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How each town plans to celebrate plus the ultimate guide the most Instagrammable parties near you 

No matter where you are in Australia, there are plenty of amazing ways to ring in the new year.

Cities and towns across the country are putting the finishing touches on their New Year’s Eve events, with festivities ranging from delightful family options to wild celebrations.

From waterfront fireworks to a luxurious dinner cruising through the harbour and live music festivals to help say goodbye to 2018, there’s plenty in store for everyone. 

No matter where you are in Australia, come New Year’s Eve there’s no doubt there’ll be plenty of ways to bring 2019 in with a bang

SYDNEY 

Sydney is gearing up for an epic New Year’s Eve fireworks display which will feature a tribute to the late queen of soul Aretha Franklin and Australia’s famous landscapes.

More than one million revellers are expected to pack out the city’s harbour on Monday with this year’s $5.78 million show including more than 100,000 individual pyrotechnics, 8.5 tonnes of fireworks and 35,000 shooting comets.

Drawing on the theme, The Pulse of Sydney, the fireworks display will pulsate in gold, silver and purple to (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman, made famous by Franklin, who died in August this year.

City of Sydney spokeswoman Anna McInerney said New Year’s Eve is the perfect time to reflect on the year that’s been and to honour the much loved queen of soul.

Sydney is gearing up for an 'epic' New Year's Eve fireworks display which will feature a tribute to the late queen of soul Aretha Franklin and Australia's famous landscapes.

Sydney is gearing up for an ‘epic’ New Year’s Eve fireworks display which will feature a tribute to the late queen of soul Aretha Franklin and Australia’s famous landscapes.

Australia's indigenous heritage will also be honoured with a series of animated projections of water, birds, fish and plants

Australia’s indigenous heritage will also be honoured with a series of animated projections of water, birds, fish and plants

Australia’s iconic landscapes will also be celebrated with an animation inspired by Aussie music anthem Great Southern Land to play on the bridge pylons at 11pm, before an even bigger fireworks display lights the city’s skies at midnight.

Australia’s indigenous heritage will also be honoured with a series of animated projections of water, birds, fish and plants.

The company behind the fireworks soundtracks said the tunes will set the mood for the night and will end with a bang.

‘If there’s one thing that can always be counted on with the New Year’s fireworks display, it’s the big finale … Revellers can expect the fireworks to finish with something epic,’ Imagination director Heath Campanaro said in a statement.

Security will be beefed up across the harbour city with uniformed and plain clothed police as well as specialist teams in force to keep partygoers safe.

Security will be beefed up across the harbour city with uniformed and plain clothed police as well as specialist teams in force to keep partygoers safe

Security will be beefed up across the harbour city with uniformed and plain clothed police as well as specialist teams in force to keep partygoers safe

Sydneysiders looking to get away from the bustling CBD can head to the lush gardens of Camperdown’s Victoria Park in the inner-west for NYE In The Park.

Among the greenery of the park and with Sydney’s picturesque skyline partygoers will be able to escape the overcrowded CBD with a night of live music, dancing, street food and drinks.

The music festival allows revellers to kick back, relax and watch the sun go down for the final time in 2018 with a drink in hand.

Sydneysiders looking to get away from the bustling CBD can head to the lush gardens of Camperdown's Victoria Park in the inner-west for NYE In The Park

Sydneysiders looking to get away from the bustling CBD can head to the lush gardens of Camperdown’s Victoria Park in the inner-west for NYE In The Park

SYDNEY’S ISLAND PARTIES 

With an amazing view from the west side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, New Years Eve at Goat Island is popular for all ages.  

Ferries to the island depart at 6:30pm and 7:15pm. Tickets from $216.64 for adults, $145.28 for children.

Shark Island is offering an exclusive island party with music and gourmet eats.   

Ferries to the island depart at 6:15pm and 7pm. Tickets from $247.23 for adults, $175.86 for children 5-16, free for children younger than five.

Cockatoo Island is offering a unique experience with glamping and camping on offer over New Year’s Eve with an insane view of the fireworks – at a cheaper cost than some venues on the mainland.

Tickets for the experience start at $650 for up to six people.

Clark Island is hosting a garden party where partygoers will get a three course meal, cocktail on arrival and epic view of the fireworks. 

Ferries to the island depart at 6pm and 6:45pm. Tickets from $410.35 for adults, $252.33 for children 5-15, free for children younger than five. 

Clubs and bars around the harbour city are also offering up deals for those who like to party early into the morning.

Sitting underneath the Harbour Bridge with pristine views over the harbour, Cruise Bar will be coming alive with the sound of DJs, glasses of sparkling and food stands.

