Sir Elton John has announced he is bringing his farewell tour to New Zealand for three massive shows next summer.

The music icon is giving up life on the road to focus on his family, but before he does he's on one final tour to say goodbye to fans in person.

The Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour will see John deliver his greatest hits to audiences around the world.

The tour kicked off in September and will last a full three years, comprising more than 300 shows across five continents.

Advertisement

It's already being lauded as one of the star's most "energetic, dazzlingly-original and joyful celebrations", and a "reflective and stunning tribute to a great artist's career".

Not only will fans get to hear the hits live, the tour promises a "rare glimpse" into John's life and the personal meaning behind some of his greatest hits through never-before-seen images and videos which will play throughout the show.

John said it was 48 years since his first concert here.

"New Zealand, I can't wait to be with you again.

"This tour will see my 12th concert in Auckland, my 2nd concert in Dunedin at the Forsyth Barr Stadium, which I opened many years ago, and my first performance at Hawke's Bay. I am thrilled that this final tour will see me and the band playing somewhere new in your great country."

John last played in New Zealand in November 2015, when he performed for some 30,000 fans at Wellington's Westpac Stadium.

He also made headlines for becoming a real-life rocket man when it was revealed he arrived in New Zealand by private jet just hours before taking the stage, and headed back to the airport before his backing band had even closed the show.

When he returns this time, things will likely be just as much of a whirlwind as he comes to us from a 15-show run throughout Australia and leaves us to continue the global tour for another year.

He'll be joined on the road by longstanding band members Nigel Olsson on drums, esteemed musical director Davey Johnstone on guitar, Ray Cooper on percussion, Matt Bissonette on bass, John Mahon on percussion and Kim Bullard on keyboards.

"I'm ecstatic and humbled to continue to play for audiences across the globe," he says.

"I plan to bring to my final tour the passion and creativity that has entertained my fans for decades ... It's the most produced and fantastic show I've ever done. I want to go out with a bang."

John will be in New Zealand in 2020. He'll play Dunedin's Forsyth Barr Stadium on February 4, Hawke's Bay's Mission Estate Winery on February 8 and Auckland's Mt Smart Stadium on February 9.

Tickets go on sale at 9am, February 14 via Ticketmaster for Auckland and Dunedin, and missionconcert.co.nz for Hawke's Bay. For more information, see oznz.eltonjohn.com.