There's plenty to keep you busy around Aotearoa this Autumn.

What's on this autumn


From renowned writers to steampunk extravaganzas, beautiful ballet, lights and laughs, there's plenty to keep you busy around Aotearoa this Autumn.

Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Swan Lake

Swan Lake is dancing its way around New Zealand.

The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s spellbinding Swan Lake is back for the first time in over 10 years. The beauty and romance of the greatest classical ballet takes centre stage with Aotearoa’s best ballet talent, accompanied by Tchaikovsky’s soaring score for an unforgettable night at the theatre.

Swan Lake INP

Enjoy the beauty of ballet with the national tour of Swan Lake.

We’re celebrating by giving AA Members 15% off full price adult and child tickets on the best available seats to the performance of your choice. Purchase tickets online using code AAJETE2024.

Swan Lake is touring nationally from May 1 to June 2. Catch the RNZB in Wellington, Auckland, Napier, Christchurch, Dunedin and Invercargill.

For more information and to buy tickets, see 

Ōamaru Steampunk Festival

The 2024 Ōamaru Steampunk Festival is scheduled for King’s Birthday weekend.

Ōamaru’s thriving steampunk subculture attracts enthusiasts from around the globe. In fact, Ōamaru was included in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the largest gathering of steampunks, at the 2016 Ōamaru Steampunk Festival.

Steampunk INP

Explore the intriguing world of Steampunk in Ōamaru.

The festival is still going strong: 2024’s jam-packed itinerary includes a fashion showcase, a street parade, a steampunk ball and an R18 vaudeville variety show. There’s opportunity for enthusiasts to meet each other and add to their collections, with markets and an op shop tour. For the competitive, there is a chance to try their hand at parasol dueling and tea pot racing.

New experiences this year include a trinket swap, a supper club with specials from local restaurants, and workshops and demonstrations through the Steampunk Academy.

​For an unabashed celebration of the creative, the whimsical and the outlandish, head to Ōamaru over King’s Birthday weekend (May 30 – June 3).

See for more information.

New Zealand International Comedy Festival, Auckland and Wellington

In need of a good giggle? Catch the New Zealand International Comedy Festival in Auckland and Wellington, from May 3-26.

Since humble beginnings in 1993, the New Zealand International Comedy Festival has blossomed into a major event, attended by over 100,000 people each year.

Rhys Mathewson INP

Rhys Matthewson is performing at the New Zealand International Comedy Festival this year.

The 2024 line-up is looking promising, with a raft of local and international talent including Melanie Bracewell, Nazeem Hussain, Fern Brady and 2023’s festival winner of the Fred Award (Best Show), Guy Montgomery.

The festival’s biggest event is the 2024 Best Foods Comedy Gala, hosted by Chris Parker, which will include the likes of Heath Franklin's Chopper, Brynley Stent, Pax Assadi, Abby Howells, Takashi Wakasugi, Hayley Sproull, He Huang, Alice Snedden, Rhys Mathewson and Eli Matthewson.

Find the full programme and buy tickets at

Auckland Writers Festival

New Zealand’s largest literary celebration is packed with impressive, inspiring talent.

From May 14 -19, book lovers will be engrossed in the annual Auckland Writer’s Festival, with this year’s programme featuring over 200 writers including some of the world’s best-known literary superstars. 

Paul Lynch, the winner of the 2023 Booker Prize for his novel Prophet Song will be in attendance, as will Ann Patchett, one of the world’s most acclaimed, prize-winning novelists and non-fiction writers. Celeste Ng, writer of Little Fires Everywhere and Our Missing Hearts is on the billing, plus Bonnie Garmus (Lessons in Chemistry), Anna Funder (Wifedom: Mrs Orwell’s Invisible Life) and Pulitzer Prize winner Viet Thanh Nguyen (The Sympathizer, A Man of Two Faces).

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Book lovers will delight at the line up for this year's Writers Festival.

A number of top New Zealand writers are also set to appear, including Patricia Grace whose latest book is the bestseller, The Bird Child, Catherine Chidgey, Saraid de Silva, and Becky Manuwatu. Expect to see some other recognisable names on the programme: comedian Dai Henwood, actor Sam Neill and ex-All Black Dan Carter are all booked to speak about their memoirs.

All events are live and in-person, presenting the invaluable opportunity to spend an hour with some of the world’s most celebrated writers.

Most major events are ticketed, but 25% of the programme is free, including the majority of the festival’s family programme (May 18-19), which is set to be triple the size of previous years.

Find the full programme and buy tickets at

LUMA Southern Light Project, Queenstown

Wreaths of lights draped through tree branches. Colours dancing against the darkening sky. As the sun dips below the horizon, a surreal dreamscape emerges.

The LUMA Southern Light Project, held in Queenstown Gardens, is nothing if not a spectacle. Interactive displays, light sculptures, performance artists, sonic environments – it’s a sensory wonderland of arts and performance.

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Head to Queenstown to experience the visual spectacle of LUMA.

The organisers state their mission is to connect people, celebrate the nightscape and showcase local culture and commerce. Join in for another instalment of discovery on the shores of Lake Queenstown over King’s Birthday weekend (May 30 – June 3).

See for more information and event details. 

Fieldays, Hamilton

Hamilton’s Mystery Creek is home to Fieldays, the largest agricultural event in the Southern Hemisphere.

From June 12-15, the 114-hectare site will again host a showcase of the latest developments in agriculture, agtech and primary sector services.

Attendees can connect with industry experts and community while gaining insights into the real-world challenges and solutions shaping the future of agriculture.

Fieldays INP

Fieldays at Mystery Creek is the largest agricultural event in the Southern Hemisphere.

Stalls include a Sustainability Hub, free health checks in the Fieldays Hauora Taiwhenua Health & Wellbeing Hub, careers in the Fieldays Careers Hub, and the latest rural tech options at Fieldays Digital Futures.

The four-day event draws people from around the globe, both as exhibitors and visitors. Last year Fieldays attracted 100,000 attendees so it pays to take advantage of the various transport options available, including free buses.

Find out more and get your tickets at

RELICS: A New World Rises exhibition, Auckland

Visit a post-apocalyptic world that has been overrun by… LEGO®!

At Auckland Museum from May 29 until October 13 you can immerse yourself in the surreal exhibition RELICS: A New World Rises which combines LEGO® with discarded human artefacts. Created by Australian LEGO® Masters winners Jackson Harvey and Alex Towler, the exhibition explores the creation of new civilisations grown from the shell of the old.

Relics INP

Enter a futurescape overrun by LEGO® at Auckland Museum.

Set in an imagined futurescape where humans have long since abandoned Earth, RELICS: A New World Rises includes a series of whimsical and thought-provoking vignettes. LEGO® minifigures have reclaimed objects like a piano, an old refrigerator, a computer server and a vintage car in which to build their own miniature worlds. Full of intricate detail and hidden surprises, the exhibition is designed not only to surprise and delight, but also to provide a commentary on some of the topical issues facing the world today. RELICS: A New World Rises explores an imagined future, one that might not be as far removed from reality as we think.

For more information and to buy tickets, see 

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