Best Places To Ring In The New Year

31 December 2015
Read Time: 3.2 mins

With Christmas done and dusted and the New Year in everyone’s sights, Flight Centre has come up with a list of the hottest places to ring in 2016.

Whether you want to be among the first or the last revellers to see in the new, party the night away with thousands or enjoy an epic fireworks display; these unique places have your memorable night covered.

It might be too late to make an impromptu change of plans this year, but there's always next year to up the ante with one of these experiences.

First And Last

Samoa shifted time zones from American Samoa in December 2011 and is now among the first places in the world to celebrate the New Year. While it used to be the last place on earth to let go of each day, and year, Samoa now bears witness to the first rays of sunshine every day and will be the first inhabited slice of paradise to enter 2016.

Do you think 2015 has been the best year of your life and you’re not ready to see it out just yet? Head back in time to American Samoa. While these island neighbours are a mere 80 kilometres from one another; they are in fact 23 hours apart, meaning the world's New Year’s celebrations end in American Samoa.

Lord Howe Island Lord Howe Island is the first in Australia to welcome the New Year

Closer to home, the Heritage-listed Lord Howe Island is the first place in Australia to welcome the New Year.

Located 500 kilometres off the coast of Port Macquarie, Lord Howe Island restricts the number of visitors it allows at any one time, offering an intimate New Year’s celebration with bonfires on the beach and a tradition of skinny dipping in the ocean once the clock strikes midnight.

Double Or Nothing

Is one New Year’s Eve simply not enough? One of the best places for a double dose is right here on our shores, at the border of Queensland and New South Wales.

Celebrate New South Wales’ New Year’s an hour early at Tweed Heads, before crossing into Queensland’s Coolangatta for round two.

Go For Height

If heights don’t bother you, head to Dubai’s Burj Khalifa. This mega skyscraper is the tallest building in the world standing at more than 829 metres.

The 160-storey building is home to At.Mosphere Lounge, the highest restaurant in the world located on level 122 and boasts the highest New Year’s celebrations in a manmade structure.

Dubai New Yeasr Dubai has a head for heights

Guests will enjoy unparalleled views of the Arabian Gulf and be dazzled by Dubai’s midnight fireworks. It might also be the most expensive, with a window seat at the restaurant on New Year’s Eve setting you back a whopping AU$1,500 per person!

Be Obvious

New Year’s doesn’t have to be about the coolest party or the hippest location. Sometimes doing the obvious is the best option. Whether you're there in person or tuning in from the couch, fireworks on New Year’s Eve are always mesmerising.

The world-renowned Sydney Harbour lights up on New Year’s Eve every year with a spectacular fireworks display – our top Aussie pick.

If you’re after international flare, you can’t go past the famous Ball Drop in New York City’s Times Square. Alternatively, head to London where the city comes alive with celebrations and fireworks from some of the most iconic locations.

You can also join crowds of revellers along Hong Kong’s famous waterfront and welcome in the New Year at Victoria Harbour’s spectacular countdown.

Sydney New Year Sydney says g'day to another year

Look back on 2015 Australia’s Most Instagrammed Days In 2015

How the Big Apple Does it. Celebrating The New Year In New York

Party All Night Long

Are you up for a night or a couple of days worth of partying with thousands of other partygoers at some of the most happening destinations and events in the world? Revellers can celebrate a peaceful start to 2016 at a spectacular open-air party at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.

Party with more than two million people from around Brazil and the world on Rio’s Copacabana Beach, while wearing white to bring good luck for the year ahead

Alternatively, enjoy multiple days of festivities at Scotland’s world-famous Hogmanay festival in Edinburgh.

Edinburgh New Year Edinburgh - home of Hogmanay

For something a little closer to home, Australia has perhaps one of the most coveted festivals at three glorious destinations: Byron Bay, Lorne and Marion Bay.

The Falls Festival is the ideal way to see in the New Year. Festival-goers can dance their days and nights away to some of the best live acts from around the world in Australia’s beautiful surrounds.

Go Antarctic

Be the envy of all your friends and take off on the world’s most unique day tour for the coolest New Year’s Eve celebration: a flight over Antarctica.

Flights depart aboard a chartered Qantas jumbo 747-400 every year from Sydney or Melbourne for a round-trip like no other. Travellers are one of the first to welcome in the New Year in broad daylight over the frozen continent while celebrating onboard with champagne and entertainment provided by a live jazz band.

Natural Wonders

Don’t think anything can eclipse a New Year’s Eve firework spectacular? Head to Iceland for a Scandinavian adventure in search of the Aurora Borealis, better known as the Northern Lights.

While the phenomenon is one of the most elusive and unpredictable attractions Iceland has to offer, those lucky enough to view the colours dance across the sky say it’s like standing on the edge of the world.

Iceland northern lights Iceland has the most spectacular natural display

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Laura Carlin

Give me big cities and culture over nature and wide open spaces any day, with the exception of a white sandy beach of course. Consider me a traveller with champagne tastes on a beer budget; I'd love my time overseas to be more glamorous than it often is. When in a new city you'll find me exploring the back streets to discover hidden gems by day and chatting with the locals with a drink in hand by night.