New Year’s Eve 2013 – Free Events Around Australia
Australia does New Year’s Eve so very well. The warm weather is just perfect for outdoor celebrations, and with so many activities on offer it is easy to find the perfect event to welcome in the New Year.
For those looking to cut costs (or who’ve experienced a Christmas blowout) New Year’s Eve doesn’t have to be an all-out spending extravaganza. Whether you are a family looking for a fun activity that can be enjoyed by all ages, or a group of friends wanting a party atmosphere without the expense of an exclusive bar, there are plenty of free events around Australia where you can ring in the New Year without blowing the budget.
Sydney New Year’s Eve Fireworks
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The Sydney New Year’s Eve firework celebration is without a doubt the biggest and best party in Australia (and some would argue worldwide). The midnight fireworks display lights up the harbour for kilometres and over a million locals and tourists alike watch from vantage points across the city, on boats in the harbour or from nearby buildings.
The ambassador for the event this year is well-known Sydney artist Reg Mombasa – he of Mambo designs fame. With such a cultural icon at the helm, partygoers can be sure of a visual treat at the midnight fireworks display.
As well as the 9pm and midnight fireworks, there is loads of entertainment throughout the night to get you in the mood to celebrate. From traditional ceremonies that celebrate Australia’s cultural heritage, to death-defying aerial acrobatics and the Harbour of Light parade featuring 52 illuminated boats floating in the harbour.
There are plenty of free vantage points across the city to watch the fireworks and take in the atmosphere. Popular spots include Mrs Macquaries Point, Darling Harbour and Circular Quay. Many vantage points are enclosed and allow entry to only a limited number of patrons. And of course the most popular vantage spots do fill up quickly, so you’re advised to start arriving early in the day to ensure prime position.
Even if you can’t get down to watch the Sydney fireworks, you can still catch the whole display live on television. In fact, over one billion people tune in worldwide just to watch the Sydney New Year’s Eve fireworks display. For a frugal way to ring in the New Year, why not join in the party celebrations from your living room by hosting an indoor picnic complete with blanket on the floor, chilled wine and glow sticks.
More information on the event, including all the free vantage points and alcohol restrictions, can be found at Sydney New Years Eve.
Melbourne City New Year’s Eve Firework
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Not to be outdone by Sydney, Melbourne also put on a free city wide fireworks display to welcome in the New Year. There are four official vantage points across the city, but you will be able to see the fireworks from anywhere you can see the city skyline.
There will be entertainment at each location in the lead up to the midnight fireworks display, including live music, dance performances and roaming entertainers. Get down early to the sites to secure the best spot and enjoy all of the free entertainment. All of the official fireworks locations are alcohol free events, and alcohol restrictions also apply in public places throughout the city and St Kilda.
Melbourne also offers two alternative sites at Yarra Park and Footscray Park for families with young children to enjoy an earlier fireworks display, before the hordes converge on the city. Families can enjoy entertainment from loved children’s characters, games and activities, and live music followed by a 9.30pm fireworks display.
Free travel is available across the Public Transport network all evening to ensure that partygoers get into the city and home safely.
Official event information can be found at That's Melbourne.
Brisbane’s Southbank Fireworks
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Brisbane’s Southbank New Year’s Eve Party promises to be bigger and better than ever. Tens of thousands of locals and tourists will converge on Southbank to watch the spectacular fireworks and ring in the New Year.
The event features two fireworks display – one at 8.30 for the littlies, and the main event at midnight. There is also plenty of live entertainment throughout the evening to get you in the party mood. Partygoers should head down early to bag the best vantage points and take advantage of all the entertainment.
Nearby restaurants will be selling ice cream and other tasty treats, or you can pack a picnic and enjoy the atmosphere of Brisbane’s biggest New Years Eve party.
The event is alcohol free and bag searches will be in place at entry points. There are also restrictions on glass and metal cutlery, so it’s best to avoid your fancy picnic gear and stick with bottled drinks and finger food.
More details on the event can be found at Visit Soutbank.
New Year’s Eve Essentials
New Year’s Eve is a great time to reflect on the year just gone and the possibilities of the year ahead. However, it also pays to plan ahead if you are out enjoying any of the big, free New Year’s Eve events around Australia.
The best way to get around on New Year’s Eve is by public transport. Most cities run additional services after midnight to ensure party-goers get home safely and swiftly. But remember, with so many people out and about, you should expect delays and remain patient.
If you are heading out to any of the free fireworks on New Year’s Eve, there are a number of things that you need to pack to ensure a comfortable and fun night.
- Blanket – Have someone get there early and mark out your territory with a blanket or picnic rug. Can also be used as sun protection and to snuggle up when the weather turns cooler
- Torch – Essential to gather up all your belongings after midnight
- Pillow or low chair – Sitting on the ground for 6 hours waiting for the fireworks to start can be hell on your lower back
- Finger food – Save your Pinterest-worthy picnic gear for another time. You want food that’s easy to prepare and even easier to eat. Sandwiches, dips and cut up fruit are perfect. Check restrictions on metal cutlery and knives at your local event – you don’t want to risk having your cheese knife confiscated at the gate
- Drinks – also check the restrictions on alcohol before you leave to avoid being turned away. In any case, glass bottles are usually banned so your options are cask wine and beer cans. If you are drinking, make sure you drink responsibly – you don’t want to start 2014 off with a rocking hangover, do you?