5 New Zealand Festivals You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

From whacky sports to unique talents – here’s why these New Zealand festivals are some of the most unique ones out there!

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Taihape's Gumboot Festival

Taihape is a town with an interesting title – the gumboot-throwing capital of the world. Gumboot throwing is precisely what it sounds like. Participants gather each year to see who can throw their gumboots the farthest. And all are welcome. If you’re a tourist and want to participate, the town’s residents are happy to lend you some boots to throw!

Monteith’s Dog Barking Festival

Every year, residents bring their furry friends to win the ultimate title – the loudest barker. From sheepdogs to fluff balls, anyone can compete. The icing on the cake? If a dog refuses to bark on command, its humans must complete the task by barking instead. While down on all fours!

A Low Hum

On the opposite side of the sound spectrum, we have a Wellington festival called “A Low Hum.” It is a music festival without the usual hassles like queues or security. The event announces local or international acts only upon the arrival of the crowd. The Low Hum has been around since 2006 and has a loyal fan following.

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The World Busker Festival

It’s no secret that Christchurch loves its street performances, and this love developed into the World Busker festival. What’s great about it is that most of the performances are free, with artists performing daily from 11 am to 7 pm. Expect to see some top-notch performances – not only by the best acts from New Zealand but also by the U.S., Brazil, the UK, Australia, Japan, and Italy. 

The Jaffa Roll

The town of Baldwin in Dunedin is home to one of the steepest streets in the world. What does a town do with a street like that? This one organizes an annual event where people roll 75,000 candies down the hill to support charity. Not just any candy, though. The chocolate of choice is the classic “Jaffa” – New Zealand’s iconic orange-coated chocolate candy. As part of the annual Dunedin Cadbury Chocolate Festival, the Jaffa Roll raises thousands of dollars for local charities each year.