Be the first of your friends to ring in the New Year in balmy Auckland. New Zealand is the first country in the world to see the sun each day, so even if you party through the night, you will be heading to bed before your friends in the States have even had lunch on New Year’s Eve. On the wine front, Villa Maria and Kumeu River are two of the Auckland region’s standout producers, and bottles from these and many other Kiwi wineries can be found at enocentric restaurants such as The Grove and O’Connell Street Bistro. For a table with a view, take a high-speed elevator to the top of Auckland’s landmark Sky Needle, and enjoy a transporting dinner at dine by Peter Gordon. Welcome 2012 with a flute of bubbly Quartz Reef NV Brut, or a glass of Riesling or Pinot Noir from the chef owner’s Waitaki Braids vineyard.