General admission tickets begin at $99 per person, with VIP tickets including access to the rooftop, food and drinks from $349.

Luna Park will be in on the action with rides operating throughout the night and music acts such as The Veronicas, Nicole Millar, KLP, Purple Sneakers DJs and Nat Conway.

With rides open until 1am and the park operating until 3am, the 18+ event has tickets available for $129 general admission.

Pier One Sydney Harbour offers unrivalled views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, with food, entertainment and drinks included in the $499 ticket.

Bars and clubs across the harbour are also offering events with entry prices beginning at $45 and ranging up to $1000 per person.

Viewing the world-famous light show from the water is the ultimate way to spend New Year’s Eve and for those looking to spend a little more and live a night of luxury, there are multiple boat cruises that will be sailing into 2019.

Most cruises tend to last about five to seven hours, serve food and drink, and give revellers the chance to see both the 9pm family fireworks and the main event at the stroke of midnight. 

Offering DJs, entertainment, food and drinks, the prices for New Year’s Eve Cruises begin at $400 per person up to almost $1000. 

Offering DJs, entertainment, food and drinks, the prices for New Year's Eve Cruises begin at $400 per person up to almost $1000

Offering DJs, entertainment, food and drinks, the prices for New Year’s Eve Cruises begin at $400 per person up to almost $1000

MELBOURNE

When 14 tonnes of fireworks shoot into the sky over Melbourne to ring in the New Year, head designer Rusty Johnson will shed a tear.

Months of planning have gone into the show that includes 8300 aerial fireworks and more than 36,500 rooftop effects being fired from 22 CBD buildings.

Melburnians can expect a ‘unique’ show – nowhere else in the world will have fireworks ranging from the classics to new spider shells and flying dragons being fired over a whopping seven square kilometres, Mr Johnson says.

‘Anywhere you can see that city skyline you’ve got the best view of it,’ Mr Johnson said.

‘It’s a big challenge, it’s a hard job, but when we strike midnight I’ll have a tear in my eye.’

When 14 tonnes of fireworks shoot into the sky over Melbourne to ring in the New Year, head designer Rusty Johnson will shed a tear

When 14 tonnes of fireworks shoot into the sky over Melbourne to ring in the New Year, head designer Rusty Johnson will shed a tear

Flying dragons that explode into swirls, crackling dragon eggs that go off with an incredibly loud explosion and crackle, and spider shells that scuttle across buildings and weave a web across the skyline are among this year’s new effects.

Rainbow fans in a trio of colours and Saturn rings will also be seen for the first time over Melbourne.

The innovative 10-minute show has an indigenous theme and is set to a backing track by Australian rapper and hip-hop artist Adam Briggs that will be broadcast on 99.7FM.

More than 350,000 revellers are expected to flock to the city to welcome the new year at riverside bars and parties, and from four family friendly live sites.

Entertainment, food trucks and firework vantage points are open until 1am in Kings Domain, Docklands, Treasury Gardens and Flagstaff Gardens.

All up, the celebrations are set to cost $3.4 million, but Melbourne’s Lord Mayor Sally Capp expects the night to bring in more than $8.6 million for the local economy.

Security is the biggest expense on the night when police numbers on the beat are expected to swell up to 30 times the norm.

Rainbow fans in a trio of colours and Saturn rings will also be seen for the first time over Melbourne

Rainbow fans in a trio of colours and Saturn rings will also be seen for the first time over Melbourne

For those with more of a wild side, there are multiple festivals and parties in Melbourne such as NYE H2o, with bars, dance floors and DJs taking over the South Wharf Promenade with general admission tickets for $140.  

Cruises along the Yarra River and Port Phillip bay will also be in action on New Year’s Eve, with a whole different view of the fireworks on offer.

Yarra River party cruises are available from just $240 per person and include four hours on the water, with free flowing drinks and an on-boat DJ.  

For those after something a little more low-key, 2,500 people will be headed out to the Farm for three days where NYE on the Hill offers a wide selection of local music acts, games, food and drinks.

For those with more of a wild side, there are multiple festivals and parties in Melbourne such as NYE H2o, with bars, dance floors and DJs taking over the South Wharf Promenade with general admission tickets for $140.

For those with more of a wild side, there are multiple festivals and parties in Melbourne such as NYE H2o, with bars, dance floors and DJs taking over the South Wharf Promenade with general admission tickets for $140.

Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium is also hosting a New Year’s Eve bash, with full access to the underwater wonderland.

