Image of the Wellington Heritage Festival logo and text saying Wellington Heritage Festival

About our Festival

Nau mai, haere mai! Welcome to this introduction to our festival. Read on to learn how you can become an Event Host, how we operate, and to see some events from last year.

What is Wellington Heritage Festival?

Wellington Heritage Festival is a volunteer-led, community-sourced heritage and culture festival celebrating the region's people, places, and stories.

We act as a platform to promote events set up by individuals, organisations, and communities. All festival events are run by these groups, and our role is to highlight their efforts through our website, social media promotion, press coverage, and more.

When does the festival run?

For 2023, Wellington Heritage Festival will run for two weeks, from Monday, October 23rd (Labour Day) - Sunday, November 5th.

Banner reading "Wellington Heritage Festival 23 Oct - 5 Nov 2023"

Before the festival starts, our team will work with event hosts to plan and organise their offerings.

How do I become an Event Host?

There are two steps to becoming an event host:

  1. Register your Interest online or by email before the due date. This step is optional but highly recommended.

  2. Complete a Full Application online or by email by the due date. This step is REQUIRED.

Completing a Registration of Interest form as soon as possible helps you and our team. It allows us to assist in planning your event, enabling us to time your event for a slot in the festival where you're likely to get the highest attendance.

The only required step is to submit your Full Application before This is the most important thing to keep in mind.

If you would prefer to submit your Registration of Interest or Full Application via email, please email us to request a guide on how to do so.

You can fill out the Registration of Interest and Full Application forms on our website, available early in each year.

How much does it cost to become an Event Host?

Becoming an event host is FREE; the best price!

As an event host, you are solely responsible for funding and organising your event. We may be able to help with planning, and if you have prohibitive costs, please reach out to our team for a chat.

Some event examples from 2022

Our festival often represents an eclectic mix of people, places, and stories. The type of events we highlight varies greatly, so there is flexibility when planning your own. If you have an idea for an event but aren't sure if it will fit in the festival, please reach out to us via our email! Below are some examples of the types of events we receive.

Talk and Tour of the Wellington City Archives

Our festival shows people areas of the city they may not often visit or do not always have access to. One of the mainstays of this "Behind the scenes" type event is the Talk and Tour of the Wellington City Archives, which houses records and memorabilia relevant to Pōneke's heritage.

The 'Not-so-straight' Artists Walk Tour

Wellington's story is written by a wide range of communities and, perhaps more than most cities, much of ours is built by the rainbow community. This walking tour, hosted by Walk Tours NZ, covered some of these stories, focusing on the artists who shaped the city and the communities they were a part of.

Urbantics - A Spy Themes Urban Adventure

This event was a different take on exploring heritage. Urbantics ran a self-guided outdoor escape room tour around the city, using a website as a guide. With a group of friends, you could learn about heritage by solving puzzles and mysteries while exploring the area's landmarks.

Path of the Artists Walking Tour

Blending the arts and history, this walking tour saw the Curtain Call Company theatre group express their craft in a well-acted walking tour of the city. Portraying figures from Wellington's history, such as Katherine Mansfield, they read letters in places of importance to said figures.

Heritage Crafts & Vintage + Retro Fair Seatoun

This fair had a strong focus on community and crafts. Many activities were offered, from talks on embroidery to a market, all taking place within a historic building. This event was a microcosm of the variety our festival presents.

Who runs the festival?

Wellington Heritage Festival is entirely volunteer-operated. As of 2023, our festival is being jointly delivered by the Rotary Clubs of Wellington and the Wellington Heritage Festival Trust - a charitable trust. The chair of the Rotary Club of Wellington's project committee is Dr Roger Blakely, and the sole trustee of the Wellington Heritage Festival Trust is Alex Hockley.

Our team also relies on the efforts of other talented volunteers and our community of event hosts. We are currently looking for more volunteers to help us over the coming months. If you would like to hear more, click on this link, or contact our team at

How is the festival funded?

Given that it is free to be an event host, a fair question is how we are funded. Wellington Heritage Festival is entirely funded by sponsorships and public grants. Usually, this involves funds from city councils via arts & culture grants, central government organisations, and private companies.

All of our sponsors are highlighted on our website, printed brochures, and social media channels to thank them for their contributions, as the festival cannot run without their support. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor for the festival, we would love to talk with you. You can email us at

Our Sponsors