About Us 

This coming January 18th - 21st, over three days and nights during the Wellington Anniversary Weekend, Whanganui puts on its biggest party, where locals and visitors enjoy a wonderfully curated programme of events and experiences with a vintage theme.  It’s a community collaboration and a celebration of a destination we are proud of.

Our view of vintage is ‘Something from our past which deserves celebrating, especially that which represents the best of its kind’

Think music, fashion, food or wine, this weekend has it all, and then some. The events are a showcase of the best from eras gone by, illustrated through entertainment, activities, food, drink, fashion, technology and vehicles with the historic and award-winning architecture of one of New Zealand’s oldest cities as the backdrop.

Events include:

  • The Retro Market – local artists, artists & artisans, growers & producers
  • Rivercity Caboodle – a street carnival with live music on two stages
  • The Dazzle Ball – a night of glamour featuring the NZ Air Force Swing Band
  • Vintage Fair – shop vintage, retro, antique and collectables
  • Riverside Shindig – general revelry, live music, street food, vintage fashion competition
  • Plumber Dan Raft Race & Hullabaloo – music by Ra Costello and the community drummers, old fashion games and family fun with the Boys & Girls Gym Club, food stalls and the raft race.

Vintage trains, planes, boats and automobiles also feature with Air Chathams’ 1945 Douglas DC3 sightseeing flights; the Vintage Car Club “Burma Rally” and “Bruce’s Anniversary Day Run” and the Classic Car Club “Wheels on Victoria,” (includes vintage cars) and the “Classic Cruise.”

Mainline Steam Train rides, three on Saturday starting at 1pm and three on Sunday starting from 8.30am; the Waimarie Paddle Steamer Jazz Cruise on Friday and Saturday night, boarding at 5.30pm then two hours of cruising while enjoying complimentary nibbles, and Mable the Tram and Steam Traction Engine Rides running all day Saturday and Sunday.

This year, there is also Heritage Bus Tours, with a local expert providing commentary on Whanganui’s impressive history.

Local retailers join the party with vintage-dressed shop fronts and stalls, and bars and restaurants have fun serving up something vintage in the era of their choice.

NZ Glassworks has vintage glass blowing everyday and on Saturday visitors can join in with one-on-one glassblowing workshops. There’s something for every interest and age group, and as more and more people dress up in fabulous fashion from years gone by the events becomes more vibrant.

Cleveland’s Demise by Chocolate for the chocolate loves is a decadent chocolate filled high tea on Sunday; Fine Arts Whanganui gallery is open every day showcasing traditional and contemporary art works in a stunning light filled heritage building.   And there will be lots of fun at Lucky Bar + Kitchen with a pre-pop up market from Sunday to Wednesday before Vintage Weekend and then Opal Ocean playing on Saturday night and the Julian Temple Band playing on Monday night.

Now is the time to book your accommodation and start planning your vintage outfits. Pick an era you love. Any era.

Whanganui Vintage Weekend is organised by the Whanganui Vintage Weekend Trust and our supportive and enthusiastic collaborators. We are very thankful to Whanganui and Partners for their generous funding support and to all our sponsors who help make this special event happen.​

Where it started

The first Whanganui Vintage Weekend took place on Wellington Anniversary Weekend in January 2012. It was co-designed by Mainstreet Whanganui and the Whanganui District Council in conjunction with the Vintage Car Club , which was already bringing 35,000 car enthusiasts to the racecourse that weekend, for a national event. ​

Whanganui Vintage Weekend replaced “Heritage Weekend” which had a niche history and educational focus and took place in March.  

The organisers

The Whanganui Vintage Weekend Trust was formed in 2013 to manage the event to ensure continuity of events and the look (“vintageness”) of the brand.  ​Current Trust members are:

- Bruce Jellyman (Chair)

- Annette Main

- Kate Joblin

- Keith Smith

- Rory Smith

Our Event & PR Manager is Heather Cox.

2018 Whanganui Vintage Weekend is believed to have attracted over 20,000 visitors.