Nelson Tasman is surprisingly diverse and nowhere is that more evident than in the range of events we host every year.

Nelson Tasman is highly connected to the rest of the country, making it the perfect getaway spot for a weekend away or a short visit to experience one of the unmissable events on offer.

Our year-round entertainment calendar includes a range of locally, nationally and internationally-renowned events, such as the Nelson Arts Festival, Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon, Bay Dreams, Adam Chamber Music Festival, Marchfest, NZ Cider Festival, Clay Week and Buskers Festival.

In the warmer months you can picnic and enjoy an alfresco movie, or watch your favourite band perform in a local vineyard, whilst the colder months see you savouring the taste of delicious local cuisine at a moveable feast extravaganza, or rugging up for a stroll through the illuminated utopia at Queens Gardens. Autumn and Spring abound in a celebration of our regions extraordinary depth of arts and artisans, with beer and cider festivals, and a range of artistic events and performances on display.

Evolve Festival - January (biennial event back in 2025)

Evolve Festival - January (biennial event back in 2025)

Evolve is New Zealand's longest running wellness festival - 33 years in 2023! A family-friendly wellbeing festival where conscious beats, holistic workshops and healing pioneers meet festival antics and play.

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Golden Bay A&P Show - January

Golden Bay A&P Show - January

A true country style, family friendly show with lots to see and do. Get up close to the prize winning goats, sheep and cattle. Cheer on the horse riders, choppers and shearers. Browse the stunning displays of baking, flowers, art & craft, handcrafts and photography. Visit the huge array of trade stands to get close and personal with large machinery, farm implements, agricultural equipment, top quality local merchandise and seek helpful tips and advice on everything ‘country’. Have fun at the Sturgeons Amusements sideshows or see the all day free stuff at the entertainment hub and children's play area. There's...

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Sarau Festival - Jan/Feb

Sarau Festival - Jan/Feb

A late afternoon festival to celebrate the fabulous Moutere Valley and its people. Massive book stalls, a Kidz Zone, cooking demonstrations, a photography competition, animals to pet, a photo booth, nearly 200 market stalls - selling everything from garlic and strawberries, woodwork and jewellery, clothing and furniture plus local breweries and vineyards come to share their products - all in a spacious open Domain.

Let bands entertain you while you shake your groove thing or relax in the afternoon sun on a bale of straw or your own chair.

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Opera in the Park - February (biennial event back in 2025)

Opera in the Park - February (biennial event back in 2025)

A biennial event with a full orchestra, world-class opera and contemporary singers. Have a picnic and enjoy a night of music in the open air.

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Adam International Chamber Music Festival - February (biennial event back in 2026)

Adam International Chamber Music Festival - February (biennial event back in 2026)

The 10-day Adam International Chamber Music Festival attracts audiences from around the world who enjoy rarely performed chamber music made possible through exciting collaborations between renowned international artists and leading New Zealand chamber musicians, in our acoustically acclaimed venues.

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Nelson Italian Festival - First Sunday in March

Nelson Italian Festival - First Sunday in March

This is the closest you can get to Italy without hopping on a plane! Get ready for a day bursting with Italian flavour, music, and culture.

Imagine strolling through the streets, basking in the melodies of Italian folk songs and opera, the air filled with the aroma of freshly-made gnocchi, wood-fired pizza, cheese, olives, truffle oil, artisanal gelato, and so much more.

Also featuring an array of live entertainment, and cooking demonstrations with expert tips on crafting the perfect Italian dish.

This is a free, family-friendly event.

Benvenuti!

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NZ Antique and Classic Boatshow - March

NZ Antique and Classic Boatshow - March

The spectacular Nelson Lakes National Park provides the backdrop for the annual NZ Antique & Classic Boatshow, now in its 24th year. Over 150 sleek cedar kayaks, steam boats, jet boats from the 60s, clunky clinkers and veteran sailing craft are displayed on land from early morning, with races on the lake in the afternoon, both days. At stake is the Jens Hansen Trophy where the judges are after good looks as well as history, construction and a boat with a story to tell.

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NZ MTB Rally - March

NZ MTB Rally - March

A 6-Day Enduro-format MTB race traversing relatively undiscovered parts of Te Tauihu. Compete on world-class trails, in a pristine backcountry environment, sandwiched between three national parks. The route follows an epic itinerary blending historic tracks with modern, purpose-built singletrack and incorporates some properly rad logistics: Heli-Drops, Boat Access, and 4x4 Shuttles.

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Seafood Festival - March

Seafood Festival - March

Brought to Nelson by Seafood New Zealand, Seafood Saturday is a celebration of kaimoana and the kaimahi who deliver it from sea to table.

Upper Trafalgar Street restaurants host a ticketed progressive lunch of top-quality seafood matched with fine Nelson wines. The free community hub is full of ocean-themed activities, fish & chips, fish filleting demonstrations, and a showcase of industry innovations and career opportunities.

