How to celebrate in style along the Brisbane River this New Years.
Brisbane's calling card and jewel crown is the Brisbane River. It's flanked on all sides by swanky bars, high-end restaurants and hotels and Brisbane’s vibrant nightlife scene.
It also lights up every New Year’s Eve with a spectacular fireworks display and a range of activities and parties for young and old.
Find out where it’s at in Brisbane this year with this guide.
When and where to watch the New Year’s Eve fireworks in Brisbane
The fireworks are set off all along the Brisbane River with the best vantage point being along South Bank and the focal point being Story Bridge.
There will be two shows:
- 8.30pm: Kids’ fireworks display
- Midnight: The main event
Where are the best spots to watch the New Year's Eve fireworks?
- South Bank Parklands. This is one of the closest spots to the fireworks on New Year's Eve. It fills up quickly, so turn up early. Glass, metal cutlery, bikes, pets and alcohol are not allowed.
- Highgate Hills. The grassy knolls of Highgate Hills are more chill but still offer excellent views of the show.
- Mount Coot-tha. The iconic Mount Coot-tha is an unbeatable vantage point due to its height. You'll feel like you’re eye-to-eye with the display and enjoy a panoramic view of the whole city from here.
- Eagle Street Pier. The cosmopolitan restaurant and bar precinct is a stylish spot to take in the fireworks over a meal or a glass of bubbly. It will be packed, so book your table or get in early for the best views.
- LaTrobe Terrace. The street will be pumping on New Year's Eve. While it's not waterfront, there are lots of great vantage points to take in the fireworks during the evening.
What are the best New Year’s Eve options for kids?
- The Brisbane Wheel. Hire a private gondola on the Brisbane Wheel and watch the fireworks from one of the city’s icons.
- South Bank Parklands. If you can stand the crowds, South Bank Parklands offers a famously family-friendly, alcohol-free atmosphere.
New Year’s Eve Brisbane river cruises
When it comes to fireworks viewing spots, it doesn't get much more front row than on a boat on the Brisbane River. Ring in the new year under stars with these New Year’s Eve river cruises.
- New Year’s Eve Dinner Cruise from Australian Explorer. See the Brisbane River by moonlight as you cruise by Kangaroo Cliffs, South Bank and the Botanic Gardens. The cruise sails at 9pm and includes a three-course meal, welcome drink and live entertainment all night.
- New Year’s Eve sailing cruise from Sail Free Charters. Get a group together for a private charter yacht cruise, available for groups of 13 to 75. Packages vary slightly. You can choose between BYO or fully catered.
- New Year’s Eve Party Cruise from Brisvegas Cruises. This one is for the party animals. Kick up your heels with an all-night DJ, hot and cold finger food and a fully licensed bar.
- Kookaburra Showboat New Year’s Eve Cruise. Celebrate in extravagant style with a three-course meal, welcome drink, live entertainment and prime viewing spots on one of the four outdoor decks.
- New Year's Eve cruises on the Brisbane River with Sail Australia. Enjoy the perfect positioning for the fireworks at either 9am on a family-friendly cruise or at midnight with hot and cold finger food and DJ to get the party started.
- Brisbane Cruises New Year's Eve cruise. Avoid the crowds on shore by boarding the MV Lady Brisbane for a stylish night on the river capped off with the midnight fireworks. Cruise includes finger food and fork dish, drinks, desert and entertainment.
New Year's Eve Brisbane restaurants with packages and views
While 2017 packages are yet to be announced, here's some of the top events from 2016 so you know what to look forward to.
- Stamford Plaza: The brassiere along the riverfront offered two New Year's Eve packages to make your evening sing. There was a choice between Early Bird dining to clink glasses before heading out on the town or the Brisbane's New Year's Eve Dinner Dance where you could dance to the fireworks all night long. Prices started from $89pp.
- Hail the Golden Sociele at Blackbird: Hail the Golden Sociele. It was a night of drinks, canapes and good times in the multi-level Blackbird restaurant. Love music and DJs brought some high octane energy to the dance floor as you threw shapes to the new year. Prices started from $210pp.
- Nagomi: Unlimited food and drinks were served from 8pm to midnight at this beloved Japanese restaurant and bar on Eagle Street Pier. Prices started from $99pp.
- Aria: On the menu at Matt Moran's restaurant was a three-course wonder that was best paired with the venue's extensive wine list. Prices started from $145pp. Multiple seatings available.
- Jade Buddha: With three tiers of celebratory packages from a standard sliders, skewers and champagne option to a VIP package with spirits and a evening feast, Jade Buddha had all the options. Prices started from $69pp.
- Riverside Bar and Kitchen: Tropicana was the theme of the NYE celebration at Riverside Bar and Kitchen. The cheap-as-chips party featured live music, a pop-up bar cocktails and that all-important fireworks vantage point. Food wasn't included in the $30 cover charge.
What's on? The New Year's Eve Brisbane events you'll want in on
The party didn't stop at these venues. Everything from burlesque to opera was buzzing at the stroke of midnight.
- New Year's Eve Under the Stars @ Byblos: The Mediterranean restaurant set the bar high, hosting a New Years Eve Under the Stars event complete with buffet station, drinks packages, live entertainment and an unbeatable view of the fireworks. Prices started from $189pp.
- A Midsummer Night's Dream @ Pony: More than just a restaurant, Pony offered a unique entertainment setting on Eagle Street Pier for a memorable end to the year. On top of a special performance of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, there was body art demos, music performances and exquisite canapes by Chef Chris Mann.
- MET NYE 2016: Arguably one of the biggest parties, MET featured the musical wiles of Hermitude, Claptone and Zeke Beats from 7pm onward. Prices started from $40pp.
- Come What May @ GPO Hotel: Featuring burlesque shows and Victorian era entertainment and private booths, the party ran into the early hours of the morning. Just like you'd expect at the real Moulin Rouge. Prices started from $79pp.
- QLD Pops: New Year's Eve Gala with Mirusia: If you booked a ticket to see the illustrious Mirusia sing alongside baritone Jason-Barry Smith in the QPAC Concert Hall, the show was perfectly timed to end just before the 9pm and midnight fireworks so you didn't miss a thing. Prices started from $98pp.
Keep an eye out for deals on New Year’s cruises in Brisbane and watch these sites:
About the hotel: Stay in luxury at Rydges South Bank and enjoy the close proximity to the South Bank Parklands, Eagle Street Pier and La Trobe Terrace. Or stay in and watch the fireworks from your private balcony.
About the hotel: Centrally located close to the East Pier Bridge and a short stroll from New Year’s Eve festivities, the Marriott offers luxurious accommodation with spa, sauna and massage facilities and a beauty centre.
About the hotel: Watch the fireworks from your window with a room facing the Brisbane River. The South Bank Parklands is a five-minute drive away and the action of LaTrobe Terrace and Eagle Street Pier are a short walk.
About the hotel: Sitting near Central Station in Brisbane's CBD, Sofitel is a short walk to the river where you can watch the New Year's fireworks. When you're not celebrating the new year, the 5-star property has a heated pool and spa features a chic bar and lounge.
About the hotel: If you prefer apartment-style accommodation, Mantra on the Quay is a central and elegant option that offers a pool, fitness facilities, a tennis court, a spa and a sauna in public areas.
About the hotel: Wake up to the beautiful Botanic Gardens and stay in the centre of Brisbane's bustling CBD. Perks include a fitness centre, free unlimited Wi-Fi, an outdoor pool and a business centre.