New Years Eve In Sydney 2024-25 Mega list

I have enjoyed no less than 25 New Year’s Eve celebrations in Sydney. I have watched from a cruise ship, a harbour island, three different locations in the Botanic Gardens and the Rocks. I created this page to share my experiences and hopefully help you make an informed choice. To help with this we have included as many photos as we could of what the view form each spot looks like.

Updated 12/04/2024 – We continually update this page as information becomes available. If you see something we have missed feel free to reach out and let us know.

There were plenty of changes to NYE Fireworks in 2023. The NSW Government made most of the Sydney Harbour foreshore and publicly owned land free to access. This includes Barangaroo Reserve, all the foreshore around to the Opera House, the Sydney Harbour islands and national park, Mrs Macquaries Point and other parts of the Botanic Gardens.

Most of these areas will operated on a first come first served basis with gates opening between 7am and 11am for the most popular spots. While this may be good news to some, for many, especially those with small children or anyone in Sydney for a short visit, the idea of waiting 10 hours plus for the fireworks show is nothing short of torture.

It’s not sure yet if this will be the same in 2024 but if it is you will need to be organised (and patient) to get a prime spot. Queues formed very early last year. If you don’t want to spend hours waiting it might be best to secure a ticket for one of the locations we list below or consider a hotel with a view or book a restaurant at Circular Quay or along the harbour foreshore.

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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:

Well, I am going to answer all these questions and more below. Grab a drink…. this could take a while!

What is the schedule on NYE in Sydney

The 2024 schedule has not yet been announced. This usually happens in early September. The 2023 schedule looked like this:

  • 7.30pm – Smoking Ceremony
  • 8.30pm – Pylon projections and lighting effects – Sydney Harbour Bridge pylons and eastern side.
  • 8.57pm – Welcome to Country
  • 9.00pm – Calling Country fireworks
  • 9.15pm – Harbour Lights parade
  • Midnight Fireworks – Pyrotechnic effects launched from the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House and barges in the harbour to a synchronised simulcast.

The Midnight fireworks simulcast will be available on KIIS 1065 so be sure to bring your device to enjoy the full effect of the music

Sydney Harbour Fireworks Vantage Points

Planning your trip to a free fireworks viewing point

Many roads are closed, and most people travel by public transport. Buses and trains will run, but moving around the city between 8pm, and 1am may be tricky. Access to Circular Quay station will be closed off at 5pm (or earlier if crowd numbers make it unsafe).

  • Use the Sydney City Council’s real-time update map on the night – a very handy tool that has the rules for each viewing point. Allows you search for accessible areas if needed and provides an indication of the time they expect the site to be full.
  • Many of the free sites are alcohol-free, so make sure you check the rules before you head to your favourite spot. You can bring your own food into almost all vantage points, but most do not allow you to bring your drinks. Some areas are completely dry, so be sure to check that the site suits your needs.
  • There are no passouts at most of these sites, so once you are in you have to stay there.

My preference is to see the front of the Harbour Bridge if possible; this is where the climax of the firework show takes place, and it’s usually spectacular. I think it’s a must for international visitors.

There are great viewing areas on both sides of the harbour, so my strong recommendation is to stick to the side that you are staying on. Getting back across the bridge after it’s all over is tedious.

Vantage Points around Circular Quay and The Rocks

The following sites are managed by Place Management NSW, who owns and operates 26 hectares around the foreshore. In 2023 these areas were free with the best access from Circular Quay station until 5pm when the station will close. After this you will need to walk from Wynyard Station (approx 15 minutes). All sites will offer free water refill stations and most have accessible toilets. Many sites are alcohol free. Check individual listings for details.

Campbells Cove in the Rocks

Campbells Cove puts you in the heart of the action. Gates will open at 9am and no tickets are required. Capacity is 6,000.

Some complain the hard surfaces (there is no grass on this site) make this a tough spot to sit and wait. The area has a fantastic view of the Opera House and an ok view of the bridge from some parts of the site although you miss the waterfall effect off the bottom of the bridge that closes the show.

Campbells Cove Harbour Bridge View
Campbells Cove Harbour Bridge View

Campbell’s Cove is traditionally an alcohol-free zone. Food Trucks are usually on site, and BYO food is welcome.

