Given that New Zealand is one of the first countries in the world to celebrate New Year’s Eve, it would only make sense that New Year’s Eve in Christchurch be a festive affair. Though not nearly as rowdy as the New Year’s celebrations in Queenstown or Auckland, the downtown pubs and clubs will still be packed with live bands and party-seekers, and the largest outdoor festival is the massive gathering in Hagley Park where families come to celebrate the holiday.
One curious thing about New Year’s Eve in Christchurch is that due to its southerly latitude it doesn’t get completely dark until almost 11pm, which means you only have to endure an hour of darkness until watching the fireworks explode over the park. Launched out over Lake Victoria, the fireworks not only ring in the start of a new year, but also draw to a close the park festivities which normally kick off around 6pm.
Seeing that the New Year’s celebration falls in the middle of the summer, many Christchurch locals choose to spend the holiday by heading to the beach at sumner, taking day trips from Christchurch to places such as Kaikoura or Waipara, or choosing to spend the holiday elsewhere in New Zealand at a “bach” or holiday home. Despite the fact that many locals choose the New Year’s holiday as a time to leave the city, judging from the packed crowds outside the casino and all of the downtown bars, you would never even know that anyone was gone.
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