Once the New Year has been greeted in some of the remote outlying Pacific Islands, such as Kiribati or Christmas Island, New Zealand is the first country with a large population to greet the occasion, and the locals are prone to throwing themselves into the event with abandon!
In Auckland the iconic Sky Tower, which retains it's status as the tallest freestanding structure tower in the Southern Hemisphere is used as the focal point for the midnight fireworks show, making it one of the first main locations to be beamed around the world to an expectant audience all waiting for their own turn to join the party. There is also the option to bungee jump from the tower, which is very much on our bucket list if and when we ever make it down there!
Auckland, the largest and most populous part of the country, serves an enormous fireworks show on New Year's Eve - the Sky Tower display is widely regarded as the best in the nation and frequently provides the images for the TV cameras beaming pictures of the new year's first major fireworks around the world. The Sky Tower is only part of the SKYCITY Auckland entertainment complex that also features casinos, hotels, bars and restaurants, so it's a place you can really make a night of it.
SKYCITY also host their own ticketed new year event, the Cut Loose NYE 2015 party features plentiful food, drink, live entertainment as well as priority access to the SKYCITY Auckland Main Site - tickets are available here.
Elsewhere in the area, one of the biggest parties this new years is Highlife NYE 2015, which will be taking place at Stonyridge Vineyard on Waiheke Island, featuring DJs, dancers, live performers, food and drink and of course their own midnight fireworks display.
Another excellent option is to take a cruise on Auckland harbour, where you can get an excellent panoramic views of not just the Sky Tower fireworks but displays across the whole city. There are several options available, we'll provide our recommendations close to the time.
For places to eat out in Auckland you're spoiled for choice with a fantastic range of dining options. Popular eateries include Baduzzi Italian, One Tree Grill, Le Garde Manger and Mezze Bar - there's an excellent local restaurant guide here.
For sports fans, traditionally the New Zealand national cricket team, known throughout the country as the Black Caps play a one-day International cricket game in Queenstown during the day on 31st December. New Zealand is one of the few participating countries where playing outdoor cricket at this time of year is a reasonable possibility!
Places to watch live online, including city skyline views with excellent sight of the Sky Tower:
There's also a pretty good chance of some online coverage of the Sky Tower fireworks via the local TV/news channels - we'll post any links we find right here.
If you're planning on visiting Auckland over the New Year period, then early reservation is strongly recommended. You can search, check availability and book local hotels here.
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