New Zealand – The best places to watch the sunrise

You could be one of the first people in the world to see the sunrise by visiting one of these destinations.

Mount Hikurangi – Gisborne

Officially the first city in New Zealand to see the sun, Gisborne and Mount Hikurangi is recognised as the first point on the New Zealand mainland to greet the morning sun. Watch the sun rise before anyone else in New Zealand.

Pinnacles – Coromandel

If you’re not afraid of an early morning hike by torchlight, then set off to reach the summit of the Pinnacles for sunrise. Alternatively you could spend New Year’s Eve up there and stay in a Department of Conservation hut. No matter how you do it, it will be worth it.

Tapeka Point – Russell

Russell is the perfect base for exploring the Bay of Islands. Once the first light shines on nearby Tapeka Point, enjoy the rest of the view across the Bay of Islands from Paihia to Waitangi.

Saint Clair Beach – Dunedin

Find a spot on the waterfront at Saint Clair Beach in Dunedin and see if the New Year brings good surf on the first day. No big deal if there is no swell, the sunrise is worth it anyway.

Oban – Stewart Island

Oban is the only settlement on Stewart Island with a population of almost 400 people. On New Year’s Eve the locals block off the main street to enjoy a live band on the deck of the South Sea Hotel and a bonfire on the beach. After a night of partying with the locals, relax on the quiet beach of Halfmoon Bay and watch the sun come up over one of New Zealand’s most southern points.

Mount Maunganui – Bay of Plenty

A pre-dawn hike to the top of Mount Maunganui might be just the way to start the year off with a bang. There is a reason this place is one of the most Instagrammed in New Zealand and the sunrise is probably it.

New Brighton Pier – Christchurch, South Island

New Year’s Eve in the South Island’s largest city is always a great time. Early risers should head to New Brighton Beach to catch a magnificent glimpse of the sunrise on the first morning.