Events for Spectators

Tugboat Racing

Tug boat racing

Tug boats may not exactly be designed to race, but when they do, they are a spectacular sight. Dozens of tugs, including the biggest, the William C Daldy, built in 1935 will start off Princes Wharf at 10am, and they will charge around the inner Waitemata, finishing at Queens Wharf. This will be followed by a display then a parade through the Viaduct Harbour commencing approximately at 1130hrs.


Princes Wharf

Front row seats at Princes Wharf

Be at the end of at Princes Wharf from 1135am to watch the mass starts in all fleet race divisions, showcasing some of the finest yachts, from classics to modern keelers. 

Dragon Boat

Dragon Boat Racing 

300 keen dragon boat paddlers of all ages come together to race the 9m long dragon boats timed by enthusiasted drummers over a 200m race course in the Viaduct. It's a mass of splashing, power and adrenalin over the journey that lasts less than 50 seconds! Races start at 0930hrs.

Classic Boat

A classic time

Auckland has the largest fleet of vintage yachts still sailing, anywhere in the world, and many of them are on display at Ports of Auckland Anniversary Regatta. You will see much loved names like Waitangi, Thelma, Rawhiti, Ranger, Jessie Logan, on the Princes Wharf start line from 11.55am on Regatta day, or be there early to watch their pre start manoeuvres!

Waka Ama

Waka Ama

A hard sprint from Princes Wharf to Okahu Bay and back to Princes Wharf, starting at 12.10pm. Pop down and have a look! 

Radio Controlled Yachts 

Be sure to see this amazing display of yachting skill 'America's Cup' style, controlled from the land. At St Mary's Bay and Westhaven Marina from 10am.  

Centreboard classes

They are the grass roots favourites of New Zealand sailing and racing at seven clubs includes the Opti and Starling Auckland Champs, sailing for people with disabilities, and much more. Full details of locations and start times are on our Notice of Race and we recommend you arrive 2 hours prior to the race start to see the boats being rigged and launched from the beach, as this is the best time to catch them. 

Auckland Anniversary Weekend

There are lots of exciting events happening including:

  • Tāmaki Herenga Waka Festival
  • Ports of Auckland SeePort Festival and Sunset Symphony & Fireworks
  • Silo Cinema and Silo Sessions
  • Cloud Market on Queens Wharf and HMNZS Te Mana Navy Ship Open Day
  • Auckland International Buskers Festival
  • Ports of Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta
  • NZ Maritime Museum family activities and heritage vessels sailings
  • Kids Gone Fishin' in Wynyard Quarter
  • traffic-free streets on Monday during Play Streets in Wynyard Quarter.

Learn more about Auckland Council Events on during Anniversary Weekend


Viewing Locations

For many Aucklanders watching Ports of Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta from a sunny picnic spot, is a precious childhood memory. Some of the best spots are:

Bastion Point
North Head
East Coast Bays
Tamaki Drive
Orakei Wharf
Princes Wharf

view Map

Cruise Options

Fullers Harbour Cruises depart at 10.30am and 1.30pm to take in the sights of the day.

America’s Cup Sailing Experiences
11.00am and 2.00pm
Feel the thrill of sailing an authentic America’s Cup yacht. Take the helm to help steer on course or work hard on the grinders to hoist the mainsail during this hands on sailing adventure on Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour.

Auckland Harbour Sailing
1.00pm and 3.15pm
Discover Auckland’s picture perfect harbour on our relaxed sailing experience. Take in the fresh sea air and the stunning scenery while you travel down the harbour under the power of wind.

Harbour Dinner Cruise 6.00pm
Immerse yourself in Auckland’s harbour setting with dinner on the water. Soak up the city atmosphere from the peace of the harbour waters. Glide past the city as it lights up and watch the sun set over the inner harbour.


0930-1600hrs:    Dragon Boat racing in Viaduct Harbour  (360 dragon boaters)

1000-1045hrs:     Tugboat Race:  Princes Wharf -  Orakei -  Westhaven - Queen’s Wharf

1045-1115hrs:    Tugboat display off Queen’s and Capt Cook Wharves followed by tour of the Viaduct with judging at 12 noon – a display of tugboats berthed by the Tidal Steps

1115hrs:     HMNZS Te Kaha departs with VIP’s and sponsors on board to view the Regatta 

1135-1210hrs:    Races start off Princes Wharf at 5 minute intervals with A Classic start at 12 noon, Waka Ama at 1210hrs and Waka Hourua at 1215hrs     

1215-1700hrs:   Waitemata Harbour and Hauraki Gulf race fleets expected at Princes Wharf

Other regattas and yacht racing events will carry on throughout the day, check out a detailed event timetable here