Upcoming Dates of Auckland Anniversary Day
2023: Monday 30th January
2024: Monday 29th January
2025: Monday 27th January
The Province of Auckland
Auckland Anniversary Day is a holiday celebrated in the northern part of New Zealand’s North Island. The area is the old Auckland Province and includes the entire Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, and Gisborne regions.
The Anniversary Date
Auckland Anniversary Day used to be held on 29 January, but in order to create a three-day weekend, it is now held on the Monday nearest to that date.
The 29th January was not the day Auckland was founded, but rather the day on which explorer and first governor of New Zealand William Hobson first sighted the North Island.
When Hobson landed in New Zealand in 1840, he swiftly negotiated the Treaty of Waitangi with Māori, which resulted in New Zealand becoming a British colony.
Hobson established Auckland and proclaimed it the nation’s capital on September 18, 1840.
A modest regatta with some races was staged in Waitemata Harbour in Auckland that same year.
It was not until 1865 that Wellington became the nation’s capital city.
The Auckland Regatta
The tradition of the Auckland Regatta and the designation of January 29 as Auckland Anniversary Day both gained formal recognition in 1850.
The enthusiasm was amplified in those early days by the participation of Maori canoes, fishing boats, and whaling boats.
Over the years, races including yachts, sailboats, and even seaplanes were introduced.
The regatta remains the main event of Auckland Anniversary Day today and hundreds of vessels take to the water under sail, steam, and paddle power.
It is one of the world’s biggest, and most historic, one-day regattas. A tribute to Auckland nicknamed the ‘City of Sails’.
Anyone can enter the regatta, take their boat out to watch, or view from one of the numerous sunny scenic spots in Auckland with their picnics and a glass of wine.
Anniversary Day in Auckland
If not out on the water, Auckland city also holds several Extravaganza Fairs in various suburbs.
Arts and Crafts Markets, and Hot Rod events are not unusual for car fanatics and other family fun days outside enjoying the sunshine.
But It’s Not All About Auckland
Auckland Anniversary Day is not only celebrated in New Zealand’s biggest city but also throughout the other northern regions of the North Island, including Waikato and Northland.
This long weekend is celebrated in the summer, incorporating the end of the summer school holidays.
It is common for many to extend their Christmas holidays to the end of January, including this weekend.
These regions are fortunate to have gorgeous sandy beaches, and those living inland tend to take this weekend to spend time at the beach. Almost a last effort to spend time with family before schools re-open for the year.
Popular beach holiday spots include Northland’s east coast, Coromandel Peninsula, the Bay of Plenty and Gisborne is the perfect getaway for the avid surfer.