The weather should be fine throughout most of the country for New Year’s Eve celebrations, with fireworks and events to ring in the new year throughout the motu.
There may be a few showers around Gisborne, Northland and Buller, but Auckland and Hamilton should be the warmest cities, with a forecast top of 26 degrees today.
MetService meteorologist Stephen Glassey says a large area of high pressure over the South Island is bringing fine weather to most places and most areas should be fine again tomorrow, although there could be a few showers again in Northland and the North Island’s east.
The team behind the Sky Tower’s New Year’s Eve fireworks have promised a show that is bigger and better than ever.
SkyCity chief operating officer Callum Mallett said six months of planning will culminate in a spectacular display, after Covid restrictions cancelled last year’s event.
He said 500kg – about 3500 individual flares – will be let off over three levels of the Sky Tower in just five minutes.
“We’re expecting a really busy night across the Auckland CBD. The roads in and around the Sky Tower will be controlled, so that people can get a fantastic view of the fireworks.
“We know many people enjoy looking from the beaches, but also from their boats.”
Good vantage points include the waterfront, Devonport, Herne Bay, Te Atatū Peninsula, Bastion Point, Northcote, Mt Eden and Bayswater Marina. The weather is looking to be fine, though perhaps a bit cloudy.
Some routes around the Auckland CBD will be closed or diverted.
Auckland Transport says people should plan travel in advance and be aware of changes to public transport network on the night. Later ferry sailings and additional bus services after midnight will be running to cater to revellers.
Several streets will be pedestrianised, and road closures will be in place from 9pm until 1am, New Year’s Day.
The capital’s festivities kick off at 8pm in Whairepo Lagoon with a covers band, followed by a countdown at 9.30pm for “those little ones who can’t make it all the way to midnight but don’t want to miss out on the fun”, Wellington City Council said on its website.
“Orchestra Wellington will wow with a disco boogie theme from 10pm, followed by the New Year’s countdown, and a few minutes of fireworks to bring in 2023.”
With limited parking, the council urged revellers to walk, bike or catch a bus in.
The south’s biggest city has classic rockers Dragon on the bill, plus a range of other music acts and kids’ entertainment.
The fun at North Hagley Park kicks off at 6pm, and will be alcohol-, dog-, smoke- and vape-free. Dragon hit the stage at 11pm, and will be followed by a “huge midnight fireworks display”, according to the organisers.
The council’s website has directions on where to park and other ways to get to the event.
Down south, organisers of Dunedin’s New Year’s Eve event are begging revellers not to bring their own fireworks. Instead, they’re promising a “midnight finale laser light show”.
Queenstown will have fireworks over the bay, while in Te Anau there will be a bonfire too at the Fiordland Rotary Club.
Celebrations in the lakeside town will take place at Northcroft Reserve.
The alcohol- and dog-free event will have music, a mini fireworks show at 10pm, followed by the “Big Bang” at midnight.
Parking around the reserve was closed at 6am on Saturday for the day.
New Zealand’s first city to see in 2023 will ring in the new year with Wave Fest from 4pm at the Rose Gardens/Marina Park.
While the event page doesn’t mention fireworks, the next day the same location will host Fire in the Sky, which definitely will have some.
Check the Gisborne District Council’s Facebook page for more details.
Lovers of ’80s tunes are in for a treat this year at the Soundshell, with this year’s headline act AutoMatic 80s promising tunes from the likes of Simple Minds, Human League, Duran Duran and Kate Bush.
The alcohol-free show begins at 7pm, with fireworks for the kids at 9.45pm and the main display at midnight.
There will be road closures, particularly along Marine Parade – check the council’s site for details.
The main action in Manawatū will be at Te Marae o Hine – The Square in Palmerston North.
The council is promising jugglers, a “fire and dance” show, various family-friendly singers and a kids’ fireworks at 9.30pm, followed by a 13-piece band performing hits from Queen, Talking Heads, David Bowie, U2 and Pink.
The organisers say they “will go to the next level with our biggest display ever”.
The action at Pukekura Park will kick off at 6pm with comedy for the kids from Mr Fungus. A silent disco, countdown for the kids at 8pm and a parade around the lake will follow, then a range of DJs and bands.
Nelson’s event kicks off at 6pm with entertainment for the kids, followed by DJs and bands, and of course some fireworks.
The alcohol-free event takes place on Upper Trafalgar St, near the Christ Church Cathedral. A number of roads in the city will be closed – check the Nelson City Council site for details.
The perennial Caroline Bay Carnival will keep the rides going and the music flowing before the traditional fireworks display on the beach at midnight.
Meanwhile, the first region of New Zealand to see in the New Year will be celebrating with a few drinks at the local hotel.
The Chatham Islands is 45 minutes ahead of New Zealand and Trudy McCallum from Hotel Chatham says tonight’s celebrations will top off one of the Chatham’s biggest days.
She says last year, the Chathams were under Covid restrictions at New Year but locals are looking forward to welcoming more tourists this year.