Raise a glass to the end of 2022 with Aotearoa’s summer food & beverage experiences, from wine and cider tastings, BBQ parties, and beer and gin festivals, to curations of locally sourced gastronomical wonders.
New Zealand summer is a three-month-long party, and you’re invited. The country pulls no punches when it comes to festivals, and in due fashion, summer 22/23 is no different. Wine, beer, gin, and cider enthusiasts can rejoice, with enough happening to pack a hefty calendar for festival-goers. Grab your reusable cutlery, slap on some sunscreen and step into food & beverage paradise; bonus points if you come packing an appetite.
Here are 10 food & beverage festivals to catch this summer in New Zealand!
Taste Tasman Beer, Cider & Food Festival
When: January 14, 2023, 1 PM onwards
Where: Rutherford Park, Nelson [18+]
Set in Nelson, in the Tasman District, Taste Tasman will showcase the region’s best hospitality vendors and some of NZ’s top live acts for a day of gastronomical delight. The line-up for both food & beverages, and entertainment, is in the process of being announced, but attendees should set their expectations at sky height, with the last edition of the festival bringing in heavyweights across all its offerings.
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The 2023 Taste Tasman has confirmed live performances from The Feelers, kiwi singer/songwriter and guitarist Reece Milton, and rock & roll duo Assembly Required. There will also be a Silent Disco Tent on-site for those interested.
Early Bird tickets for Taste Tasman are currently available for NZ$ 39 (22.95 USD) + fees, and VIP tickets are available for NZ$ 99 (58.27 USD) + fees. VIP tickets include access to the VIP area, with its own bar, seating, shade, toilets, and exclusive games.
Get tickets to the Taste Tasman Beer, Cider & Food Festival 2023 HERE
Visit the official Taste Tasman Beer Cider & Food Festival website HERE
Great Kiwi Beer Festival 2023
When: January 28, 2023, 11 AM onwards
Where: Hagley Park North, Christchurch [18+]
Another Hagley Park event that must not be missed, the Great Kiwi Beer Festival 2023 will raise the bar this year with a stunning vendor selection, and entertainment to match. More than forty breweries, making for more than three hundred beverage options on tap, patrons will find themselves spoiled for choice. The Great Kiwi Beer Festival will also host craft beer workshops, seminars, demonstrations and brand experiences, along with over thirty food vendors, and live music performances.
The festival has already announced a hefty list of breweries, including the award-winning Cassels Brewing Co, independent San Diego-based Ballast Point Brewing Company, and Christchurch’s oldest brewery, Wigram Brewing Company.
Early Bird tickets are currently available for NZ$ 44.90 (26.43 USD) + fees, and includes entry to the event, a free souvenir tasting cup, and access to all free activities. VIP tickets are unfortunately sold out but a Waiting List is available for those interested. VIP tickets include access to the festival’s exclusive VIP area, seating in view of the stage, complimentary beers, ciders, and wines, and a separate complimentary food menu.
Get tickets to the Great Kiwi Beer Festival 2023 HERE
Visit the official Great Kiwi Beer Festival website HERE
Wairarapa Wines Harvest Festival
When: February 17-18, 2023, 10 AM onwards
Where: The Cliffs, East Taratahi [ALL AGES]
Beloved enough, it had to double! The Provincial Insurance Brokers Wairarapa Wines Harvest Festival 2023 will be a two-day event, a much-appreciated expansion by frequenters. Promised to be a remote vineyard setting, packed with a variety of vendors and breweries, and entertainment and activities. A noteworthy part of the festival’s appeal is its location, sitting in a sheltered riverside area locally called ‘The Cliffs.’ Attendees will find themselves in a beautiful green landscape, a getaway that is only ten minutes away from the two nearest towns.
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Wairarapa Wines Harvest Festival has announced upwards of fifteen wineries, including Greytown-based urban winery, Alexia, boutique, family-run winery Columbo Martinborough, and Wairarapa-based winery, Huntress.
General Admission Single Day tickets are currently available for NZ$ 65.50 (38.55 USD) + fees, and includes entry to the festival and access to all its offerings. The format for both Saturday and Sunday will remain the same, with different line-ups of equally stellar live acts.
Wairarapa Wines Harvest Festival 2023 is all ages supervised, and children below the age of 4 do not require tickets. Those under the age of 18 will need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian of legal drinking age. Attendees can also avail free car parking and motorhome accommodations on-site.
