Nelson Tasman is surprisingly diverse and nowhere is that more evident than in the range of events we host every year.

With up to 400 flights in and out of Nelson Tasman each week, our region is highly connected to the rest of the country, making it the perfect getaway spot for a weekend away or a short visit to experience one of the unmissable events on offer.

Our year-round entertainment calendar includes a range of locally, nationally and internationally-renowned events, such as the bi-annual Light Nelson Festival, Arts Festival, Art Expo, Fringe Festival, Adam Chamber Music Festival, MarchFest, Cider Festival, Superclub Netball, and Buskers Festival.

In the warmer months you can picnic and enjoy an alfresco movie, or watch your favourite band perform in a local vineyard, whilst the colder months see you savouring the taste of delicious local cuisine at a moveable feast extravaganza, or rugging up for a stroll through the illuminated utopia at Queens Gardens. Autumn and Spring abound in a celebration of our regions extraordinary depth of arts and artisans, with beer and cider festivals, and a range of artistic events and performances on display.

Summer Challenge - 20-22nd March - CANCELLED

Summer Challenge - 20-22nd March - CANCELLED

The best friend of the Spring Challenge, the hugely popular iconic women’s adventure race established in 2007. Teams of 3-women will navigate their way through scenically rewarding natural environments either kayaking, mountain biking or hiking, with a map and compass in hand. Fun, teamwork, exploration and adventure are the key elements the course design team have in mind when scheming up the event routes. You and your friends will love it!

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Race Unity Day - CANCELLED

Race Unity Day - CANCELLED

Race Unity Day 2020 is an opportunity for the many cultural communities in Nelson to share their food, music, dance and cultures with the wider community. Bring the family and come down to Victory Square Park for a day of cultural fun!

Netball Tactix v Southern Steel - 28th March

Netball Tactix v Southern Steel - 28th March

Experience the exhilaration of a Mainland Tactix home game as they challenge for the ANZ Premiership title!

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Nelson Heritage Festival -  1st-30th April - CANCELLED

Nelson Heritage Festival - 1st-30th April - CANCELLED

2020 is the tenth anniversary of Nelson City Council's yearly heritage celebrations that share our rich and varied past. Nelson Heritage Festival presents a series of events on a heritage theme to celebrate the wealth of history in Nelson/Whakatu.

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Mapua Easter Fair - CANCELLED

Mapua Easter Fair - CANCELLED

The Mapua Easter Fair is held on Easter Sunday and is Nelson Tasman region’s largest fair with over 10,000 visitors each year. You’ll find all your old favourites from a massive range of stalls selling food, crafts and other goods, fairground rides, bouncy castles, a petting zoo, pony rides and more. The Mapua Playcentre will again open its gates so their grounds can provide a quiet spot away from the hustle and bustle of the main area and you’ll find bargains at both our white elephant stall and silent auction.

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K2M - 2nd May - CANCELLED

K2M - 2nd May - CANCELLED

Get away to Nelson Tasman for the Nelson Airport K2M multisport event. Wind your way by foot or bike off road on the Great Taste Trail from the famous Kaiteriteri Beach to the idyllic Mapua Estuary. You can Trail Run, Walk or Cycle our event with Marathon, Marathon Relay, Half Marathon and 10 KM options. There’s something for everyone, get out there and join the fun with your friends and family. All distances finish at Mapua Wharf where you can celebrate and enjoy the Tastes of Nelson Tasman; Fine Wine, Craft Beer and sumptuous Seafood.

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Ceol Aneas Traditional Irish Music Festival - 29th May - 1st June

Ceol Aneas Traditional Irish Music Festival - 29th May - 1st June

World renowned Irish musicians will take centre stage at the Ceol Aneas Irish Music Festival in Nelson. Expect a lively weekend of music and ‘craic’ with traditional song and toe tapping tunes from all the artists.

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Light Nelson - 3-7 July

Light Nelson - 3-7 July

Light Nelson reflects the artistic strengths and spirit of the Nelson community. It brings together technology, art, science and fantasy in the darkness of winter and installations offer a multi-sensory experience celebrating light. Important elements are the use of new technology, environmental sustainability, delight, illusion, interaction and movement. The installation is not simply a lit form but must convey essential qualities of light.

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Feast for the Senses - Date TBC

Feast for the Senses - Date TBC

Three courses, three restaurants, one great price! Moveable Feasts is on again this year and running through July and into August. Each Moveable Feast is designed with a specific style of cuisine in mind and showcases the amazing variety of dining options in the City!

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The Dun Run - 29th August

The Dun Run - 29th August

This year’s Dun Run will celebrate its 25th Anniversary in style on August 31st when 400 trail runners “step into the backwoods of Nelson” up onto its historic mineral belt and then down New Zealand’s first railway line...albeit horse-drawn back in the 1869’s.

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Cherry Blossom Festival - Date TBC

Cherry Blossom Festival - Date TBC

Come along and celebrate the Sister City connection between Nelson & Miyazu and indulge in some Japanese culture at the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. Set amongst the stunning grounds of Miyazu Gardens, the festival is packed to the brim with entertainment including martial arts, a puppet show, brush calligraphy, traditional dance and of course, authentic Japanese cuisine.

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Art Expo Nelson - Date TBC

Art Expo Nelson - Date TBC

A three-day art spectacular featuring works in a broad range of subject, style and mediums by eminent and emerging artists from all over New Zealand. Be part of the happy throng, get your cultural fix and new favourite art piece. A cash & carry event, easy freight options are also available.

