It's an understatement to say 2020 was a memorable year - mostly famous for all the wrong things - but that's all the more reason to celebrate turning the page on it and looking forward to a new year with new possibilities on the horizon. The city centre is full of unique places you won't find anywhere else offering great ways to mark the occasion - from rooftop parties to degustation dinners, harbour sailings, light shows and fireworks displays, there's something for everyone.
Embark on a New Year’s Eve Sunset Cruise
The Ted Ashby is the heritage scow of the New Zealand Maritime Museum, where you can hop abroad and see the delights of the Auckland Harbour Bridge and the breathtaking city skyline. For a New Year celebration, book a sunset chartered cruise, suitable for up to 40 people, and sail into the new year in style complete with canapes and champagne. Explore also have a range of sailing experiences available too. Their Auckland Harbour dinner cruise includes canapes and a welcome drink, a three-course meal catered by The Viaduct's Coops Corner Pub, and great commentary from the crew about the harbour and its history. There's also a licensed bar available on board for additional drinks.
Go to an inner city 'festival' | Britomart Block Party | 23 Galway St
Britomart Block Party is proud to call itself Auckland’s biggest New Year’s Eve festival and is set to take place once again in a variety of Britomart locations including Saturdays, Caretaker, The AV Club, Galway Street (where the festival stage will be set up) and more. There's a massive line-up of music, performers, DJ's and other entertainment, including P-Money, Mt. Eden, State of Mind and more. Get tickets quick, as this event is perfect for those who have decided to stay in the city and is always super popular.
Check out the America's Cup Race Village | Wynyard Quarter
The America's Cup Race Village is free to enter and a great place to enjoy the boat races or just soak up the buzzing atmosphere on the Viaduct. Besides the village stage there's an area to buy merchandise, an AC75 simulator where you can test your sailing skills and pop-up bars including the Mumm Yacht Club. Head along to Silo Park from 2pm to midnight where live entertainment will take place, including White Chapel Jak, Frank Booker and local talent, as well as face painting and circability (circus) workshops. At Te Wero Island in the Village from 5pm to midnight there will be main stage entertainment from 5pm including The Jordan Luck Band, Laughton Kora & Mel Latakani and Boh Runga.
Enjoy the lighting and fireworks displays
From 9pm, find a good spot to enjoy a 15m high, dynamic laser and animation display on the Sky Tower in conjunction with Vector Lights on the Auckland Harbour Bridge. The Kiwiana-themed laser show will feature a large countdown clock, Maori kowhaiwhai and tukutuku patterns, native flora and fauna, as well messages in both English and Te Reo Maori scrolling around the tower. Then at midnight, a five-minute fireworks display will ring in the New Year from the iconic landmark, while Vector take their Harbour Bridge light show to a whole new level with the addition of 40 sustainably powered search lights. For those too busy celebrating at midnight, the light show will be repeated every 15 minutes until 1am.
Celebrate on the brand new Rooftop at QT | 4 Viaduct Harbour Avenue
Take New Year’s Eve to new heights, and bring in the new year at Rooftop at QT, where they have a range of epic New Year's Eve packages available. Their Perfect Perch Package includes the best seats in the house with views across the harbour and a glimpse of the Sky Tower fireworks, Mediterranean-inspired canapes by Chef Sean Connolly and a premium beverage package including Perrier Jouet Champagne and fine wines. There are 6 booths available, accommodating 6 guests each, going for $2700 each. Their Mingle package is $299 per person including first served seating, canapes, and a beverage package including Man O’War Estate and Nevis Bluff wines, plus award-winning Quartz Reef Methode Traditionnelle. There will be live DJs to bring about a buzzing atmosphere before the fireworks spectacle ends the evening with a bang. See more details here.
Enjoy a night market | Elliott Street
Everyone loves a good night market and this one won't disappoint! Taking place in the Elliott Street (Wilson) carpark from 4pm - 1am, experience a thriving night market with 50 food vendors and 10 general market stalls too. It's a great way to grab a quick and authentic bite if you're not keen on a proper sit down dinner. Before or after, head down Federal Street which is just just a short stroll away and check out their light installation for its last night.
Get your groove on at Upside Downtown NYE Extravaganza
The New Year’s Eve extravaganza that is Upside Downtown will be one to remember. Spread across 5 venues, from Cassette 9 to Impala, this event will feature a wide variety of music from House, RnB, Drum & Bass, and Trap. Dance the night away in the heart of the city and welcome the new year with open arms.