Campbells Cove Opera House View
Campbells Cove Opera House View

Dawes Point / Tar-Ra Park

Dawes Point is the park under the Harbour Bridge. Gates will open at 9am and no tickets are required. Capacity is 36,000

With the bridge literally right above you, your views of the front may be limited. There are however excellent views of the Opera House, provided you are not stuck under a tree! It’s worth noting that the smoke from the fireworks can be unpleasant if the wind blows the wrong way and it can restrict your view.

Dawes Point restricted view
There are better views at Dawes Point, but some spots will offer a restricted view due to tree cover.

A big pro at Dawes Point, is you get to sit on the grass in the shade, and it’s usually lovely a cool spot. I think this is a good choice perhaps for a local but not a one time only experience. Food trucks will be in attendance and BYO food is permitted. This is an accessible site with Wynyard station a 15 minute walk away via Wynyard Walk.

Hickson Road Reserve

This is the grassed area directly to the front of the Hyatt Hotel, where the palm trees are. Gates will open at 9am and no tickets are required. Capacity is 2,800.

Hickson Road NYE Viewing area
Hickson Road Reserve viewing area

This is an alcohol free zone. BYO food is permitted and food will be for sale on site.

West Circular Quay

This is the area outside the Museum of Contemporary Art and First Fleet Park is the pick of this bunch for me with grass to sit on, a lovely Opera House view and a bit of distance between you and the smoke that builds up right under the bridge around Hickson Road as happens some years. Gates will open at 9am and no tickets are required. Capacity is 20,000.

West Circular Quay NYE View
Western Circular Quay view
West Circular Quay NYE view
A mix of grassy spaces

BYO food is permitted. However, this is another alcohol free site.No glass or large bags are allowed.

Bennelong Point

This prime position is one that requires stamina ;-). The gates open at 7.00am and will close at 2pm unless full earlier- I expect it will be. There is no shade, and hard surfaces so be sure to be prepared for a long day in the sun. Sunshades are not allowed so pack your hat and sunscreen! There is capacity for 6500 people and you can bring your own food and drink, but no alcohol. Alcohol will be on sale.

East Circular Quay

This free vantage point is the hard pathway in front of the cafes and restaurants that line East Circular Quay. Gates open at 9am and there is capacity for 8000 people. This location gives you a spectacular view of the Harbour Bridge, but no view of the Opera House.

wharf 2 Circiular Quay View NYE
The southern end of East Circular Quay

Mrs Macquarie’s Point

Mrs Macquarie’s Point on the edge of the Royal Botanic Gardens is free again. You will need to arrive early, in the past people have been known to camp out overnight to secure the best location. Gates open at all entry points in the Botanic Gardens at 11am and close when sites are full. They say queuing is from 7am on 31 December but I am not sure how they will police that.

NYE View Mrs Macquarie's Point
Trees obstruct some views of the Harbour Bridge at Mrs Macquaries Point.

Cahill Expressway

The Cahill Expressway is the roadway that runs above Circular Quay Station. On NYE, they close the road and turn it into a great viewing point. Tickets are free, but it is a ballot process. The ballot is technically for NSW residents, although I met many visitors the year I was there. The ballot is open now and ticket holders will be notified between mid October and early December.

Usually, the capacity is 3000 for each show. I was lucky enough to score five tickets two years ago, and it was fantastic fun. It is run by the RMS (Roads and Maritime Services). A couple of things to note: It is an alcohol-free zone; you only have tickets to either the 9 pm or the midnight shows – you can’t stay for both.

The content on this page is continually updated as new information becomes available. Please bookmark the page and return or join our Facebook group to stay up to date with the offerings.

Fireworks Viewing on the Southside of Sydney Harbour

Embarkation Park, Potts Point

A short walk from Kings Cross Station Embarkation Park looks out over Woolloomooloo and has limited views of the Harbour Bridge. Gates open at 10am and capacity is 800. No alcohol permitted.

Embarkation Park offers some Harbour Bridge views.
Embarkation Park offers some Harbour Bridge views.

Beare Park, Elizabeth Bay

Beare Park offers partial fireworks views. This is not an official site this year, so we are not sure of the restrictions that may be put in place.

McKell Park, Darling Point

This tiny park offers a good view of the Harbour Bridge, with the tip of the Opera House also visible. It is an alcohol-free spot suitable for a byo picnic, with space for 1000; this site mainly attracts locals. Entry will be from noon.

Yarranabbe Park, Rushcutters Bay

Yarranabbe Park has a capacity of 10,000 and will open at 3pm. Alcohol is prohibited, food will be on sale, and you can BYO picnic.

