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North Canterbury Wine and Food Festival

North Canterbury’s Hottest event

It’s the hottest event on the North Canterbury social calendar and this year is no different, with the North Canterbury Wine and Food Festival set to bring some seasonal sizzle to the tail end of summer.


North Canterbury Wine and Food Festival


On Sunday 10 March, Waipara Valley’s Glenmark Domain will be hitting the social sweet spot, as thousands pack it to the brim with fun and festivities.  In fact, the organisers of this North Canterbury gem have a little habit of making things bigger and better every year, with this year’s event proving no exception. For 2019, three new elements are being introduced, along with food and wine galore – the Long Lunch, Meet The Makers and a festival High Tea.

Seated at long tables under the oaks, the Long Lunch will feature four small courses of seasonal delights, from the finest local chefs, paired with four North Canterbury wine tastes. The ultimate laidback way to experience the flavours of the region, culinary favourites Inati, Jonny Schwass and Barrys Bay Cheese will be pleasing palates


North Canterbury Wine and Food Festival

You’re in it for the wine and food – and we get that – but this year with the help of Rekindle, you can get into a bit of ‘making’ under the Glenmark Oaks too. Meet the makers and have a go with whittling techniques, rope and string making, and doll making workshops.

At this year’s inaugural High Tea, gourmet blends from Nobel and Savage Tea Merchants will be paired with homemade baking from Glenmark Parish in a fabulous fundraiser for the local church, where the festival began 25 years ago! Expect vintage linens, floral china and a slice of slow living.


North Canterbury Wine and Food Festival

The North Canterbury Wine Festival has thought of everything – even transport! Why not take a bus to the festival, so you can chill and enjoy all the good stuff on offer? Bus transport is available to and from the festival from Hanmer Springs, as well as from Christchurch and Lincoln.


Nab your tickets at and we’ll see you at the coolest little wine festival in the country on Sunday 10 March!




Colour to the City

Colour to the City

North Hagley Park was awash with colour on Saturday 2 February, as more than 12,000 people gathered to celebrate the Christchurch Holi Festival of Colours.


Colour to the City


A traditional Indian celebration of diversity that is globally recognised, it was especially pertinent in the lead-up to Waitangi Day, according to event co-organiser Hitesh Sharma of Revel Events. “The Indian practice of throwing powdered colours symbolises everyone becoming equal, no matter where they come from and whether they are friends or strangers, which couldn’t be more fitting in the lead up to our national day.”

This year’s event treated festival-goers to an explosion of music, dance, colours and food. Indian fusion performances and other elements of New Zealand culture were included, alongside a variety of other cultural performances and music, with an array of food and craft stalls and family activities that include traditional Indian games.

A spectacular aerial flower petal drop saw petals of different colours dispersed from a helicopter to signify the friendship and harmony between New Zealand and India and to highlight the event’s charitable focus this year, with proceeds of an optional gold coin koha at the event helping to support the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service.



M Factor Fashion Show

A decade of fabulous fashion

Ready, set, fashion – designers and celebrities are set to hit the catwalk wearing the latest New Zealand fashion to support families with a child in hospital on Thursday 4 April.


M Factor Fashion Show


In its tenth year, the annual M Factor Fashion Show will bring together some of the most talented designers from across the country to raise funds for Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) New Zealand and Ronald McDonald House South Island.
Guests at the family-friendly fashion show held at The Tannery for the first time will see collections from the likes of Trelise Cooper, Kathryn Wilson, Repertoire, Working Style, Ruby Six, Kilt and the usual favourites such as Annah Stretton, Augustine and many more, including children’s clothing labels such as Alaska Tees and Scarlett and Victor.

After the success of last year’s Fashion Show at The Transitional Cathedral, Maree Lucas, Owner and Events Organiser at M Factor Events is looking forward to bringing more glitz, glamour and fashion to the event’s tenth anniversary show.
Ronald McDonald House South Island CEO Mandy Kennedy says she is humbled by Maree’s dedication to supporting the charity year after year and cannot wait to see what’s on the catwalk this year.

The event will be held at 7pm on Thursday 4 April at The Tannery. Tickets are available at and are priced at $75 for VIP, table $750, adult $55 and $30 for children and students. Funds raised from this event will go towards taking care of the thousands of families who walk through the doors of a Ronald McDonald House each year.



Fun for the foodies

Fun for the foodies

Christchurch is set to don its chef whites and apron in April, as it puts on a fun and fabulous foodie event in the city. So clear the pantry, empty the fridge, prepare to stock up and get ready for the 2019 Food Show Christchurch, on from 5 to 7 April at Horncastle Arena!


