For travelling to and from the Auckland Lantern Festival:

Forget the hassle of parking and come by bus, train, on foot or bicycle - up to 200,000 people attend the festival each year and there is limited parking and extensive road closures around the Auckland Domain for the festival.

Auckland Transport provides secure bike parks at the festival, next to the information tents and marked on the festival map.

There will be two Lime Scooter drop off/pick up zones on site. We encourage everyone arriving via Lime Scooter to walk their scooter to one of these sites, as there will be big crowds to navigate around inside the Domain. Leaving the scooter where someone might trip over it isn’t a good idea either – don’t be that person!

Visit our transport page for more information on getting to the festival.

For first-time festival goers:

This is Auckland’s largest cultural festival, with big crowds, so plan your trip to the festival ahead of time, depending if you prefer the hustle and bustle or smaller crowds.

Thursday 14 February is Lantern Appreciation Night, with no stalls, performances, food or amusements. The opening ceremony will run from 6.30pm to 8.00pm and then it’s just you and the lanterns! It tends to be quieter than other nights, and earlier in the evenings is quieter than later on each evening.

If you’re after some of the delicious street food, grab something early, before the food stalls get super busy (from 6.00pm onwards) on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

If you want all the hustle and bustle, sights, sounds, smells and colours of the festival at its peak, and don’t mind big crowds, Saturday night is your night – the busiest night of the festival, followed by Sunday which finishes with a bang – the fireworks finale!

There is limited parking and extensive road closures around the Auckland Domain for the festival – forget the hassle of parking and come by bus, train, on foot or bicycle.

For people with limited mobility:

Accessible parking and drop-off areas are on Cenotaph Rd, with controlled entry via Maunsell Rd.

There are fewer people earlier in the evenings, or on Lantern Appreciation Night (Thursday 14 February), making it easier to move freely around the festival.

All the temporary toilet blocks in place for the festival have accessible toilets.

For kids:

Find the new Year of Pig lantern and the other animal lanterns representing the Chinese zodiac.

Visit the Cultural Courtyard and have a look at the awesome traditional kites being made by kite-makers who have had the technique passed down to them through generations.

Keep your eyes peeled for the roaming stilt walkers, and head to the Lion Dance Lawn to the ancient Lion Dance.

Watch the incredible energetic display of martial arts – maybe you’ll be inspired to join your local martial arts club.

Find the diabolo demonstrations and get involved in the action!

For parents:

The Auckland Lantern Festival is a free, family-friendly event.

The Auckland Domain gets very busy during the festival, so just in case you get separated, write your mobile phone number on your child’s arm or hand and snap a photo of your child in the day’s outfit when you arrive.

We suggest you leave larger prams and pushchairs at home if possible. Crowds are lighter earlier in the evenings too, making it easier to get around with little ones.

Agree on a meeting place if family members get separated.

There are two Lost Kids/Information tents – just ask one of our friendly staff, volunteers or security team where the nearest one is.

With a registered AT HOP card, children aged 5 to 15 years pay just 99 cents for bus and train travel on weekends. Find out more on Auckland Transport’s 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.

Bring some cash – queues are expected to get quite long at cash-out sites and while some food stalls have EFTPOS, many take only cash.

There is an ASB ATM on-site, marked on the festival map.

For leaving behind:

Cigarettes, pipes, vapes – the Auckland Lantern Festival and Auckland Council Parks are smokefree.

Dogs – service dogs are welcome, but the festival attracts large crowds (about 200,000 every year) and your pet may be happier at home.

Alcohol – the festival is alcohol-free and intoxicated festival-goers will be asked to leave.


If you would like to provide us with feedback or suggestions regarding Auckland Lantern Festival 2019, please email us.