Looking for the best events in New Zealand in May? You’ve come to the right place.

Like many of our event posts over the past few months, sadly there have been a few cancellations to some of the biggest events that usually take place in May. We have left these events in the calendar, however, as most have already set their dates for 2023 and some have simply been postponed until later in the year so mark the new dates in your diary and hopefully, you won’t miss out on some of your favourite events that usually take place in May.

May is the month of autumnal hues and the winding down of excitement from the summer months of gallivanting in the sun. That being said, there are still some great events in New Zealand in May such as the fine examples featured below!



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Organisers recently took the decision to cancel the 2022 International Comedy Festival. Whilst borders are slowly opening up, there is still a lot of uncertainty about international travel that made organising the event at such short notice extremely difficult.

In positive news, however, the organisers did announce at the same time that there will be two new dates for the Best Foods Comedy Gala so if you are a big fan of live comedy, get these dates marked in your diary.

The Auckland show will go ahead on Friday 9 September and has moved to the glorious Civic Theatre, while the Wellington show will now take place on Friday 30 September, at the fabulous Michael Fowler Centre. The Auckland show will be recorded for broadcast on Three, thanks to support from NZ on Air.

Existing tickets will automatically be transferred to the new dates, and refunds will be available.

Hold onto your hats as the first line-up announcement is coming real soon; it’s an absolute cracker that the Comedy Fest can’t wait to share with you!

Event: Best Foods Comedy Gala 2022

When: Auckland, 9 September and Wellington 30 September

Where: Auckland and Wellington


The beautiful Bay of Islands towns of Paihia and Russell come alive May 13 – 15 when New Zealand’s biggest Country Rock Festival comes to town. With over 40 bands from all over the North and South Islands, the 2022 Bay of Islands Country Rock Festival is a must-do!

Event: Bay of Islands Country Rock Festival

When: 13-15 May 2022

Where: Kingsgate Autolodge, Paihia



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The Plunket Fun Run usually takes place in May every year. Sadly, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event has not run physically since 2019, however, Plunket has been running virtual fun runs to help keep people active and to continue to raise valuable funds to support Whānau Āwhina Plunket’s work in the community.

In 2022, the virtual fun runs were held in April, however, organisers are hoping that 2023 will see a return to physical fun runs and we can all look forward to getting out and supporting the amazing work carried out by Plunket. The virtual fun run series is been run in partnership with Huggies with support from Move it Mama and Z Energy. Keep an eye out for news of the dates for the 2023 fun runs when hopefully they will return to towns and cities throughout New Zealand.

Event: Plunket Fun Runs 2022

When: 2-24 April 2022

Where: Virtual Fun Runs



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The Craft Beer scene gets bigger and bigger with each passing year in New Zealand and if you’re one of the many that have a taste for it then the Palmerston North BrewDay festival is an event you’ll want to get yourself to.

BrewDay 2022 is being held at Fly Palmy Arena. This is a completely undercover venue. The venue is centrally located in Palmerston North, is close to bars and easily accessed by public transport. All of your favourite New Zealand brands will be attending including Sawmill, Parrot Dog, Double Vision, Garage Project, Good George, McLeods and more.

BrewDay 2022 will incorporate a safari theme and you are encouraged to dress up at the event if that is your thing with prizes available for the best-dressed individuals and groups.

Not a bad day out at all so get your tickets quick!

Event: Palmerston North BrewDay 2022

When: 28th May 2022

Where: Palmerston North


Just thinking about this one makes the tummy rumble. We’re of course talking about the Bluff Oyster and Food Festival in the rustic seaside town of Bluff!

Bluff Oysters are known for their meatiness and intense flavour and are collected from deep beds in the Foveaux Straight. They are hugely popular and highly sought after with people travelling from all around the country to attend this festival in their honour.

The festival also showcases many other food types with plenty of vendors manning stalls and there’s also a great entertainment line-up as well.

An easy May event to include as one of the best in New Zealand.

Event: Bluff Oyster and Food Festival

When: 21 May 2022

Where: Bluff


Last but not least we finish the month with the illuminating Luma Southern Light Project in Queenstown. Sadly, this is an event that has been cancelled for 2022, however, organisers are already looking ahead to 2023 and it’s an event you should be adding to your calendar.

For those who haven’t heard of the event, it’s a fantastic celebration of light in one of the most picturesque places in New Zealand. Artists from all around the world come to dazzle attendees with imaginatively ingenious works that transfix and amaze.

It’s a great family-friendly and award-winning event that doesn’t even come with a price tag because it’s free!

Event: Luma Southern Light Project

When: TBC 2023

Where: Queenstown


So there it is! 6 great events in New Zealand this May (in our opinion) to fit into your schedule. Don’t forget we also have some great city guides featuring sights and attractions that you can see right throughout the year with a few additional tips about accommodation and dining!

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