If you’re after a slightly quieter New Year’s celebration than the bustling resorts of Bali can offer, why not head instead to Nusa Lembongan, off the south-eastern coast of the mainland. There’s a laid-back, rustic charm to this little piece of paradise, where the ‘no cars’ policy goes hand in hand with the rural way of life that the locals uphold. If you’re not averse to cockerel fighting, New Year’s Day brings the traditional tournament, with locals really getting into the celebratory spirit.
Stay: On the picturesque Dream Beach in the (not very) imaginatively named Dream Beach Huts. With just 17 huts and no other buildings in sight, this is, almost literally, a world away from the usual Bali accommodation offerings. Don’t expect luxury, but rather simplistic beach living at its finest.
Goa’s New Year’s celebrations are fast becoming known as some of the largest and most riotous around the globe, but if you’d rather escape the madness than be in the midst of it, the beautiful south Goan beach of Agonda is the perfect answer. Still unspoilt by Goa’s tourism boom, Agonda stretches along three kilometres of pristine golden shore, backed by palm and casuarina trees for that tropical touch. On New Year’s Eve, join locals and (some) tourists beachside for a sedated, yet memorable, celebration.
Stay: A 15 minute drive away at the Fern Gardenia Boutique Resort. Priding itself on itsluxury eco-hotel status (yes, we thought that was a paradox too, but apparently not), the Fern Gardenia comprises 18 eco-friendly huts that nestle perfectly in their sultry surroundings. For pre-party pampering, head to the onsite spa and wellness centre to ensure you’re feeling fabulous for the New Year.
You’ve seen the spectacular fireworks that light up Sydney Harbour on New Year’s Eve, but there’s another massive party taking place just down the road at iconic Bondi Beach. It may not be a hidden gem, but we couldn’t resist including this buzzing celebration. The Shore Thing New Year’s festival has one of the most exciting line-ups you’re likely to find beachside, with sets from Chemical Brothers, Knife Party (the new project from Aussie drum ‘n’ bass heroes Pendulum) and Fedde le Grand all confirmed. Get your tickets now to avoid disappointment, and hit up one of the biggest New Year’s beach parties the world has on offer (and we’re not even exaggerating).
Stay: At Ravesi’s Hotel on Bondi Beach itself. With 12 individually designed bedrooms, a suave cocktail bar and a restaurant serving some of the best Australian and Australasian fare around, you won’t find a better spot to soak up some Aussie beach culture in style.
Travel Tips from THE BEACH COMPANY