Fun for the foodies


Designed to expand your taste buds and reinvigorate your passion for food, this year’s iteration will feature delicious handcrafted breads from Pipi’s Bakery and plenty more; taste the array of flavoursome Cranky Goat Cheeses (each one named after a member of the family who makes them!); tuck into a bamboo boat of artisan dumplings made from scratch by Vicky at House of Dumplings (the vegan Japanese Six-Mushroom Dumplings are a crowd favourite); or go straight to sweets with a Dark Chocolate Boysenberry Jelly Bar from Queen Anne.

That’s just the beginning. More than 120 exhibitors will be showing off their wares at this event – so you won’t be going hungry! If inspiration and entertainment’s what you’re seeking, take a load off and learn a thing or two from an impressive roster of top celebrity chefs and local stars at the NEFF Cooking Theatre. This year Annabel Langbein is returning to the stage, along with Luke Hines, Jax Hamilton, Annabelle White and Giulio Sturla, all included free with your ticket. No need to sit at home watching your favourite cooking shows on the telly – this is the real deal!

Next you can take a stroll down Brewers Lane, a new feature in 2019 where you can sample craft beer from the best breweries in New Zealand. Be sure to hit up the Artisan Village for small-batch artisan goods, the New New New Street Food Alley for international street eats to keep you satiated while you shop, and the Ceres Organics Healthy Hub Kitchen to upskill in healthy cooking. Whether you love to cook, or you simply love to eat, The Food Show is the place to expand your culinary horizons!

Tickets to The Food Show Christchurch are available from General Entry gate price is $20, child (6 – 12) $15, under 5s are free, seniors $18 (Friday only) or get the new ‘Explorer Pass’ for $50, which comes with a goodie bag packed with treats, a Food Show wine glass, coffee to start the day or a beer to finish it, reserved front row seats in the NEFF Cooking Theatre and exclusive deals (only 80 available each day).

Join the annual foodie pilgrimage at The Food Show to stock your pantry full with the biggest, broadest, and most downright delicious selection of food, drink and kitchen equipment. Tickets on sale 20 February 2019.



Night Noodle Markets

Street-style eats back: Night Noodle Markets

The eagerly anticipated Night Noodle Markets will once again transform North Hagley Park into a bustling Asian street food festival this Waitangi Day as it hits the city for 12 delicious nights from 6 -17 February.


Night Noodle Markets


Coinciding with the Chinese New Year, Cantabrians can embark of a vibrant flavour journey through Asia, with a mouth-watering line-up of more than 20 sizzling hawker-style stalls and live entertainment recreating the hustle and bustle of an authentic pop-up Asian Night Market.

Popular local eatery and 2018’s crowd-favourite, Sister Kong, is returning with a new menu as ‘Bang Bang Street Eats’; ever-popular Hoy Pinoy is back and serving up tasty new items; Little Kyoto is debuting in Christchurch all the way from Japan; and a wealth of Canterbury favourites are coming to the party, including newcomer Mumbaiwala.

Recently nominated for Best Sustainable Event at the 2018 NZEA Event Awards, this year’s markets will run alongside UB40’s 40th anniversary gig on Waitangi Day and Christchurch’s Sparks festival on Saturday 16 February (both also held at North Hagley Park).

Free event Wi-Fi and a new mobile event guide are set to make sharing the Night Noodle Markets experience easy without worrying about chewing up data. Entry is free and food options range from $5 to $20. All ages are welcome, even the furry kind (leashed). The event is completely cashless – all stallholders accept major credit and debit cards (excluding AMEX) and have contactless, Apple Pay and Google Pay facilities.


Visit for more information and follow Night Noodle Markets NZ on Facebook to keep up with the latest.


Silly Season Celebrations

Silly Season Celebrations

North Canterbury has put on its elf hat and pointed shoes and is playing perfect host to a wide range of events that capture the silly side of the season. We’ve found a collection of our favourite festive events, so get out your social planner and start making plans.


Silly Season Celebrations


Christmas Tree Festival
A fundraiser for the Waikuku Surf Life Saving Club & St John, pay a gold coin donation and vote for your favourite tree. The council foyer will be donned with many differently decorated trees – it really is a must see! Open for the Santa Parade too from 12:30 to 3:30pm.
7 December to 20 December 2018 9am to 4:30pm
Waimakariri District Council Foyer


Rangiora Toyota Santa Parade/Christmas Party in the Park
The Rangiora Toyota Santa Parade is one of the biggest parades in the South Island outside of Christchurch and each year more and more floats enter this community Christmas celebration.
Head into town for a wonderful day of entertainment and see your community come together to enjoy the magic of Christmas. Toyota Santa Parade starts at 2pm.
9 December 2018 12 noon to 6pm
Rangiora CBD and Victoria Park


