New Zealand is one of the first countries in the world to celebrate New Year’s Eve, and of course, there are plenty of fireworks, festivals, and events that take place all across the country.
Located in Northland, The Bay of Islands is an ideal spot for celebrating the New Year. There are many great resorts, holiday parks, and bars. Plus, the New Year's Eve Fireworks show is a must-see display of colourful pyrotechnics.
You can book a rental car in Kerikeri, which is only a 20-minute drive from Paihia, or if you're coming from Auckland, you can collect a rental car from the airport and head north on Highway 1.
Timaru is another favourite New Year's destination. Attend the 13-day Caroline Bay Carnival for a full lineup of great activities and family entertainment. The amazing New Year's Eve fireworks display is not to be missed.
From the South Island, head northeast on Armour Road toward Puketoi-Highfield Road and continue onto State Highway 85. Turn left onto State Highway 1 and follow the signs to Timaru.
Bring in the New Year at the South Island's largest music festival. Not far from Queenstown, the annual Rhythm and Alps takes place at the scenic Cardrona Valley. The city also hosts some exciting New Year's Eve celebrations of its own with vintage steamboat cruises around Lake Wakatipu.
You can rent a car directly fromor one of the downtown depots. From the city, it’s only a 40-minute drive to Cardrona Valley where the festival is held.
Due to its far-east location on New Zealand’s North Island, Gisborne is one of the very first locales in the country—and the world—to witness the first sunrise of the New Year. It’s also home to the award-winning Rhythm and Vines festival, where you’ll be able to celebrate the New Year with your friends and family.
If you want to make getting around Gisborne easy, we suggest renting a car from either the airport or in town. This way, you’ll get the most out of what Gisborne has to offer.
Relax and be entertained with friends and family at the Rotorua GLO Festival. Enjoy great music and awesome food, with a spectacular fireworks display at midnight over the Lakefront and Rotorua Village Green.
Renting a car will make getting around Rotorua a lot easier over New Year’s. You’ll also be able to explore the surrounding region and make your way to the GLO festival when you’re ready.
Wanaka's main street transforms on New Year’s Eve, becoming a strip of stalls and dancing before the fireworks display at midnight. Popular Wanaka New Year's celebrations include the annual Rhythm and Alps Festival, and the iHeart Radio Top Paddock Festival.
Renting a car from Queenstown Airport is your best bet, then you can make your way to Wanaka, which will only take you about an hour in the car; the fastest route is via Crown Range Road and Cardrona Valley Road.