Food and beverage packages are available in addition to the stunning panoramic view of the city. Tickets range from $179 – $289. 

Partying with a waterfront view is also an option with the Docklands hosting an 18+ event with Melbourne’s CBD as a backdrop for just $120. 

Bars and clubs throughout the entertainment capital are providing views of the fireworks, drinks and entertainment with prices ranging from $45 up to $200. 

QUEENSLAND 

Queenslanders will welcome 2019 with spectacular fireworks and light shows across the southeast while a possible cyclone could put a damper on proceedings in the state’s north.

More than 85,000 people are expected in Brisbane’s South Bank precinct to see the city skyline light up with fireworks from five barges between the Victoria and Goodwill bridges, played to a soundtrack of 2018’s most popular hits.

Across South Bank, Eagle Street Pier, Portside Wharf and Howard Smith Wharves, more than seven tonnes of fireworks will be synced and coordinated.

More than 85,000 people are expected in Brisbane's South Bank precinct to see the city skyline light up with fireworks

More than 85,000 people are expected in Brisbane’s South Bank precinct to see the city skyline light up with fireworks

Family-friendly fireworks are scheduled for 8.30pm before the main event at midnight

Family-friendly fireworks are scheduled for 8.30pm before the main event at midnight

BRISBANE’S TOP NEW YEAR’S EVE EVENTS 

For something unique, a New Year’s Eve Climb is available on the Story Bridge where the 10pm climb gets you in the prime position for the midnight fireworks.

Tickets start at $259 per adult. 

Queensland’s Pops Orchestra will be having their final event of the year with the New Year’s Eve Gala Variety Concert. 

There is a 5.30pm show and 9pm show available with tickets starting at just $89.

Brisbane’s Victoria Park will be transformed into Europe’s City of Love – Paris.

Bistro lights, Parisian decorations, a beverage package and fireworks in red, blue and white are all available at $149 for general admission or $1,990 for VIP.

The Woodford Fold Festival will be taking place over six days from December 27 – January 1 offering revellers a whole week of entertainment. 

Tickets are available for $130 per day. 

Family-friendly fireworks are scheduled for 8.30pm before the main event at midnight.

Items such as alcohol, bikes, scooters, pets, skateboards, metal picnic cutlery and unsealed water bottles are not allowed.

Revellers on the Gold Coast will enjoy fireworks along the length of the coast with the biggest displays at Broadbeach and Surfers Paradise at 8pm and midnight.

On the Sunshine Coast, The Esplanade at Mooloolaba, will have entertainment from 4pm and fireworks shows at 8.30pm and midnight.

RSPCA Qld is once again warning pet owners to take special precautions to ensure their pets are safe, with firework displays creating havoc amongst the animal population, with frightened pets sometimes found kilometres from home.

‘It’s likely that scores of animals will end up at our shelters or council pounds,’ said RSPCA Qld spokesman Michael Beatty.

Revellers can expect warmer conditions heading into New Year’s Eve with highs in the mid-to-high 30s and lows in the 20s.

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Gordon Banks said the Gold and Sunshine coasts would enjoy afternoon sea breezes, but farther west Gatton, Toowoomba and Warwick will swelter with temperatures around 38C forecast.

On the Sunshine Coast, The Esplanade at Mooloolaba, will have entertainment from 4pm and fireworks shows at 8.30pm and midnight

On the Sunshine Coast, The Esplanade at Mooloolaba, will have entertainment from 4pm and fireworks shows at 8.30pm and midnight

Brisbane is expecting a maximum of 32C.

In Cairns, rain damage earlier this week and expected rain over the next three days have forced the cancellation of a family concert, children’s activities and a fun run.

The council is investigating the possibility of a scaled-down, indoor event, weather permitting. 

Thousands of people wanting to get away from the busy overcrowded city will be headed to Byron Bay’s Falls Festival over the New Year Period. 

PERTH 

Fireworks, parties and family-friendly events will be among the highlights of New Year’s Eve in Perth, but this year revellers will also have access to free and frequent public transport after midnight.

Transperth has scheduled 113 extra train rides, 117 more bus trips and additional ferry services to run after midnight.

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said about 290 transit officers would be rostered on and more police would patrol stations.

‘This move is about encouraging more people to use public transport and showing them it’s a safe, efficient and cost-effective way to get home after New Year’s Eve,’ she said.

Fireworks, parties and family-friendly events will be among the highlights of New Year's Eve in Perth, but this year revellers will also have access to free and frequent public transport after midnight.

Fireworks, parties and family-friendly events will be among the highlights of New Year’s Eve in Perth, but this year revellers will also have access to free and frequent public transport after midnight.