Fireworks Viewing Points on the Northside of the Harbour

Bradfield Park and Mary Booth Reserve Milson’s Point

Bradfield Park and Mary Booth Reserve have a capacity of 18,000 and gates will open at 9am. The view at these two spots varies greatly. Much of Bradfield Park is on the western side of the Harbour Bridge and you may have a restricted view of the Opera House unless you are among the earliest arrivals. Bradfield Park is an alcohol free site. BYO food and soft drinks (no glass), food for sale on site.

Mary Booth Reserve has great views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge from Mary Booth Reserve. Gates open at 9am and I expect people will line up early to get access to Mary Booth grass as it has the best view. There no shade as you wait so wear sunblock! Also an alcohol free site.

Blues Point Reserve

This alcohol-free run by North Sydney Council has space for 8,600. This area is free and tickets are not required.

Lavendar Bay

This is a free ticketed area with a great view to the bridge. Gates open at 9am and there is a capacity of 3700. Like many foreshore areas, this is also an alcohol free site. You can BYO or buy food on site. This area is accessible.

Cremorne Point Reserve

Even though there is no full direct view of the Harbour Bridge, this is still a lovely spot to spend New Year’s Eve.

Cremorne Point NYE view
This view of the city from Cremorne was taken just left of the pools

It’s an alcohol-free zone these days, but there is a fantastic view of the Opera House. Get there early as there is only space for 5000 people. Free!

NYE Bradleys Head: Booraghee Amphitheatre

Sitting on the Harbour just past Taronga Zoo, Bradley’s Head has direct views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. In the past there were three family-friendly vantage points to choose from – The Amphitheatre, Mast Precinct and Athol Lawn.

Bradleys Head Amphitheatre offers an ideal family-friendly setting to ring in the new year. This popular spot is perfect for picnics, boasting unobstructed vistas of both the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House.

You can either bring your own picnic or purchase food from one of the available food trucks. From here, you’ll have a fantastic view of the stunning fireworks that mark the beginning of 2025.

  • Alcohol-free and glass-free zone 
  • Limited options of non-alcoholic drinks and food will be on sale

Viewing the NYE Fireworks on the West of the Harbour

With North Sydney Council introducing ticketing for their free areas this year, expect the western side of the harbour to become more crowded than previous years when those who could not plan and find themselves looking for free options.

Barangaroo Reserve

West of the Harbour Bridge – Barangaroo Reserve opened is fast becoming a popular site for families, and in 2023 again become a free site although you will need a ticket. Capacity is 10,500 and I have experienced NYE here and with those numbers it doesn’t feel too crowded so a good choice for anyone who wants a bit of space.

Barangaroo NYE Picnic event
Barangaroo NYE 2019

Gates will open at 5pm, and while there is no BYO, you can buy alcohol on site. This site is accessible and a good choice for families.

Elkington Park, Balmain

Free site, no glass or alcohol. Popular family-friendly spot and while there are no views of the Opera House or Harbour Bridge there are fantastic fireworks views with restricted views of the city. Capacity 3000 and gates will open at 8am.

Pirrama Park Pyrmont

Pirrama Park is a family-friendly choice with partial fireworks views, will open at 2pm and has a capacity of 7,000 people. This free area is one of the few allowing BYO alcohol Food will be available on site.

Time and Tide Pirrama Park NYE view
Pirrama Park


Free site with no glass or alcohol. Pleasant shade for hot sunny days. Capacity 5000. This site has a good view of the western side of the Harbour Bridge but no view of the Opera House. Gates open at 8am.

Illoura Reserve

Illoura Reserve is a popular spot with locals, with a capacity of 2850 people. BYO alcohol allowed, the site offers views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge but not the Opera House. Entry is free and gates open at 8am.

Illoura Reserve Balmain NYE View
Minutes walk from the ferry wharf.

Darling Harbour

Darling Harbour will have free family areas as well as lots of restaurants offering special packages. It’s also home to several nightclubs, so there is something for everyone, but you should know that you don’t get the harbour experience from here. They have fireworks, but in my opinion, it’s just not the same, and I do not recommend it for international or one-time visitors.

New Year’s Eve in Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens

Tickets for NYE in the Botanic Gardens were very different with only one area ticketed. Mare and Foal Lawn, traditionally home of the Friends of the Botanic Gardens members will be the only ticketed spot.

