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New Zealand at New Year?

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific New Zealand at New Year?

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1. Posted by bananadude (Budding Member 5 posts) 11y

Hi. Just discovered this site and seems to be some great info here! I am going to New Zealand in November this year for 7 weeks, and will be there over Xmas and New Year. I am wondering where the best places are to be at this time, if there is anything going or worth seeing at these particular times? Thanks.

2. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 11y

Hi Dude,
I was in New Zealand a few years ago around Christmas, and it's the perfect time of year to be there. The weather turned warm on Christmas Day, just as I'd been told - so it was shorts and t-shirts and beachware from then on. I stayed with my sister there, so I can't help you much about places to stay or where to go Christmas Day itself, but there was always something happening around SkyCity or the waterfront, and all the clubs had somethign on for New Year's. We went to a place called The George, as my sister knew someone who worked there, and they played fabulous 80s and alternative music and it was one of the best New Year's parties I'd been to. Well, that and because I was on the other side of the world.

I also like to plug Blackwater Rafting in Waitomo. It's a small rafting trip through caves - definitely unique and absolutely beautiful, as at some point they turn off your headlamp and you see the glowworms covering the cave roof like stars.


3. Posted by magykal1 (Travel Guru 2026 posts) 11y

My friends in Wellington think it's a good place to be for Christmas and New Year. We spent New Year in Wanaka and it was fun.

4. Posted by bananadude (Budding Member 5 posts) 11y

Is it not short weather prior to xmas then? I will be getting there around the 20th November. Is it still cold then? Because I thought it was still quite warm. I am coming from UK, so we do get pretty darn cold here, so cold to New Zelanders might be warm to us!

5. Posted by ernie (Full Member 33 posts) 11y

I was there (South Island) over Xmas and New Years last year. It was really rainy and wet but still pretty warm. (I come from a cold mountian climate). We got by on light jackets and an umbrella near the coasts but it got fairly chilly at night especially near the middle mountian areas (we camped out mostly). Nelson is super fun over new years and by far has the most mild climate. I was told by locals that they get the most sunshine overall. They have a little organic brewery called founders that produces some of the best beer we had while we were there if you're into that kinda thing. The beaches outside of town in Kaiteriteri (east) are to die for. My sugesstion..go Sea Kayaking on New Years day there. It's a hell of a way to start the year.

6. Posted by Kathi20 (Respected Member 270 posts) 11y

Hi there,

I guess I will be able to tell you, what xmas was like for me here. I exeperienced it already twice and I hope that this year it's gonna be better weather.

December is the month, where the weather can be very funny. And that's what we had in the last 2 years. A wee bit of sun, rain, wind... not what kiwis are used to and would like to have: only sun and warm weather.

Be prepared that it can be a bit yucky. But it can also be very nice, bec it is nearly summer. I heard stories, that sometimes they were running around in swimming toggs etc., celebrating outside all day, bbq etc.

What to do on Christmas:
kiwis love to spend christmas on the beach. They often have a picknick or BBQ there. Others just stay at home (during the day) and enjoy their time with families.
Some hostels have christmas parties for the travellers, with some nice food, music etc. which I think is really nice.
At night time, lots of them go and have drinks at the pub (that's NZ culture I guess... drinking, getting on the piss... but not all of them are the same- so don't get it wrong pls!)

What to do on New years Eve:
"Everyone's" heading to the Beach again. It's crazy I've heard and I've always wanted to spent New Years there, but unfortunately didn't have the time to do so.
But also if you decide to stay in the City, there will be lots happening.

Sorry, I forgot which part of the country you are gonna stay, but I just write down a few places where I know, that it's gonna be fun:
Whangamata, Mount Maunganui (beach)
probably any other bigger towns along the coast
definitely bigger cities...Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Napier...

hope I could help


7. Posted by FionaNZ (Respected Member 903 posts) 11y

Ha ha, I laugh at some of these posts

Tway, The George is a bit of a local for me, they have a huge garden bar & now with the no smoking in bars law, its great

Yes, it certainly should be shorts & jandals weather before Christmas weather patterns have changed in the last few years though, but it will definately be a hell of lot warmer than the UK.

As for going to the beach or having a bbq for christmas day, have never done either of these... (ok some people do head to their bach's at the beach) usually its a family day with loads of food, grog & chocolate

Hamilton for New Year.. I don't think so

It does depend where you are going to be, but you will find that no matter where, we Kiwi's will be celebrating & we are a friendly bunch so you will be made welcome.

Auckland & Wellington are both great, but it's nice to get out of the cities too.. Mt Maunganui, Lake Taupo, Nelson, Queenstown, Coromandel.. hell growing up we used to spend them in Westport on the West Coast of the Sth Island with all our rellies & about 10 pubs in the main street, which made for a great pub crawl

8. Posted by Kathi20 (Respected Member 270 posts) 11y

It does depend where you are going to be, but you will find that no matter where, we Kiwi's will be celebrating & we are a friendly bunch so you will be made welcome.

so if kiwis are celebrating everywhere, what have you got against Hamilton?;)

If you live in the middle of nowhere, Hamilton is the best/closest you can get and I'm happy about it... (I live in Te Awamutu by the way)
and Hamilton is not too bad...(Aucklander's probably think it sucks )

but if I was able to choose, I wouldn't spend New years there...
I would go somewhere, where it's really nice...

9. Posted by weddes (Budding Member 6 posts) 11y

Depends on what you want to do
If you are after the big party spots then the beaches are the place to go.
Namely - Starting North!
Paihia - usually big concert on just out of Paihia, but also lots of people around.
Whitianga on the Coromandel penninsula - been a big outdoor concert on last couple of years, also HEAPS of people - most of younger Auckland!
Whangamata on the Coromandel Penninsula (slightly younger crowd)
Mt Maunganui
Taupo - quieter but still busy
(As I am a northerner my list is biased towards the north!)

Be aware that in a lot of these locations there is a liqour ban on during the Christmas period, meaning that you can't drink in public places (cafes, bars, private residences, concerts (when they are licensed) are OK though). In some areas (Whangamata particularly) this is rigourously enforced - my friend was arrested for opening a can of beer between the car and his house, spent a few hours in the (very full) makeshift cells - was released with a fine, but it is a pain in the arse, and not a good look on your record.

10. Posted by FionaNZ (Respected Member 903 posts) 11y

Quoting Kathi20

so if kiwis are celebrating everywhere, what have you got against Hamilton?;)

Mmmm well, where to start really... the word Bogan's springs to mind