Get tickets to the Wairarapa Wines Harvest Festival 2023 HERE
Visit the official Wairarapa Wines Harvest Festival website HERE
When: January 28-29, 2023, 12 PM to 6 PM
Where: Frank Kitts Par, Wellington [18+]
If you can’t make it to Gindulgence’s Nelson event in December, head to Wellington to catch their January edition! The event promises to go twice as hard, with two 7-hour days packed with gin-centric entertainment and delectable edible offerings.
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In addition to the program inclusions in Nelson, the Wellington event will also offer gin masterclasses, to be held at the venue’s on-site theatre. Attendees can sample and purchase from a selection of twenty vendors, with an equally hefty list of unmissable gin cocktails, including G&Ts, of course. Gindulgence Wellington has also invited a variety of food vendors, to offer patrons a choice of cuisines beyond local favorites. More information about the event’s masterclasses can be found on their website, here. Parking is available opposite the venue, and attendees are urged to carry picnic blankets, with seating available but limited.
Individual day tickets are priced at NZ$ 59 (34.73 USD) + fees, however, Saturday tickets are currently sold out. Both Gindulgence Nelson and Gindulgence Wellington will operate on a wristband system, allowing attendees to make easy purchases at the events.
Get tickets to Gindulgence in Wellington HERE
Visit the official Gindulgence website HERE
When: December 10, 2022, 1 PM to 7 PM
Where: Trafalgar Centre, Nelson [18+]
Help yourself to an afternoon of “all things gin” at Gindulgence Nelson. A true-to-its-name celebration of NZ’s best gin, the event promises a program that will appeal to both the initiated and the not. Gindulgence will kick off at 1 PM and offer attendees a variety of vendors to get to know and a lot of gin to taste. Gin & Tonic is the afternoon’s drink of choice, with all vendors offering the signature blend for purchase by the glass, along with other classic gin-based cocktails.
Attendees can also grab some grub from beloved local food vendors, whilst soaking up the live entertainment offerings. Bottles will also be available for purchase for those wanting to take a bit of the experience back home with them, along with Gindulgence’s own souvenir, a festival G&T mug.
General Admission tickets are currently available for NZ$ 59 (34.73 USD) + fees, and include entry to the event, access to tastings and live entertainment, and more. Interestingly, the Gindulgence official website also offers an extensive Cocktail Recipe menu, featuring renowned NZ vendors including Dancing Sands Distillery, Juno Gin, and Warner’s Distillery Ltd, to name a few. At the event, attendees can expect no less than fifteen New Zealand-based and international gin brands on showcase, from Cardrona Valley’s The Source to South Africa’s ClemenGold Gin.
Get tickets to Gindulgence in Nelson HERE
Visit the official Gindulgence website HERE
On The Rocks
When: November 26, 2022, 1 PM to 6 PM
Where: Majestic Square, Whanganui [18+]
Whanganui’s very own boutique spirits festival returns this November, promising an afternoon of beverages, food, and live music. On The Rocks will take place at Majestic Square, one of the North Island city’s premium parks, a fitting location to host a summer celebration. The event will showcase ten spirits vendors, including NZ’s Alchemist Mixology, “Aotearoa’s goddess of gin,” Juno Gin, family-owned and run Roots Brewing Co, and more. See the entire list below:
Early Bird tickets are currently available for NZ$ 30 (17.66 USD) + fees, and include access to all the events of the afternoon. Attendees can expect a stunning variety of handcrafted cocktails, multi-cuisine food truck offerings, and locally sourced beers and wines.
Get tickets to On The Rocks HERE
South Island Beer Festival
When: November 26, 2022, 12 PM to 6 PM
Where: Ilam Homestead, Christchurch [ALL AGES]
An epic event for ale enthusiasts! South Island Beer Festival comes around once again to showcase and celebrate New Zealand’s bustling brewery-scape. Taking place in Christchurch’s historic Ilam Homestead, this afternoon affair will showcase over thirty local ciders and beers, along with a variety of food options.
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The event is set to be all ages supervised, and also offers a Sober ticket for those that will not be consuming alcohol. Children below the age of 10 do not require a ticket, however, the festival urges discretion since alcohol will be served on-site. Personal beverages will not be permitted on festival grounds, but attendees can opt to carry picnic snacks, blankets, and folding chairs for personal use.
Tickets for the festival are currently sold out, however, a Waiting List is available for those interested. There may also be limited door sales. General Admission tickets are priced at NZ$ 50 (29.43 USD) + fees, and include collectible festival glasses, festival wristbands, and five complimentary beers, along with a voter card for the festival’s ‘Best Beer’ contest. Beverage top-ups for five beers can be purchased for NZ$ 30 (17.66 USD), valid only on the day of the event.
