This week well and truly marked the turbulent entrance of winter, bringing with it colder days, darker nights and more rain than we could ever care for. The perfect time, undoubtedly, for a little break. Regardless of whether or not you’re a fervent royalist, we can guarantee that you — just like us — are looking forward to celebrating Queenie’s birthday in style. Staying in the city but stuck for ideas? Here, we’ve compiled a list of the top four things happening in Auckland we think you should be squeezing in.
Fans of whisky rejoice, because Ardbeg Day — the annual celebration of the divine water of life — is back on the 1st of June. This time around will see a celebration of the Scottish town of Islay and its rich history of carnivals. Flat caps will be swapped out for spectacularly vibrant headdresses in a convivial, Caribbean twist. This year’s limited-edition drop, Ardbeg Drum, has been crafted from Ardbeg single malt taken from ex-Bourbon casks and rested in ex-rum casks from the Americas — a first for the distillery. The end result is a smoky libation with notes of fragrant pine resin and ripe banana and pineapple, each of which gives way to a delicious lavender, liquorice and vanilla flavour. Hoping to join the party? A full list of all the participating bars can be found here.
Auckland Festival of Photography
Culture vultures should make a trip to the Auckland Festival of Photography, to peruse this year’s thought-provoking line-up. This weekend plays host to some of the best opening exhibitions, like The Indian Photography Festival ‘Portrait Prize,’ — held at the Bruce Mason Centre — or Yoko Ishii’s Deer Planet, hosted at Freyberg Place. The Wai Wai Wai, opening at the nkb Gallery on the 29th, is an intriguing body of work inspired by concerns about climate change, touching upon our evolving relationship with bodies of water. For a better look at what to expect during the entire festival, click here.
Charlie Farley’s on Waiheke
If you find yourself heading over to Waiheke for the long weekend, Charlie Farley’s makes an unlikely, but wholly necessary, weekend escape. Don’t be put off by the inclement weather, because trust us when we say that this beachfront hideout is far more than its trademark fish, chips and sunny views. Come winter time, Charlie Farley’s dishes out one of the best roast dinners the island has to offer — a regular alternation of meats (roast lamb, pork, beef or chicken) complete with all the tried and tested trimmings. With a roaring open fire inside and a vast and varied selection of crisp beers on tap and cocktails, Charlie’s makes the perfect place to kick back, get cosy and watch the winter waves roll in.
The Documentary Edge Festival
The International Film Festival, now returning for its 14th year, will be collating some of the year’s most gripping and groundbreaking documentaries from New Zealand and beyond. This Friday kicks off with Kate Nash: Underestimate The Girl, a documentary that delves into the world of gender equality in the music industry, told via the profound voice of British punk renegade Kate Nash. Or on Saturday 1st June head along to Trust Machine: The Story of Blockchain — a film in which award-winning filmmaker Alex Winter explores how blockchain technology and its proponents are changing the world and working to fight income inequality, the refugee crisis and world hunger. For more information on what’s on during the festival, click here.