New Year's Eve in New Zealand

28 Oct 2016

If you’re planning to visit our fair country this summer, I hope you’ll stick around for New Year’s Eve. Thanks to our location, New Zealand is one of the first countries to celebrate the New Years. So while you’re celebrating in 2017, your friends back home will still be stuck in 2016! New Year’s is smack in the middle of our summer holidays, which is another reason why NZ is a great place to ring in the New Year. Nearly everyone takes their summer holidays around Christmas and New Years, pumping the festive atmosphere to the max at popular holiday destinations throughout the country.

It’s a good idea to book accommodation for New Year’s well in advance, as most of the country will be flocking to the coast for their annual holidays. Today I’m going to tell you about 5 of my favourite places to celebrate New Year’s Eve to get you inspired!


Get GLO’ing in Rotorua
Rotorua is home to the annual GLO Festival, a New Year celebration that lasts for 3 days! The celebration was created with families in mind, so all events are free and alcohol is not permitted. The celebrations include a huge street market, family shows, a street party, a morning brunch and, of course, a spectacular fireworks display! Aside from the GLO Festival, there is so much to see and do in Rotorua, the cultural and adventure capital of the North Island. Make sure you book accommodation in advance – you won’t be the only one heading to Rotorua for New Year’s Eve this year.

Where to stay: Rotorua Thermal Holiday Park


Party in Paihia
If you’re a young person looking for a festive atmosphere, bands playing into the wee hours and tasty libations to keep you going all night, then head to Paihia. From the 28th of December to 2nd of January, Bay of Islands Holiday Park hosts young people (ages 18 – 24) as they celebrate New Years with their friends. They’ve been hosting this occasion for many years and have guidelines in place to ensure everyone’s well-being during the festive season. Located on the water, you can spend your days relaxing on the beach and your evenings enjoying the local nightlife. If you’re a young person traveling through New Zealand during this time of year, I can’t think of a better place to celebrate New Year’s Eve.

Where to stay: Bay of Islands Kiwi Holiday Park

Photo of Paihia Beach


Watch Wellington light up
Wellington is much quieter than usual between Christmas and New Year’s, as city-dwellers escape to the coast for some R&R. If you’re keen to check out the nation’s capital without the standard crowds, then New Year’s is the perfect time to visit Wellington. During the day, enjoy Wellington’s breath-taking sites or head over to Cuba Street for some culinary treats. Then in the evening, head to Frank Kitts Park Lagoon where a family-friendly NYE festival takes place. The night ends with an impressive fireworks show over the water.

Where to stay: Wellington’s Kiwi Holiday Park

Photo of fireworks display in Wellington

Kick back in Nelson
Nelson is an ideal choice for anyone looking to combine a laid-back beach holiday and wine tasting with a lively New Year’s Eve celebration. Our holiday park is located just 4.5km from Nelson, adjacent to Tahunanui Beach, a long stretch of golden-sand beach. Nelson is a charming town that is at the epicentre of South Island artisan cuisine. With vineyards scattered throughout the area, you’ll be able to taste some of our incredible local wines and sample food during the day. On New Year’s Eve, the town hosts a family-friendly celebration complete with funky dance music, food stalls and fireworks. In Nelson, you’ll have no problem finding something to please every member of your family this year!

Where to stay: Tahuna Beach Holiday Park


Hit the snow in Franz Joseph
If you insist on a bit of winter chill at New Year’s, then head down to Franz Josef, a charming village at the base of Franz Josef glacier. It’s warm enough at the base, but cold temperatures and a wintry landscape can be found year-round atop the glacier! Our holiday park is located right in the village, providing easy access to festivities on New Year’s Eve. While there’s no official town party here, the local bars come together to provide a celebration to remember. DJs keep the rhythm pumping and a roaring outdoor fire lends a wintry ambience to the air.

Where to stay: Rainforest Holiday Park


Tell me about your New Year’s Eve plans!
Hope this list has convinced you to spend NYE with us! It’s an experience you’ll remember for a lifetime. I’d love to hear about your plans for New Year’s Eve in New Zealand this year or some of your favourite NYE memories from past years. Feel free to share them in the comments area below!


313:365 by chrisjtse, CC BY-ND 2.0
Paihia by Sheila Thomson, CC BY 2.0

^ top
Filed under Must Dos
Membership Discount Card Membership Discount Card
Save 15% Every Time You Stay! Find Out How