When it comes to arbitrarily celebrating the transition from one calendar year to the next, Brisbane can’t be beat. Here’s your ultimate guide to getting the most out of New Year’s Eve in Brisbane!
Baby, you’re a firework
As always, Brisbane’s biggest and best New Year’s Eve celebration comes amid the glow of fireworks at South Bank. There’ll be two shows — one at 8:30pm for the kids, and one at midnight for the big kids.
Let’s be real here — you’ll probably be drinking, so public transport will be the best way for you to get around. Additional late night bus services will be operating on the night, and there’ll also be additional CityCat services from 6pm, with the last services departing around 1:30am. (Naturally, the fireworks will cause some disruptions to CityCat services between roughly 8:20pm-8:50pm and 11:50pm-12:15am.)
For more info on bus and CityCat routes and timetables, visit translink.com.au. There’ll also be road closures in effect — it’s probably best to read up on those before you head out to avoid any nasty surprises.
As an added bonus, public transport will be FREE from 9pm on New Year’s Eve until 2am on New Year’s Day. If you insist on driving, tolls on the Go Between Bridge will also be waived on New Year’s Eve.
The best Brisbane fireworks vantage points
South Bank Parklands is obviously ground zero for fireworks, but if the huge crowds and security checks put you off, you’ve got options.
The Mt Coot-tha lookout is the highest peak in Brisbane, and offers panoramic views of the action from 287 metres above sea level.
Mount Gravatt Outlook Reserve isn’t as well known as Mt Coot-tha, but the view is still grand, and there’s a playground to keep the kids occupied, too!
Kangaroo Point Cliffs offer incredible views, but they’re not exactly a secret — get there early to bag a good spot.
Highgate Hill Park, on the corner of Dornoch Terrace and Hampstead Road, offers some of the best views of the city. Bring a blanket and hit the grass.
Hidden away beneath the Story Bridge, Captain Burke Park in Kangaroo Point is a great street-level option.
Wilson Outlook, perched atop the New Farm cliffs, isn’t a particularly large park but the views are spectacular. You might even get to spend some time on the exercise equipment — who doesn’t fancy an ab-crunch or a leg press with their fireworks?
If you’ve ever driven through Coorparoo, you know about the sweet spots for breathtaking views of the city. The elevated sides of Old Cleveland Road and Chatsworth Road are favourites for locals.
Of course, there’s always the couch at your place. We’re not judging — it’s comfy, it doesn’t require you to catch public transport, you can invite as many (or as few) friends as you like, and you’ll have the best views a camera crew can provide. If you mute your television, you won’t even have to hear Katy Perry’s Firework a thousand times.
What not to bring
If you do venture into South Bank Parklands and you try to bring any of the following items with you, you’re going to have a bad time. Metal cutlery, anything glass (including perfume bottles and glass drink bottles), alcohol, open water bottles (any bottle with a broken seal, actually), skateboards, scooters, bicycles, and any animal or pet will be confiscated by security.
If you’re not sure whether it’s a good idea to bring your vodka-guzzling, skateboard-riding labrador, or any other item, email firstname.lastname@example.org to check.
Where’s the party at?
Alfred & Constance
132 Constance St, Fortitude Valley
A&C is throwing a house party like no other with four pumping bars to keep you going into 2015. Get Lei’d (sorry) until late at the White Lightning Tiki Bar, and then head beneath the floorboards to the Fever Club to dance the night away in a disco bar that rivals Berlin’s underground hotspots. Pre-sale tickets go for $15; a ticket on the door will set you back $20.
Sway Cocktail Bar & Lounge
22 Constance St, Fortitude Valley
Hedkandi — the international clubbing brand famed for wild events in London, Paris, Tokyo, New York and Ibiza — is bringing a stellar line-up of DJs to the White Glitter Ball at Sway Cocktail Bar & Lounge.
We’re giving away four White Glitter tickets (valued at $200 each), including a six-hour drinks and canapés package complete with Belvedere cocktails and free flowing Moët champagne! UPDATE: This competition has closed. Congratulations to our winner, Alana Owen!
119 Lamington St, New Farm
This one’s for the geeks — Supanova Pop Culture Industries and Brisbane Powerhouse are teaming up to host New Year’s Geek, with live music, DJs, two film screenings (instant comedy classic What We Do In The Shadows, starring Flight of the Conchords‘ Jemaine Clement, and Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist), a cosplay prom, a Game of Thrones trivia challenge and free refreshments. Tickets are $89 pre-sale and $109 on the door.
