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…!
Whanganui Heritage Month
Held for the first time in 2019, Whanganui Heritage Month is a celebration of Whanganui’s built heritage. Whanganui has one of New Zealand’s highest concentrations of intact heritage buildings, and they give our city a unique character. There are also a number of Māori sites of significance including St Paul’s Memorial Church, Putiki, and marae along the Whanganui River Rd to Jerusalem.
The calendar will be full of tours, seminars, exhibitions, cultural events and more, all running through October 2020.
What To Do When Things Go Wrong - Meditation Course
Wanganui Community Arts Centre
'What to do when things go wrong'. When things go wrong, it can feel as if the world is just not fair. We look for someone to blame, and and it is pretty easy to feel sorry for ourselves. But self-pity is a ...Read more
Volunteer Morning at Gordon Park Scenic Reserve
Gordon Park Scenic Reserve
Join DOC and Friends of Gordon Park to help conserve this precious remnant of Kahikatea dominated forest in the Whanganui Area. Bring your own gardening gloves, spade and drink bottle - all other equipment will be ...Read more
Nature Art - Our Feathered Friends
Gonville Café Library
Join local artists Rei Hendry and Jacqueline Brand-Holt along with DOC Rangers to create some "Feathered Friends" at the Gonville Library. There will be options to create masks, 3D birds and/or your own ...Read more
Nature Talks - Geomophological change of the Whanganui River
Join Dr Roger Shand for a Nature Talk focusing on "Geomorphological change in the vicinity of the Whanganui River mouth: 1840–2020". Colonial settlement of Whanganui was enabled initially by the navigability of the ...Read more
Conservation Stories with DOC Rangers
Davis Central City Library
Come join DOC Rangers at the Davis Library Story Time to celebrate Conservation Week. There will be conservation themed stories and then we'll explore what's in a DOC rangers backpack. This event is part of ...Read more
Cori Gonzalez-Macuer Live
Lucky Bar + Kitchen
Lucky Bars Pro Comedy Night is back at it with another night loaded with laughs, so grab a group and mark out your calendar for a night of hilarity. CORI GONZALEZ-MACUER. Cori is one of New Zealands comedy icons, ...Read more
Dave Dobbyn - Open Up Tour
Royal Wanganui Opera House
Dave Dobbyn is welcoming New Zealanders' freedom to come together in music by hosting a series of shows in August. “My last performance was on Zoom for the Music Helps charity that provides assistance to all those ...Read more
Dune Planting at Castlecliff Beach
Come join Castlecliff Coastcare, Kiwi Conservation Club and DOC to plant Spinifex and Pingao on the foredunes at Castlecliff Beach. Meet at the Duncan Pavilion - Bring your own gloves, spade and drink bottle, all ...Read more
NZ Mountain Film Festival 2020
The NZ Mountain Film Festival National Tour takes award winning films to audiences around NZ from August 1 onwards. Whanganui screening times: Kiwi Made - 6th August, 7.30pm (doors open 7pm). Best of Wanaka - ...Read more
Whanganui Winter Pride Party 2020
Stellar Restaurant and Bar
Why have one Pride Party a year when you can have two?! Stellar Bar is the place to be Friday August 28th from 9pm for our first Winter Pride Party with special guests - Felicity Frockaccino + Rhubarb Rouge. DJ Myk ...Read more
Royal Wanganui Opera House
With Rose Lu and You're Gonna' Die in Bed. Anthonie Tonnon is celebrating the release of the song, ‘Mataura Paper Mill,’ with a special one-off show at the Opera House in Whanganui. The show is open to attend ...Read more
Government Pest, Old Man Pine, Mr Sudden Death
Lucky Bar + Kitchen
Palmerston North bands Government Pest and Old Man Pine will be travelling over to Whanganui to bring their swamp rocking sounds to Lucky Bar and Kitchen on Sat 29th August with local band Mr Sudden Death also ...Read more