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! You can check out our events calendar at Whanganui What’s On for up-to date information of all community events and other events in Whanganui.
Our list of the top events in Whanganui!
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 amphitheater 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!
Vintage Weekend Whanganui
If you’re a vintage enthusiast or just yearn for yesteryear you must come to the Vintage Weekend, Whanganui’s premiere heritage event. Spread over three days, during Wellington Anniversary Weekend in January, we guarantee you will be transported to a bygone era! Music abounds at the Caboodle and the Soapbox Derby sees home-made carts racing down an insane slope. Dress-ups, markets, bands, food and wine – its a few days of old-time fun and tomfoolery for all! One of the top events in Whanganui.
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!
Mountains To Sea Multisport race
We have the M2C!
Traverse a massive 270.5km over 2 days charging through terrain as varied as you’ll see anywhere, starting on the alpine slopes of Mt Ruapehu, winding up and down trails hidden in untouched native forests, streaming down the majestic Whanganui River and down the historic Whanganui River Road to finally reach the shores of the Tasman Sea in Whanganui. It’s everything the novice or race pro could possibly want – this multisport event is second to none!
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 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!
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!
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.
La Fiesta is NZ’s coolest little festival celebrating women and community. Find events happening all over Whanganui, and even Marton! The festival programme covers everything from art, music and dance, to workshops, film screenings, meditation, cheese-making, yoga, and a whole heap of fun. It’s a great way to build confidence and meet awesome new people.