Campfire cocktails, rainbow fire and no extortionate entry fees. The wildness is the best place to welcome in the New Year – and recover from a hangover.
#1 Avoid the Crowds
Whatever you do, in silly season, don’t head to an official campground. Even if you do miraculously manage to get a booking (at Ben Boyd National Park in Eden people book sites a year in advance), you’re likely to be tent peg to tent peg with people. Find a secluded getaway on YouCamp or, at least, opt for a hike-in campsite. Unless your New Year’s Resolution is to meet new people.
#2 Bring a Bar
Determined drinkers know a backpack can hold a lot of booze, if you plan carefully. Do away with beer and dispense spirits into stainless steel bottles which are lighter than glass. For a practical but impressive setup, Sunny Life sells a portable drink’s dispenser that concertinas down flat and this ‘adventure cocktail shaker’ has everything you need for happy hour. Revisit our post on campfire cocktails for drinkspiration.
#3 Pack a Notepad
It may sound cheesy but New Year’s Eve is the perfect time to throw out the old to make space for the new, and the wilderness is the perfect place to do a cleansing ritual. Write down any memory, habit or mental hurdle that has held you back this year and chuck it into the campfire. The pen and paper will also be useful for these drinking games later.
#4 Add some Glitz
Eagle Nest Outfitters sell twilight camp lights so you can, in their words, “celebrate Christmas in your hammock”. This is also the night to turn your campfire into a rainbow. If you’re camping in a crew, ask everyone to dress up. I’ve sat around a campfire with girls in evening gowns and guys in bow ties and top hats. It’s worth it just for the photographs – especially if you dash into the sea in your finery.
#5 Go off the Clock
I’ve spent the past three New Year’s Eves off the grid. Because none of my friends wear watches and everyone turned off their phones, we had no idea when it was midnight – and it was liberating. There was no overhyped countdown and everyone could go to bed when they wanted, without feeling guilty for crashing too early. To me, it feels far more natural to celebrate at sunrise when I know that a new day – and a new year – is definitely here.