Most of the 2020’s celebrations details have now been released however we are constantly updating this content as new information becomes available. Please bookmark the page and return or join our Facebook group to stay up to date with the offerings.
Updated: 11 November 2020
The biggest change for this year is that the Fireworks will be presented by the NSW State Government and not Sydney City Council.
The 9pm Family Fireworks show has been cancelled. The midnight show will also be shorter running for just 7 minutes. This is probably not the year to sit outdoors and wait for the show in the sky but to book a hotel with a view, a restaurant with a view or ticketed party if you want to celebrate in the city centre.
“Only those with confirmed bookings at hospitality venues will be allowed into the city. Those without bookings will be turned away. To show appreciation to all NSW frontline workers, designated areas around Mrs Macquarie’s Point, the Sydney Opera House and Campbell’s Cove will be reserved for them.” You will find details of which passes are required and the application on the official site.
Frequently asked questions about NYE in Sydney
If you are going to be in one of the greatest cities in the world on New Year’s Eve you are probably wondering about the best way to spend the night. So many questions spring to mind:
- Where are the best fireworks vantage point? This year it’s time to find a friend with a harbour view 😉
- Which restaurants have the best view or special NYE dining packages?
- Should you go on a boat on the Sydney Harbour?
- Which hotels have the best views?
- What are the zones this year?
Well, I am going to attempt to answer all these questions and more below. You might want to grab a drink…. this could take a while!
Sydney Harbour Fireworks Vantage Points
The map below clearly shows the green zone; you cannot enter this area without a pass. It is these green zones where you will be able to see the fireworks. With no barges shooting fireworks into the sky this year the views will be restricted to the anywhere you can see the Harbour Bridge from.
Priority for unticketed access to the Green zone will be given to essential workers who have worked tirelessly during the pandemic. The tickets will allow access to Mrs Macquarie’s Point, Sydney Opera House, Campbell’s Cove and the Cahill Expressway and will be distributed by the organisations who employ these workers.
You do not need a pass to enter the yellow zones. However, these areas will be monitored by the authorities and closed if numbers get too high.
North Sydney, Bradfield Park, Blues Point Reserve, Mary Booth Reserve, Quibaree Park, Kurraba Reserve and Cremorne Reserve will not be open to the public.
New Year’s Eve Harbour Cruises in Sydney
If you are thinking about booking a New Year’s Eve Harbour Cruise, I suggest you head over and read our detailed advice about what to look out for when deciding which cruise operator to book with.
2020 NYE Cruises
These traditionally go on sale quite early with early bird prices about a hundred dollars cheaper than final prices. This could be the year to grab a bargain on the harbour with no international visitors demand is expected to be lower. If you’re a local who has not had the opportunity to be out on the harbour on NYE, this might be your best chance.
How much do NYE Cruises cost?
If you want to be on the water under the fireworks, then you are looking at somewhere between $250 and A$600 per person for a basic food and drink package. All the leading tour operators offer cruises on Sydney Harbour on New Year’s Eve and most include a food and beverage package. These range from basic BBQ style meals to a 6-hour cruise with a five-course meal and premium drinks.
This is a great way to experience Sydney on NYE if you can afford it. Just do your homework and make sure you chose a vessel that is suited to your musical/food tastes. Twenty something’s may not like to listen to a 60’s band all night 😉 like the fifty+ might not like 5 hours of dance music.
Captain Cook Cruises
Captain Cook will have three vessels on the harbour this year. Their flagship the MV Sydney 2000, Captain Cook 3 and the John Cadman 2 so let’s go through what’s on offer on each vessel. Note, all cruises depart from King Street Wharf at Darling Harbour and offer individual seating. I have dined on all three of these boats and would happily book again.
The Flagship the MV Sydney 2000 has three decks with different offerings
NYE Sky Deck Dinner – The top indoor level will host a 5-course dinner, with baby lobster and superior drinks (including a glass of Premium Veuve Clicquot Champagne at midnight). There will be live music and you can guarantee a window seat for a surcharge. Tickets are on sale now and cost $799 (Earlybird)
NYE Club Deck Dinner – on the middle deck will offer a 4-course dinner with premium drinks, live music and a glass of Champagne at midnight. Earlybird pricing for this deck is $699 ($899 full price)
Ocean Deck – located on the entry-level and the best choice for anyone with limited mobility the Ocean Deck still offers fab harbour views. It will feature continuous roving canapés and bar food and lounge-style seating. There will be live entertainment, and window seats can be guaranteed for an extra $50 pp. Earlybird pricing on offer now for $699 ($899 full price)
Captain Cook 3 – will host a deluxe 4-course seated menu (TBA), an open bar of still & sparkling wine, local & imported beers & standard spirits. Early bird pricing is $599 ($799)
The premium vessel the John Cadman 2, has a huge open rooftop deck and exceptionally comfortable is offering a seated 4-course menu, and open bar is on sale now for $599.
Other cruise options
- Majestic Cruises have two cruises, a 5-course sit-down dinner for $900 (no kids under 7yrs).
