Queen’s Birthday weekend in Auckland: All the events, weather, travel and traffic
The long Queen’s Birthday weekend will be celebrated with a number of events in Auckland despite some less than ideal weather.
It’s the second to last long weekend for Kiwis to enjoy this year, the final being Labour Day in late October.
In 2009, members of the public rallied behind the idea of Hillary Weekend, in memory of Sir Edmund Hillary, to split the five-month gap between Queen’s Birthday and Labour Day weekends. However, the idea never amounted to anything.
So plan ahead and make the most of the last long weekend for a while. Here is everything you need to know about the long weekend, from events to weather to traffic.
In the heart of Auckland City, Queen’s Wharf will be bustling with markets, food vendors, activities, car displays, performances and a carnival between 10am and 4pm.
Crowds will be greeted with an Austin Powers welcome, followed by performances by the Auckland Morris Dancers, puppeteer Jonathon Acorn, Clan Celtica, musical duo Mema and Levi, the Auckland Pipe Band and more.
For the kids there will be free face painting, science displays from the Museum of Transport and Technology, animals from Little Bo Peep’s Mobile Farm (Monday and Sunday only), an interactive paint wall and free rides on Robbie’s Fun Bus.
For those wishing to indulge themselves, DeBrett’s Kitchen will be hosting a traditional British high tea, with all Her Majesty’s favourite treats.
The Queen won’t be the only one celebrating a birthday this weekend, with the Auckland Harbour Bridge set to sparkle for its 60th. A three- to five-minute Vector Lights show will be running every 30 minutes from 6pm-10pm, May 29 to June 3.
The NZTA recommends Northcote’s Little Shoal Bay, Bayswater Marina, Devonport’s Mt Victoria, the Auckland Waterfront, Herne Bay’s Sentinel Beach and Mt Eden as some of the best viewing stations.
For sports fanatics, the Champions League Final between the Spurs and Liverpool kicks off at 7am on Sunday.
Various bars and clubs in the region are screening the game, including the Occidental Belgian Beer Café in the CBD, the Ellerslie Association Football Club, Mt Albert Ponsonby Association Football Club, The Good Home bar in Onehunga and Stanmore Bay, Lord Kitchener restaurant in Sandringham and The Malt pub in Greenhithe.
Check in with your local as reservations may be required.
Indoors or Outdoors?
Met Service meteorologist Angus Hines said Auckland weather was looking a little rough at first, as June 1 marked the first day of the meteorological winter following a mild and dry autumn.
“It seems fair that it’s coming in with a bit of a bang,” he said.
On Saturday, Hines expected strong and cold south westerly winds and frequent showers.
The wind would die away on Sunday, but it would still be “rather chilly” with a few showers, he added.
The weather should continue to improve into Monday, with eased winds.
“If you’ve got a choice, I’d make Monday your outdoor day,” Hines said.
Heavy Traffic Warnings
In 2018, two people died and 118 were injured in crashes over Queen’s Birthday weekend.
NZTA Auckland operations manager Rua Pani warned Friday night would be particularly busy this year, with holidaymakers taking to the roads.
NZTA predicted heavy traffic in north Auckland between Pūhoi and Wellsford from 1pm-6pm heading north on Friday and 11am and 6pm heading south on Monday. Traffic was known to be bumper-to-bumper in the nearby Johnstones Hill Tunnels during long weekends.
Heavy traffic was also expected in south Auckland on SH1 in Takanini between 10.30am-7.30pm for southbound traffic on Friday and 10.30am-8pm for northbound traffic on Monday.
Those travelling should wear seatbelts, avoid distractions, increase following distances, use headlights and make alternative travel plans if tired or drinking alcohol.
Auckland Transport has replaced some train services with buses for the weekend due to rail maintenance.
Buses will replace trains on the southern line between Penrose and Pukekohe and on the eastern line between Panmure and Manukau.
Sort Your Finances
A great idea for the long weekend, especially if the weather isn’t too flash is to take a good look at your personal finances. If you need a tidy up or what we call a wrap up with a debt consolidation loan, we might be able to help.
The first step… a few minutes is all you need to complete the loan application. One of our loan consultants will be in touch once we have received your application. If at any point you need assistance, don’t hesitate to give us a ring on 0800 323 130.