The Queenstown Lakes region has a rich and vibrant cultural calendar. There’s a huge variety of arts and cultural events every year, and 2024 is no different.

No matter the season, there’s plenty for art lovers to see, do and get involved in. With many events hosted over public holiday weekends, it pays to plan ahead, lock in accommodation and get ready for a cultural weekend away in Queenstown.

Here are some of Queenstown’s best arts and culture events to mark in your diary.

Year-round events

Queenstown Arts & Crafts Market

Take yourself for a stroll down Marine Parade on Queenstown’s lakefront on a Saturday morning and you’ll discover a wonderful collection of arts and crafts. Stallholders at this market are (usually) the creators, so it’s a rare chance to chat with an artist and find out more about their craft before buying a gift for someone special – or yourself!

Find hand-made handbags, fancy soaps, pounamu, ceramics and art prints here, and so much more.

First Thursdays

On the first Thursday of each quarter, select art venues like galleries and bookshops stay open later (5pm – 7pm). It’s a fun ‘art gallery crawl’ that includes some of Queenstown’s best art galleries. Free and open to all, you set the pace and explore at your leisure.

Drop in and discover new art exhibitions or stumble across a talk by a local artist, or a special presentation. Follow the First Thursday Facebook Page for the latest updates.

Te Atamira

Te Atamira is a community arts and culture space in Frankton, Queenstown. As well as hosting regular dance and music classes, there’s a vibrant calendar of events from exhibitions to artistic workshops to film showings.

Te Wāhi Toi

Discover even more Queenstown art and cultural events and connect and collaborate with our local creative community over at Te Wāhi Toi, a dedicated online directory for arts, culture and creativity in our district.

Creative Queenstown MarketQueenstown Markets. Credit @freethomas007

Summer events

Gibbston Valley Winery Summer Concert

This summer concert tour brings top international music acts to some of New Zealand’s most stunning locations. Held on yearly in February, Queenstown’s Gibbston Valley Winery Summer Concert will be the final stop on the tour and always delivers an electric atmosphere. 

Crowd in front of stage at Gibbston Valley ConcertGibbston Valley Summer Concert

Autumn Events 

Arrowtown Autumn Festival

Enjoy Arrowtown's beautiful autumn colours, sample local cuisine, watch the parade, partake in a workshop or even do some native tree planting. The Arrowtown Autumn Festival 25 - 28 April 2024 will bring a host of great events and workshops to this stunning historic gold mining town.

Queenstown theatre

ShowBiz is Queenstown’s only community theatre company dedicated to musical theatre; they have a rich history of putting on top-notch performances.

In May each year, they put on an epic musical production, and past shows have included Little Shop of Horrors, School of Rock and Legally Blonde. From 16 - 25 May 2024, ShowBiz is bringing Monty Python's Spamalot to Queenstown's stage. Get tickets on their website

Crowd gathered around an aerial performance sounded by red and gold trees at the Arrowtown Autumn FestivalArrowtown Autumn Festival

Winter events

LUMA Southern Lights Festival

Held annually over Kings Birthday Weekend, LUMA is a light art festival that illuminates the Queenstown Gardens with breathtaking artwork and interactive displays. From 30 May - 3 June 2024 expect giant disco balls, light-mapped art, music synced to lights and more. Food and drink stalls set up around the gardens create a magical, family-friendly atmosphere.

Wrap up warm and discover a whole new side of Queenstown after dark at this iconic art and performance event.

Matariki Arrowtown Kā-Muriwai

On the Matariki holiday, Friday 28 June, Arrowtown celebrates the beginning of the Māori New Year with Matariki Arrowtown Kā-Muriwai. Featuring performances, light art and music.

NZ Mountain Film & Book Festival

For more than two decades, the NZ Mountain Film & Book Festival has showcased a range of inspirational films and books about adventurers. From 27 - 28 June 2024 The Queenstown Memorial Centre will become a hub for outdoor sports fans to be inspired. 

Colourful lights in the Queenstown gardens for Luma Light FestivalLUMA Southern Lights Festival

Spring events

Queenstown Multicultural Festival

Designed to showcase and celebrate Queenstown's cultural diversity, the Queenstown Multicultural Festival will host unique performances, live cultural music, diverse food, fun games for kids and craft stalls.

AWE Festival

At The World’s Edge is a classical music festival showcasing world-class chamber music in a series of live events across the region from 5 - 18 October 2024. Performances take place in carefully chosen venues in Queenstown, Cromwell and Wanaka. Each venue lends itself perfectly to the intimate sound of chamber music.  

Put together by renowned New Zealand violinists Justine Cormack and Benjamin Baker, the festival features new compositions, emerging artists and international string superstars. Explore this year's programme here. 

Queenstown Writers Festival

The Queenstown Writers Festival will be held 1 - 3 November 2024. Authors, performance poets, playwrights, children’s writers and journalists will come together to talk about their work and run writing workshops. Hosted at community arts facility, Te Atamira, expect a cosy literary weekend with some of New Zealand’s (and the world’s) best writers at this boutique festival.

Queenstown Writers FestivalQueenstown Writers Festival