Festival tips

paint at diwali

For children: 

  • Watch the Rajasthani puppeteers – colourful, lively and laugh-out-loud-funny shows
  • Paint a heart in your favourite Resene Diwali colour to take home with you
  • Have fun at Barfoot & Thompson Kids’ Zone, where you can see the puppet shows, Pixar short films on the big screen and lots more
  • Watch performers on the main stage, including dancers of all ages in the Radio Tarana Bollywood Dance competition

For parents:

  • Write your mobile phone number on your child’s arm, just in case you get separated
  • Snap a photo of your child in the day’s outfit when you arrive
  • Agree on a meeting place if family members get separated
  • The Lost Kids tent is at the base of the Auckland Town Hall clock tower

For people with limited mobility:

henna tattoo

For first-time festival goers: 

  • Grab some food when you arrive, before the food stalls get super busy; check out the entertainment on the main stage; then head to the craft stalls
  • Try the delicious street food on offer – try the savory dahi puri,  pani puri or aloo tikki; or the sweet treats of jalebi or gulab jamun
  • Come for lunch, and find a spot on the grass to eat, while you watch the performances
  • Get a temporary henna tattoo
  • Crowds tends to be their biggest from 6.30pm onwards at the food stalls and 7.30-9pm in front of the main stage
  • Agree on a meeting point should you get separated – like the Waharoa – the carved Māori entranceway in Aotea Square
  • You can pick up a programme and map at the festival – or download all the details on the Auckland Events Guide app

For travelling to and from the festival:

  • Avoid parking hassles and catch public transport to the Auckland Diwali Festival
  • Aotea Square is in walking distance from the Britomart Transport Centre and the ferry terminals
  • There will be extra trains running on Sunday, to get people to and from the festival
  • Auckland Transport have extra bike racks at Aotea Square for people cycling to the festival
  • Drop-off points for people with mobility challenges are marked on the festival map, as well as accessible parking spots
  • Queen Street is closed between Mayoral Dr and Wellesley St West, so some bus stops are affected
  • For train services and information on temporary bus stop closures, visit the AT website.

For bringing with you:

  • Travel light for ease of movement amongst the crowds of festival goers
  • This is Auckland – the weather is changeable – bring sunscreen, a hat, and a raincoat
  • Bring your friends and family – it’s a great group outing, and a family-festival event with something for all ages

For leaving behind:

  • Cigarettes, pipes, vapes – the Auckland Diwali Festival is a smoke-free event. This is part of Auckland Council’s drive to make the region’s public outdoor spaces smoke-free and help create a healthy city for all residents. Thank you from the whole Diwali team for supporting this.
  • Dogs – service dogs are welcome, but the festival attracts large crowds (35,000 last year) and your pet may be happier at home
  • Alcohol – the festival is alcohol-free and intoxicated festival-goers will be asked to leave

For being social:

For getting assistance at the festival:

  • If you feel unwell at the Auckland Diwali Festival, St. John is on-site in Aotea Square to provide first aid assistance
  • If you lose your child – or your parents – the Lost Kids tent below the Town Hall clock, or festival staff and volunteers wear bright orange visibility vests and can help you out