Matariki gives us the perfect opportunity to celebrate the beginning of the Maori new year with friends and whanau. This year (2018) you will find a range of different events and celebrations across the country, from Te Papa’s Matariki Festival to a Matariki Lantern Making Workshop at the Christchurch Botanical Gardens.

We love making the most of the opportunity to connect with our community so we’ve compiled a few of our favourites right here in Auckland, to give you the best Matariki yet.


Great Barrier Island Matariki Festival

Great Barrier Island is a short ferry trip out of Auckland. While it is renowned for its beautiful picturesque scenery and beaches over the summer, in winter its dark skies mean it is the perfect spot for stargazing.

This Matariki, Great Barrier Island are hosting a large array of activities. Exhibitions are open across the month at the Art Gallery in Claris, and there is a long list of events, meaning everyone can find the perfect experience to pique your interest. You’ll find rocket making with Aerospace Education, a dark sky photography workshop and sessions with astronomers on everything from asteroids to the sounds of space.

With events on each weekend of July, all free and family friendly, what better place to go for a weekend out of the city!

29 June – 29 July 2018


Matariki Dawn

Here at Stardome, we have used our 360-degree planetarium technology to combine the best of astronomy with an immersive look into the world of Maori mythology.

You’ll fly out to Matariki for a close up of the seven sister stars. You’ll learn why Matariki is visible at certain times of the year and see the significance of the lunar calendar. Alongside your flyby, you’ll get the chance to delve into the world of Maori mythology with three animated Maori legends.

This year we have a new addition with the inclusion of our The Great Waka segment, where you’ll follow the journey of Tama Rereti as he brought the stars to a previously dark sky. This new segment is in addition to the tale of Ranginui, the Sky Father and Papatuanuku, the Earth Mother and how their son, Tanemahuta, pushed them apart to bring light into the world; alongside the story of how the shadows on the Moon came to be in the tale of Rona and the Moon.

You can catch the show Wednesdays to Sundays in June at 7 pm (we also have a few select dates early July if you miss out!)


Manu Aute Kite Day

The joy of kite flying is universal, transcending cultures and generations. Bring the whole whanau together and enjoy a day outside in one of our local parks. The symbolic connection between the heavens and Earth as kites fill the sky is an experience that will bring joy to all, even if it has been years since the last time you flew a kite!

The free event occurs simultaneously across three locations; Oraki at Takaparawhau reserve/ Michael Joseph Savage Memorial Park, Puketapapa at Pukewiwi/ Winstone Park and Manurewa at Manu Tukutuku/ Randwick Park.

Sunday 8 July, 10 am – 4 pm


Matariki Dawn Karakia

Each year Auckland Council selects an Iwi to host that year’s Auckland Matariki Festival. The 2018 festival is hosted by local Iwi, Te Kawerau a Maki. Bundle up warmly and bring the whanau to herald the Maori New Year at Arataki Visitor Centre in Titirangi. You’ll get a chance to commemorate those who have passed, acknowledge those who remain and bless the new year with karanga, the sounds of ancient karakia, waiata and a haka composed specifically to mark this special occasion.

Stay after the blessing to enjoy a light breakfast and entertainment and to learn more about Te Kawerau a Maki and their history and stories.

Saturday 30 June, 6 am – 9:30 am