New Zealand's Top 10 New Year's Eve Celebrations
New Zealand is one of the first countries in the world to celebrate the new year. It is also one of the best places to spend New Year's Eve because it is in the middle of summer and almost everyone is on their holiday. As New Year is smack in the middle of the summer holiday season, there are plenty of fireworks, awesome parties, events and cool celebrations not to be missed if you're going to be in New Zealand for New Year's Eve! The city of Gisborne, as the most easterly point, is the place to be for the first sunrise of the year.
Still unsure where to go? Here is VroomVroomVroom's list of the 10 best locations to spend New Year's Eve in New Zealand.
The Bay of Islands
Located in Northland, which is in the North Island, The Bay of Islands are ideal for families to celebrate the New Year. There are many awesome resorts, holiday parks and bars where you can welcome the new year with live music. The New Year's Eve Fireworks in the Bay (Paihia Beach) is a must-see display of pyrotechnics! Book a car rental in Kerikeri through us and compare rates from car hire companies like Budget and Avis.
Go to the Stonyridge Vineyard's New Year's Eve Party to dance under the stars. Waiheke Island has wonderful tourist attractions, beautiful beaches, restaurants with excellent cuisine and great wine.
Mount Maunganui and Whangamata
Mount Maunganui and Whangamata are popular destinations for New Year's celebrations. They are known as party spots that mainly attract a young audience. By car, driving time from Mount Maunganui to Whangamata is about 96.6 km or approximately 1 hour and 25 minutes via SH 2 and New Zealand State Highway 25/State Highway 25.
Timaru is another favourite New Year's destination. Attend the 13-day Caroline Bay Carnival for a full line up of great activities and family entertainment. The amazing midnight Pub Charity New Year's Eve fireworks display is not to be missed.
Attracting 10,00 partygoers, see in the new year at the South Island's premier and largest music festival! Just 40 minutes from Queenstown, this year's Rhythm & Alps features Fat Freddy's Drop, Tash Sulatama, Little Dragon as well as many other local and international acts. Queenstown also offers free New Year's Eve celebrations! Cruise Lake Wakatipu on the vintage steamship SSS Earnslaw. Return before midnight to Steamer Wharf for a spectacular fireworks display, live music with Lakefront views among locals and tourists.
Gisborne is the only place in the world to witness the first sunrise of the New Year! Here you can attend the award-winning Rhythm & Vines festival to welcome the New Year. This year's line up features Big Shaq, Tiga, Client Liaison, ScHoolboyQ, mura masa and more.
Taupo is a family-friendly destination for an unforgettable New Year's celebration. The events are free with a carnival atmosphere and Latin dance music. You will welcome in the New Year with fireworks on the lakefront.
Relax and get entertained with friends and family at the Rotorua GLO Festival. Enjoy great music and awesome food with a spectacular fireworks display at midnight on the Lakefront and Rotorua Village Green.
Many young spectators gather in Wanaka's main street to dance, stroll around the stalls and celebrate New Year's Eve with fireworks display at midnight. Renting a car in Queenstown Airport is easy with our trusted car hire partners like Europcar, Thrifty, Budget, Hertz and Avis.
Distance from Queenstown Airport: About 62.5 km - approximately 1 hour via Crown Range Rd and Cardrona Valley Rd by car
If you want to avoid the crowds, then Oban on Stewart Island is the perfect place to celebrate New Year's Eve. Meet locals, do some hiking or kiwi spotting to welcome in the new year. Note that transport options to Stewart Island are either by ferry (which takes about one hour) or by flight (approximately 15-20 minutes).