Celebrate Matariki


As a Dark Sky Reserve, Wairarapa has one of the darkest and most pristine skies to see the stars! Come on over and check out these great Matariki inspired celebrations, events, stargazing and much more!

Matariki Events

Hau Ariki Marae Martinborough. Celebrate Matariki at a series of wānanga:

  • Thursday 20 June, 6:30-8pm Saturday 22 June, 11am-12noon Wānanga Marae. Be welcomed or reconnect with the marae. Learn about Hau Ariki marae & practice
  • Monday June 17, 6:30-7:30pm Monday June 24, 6:30-7:30pm Wānanga Waiata - join in weekly waiata (singing) group
  • Thursday June 27, 7-8:30pm Wānanga Matariki learn about Matariki
  • Friday June 28, 5:30am -7am Acknowledge & celebrate Matariki at a dawn viewing, then enjoy hot drinks
  • Saturday July 13, 10am Wānanga Hononga welcome to marae (Pōhiri). The finale of the Wānanga series links together Matariki, marae practice, waiata and community.

Register for an individual wānanga or the series at hauariki@gmail.com 

Pae Tu Mokai Featherston Matariki Festival

  • Thursday 27 June 9.30am-3pm National Library Matariki School Event Kiwi Hall. Three local schools will bring ākonga from years 0-4 to learn about the whetū (stars) of Matariki around a huge star mat with glowing light globes
  • Friday 28 June 7am Te Whāngai i te Hautapu St Teresa's School. Greet the star cluster rising and the dawn with a ceremony of karakia, remembrance and offerings of kai to 'feed the stars'. Matariki Star Hunt Around town.
  • Friday 28 June 10am Anzac Hall. A star-themed treasure hunt throughout Pae Tū Mōkai. Hang a star in a big net and make a wish to Hiwa-i-te-Rangi. Kapa Haka Pōwhiri / Welcome
  • Friday 28 June 12 Noon Be blown away by local tamariki and rangatahi performing kapa haka. Plus Community hāngi at 1pm. Bring a plate, knife and fork to help our taiao and enjoy the kai Entertainment Anzac Hall.
  • Friday 28 June 2pm Anzac Hall. Make a kite or check out the huge Matariki star mat from the National Library.
  • Friday 28 June 4pm Mini-Fell Trains Clifford Square. Bring the whānau along for mini-fell train night rides in Clifford Square.
  • Friday 28 June 6pm Glow in the Arts at Clifford Square. Spend dusk exploring phosphorous, glow-in-the-dark artworks.
  • Sunday 30 June 12 Noon Ka Mahara at the Cemetery. Remember loved ones who have passed over this year heeding the karanga of Hine-nui-to-Pō.
  • Sunday 30 June 10am-1pm Matariki Markets hosted by Featherston Vinyl Club Waimarie. Come down and browse the stalls and wares of local mongers and groups at the Waimarie/RSA.
  • Sunday 30 June 3pm Matariki Vinyl Club Waimarie. Celebrate the start of the Tau Hou (New Year) with a boogie, beer and some sweet vinyl drops and tunes. Free entry

Latest information and updates can be found on the Featherston Matariki Facebook page.

Celebrate the Winter Solstice
Saturday 22 June 4pm, Stonehenge Aotearoa
The Winter Solstice was, and still is one of the most important festivals of the year. Begin with an introduction, move to the henge to watch the sun set over the winter heel stone (weather permitting), then be guided around the night sky.

Matariki in the Square
Thursday 27 June 4.30pm-6.30pm, Masterton Town Square
Come and join the fun at Matariki In The Square! Grab some kai from the Thursday night Food Trucks, with entertainment on the night.

Masterton District Library
Thursday 27 June 5-7pm, Masterton Library
Enjoy crafts, star cookie decoration and hot chocolate, moko stencil, and hopefully (yet to be confirmed) waiata and harakeke weaving.

Matariki Weekend at Palliser Estate
Sit back to take in Attilio's fusion of his native Italian cuisine with classic New Zealand kai with Matariki-inspired dishes. There's paua and black risotto fritters, saddle of lamb stuffed with bacon, rhubarb and tamarillo crumble, and that's just the beginning. Book your table. 

Matariki Bonfire at Castlepoint
Friday 28 June 5am, Castlepoint Beach
Get up early to see the beach bonfire and spectacular fire poi display on the main beach, with coffee and kai available from 6am at Castlepoint Store. Weather dependant.

Celebrate Matariki
Friday 28 June 4pm, Stonehenge Aotearoa
For more than 6,000 years, the dawn rising of the Pleiades star cluster (Matariki, the Seven Sisters) was a significant and celebrated of event .In this presentation, explore their meaning over time and through cultures and their physical nature.

