Here are the best places to bring in the New Year

From Sydney’s iconic fireworks shows to watching the ball drop in Bangkok – these New Year’s Eve celebrations are set to be epic.

  • Rachel Gray
  • December 2018

Sydney, Australia

Sydney opens in new window is world famous for its New Year’s Eve fireworks opens in new window that light up the skies over the Harbour Bridge, Opera House and on barges in the harbour at midnight, with an earlier pyrotechnic show for families at 9.30pm. But you can beat the crowds packed into popular vantage points at Darling Harbour, Circular Quay and Kirribilli by booking a table in the city’s tallest skyscraper at Sydney Tower Buffet Restaurant. Or, why not spoil yourself with a five-course meal at one of the city’s many fine dining restaurants such as Aria opens in new window where you are guaranteed premium views of the star-sparkled extravaganza?

Bangkok, Thailand

The iconic New Year’s Eve ball drop at Lebua hotel opens in new window in Bangkok takes place from 265 metres up in the air and when it hits the ground, the midnight fireworks are set-off. Make a booking at the hotel’s alfresco restaurant Sirocco for the best view or get down low for a boogie among locals partying on bustling Khao San Road. To escape the crowded areas near Lebua, head to one of many nearby open-air bars across the city such as Sky20, Attitude Rooftop, and Mustache Bangkok.

Bangkok lights up on NYE
Bangkok lights up on NYE

Gold Coast, Australia

About 30,000 fireworks will spectacularly light up the Gold Coast from an offshore barge for the thousands of people gathered for the display. And the place to count down is at the annual Surfers Paradise Carnival opens in new window for unobstructed fireworks views of following a fun-filled afternoon of entertainment, rides and slides. Or you can cha-cha, rumba and lambada your way into 2019 at one of the many private parties such as at the popular Havana Nights fiesta opens in new window on level 77 of the Sky Point tower.

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Every night is a party on Siem Reap’s Pub Street but come New Year’s Eve, the bar-lined strip ramps up, turning into an open-air nightclub for the evening. Start the night with a decent bowl of fish Amok then hit the tarmac with the locals for one unforgettable street party. There will be a collective countdown on the big screen in the seconds leading up to midnight before the glitz and glitter of coloured gunpowder rains down over the city.

Revelries continue in Siem Riep's Pub Street through the night
Revelries continue in Siem Riep's Pub Street through the night

Auckland, New Zealand

What better place to bring in the New Year than the tallest tower in the southern hemisphere? Watch the NYE fireworks dazzle over Auckland harbour from Orbit restaurant opens in new window in Sky City. Another great option to ring in the New Year opens in new window is the Wondergarden Festival on the water’s edge at Silo Park, where DJs like Nightmare on Wax, Ladi6 and Dam Funk will be on the decks. For those who don’t want to stop partying, the city’s biggest street party in Federal Street kicks off at 5pm but will still be rocking with live music, laser shows and street performers until 3am.

Melbourne, Australia

A boombastic display of fireworks will burst sky high from 22 rooftops above the 350,000 people who are expected to pack into the city for the night. But there will be no alcohol allowed at the four official inner-city viewing sites at Treasury Gardens, Flagstaff Gardens, Docklands and Kings Domain where DJs will be spinning the discs well into the early hours of 2019. Or, try something different by boarding a 20-person cabin on The Star at Melbourne’s Docklands where the giant ferris wheel will stop for the minutes it takes the 14 tonnes of NYE fireworks opens in new window to whistle, bang, crackle and fizz-out amid a barrage of choreographed colour in the night sky. Families can head to Yarra Park for the 9.30pm fireworks opens in new window where live entertainment and the all-time children’s favourite movie Toy Story will be screened on the big screen across two venues.

Melbourne has a range of New Year's Eve activities lined up for this year
Melbourne has a range of New Year's Eve activities lined up for this year

Hong Kong

Ring in the New Year with the 10 minute spectacular pyrotechnic display opens in new window hurtling high over Hong Kong from barges on Victoria Harbour. Get there super early for a good spot along the water and make a list of dreams as you wait until 11pm for the Wish Upon A Star fireworks that shoot out every 15 minutes. The fireworks extravaganza gets bigger and better every year, so expect 2019 to kick off with an almighty bang.