4 reasons to go to TOI Wānaka

A celebration of design, creativity and excellence in Wānaka

From the very beginning, Wānaka has been a place of community, sharing collective knowledge and educating each other. It’s always been about manaakitanga and connection, it’s always been about spirituality and nurturing all life.

The second annual TOI Wānaka festival is coming up on October 15-17, 2021. Aiming to revitalise the arts and bring together those that are passionate about design and the local community, the festival is packed full of events; featuring two days of speaker series, workshops, open studios and exhibitions from both local and national designers and creatives. 

Whether you’re interested in design, music, fashion, performance, architecture or film and visual art, the festival is a celebration of creativity for all. Here are the four reasons why you should be in Wānaka for TOI.


This year, TOI Wānaka is kicking off with a bang at a rooftop soiree at the new Precinct building. Wee Tart is a modern, beautiful cafe at the Precinct with rooftop terrace views that are to-die-for. From 4:30-6:30pm on Friday, October 15, the Welcome to TOI event will be held, with drinks, nibbles and maybe even a few surprises from the Precinct business community. 

This event is free, but in order to track attendance, attendees must register for tickets.

The Precinct shopping area at night in Wanaka, New Zealand


Designers, creatives and local talent from all over the South Island are excited to share their passions and creative vision with TOI attendees. On Saturday, October 16, head down Helwick St and catch live art from community groups like the artists of Wanaka Arts or the musicians from Guerilla Gigs. The shops and cafes on the street also welcome TOI attendees to browse their wares or grab a bite.

A choir sings in front of Kai Whakapai cafe in Wanaka, New Zealand

Workshops & open studios

TOI is as much about looking and learning as it is about getting involved and learning through doing. Many local artists and studios will be opening their doors to TOI attendees to try their hand at a craft and learn from the pros. For more details about which studios will be opening and available workshops, check out the TOI schedule.

Customers watch a demonstration at the Plant Collective in Wanaka, New Zealand


It wouldn’t be a complete weekend without a reason to dress up and socialize. On the Saturday evening at 4:30pm, TOI Wānaka presents Design Debunked, a speaker series and panel event. Happening at Scroggin Cafe on Ardmore Street, Design Debunked will bring together five creatives - each with a unique perspective on their respective industries - for a ‘Ted-talk’ style speaker series about their individual creative process. Following the series, the speakers will come together for a panel discussion with the audience. 

This event is ticketed.

A woman at a fashion speaker event in Wanaka, New Zealand

The TOI brand

In conjunction with the festivities, the TOI Wanaka brand identity, in and of itself, is a work of beautiful and intentional design. The word 'toi' is often translated as knowledge, skill, excellence, source, origin or mastery. Engaging with local Maori graphic designer, Britt Davies from Studio Acht, the brand reflects the history of Wanaka, its bold strength in unity moving forward. 

Brand identity for TOI Wanaka

For festival updates, follow TOI on Instagram or visit the TOI website.