You’re leaving the year in an awesome country and you’re seeing in the new year in an, well, awesome country! That’s worth celebrating, right? Because New Year’s Eve in New Zealand is during the summer, this is the perfect time to hit on the many epic New Year’s festivals. Whatever your budget and whatever your timeframe, you’ll find an awesome festival to celebrate NYE in New Zealand!
Of course, there are loads of NYE events happening all over Auckland. Travel one hour north of the city centre and you’ll find the awesome hippy camping festival of Aum. Release your creative side with art, workshops, music and all sorts of technical wizardry.
New Zealand’s biggest NYE celebration is in the first city in the world to see the new year thanks to its position on the International Date Line. The festival in Gisborne has huge acts playing over the New Year among the sensational setting of the Waiohika Estate Vineyard. Get your tickets early before they sell out! For more things to do in Gisborne, check out Gisborne – Guide for Backpackers.
Date: 29 December – 1 January
Location: Waiohika Estate Vineyard, Gisborne
Where to stay: Camp at the event or look up the budget accommodation in our Accommodation Guide to Gisborne.
3. Rhythm & Alps
The sister festival of Rhythm & Vines is held among the stunning setting of the mountainous Cardrona Valley halfway between Queenstown and Wanaka. The festival is packed with an awesome line-up of bands and DJs. While you are in the area, make sure you do these 10 Free and Cheap Things to Do in Wanaka
Celebrate a month-long festival happening in Queenstown and Wanaka which kicks off on New Year’s Eve! Get down to Earnslaw Park for music and fireworks! The streets are packed with a carnival atmosphere and there will be plenty of food stalls for a bite to eat. To top it all off, the NYE event in Queenstown is free! Find out where some of the hottest places to go to in the Party Capital of New Zealand are in our Guide to Queenstown Nightlife.
Another NYE festival in New Zealand’s largest city that’s worth checking out is Wondergarden in Silo Park. The awesome waterfront Silo Park in Wynard Quarter (a short stroll from the city centre) will host more street food than you know what to do with and live music. At midnight, it’s a great place to watch the fireworks shoot from the Sky Tower. For more things to do in Auckland city, check out Auckland City Centre – Guide for Backpackers
Boogie on down in New Zealand’s capital city with bands playing hits from the 1980s onwards. This free event at the Whairepo lagoon (Frank Kitts Park lagoon) will have you tapping your toes well into the New Year. Fireworks go off at 9pm and 12am. The after-party continues at the bars and clubs mentioned in our Guide to Wellington Nightlife.
There’s no better place to soak up the sun than the Northland region of the North Island. Enjoy an epic lineup of international drum n’ bass acts in this awesome three-day summer festival. For more ways to enjoy Northland, be sure to check out Northland – Guide for Backpackers.
Another vineyard NYE celebration, this time it’s on Waiheke Island, just a short ferry ride from Auckland. Sip on wine and enjoy live acts, DJs, performers and some show-stopping fireworks. If you want to see the New Year in style then this festival is for you!
Another awesome free NYE event in New Zealand is the New Years Eve celebrations in Christchurch. North Hagley Park will be the venue for this free event with live bands, food stalls and lots more going on in the countdown to midnight. Fireworks display at 8.30pm and midnight. For more ways to enjoy the South Island’s largest city, check out Christchurch City – Guide for Backpackers.
Escape to the gorgeous Coromandel for Wave Front this NYE. The beach at Whangamata plays host to live acts and all sorts of celebratory goings-on. With a reasonable admission price of usually around NZ$25, Wave Front is definitely an affordable NYE event for backpackers. While you are in the Coromandel, don’t miss these 15 Coromandel Must-Dos.
Date: 31 December
Location: Williamson Park, Ocean Road, Whangamata
Where to stay: Surf n Stay
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