Visit the South Island Beer Festival event page to sign up for the Waiting List HERE
Visit the official South Island Beer Festival website HERE
South Island Wine & Food Festival 2022
When: December 3, 2022, 11:30 AM onwards
Where: Hagley Park North, Christchurch [ALL AGES]
A celebration of local wines and foods, with forty renowned winemakers and an array of restauranteurs, chefs, and tastemakers, South Island Wine & Food Festival 2022 will be an epic adventure for both you and your palette. Attendees will be treated to interactive sessions with New Zealand’s F&B industry specialists, in addition to a massive showcase of food stalls. A highlight that must not be missed has to be the festival’s ‘Cooking Theatre,’ where you can catch all the musical and entertainment offerings of the day, and live cooking demonstrations from some of the country’s finest chefs.
On the musical buffet, attendees can expect five top-notch acts, including pop-rock band The Feelers, electronic duo Dillastrate, soul, funk, and jazz singer/songwriter Lou’ana, and more. Find details about the entire music line-up on the official South Island Wine & Food website, here.
General Admission tickets are currently available for NZ$ 56.09 (33.01 USD) + fees, and VIP Table tickets for 6, 8, and 10 individuals are priced at NZ$ 229 (134.78 USD) + fees. Single VIP tickets are also available for the same price. The event is all ages supervised, however, the VIP area is strictly R18. VIP guests can expect the best the festival has to offer, including VIP host services, souvenirs, and an expertly curated menu that will be served throughout the duration of the event. More information about the festival’s VIP experience can be found here. General Admission tickets include entry to the event and access to free workshops, demonstrations, and seminars, all of which are also included in the VIP package.
Get tickets to South Island Wine & Beer Festival 2022 HERE
Visit the official South Island Wine & Beer Festival 2022 website HERE
The New Zealand Cider Festival 2022
When: November 12, 2022, 1 PM onwards
Where: Founders Heritage Park, Nelson [ALL AGES]
New Zealand’s only dedicated cider festival is back for its sixth edition! Slated to showcase over a hundred types of ciders, brought to the fore by over twenty-five NZ cider producers, The New Zealand Cider Festival 2022 doubles as a paradise for cider lovers all over the country. Attendees can expect to be wowed and wooed, with the program packed with workshops and activities, live entertainment, and one-on-ones with all showcased cider producers.
The New Zealand Cider Festival will take place alongside the annual NZ Cider Awards, and attendees will be able to taste this year’s award winners and participate in the festivities. The festival will also award the title of ‘Amateur Cider Maker of the Year’ to one deserving cider producer towards the end of the day.
The festival is a family-friendly affair, and children under the age of 18 enter free, to be strictly accompanied by a parent or guardian. General Admission tickets are currently available for NZ$ 49.50 (29.13 USD) including fees, and cover all the events on the program, and a souvenir cider glass.
Get tickets to The New Zealand Cider Festival 2022 HERE
Visit the official New Zealand Cider Festival website HERE
Otautahi Smoke BBQ Festival
When: December 17, 2022, 2 PM to 10 PM
Where: Hagley Park, Christchurch [18+]
This one is for those that love their meals with a side of smoked! Otautahi Smoke BBQ Festival promises attendees a day of top-notch food, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and a carefully curated live music program to serve as a backdrop to an exciting day of dining and drinks.
Otautahi Smoke BBQ Festival will bring together twenty food vendors, twenty-five breweries, and six live acts in Christchurch’s Hagley Park, located in the center of the city. Attendees can expect BBQ galore, from local low-and-slow delights and wood-fired pizzas to Asian barbeque dishes such as Korean BBQ, North Indian ‘tandoor’ preparations (meat or vegetables marinated in yogurt and spices and roasted in a cylindrical clay oven), Japanese Yakitori, and Filipino meal boxes. Both hard and soft liquors will be available, including local and international favorites.
General Admission tickets are currently available for NZ$ 65 (38.26 USD), however, VIP tickets have already sold out. As part of General Admission, attendees gain entry to the festival, and all its free events and activities, along with a souvenir tasting cup. Otautahi Smoke BBQ Festival will be a wristband event, allowing cashless transactions and easy recharges.
Get tickets to Otautahi Smoke BBQ Festival HERE
Visit the official Otautahi Smoke BBQ Festival website HERE
Find Otautahi Smoke BBQ Festival on: Facebook