Events In Whanganui
Our list of the top events in Whanganui!
Whanganui is lucky to host and hold a number of top events throughout the year, so there’s never a shortage of things to do and things to see in our fair city. From community events to our large iconic events, there is something going on that is sure to interest you!
WHANGANUI SPEEDWEEK – 26th – 28th DEC 2018
Whanganui Speedweek is the ultimate petrolhead experience, bringing five full throttle events together over three days.
Whanganui has a strong motorsport history, with the iconic Cemetery Circuit motorcycle street race now in its 67th year. That history means Whanganui is home to a number of motorsport experts whose collective knowledge and expertise will ensure thrills, spills and safe events.
CEMETERY CIRCUIT CIRCUIT
If you have just a sniff of petrolhead in you, you won’t want to miss this! Motorbike Street racing. MORE
Whanganui rocks to the sounds of master DJ Carl Cox – downtown, 7:00pm till late. MORE
The Methanol Sucking Monsters are back at Shelterview Jetsprint Park! MORE
MOTORCYCLE HILL CLIMB
Okoia Hill Climb – get ready for your pulse to be raised in this annual event. Will they all make it? MORE
MOTORBIKE BEACH RACE
head to the sun, surf and sand of South Beach as bikes take on our stunning West Coast! MORE
Coming to any of these great events? Speedweek now has an app, putting all the info you need into one handy place. Get maps, schedules and up-to-date notifications about the events. For visitors to Whanganui, there’s also useful information about our city.
Your feedback is important to us!
Did you have a great time at Speedweek? Come back next year on us! Just use the Speedweek app to fill out a short feedback form, and we’ll put you in a draw to win tickets and accommodation to next year’s event!
Cemetery Circuit Street Races
Of international fame and run for the first time in 1951, this event captures the hearts and minds of motorcycle enthusiasts everywhere! Formula 1, BEARS, classics and side cars, international and national legends, this street circuit is one mile long with eight corners, two railway crossings, an over-bridge and blind S’s beside the old Whanganui cemetery. If you have just a sniff of petrolhead in you, you won’t want to miss this. Held every year on Boxing Day (26th December) – one of the top events in Whanganui.
V8 thunder at Shelter View Jet Sprints Park in Whanganui! The opening round of the NZ Jet Sprint Championships with up to forty boats speeding and slamming around a purpose-built course within a natural amphitheatre ensuring you don’t miss out on any of the action! Adrenalin pumping and thrilling! Make sure you don’t miss this night event – the only one in NZ! One of several great motorsport events in Whanganui!
Bayleys Whanganui Vintage Weekend
In Whanganui, we begin every year with a big, loud, colourful party!
While enjoying an eclectic range of vintage and celebration-themed events, we rejoice in how lucky we are to live in this humming place filled with treasured heritage buildings and framed by a stunning natural environment. We make music and art, we dance, we dress up, we travel in style. All the locals come out and we invite the neighbours to come over – there’s simply no better time to experience the Whanganui feeling, than at our biggest party.
New Zealand Masters Games
Centered at the Games Village in The War Memorial Centre, this nine-day event comprises more than 55 different sports and 2,400 individual events as well as nightly entertainment. Alternating between Whanganui and Dunedin each year and with offerings for ages 20 and up, the NZ Masters Games attracts competitors not only from all over New Zealand, but also from more than 20 countries internationally. A great time and great place!
Artists Open Studios Whanganui
In late March, visit over 60 studios and galleries and over 150 artists studios with outstanding examples in glass, furniture, printmaking, ceramic, jewellery and painting. It’s the best trail in New Zealand with high numbers of glass artists and studios nestled along the banks of the serene Whanganui river, or hidden in the hills in a huge old brick kiln. Great art, great prices and great experiences – The best showcase of many art events in Whanganui!
Whanganui Walls Street Art Festival
Over the course of four days, street artists from around the world have a chance to make their mark on Whanganui. Each professional artist tackles their own wall in the CBD, bringing their vision to life in front of crowds of onlookers. Be sure to pick up a trail map from the i-SITE, so you don’t miss any of the works-in-progress. This popular event is a must-do for anyone interested in the arts!
extreme 4X4 challenge
Come see extreme purpose-built 4X4 machines grind it out in the mud as they attempt a number of purpose built obstacles – each harder than the last! The only event of its kind in New Zealand, the course is designed with spectators in mind and offers a great viewing experience from a natural ampitheatre. A great action-packed day of extreme motoring mayhem for the whole family! Another of our great motorsport events in Whanganui!
WHANGANUI HERITAGE MONTH
Held for the first time in 2019, Whanganui Heritage Month is a celebration of Whanganui’s built heritage. Whanganui has one of New Zealand’s highest concentrations of intact heritage buildings, and they give our city a unique character. There are also a number of Māori sites of significance including St Paul’s Memorial Church, Putiki, and marae along the Whanganui River Rd to Jerusalem.
The calendar will be full of tours, seminars, exhibitions, cultural events and more, all running from 1 to 31 October 2020.
Whanganui Literary Festival
A vibrant writers and readers’ festival held every second year attracting and hosting national and international guests. Bus tours, writers talks, poetry and book groups and fairs all to satisfy avid readers held in iconic venues throughout the city. Get your nose out of your latest book and come and join us for a really special event!
Whanganui Cricket Festival
Established over 10 years ago, the Wanganui Cricket Festival runs for 3 weeks in January for Year’s 5 to 10 with each age group competing for a 4 day period. The event also includes the NZ National Girls Cricket Tournament and competition is of the highest calibre. With traditionally spectacular weather in January the games are held at Victoria Park, Whanganui’s premiere cricket ground. A great time to support your budding cricketer and combine a family holiday!
Whanganui Opera Week
In support of the residential NZ Opera School held in January every year, young opera singers have the opportunity to develop their abilities with tutors of international standing. Public events include Master Classes, lunchtime and evening recitals and a gala concert. Who knows, you may be lucky enough to hear the next Pavarotti or Dame Kiri…!
Billy Webb Challenge Whanganui
The Billy Webb Challenge is held annually on the Whanganui River with an Allcomers Race for Single Scullers. It was established to relive the original Billy Webb world title race in 1908 a year after the Whanganui man won NZ’s first ever world sculling title. The “Corporate 8’s” have been added to the event with local businesses battling it out on the river – no more than two experienced rowers are allowed to make up each team.