So how was your New Year? Same old, same old – time for a change? If you’d like to do it differently next year, there are plenty of destinations to fly to. Basically, ask yourself if you want to be warm or cold. That’ll give you a rough idea of which low-cost flight to catch.
One destination that’s pretty much always warm is down-under. Sydney throws a legendary New Year’s party. You’ve probably clocked it on telly already, especially the spectacular fireworks cascading over Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Around two million people gather around Port Jackson Bay and on the water itself to watch not just one, but two firework spectaculars. At 9pm for families, and midnight for the true party animals.
Watch out for the Harbour of Light display too, as a flotilla of boats light up the night as they parade around. If you like, you can book a place on board to get a truly up close view of the whizzes, bangs and explosions.
If Sydney is a flight too far, then Cape Town is a destination that’s a nice, just-as-warm New Year option. It’s a 12-hour flight from the UK, but with zero jet-lag. So, you’ll be fresh to party at the attraction-packed V&A Waterfront, with tons of live music, performers, dozens of top-class restaurants and the inevitable fireworks.
Cape Town also celebrates what they call ‘Tweede Nuwejaar’ or ‘Second New Year’, on 2nd January. Dating back to the Slave Days, this holiday features a Minstrel Carnival much like the Carnival in Rio, marching through the city streets with banjos strumming and umbrellas twirling. Of course, if that’s all a bit tame for you, you can always go cage diving with the giant great white sharks of False Bay. Enough to clear even the biggest hangover.
If nature brings you out in a rash, try the Big Apple, the ultimate urban New Year. Wrap up warm and join the million or so who pack into Times Square for the descent of the 5000 kg Waterford Crystal ball on top of the One Times Square building. That’s the signal to party like only New Yorkers know how. There are plenty of options: clubs and restaurants of every description, comedy clubs, and even adult parties for the fetish-lover!
To appreciate the iconic New York skyline from the water, jump aboard any of the yachts or water taxis that offer a New Year’s cruise, dinner and all the rest.
Singapore is another New Year destination with a major celebration, centred on the Marina Bay area, scene of the first floodlit Grand Prix motor race. The giant Singapore Flyer, the world’s biggest Ferris wheel, turns a little slower, but is a great way to get your bearings, before heading down to join in the fun. Look out for the unique inflatable ‘wishing spheres’ bobbing on the water, carrying the New Year wishes of half a million people. Oh, and there are fireworks, lots and lots of them. Plus cross-cultural variety shows and concerts on the Marina Bay floating stage. Spectacular.
Let us know where you’ve had your greatest New Year, and any tips on how to make the best of the big night in any of the places we’ve mentioned (or should mention).