Local Time NZ
02:24 am Sat 13 Jul

If you’re thinking about the best way to welcome the New Year in New Zealand, we got you. Ready to start 2020 just right in the country that has been voted the greatest on earth?

What’s special about New Years in New Zealand

Being among the first that ring in the new year, Kiwis take the celebration seriously. It occurs in the middle of our summer when the majority are on vacation. We’re well-known for the variation offered during just New Year’s. Ranging from the vibrant ambiance in our cities, with clubs where you can dance until dawn, to award-winning festivals and nature escapes.

The ambiance during New Year in New Zealand is hard to beat.

You can be assured to find a New Year’s experience you won’t forget in New Zealand. No matter if you prefer the view of a cityscape and never-ending fireworks, an adrenaline-filled adventure, or peacefulness in a surreal landscape. Many of the experiences available are in fact unique. We’ve summarized some of the top ones for you.

1. Throw yourself out from the world’s first Bungee Jump site

AJ Hacket Bungee Jump promise you an experience of a lifetime.

New Zealand is well-known for its adventure sports, with bungee jump and skydiving being two of the most popular ones. 2018 marked the 30-years’ anniversary of the first ever organized bungee jump, which took place at the iconic 1880 Kawarau Bridge in Queenstown. If you would like to start the new year with an adrenaline rush that will make you feel immortal, you can jump from the exact same spot.

AJ Hacket Bungee Jump NZ has been organizing jumps from here since 1988. With a 100 % safety record, you can relax knowing that you will be well taken care of. At least as relaxed as you can be when jumping from a bridge. Didn’t we promise you a New Year in New Zealand that you won’t forget?

2. Be the first one in the world to watch the new year’s sunrise

Gisborne Sunrise Black Label NZ New Years

Colonial on Gladstone Gisborne, located minutes away from the beach.

While we’re on the topic being first, there’s something special about watching the sunrise on the first day of the year. Being able to do so before the rest of the world takes this to a different level. Due to its geographical position, North of Gisborne in New Zealand is traditionally regarded as the place to watch the world’s first sunrise on the mainland. Away from the big cities’ distractions, it is all about natural views. Imagine waking up, or ending your night if you prefer, here with an exciting new year ahead of you.

There are several unique places to explore close by. Horse-riding or hiking through our third largest national park Te Urewera is one suggestion, which is the biggest untouched native forest in New Zealand. If you’re looking for more of a lively ambiance, our biggest, award-winning festival Rhythm & Wine’s will take place in Gisborne for New Year’s. Which brings us to the next point…

Rythms and Wines NZ new years black label

Photo: Stuff.co.nz. Rhythm & Wine’s 2016. It usually gets sold out.

3. Dance the year away at one of our New Years’ festivals

We are not only starting the new year before the rest of the world, we are also doing our best to use the time advantage by celebrating longer. With more than 10 well-established, recognized festivals during just New Year’s, of which several last for a minimum of 48 hours, you can celebrate New Year in New Zealand for days.

Rythms and Alps NY NZ Black Label

Photo: DC Photos Live. Rythms & Alps. The South Island’s premier New Year’s Eve festival.

Finding a festival that suits your preferences won’t be a problem. No matter if you’re into city events, the hippie vibe or prefer being surrounded by vineyards or something else while top DJs are spinning. The only challenge will be to pick one among all the great options. Rhythms and Alps, the sister festival of Rhythm & Vines mentioned above, offers amazing scenery in combination with an attractive line-up of bands and DJs.

Here are a few other festivals to choose from:

  • AUM Productions (Auckland NYE Camping Festival: Our mission is to create gorgeous, sustainable, original, cutting edge, friendly and safe environments for beautiful people and tribes to gather and celebrate as one.
  • Northern Bass brings together a world-class selection of musicians, DJs and producers to provide the perfect soundtrack for bringing in the New Year. 
  • Highlife NYE: Highlife NYE will return this year with our R22 New Year’s Eve Festival experience to Ascension Wine Estate on the Matakana Coast.

4. Disconnect from everything in a luxury lodge

The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs is timelessly beautiful and offers complete relaxation.

