Pasifika: A Celebration of Pacific Island Culture

Capturing the atmosphere at the Pasifika Festival with only a digital cameral is virtually impossible. Yet I had to try. This annual Pacific Islands-themed festival took place this past weekend in Auckland New Zealand. Attracting close to 100,000 visitors, it is the largest festival of its type in the world.

As you enjoy these photos, breathe in the aroma of barbecue and other Pasifika flavours, hear the sounds of island music and drumming, visualise the movements, and enjoy the sunshine:

Cook Island dancers at the Pasifika Festival in Auckland New Zealand

The drumming attracted huge crowds to this Cook Island stage, it was the dancers that kept us there.

Hawaiin hula dancers at the Pasifika Festival in Auckland New Zealand

Hawaiian hula dancers

Performers at the Tonga section of the Pasifika Festival in Auckland New Zealand

Performers at the Tonga section

Hawaiian school group perform at the Pasifika Festival in Auckland New Zealand

A school group represent Hawaiian Dance

Ice Cream served in a pineapple bowl.

Two scoops of ice cream, pineapple pieces combined in a pineapple bowl. Refreshing, delicious, and somewhat healthy (at least it has fruit).

Crowds at the Pasifika Festival in Auckland New Zealand

Crowds varied by performance. This was one of the larger ones.

Tahitian dancers at the Pasifika Festival in Auckland New Zealand

Tahitian dancers with drums played just behind them.

Sign at the Pasifika Festival in Auckland New Zealand

Each of the 11 authentic Pacific Island villages had their own performance stage and marketplace.

Practical Information:

  • Like many festivals in Auckland, Pasifika is free.
  • Pasifika was held at Western Springs Park again this year. It was moved in 2015 due to biosecurity around the Queensland Fruit Fly being found in the area.
  • The event is spread throughout in the park, so each “village” is distinct. (According to my Fitbit, I walked 8000 steps at the event).
  • The 11 Island nations were: Samoa, Tonga, Hawaii, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Cook Islands, Niue, Fiji, Tahiti, Tuvalu, Kiribati, and Tokelau.

Have you been to the Pasifika Festival? Is it somewhere you would like to visit?

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Cook Island dancers at the Pasifika Festival in Auckland New Zealand. See more at


This post is also linked to BeThere2Day for Wordless Wednesday on Tuesday, Our World Tuesdays, Trekking with Becky for Expat Tuesday, Monday Escapes at My Travel Monkey, Travel Tales at Girl on the Move, Wednesdays Around the World at Photographing New Zealand, and Outdoor Wednesday at A Southern Daydreamer.

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  1. says

    Loved these pics Rhonda they turned out well nice and clear …all those great outfits and colours what fun oh and I want that ice cream haha!

    Have a leisurelytastic week 🙂

  2. says

    What a beautiful celebration, Rhonda! We have something very similar to this at the Polynesian Cultural Center on the island of Oahu. I visited the center some years ago and I was amazed by the performances and the wonderful display of costumes. Like you, I was frustrated that my camera couldn’t quite catch the atmosphere, but still I tried…

  3. says

    I love how living some place means that you get to see and experience more culture than if you were only there on vacation. I got to see lots of festivals in Japan, and since you live in Auckland, you got to see this one. It looks GREAT!

    Thanks for linking this up for #Expat Tuesday! 😀

  4. says

    Hi Rhonda – looks like an amazing festival – and yes I’d love to visit and see the artists performing. Great photos – that pineapple bowl looks quite amazing – delicious .. cheers Hilary

  5. says

    I love festivals like this, glad there is a Hawaiian contingent, how fun and the weather looks perfect to be dancing outdoors.

  6. Sarika says

    Wow! Very beautiful pictures. Good to see that you’re making an effort to preserve the island culture 🙂

  7. says

    I think you’ve managed to capture the festival wonderfully. Pasifika looks so much fun, colourful and joyful. Would love to go to this. One day I very much hope! Thanks for sharing on #MondayEscapes

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