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Top 5 New Year’s Eve Destinations

Updated: Dec 10, 2023

✦ If ever there is a time to celebrate, then New Year’s Eve is it!


Whether you’re toasting the year just gone by, looking to what lies ahead, or just letting your hair down and having a blast, it is a time that is pretty much universally marked by raucous celebrations and good cheer; it is a time to reflect and savour time with friends, family and loved ones as Mother Earth completes another full revolution of the sun.


With that in mind, there is a whole host of locations to ponder for your end of year celebrations, from Sydney to San Francisco and Tokyo to Toronto, with any number of alternative options in between, so we thought we would streamline five popular destinations for your consideration.


SYDNEY


Sydney is consistently at the forefront of any list and almost impossible to ignore as a leading New Year’s Eve destination. It’s worth remembering there are several factors that play into its favour. Primarily, location. Sydney is arguably the first major international city to welcome in the New Year, and the notion of first is best often rings true. The city’s physical location also bodes well - Sydney Harbour is one of the most picturesque and captivating spots in the world at the best of times, where nature and man-made constructions sit side-by-side in harmony like few other places. New Year’s Eve sees things ratchet up another level altogether as the splendour of the world renowned Opera House and the grandeur of the equally-famous Harbour Bridge sit front and centre during a breathtaking fireworks show. There are two shows, at 9pm and 12 midnight, with the latter lasting 12 minutes and costing millions of dollars each year, wowing the one million plus spectators that gather on the shoreline and in boats for a truly unforgettable occasion.




Here's a map of Sydney's vantage points to watch the NYE fireworks. Plan ahead and pick your favourite spot!

Sydney Vantage Points to view fireworks NYE 2023 | Brilliant Online

Another, often overlooked, advantage Sydney has working for it is the weather, with the balmy summer temperature typically meaning no need for heavy clothes to fend off the elements – this may sound somewhat trivial but from a person who has experienced it many times when compared to the biting cold of locations such as London, Tokyo and New York, trust me, it makes the world of difference! When in Sydney, just pack your picnic, slip on your thongs and head for your favourite spot to marvel at the festival ahead!


PORT MACQUARIE, NSW

Not the top 5 in the world, but we got to mention the Port Macquarie's NYE Fireworks because it is our hometown 😄 See the sky light up in Port Macquarie again this New Year's Eve with two amazing Fireworks shows, at 9pm and Midnight. The fireworks will be set off from a pontoon on the Hastings River near Pelican Island.

Port Macquarie NYE Fireworks | Brilliant-Online

LONDON


That being said, there is something truly captivating and special about celebrating New Year in England’s capital city! For a lad from the northern hemisphere, the festive period SHOULD be cold – Santa rides a sleigh, not a surfboard, after all! The south bank of the Thames is where it’s at on December 31 come 12 midnight as the London Eye, floating barges and the surrounding landmarks all align in a fantastic pyrotechnics show to wow the hundreds of thousands of revellers.


Hearing Big Ben chime in the background as the New Year is beckoned in just adds to the romanticism of the occasion. Sure, it can get a bit nippy, especially if you arrive early in the evening planning to snag a prime viewing spot, but it is worth it and just means you cuddle closer to those loved ones as the evening goes on – plus there are plenty of fine public houses within a short walking distance where you can partake in a nip of brandy or drink of choice to warm your cockles afterwards!




NEW YORK


While Sydney is the first major city to welcome in the New Year and London is one typically associated with tradition, New York is without doubt the most widely recognised. New Year in Times Square, New York has become the stuff of legend, mainly thanks to numerous romantic portrayals via a variety of Hollywood movies that have made us all feel part of the occasion at some point and it’s fair to say it’s on the bucket list for many people.


New Year in Times Square, New York has become the stuff of legend | Brilliant Online
New Year in Times Square, New York has become the stuff of legend

Close to one million people squeeze into Times Square to marvel at the plethora of flashing billboards and countdown to the ball drop to signify a New Year. Strict rules are in place, however, including a blanket ban on alcohol consumption, which might be a blessing in disguise for those with weaker bladders needing to nip to the bathroom as the chances are your spot is very unlikely to be reserved!


RIO DE JANEIRO


Think of locations one automatically associates with a party and Rio de Janeiro is almost certain to spring to mind. The Brazilian city has its annual carnival and numerous events on its world famous Copacabana Beach all year round that embrace colour, music, culture and joy.


Usher in the New Year at the world famous Copacabana Beach that is full of colour, music, culture and joy! | Brilliant-Online
Usher in the New Year at the world famous Copacabana Beach that is full of colour, music, culture and joy!

And it is no different come December 31 as the same beach welcomes over 2 million revellers to count down and usher in the New Year with a jaw-dropping 20-minute fireworks display, as champagne is sprayed far and wide, pulsating samba beats play well into the early hours and parties rage even longer. People tend to dress in stark white clothes with green, yellow and red accessories which resemble health, propserity and romance respectively.


GOA


For our final destination we also opt for a beach location, one that appears on many lists detailing the top picks for New Year’s Eve spots. Goa has developed a legendary status over the decades as a party place and New Year’s Eve is no different as a variety of musical festivals, dazzling fireworks displays and underground parties bound at popular beaches such as Baga, Calangute, Anjuna, Colva, Benaulim and Palolem. It’s a bit more rustic and humble than the other options but welcoming in the New Year on a pristine beach in warm temperatures is one that many people see great merit in.


Party into the new year at the beach!  | Brilliant Online
Party into the new year at the beach in Goa!

 


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