It’s official—New Year’s is happening. And while there wasn’t much of a lead up to the big banger this year, we’ve hustled on your behalf to find the best New Year’s Eve parties in Aotearoa, from multi-club dance parties and a party bus to creative immersion and stargazing.
Take your pick, get amongst and relish saying good riddance to 2021.
Best New Year's Eve Parties in Auckland / Tāmaki Makaurau
Britomart Block Party NYE Festival
Galway Street, Britomart Square, AV Club, Saturdays, Side Door & Roukai Lane
George FM presents Britomart’s famed Block Party with an epic lineup featuring live stages and DJs like The Upbeats, Koven, State of Mind, Mt Eden, Dick Johnson, Arii Jade and more. The Sky Tower fireworks might have been cancelled but Auckland’s biggest New Year’s Eve festival will make sure 2021 still goes out with a bang.
Impala, Everybody’s, Roxy, Cassette #9 & Pointers
No less than thirty DJs will be on the decks at Upside Downtown. Spread across five of downtown’s best venues you’ll have all the house, bass, hip hop, RnB, drum & bass and trap your heart could desire. And, just between us, a cheeky upgrade to the VIP Quebuster will let you skip the queues giving you more time for the good stuff.
Latin Power NYE Latin Festival
If your dance moves stretch beyond a head nod and pointing at the sky, you’ll love the multiple stages at the Latin Festival, serving all sorts of Latin-inspired dance like reggaeton, funk salsa, bachata, cumbia, funk, merengue and more.
AUM New Year’s Eve
Leightons Farm, South Head
If you’re less about cocktails and more about creative immersion, AUM could be your perfect New Year’s Eve party. The three-day, family-friendly festival will feature over 100 artists—from Hollie Smith and Suzy Cato to the Mermaidens and King Kapesi—as well as activities and wellness workshops like yoga, meditation and learning to stilt walk.
You’ll be feeling ship-shape when you arrive at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, glammed out and ready to tack and jibe your way into the new year. Featuring soulful house, funk, disco and more from Nice n’ Urlich, Dice_NZ, Rose Alice, Nyntee, DJ Tandra and Sweetpants, Ship Shape is shaping up to be one swell New Year’s Eve event (sorry not sorry).
Foodies are spoiled for choice for New Year’s Eve in Auckland with a mouth-watering menu for every palette from local faves Botswana Butchery, White + Wong’s, Harbourside, Bardello, Bar Magda, Culprit. and Waiheke’s Cable Bay.
Best New Year's Eve Parties in Bay of Plenty / Te Moana-a-toi
Blabla presents BANGERZ, a party dedicated to forgetting the 2020s and instead cutting some serious shapes on the d-floor with late 1990 bangerz like YMCA, Cotton-eye Joe and the Macarena. Featuring the DJ duo ‘Pretty Fly & A White Guy’, and a disco ball to boot, you’ll be boogieing all night long.
Sunset Harbour Cruise
Enjoy a fabulous feast and welcome drink at Trinity Wharf then indulge in dessert platters aboard a 2-hour sunset harbour cruise with live music on the Bay Explorer. Finish up with the Tauranga City Council fireworks display to see 2021 go up in smoke.
Skyline Gondola & Stratosphere Buffet
If you find yourself in Aotearoa’s aromatic capital for New Year’s, you’re in for a treat with a gondola ride up the side of Mt Ngongotaha and a tasty buffet dinner at Stratosfare Restaurant. Want to start the celebrations with a well-deserved relax? Spend the afternoon soaking at Hell’s Gate.
Best New Year's Eve Parties in Wellington / Te Whanga-a-nui-a-tara
Eva Beva NYE Fest
Two words: glitter stations. If that wasn’t enough in its own right, Eva Beva’s NYE Fest is set to be a vibe with dance performances, a live band, DJ sets till the wee hours, temporary tattoos and flower photo walls.
Tapas & Jazz / Ciao 2021! NYE Fiesta
For dancing, decorations and downright fun, El Barrio’s the place to be. Your evening begins with delicious tapas and acoustic Latin jazz with Geoff Culverwell and Tippy Bevan. Then once the clock strikes 10pm the night morphs into Ciao 2021! NYE Fiesta. DJ Coco will be spinning sweet tunes, and there’ll be $7 bubbles, fernet, pisco and tequila specials until midnight to keep you, uh, hydrated.
Ibiza Party Bus
Can’t decide? Want it all? The Ibiza Party Bus is for you. Start off partying on wheels then enjoy a pitstop at Shady Lady for Beer Pong. Next up it’s some live music at Vinyl Bar and eats at El Barrio (vegan and gluten-free options available) before heading to Eva Beva to dance the night away.
