Te Anau Tartan Festival

Let your inner highlander loose at the Te Anau Tartan Festival.

The south has a strong Scottish ancestry, and Te Anau is the place to be at Easter every year to celebrate with music, dance, great food and family-friendly Highland Games.

The beautiful, lakeside town embraces the festival, as visitors from near and far converge for two days of highland fun - so make sure you dress in tartan to be in to win great prizes.

Immerse yourself among long flowing Celtic locks, beating drums, kilts, the majesty of bagpipes, and the mesmerising twirls of highland dancing.


Next event date: Easter Weekend 2025
Location: Te Anau
Keen to learn more: teanautartanfestival.co.nz

The action takes place at the spacious Real Journeys Fiordland Community Event Centre and the adjacent, sprawling Memorial Park.

A bumper Easter market with stallholders and food vendors from throughout the region adds to the festival mix - you might even be able to hunt down some delicious haggis sausages.

Then sit back and enjoy stirring performances by pipers and dances from throughout the South Island.

Rousing entertainment rolls on day and night. The Friday night variety concert is full of piping-hot musical goodness - with everyone’s musical tastes catered for. 

It’s a celebration of Scottish artists who have influenced world music, and world music that has been influenced by Scottish instruments - with everything from much-loved Gaelic classics through to contemporary rock anthems.

A marvellous array of specially adapted Highland Games is one of the highlights of the festival on the Saturday.

Take in the spectacular sights, have a go at one or more events - or let your competitive spirit out of the box - and enter all of the events in pursuit of highland glory.

Try your hand at tossing the caber - a roughly trimmed tree trunk, held upright. You run forward and toss it so it lands on the opposite end. It’s all about the caber turning end over end, and falling away from you in the "12 o'clock" position. 

Then there’s the epic spectacle of sheaf tossing, where you use a pitchfork to hurl a straw-stuffed sack over a horizontal bar high above your head.

The Kiwi Farmers’ Walk is a fine demonstration of strength and stamina - with participants carrying two drench containers as far as they can.

If mad dashes are more your style, then the famous kilted mile is for you.

It’s truly a sight to behold as participants in all manner of fancy dress - kilts flying - charge around the course in pursuit of the prized best-dressed trophy.

Once the last caber has been tossed and the dust has settled, it is time to relax and let your hair down, with a dinner and a Ceilidh, a Scottish party with singing, dancing and storytelling.

When your final fling is flung, why not explore more of Fiordland’s extraordinary scenic beauty. It’s a world-class sightseeing destination with awe-inspiring landscapes and a wide range of recreational activities - including Milford Sound Piopiotahi, the jewel in Fiordland’s crown. 

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