Star Gazing at Star Safari and Kai & Kōrero at Kāinga Eatery 
Friday 28 June, 6am start at Star Safari, 10am finish at Kāinga Eatery. 
Peak through telescopes to see the dark side of the moon, Saturn and Mars, as well as the Matariki constellation. Then following sunrise head to Kāinga Eatery in Carterton for kai & kōrero. $10 per person includes hot drink and scone.Register by emailing cimone@wairarapa.space.

Mānawatia a Matariki at Parehua resort Martinborough
Friday 28 June and Saturday 29 June. A culinary journey featuring a delectable 3-course menu at York Bistro. Book at bistro@parehuaresort.co.nz 

Riversdale Beach Matariki and Kite Flying
Saturday 29 June 10am-12pm, Riversdale Beach Acacia Avenue entrance
The Riversdale Beach Community Association invites you to a free family event on the beach to fly kites and share food, reflecting on the star Waitā.

Mānawatia a Matariki ki Pūkaha
Sunday 6 July 5.30am-5pm, Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre
Events kick off at 5.30am with the opening of a new arts studio (Whare toi), followed by breakfast, Matariki celebrations, entertainment (kapa haka), presentations and kai.

Yoga in the Gallery
Sunday 7 July 11am-12.15pm, Aratoi Wairarapa Museum of Art and History
Marg Patete encourages a restorative and nourishing practice, perfect for Matariki as we take the time to rest, recover and prepare for the New Year. Email here to book.

Aratoi Wairarapa Museum of Art and History - Matariki Concert
Sunday 14 July 12.15pm-1pm, Aratoi Wairarapa Museum of Art and History
This special concert features the glittering flute and harp duo of Michelle Velvin and Bridget Douglas in a musical journey that traverses the Matariki stars, moon, waterfalls and sea of Aotearoa. 

Greytown Festival of Christmas

Mark the start of the Māori lunar new year over the first two weeks of the Greytown Festival of Christmas:

Festival of Christmas: Matariki Harakeke whetū workshop
Thursday 11 & Friday 12 July 10.30am, Cobblestones Museum 
A free kids Matariki workshop where kids can learn the traditional art of harakeke (flax weaving) while gaining further understanding of Matariki. Register here.

Festival of Christmas: Harakeke Kete Workshop
Sunday 14 & Sunday 21 July 2.30pm-4pm, Cobblestones Museum 
A free workshop to learn the traditional art of harakeke (flax weaving) while creating your very own kete. Register here

Festival of Christmas: Star Safari Dark Sky Discovery
Tues 16, Wed 17 & Fri 19 July 6pm-7.30pm, Cobblestones Museum 
Marvel at the heavens through the largest telescopes for public use in Wairarapa, boasting the finest eyepieces on the market in this free workshop. Register here.

Festival of Christmas: Discover the whetū of Matariki
Saturday 20 & Sunday 21 July 6.30am, Cobblestones Museum 
Combining culture and science, Hari and Sam of Star Safari will use high tech star gazing equipment to point out the 9 whetū of Matariki, with support of mana whenua from Papawai marae. Register here.

Navigate the stars

Explore the stars with Star Safari
Regardless of the weather, high tech VR headsets and state of the art telescopes ensure an unparalleled experience, guided by knowledgable duo Hari and Sam. Choose your package on their website here. Under 15 free of charge!

Unique stargazing with Under the Stars
Explore celestial objects through telescopes and binoculars, learn how to navigate using the stars and much more with Under the Stars private stargazing sessions, group star parties, stargazing at your venue, or just to celebrate a special event!

Matariki Exhibitions

Signified by the Matariki cluster of stars reappearing in our morning sky, winter is a perfect time to reflect on the past, celebrate the present, and plan for the year ahead with exhibitions that reflect the concept of Matariki at Aratoi Wairarapa Museum of Art and History. 

Matariki Recharge

Matariki Recharge
Thursday 27 - Saturday 29 June, Wharekauhau Country Estate
This luxury two-night package over the long weekend features a highlight 7 course Matariki inspired feast, pre-dinner drinks & canapes each evening, daily full country breakfast, chilled bottle of Champagne on arrival and much more.

Stay the night!

Astronomy events always happen at night, so it makes sense to stay!

  • Book your accommodation here or call our isite Visitor Information Centre - they can book for you and help with any questions.
  • Check out the Stay 3, Pay 2 offer at Wharekauhau Country Estate in stunning Palliser Bay, where you can stay three consecutive nights and enjoy the third night free. Applicable through to 10 July 2024.