WOMAD is one big gluttonous feast for the ears and eyes. With over 30 performers across five stages ranging from big to unusual names, you might see Indian Sutta players, Vietnamese DJs, Korean pop dancers, African tongue clickers and Brazilian flamenco bands across three days. There’s the food from 80 stalls, plus you’re in some spectacular gardens where you can wander into artist workshops and a wellness area. It’s a universally good time for all ages and one place where being a senior is an advantage as you get an elevated platform (to smile and wave at the youth below you).
Here’s road trip suggestions from Auckland to the ‘Naki from Roadtrippers.
Arguably the best thing to come out of The Tron, this is a must stop as it will please everyone in the car. Using organic milk, free-range eggs and seasonal ingredients, Duck Island make small batches of ice cream with 18 bombastic flavours and dairy free options. Try the roasted white chocolate and miso.
Yes, it’s a church made out of trees with a grass floor and marble altar! Barry Cox, who created this phenomenal man-made, yet natural, wonder had lots of patience. He’s a tree lover and church lover and one day two passions collided. He didn’t initially set out to make the church open to the public but once his nephew asked if he could marry in it, it all began. Now you can turn up with no booking, your camera and $15 to marvel at Barry's incredible vision.
You’re driving right by and what better way to get your head into the trippy festy state than seeing thousands of tiny creatures radiating unmistakable luminescent light from their backsides? If you’ve only got 45 minutes that gives you some good glow worm action, or longer will give you Aranui and Ruakuri caves to explore, which can take up to three hours. And the kicker is that you can do it all in your clothes so it's all really easy. It's best to book 48 hours ahead.
You’re close to New Plymouth and probably hot and tired, so stop at Mike’s and let his good range of ales and lagers soothe your thirsty car mates. The pizzas aren’t too bad either and if it’s sunny there’s a lawn to rival Gatsby (in a ‘naki kind of way). The driver can get some brews to takeaway including organic options.
You might not get this done before WOMAD but make time for the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery Len Lye Centre, afterwards (or during) the festival. It’s free, you get to see some original films of Len Lye's and the building is arguably better than the gallery. It's an awe inspiring piece of architecture. For everyone.