News National Your ultimate guide to New Year’s Eve

Your ultimate guide to New Year’s Eve

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Happy New Year! Australia will welcome the New Year with seven tonnes of pyrotechnic and 25,000 shooting comets tonight, and that’s just in Sydney.

Everywhere in Australia (except Perth) will see off 2013 with fireworks and entertainment courtesy of your city council. Here’s your guide to getting there, having a good time and getting home safely.


The party

Where: Sydney Harbour
Hashtag: #NYESYD
Tech: Download the App
Web: Visit the official website

More than 1.6 million people will bring in 2014 at Sydney Harbour celebrations. The showcase stars from 6pm with Matt Hall’s aerial acrobatics above the Sydney Harbour. If you miss it the first time, he’s back at 8pm. After that it’s non stop till midnight – check out the full timetable here. For those tech savvy party goers, download the NYE13 app which will shoot out live updates on vantage point availability.

Sydney NYE
Sydney welcomes the new year with a blaze of colour. Photo: Getty


Tune your radio to 104.1 2DayFM to hear the synchronised fireworks soundtrack.

9pm family fireworks: For kids – this means families can come early, see fireworks and head home before the festive debauchery starts.

10.30pm Cranium Universe display. Artist and musician Reg Mombassa, with the help of master pyrotechnician Fortunato Foti, has created an artwork entirely from fireworks in a one-off display. The artwork, Cranium Universe, is a self-portrait by NYE Creative Ambassador Mombassa in signature absurdist style, showing the inside of his head buzzing with a constellation of stars, planets, the sun and the moon.

Midnight fireworks: One of the biggest displays in the world: the 12-minute Midnight Fireworks require a pyrotechnical crew of 45 people, controlling 12 computers to launch the fireworks from 130 firing points on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House and barges.

Best spot

For both fireworks shows, the best vantage points are highly sought after. Check out the best locations here and on the map below.

Sydney NYE 2013
The best spots to Watch Sydney’s Fireworks on New Year’s Eve. Photo: Supplied

If you aren’t there: Be one of the 2.6 million watching the live broadcast on ABCTV, from 8.30pm-12.30am in Australia (organisers say 1 billion watch it around the world).

Getting there and back

Event organisers say the best strategy is to get in early, leave plenty of time and take public transport. Transport NSW have this transport planner to help get you there efficiently.

• Train: Extra trains will run on New Year’s Eve to get you to the city and home again.
• Bus: On New Year’s Eve there will be an increased demand for buses. During this time extra buses will operate on some routes. Road closures in the Sydney CBD may mean that your bus stop will be moved.
• Ferry: Sydney ferries will be operating extra services until the harbour exclusion zone is in force – which could be as early as 5.35pm. During the exclusion zone, ferry services will be cancelled.
• Light rail: Light Rail will operate a regular weekday service, running every 15 minutes, to get you to the city.

For full details of the changes to services check the transport website.


The party

Where: Melbourne city
Hashtag: #skylinesnaps – there’s a competition for the best skyline snaps.
Instagram: @NYEMelb
Web: What’s on in Melbourne

“Experience it anywhere” is the Melbourne City’s motto for this New Year’s Eve and, true to its word, you can. For family fun head to Yarra Park or Footscray Park with free entertainment from 6pm until 10pm.

There are celebrations in all corners of the CBD from Treasury and Flagstaff gardens, Kings Domain and the Docklands. Entertainment starts at 9pm with some of Melbourne’s best DJs, visuals and pyrotechnics.

The city is expecting large crowds to each event and recommends planning ahead for transport.


Tune into the live soundtrack on 99.7 FM.

9.30pm: Yarra Park and Footscray Park.

Midnight: Kings Domain, Treasury Gardens, Flagstaff Gardens, Docklands.

Best spot: Anywhere you can see the skyline you can see the fireworks. From a balcony, a park, the beach, home or further afield. One fun option is on a party boat on the Yarra.

If you aren’t there: There’s a live broadcast on Channel 7 from 11pm.


Public transport is free in Victoria from 6pm on New Year’s Eve.

• Trains: Additional services will run all night. Parliament and City Loop services close at 11.45pm – patrons are advised to walk to Southern Cross or Flinders Street. Full details here.
• Tram: Trams will run all night, except routes 24, 30, 78, 79, 82 and City Circle.
Bus: Will run to a normal timetable with some changes to central city services.
For more public transport details check the Public Transport Victoria brochure.


The party

Where: South Bank, Brisbane River foreshore
Web: Visit South Bank website

With Brisbane’s typically warm weather, what better way to bring in 2014 than along the banks of the Brisbane River. You can watch the fireworks, this year will be the largest ever, and the Storey Bridge Light Show.

South Bank: Get in early if you want the best spot and bring a picnic or check out one of the restaurants – entertainment starts from 8.30pm. If braving the crowds isn’t your thing, and you are willing to pay, check out these options along South Bank.

And if you want to spend New Year with your dog. You’ll have to go elsewhere. No pets allowed.

If you are more interested in a party check out the restaurants of Portside and/or Fortitude Valley.  A free shuttle will run from Portside to the Valley if you want to continue the party. Here Visit Brisbane’s full list of events.


Southbank: 8.30pm and midnight.

Storey Bridge Light Show: 8.30pm and midnight.


• Trains/bus/ferry: Authorities recommend public transport with all trains, buses and ferries to be free between 9.30pm tonight and 5.30am on Wednesday. There will be additional services – full details at Brisbane’s Translink website.
• Road closures: The Go Between Bridge will be toll free from 6pm to 2am Wednesday.
Taxis: Ten secure taxi ranks and three flatfare ranks will operate in the Brisbane CBD, Caxton Street and Fortitude Valley, with secure ranks also operating in Ipswich and on the Gold and Sunshine Coasts.


