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Elemental AKL: 10 culinary and culture events to head along to in Tāmaki Makaurau

By Kathryn Chung

Elemental AKL: 10 culinary and culture events to head along to in Tāmaki Makaurau
Auckland's annual festival of arts, eats and beats, Elemental AKL, kicked off earlier this month. From delectable foodie feasts, to illuminating art experiences, we round up the best events to head along to.

Running from 14-31 July, Elemental AKL has a jam-packed programme of events left to discover. Head along to some free art trails, indulge in a mid-winter feast, or get your groove with world-class music acts.

Feasts of Legends

Taking place at four different ethnic restaurants across Auckland, Feasts of Legends is an immersive cultural food experience created by Lincoln’s Table. On 23 July is the Fire Feast, where guests can learn about the Mongol origins of hit pot and experience a rare ‘bian lian’ dance performance. Mother’s Feast on 28 July is a sumptuous nine-course Vietnamese dinner and Eternal Feast on 31 July sees Italian chef Sergio Maglione serving up a Naples Sunday long lunch.

Kaipara Kaimoana Festival

Head north of Auckland to Te Hana Te Ao Marama Marae for the Kaipara Kaimoana Festival, a celebration of food and song, of kaimoana, kōrero, kapa haka and kaitiakitanga. A zero-waste event, guests will have their puku purring with delicious dishes like Kaipara oysters, flounder slow baked in cream, traditional fried bread and hot hāngī vegetables.

Cordis Winter Wonderland

The team at Cordis Auckland have let their imagination run wild, creating an urban oasis high tea experience, with edible table blooms, gorgous floral arrangements, and sweet and savoury delights, including your very own gingerbread house full of sweet delights.

Oyster and Wine Pop-Up

Taking place Saturday 23 July, the team at Mahurangi Oysters are collaborating with Matakana Estate on an oyster and wine pop-up, serving up fresh oysters, local beer and wine, and live music.

Takarua – Nafanua War Goddess

Bringing together hospitality, theatre and dance, Takurua – Nafanua War Goddess is a cultural extravaganza not to be missed. A spectacular five-course banquet is paired with contemporary Pasifika dance-theatre, offering guests a unique experience of fine dining, performance and authentic cultural stories from the Samoan fale aitu tradition. You can catch the last few events on 21, 22 and 23 July.

Tami Neilson’s Songbook

With her powerful, foot-tapping ballads, Canadian-born Tami Neilson has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved singers, and on 30 July, she’ll be joined by Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra for a red-hot evening of her beloved hits and new tracks.


Part of Elemental Nights, a concert series spanning across genres, British electronic duo Jungle will be igniting the Auckland Town Hall dancefloor on 25 July with their soulful, disco-fuelled tunes.

Takapuna Winter Lights

A fantastic family-friendly art event, Takapuna Winter Lights takes place from 28-31 July, illuminating the North Shore neighbourhood with dazzling light installations, sensory experiences and tasty food trucks.

Quantum Memories

Quantum Memories is one of a number of free public art installations popping up around the city for Elemental AKL. Refik Anadol Studio’s epic digital artwork uses AI and machine learning to process millions of images, creating a 3D visual piece and audio experience. Head along to Commercial Bay from now until 31 July to see it for yourself.

Beats ‘N’ Brushes

Studio 54 meets Salvador Dali at this unique music and art event. Beats ‘N’ Brushes brings together “canvas, colour, canapes and cracking like DJs” for a retro-themed paint evening on 30 July, which pays homage to the disco-fuelled 70’s.



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