NYE Sydney fireworks

New years festivals Australia

Today marks just one month from New Years Eve 2015. I know, I know, we haven’t even gotten through the festive season yet – but if you don’t want to start the New Year off on the wrong foot, you best start thinking about your plans sooner rather than later. Nobody likes a New Years downer.

Here are a selection of some of Australia’s best New Years Eve offerings, from the obvious firework displays and epic festivals to quieter, more communing with nature type options. It’s time to book flights and hotels or start making a mental checklist for that camping trip…

The Obvious Choice

Sydney Harbour

Australia’s equivalent to America’s Times Square – there’s no denying Sydney takes the spotlight on NYE locations around the country. Adopt the ‘if you can’t beat them join them’ mantra and flock with the crowds to welcome the New Year under a shimmering blanket of fireworks off the Sydney Harbour Bridge. In past years stars such as Kylie Minogue have made a guest appearance – can’t get more Aussie than that.

The Most Coveted

Falls Festival in Lorne, Byron Bay or Marion Bay

You want the good news or the bad news first? Okay so, Falls is sold out in Lorne and Byron Bay, but you can either head to Marion Bay in Tasmania or, at the very least, make it your New Year resolution to attend in 2016. For the music and arts lovers, The Falls Festival is the ideal way to see in the New Year, dancing to some of the best live acts from around the world in the beautiful surrounds of a transient festival village atmosphere.


The Less Obvious Choice

Lord Howe Island

While the first place to see the sunrise on the mainland is Mt Warning near Byron Bay, the first Australian place is actually on Lord Howe Island. For an intimate New Year, head to this World Heritage-listed island 500 kilometres east of Port Macquarie. The New Year here is reined in with DIY bonfires on the beach and BYO eskies full of drinks. To really embrace the New Year, adventurous souls are encouraged to take a skinny dip in the ocean at dawn.

The Foodie Choice

The Taste of Tasmania

While other capital cities are burning through millions of dollars worth of fireworks, Hobart is preparing a feast for the senses at The Taste of Tasmania. The streets of the city come alive from December 28 through January 3 with market stalls showcasing the region’s fine food, wine and beers. This year’s NYE party theme is On the High Seas, so don your best sailor outfit and countdown with live music from The Basics.

Yarra Party Boat Fever

River styling on the Yarra

For prime position of Melbourne’s fireworks, the place to be is on the Yarra, cruising along the Docklands. Hire a private boat with friends or book a ticket on a party boat with live entertainment and a fully stocked bar. If you prefer to stay on solid ground, book a table or ticket at one of the waterfront restaurants or bars in Docklands, Southbank or St Kilda.

Gold Coast Skies

Viva Surfers Paradise

Queensland’s Gold Coast knows how to party, so when it comes to NYE it’s no surprise the Goldy goes all out with firework displays along the coast. Surfers Paradise is the hub for celebrations; however, fireworks line the skies from Coomera to Coolangatta. If you like wide open spaces, there are kilometres of beaches to plonk your esky in the sand and sit back and enjoy the show.

The Wildcard: Celebrate Twice

Aloha Hawaii

Celebrate in Sydney then hop on a flight to Hawaii and see in the New Year on USA soil. Hawaii is one of the last places to see in the New Year, which means you’ve got time on your side. Celebrate the New Year in Sydney, fly 10 hours and land in Hawaii on NYE. Time travel is real! After 48 hours of partying, you can spend the next few days, week or more relaxing on Waikiki beach and exploring the tropical delights of this island paradise.


Jump the border

Party on the beach in Tweed Heads then do it all over again an hour later over the border in Coolangatta. The best part? You can literally walk between the two prime locations in time to celebrate on both sides of the border. Take it easy with a NYE on the beach straddling your way between time zones.

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