- A Bella Vista Glassboat cruise offers great views indoors or out this 6-hour cruise leaves from the casino wharf and offers a buffet, open bar, DJ and is a Harbour of Light vessel. $799
- The MV Vagabond Spirit is a premium cruise with seafood and meat buffet, open bar (premium drinks included), DJ. Window seating for most tables and three outdoor deck areas. $825
- Quayside Charters – Have the My Way for $798 – large rooftop deck and a generous buffet and drinks package.
- Sydney Harbour Tall Ships – Inside the exclusion zone, two boats on sale include dinner, drinks and live music $949 pp
- The Sydney Heritage Fleet Waratah – Tickets on sale now BYO dinner, snacks and beverage $500 each.
- Fantasea – A quality operator with a full range of options from the 90min family cruise for $650 (2A+2C) and $850 for the premium vessel with buffet, unlimited drinks and DJ. They also have a 9 pm family cruise for $295
Want more advice about things to consider before you book a cruise? Check out our main NYE Cruise tips here.
Dining with a view of Sydney Harbour for New Year’s Eve 2020
Having a ticket to a restaurant or event in Circular Quay will be one of the only ways to access the Harbour foreshore this year. We have created a brand new guide to Sydney NYE Dining in 2020.
I am not going to tell you which is best because I honestly don’t know. While I have eaten at most of these places during the year I have never done on NYE – I wish! Many will require full payment when you book and refunds may not be available so choose carefully!
NYE Dining at Circular Quay
Sydney Cove Oyster Bar will celebrate its last summer at Circular Quay after many years. We will be sad to see it go, but this is the perfect time to bid them farewell. On offer for the evening is a 5-course degustation dinner prepared by international and award-winning chef Kris Swiecinski. Champagne on arrival with wines and beer included in your ticket price.
Live music by local duo Aaron and Gemma Lyon. Ticket prices are $700 per person for premium waters edge seating or $500 per person for regular seating. You can arrive for the 7pm dinner sitting and it’s yours for the rest of the year!
Aria Sydney with their premium view of the harbour has two offerings, the early seating is $300. The main event, from 7:30pm, will set you back $1450 Details here
Cafe Sydney – Right above Circular Quay with a dress circle view. I have eaten here several times and never been disappointed. NYE they will offer a five-course dinner paired with premium Australian wine. Bookings are $880 per person.
L’Aqua @ Campbells Stores – The Dockside Group will run a pop up for 2020 with a starting time of 7pm $225 per adult, and $110 per child. The menu is an alternate service.
For many more choices see our main NYE Restaurant Packages page.
NYE Events in Sydney 2020
Capping off a year of unknown much detail around this year’s event is not yet available. We are not even certain that the usual venues will be open. As soon as we hear we will update these below.
Events will be added as details become available. Check each listing below for more information. If you still can’t decide after reading all this, you are welcome to pop over to our Sydney Expert Facebook Group and ask any specific questions you might have.
New Year’s Eve at the Sydney Opera House 2020
Opera Australia usually hosts the NYE party at the Opera House. However, this year’s Opera Australia Performances will not go ahead.
Making sure that the Opera House does not completely miss out on the NYE fun, Trippas White will be hosting three dining experiences. The NYE 2020 Dinners will be offered over three fabulous spaces. Choose from Portside, the Yallamundi Rooms or the Joan Sutherland Theatre. Prices start at $495. You can view the details here and over on our NYE restaurant page.
Opera Bar tickets have now gone on sale. I love Opera Bar; it’s the ultimate outdoor venue for NYE on the harbour. This year tickets are $450pp and includes unlimited food. There will be multiple food stalls and no limit to how many times you visit.
Local performers will keep you entertained and a Covid safe dance floor will be available. Drinks are not included. Doors open 6:00pm and the event concludes at 1:30am.
I reviewed NYE at Opera Bar after my visit several years back. It was a great night. You will need to get there really early if you want a seat as seating is limited. Doors open at 6 pm.
Opera Kitchen will host a 2020 NYE Event. Located just along from Opera Bar you will find the same great view, especially from the upper tables.
Hot Dub Time Machine will head the entertainment performing from 10pm-midnight. Two types of tickets are on sale, a VIP seating at $700pp which includes a 4-hour drink package (selected signature cocktails, wine, sparkling, beer & soft drinks) and a rolling feast of charcuterie & cheese on arrival, hot & cold canapes/tapas including Australian seafood,
followed by main course & dessert and a glass of French Champagne to toast at midnight. The general ticket is $450 and includes 3hrs of tapas and reserved seating. Drinks are not included. Tickets on sale now.
Bennelong will be hosting an event this year, but details are not yet available. You can sign up on their website to be the first to hear. The restaurant inside the small shell of the Sydney Opera House. Executive chef Peter Gilmore (Quay) runs the show here, and his food never disappoints. I have eaten here several times and always loved it.
