How To Spend A Unique New Years Eve In Sydney 2023/2024

Sydney’s New Year’s Eve celebration is globally renowned for its spectacular showcase, making it a uniquely special event. The city’s iconic fireworks, bursting over the Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House, create a visual masterpiece that captivates over 1 million people every year! They are the best fireworks in the world, we’re not biased either. Being among the first major cities to welcome the New Year, it captures the world’s attention for hours!

Let’s face it, Christmas in Australia is not the same without the cold magical chill in the UK. However, it does make up for it on New Year’s eve with the natural beauty of Sydney Harbour for a breathtaking setting. But it’s not only about fireworks either, Sydney really knows how to celebrate. From pub crawls to luxury cruises, you could have the best New Year’s Eve celebrations in Australia.

We’ve collated the ultimate guide to New Years Eve in Sydney including popular vantage points for fireworks viewing and secret spots away from tourists. Watch the fireworks or choose from our alternative events and welcome the New Year in style!

Spending Christmas in Sydney? Check out our popular guide for the Best Things To Do On Christmas Day In Sydney!

Sydney Harbour NYE Cruises still available!


The best way to see the Sydney fireworks is to book one of the few remaining boats which are still available right now. Here’s the tops picks!

The only Sydney Harbour Cruises still available!!

  1. Mari Wari: For $795, you will get all inclusive cruise fun on the Mari Wari boat. Complete with a 3-course meal, unlimited beer, wine and non alcoholic drinks and the best view of the full Harbour from smoking ceremony to midnight fireworks. Top it all off with karaoke and you will have yourself the best Sydney New Year’s eve.
  2. Aussie Magic: For $750, you’ll get this all inclusive cruise on a spacious catamaran, which includes spirits, beer, wine, sparkling wine and soft drinks, as well as canapes and desserts. There’s a DJ on board this unforgettable 5h30m cruise which is also part of the light parade, meaning it’s one of the hand picked boats allowed in the exclusion zone – aka prime position!

10 Alternative New Years Eve in Sydney Events

Field Day Festival Sydney

If you’re not fussed on watching the world famous fireworks display, here’s some alternatives as to what to do. If you’re a backpacker reading this and wondering whether to go to a music festival or to watch the fireworks, it’s a hard one but there are some awesome festivals on that might be well up your street.

Want to be in the middle of the Sydney New Years Eve atmosphere, but rather than waiting around all day for fireworks, go to an awesome music festival instead? Here’s what’s on in Sydney on New Years Eve!

1. Infinity Tower Dining


What better way to celebrate than indulging on a 6-course degustation menu amidst the stars? Infinity Tower Dining on New Years Eve includes wine pairing and 360-degree views of Sydney. Of course, you will be able to watch the full spectacular midnight fireworks without any crowds too.

2. New Year’s Eve Pub Crawl


Don’t stick it out in one pub, take on a classic pub crawl on New Year’s Eve. Whether you’re in Sydney alone or here with friends, you can join hundreds of like minded people in an epic party. Visit 4 lively bars and end the night welcoming in New Year at a party! With pizza, discounted drinks, a photographer, games and free prizes included, a pub crawl is an amazing alternative to Sydney NYE fireworks.

3. Party inside the Sydney Opera House


Of course, the ultimate way to spend New Years Ever in Sydney would be at the the iconic Opera House. With three themed party rooms to explore and the best vantage point for the midnight fireworks, the Opera House party is one hell of a night! It is a bit pricey at $1,150 but it is a once in a lifetime event.

4. Highest Champagne Party


See in the New Year at Sydney’s highest bar, Bar 83, located inside the Sydney Tower. Dance the night away, drink awesome cocktails and dine on delicious canapes with Sydney’s most unique firework vantage point. At 83 floors up, you really will be amongst the stars!

5. Lost Paradise Festival


Lost Paradise is the cool festival, the one where people are a bit more out there, a bit similar to Bestival or Secret Garden Festival in England. It’s located an hour out of Sydney in Glenworth Valley and typically takes place from December 28 to January 1.

With a lineup of live music artists, workshops and wellness activities, you’ll be able to escape the crowds and really have a laugh spread out over a few days. You can even relax in a forest of hammocks!

