Last year the events were cancelled because of Covid, but this year stages were set up in Roy’s Bay (Wanaka) and Queenstown Bay for evening entertainment and dancing.

There was a strong family feel earlier in day in Queenstown, as visitors sizzled in the hot sun, lazed on the sand, swam in the lake, lined up for boat trips, and dined in restaurants.

Enjoying New Year’s Eve in Queenstown are sisters Amelia and Lillian Knauss of Austin, Texas. PHOTO: MARJORIE COOK

Children enjoyed entertainment by circus performers and listening to music at Earnslaw Park during the early part of the evening.

Queenstown Senior Sergeant Glenn Wilkinson said the vibe was “pretty good”, with sunshine and music.

A 24-hour liquor ban was in place on the Queenstown lakefront, and police were preventing people from bringing alcohol into the central business district.

Queenstown was packed between 11pm and midnight, when people arrived in force for the fireworks display, but Snr Sgt Wilkinson said he was very happy with the outcome.

Crowds enjoy the New Year’s Eve fireworks display along the beachfront at Queenstown Bay. PHOTO: RHYVA VAN ONSELEN

There were only three arrests overnight, one for disorderly behaviour and two for fighting.

The vast majority of people were in good spirits and well-behaved, he said.

Police officers mingle with the crowds at Queenstown Bay on Saturday. PHOTO: RHYVA VAN ONSELEN
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