It’s Spring: These are the events on our agenda across Aotearoa

5 September 2023
By Fashion Quarterly

With warmer, longer days on their way, we recommend staying booked and busy with this smattering of happenings.

Secure your spot at The Runholder VIP Lounge during Beyond Toast in Martinborough.

There may still be a chill in the air, but September marks the first month of spring here in Aotearoa – and to say we’re excited would be an understatement. With warmer weather on the horizon and an abundance of new foliage ready to grace our trees, spring is the perfect time to start making plans for the rest of the year (because let’s face it, who wants to go out when it’s gloomy and dark?). And with New Zealand Fashion Week officially over, the FQ team are consulting their respective calendars this week to see what the remainder of the year has in store. If you too have caught a case of spring fever and are keen to fling yourself into the season of festivities – then read on – as we take you through every upcoming event that’s happening around the country that’s worthy of an RSVP.

Auckland Climate Festival. Image: Supplied.

Auckland Climate Festival

Where: Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland
When: 31 August – 29 – September, 2023

From the 31st of August, the Auckland Climate Festival, in partnership with Iwi host Ngaati Te Ata Waiohua, kicks off with a dawn ceremony held at the city’s Botanic Gardens. Founded two years ago in an attempt to tackle climate change by FQ changemaker Michelle Kennedy, the festival will span for the entire month of September, playing host to over 150 events which celebrate climate action. With activities like film screenings, ethical fashion events and even complimentary porridge bowls and oat flat whites on offer, what better incentive do you need to get amongst the action? 

See the full programme here.

Image: supplied.

Semi Permanent

Where: Pōneke/Wellington
When: 8 -10 November, 2023

Looking for a dose of creative inspiration to help drive your career forward in 2024? Making its return for the 21st year is Aotearoa’s Semi Permanent festival, a celebration of local and international creative figures who will come together to deliver an assortment of engaging keynote talks, panel discussions, workshops and demonstrations. Standing as the biggest and longest-running event of its kind in the southern hemisphere, the event gives attendees the opportunity to gain insight from those they look up to, levelling up their existing skill sets and expanding their knowledge of their chosen industries. With an extensive program in store featuring the likes of skin care founder Emma Lewisham, head of editorial content at Vogue India Megha Kapoor, and visual artists Ophelia and Ryder Jones, this is an event not to be missed.

Find out more and book tickets here.

Image: @trypaintvine


Where: Ōtautahi/Christchurch
When: 20 September and 23rd of October, 2023

If sipping some tasty tipples while getting creative with a paintbrush and canvas sounds like your idea of a good time, then this next event will be right up your alley. Since its founding in 2017, Paintvine has hosted evenings all around Aotearoa where attendees have applied their creative talents to a canvas over a glass of vino while being led by a team of experienced artists and assistants. In one of their upcoming events, hosted in Christchurch central on September 20th and October 23rd, locals will have the chance to recreate either Monet’s water lilies or one of works of the iconic artist Bob Ross, whose paintings of natural landscapes are some of the most recognisable in the world. Whether you fancy yourself an art savant or are simply after a fun night out with your friends, this is an ideal way to spend a spring eve.

Book tickets here.

The Runholder, Toast Martinborough. Image: Supplied.

Toast Martinborough 

Where: Wharekaka/Martinborough
When: 18 – 19 November, 2023

In November, the quaint Wairarapa town of Martinborough will once again welcome visitors to Toast, its annual festival celebrating Aotearoa’s finest culinary and vinicultural delights. This year, local small-batch maker Lighthouse Gin kicks off the Beyond Toast festivities with a gorgeous garden party, which you’ll want to mark on your calendar for the 18th of the month, as it promises an enchanting afternoon of live summer singing alongside a delectable grazing menu and an array of gin cocktails and signature gin and tonics designed by head distiller and FQ muse Rachel Hall.

Discover the weekend’s entire lineup here. And book tickets to the event here.

Après Sessions at the Sherwood 

Where: Tahuna/Queenstown
When: Every Saturday in September from 4pm til late

There’s no snow quite like like spring snow, and if shredding up the slopes is on your agenda this month, Queenstown is the natural first port of call. Not only is the town known for its idyllic views and stellar restaurants, it also happens to be home to various luxury lodgings, including FQ favourite, the Sherwood Queenstown. Throughout September, guests can enjoy lively Saturday gatherings featuring a calendar of live DJs and a dedicated outdoor menu crafted by renowned chef, Chris Scott. Raise a glass to the season with locally sourced mulled wine, Sherwood’s bespoke Canyon Brewing hazy and spritzers, while relishing the flavours of the kitchen’s gourmet goods. When you’re not boogying, enjoy an extra touch of hygge by wrapping up in their iconic wool blankets while you toast marshmallows over the firepits. Whether you’re celebrating a day well spent on the slopes or simply soaking in the mountain vibes, Sherwood Après Sessions promises the perfect post-ski atmosphere. 

Stay in the loop for all upcoming Sherwood events here.

Image: @zonta_dunedin

Zonta Fashion Show and charity auction

Where: Ōtepoti/Dunedin
When: 12 October, 2023

Hometown of labels such as Company of Strangers and Nom*D, Dunedin has long been an epicentre for gritty pretty sartorial talent in Aotearoa. This spring, the city will celebrate its local creatives over one fashion-fuelled evening for the Zonta Fashion Show and charity auction held at Zonta Metropolitan Club of Dunedin. Designers including the likes of Company of Strangers and Taylor will showcase their spring/summer collections alongside emerging talents from Otago Polytechnic, followed by a selection of charity auctions and raffles that will raise funds for K9 Medical Detection – a charitable trust that trains dogs to assist in the early detection of cancer and other diseases. Tickets are available for individual purchase or in groups of ten, so gather the gang and make it a fashionable night out.

Grab your tickets here.


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