Auckland tends to empty out a little at New Years with many Aucklanders heading to Coromandel, Mt Maunganui, or to one of the the many fine east coast beaches north of Auckland. However if you are in Auckland for New Years Eve then the CBD is the place to be.

Auckland’s SkyCity put on a fireworks display at the Sky Tower that can be seen from vantage points around Auckland like Mt Eden, Mt Hobson, Mt Victoria or from many of the cities rooftop bars. The streets surrounding the Sky Tower close to traffic and drunken revellers fill the streets. There’s plenty of families too and it’s usually fairly safe, although the after 1am thing’s tend to get a little wilder as most of the families are gone by then. The fireworks start on the stroke of midnight and and go for about 15 minutes. It’s a great way to usher in the new year.

Be warned if you choose to watch the fireworks from Mt Eden if there’s no wind the smoke can hang around and obscure the view, so on a calm night it’s best to be right in the city under the Sky Tower. If you want to enjoy dinner at one of Federal Streets many restaurants then good luck. Expect them to be packed so book well in advance or get there early (some restaurants don’t take bookings).

Many restaurants in Auckland offer special New Years Eve packages that include multiple course with drinks and are timed to finish with a glass of bubbles at midnight. It’s a great way to usher in the new year but it isn’t cheap with many NYE packages costing $150-200 per head. One of the most sought after spots is the rooftop at QT where a boothe will set you back $3,000 for the evening.But you’ll have a great time, with food and drinks included and one of the best spots in town. The only place better is to actually be up the Sky Tower where the sky around you is bursting with fireworks. For that you’ll want The Sugar Club, with New Years Eve dining packages a relative bargain at $210 per head.

Britomart’s New Year’s Eve block party is another great way to bring in the new year. This one’s perfect for those who’d rather dance than eat. Running from 7pm to 3am, it’s the biggest party in Auckland on New Years Eve. Britomart is also a younger crowd, than you get in a restaurant dinner event.

Alternatively, try a fireworks cruise on the harbour. Offering dinner, drinks and spectacular views of the city lights and NYE fireworks. This is a sensational way to spend your New Year’s. Perfect for both tourists and locals, just pray for good weather as you’ll need to book well in advance to secure a spot.

Mission Bay is another popular place to see in the new year. The districts many waterfront restaurants will be packed with revellers and the park, beach and fountain are really popular too. Those looking for somewhere quieter to see in the New Year should head a little further around the eastern bays to St Heliers where you’ll find an older crowd with less drunkenness, or a least an older more reserved drunkenness.

So if you are staying in Auckland for new Years Eve you’ll find that there is still plenty of revelry to be found if you know where to look. Just make sure you have a sober driver or start saving now as Uber’s surge pricing can be pretty savage on New years. Stay safe and have fun.