Visit Northland for the Festival of Lights in July 2021

Northland Festival of lights - Northern lights
The Northern Lights Festival is a multi-day and night event that co-aligns with Matariki: The Māori New Year

The Tutukaka Coast is an idyllic location, central to Northland. As well as being home to many innovative artists and creatives, it has amazing scenery that lights up the eyes of visitors.

The Tutukaka Coast bustles with visitors during the summer months of the year, then during winter months becomes still, clear and a perfect place for stargazing. The winter days can be warm with wonderful sunrises and sunsets.

The Northern Lights team knew that the Tutukaka Coast was the perfect place for a family-friendly Festival of Lights. A few crazy ideas, a bunch of enthusiastic people and the amazing Whangarei District Council supporting the idea led to the inception of the Northern Lights Festival.

Festival Events

During the 11 days of the festival, there will be light art displays set up around the Tutukaka Coast by local artists and creatives plus a series of events to attend! Tutukaka is only a 20 minute drive from Whangārei.

This is a not-for-profit, community-run, family-friendly event. Many of the events are free, however, visitors are encouraged to visit the website and get a free ticket or choose to give a donation if you can! Events include a Fire and Light Show, glow paddle-boarding, silent disco, glow yoga, underwater at night in virtual reality, movie night, skate competition, UV face painting and more…

Festival Lights

Light Displays will be located in Tutukaka, Ngunguru & Matapouri. Many of our local residents will light up their homes for the festival too!  As well as art light displays by local artists, there will be interactive light displays at Ngunguru School, a blackout chalk room where you can create your own art and an audio visual experience through the mangroves.

The Nine Stars of Matariki Each Have their own Meaning

Waitī watches over our freshwater environments. Waitā surveys our vast oceans, Te Moana-nui-o-Kiwa.

Waitā surveys our vast oceans, Te Moana-nui-o-Kiwa.

Waipuna-ā-rangi welcomes the winter sky waters in all their forms.

Tupu-ā-nuku has a special interest in our edible plants.

Tupu-ā-rangi has long looked out for the ngahere (forests), and he is deeply concerned by the collapse he is witnessing.

Ururangi is close friends with te whānau puhi (the wind family) – including Hauraro (the north wind), Tonga (the south wind), Hauāuru (the west wind), and Marangai (the east wind). He encourages us to get to know this family well, embrace its strength and prepare for any challenges it creates.

Pōhutukawa holds tight to our memories of treasured people who have passed on. She encourages us to take time to remember them, and to acknowledge their impact on our lives.

Hiwai-i-te-rangi is a wishing star, who helps us to recognise our hopes, dreams and aspirations for the coming year. She encourages us to hold firm to our goals, and seek out opportunities to see them realised.

Matariki loves to gather the people together and to connect them with our environment. She encourages us to do the same, as often as possible.

Northland Festival of lights volunteer

Get involved as a Volunteer

Festival organisers are looking for energetic, exuberant and friendly individuals to join their volunteering team. They have a variety of tasks you could be involved in – from setting up to packing down and everything in between, there are many opportunities here to help bring an illuminating new festival to our community.

Find out more…

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