15 of the BEST kids events at the Matariki Festival 2019

Whanau Day at Arataki Visitor Centre in Auckland, NZ

15 of the BEST kids events at the Matariki Festival 2019

The Matariki Festival will be on in Auckland from 22 June to 14 July 2019 to celebrate the Maori New Year.  Matariki begins with the rising of the Matariki star cluster (the Seven Sisters) and is a time to gather with family and friends to reflect on the past, celebrate the present and plan for the future. 

1. Whana Day Te Taiao Ki Arataki

When: Sunday 30 June 2019
Location: Arataki Visitor Centre, Titirangi

Free fun whānau event with entertainment from local talent, delicious kai (food) and activities especially for the tamariki (children). Take a guided walk with local storytellers and taiao (nature) experts.  More information here.  (Pictured above)

2. Manu Aute Kite Day

When: Sat 29 June 2019
Locations: Takaparawhau Reserve/Michael Joseph Savage Memorial Park: Pukewiwi/Winstone Park and Manu Tukutuku/ Randwick Park,  Manurewa

Manu Aute Kite Day honours and celebrates the universal tradition of kite flying across Tāmaki Makaurau, with events happening in Ōrākei, Puketāpapa and Manurewa all on the same day. Watch the spectacle of kites of all shapes and sizes filling the skies, symbolically connecting heaven and earth. There are also plenty of opportunities for kite flyers of all ages to make and fly kites, sending their own personal messages and whakaaro out into the world.  More information here

Manu atu kite day - Matariki 2019

3. Te Awhiorangi - Celestial Navigation with Te Toki Voyaging Trust

When: Saturday 22 June and Sunday 23 June 2019
Location: New Zealand Maritime Museum

Bring the tamariki to be immersed in a world of stars, sea and kaupapa waka. The sessions take place inside an inflatable star dome with skilled ocean navigators from Te Toki Voyaging Trust. Limited spaces available for each session. More information here.

Te Awhiorangi 

4. Matariki for Tamariki

When: Fri 12 July – 12pm; Sat 13 July – 11am and 3pm 
Where: Bruce Mason Centre, The Promenade, Takapuna

The New Zealand Dance Company (NZDC) welcomes Tāmaki Makaurau to a celebration of Matariki and whānau by Sean MacDonald (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāi Tahu). A band of movers travel high and low through ngahere (forests), maunga (mountains) and moana (oceans) experiencing the sights and sounds of Aotearoa. More information here.

NZDC Matariki for Tamariki

5. Te Ara Rama Matariki Light Trail

When: Friday 5 July to Saturday 13 July 2019
Location: Maybury Reserve, Glen Innes 

Te Ara Rama Matariki Light Trail is now in its seventh year and is free for the whole whānau. This outdoor lighting festival combines light, music and creativity across nine themes, running over eight nights during Matariki Festival. More information here.

Te Ara Rama Matariki Light Trail in Glen Innes

6. Te Taumata Kapa Haka

When: Saturday 6 July
Where: ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre

Celebrate the dynamic art form of kapa haka. Enjoy exhilarating live performances from local group and current Te Matatini champions Ngā Tūmanako, reigning National Secondary Schools title-holder Raukura from Rotorua, and a host of other powerful kapa haka from around the country. This year Te Taumata Kapa Haka features the prowess of seasoned professionals and school groups on the same stage, for one day only. Don’t miss the power of kapa haka as a force to bring people of all backgrounds together.  More information here

te taumata kapa haka

7. Celebrate Matariki in the evening at Auckland Zoo

When: Saturday  6 July and Saturday 13 July 2019
Where: The Domes at Auckland Zoo, 99 Motions Rd, Western Springs

When the sun goes down and the animals are tucked up for the night, the Domes at Auckland Zoo will come alive to celebrate Matariki. Visitors of all ages will be able to enjoy a range of activities, including a Matariki-inspired digital interactive installation.