We’ve got two double passes to give away! UPDATE: This competition has closed. Congratulations to our winners, Ronda Romano and Nicole Matthews!
Cnr Ann & Constance Streets, Fortitude Valley
Cirque Du Fringe comes to town with fire twirlers, burlesque dancers, roving and aerial performers and much more. General admission is free, but a VIP package — including a four-hour food and beverage package — will set you back $90.
249 Turbot St, Brisbane City
Enjoy a champagne cocktail, beer or soft drink on arrival and celebrate with family and friends over a sumptous feast in the heart of the city. The Thyme² Restaurant Seafood Extravaganza package costs $184 per adult and $79 per child; the Privé249 Restaurant Seafood Extravaganza in Candlelight Comfort package costs $199 per adult.
142 Constance St, Fortitude Valley
Bling in the New Year at Moët’s Gold Party on the Limes Hotel rooftop under the stars. A standard ticket costs $20; the VIP Gold Package — including all the Moët, wines, bottled beers, cocktails and gourmet canapés you can handle — will run you $99.
Soleil Pool Bar
Cnr Grey St & Glenelg St, South Brisbane
Soleil is all class this NYE with their French Riviera glamour-themed St Tropez event. The six-hour package, including premium drinks and delicious canapés created by Chef Mark Penna, DJs, roving entertainers and more, costs $249.
600 Gregory Terrace, Bowen Hills
Does the end of the year make you feel a little nostalgic? Then the Retro Ball at Brisbane Showgrounds might be for you — around 2000 party-goers will gleefully time travel back to the ’80s with cover band Hot Sauce, live clairvoyants, beer pong, celebrity singles match-making, and a mouth-watering menu. Tickets are $145.
Breakfast Creek Hotel
2 Kingsford Smith Drive, Breakfast Creek
Go big or go home at the Caribbean Rum Carnivale, held at the world’s biggest rum bar — Breakfast Creek Hotel’s Substation No. 41. Enjoy specialty cocktails prepared by the Rum Bar team, Caribbean-inspired meals and live music from Afrodisia. Admission is free.
Dutch Courage Officer’s Mess
51 Alfred St, Fortitude Valley
Do NYE safari-style at Wild Safari New Year’s, with prizes on offer for the best Tarzan and Jane! With beats from DJ Popshelf and safari-themed cocktails, jungle punch, premium spirits, wine and champagne, as well as canapés and finger food, tickets are $130.
7 Browning St, West End
There’s a pretty good chance you went to a Great Gatsby-themed party at some point in the past couple of years, so it shouldn’t be too much trouble for you to dust off your flapper outfit and celebrate NYE Prohibition-style at Cobbler Speakeasy. Tickets are $100, including your share of a bottle of rare whiskey that’s cracked open every hour.
Archive Beer Boutique
100 Boundary St, West End
If the last thing you feel like doing is attending a full-on, all-out NYE celebration, then the laidback vibe at Archive Beer Boutique’s Happy New Beers event might be more your speed. This is a free, non-ticketed event; just pop in whenever you’re ready to knock back a few craft beers and count down to the new year.
367 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley
Get stuck into four hours of dumplings, beer, wine and basic spirits at Brunswick Social’s NYE ’80s beach party! DJs James Wright, Cliftonia and DJ Krum will provide the retro tunes and Creative Army will provide surfboards for the two best dressed revellers. Tickets are $119.
The Woolly Mammoth
633 Ann St, Fortitude Valley
Cave-dwellers from all over are invited to come party Woolly Mammoth-style at their Hunters and Gatherer’s Ball. Your $75 ticket comes with a three-hour beverage package (including Mammoth Lager); there’ll also be prizes for the best dressed cavemen and caveladies, so get your faux fur ready.
Elixir Rooftop Bar
646 Ann St, Fortitude Valley
Spend $140 on a ticket and go into the draw to win a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Magnum at Elixir Rooftop Bar’s New Year’s offering. Your ticket also includes canapés, craft beers, wine and basic spirits.
