Where to Go for New Year's Eve

As the clocks strike midnight and fireworks explode into dark night skies around Australia, there will be resolutions made (and instantly broken), sore heads the next morning and undying declarations of love.

Before 2018 dawns Down Under, millions will strive to find the best place to celebrate, whether a fine dining experience with matched wines, dinner at a local bistro, or simply a picnic in the park with a great view of the partying to come.

There’s no doubt Australians love New Year’s Eve and all it entails – from family gatherings to party hearty events, guaranteed to leave guests feeling dusty come January 1. Whatever the choice there is no shortage of venues to celebrate on any level - so let’s strap on the party shoes, grab a bubbles and seek out the perfect spot nearby to sing Auld Lang Syne… 

NSW New Year:

With first class seats to watch Sydney’s world renowned fireworks display, celebrate the arrival of 2018 with a nine-course degustation and matching wines at Sails on Lavender Bay, perched on the edge of McMahon’s Point. This restaurant delivers spectacular views of the Bridge, Opera House, Luna Park and iconic harbour through floor-to-ceiling windows from an elongated dining room, where just about every table is the best in the house. Expect New Year’s dishes such as snow crab with heirloom tomato consommé, scallops with lemongrass and duck with foie gras, cherries and almonds.

Celebrate the final hours of this year and unleash an alter-ego amidst the opulence of gilded masks, frivolous feathers and dazzling disco tunes at Harvest’s (pictured above) Masquerade Ball in Newrybar. This Byron Bay venue is planning a party to remember with champagne and wild harvest canapes in the restaurant, paella, sherry, tapas and Flamenco in the bakery; or roam the gardens and stop at the oyster and raw bar for a tipple and nibble. Those feeling more ravenous can tuck into a whole beast cooked over an Argentinian fire pit.

Guests can say hola to a new year at Alegrias Spanish Tapas on Darling Street in Balmain, with a five-course dining experience. Just a short stroll from Balmain East and Birchgrove, where fireworks explode over one of the best vantage points in Sydney, Alegrias will transport diners’ tastebuds to Spain starting with a glass of sparkling cava on arrival. Expect tapas such as golden truffle croquettes, fish, prawn and scallop ceviche, seared beef fillet with potato dumplings and grilled snapper with caramelised onion tart and mango salsa. Finish with churros con chocolate and a glass of nectar Pedro Ximenez.

Tremendous Tasmania:

Cruise the Derwent River to Woodbridge Harbour and indulge in a New Year set menu dinner and drinks package at Peppermint Bay Hotel – Bar, Dining and Terrace, including live entertainment. Set on four acres of scenic waterfront headland overlooking a panorama of water and mountain views, Peppermint Bay captures the soul of Tasmania’s natural beauty. Expect dishes with international flavours utilising fresh seafood such as oysters and salmon from fishing boats pulling up in the harbour, as well as produce from the hotel’s own gardens and local suppliers.

With commanding views of the Derwent from the end of Brooke Street pier, The Glass House (pictured above) is Hobart’s premier dining venue, serving a menu brimming with fresh Tasmanian produce. True to its name, this innovative restaurant glows like a beacon at night as guests enjoy romantic, leisurely dining – surrounded on all sides by glass. For a New Year’s Eve of fun, dancing and front row seats for fireworks, The Glass House’s cocktail event includes beverages, canapes, an impressive grazing station and sparkling wine flowing all night.

Watch the sun set over the canal as 2017 draws to a close and soak up water views at Driftwood Restaurant on North Terrace in Lauderdale. This elegant restaurant is all about sleek lines and a trendy vibe, proving an ideal spot to welcome another year with a four course dinner – bread on arrival, a choice of three entrees, mains and desserts, with cheese for the table to finish. Take in a relaxing ambiance of wood floors and ceilings, matched with grey furniture and dark walls, while sipping a drink of choice and contemplating what the next 12 months will bring.

Quirky Queensland:

Farewell 2017 in style and dance the night away at Oskars on Burleigh, with a delicious canape and drinks package at this iconic Gold Coast location on Goodwin Terrace. Oskars has been entertaining locals and tourists alike for more than 30 years and this New Year’s Eve is no exception, as guests will have sparkling water views north to fireworks over Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach skylines. With an award-winning team of Chefs, expect canapes reflecting the taste of the ocean and fresh local produce, matched with a selection of wines.

Choose either an early three-course special dinner before celebrations begin, or cocktail the night away with canapes at Boardwalk Bistro on Hastings in Noosa Heads. With breathtaking views overlooking Laguna Bay, this bistro is as close to dining beside the ocean as guests can get along the iconic Hastings Street strip. Kickstart the evening with local fried cuttlefish, followed by crispy pork belly with green mango salad and a dessert of crème fraiche panna cotta with blood plum granita; while those opting to party into the early hours of 2018 can expect non-stop DJ music, with creative canapes and drinks.

Enjoy intimate surroundings and indulge in a carefully crafted degustation dining experience at Bacchus (pictured above), on the corner of Grey and Glenelg Streets in South Brisbane. Located on the podium level of the Rydges South Bank Hotel, this lavish and inviting venue presents a sensory feast of chandeliers, rich furnishings and innovative Mod Oz cuisine. Following an early dinner, guests are invited to enjoy a glass of Moet on the exclusive lower pool terrace and take in the festive fireworks display over the city and Brisbane River; while those dining later receive a glass of Dom Perignon to welcome the New Year.

