New Zealand is one of the first countries in the world to see in the New Year, so where better to celebrate?
You will find both family-friendly and 18+ events across the country, ensuring there is something for everyone.
Whether you’re planning a trip to a specific New Year’s Eve celebration, or you’re just looking for something to do wherever you plan to be, we’ve got worthwhile suggestions for you.
So, join us as we count down to 2024 together, from north to south…
This post will be updated in 2024, ready for 2025. Check back closer to NYE 2025.
Where to celebrate NYE in the North Island of New Zealand
Bay of Islands/Northland
Fireworks in Paihia
While NYE plans for the Bay of Islands haven’t been released yet, if history is anything to go by, it will be a display not to be missed.
Keep your eyes peeled for updates about 2023/2024.
With fire pit evenings, live music and drumming, dancing and river-fed bathing, this is a gathering quite unlike any other.
Though the festival runs over two days, you’re invited to arrive early or stay longer.
Auckland City fireworks & concert
In Auckland, visitors and locals alike can enjoy a fireworks show down at the Harbour Bridge & Sky Tower.
A free concert normally begins around 5.30 pm in the city, leading up to the fireworks later that night.
There are normally two fireworks displayed – a family-friendly show at 9.30 pm and a midnight display for those keen to see in the New Year!
Vantage points for these fireworks displays include Captain Cook Wharf, Queens Wharf, Devonport, Mt Eden, Mt Victoria, Crown Hill, Herne Bay, Northcote, Bastion Point, Bayswater Marina and Te Atatu Peninsula.
AUM New Years Festival
Northwest of the City at South Head (just past Parakai), you will find the AUM New Years Festival.
Beginning 30th Dec 2023 and continuing to 2nd Jan 2024, the AUM NYE Festival is for those who enjoy house, techno and underground music, camping and arts.
This is an 18+ event that attracts revellers back year after year – and it’s a whole lot of fun!
Resolution is another multi-day music celebration, starting 29th Dec 2023 and continuing until 2nd Jan 2024.
This NYE celebration is a family-friendly, all-ages, alcohol-free event.
It includes workshops and knowledge-sharing events during the day, with live music and DJs at night.
Highlife NYE Festival 2023
Located at the Ascension Wine Estate in Matakana (north of Auckland), the Highlife NYE Festival 2023 promises to see in the New Year with a ‘unique, Ibiza style’ experience.
That means there will be heaps of music from popular DJs, along with entertainers and dancers, and offers amazing food and drinks across the evening.
Plus they’ve organised a fireworks display at midnight and shuttle buses from the city, for those who don’t want to stay in Matakana.
New Year’s Eve in Tauranga can be celebrated in many ways. In fact, the local council has organised 5 different community celebrations, including an earlier accessible/low-sensory event.
You are spoilt for choice with events at:
- Gordon Spratt Reserve, Pāpāmoa
- The Waterfront, Tauranga City Centre
- Fergusson Park, Matua (accessible/low-sensory event with limited sound and crowds, 5.30 – 6 pm)
- Tauranga Racecourse, Greerton
- Blake Park, Mount Maunganui.
Each of these events runs from 6 pm – 9.30 pm (with the exception of the low-sensory event).
They all finish with fireworks at 9.30 pm (or a laser show for Greerton) after 3.5 hours of family fun. Don’t forget to pack your picnic blanket, water and cash/card to purchase dinner (or bring your own kai).
These are alcohol and smoke-free events.
Fireworks will also take to the skies at midnight from various spots across the city.
These displays are best seen from an elevated location.
Head along to the Rotorua Village Green (by Lake Rotorua) to enjoy fireworks at 9 pm and again at midnight.
This is a favourite NYE display for families, locals and travellers alike.
Taupō – Big Bang Fireworks Display
A family-friendly, no alcohol/smoking/pets NYE event will be held at Tapuaeharuru Lakefront in Taupō between 6.30 pm and 12 am, finishing with a big fireworks display.
Head along and see the New Year off with friends and whānau.
Napier – New Year’s Eve Napier
If you’re in Napier for New Year’s, head along to the iconic Soundshell at Marine Parade for live music and a lot of festive fun.
A family fireworks show will kick off at 9.45 pm, followed by a countdown and a second display at midnight.
Gisborne – Rhythm and Vines
A range of artists and DJs keep the good times rolling with electronic and dance music, while festival-goers camp, eat, drink and dance the days away.
This is one of the most popular ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Aotearoa New Zealand, with people travelling from near and far.
Palmerston North – New Year’s Eve in The Square
Celebrate the arrival of 2024 with a family-friendly, alcohol-free event in Palmerston North.
Starting at 5 pm and rolling through to midnight with an epic fireworks display, there is heaps on offer at this event! Enjoy live music, dance performances, The Biggest Little Circus show, skateboarders, an inflatable kingdom and a science lab too, all for free.
If you’ve got kids, be there early for the 9.30 pm fireworks show. Or stay late for the main countdown and fireworks at midnight.
