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 previous years.

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?

In 2024, Wellington Heritage Festival will run for 22 days, from Saturday, October 26th until Sunday, November 17th.

Banner reading "Wellington Heritage Festival 26 Oct - 17 Nov 2024"

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 by completing this form before 10pm, Tuesday 30th April. This step is REQUIRED.

  2. Complete an Event Application online by 10pm, Sunday 30th June. This step is also REQUIRED.

For 2024, Registration of Interest forms are required. These allow 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.

Once you have submitted your Registration of Interest, we will contact you by the end of May with instructions on how to complete your Event Application, which is required and must be completed before the end of June. You must fill out both forms to be part of the Festival.

New Requirements for Event Hosts

Following feedback from the public and past Event Hosts, we will be implementing an "Event Clustering" scheme.

If you run an event that only runs one time and occurs on a weekend, we may require you to host it on the "focus weekend" for your area.

You can learn more about this approach at the link below: Event Clustering Information | Wellington Heritage Festival

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 into 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. Since 2023, our festival has been jointly delivered by the Rotary Clubs of Wellington and the Wellington Heritage Festival Trust - a charitable trust. The sole trustee of the Wellington Heritage Festival Trust is Alex Hockley, and the chair of the Rotary Club of Wellington's project committee is Dr Roger Blakeley.

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.

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