Other Circular Quay Events on NYE
With front row seats to the Harbour Bridge View Squires Landing will offer a 3-hour beverage package and share menu between 6.30pm-9.30pm. After this, you pay for any drinks you want. Tickets are $400 pp
Buckleys Craft Beer Bar
See in the New Year from East Circular Quay with a premium position offering amazing views of the Harbour Bridge, a four-hour beverage package (8pm-midnight) and canapé platters for $595 per person. Courtyard and inside seating $495 per person
New Year’s Eve 2020 in Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens
The usual NYE Royal Botanic Garden events are not running this year, there are still an option on offer.
The Botanic Gardens Restaurant
The Botanic Gardens Restaurant will offer a six-course degustation with open bar, entertainment and a view of the Bridge from the Botanic Lawn. Tickets are $600pp
Concerts and Parties on NYE in Sydney 2020
Sydney has a New Year’s Eve party to suit everyone!
If you would prefer something a little more structured for your evening, you could try one of these fabulous venues. They usually release these details in Sept or October. This week (Dec) has seen a bunch of new events go on sale now that Covid restrictions have loosened further.
NYE at Pier One Sydney
Labelled NYE 2020: The Revelry Pier One’s event features an all inclusive drinks packages, free-flowing food menus, music and entertainment throughout the night, and great views of the Harbour Bridge in Sydney.
There are 5 ticket options starting from $399 right up to $3990 for a private pier booth.
A New Year’s Eve “Mask-erade”
Don your finest mask and prepare for an evening of fine food and wine with a trip to the roof for the NYE fireworks show.
Tickets include food, a 5-course degustation menu with matching wine. Sparkling wine for the midnight toast. and an exclusive birds-eye view of Sydney’s New Year’s Eve fireworks from their rooftop. The event runs from 8pm to 12:30 am. Tickets cost $449 (+ booking fee) and are on sale now.
The usual events will take place at the zoo this year; however, the view will be a distant one. The Diamond Reserve tickets are $600 and include a premium hamper with some drinks, entertainment and a view of the Harbour Bridge. Silver tickets on the concert lawn offer limited views and do not include a hamper but are only $200. Both tickets include access to the zoo animals until dark.
The event centre at Taronga Zoo will host a 5-course dinner with 5-hour drinks package, live entertainment and a midnight fireworks view. Find out more and book tickets here. Tables of 6-10 guests, $595 per person.
If you are flush with funds, you can book a two-night stay at Wildlife Retreat at Taronga. This will be an adults-only stay with pricing, which includes 2 nights accommodation and NYE dinner from $2,998 per couple in a Bushland Room.
Harbour Party at Luna Park
Harbour Party is a little different this year. Unlimited rides, roaming entertainers, and family-friendly possibly one of the best value family events on offer. Tickets are $149 and almost sold out.
This over 18s event held in the grounds of the Sydney Observatory is a key fundraiser for the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences. This cocktail party features DJs and photo booth to help you celebrate while you wait for the skies to light up. Tickets are $325 and include a substantial finger food package and beverages (French Champagne, red and white wines, beer, cider and soft drinks) More details Last year tickets did not sell out until 27/12/18
Cruise Bar at Circular Quay
Cheers – it’s over! Welcome in 2021 harbourside!
With its position on the Overseas Passenger Terminal at West Circular Quay, this is a great place to see in the New Year. Dance the night away. The entertainment includes Random Soul and Ben Morris, Erin Marshall, Felixx, Lodz, Matt Nugent, Nukewood and Shaun Keble.
Three ticket packages are on offer:
Level 1 – $299 will get you access to level 1 of Cruise Bar and a 4 hour food package
Level 2 – $329 will get you to level 2’s Junk Lounge with a 4 hour food package and 3 hours of drinks.
Level 3 – $459 and you will enjoy the Roof Top experience, a true VIP experience with a special 4 hour food package, 3 hour drink package, tunes from Sydney’s best DJ’s, sweeping roof top harbour views and the very best NYE atmosphere.
Harbour View Hotel
This iconic hotel sits directly across the road from the base of the Sydney Harbour Bridge; it’s honestly had to get much closer! This year they will offer a 3-hour beverage and grazing platters for $395 per person.
New Year’s Eve in the Sydney Harbour National Park and Harbour Islands
Another of the main organisers with no tickets on sale or events planned – suggests this is unlikely to go ahead in the same format as past years. As soon as we hear anything to the contrary, we will update the details below.
New Year’s Eve outside the city.
NYE in Bondi
No need to head to the city for your NYE fun, The Pacific Club Bondi Beach is offering an evening of premium dining. Start with a complimentary glass of champagne upon arrival and a 4 Course Menu specially created for just $149.
A Family Friendly NYE in Centennial Park
Get the family together and see out the year with a BBQ feast, live music, lawn games and a glass of wine on arrival and $10 cocktails. $89 for adults and $45 for kids two-hour seatings from 7pm to 8pm. More details here
To sum up
This year will be different. If you don’t have tickets you cannot enter Circular Quay. Do not expect to leave things to the last minute. If you plan to be in the city you will need a plan!