From 22 June through 21 July, Aucklanders can celebrate Matariki with a range of inspirational arts, entertainment and educational events across our RFA venues.

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki kicks off the Matariki Festival with a series of free talks centred on the Living Portraits: Mata Raurangi exhibition. The talks begin with an exhibition walkthrough with curator Nigel Borell on 22 June, who discusses the connections between Gottfried Lindauer and Charles F Goldie's Māori portraits with contemporary art practice.

On 7 July, New Zealand artist Brett Graham (Tainui, Ngāti Korokī Kahukura), one of most talented sculptors of his generation, discusses his art installation Tūrangawaewae; and on 13 July Ataahua Papa (Tainui, Ngāti  Korokī Kahukura, Ngāti Mahuta) leads a tour that discusses the importance of Kiingitanga (The Māori King Movement).

On the waterfront, New Zealand Maritime Museum presents Matariki Festival: Te Awhiorangi, navigation by the stars with Te Toki Voyaging Trust. From 22 to 23 June, families will be immersed in a world of stars, sea and waka kaupapa inside a blow up star globe with ocean navigators.

Over at Auckland Zoo, the Domes will come alive with interactive activities for the whole whanau to enjoy when the sun goes down. Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and the Zoo have teamed up to create a fun-filled school holiday programme from 1 to 22 July that includes kai, waiata, tākaro, korero and kapa haka performances.

Families will be able to wander throughout the Zoo to learn about nocturnal animals, enjoy lively music and performances, or take part in a variety of interactive games and activities.

In Auckland Live’s Matariki for Tamariki - Ngā Tamariki o Ngā Mata Ariki, New Zealand dancer and choreographer Sean MacDonald ((Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāi Tahu) presents a special celebration for the whole family. On at the Bruce Mason Centre from 12 to 13 July, experience a world where a band of players, a group of friends, and a whānau travel throughout Aotearoa, encountering the wonders of nature through seasonal changes. The journey begins and ends through the dawning and setting of the Matariki whetū (star) constellation. 

There is something for everyone this Matariki Festival, so come along and experience the wonder and rich cultural heritage associated with this special time of year.