Up until a few weeks ago I had never heard of Guy Fawkes Night. A holiday marking the celebration of the failed plot to kill King James I on November 5th in 1605, it is mainly observed in Great Britain but due to the high population of English residing in New Zealand, the tradition carried over here.

For the last week, fireworks have been going off all around the city as New Zealanders take advantage of the only week in which fireworks are allowed to be sold. Living next to the beach, every night there would be about a dozen families setting fireworks off into the sky. Also, with the hill behind us, a number of houses would be firing them off into the city below, creating a beautiful 360 degree light show. People seem to really take advantage of their tiny window of opportunity to set off explosives in their backyard haha

Since Guy Fawkes fell on a Tuesday this year, the Wellington Fireworks Sky Show was scheduled for Saturday so the festivities around the city could be enjoyed over the weekend. Wendy and Simon’s place in Roseneath has the PERFECT view of the harbour so they invited us to a party with their friends and co-workers where we could all enjoy the best seat in the house. When we told people we were going to Roseneath to watch the fireworks, EVERYONE said “Oh, everyone wishes they had a friend in Roseneath for fireworks night!” – guess it’s well known to be the best vantage point.

View of Wellington harbour from Roseneath 

As the floating crane on a barge in the middle of the harbour was setting up, the harbour filled with sailboats and yachts hoping for a great view as well (and about 2 dozen kayakers!). As soon as dusk set in, people all over the city (and on boats) began setting off their own fireworks in anticipation of the main event. At 9pm on the dot the spectacular light show commenced with beautiful booming fireworks exploding into the sky over the harbour. We enjoyed some wine and delicious snacks on the patio as we took in the show.

Guy Fawkes celebration fireworks over the Wellington Harbour