'Extra public transport ... makes a significant difference for us, allowing people to move home (and) free people up from being in the CBD,' he told reporters on Friday

‘Extra public transport … makes a significant difference for us, allowing people to move home (and) free people up from being in the CBD,’ he told reporters on Friday

It is the first time since 2004 that public transport has been offered for free, after Police Commissioner Chris Dawson approached the police and transport ministers with the idea.

PARTIES IN PERTH FOR NEW YEAR’S EVE 

A riverfront party complete with food trucks, cocktail bars, local bands, DJs and even a silent disco is available on Perth’s Foreshore.

Tickets begin at a reasonable $39.80 and go up to $226.83.

Rottnest Island is offering up the perfect setting for families, with entertainment, face painting and a 9pm firework display for free once you’re on the island.

Party like it’s the 1920’s with the Vines Resort’s Great Gatsby Night.

Canapes and drinks are available with a DJ and glitter cannons for $160 per person. 

Coast Port Beach is hosting a Beach House NYE Sunset party with live music, drink specials and food served all night. 

Acting Police Commissioner Gary Dreisburg said more than 1700 officers would be working on New Year’s Eve across the state.

‘Extra public transport … makes a significant difference for us, allowing people to move home (and) free people up from being in the CBD,’ he told reporters on Friday.

‘They can just come into the city, they can have a good time, then they can get on the trains or the buses and just head straight home.

‘We won’t have to worry about people waiting for other forms of transport.’

Among the festivities is free family entertainment in Northbridge, including street performers and live music across two stages.

Firework displays are also being held at several locations, including above the Swan River at 9pm and midnight.

The weather over the long weekend is expected to be mostly sunny and about 30 degrees. 

Family entertainment kicks off from 6pm with a New Year countdown for the children at 9pm so they don't miss out on all the fun

Family entertainment kicks off from 6pm with a New Year countdown for the children at 9pm so they don’t miss out on all the fun

River cruises are also available in Perth, with 18+ cruises available on the Swan River, taking in the Perth Skyline and midnight fireworks for $249 per person.

A five-hour cruise is also available from Elizabeth Quay, run by Crystal Swan, with welcome drunks, food, dessert and even a photobooth included in the $195 ticket.

Events for the whole family begin in the city centre at 4.30pm with large screen movies available in Northbridge Piazza and Perth Cultural Centre.

Family entertainment kicks off from 6pm with a New Year countdown for the children at 9pm so they don’t miss out on all the fun. 

ADELAIDE 

Australian music will feature at Adelaide’s main New Year’s Eve celebrations, with the city council also planning a more environmentally sustainable event.

The headline act at Elder Park will be the Antipodean Rock Collective, the group featuring members of legendary Australian bands Spiderbait, Jet, Powderfinger and You Am I.

Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor said that the live music program this year would be a celebration of Adelaide’s status as a UNESCO City of Music.

‘Adelaide has been globally recognised for its local music scene and we’ll be celebrating some of our finest home-grown talent on New Year’s Eve with South Australian acts that range from electronic, blues and soul, indie pop, and world music sounds,’ she said.

Australian music will feature at Adelaide's main New Year's Eve celebrations, with the city council also planning a more environmentally sustainable event

Australian music will feature at Adelaide’s main New Year’s Eve celebrations, with the city council also planning a more environmentally sustainable event

'The night will not only be a celebration of a year past and a new year ahead but will also be a fantastic opportunity for our local creative musicians and culture makers to get some great exposure

‘The night will not only be a celebration of a year past and a new year ahead but will also be a fantastic opportunity for our local creative musicians and culture makers to get some great exposure

EVENTS IN AND AROUND ADELAIDE 

For those wanting to dress up a little fancy, the Adelaide Convention Centre is holding a New Year’s Eve Gala.

Black tie is the theme for the four-course dinner, wine and live music event, with tickets available for $190 per person.

Right next to the beach in Glenelg, the Pier Hotel will be holding a two and a half hour canape and drinks package from 9pm, with champagne at midnight.

The Stamford Hotel in Glenelg will be holding a lavish Casino Royale New Year’s Eve bash with tickets starting at $165 per person. 

The Grand Bar is hosting a New Year’s Eve Glow Party at the Stamford Hotel in Adelaide with champagne, dancing, music and drinks for just $25. 

‘The night will not only be a celebration of a year past and a new year ahead but will also be a fantastic opportunity for our local creative musicians and culture makers to get some great exposure.’

Other acts on the night include local artists Alana Jagt, pop-rap duo China Roses and rock group Donnarumma.

