Friday July 16 - Sunday July 18.
Kick off your visit off with Live Music in Grey Lynn, because throughout Elemental AKL, the streets of this groovy little suburb will resound with live sounds, as local venues serve up tasty tunes alongside signature snacks, with some even creating special drinks for the occasion.
Maybe a day on Waiheke tickles your fancy - then you’ll want to book fast for Interesting Places: The Subterranean Sessions ($79 through Eventbrite), a series of intimate performances at Fortress Stony Batter on the eastern side of the island. Artists include Hollie Fullbrook, aka Tiny Ruins, Finn Andrews from The Veils, (July 17) Deva Mahal and Delaney Davidson (July 18) who’ll each play a stripped back set in the fortress’s magazine chamber. Oh the acoustics!
Or how about a drink after dark? Smart cookies will settle in at one of the waterfront bars with a view of the Harbour Bridge and catch the free display put on by Vector Lights, with music you can listen to on your mobile device, repeated every 30 minutes.
And so Sunday doesn’t feel sad because you have to go home, brighten your spirits by booking Art Brunch at Onslow (17 July, 11am-2pm $120.). This uber elegant location will be laying on a luxurious four-course brunch designed by Josh Emmett, that’ll include blinis and Bellinis with a side of champagne, served with your choice of breakfast cocktails. Then enjoy a special Q&A with one of New Zealand’s most sought-after artists
Friday July 23 - Saturday July 25
Let art steal your heart at Art in the Park (Eden Park, July 24-25, 10am-6pm. GA $15, kids under 14 free), the perfect place to ooh and ah over paintings, sculptures, photographs and prints with options to purchase pieces, whether you’re just starting your art collection or adding to it. You can even take a tour of Eden Park.
Perhaps you’d rather be out on the ocean, then you’ll want to join Auckland Sea Kayaks at Mission Bay Beach on Saturday July 24 for Kai by Kayak, (3.30pm- 8pm. $165 pp). Paddle across the Waitemata Harbour to the Victorian village of Devonport where a wholesome dinner will be served at Corelli’s Café, then it’s back to the water’s edge for a gentle paddle towards the twinkling lights of the city – also available July 17 & 31 – if you’re really keen, you can do it three times.
For something utterly novel, Papaya Stories’ Secret Party (July 23, three sessions, 7pm, 8pm, 9pm, $35) is just like a treasure hunt, but the treasure is the party. Move from one location to another collecting clues - bearing in mind the Alice in Wonderland theme – and, once you have the secret code, unlock the door to the Secret Party which includes pop-up musical entertainment and glow-in-the-dark painting activities.
Flying Nun fans are sure to converge on the city this weekend for The Flying Nun 40 Years Anniversary Concert (July 24, 7pm, Auckland Town Hall, $89.90) bound to be one of the biggest and most popular gigs of the year. With three stages featuring crowd favourites Aldous Harding (solo), Straitjacket Fits, Reb Fountain, Subliminals, Superette, The Batts, Mermaidens, Wax Chattels and Voom, there is a lot to celebrate.
Friday July 30 - Sunday August 1
Take your taste buds to Shed 10 for Street Eats ($20 - $35) an event dreamed up by the team behind Winetopia, Restaurant Month and Taste of Auckland and all about restaurants, pop-up bars and live music. So, round up your friends and grab your tickets for a whole lot of fun, handed to you on a plate with sessions Friday July 30, 5-10pm and Saturday, July 31, 11am - 4pm & 5 - 10pm.
Go on an urban forage, aka Mahinga Kai, with Chef Riki Bennett, and take part in a Winter Forage (Saturday, July 31, 9am-2pm, $95.) Start with a guided city walk and harvest a range of edible plants, leaves and berries, then take your discoveries back to the New Zealand School of Food and Wine, where Riki will talk about local edible plants and trees as well as Māori food gathering traditions and culture before serving up a delicious gourmet luncheon paired with local Auckland wines.
Join acclaimed chef Josh Emett and Oyster Inn head chef Jamie Hogg-Wharekawa on Waiheke Island for this very special oyster event (Saturday 31 July, 11am -3pm, The Oyster Inn, Waiheke Island. $175). Learn to shuck and prepare this ocean delicacy, watch Josh demonstrate three classic dressings and a basic batter then sit back and enjoy a mouth-watering four-course lunch – and yes there will be oysters.