Where to Celebrate a Warm NYE

Ellie Swain

Senior Contributor

For many, New Year’s Eve often means huddling together outside in the cold to watch the fireworks or hunkering down at home to stay toasty and cosy inside. Make this year memorable by hitting one of the world's best New Year’s Eve parties, set in a warm-weather destination.

Sydney, Australia

Sydney Harbour’s firework extravaganza is one of the most famous in the world. The spectacle is watched by more than a million people from the foreshore and many more from the comfort of their homes worldwide. To make the experience all the more special, hire a boat and toast the countdown as you bob along the water. For those that prefer to stay on dry land, consider reserving a table alfresco at one of the waterfront restaurants by Sydney Harbour for a front-row seat.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The famous Copacabana beach is the beating heart of the Brazilian New Year’s Eve celebration. This pale sand beach draws in thousands of people waiting for midnight to strike. But don’t worry, you’ll be more than entertained while waiting for the fireworks to glitter in the sky. There’s music, beach volleyball, and, of course, plenty of partying.

The mesmerising fireworks are launched from various vessels in the centre of the harbour. To maximise your Brazilian New Year’s Eve experience, consider booking one of Copacabana’s luxury beach hotels with an ocean view. That way, you have the option of enjoying the display in privacy.

Koh Phangan, Thailand

While there are New Year’s Eve parties spread across all of Thailand’s sun-drenched islands, the wildest takes place on Koh Phangan, home to the infamous full-moon party.

The celebrations revolve around Haad Rin beach. The festivities start as soon as it gets dark, with the partying continuing well beyond sunrise and into the next day if you can handle it. Make sure to try one of the famous Thailand buckets, concocted from a spirit and mixer of your choice. But beware, they can be pretty strong. Start the evening off chilled, with fruit-filled cocktails and a dinner of freshly caught grilled fish as you watch the sunset.

Goa, India

While some say Goa’s parties aren’t what they used to be, we say you can’t go wrong with a New Year’s Eve spent dancing on the beach with the sand between your toes. New Year’s Eve is one of the best times to visit Goa, with stunning fireworks and all-night partying all along the coast. The biggest parties tend to take place at Anjuna Beach, where you can boogie to world-famous DJs in huge swarms well into the night.

For a more intimate New Year’s Eve party, head to Palolem in the South. Here you can flit between the charming beach bars for a night of electronic and psytrance tunes, zesty cocktails and midnight fireworks.

Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town is hot and sunny around New Year’s Eve and parties are everywhere to suit all tastes. The main bonanza occurs at the V&A Waterfront and Long Street, where bars and restaurants remain open all night, music plays everywhere, and partygoers are donned head-to-toe in carnival attire.

Alternatively, skip the madness with a relaxed picnic on Signal Hill. The famous Lion’s Head lookout is ideal for soaking up the last sunset of the year and is about an hour’s hike to the top. You’ll be rewarded with sublime views of the looming Table Mountain, the sparkling ocean, and the famous city below. Bring a blanket, packed picnic and bottle of bubbly and relish the fireworks exhibition from one of the best views in the city.

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