What’s On This Summer

Words by  Irena Brooks
Brody Dolan Brody Dolan

There’s a host of events and activities lined up in Taranaki for Summer 2023, so which ones are you going to do? 

Summer in New Plymouth unofficially starts with the flick of a switch — the big one that turns on the city’s TSB Festival of Lights (17 December – 22 January 2023) at Pukekura Park.

Crowned as New Zealand’s Favourite event for 2020/2021, if you haven’t received a free copy of this year’s programme in your letterbox, your first priority is to hunt one down. You can find copies at an iSITE or NPDC Civic Centre. Or just check it out online at festivaloflights.nz

The entire festival is free and features 13 new light installations, events for kids, adults and seniors, plus an impressive entertainment line-up to suit a wide range of interests. Acts include a mix of local bands and singer songwriters, popular national acts, and international artists, including the return of Los Angeles-based DJs Fleetmac Wood, who were a big hit in 2019. 

There will be two stages featuring a total of six acts on New Year’s Eve and this summer the festival is going on tour with events in Inglewood (8 January) and Waitara (15 January). The Inglewood Twilight Picnic will feature live music and entertainment before the sun goes down while Illuminate Waitara is a night-time pop-up event featuring entertainment and light installations exclusive to Waitara.

THE BREAKERS: 4th January, 7.30pm

If you’re a basketball fan, or just enjoy a good show, come and see some of New Zealand and Australia’s top basketballers in this Australian National Basketball match at TSB Stadium.

At the time of writing (early Dec) the NZ Breakers were at the top of the ANBL table and they’ll be taking on 2021 finalists, the Perth Wildcats.

AMERICARNA: 22 – 25 February

With almost 900 vehicles registered, Taranaki will be awash with classic American vehicles as they undertake a range of scenic cruises throughout the region. All community aspects of the event are free to attend.

Key dates:

Wednesday 22nd February 2023 – Opunake Beach
Thursday 23rd February 2023 – Waitara and Inglewood
Friday 24th February 2023 – Stratford, Hawera and New Plymouth’s Main Street Cruise
Saturday 25th February 2023 – Americarnival New Plymouth CBD

On the next 14 pages you’ll find information and inspiration for the main events this summer: Feastival (16 – 19 Feb); The Oxfam Trailwalker (11 – 12 March) and WOMAD (17 – 19 March); plus you can read about Venture Taranaki’s new app that’ll get you out and exploring the region.

For even more events, turn to page 114 to see our Summer Events Calendar

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