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Nelson Arts Festival and Mask Parade & Carnivale - 16-26th October

Nelson Arts Festival and Mask Parade & Carnivale - 16-26th October

Nelson Arts Festival is New Zealand’s longest-running annual regional festival with a fantastic mix of theatre, music, dance, circus, writers and visual arts – it’s the perfect way to enjoy this smart little city! A defining highlight event has always been the much-loved Festival-opener, the Mask Parade & Carnivale, where everyone comes to town for the best street party ever. From whole schools of littlies in self-decorated masks, through to wild and wondrous costumes worn by famous-townsfolk-in-disguise, the Mask Parade celebrates everyone in a heart-bursting spectacle of creativity, colour and music.

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Nelson Street Hop - Date TBC

Nelson Street Hop - Date TBC

Taking to the streets of Nelson, the annual Nelson Street Hop is filled to the brim with music, classic cars, dancing and food. Rock'n'roll bands and old school dancing instill a sense of nostalgia in the air, and bring a real vintage flavour to the central city streets.

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New Zealand Cider Festival - 21st November

New Zealand Cider Festival - 21st November

If the idea of relaxing in sunny Nelson with your friends or family, sipping on fine NZ Ciders and sampling local artisan fare sounds like a nice way to spend a Saturday… then The New Zealand Cider Festival is for you. Described by National Geographic as "heaven for Cider seekers". The festival showcases a selection of amazing NZ Cider makers providing over 80 ciders, this is the best place to sample an extensive range of Cider all in one place. Alongside the Cider is a line-up of talented NZ Musicians and a delectable array of local artisan fare.

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Nelson Lantern Celebration - Date TBC

Nelson Lantern Celebration - Date TBC

The Enchanted Forest is brimming with fairytale characters and wild imaginings. Take a delightful trip along the track towards the Centre of NZ where entertainers and installations await. At the top, enjoy music, face-painting and more. Remember your battery-powered lantern, to light your way down after dark. At nightfall, see a UV performance on the track and an outdoor movie at the bottom in the Botanical Reserve. A unique and whimsical, free family-friendly adventure in nature.

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Richmond Market Day - Date TBC

Richmond Market Day - Date TBC

Shopping, fun, and entertainment for all the family at the biggest market in the top of the south! Join the Richmond businesses as they bring their specials out onto the street, and the many market stallholders from all around the country as they line Queen Street. Balloon twisting, face painting, bouncy castle, stiltwalkers, magicians and more to entertain.

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Nelson Jazz Festival - Date TBC

Nelson Jazz Festival - Date TBC

Nelson and Tasman will swing to the sounds of the annual Nelson JazzFest. The festival is a much-loved feature of summer in Nelson, and includes jam sessions, café gigs, concerts, and outdoor park events that make the most of the relaxed summer vibe. The festival is bookended by two Twilight Picnic Concerts, at Washbourn Gardens and Founders Park. Bring the family, a picnic, and deck chairs, and enjoy the performances of bands of five different jazz/blues styles in these beautiful venues.

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Bay Dreams Nelson - 3rd January 2021

Bay Dreams Nelson - 3rd January 2021

NZ’s largest festival brand returns to Nelson. Over 20,000 music fans will set upon Trafalgar Park in what promises to be a day of epic proportions.

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Nelson Buskers Festival - Date TBC

Nelson Buskers Festival - Date TBC

Some of the best buskers from around the world perform a family-friendly variety show on the Church Steps, on Trafalgar Street, at the Boathouse and at Mapua Wharf. Grab a picnic (or buy food from the stalls), remember your sun hat and head out for some great entertainment - and don't forget to bring some cash for these world-class performers.

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Nelson Wine & Food Festival - Date TBC

Nelson Wine & Food Festival - Date TBC

The Nelson Wine & Food Festival is all about enjoying local cuisine and beverages. Get your dancing shoes on or just chill out on the lawn to enjoy the live entertainment from 11am – 5pm. The festival is family friendly, and offers non-alcoholic drinks, face painting and much more.

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Interislander Big Tahuna - Date TBC

Interislander Big Tahuna - Date TBC

The Interislander Big Tahuna is back for another ocean swim celebration at the beautiful Tahunanui Beach. Featuring a range of swim challenges for all ages and abilities, swimmers can choose from a 500m, 1km or 3km swim, take on the new $print 'splash for cash' event, or get the young’uns involved in swims just for kids! Back by popular demand is an inflatable feature close to the finish line, courtesy of Nelson-based Aflex Inflatables.

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MarchFest - Date TBC

MarchFest - Date TBC

MarchFest is a unique craft beer and music festival, held in none other than the craft brewing capital of New Zealand. Set in the historic, traffic-free environment of Nelson’s Founders Park, the 13th MarchFest takes place from noon to 9.30pm on Saturday March 14th, 2020. Savour 15 brand new craft beers plus live music from The Chills, Bella Kalolo, Alae and more.

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Wairua Warrior - Date TBC

Wairua Warrior - Date TBC

Unleash your Inner Warrior! The Wairua Warrior is New Zealand’s Premium Obstacle Course Race for all fitness levels held at the stunning Cable Bay Adventure Park. The Elite category will challenge the serious while the Open categories will cater for everyone else.

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Browse All Upcoming Events

Browse All Upcoming Events

If it's on, it's on www.itson.co.nz. Its On is the official event calendar for the Nelson Tasman region, and the place to look for any and all upcoming events in the area.

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crowd surf credit David Letsche2

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