Celebrate the long weekend
It's a good thing us Aucklanders get an extra day off this weekend - there is so much going on around town that it wouldn't possibly fit into just two days.
But if your diary isn't chocka already, here are more than a few suggestions to help fill it up this Anniversay Weekend:
High St District Black Friday
Held on the last Friday of every month, Black Fridays is a good old-fashioned street party celebrating fashion, food and wine, shopping, art galleries, cafe culture and nightlife. There will be specials at stores and restaurants throughout the day and night as well as music and entertainment.
The Dresden Dolls
Cabaret punk duo The Dresden Dolls - Amanda Palmer and Brian Viglione - are back for their third visit to New Zealand and it will be a show not to miss. The pair blends punk attitude and energy with some provocative lyrics and a dash of melodrama, transporting audiences to a back street bar in the 1930s.
The Dresden Dolls at The Powerstation. Tickets $55 from Ticketmaster.
Auckland International Buskers Festival 2012
Buskers are taking to the street by the masses for the 12th Auckland International Buskers Festival. From Friday to Monday, street artists and performers from around the world will transform city streets into an urban theatre with contortion, acrobatics, stunts, magic, music, comedy and hula hoops. The 12th Annual Auckland International Buskers Festival is set to be bigger than ever.
2012 Auckland Seafood Festival
Sunshine and seafood - there's hardly a better combination. This year the ultimate seafood festival is being held at Wynyard Quarter, so not only can you sample over 90 dishes including crayfish, paua, oysters, scampi and more, but so you can do it while looking out over the stunning Waitamata Harbour.
As well as the food, there will be entertainment, competitions, music and some of the best local beer and wine on offer. And for the studious of you, the Seafood School will be hosting cooking classes from top chef's everyday.
2012 Auckland Seafood Festival at Wynyard Quarter, January 28-30. Tickets $20 on the gate or $15 on Eventfinder.
Red Bull Music Academy Presents The Do Over
If DJ Jazzy Jeff calls something "the best party on the planet", you know it's good. And now Auckland gets a taste of the world famous Do Over party this weekend.
All the way from LA, this notorious daytime party is bringing the sangria, coconuts and sunshine to The Bay at Matiatia on Waiheke Island. With an all-star line up of mysterious guests, it's a free party not to be missed.
The Do Over at The Bay on Waiheke Island from 2pm - 11pm. Free entry with RSVP at www.thedoover.net/nz (RSVP doesn't guarantee entry - first in, first served)
As the sun goes down the fun begins at Ellerslie Racecourse this Sunday. With a spectacular mix of racing, live music and partying, the Karaka Million sees 14 of the top-earning horses from last year's National Yearling Sales race head-to-head in New Zealand's richest race, with the glitterati of the racing world and Auckland's social set cheering them on.
Twilight Karaka Million at Ellerslie Racecourse. Tickets from $10 from www.racedays.ellerslie.co.nz.
Tuborg Summer Sunday
Just 45 minutes north of Auckland, this music festival with heart will be rocking Matakana Music Mountain. Kora, Fly My Pretties and Tahuna Breaks are among the band's playing at the festival that cares about the environment as much as the music. With sustainability at its core, Summer Sunday is encouraging visitors to take part in a coastal clean up as they pass through Matakana, and for every stack of trash you collect, there will be some free beer in it for you.
Tuborg Summer Sunday at Matakana Music Mountain, January 29. Tickets $99 from 1-Night.
Hall & Oates with Icehouse and Goodshirt
It's their first time in New Zealand for more than 30 years but Hall & Oates are back and better than ever. Following a recent upgrade from 80s horror to modern day heroes, the duo are set to wow audiences at Villa Maria Estate Winery alongside fellow trail-blazers Icehouse and local lads Goodshirt.
Just imagine an entire audience singing along to Maneater if you need convincing.
Hall & Oates at Villa Maria Estate Winery, January 29. Tickets from $109 from Ticketmaster.
Film screening: Colin McCahon - I Am
Not only is the Auckland Art Gallery worth a visit this weekend, but art fans can also watch this award-winning doco on the life of one of our greatest modern artists. With art commentators, friends and family, as well as a rare audio interview with the painter himself, Colin McCahon's life is explored.
Colin McCahon - I Am at the Auckland Art Gallery, 1pm and 3pm January 29. Entry is free.
St Jerome's Laneway Festival
Music fans rejoice - it's Laneway time again. Wynyard Quarter's Silo Park is going to explode with 22 international acts including Feist, The Horrors, M83, Goyte and more.
Stretch out on the grass or gaze over the harbour as some of the coolest, must-hear bands do their thing in front of 6000 keen fans. Plus the legendary Langos Hungarian bread is promising to make an appearance.
St Jerome's Laneway Festival at Silo Park, Wynyard Quarter, January 30. Tickets $127 from the Laneway website.
Oceanbridge Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta
Maybe water is more your thing? Then look out for the Oceanbridge Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta - it is one of the world's biggest one-day sailing regattas. It will be all about paddle, sail and steam power on the water, plus an aerobatic display over the city.
If you want to stick to the land, popular vantage spots include Bastion Point, North Head, East Coast Bays, Tamaki Drive, Orakei, and Queen and Princes wharves.
Oceanbridge Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta on Waitamata Harbour, January 30.
There's good news and bad news on the weather front. The forecast is for afternoon rain on Friday, but on Saturday the rain should be gone, the wind should die down and by Monday we are expecting clear skies and a high of 24 degrees.