Sydney

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Sydney has a sizable Chinese population and bustling Chinatown, and ringing in the New Year here stretches into a three-week affair. Rainbow lanterns modeled after traditional terracotta warriors are larger than life and illuminate Sydney Harbor at the festival’s launch. During the dragon races, competitors are cheered on as they pedal across the water to the sound of drums and spectators’ cries. Visitors can fuel up at restaurants throughout Chinatown, Thai Town, and Koreatown offering special prix-fixe lunar menus. The festival ends with a magical twilight parade packed with lanterns, floats, and colorful projections.

Bendigo

A rich Chinese heritage sets Bendigo apart from other goldfields towns. Start at the Golden Dragon Museum and Gardens, a great site to check out year-round but a must-visit during the Chinese New Year. The entrance is filled with dragons, including the oldest in the world called the Imperial Dragons Old Loong, and the longest in the world at more than 100 meters, called the Sun Loong. Head to the tearoom for simple eats before viewing the extensive collection of Chinese artefacts and costumes. During the New Year celebrations, the streets are filled with boisterous parades and local teams enter costumed dance competitions. Wander the streets to admire the red decorations adorning the windows of local homes and businesses.

Melbourne

After awakening the dragon with a ceremony of offerings, more than 200 people carry the Millennium Dai Loong Dragon during the Chinese New Year here. Between wakings, you can get an up-close look at the intricate dragon at the Chinese Museum in Melbourne’s Chinatown. The area around Little Bourke Street is particularly celebratory, crowded with parade revelers and restaurants offering special feasts to start the year off right. Melbourne is a great place to be for Chinese New Year.

Brisbane

Though the city’s Chinatown is just one street long—flanked by lions at one end and a replica of the Tang dynasty arch at the other—during the Chinese New Year, the energy here rivals the neighborhoods in Melbourne and Sydney. Color, cuisine, and cultural performances can be enjoyed around the clock, from daytime lion dances and interactive cooking demonstrations to evening lanterns and fireworks. The street is transformed into a bustling bazaar where celebrants can feast on traditional delicacies while listening to traditional folk music.

Adelaide

Adelaide’s Chinatown is home to more than just Chinese restaurants and shops; it’s an Asian melting pot of Japanese, Malaysian, Korean, Thai, and Vietnamese businesses. But during the New Year, the entire neighborhood joins in the Chinese festivities. A giant street party puts a stop to through traffic, while pedestrians enjoy traditional dance and folk performances. Hungry travelers can grab a cheap bite at one of the many food stalls or tuck into an elaborate feast at the festival’s pop-up restaurants. Why not book your Chinese New Year holiday in Adelaide!