Where to party in Australia's capital on 31 December.
New Year's Eve brings the party to the streets in Canberra with a wealth of live entertainment and kid-friendly activities to regale the crowds.
If you're planning to be in the nation's capital for New Year's, you won't be short of fireworks either, with the city due to be dressed in light come the stroke of midnight.
Want to know the best spots to catch the action and ring in the new year? We've got the goss right here.
Where to watch the Canberra New Year’s Eve fireworks
While the plans for the 2018/2019 fireworks haven't been announced yet, there were three sets going off last year. Civic Square and Garema Place were the two main hubs for New Year's Eve celebrations and parties in Canberra. They were also prime spots for catching the 9pm and midnight fireworks which were launched from City Hill and numerous other spots over Lake Burley Griffin.
- Civic Square: For families, Civic Square was the place to be. This year it boasted a family concert in an alcohol- and glass-free environment. The entertainment at Civic Square kicked off at 7:30pm and didn't stop until 12:30am… well, maybe a little for the midnight fireworks.
- Garema Place: There was bass beats and high energy dancing to overtake Garema Place on December 31 as it hosted an all-out dance party for revellers who like to start late and end late. It kicked off with a bang, literally, starting with the 9pm fireworks, and ended much the same way, capping off at 1am after the midnight fireworks and the celebrations start to wear thin.
- Lake Burley Griffin: For a vantage point away from the parties, anywhere on the foreshore of Lake Burley Griffin made for a beautiful spot to witness the fireworks as they were launched over the lake. Commonwealth Park and Kings Park were just a couple of options to keep at front of mind.
Best New Year’s Eve dinner specials in Canberra
Restaurants across Canberra were celebrating the new year in style. Here are some of our top picks from 2017/2018 to look out for this year:
- Banana Leaf: The Sri Lankan restaurant moments from London Circuit is hosting a three-course à la carte dinner on New Year's Eve. It's priced at $95 per person and features two seatings, the first at 5:30pm for the 9pm fireworks and the second at 8:30pm for the midnight fireworks.
- Redsalt: Housed within Crowne Plaza, Redsalt is celebrating with a buffet dinner featuring a generous array of seafood, roasts, desserts and salads. A selection of drinks is also included. Prices start at $120 per adult with children charged less depending on their age.
- Park Hyatt Hotel: Whether you're seeking a lavish five-hour beverage package or a more humble three-hour package, Park Hyatt Hotel has both. Its more lavish affair starts at 7:30pm and includes drinks for five hours, buffet dinner and live entertainment for $220 per person. Its three-hour beverage package includes a buffet dinner and is priced at $160 per person. It starts at 6pm but runs into the early morning.
Best New Year’s Eve parties and events in Canberra
Clubs and parties were a big go-to this past new year's, and here's some of what was on offer:
- Lucy's Speakeasy: Self-proclaimed to be the hottest party in town, Lucy's Speakeasy is celebrating with a two-hour drinks package and entertainment from 8pm–2am. Entry is $99 and VIP group options are also available.
- Glamour & Grunge @ Polit Bar: ’20s and ’00s come together for a fun night of glamour (’20s) and grunge (’00s). It's hosted by Tammy Paks who promises to "partake in her paganistic party rituals" and then some. Tickets from $15.
- Circus Night @ Cube: This 14-hour marathon of a party is for those who like to go long, running from 9pm on New Year's Eve and calling it a night at 11am New Year's Day. Circus is the theme of the night and as such you should expect roaming clowns, face painting, balloon making and jelly shots… while stocks last!
- Hot Vegas Nights @ Casino Canberra: Start your 2018 on a high by counting down the seconds with the high rollers at Casino Canberra. The venue is set to sizzle with free bubbly, performances and prizes. Oh, and did we mention, free entry?
- Glamour and Grunge at Polit Bar: Do New Year's a bit different at Polit Bar, complete with tarot readings and more. Tickets from $15.