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Where to celebrate New Year’s Eve in the city

The clock’s ticking – have you got your 31 December party plans sorted? We’ve found some of the best bets in Melbourne, from riverside to rooftops, and most have fantastic views of midnight’s fireworks fired off the city’s rooftops.

Riverland Bar
Federation Wharf, 8pm-1am, $150.

While the masses gather in Federation Square, you and your crew can live it up just steps below in secluded riverside style. One of Melbourne’s first bars on the banks of the Yarra, Riverland Bar is a top spot to welcome the future. Early-bird tickets have come and gone, so get in quick for your share of their all-inclusive package’s bites, beer, wine, bubbles, spirits and good times.

Photo of bar beside river with beautiful sky at sunset

Riverland Bar

New Year’s Eve Fireworks Cruise
Lady Cutler Melbourne Showboat, 8pm-12.45am, $250 adults, $100 children.

Get on board the Lady Cutler and leave the crowds behind. There’s a live band on the upper deck and a DJ below throughout the cruise, as well as grazing tables, roving food and unlimited standard drinks. If you’re feeling fancy ask about the premium drinks package, but either way dress to impress in gold and white. After beautiful twilight and night-time vistas of Melbourne from the bay, you’ll cruise back up the Yarra River in time for primo views of the fireworks.

Uptown Swing: New Year’s Eve at Transit Bar
Federation Square, 8pm-2am, $230.

Rise above the Federation Square masses at Transit Rooftop Bar, which offers an awesome panorama of Melbourne’s skyline and the river. In other words, prime fireworks-viewing territory! Shine those dancing shoes so you can really get into The Shuffle Club’s hot live jazz, swing, blues and boogie. There’s more sizzling tunes from DJ Annaliese Replica, plus canapes and drinks throughout the night.

The balcony at transit bar with people sitting at tables overlooking the yarra at sunset. The art's centre is visible in the distance.

Transit Bar

Miami Vice at Arbory Afloat
Flinders walk, 8pm-1am, from $220.

Arbory Afloat is going all out to ring in 2020, offering an all inclusive NYE party package like no other. Think wood fired pizza, tacos, fresh ceviche and more to go with the free flowing drinks selection. Grab a ticket for the pool deck and enjoy signature Four Pillars spritzes, plus million dollar views of the fireworks as they light up the night.

Roaring 20s New Year’s Eve Vaudeville and Burlesque
Flinders Street, 8.30pm-late, from $55.

What better way to welcome the 2020s than stepping back to the Roaring 1920s at Speakeasy HQ, Melbourne’s home of vintage vaudeville and burlesque. Dress the part as a flapper girl or gangster then kick back and enjoy 20 live acts, from jazz and tap-dancing to circus and fire artists. It’s $55 general admission, or consider the VIP packages for two. They range from $120 up to $240, which gets you bubbles on arrival, a bottle of vino, tapas and antipasto at an intimate cabaret table.

Johnny’s Green Room rooftop party
Lygon Street, 8pm until late. $220 pp.

Beat the crowds and party down in Carlton this new year’s. The Johnny’s Green Room rooftop offers sweeping views of the CBD, perfect for when the fireworks kick off. Climb the stairs and feast on oysters, arancini, fresh pizza and more into the early hours of 2020.

Fireworks lighting up a city skyline at night

Views from Johnny’s Green Room on new year’s eve

QT Melbourne
Russell Street, 7.30pm-late, from $295.

If there was ever a time to check out – or re-visit – one of Melbourne’s swankiest rooftops, 31 December is it. QT Melbourne is hosting an all-inclusive party with oysters shucked to order, a barbecue and grill, caviar and dessert stations, plus roaming canapes. Ooh la la! There’s also free-flowing beer, red, white and sparkling wine, and a big eyeful of the city. Get in quick, and get your 2020 vision in focus by booking a room as well so there’s no transport stress.

Rooftop bar with people sitting around tables on a beautiful sunny evening

QT Rooftop

Carnivale Di Masquerade
Collins Street, 7pm-late, from $50.

Start the new year right at The George on Collins’ Carnivale Di Masquerade, inspired by Venice’s opulent, centuries-old Carnivale. Everyone gets a Venetian mask on arrival, or wear your own creation for a chance at a $1000 prize package. There are roving live performers including jugglers, fire breathers, stilt walkers, sword swallowers and dancers, plus DJs spinning yesteryear’s R’n’B and house anthems. The $50 general-entry ticket gets you a mask and drink, while a $120 golden ticket includes three hours of canapes and beverages from 9pm.

New Year’s Eve at Garden State Hotel
Flinders Lane, 6pm-late, from $140.

With three levels of dancefloors and DJs and an indoor-outdoor feel from top to bottom, Garden State Hotel suits every New Year’s Eve party mood. The theme bringing everyone together to welcome the 2020s is a 1920s Great Gatsby-style party. Book a ticket for four hours of beer, wine, cider, spirits and roaming canapes from 8pm.

Row of colourful cocktails lined up on the balcony at Garden State Hotel

Garden State Hotel

New Year’s Eve Rooftop Party at the Waterside Hotel
Flinders Street, 6pm-late, from $85.

The Waterside Hotel’s rooftop is a top spot for riverside city views any time of the year, but on 31 December it’s hot pyrotechnic property. So get a ticket to get amongst the four-hour package of drinks and barbecue bites from 7pm, with DJs counting down to the fireworks and beyond. Or just lob up to the public bar, which may not have the rooftop’s grand vista but you can pay as you go.

The Boatbuilders Yard
South Wharf, 8pm-1am, from $145.

Want to get a fresh perspective on Melbourne’s skyline with the 2019 fireworks? Then book your place in The Boatbuilders Yard’s indoor-outdoor beer garden, which has epic waterfront views of the city. Their all-inclusive package has you covered for party food, beer, wine, bubbles and a DJ. A $500 upgrade gets you front-row seats for midnight’s fiery show at a table reserved all night.

The Boatbuilders Yard

Ging Thai
Crown, open from 3pm. Prices vary.

Take up a prime position right on the Yarra and celebrate New Year’s Thai style. Guests at Ging Thai can feast on authentic Thai cuisine and zingy cocktails. Then dance the night away with a DJ playing from 10 pm until 2 am.

Little Bourke Street, open from 5pm. Prices vary.

No bookings, no surcharges and no set menus. Annam is the perfect place for a pre-firework dinner this New Year’s Eve. Feast on punchy Vietnamese dishes and sip a complimentary glass of bubbles before taking on the night. And who knows – you might even nab their sparkling disco booth.

Merrywell Bar and Dining
Crown, sittings from 5pm. Prices from $155.

Front row seats to the best show in town can be found at the Merrywell this new year’s. Complimentary champagne, awesome share plates and live entertainment awaits at their riverside fiesta. Prices start at $155 per adult and $75 per child, or you can splurge on terrace dining and private rooms.

Booking availability has been checked just prior to publication, but please contact individual venues as events may sell out.

Find out more about New Year’s Eve in the City of Melbourne, including the four public fireworks celebration zones.