There’s always something on in Whanganui. Our annual events celebrate what makes Whanganui unique, from our rich heritage to our vibrant arts scene to our great sporting achievements. We also have plenty of smaller, niche events on every week, thanks to our vibrant and active community. Check out the listings below.
Cemetery Circuit Street Races
Of international fame and run for the first time in 1951, this event captures the hearts and minds of motorcycle enthusiasts everywhere! Formula 1, BEARS, classics and side cars, international and national legends, this street circuit is one mile long with eight corners, two railway crossings, an over-bridge and blind S’s beside the old Whanganui cemetery. If you have just a sniff of petrolhead in you, you won’t want to miss this. Held every year on Boxing Day (26th December) – one of the top events in Whanganui.
V8 thunder at Shelter View Jet Sprints Park in Whanganui!
The opening round of the NZ Jet Sprint Championships with up to forty boats speeding and slamming around a purpose-built course within a natural amphitheater ensuring you don’t miss out on any of the action! Adrenalin pumping and thrilling! Make sure you don’t miss this night event – the only one in NZ! One of several great motorsport events in Whanganui!
Vintage Weekend Whanganui
If you’re a vintage enthusiast or just yearn for yesteryear you must come to the Vintage Weekend, Whanganui’s premiere heritage event. Spread over three days, during Wellington Anniversary Weekend in January, we guarantee you will be transported to a bygone era! Music abounds at the Caboodle. Dress-ups, markets, bands, food and wine – its a few days of old-time fun and tomfoolery for all! One of the top events in Whanganui.
Whanganui Artists Open Studios
In late March, visit over 60 studios and galleries and over 150 artists studios with outstanding examples in glass, furniture, printmaking, ceramic, jewellery and painting. The trail points you towards local artists and studios nestled along the banks of the serene Whanganui river, or hidden in the hills in a huge old brick kiln. Great art, great prices and great experiences – The best showcase of many art events in Whanganui!
Whanganui Cricket Festival
Established over 10 years ago, the Wanganui Cricket Festival runs for 3 weeks in January for Year’s 5 to 10 with each age group competing for a 4 day period. The event also includes the NZ National Girls Cricket Tournament and competition is of the highest calibre. With traditionally spectacular weather in January the games are held at Victoria Park, Whanganui’s premiere cricket ground. A great time to support your budding cricketer and combine a family holiday!
Masters Games Whanganui
Centered at the Games Village in The War Memorial Centre, this nine-day event comprises more than 55 different sports and 2,400 individual events as well as nightly entertainment. Alternating between Whanganui and Dunedin each year and with offerings for ages 20 and up, the NZ Masters Games attracts competitors not only from all over New Zealand, but also from more than 20 countries internationally. A great time and great place!
Whanganui Opera Week
In support of the residential NZ Opera School held in January every year, young opera singers have the opportunity to develop their abilities with tutors of international standing. Public events include Master Classes, lunchtime and evening recitals and a gala concert. Who knows, you may be lucky enough to hear the next Pavarotti or Dame Kiri…!
YMCA Whanganui Holiday Programme
YMCA Community Centre
At the YMCA we run fun & active holiday programmes that your child will love these Summer holidays! Our Holiday Programmes are the perfect way for your kids to get out and about during the holidays, make new friends ...Read more
Cruising At 11
Enjoy river travel as it used to be as you listen to stories, take in the beautiful scenery and watch the homing pigeons during this unique and authentic cruise aboard New Zealand's only coal fired paddle steamer. ...Read more
Hakeke Street Community Centre & Library
Hakeke Street Community Centre & Library is celebrating its first birthday, and you are invited to join the party! Join us for a great range of activities: - Rainbow Story Time - Drag Queen story-time returns! Join ...Read more
Join us and enjoy a 1 hour afternoon cruise on the Whanganui River on New Zealand's only coal fired paddle steamer. Departing at 2pm and returning at 3pm. Boarding from 1.30pm. Visit the Riverboat Museum where you ...Read more
ASKYA x James Abberley
Lucky Bar + Kitchen
Producer/singer/songwriter ASKYA blends both Folk and Electronic elements and in this all acoustic show he'll be playing songs he's written the past few years living between Switzerland and Margaret River, Western ...Read more
Paul Callaghan: Dancing with Atoms
An invaluable survey of the work and legacy of Whanganui son and 2011 New Zealander of the year, Sir Paul Callaghan, who was one of New Zealand’s most exceptional scientists and public figures. After a career as a ...Read more
Operatunity Presents: 100 Glorious Years of Song
Whanganui War Memorial Centre
Join us on a joyous romp through time, celebrating the greatest songs of the 20th century. Famous items in this concert include; Imagine, Born Free, I Will Survive, We’ll Gather Lilacs, You’re the Top, Memory, ...Read more
Peter Peryer: The Art of Seeing
Shirley Horrocks’ richly illustrated portrait of the life and career of one of New Zealand’s most important photographers, who dedicated his life to seeing and making works of art out of the everyday. Introduced by ...Read more
Oh Sweet Nothings with Late Night Tales & Ocean Loaf
Lucky Bar + Kitchen
An Oh Sweet Nothings Emergency Procedures EP post-release tour gig in your area has been declared: Please loudly, and in a disorderly fashion, make your way to the designated Whanganui assembly point (Lucky Bar + ...Read more
The Original Gypsy Fair – Est'd 1990
For 30 years in its current format The Original Gypsy Fair has been travelling NZ and we will be back at the Kowhai park for our 18th Fair of the 2019/2020 season. Bigger, Brighter, Better. The Original Gypsy Fair ...Read more
Falun Dafa Meditaion Class
Virginia Lake Reserve
Brief Introduction to Falun Dafa. Falun Dafa (also called Falun Gong) is an advanced practice of Buddha school self-cultivation, founded by Mr. Li Hongzhi, the practice’s master. It is a discipline in which ...Read more
Richie and Rosie New Zealand Tour
Frank Bar & Eatery
Richie and Rosie blend traditional and contemporary sounds, outrageous punk banjo, powerful evocative fiddle with beautiful vocal harmonies. Richie, is an innovator of 5-string banjo much loved for his “mantra-groove ...Read more