An Edit of the Most Fulfilling Ways to Spend New Year’s Day in Melbourne

Lorne Beach

In 2024, New Year’s Day falls on a Monday. This means that if you haven’t taken the few days off between Christmas and New Year’s for annual leave, you’ll be treated to a three-day weekend. You could take advantage of it by going away for chill-out time before getting back to work. Or you might just want to hang out in your city.

If that city is Melbourne, or you’re visiting the Victorian capital city on New Year’s Day, you have endless options for ways to spend a worthwhile day off. From parking yourself at one of the many beaches surrounding the city (with SPF on, of course), to sweating out the sparkling from the night before on a walking trail, here’s our edit for the best things to do on New Year’s Day Melbourne.

Eat and Drink

Many cafés in Melbourne are open on New Year’s Day, though note that you may have to pay a public holiday surcharge. The restaurants and bars that usually close on Mondays will likely remain closed on New Year’s Day.

Some Melbourne venues that were open last year on New Year’s Day include Hotel Collingwood in Collingwood, Builders Arms Hotel in Fitzroy, Abacus Bar and Kitchen in South Yarra and Ichi Ni Izakaya along The Esplanade in St Kilda.

Hit the Beach

Heading to the beach is easily one of the most popular things to do New Year’s Day Melbourne. Go for the first swim of the year at one of the many beaches a day trip away from Melbourne. Stretching for 141km, Ninety Mile Beach has plenty of spots on its white-gold sand to plop down with no one around. Geelong’s Eastern Beach is another popular choice, with sea baths built in the 1930s. Or head to outside the river mouth town of Barwon Heads on Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula to Thirteenth Beach for a surf.

One of the state’s most famous beaches, Lorne Beach has a pier you can walk at sunset. Bells Beach is known for its excellent surf and is the point break from the Keanu Reeves ‘90s action flick. Finally, Squeaky Beach is a secluded beach in Wilsons Promontory National Park, the southernmost point of the Australian mainland.

Go For a Walk

Kickstart your New Year’s fitness regime with a walk. Coastal, forest, garden or bushland – whatever type of trail you’re looking for, Melbourne and its surrounds have got it.

And with walks scientifically proven again and again to reduce your stress levels, improve your mood and better your coordination, it’s a smart idea to spend your New Year’s Day exploring one of them.

Dandenong Ranges Tourist Track, a 75-minute drive from Melbourne, offers a 15km, relatively flat trail, while the 5km-long Kokoda Memorial is more of a climb, giving you a glimpse of the exhaustion felt by the Australian soldiers following the Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea in World War II.

things to do new years day melbourne
Image: Unsplash

You can view our round-up of the 10 best walks in Melbourne here.

Cruise the Yarra River

GoBoat is open every day of the year except for Christmas Day. Rent one of its five-metre-long boats for up to eight people, telling everyone to BYO drinks and picnic snacks. Jump off the boat at GoBoat’s berths at Banana Alley.

Related: We Spent Hours Figuring Out How to Turn 22 Annual Leave Days Into 46 in 2024

Related: What’s Open, Venue, Bottle Shop and Supermarket-Wise, on New Year’s Day 2024?

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