If there’s one thing that Auckland does really well, it’s New Year’s Eve. Despite many heading to the Coromandel or up north, we really do know how to show off—as indeed we should, being the first major city in the world to see the clock tick over to the new year. Take that New York, Paris and London.
So whether you’re after unbeatable views, a place to get your groove on or just want something a little bit classy, this is the only list you’ll need to nut out the best New Year’s Eve parties in Auckland this year.
It’s been a great year, right? Let’s give it a great send off!
Ostro 54 @ Ostro
Studio 54 was all 70s glitz and glam, and that’s exactly what you’re in for at Ostro’s Studio 54-inspired NYE bash. Celebrating one of the most famous nightclubs in the world, at one of Auckland’s best venues of today—you’re in for an amazing time! In true Ostro style, sip on champagne and enjoy seeing in the new year on Britomart’s largest open air terrace. The event starts at 7pm, so you’ll enjoy the last of 2015’s rays while listening to tunes by DJ 09, Nathan Haines and Chris Cox.
Highlife Entertainment @ Stonyridge
Welcome 2016 in serious style on Auckland’s best inner city island at Waiheke’s Highlife. Stunning vineyard Stonyridge is home to one of Auckland’s best NYE parties—Highlife. Get that island experience, combined with a great festival atmosphere and of course the ability to get home in less than an hour! It’s R22 so no little critters to get up in your armpits as you party away to the international DJs bringing in the new year.
007 Party @ The Jefferson
The Jefferson, a sleek bar specialising in whiskey in the Imperial Lane building, is pairing up with Bollinger champagne to bring Aucklanders (and visitors) a special New Year’s Eve event. With guaranteed entry before midnight, this is one event you can afford to arrive a bit later to. It also doesn’t finish up until 4am, making this is one of the parties that will see you further into 2016…as if you’ll wana go home before then! The theme is 007, so put on your finest cream suit and do your best to embody the elusive Mr Bond. Every ticket includes a bottle of Bollinger Special Cuvee, along with canapés and entry into the draw to win incredible prizes.
Masquerade Ball @ Judges Bay
Fulfil your Gossip Girl fantasies with a masquerade ball at Mikano restaurant at Judges Bay this New Year’s Eve in Auckland. There’s several ticketing options for this special event where you’ll not just be treated to beautiful food and drinks, but you can finally fit in that good deed for the year—all proceeds of the Masquerade Ball go to the Red Cross. The dress code is bow tie and masks are mandatory, so pull out all the nines for this one and go full-noise Chuck Bass.
SkyCity Bollywood Nights @ Grand Hotel
For a colourful and glamourous affair, you’ll be interested in SkyCity’s Bollywood Nights event to celebrate bringing in the New Year. They’re pulling out all the stops with a red carpet, live Bollywood music, dance performances, a laser light show and infamous ‘dvj’ projected on the big screens. A ticket to the event will also get you entry into the casino, so you can try your hands at achieving that ‘sort out finances’ resolution straight after midnight.
Beach Party @ Britomart
You’ll want to dust off your best jandals for this one! Britomart Beach Party has sold out for the last three years and we can see why. The event promises a 14-hour party held at some of Auckland’s favourite venues including Britomart Country Club, 1885, and Orleans. Britomart is set to be filled with 20 tonnes of sand and will be home to 6+ music zones with NZ music heavyweights Che Fu, Sola Rosa Soundsystem, Laughton Kora and King Kapisi leading the charge. A VIP ticket gets you a glass of bubbles and complimentary canapés at 1885’s Champagne Room, plus access to exclusive areas and queue jumps in front of the plebs.
Racing @ Alexandra Park
Got little ones in tow? Or just fancy your luck? Take a final 2015 punt at Alexandra Park’s New Years Eve racing event. This is a day-time event so still leaves you with time to hit any of the other events above after dark. It’s a family-focussed day with free kids’ entertainment including a giant Jenga. This family affair allows you to pack a picnic and enjoy the day rather than just waiting for the big bang. Just make sure you have a babysitter booked in for later!
New Year’s Eve Ball @ Miss Moonshines
Gather your carnivorous squad and head down the Ponsonby alleys for Miss Moonshine’s New Year’s Eve Ball 2016. Promising a night of live djs and dancing in courtyard under the stars to see in the New Year. Go for the Dinner & Dancing ticket option and let Miss Moonshine’s treat you to an absolute feast including king fish ceviche and 8-hour short rib—you’ll farewell 2015 in serious culinary style! The night will start with a bang with champagne from Moet & Chandon and oysters, followed by a three course meal and further beverages from, Rogue Society Gin and Moa beer – no brainer!
Light up the sky @ Around Auckland
Of course, we couldn’t talk about New Year’s Eve in Auckland without mentioning the impressive fireworks display centred around the Harbour Bridge and the Sky Tower. A little bird tells The Urban List that SkyCity has some serious pyrotechnics planned that will blow previous years' out of the water. Pick one of the many viewpoints around the city to take in the exciting display. Our top picks to watch Auckland’s banging fireworks show are Mount Victoria in Devonport, the Viaduct or Wynyard Quarter (grab a table early in the eve to get a front row view), or Mount Eden summit. But without a doubt, best of all is the view from the water itself, so if you’re the lucky owner of a boat take that out for a spin—or suck up to someone who does…
Before the countdown starts, why not spend your NYE arvo at one of these rooftop bars?