6. Drag and DJs


Yas Queens, sounds like a fun night! The Imperial Hotel (Impy) in Erskenville is the best place to celebrate Queer love with the best drag talent in Sydney. Bring your dancing shoes and set yourself up for an epic night.

7. Jazz it up at The Old Fitz


What could be more sophisticated than a night of Jazz at The Old Fitz? With champagne on arrival, a banquet meal and the best Jazz trio in Sydney, The Old Fitz New Years Eve event sounds like a hoot!

8. Darling Harbour Party


Miss out the waiting around for midnight fireworks and instead book tickets to Bungalow 8 New Year’s Eve Party in Darling Harbour. Tickets are from $49 and it includes 3 hours of beer, wine and food, yes please!

9. Masquerade Ball


Don your mask, suit it up and make it to the ball on time for New Year’s at CIRQ in The Crown! The incredible rooftop bar offers unbelievable views of Sydney’s spectacular midnight fireworks and tickets include endless champagne refills! Wow!

10. Barangaroo House FREE PARTY


Three levels of parties, each themed with a different decade and it’s all free! You could be dancing to 70’s classic, 90’s throwbacks and naughties hits or mix it up and go to all three. Barangaroo House New Year’s Eve Celebration is bound to be awesome.

What the Sydney New Years Eve fireworks schedule looks like


If you want to experience Sydney New Years Eve fireworks display, the best way you’re going to see them is on a boat on Sydney harbour as I mentioned above. Otherwise, this is what the schedule looks like for the evening.

7:30pm Smoking Ceremony: A traditional ceremony to honour the First Nations people and their connection to the land.It involves the smouldering of native plants, and it is a significant part of the event, symbolising respect for the land and the indigenous culture.

8:30pm Lighting Show: Projections on the Sydney Harbour bridge pylons start and a lighting show shines bright over the Opera house.

8:57pm Welcome to Country: Local Aboriginal Land Council welcome visitors to Gadigal land.

9pm Calling Country/Children’s Fireworks display: Showcased by the talents of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists with music, dance, and illustrative art.

9:15pm Boat Lights: Boats light up the harbour with a magical city skyline backdrop.

Spectacular Midnight Fireworks Display: Enough said.

My personal experience of watching the Sydney New Years Eve Fireworks


We’ve been meaning to share some secrets on how you can rock up to the Sydney New Years Eve fireworks pretty late and still get an awesome view.

I know as a local, I don’t particularly want to start lining up at 7am to get into a spot to watch the midnight fireworks. If you do decide to line up early for a view, make sure you bring an umbrella, hat, sunscreen and a water bottle. New Years Eve in Sydney can be so hot, but imagine sitting in it for hours without the escape of swimming in the ocean or going into an air con building to cool off? It makes a huge difference.

If you’re visiting Sydney New Years Eve fireworks for the first time, Circular Quay is jammed packed which always surprises me because technically you don’t really get the iconic view of being able to watch the fireworks directly over the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge.

I’ve been to Mrs Macquarie’s Point before and lined up 12 hours before the fireworks, just to get a spot.

And it was a bit hectic, especially when the midnight fireworks started, people suddenly decided I was standing in their spot. To be honest, Mrs Macquarie’s Point is a good spot for backpackers because they tend to be more tolerant for lining up and just being “there for the experience.”

<em>What Mrs Macquaries Point looks like on New Years Eve in Sydney <em>

You’ll look down to see the exclusive roped off area where people have paid A LOT of money in The Botanic Gardens to get a better view without the crowds.

Another year I rocked up at Martin Place Station around 8pm and we had to sit on the grass at the northern end of the Botanic Gardens on Elizabeth Street like we were in a conga line.

We could see a very small section of the bridge and should have really watched them from the TV for a better view. But the atmosphere was good. The interesting part about this experience is I remember us legging it back to Martin Place Station after the midnight fireworks, expecting it to be packed. It wasn’t. To be honest, it wasn’t busy at all. Maybe we got lucky. Who knows.

5 Places to watch the Sydney New Years Eve Fireworks

So here’s some good spots to watch the Sydney New Years Eve fireworks.

1. Kirribilli

Go to the other side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge to watch the fireworks. When I lived in Kirribilli, we just walked on down to the end of our street to Broughton Street and had a cracking view of the fireworks, right next to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Turns out they are charging now to get into Bradfield Park – it’s not expensive.

