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Welcome 2019 in style by partying at these fireworks hotspots in your closest capital.
The eyes of the world are fixed on the Harbour City every December 31 when Sydney becomes the first major city on earth to enter the New Year… and those onlookers sure get something to stare at. More than $7 million worth of fireworks illuminate Sydney Harbour at 9pm and midnight, and every inch of spare turf around the water is occupied by more than one million admirers filling both ticketed and non-ticketed vantage points. If you want to escape the crush around the water but still have an explosive backdrop for your midnight make-out, head to the NYE in the Park festival – this year headlined by Australian treasure The Presets.
The Melbourne skyline glitters at midnight, with rooftop fireworks centred on the Yarra visible from a stack of different vantage points around the city. The City of Melbourne hosts live sites at Treasury Gardens, Docklands, Flagstaff Gardens and Kings Domain complete with free live music, a multimedia countdown to 2019, food trucks and good links to public transport once the fireworks have fizzled. There’s also a family-friendly event in the early evening at Yarra Park, as well as private parties peppered around the inner-city.
There are fireworks displays along the River Torrens at 9pm and midnight, with a family friendly entertainment extravaganza at Elder Park, as well as dual displays on the foreshore at Glenelg and Brighton at 9.30pm and 12 o’clock. But this biggest bash in town is the Big Bash League cricket clash between the Adelaide Strikers and Sydney Thunder, which will attract a full house to the Adelaide Oval for an evening of Twenty20 action that’s just as explosive as the fireworks.
Stay at: Adelaide Central YHA
Western Australia is three hours behind the East Coast, so Perth arrives fashionably late to the New Year’s party. The Swan River hosts the city’s biggest fireworks display – head to King’s Park for a lofty vantage point of the pyrotechnics, or book a ticket on a cruise for a front-row seat. Nightlife hub Northbridge also throws an epic street party across two stages in the Northbridge Piazza and the Perth Cultural Centre with free entertainment from the afternoon until the clock strikes 12.
Stay at: Perth City YHA
Crowds flock to Sullivans Cove on December 31 for two of Tassie’s biggest annual festivals, as well as fireworks at 9.30pm and 12. Constitution Dock hosts the Hobart Race Village at the finish line of the gruelling Sydney to Hobart yacht race, while the Taste of Tasmania celebrates the Apple Isle’s booming food and drink scene with 70 food and drink stalls around the waterfront between 28 December and 3 January. Oh, and don’t forget the massive Falls Festival held at a beautiful farm in Marion Bay less than an hour’s drive east of Hobart, rocking from 29 to 31 December.
Stay at: Hobart Central YHA
South Bank is the hub of Brisbane’s bash with barges and pontoons firing fireworks from the river, meaning there’s great viewing from anywhere along the Clem Jones Promenade. There are 8.30pm and midnight pyro shows at South Bank and the Portside Wharf in Hamilton, as well as a 12 o’clock display at Eagle Street Pier. Kangaroo Point is a popular vantage point in the city, while Mount Coot-tha offers a lofty view of Bris Vegas from afar.
Stay at: Brisbane City YHA
There are few more spectacular natural backdrops for a pyrotechnic extravaganza than the Darwin Waterfront, where the Timor Sea glitters as fireworks ignite the Top End sky. Live music kicks off in the late afternoon before the sparkler show goes off at 9pm and midnight.
Stay at: Darwin YHA – Melaleuca on Mitchell
The capital’s biggest New Year’s Eve party takes place just a block’s stroll away from Canberra City YHA with live music and activities at Civic Square, as well as a high energy concert at Garema Place a couple of blocks further north, not to mention state-of-the-art fireworks at 9pm and midnight.
Stay at: Canberra City YHA