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…!
La Fiesta is New Zealand's coolest little festival showcasing women. Events happening all over our beautiful Whanganui town from 9 February right through until 8 March. Running annually every February and March, the ...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
Call Out: 2020 Pattillo Whanganui Arts Review
The Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui is calling for submissions for the 2020 Pattillo Whanganui Arts Review. Submission day is Tuesday 18 February 10:30am - 4:30pm. The Sarjeant Gallery is thrilled to ...Read more
Coffee & Cake Cruise
A special 90 minute cruise available to SuperGold card holders. Includes a complimentary Coffee and Cake while enjoying a relaxing cruise up the Whanganui River. Please remember to bring your Supergold Card with you ...Read more
Enriching Relationships - Drop In Meditation Classes
Wanganui Community Arts Centre
New drop-in class topic. Enriching Relationships with Birgit Saunders. "Learning to cherish others is the best solution to our daily problems, and it is the source of all our future happiness and good fortune." - ...Read more
Hayden Chisholm and Unwind
Lucky Bar + Kitchen
Unwind is saxophonist Hayden Chisholm’s New Zealand-based project, and tours annually. The group performs original music that, although flavoured by chamber music, Indian raga and various folk traditions, is somewhere ...Read more
The Big Bike Film Night
Prepare to be inspired! The Big Bike Film Night is on a mission sharing the best cycling short films from around the world with you! Showcasing our 2020 collection that has everything a cycle-centric audience ...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
Beginners Calligraphy: Foundational Hand
The Foundational Hand is the ideal script when embarking on learning calligraphy as it underpins the lettering in many other calligraphy scripts. It is a simple and elegant script and has many uses when writing ...Read more
Hipango Park Picnic Cruise
Join us for our annual Hipango Park Picnic Cruise. An awesome cruise on the beautiful Whanganui River, making our way to Hipango Park. Bring your own picnic and enjoy the amazing countryside and partake in old school ...Read more
The Merchant of Venice
Bason Botanic Gardens
William Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice" performed outside in the beautiful Bason Botanic Gardens. Tickets will be on sale from the Royal Whanganui Opera House from November 2019. Limited tickets at the front ...Read more
Ben Hurley The Endless Summer Tour
Lucky Bar + Kitchen
Ben Hurley, the face you know and love from the TV is coming to your home town live at your local! Winner of all of the awards, The Billy T Award, The Fred Dagg Award, Comedy Guild 2016 Best Male Comedian & Best MC ...Read more