visual arts; or an in-depth exhibition experience with extended artwork labels.

The Gallery also invites you to take on the role of curator and put together a mini exhibition with five artworks from their collection. Simply select the works you want to view using a search tool, give your exhibition a title and explain your curatorial creative process! Curate your exhibition now by clicking here. You can also view some of the Gallery's other exhibitions online now too, click here for more

Walk the Walk fashion tour | Throughout the city centre


The New Zealand Fashion Museum has worked with Walk Auckland to reveal the traces that remain of Auckland's inner city fashion history. "The Walk the Walk tour will peel back the layers of this often overlooked aspect of our cultural heritage, revealing the important role of women in and at the helm of this significant inner city industry from 1867 to the present". This tour will take approximately 1.5 hours and is entirely guided, all you have to do is download the Walk Auckland app on your device and follow the map. Each location has a voice recording that will tell you all about the fashion history there! 

Pick up an ice-cream from Giapo and sit by the water


Treat your loved one to an ice cream date on the waterfront. Pop in to Giapo and get a delicious ice cream creation! Take your dessert and walk through Britomart and down to Queen’s Wharf to take in the views of our wonderful Hauraki Gulf, or if you choose to go later in the evening, stick around Britomart and enjoy your treat as you walk below the beautiful twinkling lights strung up above. 

Hire a bike or e-bike from Adventure Capital and explore the city centre


From Saturday 23rd May, Adventure Capital will be offering contactless bike and e-bike hire from their base in Wyndham Street – and some new offers to help you get out and explore the central city.
Book and pay online and they will email through instructions on how to pickup and return, as well as any special advice you need to make the most of your experience (such as how to use the e-bike and fit a helmet correctly).

Do you have a loved ones birthday coming up? Give the gift of an e-bike adventure in the city centre. Adventure Capital now have gift cards available for purchase online.

If you enjoyed your ride so much you'd like to make it a regular thing, the new Membership Cards will be right up your ally. These new Membership Cards are great for locals living nearby who want to enjoy regular rides around the city. Be a tourist in your own town while supporting local cafes and attractions with the self-guided bike tours.

Watch Chekhov’s The Seagull | Auckland Theatre Company 

Chekhov's famous characters are reimagined with a Kiwi twist and congregate over Zoom. In a direct commentary of our world in lockdown, the characters are still searching for meaning in their lives while battling love, jealousy, dissatisfaction, dreams, hopes and plans - not to mention malfunctioning video calls! This drama all plays out in self-isolation and over virtual interactions with each other.

Chekhov's The Seagull will be presented in four 30 minute episodes at 7pm on Friday's starting from May 8. Watch the first two episodes here and keep an eye out for the final two episodes coming soon! Chekhov's The Seagull is free to view via the Auckland Theatre Company Facebook page and YouTube channel.

Watch TOSCA free on TVNZ | NZ Opera | 31 May, 10am


New Zealand Opera’s 2015 production of Tosca will be broadcast on TVNZ channel 1 this Queen’s Birthday weekend: Sunday 31 May at 10am.
This opera features home-grown opera superstar Simon O’Neill alongside formidable Kiwi singer Phillip Rhodes (Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Kahungunu), and stunning Irish soprano Orla Boylan. 

Love, lust and political intrigue fill the world of the passionate singer Tosca (Orla Boylan). When her lover, Cavaradossi (Simon O’Neill), is imprisoned by police chief Scarpia (Phillip Rhodes), Tosca takes matters into her own hands with dramatic consequences. Set in Italy in the 1950s, the visuals lend themselves to life shadowed by the mafia and post WWII politics.

See a small snippet of what to expect, here. For full details, check out the Facebook event and NZ Opera website

Enjoy two hours of free parking or $5 evening and weekend rates. Find out more. Ride on public transport from as little as $2 each way. Find out more.
Last updated: 08 September 2021

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