Watching the fireworks from The Royal Botanic Gardens is like sitting in the dress circle. We are still unsure of how access to these amazing locations will work for those who are not members of the “Friends of the Botanic Gardens”. I have to tell you this is my favourite place and I expect these spots will be the first to fill up if they are indeed on offer this year.

Most of these areas are wheelchair accessible but please double check as this may have changed.

Fleet Steps – Previously known as The Point

The area known as the Point is right by Fleet Steps North at Mrs Macquaries Point. In my opinion, this is the best view of the Gardens locations because of the way the Opera House and Harbour Bridge line up.

Fireworks from The Point
It’s an amazing view from The Point

Gates will open at 11am however the queue will officially open at 7am giving you an idea of what they are expecting. The area will close once the capacity of 1350 is reached – I am guessing this will happen shortly after the gates open.

Bennelong Lawn – Previously Lawn with a view

Bennelong lawn outside Government House and directly above the Sydney Opera House–a box seat view. Capacity is 1000 and gates open at 11am with the queue opening

Lawn with a view
Lawn with a view

Tarpeian Lawn

This area is on the Tarpeian Lawn above the Opera House with fantastic views of the Harbour Bridge. This area will be free with gates opening at 11am.

I experienced this viewpoint point last year and my recommendation is to be there early for the best view. Those who were early had the view like you see below. Mine was partially obstructed by trees. Lesson learnt! Please note this site is not wheelchair accessible.

The Bridgeview Vantage Point, Credit: James Horan

Mrs Macquaries Point

This was decades one of the most popular areas to watch the fireworks for free and it is now free again. Gates will open at 11am with the queue officially forming at 7am. I am sure people will be there earlier. It will close when the site reaches its 10,000 capacity. I expect this will be by lunchtime. In previous years it was full by 3pm every year but with all the additional free sites it’s anyone guess.

Mrs Macquaries Gold Area NYE
Get there early to nab this free view
NYE from Mrs Macquarie's Chair Sydney Australia
Possible restricted view if you arrive late

New Year’s Eve Harbour Cruises in Sydney

2024 NYE Cruises

New Year’s Eve cruises traditionally go on sale early in the year. Early bird prices can be a hundred dollars or more cheaper than final prices.

Top 5 NYE Cruises

In a hurry and don’t really want to read over the detailed advice below. Well here you go!

  1. Most Unique NYE Cruise – Sydney Harbour NYE Tallship Experience. – Sold out!
  2. Best NYE Cruise for families – Ocean Dreaming 9pm cruises from Darling Harbour or Manly.
  3. Best NYE Cruise for partying – Bella Vista with a DJ to provide the summer night beats.
  4. Best NYE Cruise to impressThe Jackson is a brand-new high end ship.
  5. Best NYE Cruise for foodiesCaptain Cook do a wonderful dinner on NYE. – Almost sold out

How much do NYE Cruises cost?

If you want to be on the water, you will need to spend somewhere between $250 and A$1500 per person. This will get you 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 dinner and premium drinks. Prices are down this year with no international visitors, so if you have always thought about doing this – it might be a good year to give it a go!

This is a great way to experience Sydney on NYE if you can afford it. Just do your homework and make sure you choose a vessel that is suited to your musical/food tastes. Twenty some things may not like to listen to a 60s band all night 😉 like the sixty+ might not enjoy 5 hours of dance music.

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.

NYE Cruise view Sydney Harbour
The view from your NYE cruise depends on the position your boat has secured.

In most years, at 9.20pm, after the first round of fireworks, many vessels turn on their lights and parade up and down the harbour until the midnight fireworks. Called the Harbour of Light parade, vessels that take part have the best vantage points for the midnight show, so keep your eye out for details on this.

Captain Cook Cruises

Captain Cook will have two vessels on the harbour this year. Their flagship, the MV Sydney 2000, and the Captain Cook Rocket, so let’s go through what’s on offer on each vessel. Note, all cruises depart from King Street Wharf at Darling Harbour. The MV Sydney offers individual seating and we have always enjoyed our meals here.

The Flagship the MV Sydney 2000 has three decks with different offerings

Captain Cook NYE Sky Deck Degustation

The top indoor level will host a 6-course degustation menu paired with Penfold’s premium wines including a 75ml glass of world-famous Penfolds Grange! Your booking price includes bottomless Penfolds Rose Champagne (France) & Premium Spirits, and Midnight Celebration Cocktail. There will be live music, and you can guarantee a window seat for a $99 surcharge. 2023 tickets sold out quickly.