Rydges South Bank
9 Glenelg St, South Brisbane
Head up to rooftop at Rydges, where they’ll be Puttin’ on the Ritz to usher in the new year with unbeatable views of the fireworks. Your $199 ticket includes six hours of canapés and drinks as well as live entertainment from DK Music and their resident DJ.
1000 Ann St, Fortitude Valley
Dress to the nines in your best black & white glamour for an Old Hollywood New Year’s Eve with signature cocktails, premium beer and wine, canapés, and a glass of Mumm Champagne at midnight. Tickets are $65.
Byblos Bar and Restaurant
39 Hercules St, Hamilton
Celebrate the old and the new at this Arabian Nights party with a five-hour food and beverage package and a variety of Arabian performances and displays throughout the night. Tickets are $183.
Saké Restaurant and Bar
Level 1/45 Eagle St, Brisbane City
Immerse yourself in Japanese culture with a contemporary banquet and pop-up bar at Saké. You’ll be able to indulge in the special Izakaya (bar menu) of cocktails and Japanese Hakushu Highballs, and boogie to the resident DJ’s tunes with the Harajuku girls. The chef’s special set menu costs $110, including a glass of Veuve Cliquot.
Bavarian Bier Cafe
Level 1/45 Eagle St, Brisbane City
‘Proust’ (cheers) with your friends and family at this Bavarian-themed cafe with panoramic river views, and get stuck right into gigantic baked pretzels, pork knuckle, schnitzel and strudel. Aw, yeah. Tickets are $77.
Riverbar & Kitchen
71 Eagle St, Brisbane City
Stunning views make this one of the hottest spots in town for the fireworks display, and the delicious canapés and nibbles don’t hurt, either. Your $99 ticket includes roving entertainment and performances from two epic live bands, The Pantastic Steel Band and The Satellites.
The Fox Hotel
71-73 Melbourne St, South Brisbane
The Fox Hotel’s London Calling party is set to be bigger than Ben and louder than Scary Spice. Choose either the $99 Pubs, Clubs and Palaces package or the $149 Kate Moss Rooftop Bar pass and get ready to move like (a deeply inebriated) Jagger.
The Flying Cock
388 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley
Naturally, The Flying Cock has quite the package — $99 gets you four hours of custom cocktails, beer, wine, spirits, sliders, tacos and other delicious goodies.
7-9 Stratton St, Newstead
Have a very musical New Year for just $15 on the door, with bangin’ DJ sets supplied by Last Dinosaurs, Millions and Jungle Giants. One lucky punter will also win a Green Light Pass — that’s free entry to every show at The Triffid for you and a friend in 2015!
27 Warner St, Fortitude Valley
One venue. One carpark. One gigantic foam tent. Plenty of epic hangovers the next day. If you’re the adventurous type, prepare to get messy at this spectacular car park party for just $34.20.
Boundary St Markets
91 Boundary St, West End
Looking for a big NYE event that’s still pretty casual? West End’s Big Chill Festival is for you. A boutique festival encompassing three stages, food stalls from around the world, live art, an urban beach and a tiki bar, it’s the perfectly chilled way to see in 2015. You can snag a ticket now for $35 or pay $50 on the door.
442 Kingsford Smith Drive, Hamilton
Can you believe 1995 was (almost) 20 years ago? If you’d jump, jump at the chance to relive the ’90s, then Hamilton Hotel’s ’90s New Year is the one for you — DJs Darren James, K-Rasta and Les-Boss will be spinning hands-in-the-air ’90s anthems all night long. Book your ticket for $25 or pay $30 on the door.
Southside Tea Room
639 Wynnum Rd, Morningside
It is the distant future — the year 3015. Pull on your spacesuit and enjoy some futuristic vibes at SSTR’s Nu Year’s Eve event. There’ll be prizes for the best costumes, as well as tasty snacks, burgers, cheap drinks and giveaways. You can buy your drinks at your own pace at the bar or opt for the $70 party package.
641 Ann St, Fortitude Valley
Take a step way back in time to the disco era of the ’70s with this Studio 54 party! Boogie the house down with flares, platform heels and all manner of sparkles. The four-and-a-half hour package — including beer, wine, spirits, champagne, cocktails, a selection of canapés, roving performers, a DJ and a live band — will set you back $169, which would have seemed outrageous in the 1970s, but is really fair enough now.
What will you be doing on New Year’s Eve? Are you ready for 2014 to just end already? Let us know in the comments below!
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