Mixing Business and Leisure: Top Events This Winter

10 June 2016

Jerome Kaino passes as he is tackled by Stephen Moore during the Bledisloe Cup match at ANZ Stadium in August 2015. Copyright Photo: Mark Metcalfe / www.Photosport.co.nz

One of the great joys of business travel is getting to regularly experience different cities and, when you’re off the clock, explore everything those cities have to offer. With that in mind, we’ve curated the best winter events in five Australian and New Zealand business hubs – Auckland, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Wellington.


Sample the best in NZ cuisine and wine at The Food Show: Auckland, July 28-31, ASB Showgrounds (foodshow.co.nz) and hear theNew Zealand Opera perform Verdi’s Otello, July 29 (nzopera.com). Catch Cirque du Soleil’s spectacular new show, Totem, beginning August 22 (cirquedusoleil.com), and see top designers’ latest collections on the runway at New Zealand Fashion Week, 22-28 August at ANZ Viaduct Events Centre (nzfashionweek.com).


Headlining the Sydney cultural calendar is the Vivid Festival May 17-June 18, celebrating light, music and ideas at various locations all around the city (vividsydney.com). Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera features 40 works by the renowned Mexican artists, June 25-October 9, Art Gallery of NSW (artgallery.nsw.gov.au). The finals of the Sydney International Piano Competition play out at the Opera House, July 19-23 (sydneyoperahouse.com). The annual Oyster Festival is a month of briny slurping and shucking, August 1-31, Morrison Bar and Oyster Room (themorrison.com.au). And watch trans-Tasman rugby rivalry in all its glory in the first round of the Bledisloe Cup, August 20, ANZ Stadium (weloverugby.com).


The city’s best food trucks descend on the Valley for the Late Night Bites market, Saturdays until July 31, Chinatown Mall (fortitudevalleymarkets.com.au). For more refined cuisine, MasterChef judges Matt Preston, George Calombaris and Gary Mehigan headline the Regional Flavours food fest, July 16-17, South Bank (regionalflavours.com.au). Andrew Denton hosts An Evening of Sit-Down with comedian/actor Billy Crystal, July 18 and 19, Qpac (qpac.com.au) and sit back, relax and enjoy Queensland’s famous sunshine at Sunday Sessions on the Green at Brisbane’s most spectacular riverfront destination, River Quay Green. There are music performances, lawn games, and chill-out seating on the river quay every Sunday afternoon (eatsouthbank.com.au/event-guide/sunday-sessions-green/).


Head to the Melbourne International Jazz Festival, June 3-12, with hundreds of world-class jazz performances held in halls, arts venues, jazz clubs, and on the streets of Melbourne (melbournejazz.com). Colin Friels stars in David Hare’s Skylight, June 18-July 23 (mtc.com.au), while round-ball fans are in for a triple-treat when Melbourne Victory host European soccer superstars Juventus, Atlético Madrid and Tottenham in the International Champions Cup, July 23-29, MCG (internationalchampionscup.com). Hear philosopher Alain de Botton discuss love and relationships, July 12, Melbourne Town Hall (theschooloflife.com/melbourne), or find your endorphins by lacing up the joggers for Run Melbourne’s 5km, 10km and half marathon events, July 24, from Federation Square (solemotive.com).


If you miss the chance to see the All Blacks take on the mighty Welsh, June 18, Westpac Stadium (allblacks.com), take your disappointment out on the Wellington Marathon – there are three shorter options, too – around the city’s picturesque waterfront, June 26 (wellingtonmarathon.co.nz). Sir Andrew Davis conducts the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra performing Messiaen, July 8, Michael Fowler Centre (nzso.co.nz). Wellington on a Plate, August 12-28, highlights the region’s burgeoning food and wine scene (wellingtononaplate.com), while Beervana celebrates the nation’s craft brewers, August 12-13, Westpac Stadium (beervana.co.nz).

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