Captain Cook Sydney Harbour Cruise ship
The Sydney 2000 – Captain Cook’s Flagship vessel

NYE Club Deck Dinner

On the second highest deck of MV Sydney you can dine on a 5-course dinner and midnight supper. There will be bottomless French Champagne, with premium drinks, live music to dance the night away.

Ocean Deck – NYE Cocktails and Canapes Party

If you prefer a more casual evening, then consider Ocean Deck. Here you will be treated to an 4 course dinner served with bottomless French Champagne, with premium drinks. Supper at midnight will round out the night. There will be a DJ to keep you partying all night. Tickets are $1090pp. There is a window surcharge of $50pp.

Captain Cook Rocket– will host a BYO drink and picnic cruise. Sold out

Other cruise options

  • The Jackson – Seven course Dinner including a Five-course Degustation menu along with a 6.5-Hour All-Inclusive Platinum Beverage Package featuring free flowing Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label NV, signature cocktails and top shelf spirits, craft beer and a selection of premium wines $1499. Almost gone!
  • Starship Sydney – This luxury glass boat offers 360 degree views offers a 5 hour beverage package with substantial canapes $999
  • NYE on the Bella Vista – a Glass Boat – A DJ to entertain, five hour beverage package, roaming canapes a standing buffet and dessert. The vessel has 3m high glass wraparound windows and an open top deck with 360-degree views of magnificent Sydney Harbour.
  • Harbour Tall Ships – Love these cruises – it’s such a fun experience. Inside the exclusion zone, two boats usually on sale – include dinner, drinks and live music $949-
  • The MV Vagabond Spirit offers a seafood and meat buffet, open bar (premium drinks included), DJ. Window seating for most tables and three outdoor deck areas. $725
  • Sydney Sundancer – 8 hour cruise on a luxury yacht with buffet dinner
  • The Sydney Heritage Fleet Waratah – Expressions of interest are now being taken here – BYO dinner, snacks and beverage $500 each.
  • Ocean Dreaming – 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 $350

Want more advice about things to consider before you book a cruise? Check out our main NYE Cruise tips here.

New Year’s Eve at the Sydney Opera House

From the viewing area on East Circular Quay to the Opera Australia performance and after-party, there are many options for watching the Sydney NYE fireworks from the Opera House.

Opera Australia

Tickets are on sale now for the Opera Gala Concert in the Concert Hall or Verdi’s La Traviata in the Joan Sutherland Theatre. Hosted by Jonathan Biggins, the concert features the greatest arias ever written and performed by a selection of Australia’s finest singers and musicians. With an interval at 9pm to take in the first fireworks show from the Northern Foyer.

For a once in a lifetime New Year’s Eve experience, book the Platinum package that includes the Pre-Gala Dinner, Platinum reserve seating for the Concert, a program, champagne at interval and entry to the Midnight Party in the Joan Sutherland Northern Foyer.

The 2.5 hour performance begins at 7.45pm and is followed by a party featuring canapés, drinks and live entertainment, with views of the spectacular midnight fireworks on Sydney Harbour.

Please note that while the foyer offers a good view of the fireworks, space outside on the balcony will be limited.

Tickets: The Opera Gala Concert tickets are from $99-499 depending on the seats you choose + $9.80 transaction fee
Additional experiences You can add a Pre-performance dinner in the Northern Foyer for $399pp or the Midnight Party for $399pp which includes Canapés, drinks and live entertainment, in the Northern Foyer with views of the spectacular midnight fireworks on Sydney Harbour.

Swingin’ Under The Stars New Years Eve

Your ticket to this party on the western boardwalk will have you right in front of the Harbour Bridge. The party includes a 4 course seated dinner, all inclusive drinks package, a mega line up of non-stop entertainment from the Golden Age of Las Vegas complete with big band. Add the best views and enjoy what is enviably the world’s most iconic fireworks display.

Portside Sydney Opera House New Years Eve_Together Again
It’s pretty hard to beat this view.

Premium free-flowing drinks, plenty of roving food to satisfy the senses, and live entertainment Portside has quickly become THE NYE party everyone wants a ticket to. Stroll past the crowds to your dedicated entrance to the Western Broadwalk with the view below!

This adults only event will set you back $1250 per person but what a night!

Find out more or book tickets for Swinging Under the Stars here.

