New Year’s in the UK will be freezing, so why not head to New Zealand where the summer is already in full swing and temperature will be a soothing 25 degrees Celsius for New Year’s night! The city of Gisborne on the North Island of New Zealand (together with the island nation of Kiribati) is the first place on the globe to greet the New Year, so head over there to be ahead of the world. But there are many celebrations and festivals over their summer months and to ring in the New Year with some serious gusto!
29 DECEMBER 2010 - 1 JANUARY 2011: RHYTHM AND VINES MUSIC FESTIVAL, GISBORNE
A three-day festival experience of a lifetime with some of the finest music from New Zealand and to world. This is definitely an important New Zealand’s festival to tick off your list! Nestled within rural Gisborne's rolling hills amongst the lush vines of Waiohika Estate, the Rhythm and Vines festival also has a number of camping options on Gisborne’s beaches or within the vines on the festival site. See: http://www.rhythmandvines.co.nz/2010/
31 DECEMBER 2010 - 1 JANUARY 2011: COROMANDEL GOLD, WHITIANGA
Whitianga is host to Coromandel Gold - New Zealand’s hottest New Year’s Eve festival, which last year saw 10,000 tickets sell out in less than three weeks. Coromandel Gold is three kilometres from Whitianga town centre and a stone's throw from Buffalo Beach (pictured). Plenty of camping will be available and buses will be running from Whitianga and local beaches. New Zealand’s favourite live acts, including The Black Seeds, Trinity Roots, Tiki Tane, Shapeshifter, Ladi6 and Katchafire will be there to welcome in the New Year. See: http://coromandelgold.co.nz/page/5-Home
17 DECEMBER 2010 - 1 JANUARY 2011: FIESTA OF LIGHTS, HASTINGS
If you are looking for something more relaxed, visit the Hawke's Bay town of Hastings for the Fiesta of Lights. More than 350,000 small bulbs will be lit on the Lakeside Walkways into a sea of colours in the form of jumping dolphins and other New Zealand marine life, as well as to light up the impressive Art Deco buildings in the town.
Those travelling by car can drive through the light festival and enjoy music on the festival radio station, specially designed to synchronise with the dancing animations. See: www.eventfinder.co.nz/2010/dec/hastings/fiesta-of-lights-million-watts-of-family-fun
28 DECEMBER 2010 - 12 FEBRUARY 2011: LIVE AT THE ISLANDS, BAY OF ISLANDS & AUCKLAND
Urupukapuka Island (Bay of Islands) and Motutapu Island (Auckland) will be the scenes of some amazing summer music spectacle, with proceeds to go towards a selection of special conservation projects in the local area.
Get to the islands early so you can enjoy the beaches and try some swimming, snorkelling and kayaking. Kick back and enjoy the sweet sounds till sunset before cruising back to shore or, stick around for the ZM DJ after party following each concert. See: www.arkpresents.co.nz
21 JANUARY 2011 - 6 FEBRUARY 2011: BIG DAY OUT 2011, AUCKLAND
Seven stages, sixty international and New Zealand artists: Big Day Out is everything it promises. This year the line-up includes bands such as Tool, Rammstein, and Iggy & the Stooges. See: http://www.bigdayout.com/auckland.php
31 DECEMBER 2010 - 1 JANUARY 2011: SUMMERDAZE, QUEENSTOWN LAKES
The Summerdaze Festival in Queenstown Lakes District is true summer fun, with highlights including live bands, mountain biking, triathlon, rodeo shows, open air cinema, stalls and workshops. Detailed information about the programme can be found here:
31 DECEMBER 2010 - 1 JANUARY 2011: LA DE DA, MARTINBOROUGH
Set amongst Alana Estate’s beautiful vineyards in the small town of Martinborough (80 miles from Wellington), La De Da has a massive lineup of the country’s finest bands, artists, and DJs, along with licensed bar areas and gourmet food!
Top acts such as Kora, Hollie Smith, Salmonella Dub and The Thomas Oliver Band provide rock, soul, jazz and reggae. And being centred in the middle of one of the best wine-growing regions in the country, you can guarantee the wine will be top-notch and the food extra tasty. See: http://ladeda.co.nz/
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