The country’s tourism jewel has welcomed New Year with a rousing fireworks display and crowded waterfront despite wet weather.
Visitor hotspot Queenstown didn’t turn on the weather, but that didn’t bother the many thousands who packed into Earnslaw Park on the edge of Lake Wakatipu for an eight-minute fireworks show to usher in 2013.
Dunedinite Donna Johnston, who recently moved to Queenstown, says it’s the best New Years she’s had for several years.
Queenstown bar manager Nicolas Casely Parker, who is the events and marketing manager for Queenstown’s Bunker nightspot, says roll on 2013.
“Tonight we’re having a great party for people from out of town plus all those locals who support us during the year.
“And despite the weather, everyone is in sparkling form and looking glamorous.”
Dunedinite Lukasz Klobukowski, visiting from Auckland for five days, says it’s a great atmosphere surrounded by plenty of good people.
“I came down to Queenstown for a holiday – I’ve had time to relax and recharge my batteries and the weather has been good.
“Tonight I thought the fireworks were actually quite impressive. Compared to the fireworks in Auckland which I’ve seen it was similar.”
Queenstown police station boss senior sergeant John Fookes says overall there’s a been a great mood around the resort with the influx of visitors generally well behaved.
“We’ve only had a handful of people through the cells before midnight – and they were mostly people who were intoxicated.
“The weather killed the numbers down at the waterfront for a while – but it’s eased off at the right time just before midnight.”