House of SPlendour

Immerse yourself in a night of boundless extravagance, complete with prime spot at the Yallamundi Rooms in Sydney Opera House for Sydney’s renowned fireworks display. Enjoy continuous indulgence from a wandering assortment of delectable canapés and lavish food stations. Savor the finest French Champagne and top-tier wines while grooving to a stellar DJ ensemble and enjoying spontaneous entertainment as you welcome the arrival of the new year.

Over 18 years only this event is wheelchair accessible. Tickets are $950.

Opera Bar

I love Opera Bar; it’s the ultimate outdoor venue for a NYE party on the harbour. You have amazing views of the Harbour Bridge and even the Opera House looks great from this angle. There will be live entertainment from Bermuda Social, Soulphonics, Dark Horse and Natural Selector starting at 6pm and running right through until 2 am.

Opera Bar NYE view
The Opera Bar view Credit: Opera Bar

Food will be on offer all night to keep your energy levels up! Multiple food stalls dispensing sustenance all night long. There is no limit to how many times you can visit each one. Check their FAQ for more details and book directly on their site.

Seating will be very limited, so best for those happy to stand and mingle or dance the night away. Tickets on sale now $495 and along with entry to the bar include some of the best close-up views you can get, a huge festival stage and roving performers, as well as all night long with hot and cold dishes, with a variation of vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options as well as seafood and meat. Desserts will also be available. This is an over 18yrs only event and your ticket does not include drinks.

Opera Bar Sydney View
Opera Bar is a great NYE choice.

I reviewed NYE at Opera Bar after my visit several years back. It was a great night.

Cost: $599
Times: Doors open 6:00pm on 31/12/23 and the event concludes at 2am on 1/1/24

Glow at House Canteen

Get set for a night filled with continuous live music to keep you moving and captivating roving entertainers to maintain the excitement. And here’s the big news – we have the hottest ticket in town, offering you a front-row seat to Sydney’s stunning Harbour Bridge fireworks! While there is some seating this is predominantly a stand up event.

Tickets include:

  • Non-stop entertainment: Live music and roving performances
  • Scrumptious roaming canapés throughout the evening
  • Drinks are on sale, you can pre-order Chandon Rosé for your arrival
  • Breathtaking views of the iconic Harbour Bridge and Opera House
  • Over 18’s only.

Doors open 5pm and the event concludes at 2am. Tickets are priced at $450

Bennelong Restaurant

The last Opera House option, Bennelong, will host a dinner this year with tickets starting at $1400pp. The restaurant is 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.

Find out more on our NYE Dining page.

New Year’s Eve in the Sydney Harbour National Park and Harbour Islands

Sydney Harbour National Park encompasses a substantial part of the harbour foreshore and three harbour islands. These sites are ticketed to control numbers and there was a small charge in 2023 to cover the cost of your ferry ride to the islands but other areas will be free. There are usually two ferry times for arrival and departure, and you choose these when you book your tickets.

Sydney Harbour National Park encompasses a substantial part of the harbour foreshore and three harbour islands. These sites are ticketed to control numbers and a small fee will be charged for transport.

Clark Island

  • BYO everything – no food or drink sales on the island
  • Alcohol is permitted 
  • Ferries will depart Barangaroo ferry wharf at 5.45pm and 6.45pm with return ferries at 12.30am and 1.30am.
  • Capacity: 680 people

NYE Shark Island Party

Shark Island is perfectly positioned with the Opera House and Harbour Bridge directly down the harbour.

  • Entertainment includes DJs playing a range of house, disco, funk and soul music on the dancefloor
  • You can bring your own food and non-alcoholic drinks.
  • Drinks will be available 
  • Ferries depart from Rose Bay at 6.15pm or 7pm ferry they return at 9.20pm (after the 9pm fireworks), and after the event at 12.30am and 1.15am
  • Capacity is 780 people.

Note: Ferries to Shark Island will depart from Rose Bay Wharf. You can also take a bus from the city to reach the wharf but be prepared for a long trip back to town after the event. When we went, it took us over 1.5 hours to get back to the city.

Goat Island – Me-mel

Goat Island is on the western side of the Harbour Bridge. You have a fabulous view of the bridge itself although you miss out on the light display on the front of the Bridge and you can’t see the Opera House. 