A Very Special New Year’s Eve Event
Dirty Little Secret
We love a good rooftop party, especially if it’s hosted by drag royalty. With DJ Pet spinning the decks and drink specials to wet the whistle (and some), it’s bound to be a great night at Dirty Little Secret. Book a VIP table and get two bottles of Mumm Champagne.
Best New Year's Eve Parties in Nelson / Whakatū
Liquid NYE Bash
Liquid NZ Bar, Nelson
A three-time winner of Nelson Bay’s ‘Wild Tomato’ Hospitality ‘Best Bar’, the self-acclaimed “friendliest bar on the planet” is set to throw a shindig to welcome in 2022. With live music and DJs spinning irresistible dance anthems, head to Liquid NZ Bar for a party to remember.
NYE @ The Boathouse
The Boathouse Society, Nelson
Prefer your New Year’s Eve with less spirits and more soul (if you catch our drift)? Head along to The Boathouse Society to soul-bathe in Sun City Soul, a seven-piece band featuring homegrown musicians and international talent. A buffet supper is included in your ticket.
Best New Year's Eve Parties in Marlborough / Te Tauihu-o-te-waka
Punga Cove Resort Degustation
Perched on a hill in the magnificent Marlborough Sounds, the six-course degustation dinner at Punga Cove Resort is sure to please. The Ōra King salmon with pea, goat cheese, cucumber and puffed rice sounds incredible, as does the beetroot carpaccio with carrots, hazelnut and coconut. Bookings essential.
Best New Year's Eve Parties in Canterbury / Waitaha
For something a little more out of this world, and a chance to welcome 2022 from a floating hammock under the incredible Aorangi Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, opt for a tour of the stars with Tekapo Star Gazing. It’s not your typical New Year’s Eve party and that’s exactly why we love it.
NYE @ gin gin.
gin gin, Christchurch
If you’re in Christchurch and you’re in the mood for “good food, high kicks and cool licks all night long” grab your muzo mates and nab some tickets to NYE @ gin gin. There’ll be bubbles on arrival and roaming food throughout the night.
If house and techno are more your jam NYE at Flux is set to be wild. Featuring Kédu Carlö, Kadyn Webster, Bomb Dylan, Finn, Foxtrot, Hauswerk and Patella, you’ll want to scoop up a ticket to this collab by Flux and Notion Touring, stat.
Best New Year's Eve Parties in Otago / Ōtākou
Pirates of the Whakatipu New Year’s Eve Cruise
See in the new year aboard the stunning vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw, decked out in your finest pantaloons. There’ll be canapés and plenty of rum, not to mention the incredible Remarkables mountains as you cruise around Lake Whakatipu. Magic.
Rhythm & Alps
Cardrona Valley, Wanaka
Rhythm & Vines might have bit the dust this year but, thankfully, Rhythm & Alps is alive and well… and tickets are flying out the door. The three-night festival, from December 29th to January 1st is packed, yet again, with a fantastic lineup with the likes of Kora, Concord Dawn, Mamadafunk, Salmonella Dub ft Tiki Taane, Scribe & P-Money, Shapeshifter and more.
Strangers in Paradise Tiki Party
Indigo Room, Dunedin
Promising mystery and enchantment in a world of perpetual dusk and exotic libations, we love the sound of Strangers in Paradise. Your ticket includes a glass of Indigo Room’s own rare Luis Pato Vintage Espumante Vinha sparkling wine, a light Malaysian supper and a Tiki-inspired punch cocktail, and there’s a prize for best dressed so don your best vintage tiki outfit and get amongst.
Searchlight Brewery, Queenstown
It’s no secret that we all need a good laugh to recover from the collective trauma that is 2021, which is all the more reason to see the year out at Blowout Comedy. Featuring US comic Gavin Hews, British comedian Simon Kingsley Holmes, cult Kiwi comedy veteran Dan Brader and more.
Foodies will delight in the iconic interactive marketplace that is QT Queenstown’s Bazaar. With a glass of Mumm champagne on arrival, you’ll feast on everything from fresh oysters to steamed dumplings and paella. Just be sure to save room for dessert—did someone say mandarin cheesecake and champagne macarons?
Prefer having a quiet one on a gorgeous beach? Check out the best beaches in New Zealand according to nine kiwi ice cream legends.
Image credit: Nick Fewings, Dave Lastovskiy, Alexander Popov, Amy Shamblen, Anthony Delanoix, Universal Eye, Jakob Owens.