DOMINIQUE Boulet's search for an early New Year tonic takes him to pastures new this week. The Hongkong professional departs for South Africa today aiming to build-up his confidence before the start of the 1993 Asian Tour. It will be Boulet's first trip to South Africa and the Sunshine Tour. For the past two years, Boulet has made unsuccessful sorties to Australia in January. Said Boulet: ''I considered going to South Africa last year, but eventually opted for Australia. Perhaps a change in venue will be good for me.'' Boulet knows he will have to be at his best if he is to win a place in the starting line-up for next week's US$180,000 Lexington PGA Championship at the Wanderers Club in Johannesburg. The Hongkong international has put his name down for the Monday pre-qualifying tournament where he is likely to have to shoot even-par or better to join a field which will be headed by South African sensation Ernie Els. Boulet will also attempt to qualify for the following week's US$150,000 event, but is unsure whether he will remain for the ICL International at the Zwartkop Country Club in Pretoria in the last week of the month. A decision will be made for him if he receives an invitation to the Johnnie Walker Classic in Singapore. Both Boulet and Yau Sui-ming played in last year's event in Thailand, but with a smaller field this time fewer exemptions are available. ''Obviously I'd come back if there was a chance to play in the Classic, but if that doesn't happen I may stay on an extra week in South Africa,'' said Boulet. There was good news for Boulet last week when he was awarded one of the two Hongkong exemptions for the nine-leg Asian Tour which tees-off in Hongkong on February 11. With PGA champion Tang Man-kee declining to take up one of the spots, runner-up Boulet and Yau were given the option. Both accepted. For Boulet, who finished 66th on the Asian Tour Order of Merit last year, it was a big weight off his mind. Without an exemption he would have had to travel to the Philippines to play in the Qualifying School at Canlubang Golf and Country Club in the first week of February.