The most popular New Year's Eve event in Brisbane takes place at South Bank, beside the Brisbane River. Families and friends flock there each year for the free festivities and fireworks. Entertainment, including live music, takes place at Riverside Green and the Cultural Forecourt from 2:00pm until 7:00pm. Then the sky lights up in spectacular fashion with firework displays at 8:30pm and midnight. Please note, this is a dry event (no alcohol) and bags will be checked on arrival. Make sure you arrive early to get a top spot.
Ring in the New Year at River Quay, South Bank's riverside restaurant precinct. Celebrate in style at Stokehouse with a fabulous five-course dinner ($185 per person) or join The Jetty's Bali-inspired Beach Party. Cove Bar and Dining is offering an all-inclusive package ($180) while Popolo and Aquitaine will each have two special seatings (from $69). Book early to ensure you have the best seats at South Bank when the fireworks go off.
Next Door Kitchen and Bar
Party like it's 1920 at Next Door Kitchen and Bar (164 Grey Street); South Bank's newest watering hole, inspired by the speakeasies of the roaring twenties. Celebrate as Next Door Boycotts 1920's Prohibition for New Year's Eve. Enjoy twenties-style food, drinks, dancing, music, and a risqué burlesque performance by Sunday Lucia. This exciting event runs from 7:30pm until 12:30am. Tickets cost $110 per person.
Queensland Pops Orchestra: New Year's Eve Gala
Catch the early fireworks at South Bank before heading to QPAC to celebrate with the Queensland Pops Orchestra at their annual New Year's Eve Gala. These sell-out concerts have become a tradition; entertaining revellers for the past twenty-six years. Join the Queensland Pops Orchestra and special guests, soprano Judit V. Molnár and tenor Craig Atkinson, as they farewell 2012 and welcome 2013. The concert, commencing at 9:30pm, will include numbers from musical theatre, opera, and of course, Auld Lang Syne. Tickets cost $85 for an adult. Click here to purchase tickets.
The Cliffs Cafe
The Cliffs Cafe, situated on top of the Kangaroo Point cliffs overlooking the Brisbane River, is another excellent location to view the fireworks. Their New Year's Eve celebration, starting at 7:00pm, includes a considerable canapés and drinks package. Tickets cost $130 and be can be booked here. Numbers are strictly limited.
Make merry with martinis and Bond, James Bond, at the Story Bridge Hotel (Kangaroo Point). The Black Tie and Bond Party is a formal affair with gourmet noodle boxes, canapés, premium beverages, (funny money) casino tables, and entertainment. Held over two levels, the Heritage Room and Martini Floor, the Story Bridge offers fabulous views of the fireworks. The party kicks off 8:00pm. Tickets cost $125 per person. Prizes will be awarded for the best dressed.
If you don't have Bond's budget, The Shelter Bar at 'the Bridge' will be hosting a Calypso Summer New Year's Eve. This celebration won't break the bank with a ticket price of $25 per person which includes a refreshing drink on arrival (Calypso Cocktail, Corona, or Jansz NV), DJs, and live band. Doors open at 7:30pm.
Swing into 2013 at The Brisbane Jazz Club, Brisbane's best kept secret, located beside the Brisbane River in Kangaroo Point. This New Year's Eve Spectacular features a delicious three-course dinner prepared by Story Bridge Hotel chefs and live entertainment: Miss Mandy Swings and her eight-piece combo, Ewan Mackenzie and Swing Manouche, and more. Watch the fireworks from their large deck overlooking the city. Tickets cost $115 per person (drinks not included). Doors open at 5:30pm.
Try your luck at the Villager's Vegas-themed party. The Villager Hotel (185 George Street), located behind the Treasury Casino, will welcome 2013 with their Supper Club Las Vegas Party featuring a casino gaming lounge, live DJ, deluxe beverages, and canapés. Ticket price is $99 per person. Party starts at 8pm. Fancy dress is encouraged.
If you like dress-ups, head to the annual Brisbane New Year's Eve Ball at the RNA Showgrounds (Bowen Hills). This is one of the most anticipated events of the year, having sold out the last ten years. This year the ball will celebrate its twentieth anniversary with a Heroes and Villains theme. This all inclusive party includes fabulous food and drinks, including spirits, beer, wine, and champagne. Be entertained with live music, rides, and more. Prizes will be awarded for best dressed. The party runs from 7:30pm until 1:00am. All heroes and villains get free admission to the Jubilee Hotel (Fortitude Valley) afterparty. Tickets cost $145 per person. Click here for more information.
Mon Komo Hotel
Northside revellers can ring in the New Year in Redcliffe, at the Caribbean-inspired Mon Komo Hotel. Celebrating its first year anniversary and New Year's Eve, the hotel will host not one, but two parties. The Caribbean Party kicks off in the Lounge Bar at 8pm with complimentary cocktails on arrival, tropical macaw birds, colourful lanterns, and Calypso showgirls. Guests will also enjoy live entertainment. Entry is free before 8pm, $20 after. Or join Krazy Kath's Karaoke party in the Seabrae Bar from 9pm, for a fun night of singing and dancing in the retro-themed disco. Costumes are encouraged with prizes for the best dressed.