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Come Explore New Zealand in January with A Cheap Car Rental

Green farmland in New Zealand

There are lots of special events, and we're all in holiday mode in January

Dance into the New Year in Wanaka

People dancing in the rhythm of music

We like to start the year with a bang in New Zealand, and leverage the fact that we are among the first countries in the world to see in each New Year. The city of Gisborne has the largest New Year's Eve music festival, Rhythm and Vines, held at the Waiohika Estate Vineyard. In the South Island, there's Rhythm and Alps in the Cardrona Valley, Wanaka.

Living is easy in New Zealand in January. Many businesses close for the first part of the month, and big city dwellers take the opportunity to head to holiday spots, usually the beach or lake.

Drive the empty roads in Auckland

InAuckland especially, this is a great time to visit. With the population depleted, getting around by car becomes much easier. Just because the city is a bit emptier, doesn't mean there is nothing to do.  Get a city beach fix at Mission Bay, St. Heliers, or Takapuna, visit the Auckland Art Gallery, or catch an outdoor movie at Silo Park.

Alternatively, follow the crowds to the popular beach resorts. There are so many choices, from Auckland to the Coromandel Peninsula, the 'near north' areas of Mangawhai and Waipu Cove, or Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty are easy half day drives. Over the whole country Nelson and Whakatane are the places with the highest sunshine hours.

Follow the music to Nelson

Band singing on the stage

One way to decide where to go is to follow the summer band circuit. Popular New Zealand bands play at the best of the beach pubs, such as the Coroglen Tavern near Whitianga on the Coromandel, or the Riwaka Hotel in Motueka, a bit up the coast from Nelson. Coastal communities make the most of their summer visitors by running some major fund-raising events. The Cooks Beach Summer Gala raises funds for local Whenuakite school, close to Whitianga, and is held on the 4th of January. It's a busy day with food stalls selling local treats such as mussel fritters as well as crafts and clothing. In true rural Kiwi fashion, you can have a go at winning a $1000 prize in the 'Daisy Dung Drop' competition. All you have to do is guess where Daisy the cow will make her deposit on the day!

Keeping with a rural theme, just out of Queenstown on the 9th of January you'll find the Lake Hayes A&P show. This event has been held for the last 101 years, and is a mix of farming and animal competitions, alongside funfair attractions. In Central Otago at this time of the year, the temperatures can be the hottest in the country, often well over 30 degrees celsius. Being so far south, the days are long, perfect for making the most of the outdoors.

Take to the streets in Christchurch

boats sailing in the bay

From the 14 to 24th of January the streets of Christchurch take on colourful antics during the SCIRT World Buskers Festival. Over 65 performers, comedians, fringe artists and musicians draw crowds in street performances, outdoor stages, or indoor shows.

The last weekend of the month is a holiday weekend for Auckland's Anniversary. The traditional big event for the weekend is the Ports of Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta, the day when Auckland really does become the 'city of sails'. There's all kinds of boat races, from yachts to dragon boats and tug boats. There are good vantage points on land, or join a day cruise to see the action up close. Adding to the buzz on the waterfront is the ASB Seafood Festival, and an international buskers festival.

InWellington on the same weekend, is the HSBC Wellington Rugby Sevens Tournament. This event is in its 16th year, and features sixteen international teams who play fast-paced short games of rugby with just seven players in each team. A feature of the tournament is that the spectators dress up in costumes, so there's plenty to see both on and off the field.

Come join the party, and make January the month you get to New Zealand. The best way to see it all is by hire car or campervan, and at VroomVroomVroom we can help you source the right vehicle at the best price for your adventure.