Kick back with the world’s largest Pacific festival: Pasifika

by Stephanie - 11/02/2011 12:18:00

Celebrate Pacific cultures this March.
Image: Auckland City Council

Next month is the one of the most significant cultural and community festivals in the South Pacific, celebrating New Zealand’s multicultural identity through music, drama, film, arts and food. So if you are on a New Zealand working holiday this is not one to miss.  

The Pasifika Festival is a chance for the Pacific Island communities in Auckland to showcase their traditions, heritage and to extend their hospitality – and they pull out all the stops!

Pasifika Festival runs for 7 days in March, kicking off on March 6 with opening night concert and culminates in the massive festival day on March 12, at Western Springs Park.

Throughout the week there will be various performances and exhibitions taking place around Auckland from the Samoa, Tonga, Cook Islands, Fiji, Niue, Tahiti, Tokelau, Tuvalu, Kiribati and the tangata whenua (New Zealand Māori) communities.

On the big festival day, more than 200,000 people are expected to turn up to for all-day entertainment on three main stages and visit the 10 cultural villages spread throughout the park.
More than 350 stalls will be selling everything from fresh coconuts through to t-shirts, paintings, tapa (barkcloth) and weaving.

Chances are if you are on a working holiday in New Zealand you would have visited Auckland already (the secluded islands, sparkling waters and lush native rainforest nearby are also a big drawcard!).

If not, after the festival hang around for a little bit because the area is really amazing. In just half an hour you can be almost anywhere - sailing to an island, trekking through a rainforest, picnicking on a volcano, sampling wines at a vineyard or wandering a wild, black sand surf beach.

Pasifika Festival
6-12 March

Cost: FREE
Festival day is Saturday 12 March, 10am to 5pm, at Western Springs Park and sports fields, Auckland.
Other events will be held around Auckland during the week.

- Safe and happy travels on your New Zealand working holiday!

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