Having just come off the back of a month’s worth of enlightening movies as part of the NZ International Film Festival, you’re probably looking to do something other than sitting silently in a dark room that smells of popcorn with a whole lot of strangers.
Luckily August is overflowing with great things to do, including three core events on the social calendar that let you eat things, wear things and make things. Elsewhere, there’s an environmental singles event on an island, a talk about intense animal encounters, sardonic observation comedy, and some ballet from across the ditch.
To celebrate four years since the birth of multi-purpose waterfront neighbourhood Wynyard Quarter, a day-long programme of festivities will play out on August 1. The family friendly event is set to include everything from a fusion of yoga and bike riding, karaoke, sea creature chalk stencilling, workshops in circus performance, free ferry cruises, lantern making and pop-up live performances. A selection of street food vendors will be on hand, while the Silo bar will wash everything down and help warm up the crowd for some free public karaoke. In true Silo Park style, The LEGO Movie will be screened on one of the towering silos at 3:30pm.
When: Saturday, August 1 Where: Wynyard Quarter How much: Free
Now in its fifth year, the month-long culinary celebration Restaurant Month explores anything and everything about food through a lineup of events and specially created menus. Over 100 restaurants have jumped on board this year, culminating in table-side concerts, dinner by bike, sustainably-focused degustations, celebrity kitchen collaborations, wine from the depths of France, and food from the street. Have a peep at our complete guide to Restaurant Month here.
When: August 1 - 31 Where: Various establishment throughout Auckland How much: Free - $300
If the prospect of doing good things for the environment and flirting with 100-odd strangers spins your wheels, then keep reading. Auckland-based dating initiative Do Good Dating is hosting a day of tree planting on Motuihe Island for those looking to join the charity circuit, as well as connect with someone likeminded beyond the dance floor or the shallow nature of a hookup app. The day of tree planting will include all tools and equipment, a BBQ lunch and all the water, tea and coffee you’d like.
When: Sunday, August 2 Where: Motuihe Island How much: $30
As part of National Geographic’s Live series, proclaimed “big cat legend” Steve Winter will share behind-the-scenes tales of what it takes to negotiate the world’s most remote locations in order to capture rare images of cats. The hour-and-a-half long talk will see the highly respected photographer detail intense encounters he’s had with dangerous animals, alongside a collection of stunning imagery and gripping footage. Expect everything from capturing the nocturnal adventures of a mountain lion in the Hollywood hills, being charged by rhinos, avoiding becoming jaguar lunch in a Brazilian rainforest, and being trapped in quicksand in the world’s largest tiger reserve in Myanmar.
In line with Auckland’s 175th birthday, season eight of Auckland Museum’s LATE series will explore contemporary themes relating to our fine city. The first instalment of the four-part series, Songs of the City, will cover music inspired or created in Auckland. A panel of well versed speakers will be on hand to discuss the impact of ‘Auckland music’ and their experiences with the industry and culture. Accomplished music broadcaster, journalist and DJ, Russell Brown, will serve as moderator for the evening, leading panellists: Phil Bell (DJ Sir Vere), Dave Dobbyn, Rachel Lang (co-creator of TV series Outrageous Fortune) and Audioculture‘s Simon Grigg.
Attendees will also be treated to a set by DJ Sir Vere, and performances by Dave Dobbyn and award-winning musician Emma Paki.
When: Tuesday, August 11 Where: Auckland Museum How much: $20
For their Auckland premiere, the Melbourne Ballet Company will lace up their slippers to perform four works following themes of change, possibility and hope. The company’s resident choreographer Simon Hoy will lead the cast through the title piece Infinite Space, and three short pieces with his signature combination of rigorous ballet technique and contemporary theory. They will all be set to well-known, iconic pieces of music, such as Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and Mozart’s 27th Piano Concerto.
When: Thursday, August 20 - Friday, August 21 Where: Bruce Mason Centre How much: $39 - 59
Celebrating all things within the realm of zine culture and creativity, Auckland Zinefest will run for over a week in late August. The Zinefest Market is a centre point of the programme on Saturday 29 August, with over 60 zine makers and artists showcasing and selling a variety of creative endeavours. Other events on the calendar include the opening party featuring poetry readings and music performances, a 24-hour zine-making challenge, creative workshops and discussions around typography, comics and feminism.
When: Friday, August 21 - Saturday, August 29 Where: Various venues in Auckland How much: Free
New Zealand Fashion Week has been helping us decipher trends in the clothing department for fifteen years now. This year’s event will be held from August 24 to 30 with local and international brands showcasing their upcoming collections to media, buyers, VIPs and fashion icons alike.
If your VIP invitation was lost in the mail, then the public Fashion Weekend is your best bet. Held from August 29 - 30, the weekend promises a schedule full of beauty seminars, parties, a selection of fashion shows and the infamous designer pop-up sale. The Fashion Weekend Opening Party will also be held on Friday, August 28.
When: Monday, August 24 - Sunday, August 30 Where: Viaduct Events Centre How much: $20 - 60
For his first visit to New Zealand in four years, Irish comedian Dylan Moran promises a healthy dose of impassioned ranting and sardonic observation comedy. The comedian’s latest show ‘Off The Hook’ deals with domestic matters like gaining weight, raising children, family pets, the awfulness of modern television, and the experience of ageing. He's also boasted as "the Oscar Wilde of comedy."
When: Friday, August 28 - Saturday, August 29 Where: ASB Theatre How much: $79.90 - 89.90
As well as being a hot ticket on the social calendar, the Sustainable Coastlines Charity Ball is held as a way to raise funds for the organisation’s ongoing work and to inspire and educate others about the state of our coastlines and waterways. In between a three-course meal, ample liquor, and entertainment from rock n' roll band The Rocking Roller-Coasters and DJ Murry Sweetpants, the glitzy event will feature silent and live auctions with auctioneer Sabine Davison in charge of the gavel.
When: Saturday, August 29 Where: Hilton Auckland How much: $160