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.
Whanganui Home & Lifestyle Show
Jubilee Stadium, Whanganui
The Whanganui Home & Lifestyle Show is the largest annual show in Wanganui. - Over 130 exhibitors - Over 10,000 visitors over the two day weekend. Whatever stage you are at, the Whanganui Home & Lifestyle Show is ...Read more
Royal Wanganui Opera House
Following on from the success, and rave reviews of Sound Canvas in 2019, Brass Whanganui brings a new fresh approach. We present you with a performance of music, visual art, movement and theatre, in a space which ...Read more
Cruising at 11
Enjoy river travel as it used to be as you listen to stories, take in the beautiful scenery, send a message with the homing pigeons and visit the engine room during this unique and authentic cruise aboard our Paddle ...Read more
Te Awa Reo - A Scientific Perspective
Dr Ian Fuller, Professor in Physical Geography at Massey University's School of Agriculture and Environment, will give an illustrated talk discussing the scientific findings made from the 8.75-metre core sample of ...Read more
Gag Night at Porridge Watson
A night of laughs that will leave you gagging for more! Featuring the best of local, national and sprinkles of international talent, Gag Night at Porridge Watson is Whanganui's hottest regular comedy night - taking up ...Read more
The Six Perfections - A Peaceful Path: Drop In Meditation
Wanganui Community Arts Centre
The Six Perfections – A Peaceful Path with Birgit Saunders Buddha’s example of peace and compassion has made a lasting impression in the world and inspired many people to enter a spiritual path. By following in ...Read more
Tina Simply The Best
Royal Wanganui Opera House
Get the electrifying concert experience of Tina Turner with this full stage production brimming with Tina hits from the 60s, 70s, 80s & 90s. Featuring the powerful, raspy vocals and thrilling stage presence of ...Read more
Bic Runga Tour
Royal Wanganui Opera House
This spring, the internationally heralded pop songstress is excited to tour select New Zealand locations, celebrating both the warming of weather and the freedom to perform. With Bic on this tour is her all-star band, ...Read more
Wanganui Music Society Concert
St Paul's Presbyterian Church
Linden Loader, Lesley Graham and Roger Wilson return to Whanganui to perform a programme of part-songs and traditional ballads, accompanied by Julie Coulson. Solos, duets and trios - music you will know and love, ...Read more
Glass Art Workshops Sundays 2020: Introduction to Kiln Glass
The Glass Factory
Glass artist David Traub is holding his Sunday workshops in 2020: Introduction to Kiln Glass. Programme content: - David will demonstrate the basics of fusing, slumping, using coloured glass pieces, powders and frits ...Read more
Ha the Unclear - 'Strangers' Single Release Tour
New New New & Under the Radar Present Ha the Unclear: Strangers New Zealand single release tour On their most comprehensive NZ tour since the release of 2018 album Invisible Lines, and their first release since the ...Read more
Die! Die! Die! '450/ I SEEK MISERY' Release Tour
Celebrating the 7 inch release of 'I Seek Misery' & '450', New Zealand punks Die! Die! Die! begin a nationwide tour on October 30th. Banished Music and Under The Radar presents Die! Die! Die! '450/ I SEEK MISERY' ...Read more