Celebrate New Year's Eve all over Australia

The high point of summer holiday festivities in Australia is the colourful and sparkling celebration of New Year’s Eve. There are countless free public events held on the night where visitors can experience Australia’s unique cheer, culture and exuberance. Celebrate New Year's Eve all over Australia
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Celebrate New Year's Eve all over Australia

The high point of summer holiday festivities in Australia is the colourful and sparkling celebration of New Year’s Eve.

In cities and towns across the country, counting down the final moments of the year means getting outdoors, throwing down a picnic blanket and enjoying a memorable night with family, friends and fireworks. There are countless free public events held on the night where visitors can experience Australia’s unique cheer, culture and exuberance. 

New Year's Eve Fireworks, Sydney Harbour, New South Wales

Sydney’s New Year’s Eve explosion of colour
Sydney is one of the world’s most stunning places to ring in the new year. The city’s spectacular harbour foreshore is packed with more than a million and a half locals and visitors watching a breathtaking display of fireworks and light shows at 9pm and midnight. Festivities are centred on the Sydney Harbour Bridge with its famous waterfall of fire and fireworks shooting off the Sydney Opera House.

Meanwhile, the iconic sands of Bondi Beach get a late-night workout with a night of world-renowned, pumping DJs at the New Year’s Eve dance music event, Shore Thing. Visitors can join up to 15,000 other partygoers at this beachside end-of-year event. 

A waterfront spectacular in Queensland
Sparkling with thousands of small lights attached to its frame, Brisbane’s Story Bridge is the focal point of New Year’s Eve celebrations in the Queensland capital. Two fireworks displays – an early version for the kids and one at midnight for late-night revelers – sees more than 30,000 individual fireworks launched from barges on the river as well as city rooftops. The meandering Brisbane River foreshore provides a stunning natural backdrop to many viewing spots.  

On the Gold Coast, just over an hour south of Brisbane, fireworks set to music are launched from a barge anchored offshore. Creative visitors and locals alike should look out for the theme of the night; the theme for the 2014 New Year’s Eve celebrations saw people dressing up in capes and figure-hugging outfits as their favourite superhero.

Fireworks over the Princes Bridge, New Year’s Eve, Melbourne, Victoria

Melbourne’s end-of-year carnival atmosphere
Melbourne’s skyline explodes with colour at midnight on New Year’s Eve with fireworks launching off many of the city’s high-rise towers. Crowds of up to 600,000 pack the banks of the Yarra River and other local vantage points to watch the choreographed bursts of light and colour. 

Not far from Melbourne’s centre is Yarra Park, where the City of Melbourne puts on an early evening event with two stages of well-known local musicians and carnival rides and games for children and families. 

Adelaide's dazzling farewell to the year
New Year’s Eve in Adelaide goes off with a bang on the northern fringe of the city centre when the city’s free fireworks display explodes over the River Torrens at 9pm and midnight. Visitors can set up early with a picnic in Elder Park and enjoy live music concerts from just after sunset, along with food stalls and drinks from the bars and beer garden. 

For a more relaxed evening by the sea that is popular with families, head to the nearby coastal town of Glenelg, a 10-kilometre drive or a 25-minute tram ride from Adelaide. Down on the beach foreshore, you’ll find music, food and fireworks shows at 9.30pm and midnight. 

Taste of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania

Local feasts and fireworks in Hobart 
With the Taste of Tasmania festival in full-swing from late December to early January, New Year’s Eve in Hobart means celebrating not only the year’s end, but the finest local produce, wine, cider and beer the island state has to offer. Until mid-afternoon, the festival is open to all, so make the most of the stalls offering everything from pear cider and hand-crafted premium cheese to stunning pinot noir and locally-harvested sea urchins.

Later in the evening, ticket holders can stay on the main wharf with roving performers, food and wine stalls and enjoy the fireworks from one of the vantage points. For those without a ticket, there are still a few spare spots on the waterfront for enjoying your own party with fireworks at midnight.  

Canberra’s musical new year
New Year’s Eve in Australia’s national capital means finding a prime spot early in Civic Square, Canberra’s town centre, where local bands play alongside national headline acts. There are impressive displays of fireworks at 9pm and midnight, with the latter being set to music themed for the coming year.  

For serious party-goers, the annual Bass in the Place event kicks off in nearby Garema Place at 9pm with top local and national DJs putting on a huge outdoor show of dance beats and grooves. 

Jus Burgers, Northbridge, Perth, Western Australia

A pumping street party in Perth
If you’re in Perth for New Year’s Eve, head to the inner city suburb of Northbridge, where a huge street party for all-ages begins in earnest after sunset. From 6pm, thousands of families, locals and tourists are greeted by all manner of street performers, special outdoor animated movies for the kids, masquerade mask-making and an interactive live show. Restaurants in the area, such as Jus Burgers, also have special activities and get involved with the festivities. Local entertainers then count down the final seconds of the year.  

There are also a host of music festivals for those looking for a more adventurous experience, including East Perth’s NYE on the Foreshore, which features a range of local bands playing everything from pop to dance music; and North Perth’s Rosemount Fiesta, where the best local indie and rock bands play.

Darwin’s brilliant end to the year
The New Year’s Eve festivities kick off early in the capital of the Northern Territory, Darwin, with free family events including face painting and live music beginning on the waterfront at 5.30pm. Then it’s time to lay down the picnic rug and find a vantage spot for the 9pm fireworks that bring in the coming year with a spectacular display of colour and noise fired from the seawall. 

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