The year that brought us the beloved pirate ship ride at Rainbow's End theme park is the same year the love-struck stalkers of the world were chanting the lyrics to Every Breath You Take, by The Police.

The song was at the top of the Billboard Year End Hot 100 singles for 1983, the same year the pirate ship ride set sail.

As the pirate ship ride sets to close this month after 34 years at sea, we look at the year it came to Kiwis.

The year was one of anti-nuclear protests in New Zealand, royal visits, and some high-profile deaths.

Advertisement

Robert Muldoon was prime minister at the time, though he and the National Party were set to lose to Labour in the election the following year.

Prince Charles and Princess Diana visited New Zealand in 1983, bringing with them baby Prince William.

It was a year where DD Smash stormed annual music awards in Aotearoa, taking out Top Group, Single of the Year, and Top Male Vocalist for singer Dave Dobbyn.

Internationally, musical hits of the day include Michael Jackson's Billie Jean and Beat It, Irene Cara's Flashdance . . . What a Feeling, Men at Work's Down Under, and Bonnie Tyler's Total Eclipse of the Heart.

Meanwhile, the big screen saw such classics as Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi, Flashdance, and Scarface.

It was also the same year singer Brooke Fraser was welcomed into the world, as well as hip hop artist Aaradhna.