"New Years Eve Sydney - probably the best place in the world to see in a new year!"
So, you've seen those amazing fireworks on the TV and you want to be here to enjoy all the action...then look no further. This page is designed to give you all the best places and ideas to celebrate a truly memorable New Years Eve Sydney.
The biggest tip I can give you is to plan and book ahead. All the best places go quickly. You need to be booking by the end of AUGUST for some of the hot tickets in town. So, if you know you will be doing New Yeas Eve Sydney, then start planning for next year early!
But first, remind yourself how worthwhile all the planning really is by watching the 2011 firework display:
Best Ideas for New Years Eve Sydney
You will never forget the first time you see the Sydney fireworks live. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity. But with it comes a price tag and I urge you to invest to make it a truly memorable experience
1) Be on a boat for the fireworks - Actually being on the harbour for new years eve Sydney, gives you un-interupted views with fireworks going off all around you. My preference is to be on a small boat. Water taxis combined do a price for 20 people or they will do individuals for about $200 per person.
The beauty of this option is that you only have to be on the boat from say 11.15pm til 1am.
You can go on much larger boats (majestic or Supercat)which offer drink and meal packages. This might suit you. The problem with this is that you are on the boat a long time - usually from 7pm til 1.30am. It can get a bit much! You are probably looking at $400 per person for this type of package.
2) Go to a Restaurant overlooking the Harbour. All the best restaurants with a view of the harbour do set meals for New Years Eve Sydney. Clearly they can charge a lot for this. Cafe Sydney would be an awesome choice but you can expect to pay about $500 per person for this.
Summit Restaurant/Orbit Bar on Australia Square would be another good option. On the highest floor of a skyscraper, it offers revolving views of Sydney. The view would be spectacular. Expect to pay between $300 and $400 depending on where you are sitting. A cheaper option is the revolving restaurant at Centre Point on Pitt Street. But the food is not that great and you should still expect to pay about $200.
3) Go to a bar with a view - most of the key venues offer a New Years Eve Sydney package. Clearly a great option would be The Syndey Opera Bar (below the Opera House) Tickets go on sale in November and cost around $250 but that was a few years ago so it could have gone up by now.
Cruise Bar or Quay Bar would be other good options on circular quay. The Shangrila Hotel has great views of the bridge and Opera House and tends to do hotel and restaurant packages rather than allow anyone into the bar unfortunately.
4) Join the Crowds! Circular Quay, Mrs Macquarie's Chair in the domain are probably the best and most popular vantage points to see the Sydney fireworks. People get there early in the morning and set up camp, waiting ALL day to see the fireworks. It's an alcohol free zone too so there's no way of drinking to get you through the boredom! There are other vantage points that require minimum queue times (see below) It's free though so it depends on your budget!
5) Go camping on Cockatoo Island - This is an island in the middle of the harbour offering amazing views of the fireworks. A real gem of a place to see New Years Eve Sydney. Tickets go on sale at 9am and sell out by 10.30am. Prices are reasonable but you need to keep checking their website to find out when the tickets will go on sale.
6) Get out of the city and party on Bondi Beach instead - Sadly you can't really see the Sydney fireworks from here but there is one hell of a party right on the beach. This is for the clubbers amongst you who want a different sort of New Years Eve Sydney. ATickets go on sale in early October and sell out quickly. It attracts good DJ's (e.g. Fat Boy Slim, Armand van Helden)
7) Don't forget the 9pm fireworks. These might not last as long but are still spectacular. A great option for New Years Eve Sydney if you have kids.
Good Vantage Points to See the Sydney Fireworks
There are heaps of places to view the fireworks from and everyone has their favourite for New Years Eve Sydney. Remember that they tend to be alcohol free zones in the city though so you are best to pick one with a pub nearby. Somewhere in the rocks would be a good suggestion and then walk to Dawes Points, The Rocks to see the fireworks. It's risky though as the places around the rocks and circular quay have a maximum capacity so you do have to get there at a reasonable time.
Getting out of the city is a good option as there are heaps of vantage points. But think carefully about how you will get home. Taxis are near impossible to book and getting one after midnight is EXTREMELY difficult. Public transport is therefore a must, or it needs to be in walking distance to your hotel.
Vantage points in the city tend to be the busiest and the ones you need to get to early. Once a vantage point has reached capacity, the police will stop further people from entering.
Here are a few that I would recommend:
Observatory Hill. Take the set of stairs opposite the Observatory Hotel on Kent street and follow the crowds to the hill. We watched the 9pm fireworks from here and turned up just a few minutes before - no need to queue or wait all day! I'd expect it to be busier for the midnight ones though but still not essential to be there until 11ish.
Embarkation Park Kings Cross - A great option if you want to party at some of the best clubs in Sydney and see the fireworks. Kings Cross is the place to be when it comes to partying.
Robertson Park, Watson's Bay You are quite a way from the city so the fireworks are a bit far away, but it is still a great view and they generally allow you to bring alcohol into the park. Good if you are planning to spend New Years Eve Sydney on the East side of the city.
Stickland House lawns, Vaucluse This is a ticketed event so you need to buy tickets earlier in the year. But it's very family friendly with kids under 15 free. Tickets for adults are under $20. A good view, bring a torch as lighting is limited.
Thornton Park Balmain Another family friendly site with alcohol being allowed. Balmain itself closes though at 3pm to cars so working out how to get there is important - bus or ferry is probably best to ensure an awesome night.
The only extra piece of advice is to USE PUBLIC TRANSPORT for your New Years Eve Sydney. The road closures in the city are immense so getting around is really difficult.
Taxis are totally unreliable and generally don't turn up - they just go for the best fare. If you really need a taxi, consider getting a chauffeur or dedicated driver for the evening. I do have a contact if you need some help but expect to pay big bucks! (use the contact us page.)