All around the world on March 17th people jump on board the Green bandwagon and celebrate the best of Ireland. New Zealand has rich Irish connections, in fact, three of our prime ministers were born in Ireland. There is a large number of Irish people who call New Zealand home, making it easy to find a local Irish pub (always a good time and a pint of the black stuff is never too far away).
If that is not a clear indication of how much we love them, what better country to celebrate in than one that believes every day should be green. New Zealanders are a proud wee nation of our clean, green image. To celebrate all things green, here is your only guide to surviving (and enjoying!) St Patrick’s Day in New Zealand.
Light Up the Sky
Need another reason to brag to your friends about visiting New Zealand? We will proudly be the first place in the world to Go Green on the 16th March 2018. From 8pm Auckland will get behind the global greening, lighting up four landmarks including the Sky Tower, Museum, Eden Park Stadium and Harbour Bridge. Top spots to watch the action unfold are the Viaduct and Devonport Waterfronts or take a picnic to the top of Mt Eden or the Devonport Hills to get those sunset views as well.
If you aren’t in Auckland, don’t worry, the Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington and Christchurch Airport will also show their support with the big green lights too.
Take to the street
Who doesn’t love a good parade, and what could be better than one celebrating all things green! Head down to Auckland's uber cool Ponsonby Road at midday on Saturday 17th March 2018 to catch the annual St Patrick’s Day parade. Expect everything from Irish dancers and marchers, Faerie Folk and Leprechauns, to Clydesdale horses and flutes, fiddles and harps to your heart's content. Make sure you get there early for a decent spot and a chance to catch a glimpse of St Patrick himself.
Dance to the Green beat
Afterwards, celebrate the simple pleasures of life as the Irish do, with a few drinks, music, stories and tales at the Irish Music and Dance Festival. Check out the ‘craic’ at Western Park in Ponsonby and take on board all of the best parts of Ireland. Enjoy traditional Irish dancing, food stalls and music acts until the sun goes down.
Celebrate with the Rest of the World
One of the coolest things about New Zealand is that we are the first in the world to see the sunrise each day. As night falls on the 17th March, the rest of the world will be slowly waking up and beginning their St Patrick’s Day celebrations. What better excuse to head out and continue your celebrations into the night?!
What would an article about St Patrick’s Day be without the mention of Guinness? Auckland alone has over 20 pubs with Guinness on tap – this makes them Irish right? For those wanting a more authentic experience, look out for Whiskey tastings. Kiwis are very fond of Irish Whiskeys, it may even transport you back to Ireland (not guaranteed).