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Planning a trip for the year-end / new year holidays? Here are some events not to be missed – including a yacht race in Sydney, festive Christmas lights in London, Asia’s largest dance music festival in Bali, and more.

Photo ©Rolex & Studio Borlenghi

Action-Packed

Widely considered one of the world’s leading ocean races, the time-tested Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race returns for its 74th annual edition, much to the delight of sailing fans. Each year, the 1,163-kilometre offshore race kicks off from Sydney Harbour and ends at the historic port city of Hobart, providing a tough test and challenging conditions for skippers, tacticians and crews alike. The first and last days are often the most exciting, with hundreds of spectator craft, people lining the shore, and helicopters hovering above. The race is as gruelling as it is beautiful, with the fleet sailing past some of the most beautiful landscapes and seascapes in the Southern Hemisphere.

  • When: 26 – 31 December
  • Where: Sydney Harbour and Hobart, Australia

Garden Of Lights

Watch as one of the world’s most famous botanical gardens comes alive in festive lights and sounds at Christmas at Kew 2018. This highly anticipated annual year-end attraction promises a wondrous and colourful voyage through the Kew Gardens after dark, with numerous illuminated installations by a roster of international artists. Visitors can look forward to attractions such as the Field of Light, 300 Illuminated Origami Boats, Firework Trees, Fire Garden, Cathedral of Light and the climactic Palm House Finale light show, just to name a few.

  • When: 22 November 2018 – 5 January 2019
  • Where: Kew Gardens, London, U.K.
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Drop That Beat

The Djakarta Warehouse Project X will celebrate its grand 10th anniversary this year in Bali for the first time. One of Asia’s largest annual dance music festivals, the event will feature a star-studded line-up comprising three-time Grammy award-winning R&B artist The Weeknd and some of today’s biggest names in the international electronic dance music scene, such as Armin van Buuren, Alesso, DJ Snake, Major Lazer Soundsystem, Porter Robinson and RL Grime.

  • When: 7 – 9 December
  • Where: Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park, Bali, Indonesia

Chinese Tchaikovsky

Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet, The Nutcracker, meets colourful elements of the Far East in Guò Nián, The Nutcracker. This unique cultural fusion by The National Ballet of China has been widely praised over its performances across Europe and tells the story of Yuan Yuan, a girl who receives the curious nutcracker as a gift from a foreign friend while her family prepares for the Lunar New Year celebrations. The show is being held in Singapore for the first time as part of The National Ballet of China’s 60th anniversary celebrations next year.

  • When: 18 – 20 January 2019
  • Where: Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, Singapore

Winter Wonderland

Those visiting Hokkaido in February may want to put the Asahikawa Winter Festival on their itinerary as one of three must-visit winter events held concurrently in Hokkaido. Marvel at over 50 ice sculptures along Heiwa Dori, the main street in the Asahikawa city centre, magically illuminated at night. From there, take a 10-to-15-minute walk to see the attractions at the festival’s main Asahibashi Site, where there will be fun activities such as a 100-metre snow slide, zipline, snowmobile-pulled banana boats, a giant snow maze and horse rides. Stop at the various food stalls and the ice bar, then enjoy free concerts and performances at the main stage, which make up part of the event’s largest snow sculpture.

  • When: 6 – 11 February 2019
  • Where: Asahikawa, Hokkaido, Japan