Wellington’s Top Festivals

Dubbed by Lonely Planet as ‘the coolest little capital in the world’, it’s easy to see why millions flock to Wellington every single year. One of the main attractions of the capital of New Zealand is the incredible array of festivals that are hosted every single year in the city. Filled with fun, frivolities, and plenty of variety, Wellington is definitely the place to be if festivals are your idea of fun. Wellington plays host to festivals all year long, with at least one event popping up every month, and it’s set to keep adding new events to its calendar as they continue to grow in popularity. So, if you’re looking to visit Wellington any time soon, why not try to see if there’s a festival on at the same time?

The New Zealand Festival of the Arts

Wellington has cemented itself as the cultural capital of New Zealand, and this festival proves exactly why. It’s a month-long celebration that happens bi-annually, so try not to miss out! It has everything in it, from arts, dance, drama, performance, and culture. It certainly grabs the attention of the nation, with plenty of mystery involved in the lineup and the experience of it every two years. The New Zealand Festival of the Arts is an immersive celebration of the arts, so be sure to attend at least once if you’re here in February. 

Wellington Jazz Festival

Who doesn’t love a spot of jazz? The Wellington Jazz Festival is a fantastic festival that happens during the winter months in Wellington. So grab your favourite hot beverage, wrap up in some warm clothes, and descend to the streets of Wellington to dance the night away to the beautiful sounds of jazz music. With incredible musicians that are both local to Wellington, as well as international artists too, you’ll surely have a blast if you attend. 


Highball is strictly adults-only, as it celebrates all things alcohol. Be sure to celebrate this one safely, as you discover new and exciting drinks while attending this fun festival. It’s held in May each year, so you’ll surely warm your spirits while enjoying all that this festival has to offer. It’s a celebration of both New Zealand and international distilleries and imports, so be sure to brave all the wonderful creations, recipes, and classes that will be on offer. Of course, if you do attend this festival, make sure to have a designated driver to help you get home after.

The New Zealand Fringe Festival

The New Zealand Fringe Festival is a must-do event if you’re in New Zealand in March. Since 1990, it’s been a firm favourite amongst both locals and art lovers alike. It’s the perfect platform for up and coming talent from all over the world, so if you’re lucky you might see the next big star before they hit worldwide fame! It’s definitely an explosion of impressive talent, so always worth catching a show or two if you happen to be in Wellington. 


CubaDupa is the much-beloved festival that celebrates all that Wellington is about. With arts, culture, and all things funky, it’s definitely one that you have to attend at least once in your lifetime. It’s hosted on the world-famous Cuba Street on the last weekend of March. And when we say it’s a celebration, we mean it. Here, you can find everything from performances in dance and drama, to workshops, music, and so much more. It’s a free festival that truly encompasses the spirit of this magical city, so be sure to attend if you can!

Jim Beam Homegrown

We might have just saved the best for last! Jim Beam Homegrown is known as the jewel in the crown of New Zealand music festivals, and it’s clear to see why. Held on the waterfront in Wellington, it’s the best of the best in terms of music festivals, with plenty of big and bold acts from all over New Zealand. It’s a celebration of the country’s music scene, so expect local and national artists coming together to celebrate music with thousands of attendees each year. 

Wellington is a magical city, and this blog just proves it once more. From arts festivals to alcohol ones, and the best music that New Zealand has, Wellington always has something going on. While this city is pretty special to visit any time of the year, we bet that a visit during one of these festival periods will be even more fun. 

To experience all of Wellington's festival fun, hire a car from Wellington Airport today!

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