New Years Eve Goat Island
Our Goat Island view in 2017
  • There is no entertainment, so you need to bring your own fun
  • You can bring your own food and your own alcohol, although responsible service limits apply. 
  • 6.30pm or 7.15pm ferry departures from Barangaroo. They depart Goat Island at 9.30pm (after the 9pm fireworks) and after the event at 12.30am and 1.15am 

Athol Lawn

Athol Lawn, in Sydney Harbour National Park, is a great choice for families to celebrate New Year’s Eve. While it provides scenic views of the harbour skyline, it’s worth noting that direct views of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge are somewhat obstructed by tree cover.

  • Bring along a picnic – glass and alcohol free zone 
  • Drinking water is available. You can’t buy food or drinks at Athol Lawn.
  • Gates open at 3pm. If you have a ticket, you must arrive by 8.30pm

Dining with a view of Sydney Harbour for New Year’s Eve

Having a ticket to a restaurant or event in Circular Quay will be one of the best ways to access the Harbour foreshore this year. We have created a brand new guide to NYE Dining in Sydney, which is being updated daily. Many will require full payment when you book, and refunds may not be available, so choose carefully! 

Please see our main NYE Restaurant Packages page.
Events will be added as details become available. Pop over to our Sydney Expert Facebook Group and ask any specific questions.

Botanic House Restaurant

Botanic House will offer a six-course menu with a spritz on arrival and champagne for the 9pm and midnight shows. There will be entertainment and a view of the Bridge from the Botanic Lawn. Tickets are $825pp

Botanic Gardens view NYE fireworks
Actual view from a reserved viewing area.

NYE in The Rocks

Many of the restaurants and bars in the Rocks offer packages at relatively reasonable prices.

Cruise Bar at Circular Quay

Grab your tickets for the biggest New Year’s Eve bash at Cruise Bar! You’ll snag awesome views of the fireworks and enjoy live performances by Sydney’s top artists.

Whether you wanna party in style with their Rooftop VIP package (with premium food and drinks) or just have a blast with on Level 1 & 2 general admission ticket (including a food package) at really affordable prioces

With its position on the Overseas Passenger Terminal at West Circular Quay, Cruise Bar offers fantastic views of the Opera House.

Level 1 & 2 – from $169 your ticket will get you access to the first two floors of Cruise Bar and includes a 4 hour food package (6pm-10pm) with a hot dog stand from 10pm-midnight.
Level 3 aka the rooftop – from $419, and you will enjoy the Roof Top experience, a true VIP experience with 4 hours of deluxe canapés, a 3-hour drink package, tunes from La Fiesta Sound System, sweeping rooftop harbour views and a fantastic 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 5-course degustation with a glass of champagne for $395 per person. On Sale now – find out more here.

The Glenmore Hotel

The pub with one of the best rooftop views in Sydney is offering a 4-hour drinks package with canapes and a grazing table. There will be plenty of entertainment before midnight with a glitter station, vintage photo booth, tarot card reader and event photographer. Tickets are selling fast at $449 per person.

Glenmore Hotel Sydney NYE View
Credit: Glenmore Hotel

Sydney Harbour YHA

Sort out your accommodation and your NYE party in one go by booking your stay at Sydney Harbour YHA. By no stretch could you call this a budget option, especially now the foreshore is free and YHA requires a minimum seven night stay.

However for your money you are right in the centre of all the action, your stay includes access to the guests only party on the rooftop terrace– the panoramic views from the rooftop area are perfect for watching the fireworks. You also have no massive commute home.

Prices for a minimum 7-night stay including the rooftop event (food, drink, entertainment & the BEST views of the fireworks) start at $A$1,712.80 per person (co-living, ensuite room) or $3,928.00 per double ensuite.

Sydney Hostels YHA Sydney Harbour Balcony view
What a view. And your bed is waiting right downstairs!

These prices make it hard for me to honestly recommend this option. In years gone by it was a fabulous deal but at these prices I would look for a good party option like Cargo Bar or Opera Bar and book a hotel outside the city centre.

Squires Landing

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 were $400 pp. in 2022 Sign up to notifications on their website for ticket launch details.

Looking for a restaurant package?
There are so many options for dining in Sydney on NYE we have a whole page dedicated to New Year’s Eve restaurant packages.

NYE Parties in Sydney

If you prefer something a little more structured for your evening, you could try one of these fun venues.

Luna Park

With a brilliant view of the Sydney fireworks, Luna Park’s Harbour Party is an affordable NYE option. The DJ line up includes the Tenzin. Demi Bryant, Sgt Slick, Alex Preston and more.

