Even though Sydney is the place in Australia when it comes to New Year’s celebrations, Melbourne is a good runner up. Hotel and hostel prices in Sydney skyrocket during New Year’s and you may end up paying as much as 100 AUD for a dorm bed. Both Australians and tourists pack to the popular places around the harbour and the Royal Botanic gardens so you want to be there early to get a decent spot. And still you may end up being disappointed and realizing that you could actually see fireworks better on TV. I understand that Sydney has it’s magic but you might want to consider Melbourne for the place to celebrate the New Year.
The best public places to see fireworks in Melbourne are:
- Federation Square. Be early to secure a good spot. Expect a lot of people and hustle and bustle.
- Southbank. Just go across the river to the south side of Melbourne. Sit on the river bank and enjoy the views.
- Flagstaff Gardens. Bring your picnic gear or grab food from some of the food stands.
- Treasury Gardens. Bring snacks and have a picnic. Officially you are not allowed to bring your own alcohol but at least this year there were no bag checks.
- Go to some of the Melbourne’s rooftop bars and enjoy fireworks with a cocktail in your hand.
- Many restaurants also organize New Year’s dinners where you have a set menu and limited number of drinks for a fixed price. They may have live music or something else organized and at midnight you can watch fireworks either live or on tv. Remember to book well in advance.
I have now spend two New Years in Melbourne and on both times I’ve been lucky to have an access to a high building and been able to see fireworks conveniently from there. This year I went to the rooftop of my building and watched the fireworks from the 31st floor which was an amazing experience.
Sydney is great but Melbourne will always be my favorite city in Australia, and there is not a place where I would rather be than here to welcome a new year hopefully full of adventures.
Once again, happy New Year 2017!