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Winter Nights Winter Lights

Friday 13 July to Monday 16 July




Fri 13 July, 18:00-22:00
Sat 14 July, 18:00-22:00
Mon 16 July, 18:00-22:00


Tauranga waterfront, The Strand

We had to cancel Sunday night’s Winter Nights Winter Lights due to the strong wind warnings and the heavy rain forecast. Stay warm and safe! But fear not, we will be back as planned on Monday night from 6pm to 10pm with the weather looking significantly better.

There is no excuse for hibernating this winter. Get up from the couch, grab your woolly hats and come together to celebrate midwinter at this year’s Winter Nights Winter Lights.

Tauranga’s heart of the city will come to light at this year’s midwinter celebration Winter Nights Winter Lights. The free, all-ages event, presented by Tauranga City Council, showcases a spectrum of interactive light installations, live entertainment, food and more on four consecutive nights from Friday, 13 July to Monday, 16 July from 6pm to 10pm.

Internationally and nationally well-known lighting designer Alexandra Heaney will illuminate the central city’s waterfront with her iconic, interactive light installation Sweep.

Created for Vivid Sydney, where it was on show for the first time, this is the first time it will be on display in Tauranga. The slowly moving installation invites the viewer experiencing it from near and far. When viewed from a distance it provides the illusion of suspended light rods bobbing softly and gracefully from side to side. Imagine a school of fish in a deep current. However, when viewed up close the effect is very different. If you walk through Sweep you will feel confused and get a sense of intimidation as the large individual lights move ominously above and around you. The installation comprises one hundred acrylic tubes, standing four metres tall with three sections of light implanted inside (all LED- controllable) each stem.

In addition to Sweep, an outdoor projection will turn a key wall in the city centre into a temporary art installation, unique to Tauranga. The animated projection by local artist Sam Emerson will pay tribute to our beautiful city, its distinctive spaces and places and our vibrant community.

Visitors can experience iconic features of the Tauranga waterfront in a new light. They will be lit up by an array of fairy, festoon and multi-coloured lights, turning the area into a magical night-time wonderland.

A range of live entertainment invites residents and visitors to not only watch, but to participate in the activities. Tango in Tauranga will perform one show on Friday and Saturday night with the finest Argentinian Tango dancers on the Dance-O-mat down at The Strand. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to join in for a dance under the lights.

A local group of bucket drummers from Fuse Drumming will inject light and rhythm into Wharf Street.

Winter Nights Winter Lights offers the chance for everyone to become a piece of art thanks to glow in the dark paint. The little ones as well as the grown-ups can get their face painted for free with the facial artworks coming alive in the UV zone at the Edgewater Fan.

A range of food trucks will park up at the waterfront and serve all types of cuisine adding to the range of restaurants in the central city. From doughnuts, crepes, churros, dumplings and sushi there will be something for everyone. People can come into town at any time they wish between 6pm and 10pm, grab a bite from the food trucks or from any of the many bars and restaurants in the central city and enjoy the night.

Extended bus hours

Bay of Plenty Regional Council have come on board with extended operating hours on most Bayhopper routes.  

View the extended bus hours or download the timetable.

Did you know? From December operating hours will be extended on most Bayhopper services due to popular demand.

Event information

Find all event information, parking and road closures in our event map.

WNWL map (359kb pdf)

Winter Nights Winter Lights map 2018