Everyone will be able to try kapa haka and craft activities, listen to some traditional Māori storytelling, check out the mini night market featuring local produce and other sustainably produced merchandise, and enjoy wonderful kai and beverage options. More information here.

Matariki at Auckland Zoo 2019

8. Te Aroha Ki a Papatūānuku — Matariki Community Planting

When: Sunday 23 June 2019
Where: Clendon Park, Manurewa

Whakatōia te kākano kia puāwai, kia hua ā tōna wā. Join Auckland Council Community Rangers to help plant for the future and learn how to care for Papatūānuku, in a special area of Tāmaki Makaurau. Weaver Kelly King will share her wealth of knowledge in working with harakeke and Riki Bennett will be on hand to teach traditional Māori plant uses. To celebrate the mahi, you an also create a community aroha pledge artwork. Find out more here.

Matariki Community Planting

9. Matariki on the Move: Kōrero

When: Wednesday 10 July 2019
Where: SKYCITY Theatre, Auckland CBD

Join astronomer Dr Rangi Matamua, maramataka Māori expert Rereata Makiha and master navigator Hoturoa Kerr for one night only, as they share their latest research and passion for Māori astronomy with the audience. With extensive knowledge of the maramataka (lunar calendar), celestial navigation and the Matariki star cluster, this is a unique opportunity to hear from three tohunga (experts) in person. Learn about Matariki, as well as other stars and celestial bodies — how they guided the traditional way of life for many Māori throughout Aotearoa in days gone by and their continuing importance in today’s modern world. Matariki on the Move tours Māori arts around Tāmaki Makaurau. This year there are three very different Matariki on the Move events: Kōrero, Tirotiro Whetū and Waiata.

Matariki on the Move

10. Stellar Festival of Lights

When: Friday 12 July 209 to Sunday 14 July 2019
Where: Smales Farm, Takapuna

Immerse yourself in an abundance of light installations that will dazzle, delight and impress with their unique colours and designs. Join the community to celebrate Matariki, the Māori new year, with lights, bites and a wide range of entertainment. Find out more here.

Stellar festival of lights

11. Glow worm cave

When: Sunday 30 June 3019
Where: Te Atatū Community Centre

Te Atatū Community Centre is creating a glow worm cave inside its building. Come down and have a look, read a book or listen to our beautiful poetry within the cave. Find out more here

glow worm cave

12. Whare Ahuru

When: Saturday 22 June 2019
Where: Te Puke o Tara Community Centre, Otara

Get ready to snuggle down and get cozy at Otara Community Centre where there will be a special screening on the roof of the centre while you lie in a bed marae styles. Find out more here.

Whare Āhuru at Te Puke O Tara Community Centre

13. Dawn show at Stardome

When: Select days from 21 June to 30 June 2019
Where: Stardome, One Tree Hill

Catch the popular Matariki Dawn show, a Stardome production that looks at the cultural and astronomical aspects of Matariki, a group of spectacular stars.  Find out more here.

Matariki Dawn at Stardome | Auckland for Kids

14. Vector Lights for Matariki Festival

When: Select days from Thursday 27 June to Sunday 14 July 2019.
Where: Auckland Harbour Bridge

This year’s host iwi for Matariki Festival, Waikato-Tainui, have created a stunning display featuring te whetuu tapu o te tau hou Maaori (the sacred star of the Maaori new year) on the Auckland Harbour Bridge. Interweaving history, genealogy and storytelling, this stunning light show presents the stories of Taamaki Makaurau from a Waikato-Tainui perspective. The accompanying soundtrack features songs that have been composed specifically for this time of year and can be accessed from the Vector Lights website. 

Vector Lights for Matariki

15. Matariki Glow Show

Where: Papakura, Freemans Bay and Epsom

The Matariki Glow Show is a large-scale puppet show like no other. Watch the magic unfold as more than 40 glow-in-the-dark characters, including a five-metre taniwha, tell a delightful story about Matariki. Rich in te reo Māori, this show will have kids on the edge of their seats with catchy tunes, lively characters and a whole lot of fun. Find out more here.

glow show