Get your tan in Jan - New Year summer events in Australia

New Year is here, ready for some more?

photo: Hirsty Photography

Well, that's the Christmas season done for another year, you've worn your new socks and worn out your fake smile, you've eaten enough sugar and meat fat to dent third world hunger and drank enough alcohol to strip the paint off a 747.

Now what?

Well, if you're in the UK it's back to waking up in the dark, standing in the rain, freezing whatever bits you’ve got off and then going home when it's dark again.

With so much to look forward to, like the prospect of returning to work or forgetting what daylight looks like, it's little wonder this time of the year is the most popular for working holidays in Australia where it's just about reaching the sizzling peak of summer.

If you're Down Under this January, here's some stuff to do.

Chinese New Year - Nationwide - All Month

Chinese New Year doesn't actually fall until 10, February when the Year of the Snake slithers in. However, China is too big and too full to be able to cram all that celebrating into just one night so for almost an entire month before the big day, every Chinatown in every city in the world will be counting down the days.

Pretty much every big city in Australia has a Chinatown so find your closest one and enjoy some of the best food, fireworks and displays to be seen anywhere.

If you've gotten over your hangover from the last New Year that is.

Moonlight Cinema - Nationwide - All Month

With the Oscars just around the corner, all the best films are released this time of year. If you're in the Northern Hemisphere, people are happy to watch Jedward tunelessly frolic across a foam filled bouncy castle if it means getting out of the cold. In Australia however, it better be a damn good film to coax viewers out of the sun and off the sand.

Thankfully, that doesn't have to be the choice this year with the Moonlight Cinema offering a different movie every day, from the classics to the latest blockbusters. Plus, they're pretty much nationwide too.

Southbound - Perth - 4th and 5th

What a better to kick off 2013 than with a music festival? Southbound festival offers punters the chance to get drunk in the sun and listening to some of the biggest names in music like The Hives, Hot Chip and The Vaccines.

Not though are you. 

Surf n' Ink - Queensland - 11th to the 13th

Tattoos are quite a particular interest - rarely do you find people with one or two who aren't planning to cake themselves in any more. More than likely you'll find tattoo fans plastered head to toe with skulls, pirates, tribal markings and thousands of other varieties.

While tattoos might be a niche, surfing - particularly in Australia - is not.

So if you're not a fan of tattoos, head on down to Miami, Queensland for the Surf n' Ink Tattoo festival anyway to ooh and aah at some of the best surfers carving the waves to pieces and some of the best tattoo artists carving some people's bodies to pieces.

Splash Adelaide - Adelaide - All Month

Splash Adelaide is an almost four month long festival dedicated to lighting up the city with the best in music, food and just general frivolity. With so much going on throughout the festival it's impossible to cover everything, but if you're in South Australia this month, you definitely won't be stuck for things to do.

Beers, blondes and...other things
beginning with B.

Beer o'clock - Adelaide - 18th and 19th

After spending New Year in Australia just the mention of alcohol might be enough to make you gag but don't worry, that'll pass, and even if it doesn't, what better than hair o' the dog?

The Schutzenfest German Festival is one of the oldest (it was first celebrated in 1865 - that's nearly as old as your mum) and best German booze festivals in the world, get down there to see some buxom wenches in traditional German gear serve up some of the finest ales in a land usually reserved for Fosters and Castlemaine XXXX.

Big Day Out - Sydney, Gold Coast, Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth - 18th to the 28th

Big Day Out has become one of the biggest names in the festival calendar in recent years, and with stop overs in five Australian cities this month, you should really need a decent excuse to miss this one.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Killers, Band of Horses, Vampire Weekend and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are just some of the names appearing at this year's festival; best get that doctor's note ready if you can't make it.

Sydney Festival

Melbourne has its effortless cool, Perth its polished new money smell and Queensland its natural beauty but its Sydney where the real party is, and always has been, at.

If you're in Aus' biggest city this January, ask yourself whether you can really afford to miss the Sydney Festival?

On for three weeks until the 27th, tens of thousands will gather for gigs, shows, exhibitions and parties across the city.

There aren't many things we write about that genuinely aren't to be missed, don't disappoint us now.

- Dominic Ladden-Powell is the Online Editor with the Australian Visa Bureau, an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people lodge applications for a Working Holiday Visa to Australia.