Ice Breaker
A fun day of racing dragon boats over 200 and 500 metre distances including a 1km turns race. A great day for the whole family with coffee and food vendors available as well.
9 December 2018 9am to 4pm
Pegasus Lake


International Migrants Day
To celebrate your nationality, bring a favourite cultural plate of food to share with others, in the relaxing grounds of the Kaiapoi Community Garden.
18 December 2018 11am to 1pm
Kaiapoi Community Garden, Hilton Street, Kaiapoi



Summer Sweeteners

Summer Sweeteners

The city comes to life in the summer months, as we emerge from hibernation mode and prepare for some fun in the sun. Canterbury doesn’t disappoint, with a wide range of events to sweeten up the summer. So get your glad rags ready with our range of summer sweeteners.


Summer Sweeteners


1 December to 23 December, 2018
Meet Santa every weekend from Saturday 1 December until Sunday 23 December, from 10am to 2pm at Boys’ High.


10 March, 2019 Celebrate the autumn harvest in style at the coolest little wine festival in New Zealand. Discover seasonal flavours at an eclectic range of food stalls, sample an incredible selection of premium North Canterbury wines, and tap your feet to a sweet line up of local live music under the oaks at Glenmark Domain in North Canterbury.


14 December, 2018 The central city is buzzing with the festive feeling so head in and soak up the warm summer days as you tick off your gift list, from 6pm to 8pm. The central city will be buzzing with festivities and magical Christmas elves will be out in full force. Follow the Pockets of Awesome Facebook page for more information.


1 December to 22 December, 2018
Completely sold-out for the last two years, The Court Jesters’ fun, family-friendly and interactive version of A Christmas Carol is quickly establishing itself as a must-do Christchurch Christmas tradition at the Pub Charity Studio at The Court Theatre. Find out more at


25 to 26 January, 2019 The beloved summer tradition of Leighs Construction Outdoor Cinema returns to the Arts Centre te Matatiki Toi Ora for another sizzling season. Films for all ages will be screened on two dates each summer month in the picturesque North Quad – immersing cinemagoers in one of New Zealand’s landmark locations surrounded by stunning heritage buildings.


13 to 15 December, 2018 The Court Youth company presents Children of the Night. Brought to you by the co-creator of the original Christchurch Ghost Walk, this is an immersive horror experience where you accompany the characters from the greatest vampire story ever told as they hunt down the monster that became a legend. Tickets from


27 January, 2019 The Armstrong Prestige Hagley Park Polo Classic is returning to Christchurch. More than 2,500 attendees headed in for the first year and for 2019, this is expected to be bigger and better than ever before. Visit



Silly Season Celebrations

Silly Season Celebrations

Ashburton has put on its Santa hat and is playing prestigious host to a wide range of events that capture the spirit of the silly season. We’ve curated a collection of our festive favourites, so whip out your social planner and mark some dates.


Silly Season Celebrations


Marvellous Markets
On Sunday 9 December from 10am to 3pm, the Marvellous Mayfield Christmas Market will be making its magical mark on Mayfield, at the Mayfield Memorial Hall, State Highway 72. A delightfully relaxing Christmas country market, close to 60 stalls will feature giftware from wooden crafts, antiques and collectables, through to fabric crafts, clothing and jewellery.


Christmas Carols
On Friday 14 December, all the songs of Christmas will be making themselves heard at the St Stephens Church, 64 Park Street from 12-1pm and then from 5-6pm. Tickets are available on the door for $5 before the Mid Canterbury Choir rocks your Christmas socks off.


An Extravagant Affair
Roll up. Roll up. Roll up! The Extravaganza Fair is a family affair, it is a free entry, fun day out with something for everyone, bringing to NZ a unique style of interesting market stalls, arts and craft, food, musical entertainment, circus shows, performers, unique to NZ tiny homes, including open home and kids shows & games on Sunday 30 December from 9am to 5pm at the Ashburton Domain.


ABBAsolutely fABBAulous
This may just be the best early Christmas present yet. Direct from Australia, and following more than 5000 international shows, the world’s live ABBA tribute – The ABBA Show – is coming to town! Held on Saturday 8 December at the Ashburton Trust Event Centre, it’s a full-scale theatrical production featuring more than two hours of live musical performances.


A Broadway Beauty
Just think of the brownie points on offer if a loved one was to open tickets to one of the world’s best loved musicals on Christmas Day? Performed around the world numerous times, Cats is coming to the Ashburton Trust Centre on Monday 15 April from 7:30pm to 10pm.


