Things to do in Bay of Plenty this Queen’s Birthday Weekend 2018


Though the forecast says it will be pouring for the next few days, staying at home is not an option over the long Queen’s Birthday Weekend. In June we all need a wee bit of fun time with family and friends to balance the cold weather, long dark nights and stressful time of kids’ school exams. Here are some exciting events going on in the Bay over Queen’s Birthday Weekend.

The whole weekend:

Escape! 2018

A festival with thought-provoking speakers, authors and their books, theatre, food and workshops started at Baycourt Community and Arts Centre today and will last until 4 pm, Monday 4th. Enjoy a French-themed morning tea with Allyson Gofton (Allyson has twice “stepped off the wheel for a year” and taken her family to a village in a remote part of France….how cool is that?) Watch a one-woman storytelling comedy theatre show My Best Dead Friend. It’s based on real-life events and follows the story of 18-year-old Anya Tate-Manning and her four best friends – a group of rebel geeks recently emancipated from the torturous shackles of high school. Or pick one of the many more events on the festival’s website!

Where: Baycourt Community and Arts Centre (38 Durham Street, Tauranga)

When: Friday 1 June – Monday 4 June

Project Youth Hip Hop Dance Competition 2018

Young dancers from all over New Zealand will gather at ASB Arena this Queen’s Birthday Weekend. On Saturday the stage will be given to the entry-level street dancers from Primary, Intermediate and Secondary schools. Mega School crews promise to be the cherry on that cake! On Sunday, watch elite level competitions with Junior, Varsity, Adult and Mega Crews battling it out for first place.

Where: ASB Arena at Baypark (81 Truman Lane, Mt Maunganui)

When: Saturday 2 June – Sunday 3 June

Admission: adult – $22 – $40, youth – $12 – $20, fanily – $60 – $100

On Saturday:

Tauranga Farmers Market

This market is always a great entertainment with plenty of ready to eat food and drinks, homemade natural products, cosmetics and decor. Among other awesome local producers this weekend are our fav ORA Aromatherapy and vegan food delivery V on Wheels. Don’t forget to bring a container – Mila Arena (V on Wheels) is on a mission to reduce single-used waste by serving her delish creations in your own containers.

Where: Tauranga Primary School (31 Fifth Avenue, Tauranga)

When: Saturday 2 June, 7:45 am – 12 pm.

2018 Okere Falls Store Strong Beerfest

A true German style evening of beer-tasting, bonfires, and live music. Grab a friend or two and enjoy special beers that were first produced during the ‘Strong Beer Season’ (Starkbierzeit), a tradition begun by 17th century Paulaner monks. The best entertainment of the evening is a Strong Beer Passport – a stunning line-up of fantastic beers, from dark and malty to flavour-packed IPAs.

Where: Okere Falls Store (759 SH 33, Okere Falls, Rotorua)

When: Sunday 3 June, 5 – 9:30 pm

Admission: $20

On Sunday:

Felt Your Own Wool Slippers

Learn the ancient art of felting while drinking tea with cookies and chatting to lovely ladies. Creating unique slippers with your design from a carded wool is quite a process, so allow at least four hours (better six!). Visit Lori’s Facebook page or email her at, as she will require your size and colour choices prior to the event.

Where: The Regent of Rotorua (1191 Pukaki Street, Rotorua)

When: Sunday 3 June, 10 am

Admission: $65

Waihi Beach Art & Craft Fair

The organisers have really pushed the boat out this year and have recruited a huge number of new stall holders: photographic prints, soaps, herbal creams, graphic art, dolls, bears and toys, shabby chic home wares, soy candles, trendy knitted garments, scarves and hats, preserves, handbags, hand- made Alpaca products and upcycled glass garden art – everything is hand-crafted! The old style cafe run by volunteers provides great food and refreshments for guests.

Where: Waihi Beach Community Centre (Beach Road, Waihi Beach)

When: Sunday 3 June, 10 am – 3:30 pm

Admission: $4