Can you believe the new year is almost upon us? Just like in most other countries around the world, New Year’s Eve is widely celebrated in Australia. You’ll often find people hosting parties and gatherings at home to ring in the new year, or going out to watch the awesome fireworks displays taking place around the country. There are also several ticketed events that take place on the night, such as cruises, parties and mini festivals.
The fireworks displays are very popular and tend to fill with people quickly. Make sure to pick a spot a few days in advance, pack some food and a picnic blanket or chairs, and head in early to make sure you don’t miss out on a good vantage point. If you’re keen to check out Australia’s fireworks scene, here are the best events around the country.
In Sydney, the fireworks are held over the famous Sydney Harbour. There are two displays (one at 9pm and one at midnight), which are usually set off from the Harbour Bridge. There are multiple vantage points around Sydney, but we recommend Birchgrove Park, Bradfield Park and Cremorne Point – all of them offer free entry with no ticket purchase required.
Melbourne’s midnight fireworks are held over the city skyline, meaning they can even be viewed from the greater Melbourne area. The 9.30pm fireworks are held at Yarra Park next to the MCG and come with live entertainment, films and more. There are also live sites set up around the city, where you can watch the fireworks on the big screen and enjoy a multimedia countdown and music.
Perth offers a variety of spots where you can watch fireworks displays. There are 9pm and midnight fireworks over the Swan River, the foreshore at Churchill Park in Rockingham, and in Mandura. There are also 9pm fireworks on Rottnest Island.
The main fireworks displays go off over South Bank at 8.30pm and midnight. There are also fireworks displays over the Brisbane River at the same times. The South Bank event features food trucks, ATMs and toilets, so you can comfortably enjoy the fireworks late into the night.
Australia’s capital hosts New Year’s Eve in the City, a free mini festival held in Civic Square with live music, DJs, food, and fireworks displays. You can watch the fireworks at both 9pm and midnight.
Hobart’s fireworks are held over Sullivans Cove in the Derwent River. There are three main vantage points that’ll give you a pretty good view of the display: Hobart Waterfront, Mount Nelson Lookout, and Mount Wellington if you want to trek up the mountain to watch the fireworks from above the city.
There are a few New Year’s Eve events dotted around the city, with each holding two fireworks displays (usually at 9pm and midnight). Head to the coast for New Year’s Eve at the Bay, located at the Glenelg Foreshore. Or, check out the fireworks display and huge rock concert held at Elder Park. The Semaphore Summer Carnival is a fun event featuring its own fireworks show.
Darwin’s fireworks take place over the Darwin Waterfront at 9pm and midnight. The weather is likely to be nice and warm, making for a very pleasant evening out.
Hosting at home
If you want to host your own New Year’s Eve gathering, most fireworks displays are televised. Grab several friends, some food, and a few drinks to ring in the new year, and you can count down to 2019 on the comfort of your couch.
Some of Australia’s biggest music festivals also take place over New Year’s Eve, including Falls Festival in Lorne, Byron Bay, Marion Bay and Fremantle; Origin Fields in Perth; Woodford Folk Festival in Brisbane; and Lost Paradise in Glenworth Valley. Who knows – you might still be able to score a ticket!