The party

Where: Adelaide city or Glenelg
Hashtag: #AdelaideNYE
Web: City of Adelaide’s New Year’s Eve guide

Adelaide’s in for a scorcher on New Year’s with a max of 37 and minimum of 28 degrees overnight. The two major parties and fireworks displays are in Glenelg and the Adelaide CBD. The Adelaide celebration in Elder Park will feature bands playing from the Rotunda from 7pm until after midnight.

Be warned: with a licensed bar and beer garden no BYO is allowed at the event or outside the licenced areas. Full details here.

Adelaide’s night sky is lit up with fireworks on New Year’s Eve 2012. Photo: Supplied

Glenelg is one of the most popular areas to bring in the New Years for families and revellers alike. You can now book a picnic hamper package including antipasto and drinks to get access to a reserved area. Full details here.


Adelaide: Elder Park at 9pm and midnight
Glenelg: Glenelg foreshore 9.30pm and midnight.


• Bus/Train/Tram: It’s free! Adelaide Metro is shouting free services on buses, trains and trams this New Year from midnight to dawn. As an extra precaution, bus drivers will let you off at any safe point along your route. For a full list of services check out the New Year’s Eve timetable here.
• Park and drive: If you want to attend the Glenelg festivities without risking your car, the City of Holdfast and RAA are providing a free park and drive service from Harbour Town with free shuttle buses every 20 minutes to Wrigley Reserve Glenelg.
• Taxis: There’ll be more than 1000 taxis on the road. The taxi council recommends booking up to an hour in advance.


The Party

Where: Northbridge
Hashtag: #PerthCityNYE
Web: Experience Perth’s New Year’s Eve listing’s

Australia Day is when Perth lets out the really big bang, but there’s still fun festivities planned for the birth of 2014. There’s a free program of entertainment from 6pm to midnight in Northbridge. There’s kids entertainment at Northbridge Plaza, starting with a screening of DreamWorks’ 2012 animation Rise of the Guardians at 4:30pm with bands from 9pm.

If you are looking for something a little less family oriented, get along to one of the many parties. Experience Perth has compiled this handy list of events and functions you can attend tonight, as has Time Out Perth. If you want fireworks, head to one of the events along the East Perth foreshore. NYE on the Foreshore, a sell-out the past three years, is the biggest – and a great vantage point for fireworks. There’s also the New York hip hop trio De La Soul at Salt on the Beach NYE party at North Fremantle. The Hopman Cup New Year’s Eve Ball at James Packer’s Crown complex in Burswood with David Campbell. Or stick to boardies and bathers at the annual New Year’s Eve Beach Party at the Leederville from 7pm.


None! Well. No big city sponsored blasts anyway. If you are keen, head to East Perth as mentioned above.


• Road closures: Roads are closed around Northbridge. Check the City of Perth website for details. • Trains/Bus/Ferry: Extra services available from 4pm until 5am. Check Transperth for details.
• Taxis: All the Transperth taxis will be available on New Year’s Eve BUT a surcharge of $4.95 will be added to all fares between 6pm on December 31 and 6am New Year’s Day.


The party

Where: Taste of Tasmania, Sullivan’s Cove, Hobart
Hashtag: #tasteoftasmania

They like to do things a little differently in Tassie, so while most of the mainland is letting off fireworks, across the Tasman it’s all about the food.

Taste of Tasmania is celebrating its 25th year with two stages, DJs, tight wire and fire acts; and pop up performances of roving musicians and stilt walkers. More details on the festival website.

If you aren’t interested in the food, don’t worry, there’s still fireworks on the waterfront.


Sullivans Cove: 9.30pm and midnight. 


• Park and Ride: park for free at the Regatta Ground and take the shuttle bus – Services are extended til 10pm for those wanting to catch the family fireworks.
• Nightrider buses: Will be a flat $2 fare from 7pm to approximately 2:30am on the 1st. Details can be found here.


The party

Where: Civic Square

Canberra is saying goodbye to its centenary year with two celebrations – Civic Square will host a family-friendly concert line-up while Garema Place brings in the New Year with bass beats and high-energy dancing. At Civic Square there’s family friendly entertainment from 7pm with things shifting up a gear with Bass in the Place in Garema Place from 9pm.  Both events are alcohol and glass free.


Civic Square: 9pm and midnight.


• Bus: ACTION Buses will operate on a normal Tuesday timetable, with the Nightrider service also available. There are carparks available and some road closures apply – check the City of Canberra website for details.


The party

Where: Darwin Waterfront

Darwin’s family friendly New Year’s event kicks off at 5pm with a special Animals’ Rock children’s show on the Waterfront. There’s free parking till midnight with food available from traders – no booze though, the event is a dry zone. Full details here.

If you want to kick on there’s The Precinct’s restaurant where you can see in the New Year over a four course dinner and a glass of bubbly or The Pub Bar with band the Slippery Gypsy and DJ Matt James. Or you can welcome 2014 in style with several options at Il lido Waterfront Kitchen.


Darwin Waterfront: 9pm


• Bus: Free buses will operate from Darwin (Mitchell Street), Casuarina and Palmerston from 7pm on New Year’s Eve until 6.30am on New Year’s Day. Check here for full timetables.

Road closures: Mitchell Street between Knuckey Street and Peel Street will be closed from 6pm until 7am. Full details here.