Held at The Square in the city centre, this is the place to be in Palmerston North.
Bring your chairs and find a viewpoint for the 2023 New Year’s Eve celebrations at Whairepo Lagoon.
With live music from 8 pm, a kid-friendly countdown (including fireworks at 9.30 pm), Orchestra Wellington performing from 10 pm and another fireworks display at midnight, this is the place to be.
Pro tip: Take your own foldable chairs to relax throughout the night. You can also enjoy kai from the many food trucks at Odlins Plaza, or bring your own food from home.
Bar hop in the city
If seeing the New Year out in a bar sounds like your idea of a good time, head to Courtney Place and Dixon Street.
Spend your night in one club, or grab a multivenue ticket for access to Vinyl Bar, Shady Lady, El Barrio and Eva Wellington; each of which is putting on a NYE to remember (or not, depending on how hard you party).
New Year’s Eve in New Zealand’s South Island
Golden Bay – Twisted Frequency Festival
If bringing in the New Year with five days of underground music, art and culture sounds like your thing, be sure to check out Twisted Frequency Festival.
Beginning 30th Dec 2023 and continuing until 3rd Jan 2024, this 24/7 festival is for those who want more than just a fireworks display!
New Year’s Eve in Nelson features live music from local bands and DJs and plenty to see and do.
Family-friendly celebrations kick off at 6 pm (with a countdown happening at 9 pm) before everyone else continues through to the New Year!
We recommend you grab something to eat from one of the on-site food trucks and enjoy a warm summer’s evening outdoors.
NYE Kids Countdown – Hagley Park
Join local families at Hagley Park from 4 – 7 pm for NYE Kids Countdown, including live music, giveaways and dancing, plus a mock fireworks display.
Families are encouraged to pack a picnic and enjoy the night.
What a wonderful way to make life-long memories with your whānau.
Rock The Park
After the kids party, the adults take over Hagley Park in Christchurch.
Enjoy Rock The Park, a free rock concert with local acts, from 8 pm until midnight.
Wānaka – Rhythym and Alps
Featuring a range of musicians, DJs, food and drinks, and camping, this could be your one-stop NYE shop for 2023.
Attracting 10,000 people each year, this is where all the cool kids head.
NYE at the Lakefront
A family-friendly, all-ages event will be held at Queenstown Lakefront, bringing in the New Year in style.
This free event starts at 7.30 pm on 31st December and continues until 1 am on 1st January, with fireworks filling the night sky.
Pro tip: Queenstown is a popular place to be in the summertime, so get to the lakefront well before the fireworks to secure a good spot.
Great Gatsby NYE
With a live jazz band, DJ, canapés and champagne, throw on your best Gatsby-inspired dress or outfit and dance the night away.
You’ll also have a great spot to view the fireworks over Queenstown Bay when the clock strikes 12.
The Headwaters Lodge New Year’s Eve Dinner, Glenorchy
If a six-course dinner prepared by an executive chef sounds more your style, then The Headwaters Lodge New Year’s Eve Dinner, over in neighbouring Glenorchy, could be for you.
Featuring locally grown, seasonal produce, this Glenorchy local feast sounds mouthwatering!
NYE at Bazaar
Back in Queenstown, Bazaar features more amazing NZ produce on New Year’s Eve.
Join the team at QT Queenstown for interactive cooking stations, featuring pizza, slow-cooked Wagyu, sirloin, Mount Cook alsmon, lamb shoulder, Peking duck, fresh seafood and more.
Oh, and we can’t forget the lolly and dessert bar.
Queenstown Food Truck Festival [afternoon event]
If you are looking for a pre-fireworks entertainment option, the Queenstown Food Truck Festival is the perfect family-friendly daytime event.
With lush gardens, a children’s play area, kids’ entertainment and a range of international foods, this festival is the perfect way to prepare for a big night of celebrations.
You’ll find it at Country Lane Retail Village in nearby Frankton, open from 12 – 6 pm on the 31st of December.
Fireworks at The Octagon
Traditional family-friendly fireworks are held most years at The Octagon in Dunedin.
Details for the 2023 event are yet to be released but keep an eye on Google for updates.
Arc-Light New Years 2023-2024
Arc-Light New Year’s Eve celebrations will be held at the Arc Brewing Co’s grounds, with a bus from Dunedin CBD to ensure you don’t risk driving at the end of the night.
With live music from 6 pm and food trucks selling kai (food), this is an awesome way to bring in the new year with your friends.
New Year at the Grand
If swing music is your thing, the Grand Casino’s “Swing Under the Stars” could be the perfect place for you to celebrate the end of 2023.
With a number of packages available, this event promises to provide live bands, a dance floor, cocktails and lots of great food!
It’s one of the most unique ways to welcome 2024 in New Zealand.
In addition to the events and festivals mentioned above, lots of bars and clubs put on special NYE events. You’ll typically find these on Google and Facebook.
Where in New Zealand will you be on the 31st and how will you choose to celebrate the New Year?
Post by Lucy Collingridge, with the help of the NZTT community.