Gardens magic

Photo by Peter Monk, via Wellington City Council

Gardens Magic (free)

Wellington, Botanical Gardens, 12 - 31 January

Wellington’s favourite free concert series is back! For three weeks, Wellingtonians are treated to music and lights in the scenic setting of the Botanical Gardens. The show starts at 8pm each evening, however we recommend that you get there early to grab a good spot. Bring along a picnic blanket and some snacks, invite your friends and enjoy! This year’s programme includes Wellington Brass Band, New Zealand Opera and a choir tribute to Elton John amongst many others! For more information, click here  

Van Gogh

Van Gogh Alive

Wellington, TSB Arena, 12 - 28 January
Christchurch, Air Force Museum of New Zealand, 19 February - 11 March
Auckland, Spark Arena, 15 April - 6 May

Did you know that Vincent Van Gogh only sold one painting during his lifetime? This is one of the facts you will learn at Van Gogh Alive, which is an art show like no other. Van Gogh Alive is an interactive experience where you can view the artist’s most famous works. The walls and surfaces seem to come alive with the animated projections, all of which are set to classical music. The magical experience lasts around 45 minutes. For more information and tickets, click here  



New Plymouth - TSB Bowl Of Brooklands - 23 January
Wellington - TSB Arena - 12 February
Christchurch - Horncastle Arena - 20 March

If you enjoy dance music or orchestras, then this is the event for you! At each event, Synthony’s full orchestra perform dance classics, accompanied by singers, DJs, lights, lasers and projectors. It’s part classical symphony and part dance rave! The first show of 2021 will take place in Taranaki at the TSB Bowl of Brooklands. This is a fantastic outdoor venue, set in New Plymouth’s Pukekura Park which even has its own free zoo. Bring your glowsticks and get ready to dance the night away at any of the three planned events. For more information and tickets, click here  

Waitangi Day

Waitangi Day (free)

Porirua, Te Rauparaha Area, 6 February

Waitangi Day commemorations take place across the country on February 6, a public holiday marking New Zealand’s founding document Te Titiriti O Waitangi. Fair Way (which includes iStudent Complaints) will have a stand at the Waitangi Day festival in Porirua where you can come meet our friendly team, enjoy live performances on the main stage, browse the vendors and get involved in activities including waka tours (traditional Māori canoes). We recommend finding out what events are on near you, or visiting us in Porirua if you are in the greater Wellington region. For more on Waitangi Day in Porirua, click here

Napier Art Deco

Napier Art Deco Festival

Napier, 17 - 21 February

The best excuse to get glammed up, Great Gatsby style! Bring costumes or clothing inspired by the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s for this fun filled weekend of events. Napier is known as the Art Deco capital of New Zealand, as many of the buildings were rebuilt in this famous style following an earthquake in 1931. Over the five days of this festival, you can enjoy over 300 fun themed events or soak up the atmosphere as vintage cars and enthusiasts hit the Hawke’s Bay streets. For more information, click here

Splore Festival

Splore Festival

Auckland, Tāpapakanga Regional Park, 26 – 28 February

This three-day festival is held on the shores of the Tāpapakanga Regional Park, a beautiful setting in the Auckland region. Well known for its party atmosphere and eccentric outfits, the event includes performances from famous acts such as Shapeshifter, art and workshops with a strong community feel. The Saturday night is often the highlight, but many people camp and stay at the festival for all three days. For more information and tickets, click here

Electric Ave

Electric Avenue

Christchurch, Hagley Park, 27 February

The Electric Avenue Music Festival, held in Hagley Park, is Christchurch’s biggest musical event. Artists this year include Benee, Fat Freddy’s Drop and Kora. South Island festival goers will enjoy the party atmosphere at this fun one-day event. Cricket fans might recognise Hagley Park as home to Hagley Oval, hosting the Blackcaps and teams from Pakistan, Australia and Bangladesh in 2021.  We recommend making the most of the weekend in Christchurch by exploring the wider city and suburbs. If you are into cycling, there are some fantastic downhill mountain bike trails. For more information and tickets, click here



Wellington, Waterfront area, 20 March 2021

Held annually in Wellington since 2008, Homegrown highlights the best artists from around New Zealand. This year’s event features six stages and over 50 acts. Performers include L.A.B, Ladi6, Shihad, Dragon and many more! With a mixture of Dub and Roots, Reggae, EDM, Rock, Pop & Hip Hop, international students can discover homegrown artists to suit their taste. Set in the heart of Wellington, Homegrown is a great excuse for a trip to city famed as the coolest little capital in the world. For more information and tickets, click here

Akl Cultural Fest

Auckland International Cultural Festival (free)

Auckland, Mt Roskill War Memorial Park, 28 March

International students are sure to enjoy Auckland International Cultural Festival. This is a celebration of food, music, sports, arts and culture from around the world. You can visit stalls, watch performances and join in community activities. You can also meet the Fair Way and iStudent Complaints team on the day! For more information, click here


Who are iStudent Complaints and what can we help you with?
iStudent Complaints is an independent dispute resolution scheme established by the New Zealand Government. Our objective is to encourage swift settlement of contractual and financial disputes between international students and their providers in New Zealand. As an independent and impartial service, we are not affiliated with any Education providers.

Why did we do this blog?
Even if we need to step in one day to help you resolve a dispute, we want you to enjoy studying and living in our amazing country as much as we do. To that end, we’ve created this content so that you may continue to explore and experience the best New Zealand can offer.