Viva Victoria:

Spend New Year’s Eve in style at one of Melbourne’s most exciting and inventive dining establishments, Sarti (pictured above) on Russell Place. This modern restaurant serves up time-honoured traditions of Italian cuisine without the clichés, but with a contemporary focus on food and style, celebrating the age-old values of family, friends, food and wine. Dark wood floors create a rich, warm and inviting vibe to celebrate the arrival of 2018 with a three-course dinner menu, followed by drinks at the bar or rooftop terrace, overlooking the CBD and Yarra River fireworks.

Prepare to glow in the dark and dance into a new year at Temperance Hotel on Chapel Street in South Yarra. Combining the warmth of a local pub with the savvy city style Melbourne is renowned for, a stylish interior awaits guests arriving for this December’s Full Moon Party, with drink specials, prizes, face and body painters and DJs all night. Get the evening off to a great start with a drink on arrival and canapes served until an hour before midnight, making the Temperance an ideal place to gather with friends and ring in 2018 with a loud toll of the bell.

For a Mexican fiesta this New Year’s Eve, don a poncho, sombrero or moustache and join amigos at Melbourne Public on Dukes Walk at South Wharf. In modern, industrial surrounds of stylish weathered timber, mirrors and moody red neon lettering, expect a Mexican House Party to usher in another 12 months with a six-hour drinks package - including beer, cider, sparkling and wine - canapes and live entertainment. Dinner packages are also available and guests can leave to watch the fireworks, only to re-enter later and enjoy more celebrations. Mi casa es su casa at Melbourne Public, so enjoy the atmosphere and arriba the night away.

Bring in the New Year with a bang with a delicious degustation dinner, bubbles, fireworks and other surprises at Chateau Yering Hotel on Melba Highway at Yering. Located in the heart of the green, vineyard-laden Yarra Valley, this historic hotel is furnished with ornate period fittings, English countryside décor and surrounded by thriving gardens. Set the mood with a cocktail on arrival, Chef’s selection of canapes, a six course dinner and glass of sparkling wine at midnight, while watching a spectacular fireworks display over the valley. Overnight accommodation packages are also available.

Amazing ACT:

Say cheers to the end of 2017 at Pod Food on Beltana Road in Canberra City. Nestled in the vibrant gardens of Pialligo Plant Farm and housed in a 1930s weatherboard cottage, Pod Food is stylishly fitted out with wood furnishings and modern art, setting the scene for a warm and refined dining experience. Serving a special five course New Year’s Eve menu, relax and enjoy a glass of champagne on arrival in the gardens; while those with places to be can opt for an early three-course menu and move on to celebrate elsewhere.

Canapes and champagne await New Year’s Eve revellers at Casey Jones (pictured above) on Kingsland Parade in Gungahlin. This vibrant venue exudes warmth through red brick features, archways strung with lush indoor plants and polished honeyed timber furnishings, setting the mood for a fun-filled night of fantastic food and drinks on December 31. Expect a glass of bubbles on arrival and mouth-watering morsels such as natural oysters with Chardonnay and roe mignonette, beef tartare, char siu crispy pork belly sliders and king prawn cocktails. Be prepared for a champagne salute at midnight!

Salutations South Australia:

For a memorable end to 2017 in the heart of the Barossa Valley, discover 1918 Bistro and Grill (pictured above), hidden almost out of sight by lush greenery on Tanunda’s main street. Taking its name from the stone of the old villa, this charming restaurant is filled with country décor, setting a warm and cosy dining scene to enjoy live music and a four course dinner with a glass of Mumm champagne on arrival. Salivate over the likes of South Australian oysters, shaved scallops with pressed pork belly and butternut puree, grilled lamb rump and white chocolate marquise with macadamia crumb and mandarin sorbet.

Western Wanderings:

A unique destination a little out of the ordinary, BWG Steakhouse on the foreshore at Heathcote Reserve in Applecross, offers contemporary style dining with an authentic steakhouse theme. This New Year’s Eve settle into relaxing surrounds of mahogany timbers, an open fireplace and pendent lighting, while enjoying live entertainment, a pig on a spit, food stations, chocolate fountain and drinks of choice. Watch the sun set over the South Perth Yacht Club and contemplate what the next year will bring.

Join family and friends for a sparkling celebration in the world renowned Margaret River region to farewell 2017 overlooking beautiful Bunker Bay, at Other Side of the Moon Restaurant (pictured above). For family festive fun, relax on the restaurant terrace with a barbeque including a live cooking station, delicious sides and desserts; while those looking for a five-star affair can indulge in a five-course degustation dinner. Be welcomed with a glass of sparkling wine and the sounds of talented acoustic duo Salt Tree, before counting down the last lingering moments of the year and dancing the night away to DJ beats.

With Perth city lights as a backdrop, ring in the New Year from the best seats in the house at C Restaurant on St Georges Terrace. Take in 360 degree views from the city’s only revolving restaurant, situated on the 33rd floor or St Martins Tower and dine in the sky among white cloth draped tables, floor to ceiling glass windows and a chilled-out vibe. A welcome drink awaits while a DJ plays music to set the party mood, with a five-course dinner to follow before making resolutions for the next 12 months.

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