Dance will also feature with a Bollywood performance by the Mudra Dance Academy while DJ Tim Whitt will take the crowd to midnight and beyond.

As always, two fireworks displays will light up the sky, one at the family-friendly time of 9pm and the other to ring in the New Year at midnight.

The council said importantly this year’s event would be plastic straw-free, with reusable straws available on request, while all food packaging used by vendors must be compostable.

The event will also be balloon free and water refills will be available to discourage single-use bottles.

Public transport will also be free from 5pm to encourage revellers to use buses, trams and trains rather than private cars.

Away from the city, other events will be held on the coast at Glenelg and at Victor Harbor, south of the city, both with fireworks.

HOBART 

Hobart is ideal if you’re a foodie or just want to backpack in one of Australia’s most gorgeous wilderness spots; the Taste of Tasmania food festival and the fireworks are the two main events.

The city puts on quite a show on the harbour over the New Year’s period with waterfront piers as backdrops for fireworks.

The main New Year’s Eve fireworks display is held over the city’s waterfront and Tasmanians can enjoy it either from along the waterfront or can head up Mount Wellington for a view one kilometre above the city.

The main New Year's Eve fireworks display is held over the city's waterfront and Tasmanians can enjoy it either from along the waterfront

The main New Year’s Eve fireworks display is held over the city’s waterfront and Tasmanians can enjoy it either from along the waterfront

Just south of the city, the Mount Nelson lookout is available with clear views of the city and harbour for the fireworks. 

For those choosing to invest a little more for their New Year’s evening, a seven-course degustation menu is available at Hobart Function and Conference Centre from just $185.

A cocktail party is also available on the wharf at The Glass House from 9.30pm Monday night with tickets starting at $260.

Wrest Point has a premium dinner with matching wines and degustations in their revolving restaurant at 7.30pm.

Just south of the city, the Mount Nelson lookout is available with clear views of the city and harbour for the fireworks.

Just south of the city, the Mount Nelson lookout is available with clear views of the city and harbour for the fireworks.

DARWIN 

In Darwin, celebrations often kick off earlier in the afternoon, with plenty of live entertainment, and a 9pm fireworks show for all on the Waterfront. 

Dinners are available throughout Darwin with set menus along with a la carte available at waterfront venues with views for the midnight fireworks.

In Darwin, celebrations often kick off earlier in the afternoon, with plenty of live entertainment, and a 9pm fireworks show for all on the Waterfront.

In Darwin, celebrations often kick off earlier in the afternoon, with plenty of live entertainment, and a 9pm fireworks show for all on the Waterfront.

Dinah Beach will be holding a party with the Dinah beach Cruise Yacht Association where there will be live music in a casual atmosphere until 2am, all for free.

Dinah Beach will be holding a party with the Dinah beach Cruise Yacht Association where there will be live music in a casual atmosphere until 2am, all for free.

Dinah Beach will be holding a party with the Dinah beach Cruise Yacht Association where there will be live music in a casual atmosphere until 2am, all for free.

A VIP View with Sail Darwin is also available with a prime view of the fireworks from aboard a yacht, with free-flowing champagne and tapas for dinner.

Tickets are available from $190 per person or $350 if you want to invest a little more and stay on the boat overnight. 

A VIP View with Sail Darwin is also available with a prime view of the fireworks from aboard a yacht, with free-flowing champagne and tapas for dinner.

A VIP View with Sail Darwin is also available with a prime view of the fireworks from aboard a yacht, with free-flowing champagne and tapas for dinner.

CANBERRA 

Canberra backpackers should head to Civic Square for two cool fireworks displays (9pm and 12am), as well as a tonne of live music and bands.

Free entertainment including live club and pop music in Civic Square will be headlined by Australian record producer PACES. 

The live music will kick off from 6pm featuring DJ’s the Soul Sistas  an dfamily friendly performances by Monica Moore Duo, Zackerbilks and The Po Boys.

Canberra acoustic soul band, Touchasoul will hit the stage at 9.15pm.  

Free entertainment including live club and pop music in Civic Square will be headlined by Australian record producer PACES

Free entertainment including live club and pop music in Civic Square will be headlined by Australian record producer PACES

Sri Lankan restaurant Banana Leaf is hosting a three course dinner priced at $95 per person with views for the 9pm fireworks.

They are hosting another three course meal which will lead up to the midnight fireworks. 

Redsalt is bringing in the New Year with a buffet dinner with seafood, roasts, desserts and salads.

Prices for this experience start at $120 an adult and children would be charges less based on age. 

 

 

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