Quick guide to Sydney New Year’s Eve

Sydney’s New Year’s Eve fireworks are well known around the world as a fantastic event. And it is no wonder that in Sydney this is the busiest time of the year!
Are you coming to Sydney to see the fireworks and have no idea where to go for the best view & what else there is to do on New Year’s Eve?

Don’t despair! We’ve put together this quick guide for you that gives you all necessary information to plan your night. And for those of us that are very last minute, don’t worry, there are plenty of free vantage points where you can just rock up early on 31 December (best in the morning, yeeeesss you read this right, in the morning!) and have a picnic till all the action starts.

How to get there?

The best way to get into the city is by public transport or a cab or Uber or by cycling or walking. Don’t even think of driving yourself as there is no parking and road closures will be in place from early afternoon.
Usually getting there is not a problem, but be very patient getting back to your hotel after midnight. Everybody will leave at the same time!

When are the fireworks on?
  • There are two fireworks, the family fireworks at 9pm
  • and the big midnight fireworks

During the fireworks you can listen to the synchronised simulcast on KIIS 106.5 FM.

Viewing locations / vantage points

Have a look at this City of Sydney map for locations of parks where you can watch the fireworks. This is the best map available with comprehensive detail on each location. And it also shows the locations of the barges from where the fireworks are lit.

As it is getting busier and busier each year, some of the sites are now ticketed, but there is still a great selection of free sites available. Please note that you should get to the free sites VERY early on the 31 December to get a good spot!

Generally the eastern side of the Harbour Bridge gives the best view. You can get a great view from lots of parks on the southern and northern side of the harbour bridge.

Most people take a picnic but drinks and food are often available onsite in the parks. Some sites don’t allow to bring your own alcohol (BYO) and real glasses, some sites are completely alcohol free, so if you are planning to toast the New Year with a glass of champagne check the details in the map in advance!

Locations with a charge & ticketed events

If you don’t feel like camping out by the harbour for the whole day then you can

  • Cruise the harbour on a boat to get close to the action – check out this recent Tripadvisor thread for tips.
  • Visit a friend who has a great view from their home – if you’re lucky!
  • Rent an apartment or hotel room with a view – this will be expensive as the number of hotel rooms with the right view is limited.
  • Book yourself into a restaurant with a view such as Aria or Bennelong at the Sydney Opera House. And check the Internet for more options with water views in the CBD, Eastern Suburbs or North Sydney.
  • Attend an event at the Royal Botanic Gardens such as “Midnight at the Oasis” and “Lawn with a View”.
  • Attend the Opera La Boheme or the Opera Gala at the Sydney Opera House with an option to purchase tickets to the Midnight Party. The intervals are timed to see the 9pm fireworks and the Opera House stays open well past midnight.
Further information from the City of Sydney
Where to stay over night?
Hotels and Apartments

A lot of hotels and apartments in the city are booked out well in advance for New Year’s Eve as it is peak time in Sydney. It may be difficult finding an affordable room. You may have more luck finding a hotel slightly out of the city centre.

University College Accommodation

Try something different and stay in a University College! Some Uni residences offer private rooms over the summer holiday period when the students are on holidays. These are a great alternative to cheap Hotel or Hostel rooms.

Whether you are looking for a budget hotel or a private room in a hostel for Sydney New Year’s Eve you will find this University accommodation offers great value and adds a totally different feel to your stay. Especially for single travellers this is a great alternative to a Hotel or Hostel, as bookings are by the room. So single travellers can book a single room at a very affordable price.

Rooms from AU$90 per night.

Find & Book Uni Accommodation

In case the booking form, map and information regarding individual residences do not show below, please click on ‘Click here to make a booking’ link below to show all details.