Do you prefer having your own celebration, away from the fireworks, surrounded by pure natural beauty? Then we got something for you, as well. New Zealand is well-known for its luxury lodges, which offer you the perfect escape from the more traditional party scene.

Huka lodge Black Label Experience New Year NZ

Huka Lodge in Taupo is considered one of the top retreats in the world

Bring your family, friends or that special one and enjoy your private celebration with the finest accommodation in landscapes that will make you feel like you’re in a fairy tale. With numerous exclusive lodges in stunning locations, ranging from beaches and mountains, to islands, vineyards, and gorgeous lakes, you’ll be all set for quality time and a recharge.

5. Party at the best venues in our biggest city

Fireworks Auckland NY Black Label

Auckland is by many regarded as the best place in New Zealand for New Years.

If that special energy you only can get in a vibrant city is more of your scene, you will have the time of your life in Auckland. From city festivals such as Wondergarden, to exclusive clubs, private events and a wide range of fine cuisine options along the waterfront. The options in our biggest city are endless.

Auckland is home to some of the country’s best restaurants and events. If you tell us about your preferences, we know exactly where you should go. There are many luxury hotels to choose from and the Sky Tower Fireworks is a must. Once the celebrations are over, you’ll have plenty to explore, such as the largest collection of Māori Taonga treasures in the world and amazing nature just a short drive away.

6. Celebrate New Year’s twice in one day

Te Manava Luxury Spa Cook Islands

Te Manava Luxury Spa on Rarotonga island, 4 hours flight from Auckland.

Have you ever wanted to celebrate New Years’ again, once the party was over? In contrary to New Zealand, the Cook Islands are among the last parts of the world to switch their calendars from December to January. Since the islands only are a 4 hours’ flight away, you will be able to combine the two and welcome 2018 twice on the same day.

With an early morning flight from Auckland on the first of  January, you will land on the islands right after lunch on the 31st of December. After a short drive to your hotel, you’ll have time to get ready for your second celebration, even before the sun sets. The ambiance on the islands is very different from the city life in Auckland, so you can be guaranteed two distinct experiences.

7. Spoil yourself by checking in to a unique Luxury Wellness Retreat

new year in new zealand wellness retreat

What about starting 2020 here? Split Apple, New Zealand.

New Zealand presents fantastic wellness retreats for every luxury traveller. From lovely full-body treatments to massage therapies, yoga, thermal pools, meditation, mindfulness, detox and wellness resorts. This is a great way to reflect over the past year, pause, and take time out for yourself. If you’re planning to be the center of attention on New Year’s Eve itself, we can’t come up with any better place to recover than at one of our best wellness escapes.

Disconnect, relax, and enjoy locally produced goumet cuisine prepared by award-winning chefs.

– Learn more about why New Zealand is the perfect destination for luxury wellness retreats
– 12 Places to Go for Wellness or Eco Retreats in New Zealand.

8. Go from one gorgeous beach to another, and another… 

Beaches in NZ

There is a beach (well, several) for every taste in NZ.

New Zealand offers about 15,000km of coastline. If you ask kiwis about their favourite beach, you will get lots of different answers. We could create a never-ending list of stunning beaches to choose from, each one with its own charm. Some are famous for their perfect waves, others for their unique rock formations, for their remote locations, or well – just for being absolutely gorgeous. From the Bay of Islands, Abel Tasman, and Stewart Island to Auckland, Fiordland, and Hawke’s Bay. You will never run out of options. And don’t worry, we can help to ensure that the best ones, based on what you’re looking for, are included in your itinerary.

Wake up by the beach, go surfing, or relax in calm waters surrounded by pretty views. Not much beats a New Year in a bikini.

CNN Travel: 15 great New Zealand beaches
T&L: New Zealand’s Best Beaches Are Too Stunning for Words

Book your own unique, exclusive
New Year
In New Zealand experience 

We are confident everyone can have an unforgettable New Year’s celebration in New Zealand. It’s all about being familiar with the options and having the right connections. The alternatives mentioned in this post are incredible, and there are more.

Would you like to celebrate New Year in New Zealand? Get in touch to learn more about how we could customise a unique experience for you.