Auckland Heritage Festival is back for 2022, with Aucklanders able to learn more about Tāmaki Makaurau’s history through a series of talks, walks, exhibitions, performances, and workshops.
There are more than 160 educational and exciting events for Aucklanders to attend over the school holidays.
What’s more, they all come at little to no cost to the attendee.
Here are our top picks of events to check out.
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Demonstrations and workshops
The theme for this year’s Auckland Heritage Festival is ‘topography, taonga and trailblazers’, and one trailblazer who certainly fits that bill is Sir Edmund Hillary.
The festival is honouring the late intrepid adventurer as inspiration for a board game, where young explorers can design and create their own West Coast trail with hand-made tokens.
If you’re looking for something a bit more physical, step back in time and party like it’s 1448 with a night of Morris dancing.
This form of English folk dance involves rhythmic stepping and other choreographed moves, usually performed by a group wearing bell pads on their shins.
Displays and exhibitions
It’s been 50 years since the first ‘Gay Day’, a protest held in Auckland’s Albert Park by the newly formed Gay Liberation Group, led by Ngahuia Te Awekotuku.
The exhibition Pride and Protest 1972–2022, on display at Te Atatū Peninsula Community Hub, tells the story of how the event morphed from protest into celebration.
If there’s one thing Auckland’s known for, it’s volcanoes. During this year’s festival, Aucklanders are invited learn while they play, by building volcanic structures, touching volcanic rocks and (the best part) watching handmade volcanoes explode.
Entertainment, performance and film
Aucklanders will be treated to a range of classical and traditional performances at the festival this year, with Chris Priestley and The Unsung Heroes presenting a musical look back at New Zealand’s settler past through theatre, music and song.
If you’re wanting to learn about heritage without leaving the house, Auckland Libraries has created short documentaries on its Youtube channel, that educate the viewer on the unique stories within the libraries’ heritage collections.
Something a bit different
If you’re looking for something a bit wacky and weird, this category of events is for you.
Wind back the clock to 1877 and enjoy a traditional three-course dinner at the historic Pah Homestead, in Hillsborough, one of Auckland’s largest and finest homes in Tāmaki Makaurau at that time.
For those who love a puzzle, detectives-in-training are invited on an epic mission to crack the 14 secrets of Waiheke’s mysterious history, from phantom bus stops and saurian skeletons.
Talks and seminars
There are 38 talks and seminars being held over the next two weeks, which are bound to pique any historian’s (or amateur historian’s) interest.
Take a peek at the plan for the city centre back in 1939, discover some of Auckland’s vanished wonders through an illustrated lecture, or learn about Auckland’s attempts to build castles.
Tours and walks
For those who like to learn while also getting some exercise, there are a range of tours and walks on offer over the next two weeks.
On the Auckland Harbour Tug Tour, attendees will have the chance to experience a tugboat in action, using steam-operated machinery of the past.
Or wander down Karangahape Rd with Samoan historian Sofi Pua, as he shares stories of the old K’ Rd, and visit places that have special significance in the Pacific community.
For more information on all of the above events and to see the full line up, including events being held online, head to the Auckland Heritage website.