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Aorere Enduro - March  (biennial event back in 2025)

Aorere Enduro - March (biennial event back in 2025)

A two-day mountain bike enduro event bringing together 200+ national level mountain bikers who will experience racing on the spectacular network of trails in Nelson which are renowned for being long, technical and steep running through lush native bush.

The Aorere Enduro will showcase the natural beauty of Nelson and allow spectators to witness world-class enduro mountain bike racing.

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Mammoth Enduro - March  (biennial event back in 2026)

Mammoth Enduro - March (biennial event back in 2026)

The Mammoth Enduro presented by Santa Cruz navigates its way around central Nelson's most technical trails. If you are an Enduro rider looking for the ultimate test of your fitness and technical ability the Mammoth is the event for you.

Photo credit @Cammackenziephotos

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Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon Nelson - March

Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon Nelson - March

The Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon is a fun and rewarding day out for everyone.

Kids aged 6 - 15 years of all sporting abilities swim, cycle, and run their way around age-appropriate courses, either as an individual or as a team of two.

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Marchfest - March 2025

Marchfest - March 2025

Marchfest is a unique craft beer and music festival, held in the craft brewing and hop growing capital of New Zealand. Set in Nelson's historic, traffic-free Founders Heritage Park, MarchFest promises a day of craft beer (plus wine and cider), brewing demonstrations, live music and entertainment, delicious cuisine and fun activities for the kids.

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Cable Bay Enduro - March

Cable Bay Enduro - March

A professional and challenging race, with a casual and fun vibe. This is a race where the elite can mix with a first time racer and both feel equally stoked and welcome! Each year brings something new whilst maintaining the good parts from over the years.

2023 will be a special year as the first ever New Zealand Enduro National Championships will be hosted as part of the event.

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Tuku Whakatū Heritage Months - March & April

Tuku Whakatū Heritage Months - March & April

A series of events based on the rich and varied past of one of NZ’s oldest cities. Delivering a range of interesting, exciting and intriguing events and activities with a heritage flair, there is sure to be something for everyone over autumn/winter.

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Nelson Jewellery Week - April (biennial event back in 2025)

Nelson Jewellery Week - April (biennial event back in 2025)

An event for makers, wearers and viewers to celebrate all things contemporary jewellery.

Hosting over 30 exhibitions with makers from across Aotearoa, Australia, and the UK. There are numerous workshops and masterclasses aimed at beginners and early career makers as well as experienced jewellers; panel discussions to share current contemporary jewellery discourse; floor talks with makers speaking about their practice; activations and events around the central city including the much anticipated pin swap, Buildings Need Jewellery, and Pecha Kucha.

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Mapua Easter Fair - April

Mapua Easter Fair - April

The Mapua Easter Fair is held on Easter Sunday and is Nelson Tasman region’s largest fair with over 10,000 visitors each year. You’ll find all your old favourites from a massive range of stalls selling food, crafts and other goods, fairground rides, bouncy castles, a petting zoo, pony rides and more.

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Ceol Aneas Irish Music Festival - June (King's Birthday weekend)

Ceol Aneas Irish Music Festival - June (King's Birthday weekend)

New Zealand's largest gathering of Irish traditional music featuring ceili dance, concerts, tutored sessions and open pub sessions. Bring an instrument and join in. The event provides tuition in Irish flute, tin whistle, fiddle, banjo and mandolin, accordion and concertina, guitar, bouzouki, and traditional singing.

Informal live lounge concert, traditional music sessions in bars and cafés around town, family-friendly singing session and a Festival Highlight Concert.

Join us for a weekend of great music and 'craic' (Irish for a good time)!

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Founders Annual Book Fair - June (starts King's Birthday Weekend)

Founders Annual Book Fair - June (starts King's Birthday Weekend)

A nine-day event with a huge variety of second-hand books, DVDs, vinyl records, puzzles and games for sale at bargain prices. This massive Book Fair is based in the Energy Centre, with an entire children's books section located in the Granary Hall. Book sections include fiction, non-fiction, biography, prose, history, travel, cooking, gardening, wellness, art, photography, and more.
Bring suitcases, bags, boxes - anything you can to load up your finds.

Open from 10am - 4.30pm every day.

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Te Ramaroa - June (biennial event back in 2025)

Te Ramaroa - June (biennial event back in 2025)

A free outdoor event featuring light installations on every scale, from tiny discoveries, through to magnificent multi-storeyed projections. Te Ramaroa celebrates the alluring qualities of light – to illuminate, dazzle, transform, and to make a winter’s night a whole lot more magical.

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Matariki Celebration - June

Matariki Celebration - June

Gather with the community to celebrate the Māori New Year. Activities vary from year to year and have included things like Māori kai/cuisine, entertainment and kids activities so wrap up warm and bring your whanau along for a night with the stars. This event is sure to spark joy amongst everyone involved.

