Holidaymakers planning a trip to New Zealand will be interested to hear that a series of concerts, family events and traditional celebrations will be staged in major cities to mark the Maori New Year.
The Matariki Festival is named after the cluster of stars known as the Pleiades which rise just once a year, in late May or early June – mid-winter in New Zealand.
The appearance of the stars signals the beginning of the new year to the Maori as well as the start of a month of celebrations.
The festival, which runs until July 21, includes performances, talks, workshops, readings, exhibitions, films and other events in Auckland, Wellington and other cities around New Zealand.
Visitors heading to New Zealand for the Matariki Festival might also be interested in checking out a major new art exhibition at the Dowse Art Museum in Wellington.
The Solo: Four Wellington Artists show, which features the paintings and works of local artists Matt Hunt, Cat Auburn, Ann Shelton and Ben Buchanan, will run until August 19.
Wellington, which can be reached from major UK airports such as Heathrow and Luton, is best known for its stunning natural scenery and for being the city where the multi Oscar-winning film adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy were filmed.
Copyright Press Association 2012