New Years Eve in New Zealand provides some of the most entertaining festivals nestled amongst magnificent scenery. The biggest challenge is to choose between the many festivals on offer. I have taken the top twelve festivals from across the country to give you a sample of what’s on offer. There is something to cater for everyones tastes and most of these events run for several days, so there is plenty of time to soak up the atmosphere.
Starting at the top of the North Island, the Northern Bass festival is one of the newest New Years Eve festivals in New Zealand. Located at the stunning Haruru Falls near Paihia in the Bay of Islands, this festival is host to local and international Drum n Bass and Dubstep DJs. This festival has been an excellent success and has filled a void for New Years Eve festivals in the northern North Island.
One hour drive north of Auckland city is the beautiful Matakana coast. This winery region is home to the Highlife festival at Matakana Country Park. This premier event caters for many different music tastes including, Indie, Funk, House, Hip-Hop, R’nB, Jazz, Dub and Electro. International and local acts are all part of the line-up.
If you are looking for an alternative festival then the Prana New Year festival is the place for you. Located at Opoutere Beach just north of Whangamata on the beautiful Coromandel Penninsula, this festival is for people looking for spiritual sustenance to enhance their enjoyment of celebrating together. The festival boasts a range of alternative music and spiritual well-being workshops. It’s one of only a few New Years Eve events where festival participants celebrate in this way.
Still on the stunning Coromandel Penninsula, two other very different New Years Eve festivals can be found in this region. The Primal Getaway festival, located on Cooks Beach, caters for Christian revellers of all ages that want to celebrate New Eves Eve together and share the message of God. There are dance competition, bands, DJs and inspirational guest speakers, making it a must do for young Christians alike. The Coromandel Gold festival is located at Ohuka farm 3km from Whitianga. Similar to the Highlife festival, it always hosts an outstanding line-up. With an excellent track record, Coromandel Gold is always a sell-out event, with tickets typically all sold within 48 hours.
Waiohika Estate in Gisbone on the east coast of the North Island is host to the Rhythm and vines festival. Running for nine years and voted the best festival in 2010, this is a pinnacle event not to be missed if you’re in this region over New Years Eve. The festival typically hosts over 100 acts from local and international performers and there is something for everyone with a wide range of music on offer.
If you’re spending New Years Eve near New Zealands capital city, then you should check out the La De Da festival. Located on Alana Estates beautiful vineyards in Martinborough, just an hour drive from Wellington, this is one of the newest New Years Eve events. The festival caters to those looking for a chilled out, winery atmosphere. Kiwi musicians performing reggae, roots, dub, rock, blues and country, have graced this festival in its opening year.
Moving south to New Zealand’s South Island, the magnificent Golden Bay is host to the New Years Eve Ascendance festival. This is an all ages, non-profit event and caters for those that are into deep house, downbeat, electronic, progressive dubstep and psy-trance music.
In the wake of the devastating Christchurch earthquake, 2011 saw the inaugural Low End Resonance New Years Eve festival to try and boost the spirits of Canterbury. Located just out of Christchurch near Little River, this festival has been a great success and will be one to watch develop into a premier event over the coming years.
One of the biggest New Years Eve festivals on the South Island is EarthTonz, located at the Gibbston Valley Winery between picturesque Queenstown and Cromwell. With world class acts from America, Europe and New Zealand in electronica, progressive house, dubstep, dnb, and hip hop, this is one of the largest events on the South Island.
If you’re on the stunning west coast of the South Island for New Years Eve, then the Denial festival is the place to be. Situated near Charleston, this event has a large line-up of DJs from across the country and an impressive mud wrestling ring.
One of the longest running New Years Eve festivals is the Whare Flat Folk festival near Dunedin. Running since 1975, this unique and intimate festival features concerts, workshops, entertainment and relaxation at the Waiora Scout Camp.
With so many festivals, undoubtedly New Zealand has something for everyone over the New Years Eve period and the best way to travel to these festivals is using by renting a New Zealand campervan. Having a campervan lets you travel in your own time and save money on expensive motels/hotels.