Say I wanted to be the first to celebrate the New Year: what place or places are the first to cross the into the New Year and how do I get there? I think I remember this may be some South Pacific island or in Australia but not sure.

  • For the change of millennium some of the tiny pacific countries tried and maybe succeeded to get the date line rearranged so they could be the first! – hippietrail Dec 31 '11 at 12:36
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    Should point out that the International Date Line doesn't actually move, so no countries 'cross' it as such. However it's now 2012 in New Zealand, party on! – Mark Mayo Dec 31 '11 at 15:00
  • Are you asking in which places it reaches midnight first? Or are you asking for travel routes that some how cross the international date line? Your question is worded in a confusing way, that makes it sound like either places, or the international date line, move. Of course places are stationary; and so is the international date line. – Flimzy Jan 1 '12 at 9:38
  • I don't know which places were the first to cross the date line, but Samoa and Tokelau are the most recent places to do so, according to Wikipedia! – Andrew Grimm Jan 1 '12 at 10:15

You can see this in the Wikipedia list or on any map with the International Date Line. The first places to see a new day are:

  • The Line Islands, more precisely the part that belongs to Kiribati (formerly known as the Gilbert Islands). The Line Islands are in the UTC+14 timezone, and the rest of the country is in UTC+13. This has been the case since 1995; before that, the country straddled the date line. The Line Islands saw some first-to-new-millennium tourism in 2000.
  • Samoa (an independent country) and Tokelau (a dependency of New Zealand), since 2012. Together with Samoa, Tokelau skipped 2011-12-30 to move from the western hemisphere to the eastern hemisphere, in order to match weekdays with the other countries in Oceania. Tokelau moved from UTC-10 to UTC+14. Samoa moved from UTC-11 to UTC+13 and introduced daylight savings time at that point, so on the new year (which falls during the summer) it is at UTC+14.
  • Tonga, since 2017. The base timezone of Tonga is UTC+13, but Tonga introduced DST in 2016.

And if you want to be the last to cross the line, there are formally a few places at UTC-12, but they are uninhabited US Minor Outlying Islands. In UTC-11 are more US Minor Outlying Islands, American Samoa and the New Zealand dependency of Niue (as long as it doesn't follow Tokelau's example).


Of the bigger countries, New Zealand is the first to celebrate New Year. But there are a few island territories that are one hour ahead, namely Samoa and Tokelau

timeanddate.com has a countdown page to New Years

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