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Nelson Clay Week - September (biennial event back in 2024)

Nelson Clay Week - September (biennial event back in 2024)

Celebrating contemporary ceramic art and showcasing Aotearoa’s pottery community through displays and hands-on workshops. Offering a varied programme of workshops and masterclasses carefully curated to inspire practitioners and expand practices.

Pottery lovers and the wider community are invited to join in the celebration through a number of public activities and exhibitions across Nelson’s CBD and the Nelson Tasman region.

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Nelson Arts Festival - October

Nelson Arts Festival - October

Nelson Arts Festival is New Zealand’s longest-running annual regional festival with a fantastic mix of theatre, music, dance, circus, writers and visual arts. A defining highlight of the Nelson Arts Festival is the much-loved Mask Parade, where everyone comes to town for the best street party ever. From whole schools of littlies in self-decorated masks, through to wild and wondrous costumes worn by famous-townsfolk-in-disguise, the carnivale and parade is a heart-bursting spectacle of creativity, colour and music.

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Moutere Artisans Open Day - April & October

Moutere Artisans Open Day - April & October

This annual event brings people from all over the country to taste the new olive oil, the new release wines, to experience some of the country’s finest cheeses and artisanal foods and talk to talented artists – people who make baskets, sculpture, jewellery and ceramics. The artisans work together to celebrate life in one of the most picturesque villages in the country. It is a superb day out.

Held Labour Weekend Sunday and the Sunday nearest ANZAC Day each year.

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Abel Tasman Coastal Classic - October

Abel Tasman Coastal Classic - October

Come stride into paradise – 33km Trail Run from Awaroa to Marahau within the renowned Abel Tasman National Park. If there’s one event to put on the list for the run of a lifetime, it’s the Abel Tasman Coastal Classic.

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The Nelson Half - November

The Nelson Half - November

Held on the first Sunday of November, the running and walking events are over 2.5km, 5km, 10km and 21.1km catering for all levels of ability from beginners and recreational athletes to serious competitors.

An event which encourages families, friends and whanau to come together, improve fitness and promote healthy exercise. This is one of the larger participation sports events in the Top of the South, run on a scenic, flat course around the walkways of Stoke and Richmond's Taste Trail, open to all runners and walkers with a distance to suit the whole family.

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NZ Cider Festival - November (biennial event back in 2024)

NZ Cider Festival - November (biennial event back in 2024)

Taste over 100 varieties of cider, from NZ's best cider makers. The most recent Cider Award's winning ciders will be announced and ready to sample, along with all-day live music, local artisan food trucks and a dedicated kids zone. It's an event for the whole family!

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Paddlefest Nelson - November

Paddlefest Nelson - November

Enjoy Nelson Tasman’s pristine ocean and river environment at Tahunanui Beach and Maitai River for PaddleFest, an event designed entirely around being on the water. Those on kayaks, paddleboards and various other paddlecrafts can test their skills at distance and sprint races, participate in relays or simply have some fun at the social events.

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The Great Christmas Market - November

The Great Christmas Market - November

Find gorgeous New Zealand handmade gifts for yourself and others from over 100 of the regions finest boutique makers at this festive market.

There's plenty of food to keep you fuelled plus visiting buskers and choirs add to the festive atmosphere.

Running for over 10 years this market is one that keeps getting bigger and better. Make it your annual go-to place for Christmas shopping. ''Tis the season for giving.

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Feast Whakatu - November

Feast Whakatu - November

Delight your palette with a 10-day showcase of delectable local food and beverages.

Feast Whakatū is a celebration of the incredible diversity and craftsmanship the Nelson Tasman region has to offer.

Over 30 experiences and events for you to attend experience a wide range of mouth-watering gastronomic delights that will leave you in awe of the Whakatū based growers, producers, brands, chefs, and restaurants.

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Nelson A&P Show - November

Nelson A&P Show - November

Dog races and fashion shows, sheep shearing, archery, equestrian competition, amusement rides, floral displays, trade stands, wood chopping, tractor displays, photography, cooking classes, handcrafts, goats, sheep, cattle, poultry and more. Running for over 100 years this event is deeply embedded into kiwi culture.

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The Spectacle - December

The Spectacle - December

From the mile to the 100-mile, experience high-energy racing right in the heart of Nelson and explore the surrounding trails.

The event provides a full program of gnarly Trail events with 10km, 21km, 50km, 100km and 100 mile distances, and Road racing in the CBD of Nelson with 1 mile, 5km and relay races on closed-road routes.

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Richmond Market Day - December

Richmond Market Day - December

Shopping, fun, and entertainment for the entire family. Join the Richmond businesses as they bring their specials out onto the street, and the many market stallholders from all around the country as they line Queen Street. With an outstanding array of food. clothing, plants and fresh summer produce, local artisan products plus free activities for the kids.

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Browse All Upcoming Events

Browse All Upcoming Events

If it's on, it's on www.itson.co.nz. Its On is the official event calendar for the Nelson Tasman region, and the place to look for any and all upcoming events in the area.

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crowd surf credit David Letsche2

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