Ice Ice Baby
We may not get to experience a white Christmas in our little corner of the South Pacific, but ice skating in March is the next best thing, right? Held at Allenton School, 110 Harrison Street, Ashburton from the 18 to 24 March, this has to be one of the coolest events around


A Colourful Experience
Lake Hood, Huntington Park, Tinwald, Ashburton will be playing prestigious host to a colourful day – the third Get Coloured by CanInspire colour fun run. Make someone else’s Christmas by getting in behind this event, with proceeds helping CanInspire Charitable Trust continue its wonderful work in the Mid-Canterbury community. From Sunday 7 April from 10am to 12pm.


Ready set, let’s go!
If you’re wanting to stick to the resolutions that come into effect when the clocks tick over to the New Year, Arrowsmith Station, Hakatere Lake Heron Rd, Methven will be the place to be on Saturday 30 March from 7am to 4pm for a 42.2 km High Country Marathon. Just contact Simon 027 274 6573 or



A fabulous fundraiser!

A fabulous fundraiser!

What ho, ladies and gentlemen! One of the most prestigious events of the year is but two days away – A Day at the Polo!


A fabulous fundraiser!


Presented by Ronald McDonald House South Island and the Port Hills Polo Club, partnered with Lion, Continental Event Hire and Lincoln University, A Day at the Polo features New Zealand versus Australia at the Port Hills Polo Club, Gilmours Road, Tai Tapu. This is the second year Australia has competed against New Zealand; no wonder this exclusive event is all but sold out already!

However, there’s another fab component to A Day at the Polo and that’s the Digital Auction. Yes, it’s back and it’s live – right now!
Simply text to 3840 then key in POLO2018 plus your full name to register, or visit There are incredible prizes up for grabs, so make sure you get in on the action. Tell your friends, your workmates and whoever else loves an auction. The live and silent auctions are fundamental to fundraising goals for this wonderful charity; support through donating prizes is warmly welcomed.

Every cent raised goes directly to Ronald McDonald House South Island, whose motto, Keeping Families Close, says it all. Your generosity supports families when their child is in hospital.


To donate a prize for the digital auction, contact or call the House on 03 377 3311.

Okay, so you’ve registered your bid – what now? Pull out the picnic hamper, you’ve your own polo party to produce, dahling!


Culture Comforts

Culture Comforts

It’s during the silly season that the Garden City puts her best foot forward. We’ve got the low-down on all the seasonal must-dos that you should be adding to your recreational calendar over the coming weeks.


Culture Comforts


Christchurch’s summer events programme kicks off with a bang on December 2 as the city welcomes the iconic Multi Media Communications Santa Parade back into the central city for the first time in eight years, with more than 100,000 spectators expected to join in the free fun, excitement and entertainment at this iconic community event. Grab the picnic basket and pull up your blanket, as the Arts Centre celebrates summer with another series of Leighs Construction Outdoor Cinema events for the whole family. With films screening on two consecutive nights in December, January and February in the picturesque North Quadrangle, get ready to snuggle up at one of Canterbury’s most unique and beautiful locations.

The city streets never look as colourful as they do at the start of each year. From January 10 to February 3 the Bread & Circus – World Buskers Festival takes over town, bringing with it a world class programme of local national and international acts. World-famous busking pitches and exceptional ticketed shows will be complemented by a banquet of delicious local food and beverage offerings to create a stand out month of spectacle. On Sunday 27 January, there will be some horsing around happening in the city, as the Armstrong Prestige Hagley Park Polo Classic returns to Christchurch. With more than 2500 attendees in its first year, there are hopes the second year will reach audiences of up to 5000. Tickets are on sale now at


Culture Comforts

Waitangi Day will go off with a bang at North Hagley Park with the UB40 concert and the much-loved Sparks in the Park fireworks event coinciding with the ever-popular Night Noodle Markets, running from February 6 to 17. Noodle lovers young and old should prepare their senses for a fusion of eastern flavours and Chinese lanterns at this ultimate Asian pop-up market experience. The end of summer marks one of Christchurch’s largest and most popular free events as the South Island Lantern Festival lights up our central city from February 22 to 24. Connecting with the Avon River, Worcester Boulevard and Cathedral Square, the event celebrates the best of Chinese culture, with music, performance, dance, food and vibrantly coloured lanterns lighting up the central city.

By Easter weekend it might just be time to head down south. Music For The People is hosting its inaugural Through The Valley Festival, Saturday 20 April 2019 at Cargo Brewery, Waitiri Creek, Gibbston Valley, Queenstown. The one-day boutique festival features a brilliant musical lineup of class Kiwi acts, headlined by the legendary Dave Dobbyn, in his only Otago show for summer 2019.