If you want to be the first person to greet the Year of the Monkey, there is simply no greater place to be than in Sydney, although you can always opt for Auckland or even Wellington in New Zealand. However, the one-hour time difference will not really be that great if you factor in the unparalleled merry-making that Sydney is well known for the world over.

In fact, tourist bookings have already started to pick up by the end of October well into the middle of November. With the Santa Fest that officially ushers in more than a month-long Holiday celebrations by the famed Sydney Harbour and through the Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations, who would not want to be in Sydney?

The Santa Fest

Start your month-long Holidays with Sydney’s famed Darling Harbour Santa Fest where people of all ages come and relive the joys and wonders of the season’s most beloved personality – Santa Claus. Guests are treated to anything and everything Santa and all that epitomizes the warmth and gift-giving atmosphere of Christmas. Films about giving and the essence of Christmas are on show at the venue’s Santa Fest Open Air Cinema. Take out your DSLR camera and take breath-taking shots of fireworks in the nighttime sky or have a holiday self-portrait with the Harbour’s Santa Stack sculpture.

Enjoy a ride on the Santa Express and the Star of the Show Ferris Wheel. Throughout the month of December until the early months of 2016, you can expect to be treated to a complete array of family entertainment that bespeaks of the best qualities of the Holiday season. Check out Crate Santa or get lost and find your way with your kids at Santa’s Maze. Or, why not treat your kids to the Starlight Children’s Foundation Australia Charity Night at the Cinema on the 19th of December. Let your kids enjoy some time listening to stories at the Santa Fest Storytelling or let them compete in some Santa Fest Kids’ Competition.

Darling Harbour Santa Fest is something that you will surely not want to miss.

Christmas Eve Party Cruise

If you have outgrown the Santa in you, then perhaps partying on a cruise on Sydney Harbour will be the perfect way to celebrate Christmas Eve. Sydney Harbour at night is nothing less than spectacular. When you book on any of the many cruises that serve Sydney Harbour, you can expect to be treated to million dollar views of the Sydney cityscape and skyline, very expansive viewing platforms and decks, luxurious dining rooms, and a complete array of menu and entertainment choices to create a very festive atmosphere, perfect for welcoming Christmas Day.

New Year’s Day in Sydney

On the first day of the New Year, while many individuals all around the world are still trying to greet its entry, Sydney’s Field Day is already under way. Started in 2002 as a means to celebrate the very first day of the year, Sydney’s New Year’s Day celebrations is a daylong extravaganza of music that showcases both homegrown local talents and foreign artists gracing the festivities. So, after a night of partying and fun making the annual countdown to the transition from 2015 to 2016, it simply makes sense to continue partying well into the end of the first day of the year.

So, if you have not yet made any arrangements for that Holiday merry-making you have been looking for, Sydney is waiting for you.