Waitangi Day Pub Crawl

Every year we get lots of emails about Waitangi Day. This occurs on the 6th Febuary every year and as part of the celebrations the mass hit the circle line pub crawl to finish up at Westminster. That's all I know so I hope the following explains more by a person whom took part.

This article was stolen from Kristy's Travelog...

As if the London Underground’s Circle Line wasn’t frustrating enough, my friends and thousands of Kiwis in the city have found a way to make it ridiculously crowded and amazingly fun all at the same time!

New Zealanders celebrate their national day on February 6th of each year and, as there are loads of homesick Kiwis living in the UK, they’ve brought the celebration to the streets (and under them!) of London.

The Circle Line pub crawl is a popular event undertaken now and then by the brave and the stupid who are determined to drink a half pint in a pub at each of the 27 stops along the Circle route. To celebrate Waitangi Day, for reasons unknown, the Kiwis have adopted this pub crawl as their own and flock in the thousands with duffel bags packed with tins of beer to Paddington to start the crawl at about 11am.

The crawl moves en masse in a counter-clockwise direction with stops all along the route at pubs near the station entrances. Some are straight in front of you as you leave the station and others take a bit more searching. Areas with more than one pub nearby will tend to split the crowd a bit, but the streets will be buzzing with the people who’ve brought their own beer to save money and are just along for the ride with the occasional stop for a pee inside one of the pubs.

I really had to feel for the innocent victims of Waitangi Day who were just out for a quiet Saturday afternoon stroll, or newly arrived tourists who were caught up in the crush underground. The platforms were ten people deep and the tube was squashed full of inebriated Kiwis, their friends and curious tagalongs who felt in necessary to get to their destinations as loudly and as raucously as possible.

At one stage my friend Joe found himself leading a mini Haka from the steps leading down to the platform at Notting Hill Gate. I really had no idea what was going on so crept over to the side to appreciate it. Loads of his Kiwi compatriots were facing him at the front as he looked on menacingly from the stairs and joined in. If you’ve ever seen a Haka performed you’ll appreciate how stirring and impressive it is. But I still had to feel for the poor old ladies just trying to get home with their shopping who were met with grimacing men with bulging eyes and outstretched tongues.

The goal is to be at Westminster Abbey at 5pm for a massive Haka which is led by whoever can make it up to the front of the massive, drunken crowd. There seemed to be a large proportion of large, rugby type guys with their shirts off leading the Haka and huge crowds of people from all over the world looking on in appreciation.

London is packed with Kiwis and it's great to see them come out and show their pride in their country while they're abroad. So if you're in London in January and love a good pub crawl and party, then make sure to leave your groceries at home and hop on the Circle Line and just go with the flow!