If you’ve got Auckland based friends or family with birthdays around this time of year, then the Auckland Arts Festival is a veritable smorgasbord of experiences you can give them as gifts.
What we did
We chose to give the gift of a visit to the Power Plant at the Domain to our dear friend Aunty J.
How it went
We arrived super early as parking was a lot easier than we had expected. We whiled away the time watching the completely mesmerizing flame spitting musical tube things and eating delicious Kapiti ice creams.
We queued at our time slot with one eye on the approaching thunderstorm and were relieved when we were allowed to go through a little earlier than scheduled.
After a quick safety briefing and yet another reassurance for the Tweenagers that despite the dark clouds surrounding us it was very unlikely we would all be wiped out by a rogue bolt of lightning, we headed down a dark and forboding forest path into the heart of the Domain.
Just when I started wishing the aforementioned bolt of lightning would actually do its worst to put an end to the Tweenagers moaning and angsting we came across an installation of twirling feathers suspended in midair. It was mesmerising to watch and the peacefulness of it all somehow calmed the Tweenagers into a more manageable state.
From then on, every twist and turn in the path revealed something new to see, hear or experience. From floral dresses swinging eerily in a forest, to the full-on effects of a red path filled with smoke and deep throbbing vibrations to the dancing lights of a disco ball hung high in the trees, this was a truly special experience.
An hour later we popped out the other end of installation and headed for home full of stories to tell each other about the things we’d seen and heard.
What I’d recommend
Book an early session if you’ve got kids in tow. It’s perfectly dark enough at 8.15 to see everything, and the walk takes about an hour, plus travel time home.
If you’re booked for the earliest sessions, get into the queue as soon as you arrive. Entry is in small groups so it can take a while to get everyone started.
Leave the camera in your bag. It’s hard to get good photos of the different installations, so instead just relax and take it all in!
What to take
Good sturdy walking shoes – the path is steep and slippery in places.
A raincoat. The paths are quite narrow so I don’t think anyone would thank you for popping up an umbrella while you walk. Plus it might mean you’d miss out on seeing what’s above you.
Your tickets as printouts – it makes it so much quicker and easier to get into the event.
This experience was chosen and paid for by my family and I without any input from the experience organisers. Read more ideas and reviews for experiences to give as gifts.