<em>Theres loads of small pockets to catch the Sydney Harbour fireworks in Kirribilli<em>

We popped over to the Kirribilli Hotel for a few drinks which was actually really quiet because everyone was already at their spots ready for the fireworks, then we headed down just in time to watch them. Like most places around Sydney Harbour, you can’t drink. Security will check as well because they’re pretty strict like that in Sydney no matter what event it is.

Mary Booth Lookout

Admittedly, that year we were going to go to our secret park at Mary Booth Lookout but you had to get in there by 2pm before the police closed it off. We didn’t think it was worth it.

2. Neutral Bay

<em>Although theres no direct view the fireworks are amazing from Kurraba Reserve Neutral Bay<em>

Another year when we moved over to Neutral Bay, we just walked out of our home and two minutes down the road to Kurraba Reserve and there were only locals there. We had a brilliant view of the fireworks and loved it. The funny part was seeing everyone disappear back to their homes after both the 9pm and 12pm fireworks and it was deserted.

Technically if you wanted to bring some mates a long and park up for the day, you’d probably get it to yourselves for the whole day. The only problem is toilets in the area – that one I can’t help you with.

3. Blues Point Reserve


We’ve always said Blues Point Reserve would be another good spot to watch the fireworks but again you need to pay to get in there. There’s a pub and loads of restaurants up the road if you’re looking for a few drinks beforehand.

We’ve always said Blues Point Reserve would be another good spot to watch the fireworks but again you need to pay to get in there. There’s a pub and loads of restaurants up the road if you’re looking for a few drinks beforehand.

4. Dudley Reserve in Bondi


Dudley Page Reserve is a popular vantage point for viewing the Sydney New Year’s Eve fireworks. It offers a fun and relaxed atmosphere with panoramic views of the harbor fireworks, making it perfect for families. The reserve typically hosts a family-friendly event that kicks off at 6pm and offers unobstructed views of the 9pm and midnight Sydney Harbour fireworks. The site has a licensed bar, food stalls, and facilities such as accessible toilets and drinking water stations. It is important to note that access to the reserve on New Year’s Eve is usually by paid entry.

5. North Head in Manly


North Head in Manly is a popular vantage point for viewing the Sydney New Year’s Eve fireworks. It offers stunning views of the fireworks from Manly and is a free-entry location, with no tickets required. However, there is no vehicle access on New Year’s Eve, and visitors need to be able to walk a distance of 1.8 km from the entrance gate. The site is alcohol-free, but you are allowed to bring their own food.

Should you watch Sydney New Years Eve fireworks at home?

One year we decided to go on a road trip and drive from Sydney to Adelaide via Melbourne over Christmas and New Years. Our plan was to spend NYE in Adelaide, yet when we arrived around 5pm on the day, Steve had caught a bug and was so ill. I then had to spend the evening at our airbnb watching the Sydney fireworks while Steve was fast sleep. Haha, how ironic!

We’ve watched the Sydney fireworks on TV a few times now and to be honest, you won’t get a better view. But how does it fair up in comparison to being there in person? You won’t get the atmosphere, and you will most likely (like us) spend time complaining about the absolutely diabolical choice of music to accompany the fireworks.

Looking for Sydney New Years Eve Accommodation?

Where to stay in Sydney

Need accommodation while you’re in Sydney? I recommend not booking an Airbnb! I have stayed in a few and they have been awful (think bed bugs etc). While Airbnb’s can be good outside of the city, I 100% recommend staying in a hotel when you’re in Sydney. Check out our 30 Best Hotels In Sydney CBD or our Ultimate 20 Best Hostels In Sydney Guide

  1. Best Luxurious hotel in Sydney – Park Hyatt Hotel or Crown Towers
  2. Best mid range hotel in Sydney – Old Clare Hotel
  3. Best cheap hotel in Sydney – Rydges Sydney Central
  4. Best budget friendly family hostel – Sydney Harbour YHA
  5. Best party hostel in Sydney – Wake Up! Sydney Central

More things to do in Sydney


As your local experts, here’s some of our most popular guides to help you make the most out of Sydney these holidays!

How to spend New Years Eve In Sydney

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