New Year's Eve at Park Hyatt
The new luxury hotel in the Viaduct offers guests a range of sumptuous New Year's Eve dining options available to book in advance. Signature restaurant Onemata, famed for a commitment to showcasing New Zealand producers, will offer guests a celebration three course sharing menu and a glass of Billecart Salmon champagne. This can be followed with a specially curated tasting menu of sweet and savoury one bite delights with a glass of Billecart Salmon champagne and live music from 8pm until midnight. Price per person is $230 including dinner. To book, email Aimee.email@example.com or call 09 366 1234.
New Year's Eve Party - The Social Unfit | Anchor, Princes Wharf
If you're keen to dance the night away, there's a great New Year's Eve party event taking place at Anchor on Princes Wharf. Enjoy premium cocktails, live music with multiple DJs and great views of the Viaduct and the Sky Tower for the midnight fireworks.
For the foodies
Get tickets to the Reign Of Ryujin event at The Poni Room | Commercial Bay, 7/21 Queen Street
The Reign of Ryujin is an immersive dinner and show at The Poni Room, Commercial Bay's new all-day, Asian-inspired, rosé-centric restaurant and bar. Join Head Chef Fred Wong in a mythical underwater tribute to Ryujin, the mythical God of the Sea in Japanese mythology, where the courses are both mesmerising and delectable. This is no standard New Year's Eve dinner out! There's two sessions to choose from, followed by a late night discotech from 10.30pm with DJs, disco balls, champagne, cocktails and more as you welcome in 2021.
Indulge in a lovely dinner at new restaurant, Ahi | Commercial Bay, 7/21 Queen Street
If you're a foodie, this is an event for you. For New Years Eve at Ahi, enjoy a premium experience showcasing New Zealand's finest food alongside some of the world's finest wines. This multi-course dinner by Chef Ben Bayly includes a premium wine match, a glass of Perrier Jouet Belle Epoque on arrival and another at midnight to mark the new year. Tickets are $450 per person (or $250 for a non wine matched dinner). For more details and to place your booking, click here.
Degustation at The Grove | Saint Patrick's Square, Wyndham St
There’s nothing quite like an outing to The Grove on New Year’s Eve, where you will be treated to an impeccable multiple course culinary experience, attentive service, and even a glass of complimentary bubbles on arrival. Allow yourself to be transported to another dimension of degustation dining, where all your senses will be tantalised and tempted. As the countdown looms, bring the festivities outside and you will be able to catch a glimpse of the grand Sky Tower and the end of year fireworks.
New Year's Eve Dinner at Mr. Morris | Galway St, Britomart
There are limited reservationfli87544775waas available for Mr. Morris' first New Year's Eve celebration. At $165 per person, enjoy a glass of Taittinger Les Folies de la Marquetterie champagne followed by snacks to share and then an entree, main and dessert. Come and enjoy this beautiful new space and see for yourself why this restaurant has quickly become a must-try in the city centre in just three weeks since opening.
Shared feast at Cassia | Fort Lane
Say goodbye to 2020 with a very special New Year's Eve shared feast Cassia, a city centre fine dining favourite. Tickets are $150 and include a glass of Louis Roederer champagne on arrival. For more, visit cassiarestaurant.co.nz
Join in the festivities at Harbourside Ocean Bar Grill | 99 Quay Street
Harbourside's New Year's Eve celebrations offer a chance to take in outstanding views of the Waitemata Harbour, while indulging in a four-course menu and a flute of G.H. Mumm Grand Cordon Champagne. View the menu and check out all the details here.
While you're enjoying yourself this New Year's Eve, remember to stay proactive and record your movements. Turn on Bluetooth tracing on your COVID Tracer App and check in regularly through the night as you move around the city centre - keep an eye on lamp posts for extra QR codes too.
Getting in, out and around
This New Year’s Eve, there will be some road closures in place from 10pm December 31 - 2am January 1 to allow families and visitors to move more freely, and keep everyone safe as they enjoy the night’s festivities. Check out the map below for road closures. It is recommended that you use public transport where possible plan your journey ahead using the AT Journey Planner.
Trains will not be operating on New Year's Eve, with replacement buses operating instead. There will also be additional bus services after midnight. The last ferry from Auckland to Waiheke is at 12.15am. Click here to see the taxi and ride share services available in the city centre.
For further details head to at.govt.nz/bus-train-ferry/events/new-years-eve-2020