You know the year is coming to an end when Christmas decorations line the streets and appear on storefronts. They also signal a time for families to come together, spreading the well wishes around, New Year resolutions and year-end parties. You may already have your Christmas celebrations all pinned down so now its time to make those last minute plans for New Year's Eve.
In a vibrant city, rich with art, music, culture, events, venues, food and wine like Melbourne, there is no lack of options. Whether you choose to welcome the new year on the water, 89 stories above ground, go back in time to 1920s New York or enjoy a quiet romantic dinner for 2, there something for everyone and budget.
To help you move forward with your 31 January plan, here are 10 top places to celebrate New Year's Eve in the world's most liveable city.
Where else can you welcome in the new year from the highest vantage point not only in Australia but the Southern Hemisphere? Eureka 89 offers top elevation action on level 88 and 89. Its 'New Year's Eve Elevation' is the highest party with the most spectacular views of the city's fireworks. Eureka 89 is offering 2 packages for 18 years and up with food stations, roving entertainment and DJs playing house and commercial tracks throughout the night.
At $195 (Silver), you can party at level 88 in your best cocktail attire and accompanied by canapés, beer, wine and sparkling from 8pm until 1am. For $280 (Gold), its access to both level 88 and 89, and more food and drinks including 5 Basic Spirits per person from 8pm until 2am. Phone 03 9693 8889 for more information or visit the website to grab your tickets.
If you're feeling too landlocked, then embark on the Victoria Star and sail out on the waterways of Melbourne on a New Years Eve Dance Cruise. A former member of the famous harbour ferries fleet in Sydney, Victoria Star is now one of the largest and most popular party boats in Melbourne.
For $150, you can enjoy a FREE welcome aboard champagne, 5 hours of sailing, DJs spinning Top 40, 70s, 80s and retro on the top deck and the latest dance trax on the main deck, cheap drinks and generous servings of gourmet finger food throughout the night.
To top off a great night out on the water, the fireworks in Docklands will be popping right in front of you. The cruise is only for ages 18 years and up and departs Central Pier in Docklands at 8pm. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or visit the website to grab your tickets.
Address: Dock 9, Central Pier, Victoria Harbour, Docklands VIC 3008
Enjoy the long casual evenings of summer and the Yarra River with celebrations at the Wharf Hotel. Located at the WTC Wharf, this waterside restaurant and bar invites you to forget cocktail attires and welcome the New Year in Tiki style. Its 'New Year's Eve Tiki Island Party' offers a Polynesian vibe with finger food, drink packages and live music from 7pm to 12am. Tickets start from $140 per person. Phone 03 8680 6000 or visit the website to get your tickets.
Head over to Level 3 at Crown for the ultimate party on New Year's Eve for ages 18 years and up. It's so extensive that everyone is calling it Melbourne's New Year's Eve biggest nightclub party.
A stellar line up including DJ Dutchess, Matty G, Joe Sofo, Stevie Mink, Santoro, Helena, Frida and many more will help you 'Party Into the Future' with an awesome mix of Commercial Dance, Melbourne Bounce, EDM, Deep House and R&B. In addition Paul van Dyk will be streaming live via Clubcast to deliver a global New Year's Eve party.
With 3 nightclubs, 40 DJs over 7 venues, live entertainment and roaming performers from 10pm to 5am, you know its going to be epic. Tickets start from $50. Phone 1300 723 391 for more information or visit the website to grab your tickets.
If you're looking for a rooftop venue to watch the New Year' Eve fireworks in the city, then check out Campari House. This Hardware Lane restaurant and bar offers 4 storeys of entertainment with DJs spinning commercial and house mash-ups across all levels for its 'Four Seasons New Year's Eve Party' from 8pm to 3am. Come dressed in cocktail style with a touch of your favourite season.
You can choose from the House Package at $100 per person which offers access to 3 levels, a 5-hour beverage package with Pimm's punch, house spirits, beer, wine and canapés. For $195 per person, the Rooftop Package gives you access to all 4 levels, a 5-hour beverage package with house spirits, beer, wine, a Ketel One Espresso Martini and canapés. You also get to watch the fireworks from the rooftop. Phone 03 9600 1574 or visit the website to purchase your tickets.
It may not be Munich or Oktoberfest but fans of the Bavarian brew and food will be drawn to Hophaus on Silvester Nacht. This cosmopolitan reinvention of the great Bavarian Bier Halls invites you to enjoy the ancient Bavarian festivities of Rauhnächte and views over Melbourne and the fireworks from the best vantage point on Southbank.
'Silvester Nacht at Hophaus New Year's Eve Party' offers schnapps on arrival, European biers, premium wines, canapés and a house DJ spinning tunes from 8pm until 1am. Bookings before 21 December are entitled to the early bird price of $150, instead of the usual $170. Phone 03 9682 5900 for more information or visit the website to make reservations.
Fall from Grace Cellar Bar wants to transport you back to the 1920s. Back to the legendary nightspot in New York City that spawned prominent jazz legends like Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway and Lena Horne, and gangster Owney Madden.
The decor of antiquities and juxtaposition in this 1889 built landmark is ideal for a Cotton Club New Year's Eve. For $140, you can enjoy live entertainment, canapés, grazers and a 5-hour beverage package with house spirits, local tap beers, wines and cocktail on arrival till 1am. Doors open at 7pm so come dressed in your best cocktail style with a touch of 1920's prohibition. Phone 03 8644 7110 for more information or visit the website to grab your tickets.
Address: 477 Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto
In addition to its lunch buffet and 3-course set dinner on Christmas Day, the Alluvial Restaurant in InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto is also serving a lavish 3-course set menu with beverages for that quiet and romantic New Year's Eve sojourn in one of the city's most luxurious hotel with history and character. Then stroll to various vantage points near the hotel for the revelry and midnight fireworks.
Dinner is available from 5.30pm to 10pm at $130 per person including beverages. The menu and features modern cuisine inspired by the best local produce with ingredients also sourced from the hotel's own rooftop herb garden. Phone 03 8627 1400 or email email@example.com for more information and bookings.
If all that Christmas Day dining has already busted your festive budget, there's still an affordable way to party all night and welcome New Year's Eve. Just head over to the Grand Old Dame in Fitzroy. The popular Provincial Hotel along Brunswick Streetoffers casual chic with the friendliness of a traditional pub that's a great place to catch up with friends on 31 January. Best of all, entry is FREE all night long, a BBQ special runs from 5pm to 9pm, $6 drinks are available from 9pm, and DJs will be spinning through the night from 9pm too. For more information, phone (03) 9810 0042 or visit the website.
While Sydney has the best televised New Year's Eve countdown at the Sydney Harbour in December, the world's most liveable city has plenty of FREE family-friendly activities for residents and visitors. The City of Melbourne has organised live entertainment, music and 2 dazzling fireworks displays. Highlights include the family friendly activities and early fireworks at Yarra Park between 6pm and 10pm. At the stroke of midnight, the rooftop fireworks display can be viewed from anywhere in the greater Melbourne area. Simply organise a picnic, bring a rug, get a spot in the parks and enjoy the fireworks. Full details are available at the City of Melbourne NYE website.