One of the things I was most excited for on this “RTW” trip wasn’t a specific destination or activity. It was an experience: celebrating New Year’s Eve twice in one year, in two different countries! While New Year’s isn’t a holiday I’ve ever gotten too excited about, I was really into it this time, just for the novelty of it. Here’s what our experience celebrating NYE in two countries (in the same year) was like.
How does this work? Well, Australia is one of the first places to celebrate the New Year, and the Cook Islands is one of the last, since it’s right across the International Date Line.
We had plenty of time to celebrate the New Year in Australia, hop on a flight to Auckland, hop on another flight to Rarotonga, and catch the New Year there. To see how we booked the flights with miles, check out Pete’s blog post.
NYE #1: Brisbane, Australia
New Year’s Eve in Australia was one of my favorites yet. Not only did we find a place with great food & drink deals, but everything went so smoothly, many thanks to the public transportation that ran until 12:30am (except during the fireworks).
What We Did
Watched the fireworks from the river
Got drinks & tapas at Brisbane Brewing Co. on Boundary St, West End: $49 AUD/person (for 6 drinks/tapas)
Perching like outcasts on kegs against the wall for the first hour because we couldn’t find seating
Sitting next to one of my favorite people we’ve met so far – we got into some pretty deep political (and spiritual?) discussions
In Between Celebrations…
I’m not gonna lie – celebrating two New Year’s Eves in a row was tough, mentally, physically, and emotionally. (I know, poor us…) But seriously, pulling off this plan was much more difficult (and a little less fun) than it initially sounded.
After drinking from 5:30-midnight in Australia, we passed out in our hotel. When our alarms went off at 3am, I felt like death and was cursing our decision to attempt two NYE celebrations. I wouldn’t have made the flight if Pete hadn’t dragged me out of bed, since I didn’t hear my phone alarm blaring beneath my face.
After a taxi ride and a quick nap in the airport, we flew 3 hours (in the back of the bus) to Auckland. But wait – there’s more! We had a layover in Auckland, where we had lounge access (giant thanks to Pete’s Priority Pass) and, after sufficiently stuffing my face, I slept some more. Poor Pete didn’t get much sleep. Then we flew 4 hours (in Economy once again) to Rarotonga.
NYE #2: Rarotonga, Cook Islands
It’s a small miracle we (especially Pete, since he barely slept) made it to midnight in Rarotonga. While we enjoyed our celebrations more in Australia than here (probably because we were more awake and loved the drink/food deal), we still had a memorable time in the Cook Islands, one of last places on earth to celebrate the new year.
What We Did
Paid $5 entry to Sail, a beach bar
Watching fireworks on the beach with our feet in the sand. We could feel the ash as it rained down, since they were set off so close. I’m normally not a huge fan of fireworks, but watching two fireworks celebrations in different parts of the world back-t0-back was really fun!
Laughing incredulously when West Virginia played
Watching an older man and woman draw quite a crowd as they swing danced to Mambo No. 5
Want to Do This Yourself?
The Telegraph published an article about how you can celebrate New Year’s Eve twice, if this sounds up your alley.
Do you think you’d ever want to celebrate two different New Year’s Eves in one year? Do you think we’re crazy?