Auckland lantern Festival 2016. Auckland Domain. February 2016. Photo:Gareth Cooke

The Auckland Lantern Festival returns to the Auckland Domain this week, Thursday, 9 to Sunday, 12 February 2017.

Auckland’s largest cultural festival and New Zealand’s largest Chinese festival attracted more than 200,000 people attending in 2016, and organisers encourage festival goers to plan their visit in advance.

Planning your visit:

  • 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.
  • Time your trip to the festival – Thursday’s Lantern Appreciation Night and early evenings tend to be quieter.
  • Lantern Appreciation Night (Thursday, 9 February, 7-10.30pm) has no stalls operating or performances, apart from the opening ceremony, and the Night Noodle Markets operating down Centennial Walkway in Kari Street Commons from 5-10pm.
  • If you want all the hustle and bustle 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!
  • Blind and low-vision people can take a guided audio tour of the Auckland Lantern Festival on Thursday, 9 February. The tour is free but advance registrations are required as places and headsets are limited. To register, contact Nicola Owen by email on audiodescribedaotearoa@gmail.com, or text or call 021-035-8513.
  • Accessible parking and drop-off areas are on Cenotaph Rd, with controlled entry via Maunsell Rd, and marked on the festival map, online atwww.aucklandnz.com/lantern.
  • With a registered AT HOP card, children aged 5 to 15 years pay just 99 cents for bus and train travel on weekends. For more information, go towww.at.govt.nz. Children under 5 travel free.
  • We suggest you leave larger prams and pushchairs at home, if possible, in favour of a back or front pack. Crowds are lighter earlier in the evenings too, making it easier to get around with little ones.
  • Service dogs are welcome, but the festival attracts large crowds (more than 200,000 last year) and your pet may be happier at home.

 

Once you are at the festival:

 

  • Grab some food when you arrive, before the food stalls get super busy, and grab a place on an Elam Art Stories picnic mats, which students and graduates from the University of Auckland’s Elam Art School have helped create.
  • Pop up to the Auckland Museum, which is open late on Saturday and Sunday. The museum has a programme of special activities on, as well as their new Being Chinese in Aotearoa: A photographic journey exhibition.
  • Wander down Centennial Walkway to the new public space, the Kari Street Commons, where the Night Noodle Markets will be open 5pm to 10pm on Thursday, 4pm – 10pm on Friday and 1-10pm on Saturday and Sunday.
  • The Auckland Domain gets very busy during the festival, so just in case you get separated from friends and family, agree a meeting place, and write your mobile phone number on your child’s arm or hand.
  • Leave behind cigarettes, pipes, vapes – the Auckland Lantern Festival and Auckland Council Parks are smokefree. The festival is also alcohol-free and intoxicated festival-goers will be asked to leave.

The Auckland Lantern Festival is delivered by Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), on behalf of Auckland Council, in partnership with the Asia New Zealand Foundation.

ATEED and Asia New Zealand Foundation acknowledge the sponsors and supporters of the 2017 Auckland Lantern Festival: Principal Sponsor ASB, Chinese Ministry of Culture, Lotto New Zealand, Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office, Air New Zealand, Barfoot & Thompson, COSCO (New Zealand) Ltd, China Travel Service (N.Z), The Hits, Chinese Herald, Stuff, The Better Drinks Company, Emerald Foods, Resene, SKYCITY, Fotile, Quitline and Auckland Transport.

What: 2017 Auckland Lantern Festival

Where: Auckland Domain

When: Thursday, 9 February, Lantern Appreciation Night (no stalls operating or performances, apart from the opening ceremony), 7-10.30pm

When:  Friday, 10 – Sunday, 12 February, 4pm – 10.30pm

When: Sunday, 12 February, Fireworks Finale, 10.15pm

Cost: Free entry

More info: www.aucklandnz.com/lantern

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