There are two ticket types, the General admission ($199) which offers:

  • Entry to Luna Park with unlimited rides all night
  • Access to 3 DJ stages
  • Entry to Sydney’s first underwater immersive bar
  • An amazing view of the fireworks on the harbour boardwalk

Or choose a VIP experience, these range from $499-$799 that include food and beverage packages and access to special viewing areas.

Luna Park Date Night
It’s hard not to smile when you walk inside

View Hotel North Sydney

View Sydney is hosting a New Year’s Eve celebration! Known for their hotel rooms with unobstructed harbour views, they will be hosting two events this NYE along with hotel room packages. 

View Hotel North Sydney view
The view from The View Hotel

View NYE Dine, will offer an indulgent all-inclusive buffet style dinner at LB’s Restaurant with views of the 9pm fireworks. Sydney Rock Oysters, Hickory Smoked Duck Breast, and Barramundi are a sample of what will be on the menu. Tickets start at $585 per adult and $266. per child. Includes wine pairings with each course. | 6:30pm to 11:00pm with access to the midnight fireworks.

View NYE Soiree will be an outdoor cocktail party with food from around the world. Drinks are included with free-flowing wine, beer, soft drinks, and signature cocktails. An acoustic performance will start the evening, followed by a DJ set through midnight to dance the night away with views of both firework celebrations. Tickets are $637 per person.

View Hotel North Sydney Rooftop NYE
View hotel rooftop

For those looking to celebrate in their rooms, the hotel is offering a special in-room valet service as a room add-on. It includes a 4-hour beverage package, along with hot & cold canapes, plus a grazing board.

A New Year’s Eve at Sir Stanford Hotel

This year’s event Quay Royale – A 007 New Year’s Eve is perfect for anyone wanting to dress up and have a bit of fun. With a 007 dress code expect to see plenty of people looking their best.

Prepare for an evening of fun, fine food and wine with a trip to the roof for the NYE fireworks show.

View from the rooftop of the Sir Stanford Hotel Circular Quay
Rooftop view from the Sir Stanford Hotel

This event includes a six course meal with matching wine. Sparkling wine for the midnight toast and an exclusive bird’s-eye view of Sydney’s New Year’s Eve fireworks from their rooftop. The fun starts at 6:45pm and tickets cost $699 (+ booking fee). Excellent value for money and a magnificent view to boot!

NYE at Pier One Sydney

There are three events at Pier One New Year’s Eve

Pier Party will feature a 4 hour beverage package (Spritz, beer, wine, non-alcoholic) with unlimited access to food stalls from 8.30pm to 12.30am. Doors open at 8:30pm
with DJ entertainment all night until the event closes at 1am

Add the option of your own Waterside Lounge. This is all about getting together with 6-12 your friends and booking a private area. All bookings include access to Pier Party and your own private, covered premium fireworks viewing areas outside under the Harbour Bridge! Tickets start at $449.00

Zephyr Rooftop Bar, Darling Harbour

Note – Darling Harbour and not Harbour Bridge or Opera House view

See out the year with stunning views of Darling Harbour and their firewrks from the Zephyr Rooftop Bar, on level 12 of the Hyatt Regency. On offer is a party with great food and a DJ playing non-stop all night.

Priced at $475 per person enjoy , an abundance of exquisite canapés, extravagant grazing table and enticing desserts. Your ticket also includes a four-hour beverage package (Sparkling, wine, beer and soft drinks).

Marquee Sydney, Star Sydney

Dance the night away at Marquee, one of Sydney’s premier nightclubs. Early entry (before 10pm) $79.95, General admission $99.95 (must enter before midnight)

New Year’s Eve outside the city centre

See our guide to Suburban fireworks shows in Sydney

Taronga Zoo

A fantastic choice for families, Taronga is well known for its fabulous harbour views. Money raised from these events is used to fund the zoo, so you are also helping a great cause.

The view from the zoo may seem like a distant one but its expansive and you get to see the big picture from here . The Diamond Reserve include a premium hamper with some drinks, entertainment, and a view of the Harbour Bridge. The Gold tickets don’t include any catering but it can be purchased separately. Silver tickets on the concert lawn offer limited views and do not include a hamper.

All tickets include access to the zoo animals until dark.

  • Silver – View from the Concert Lawns – $225
  • Gold – View from the Bird Show Amphitheatre $335
  • Diamond- View from Harbour View Lawns – $660 (not accessible)

Taronga Event Centre in N’Galawa Terrace will host a 5-course dinner with a 5-hour drinks package, live entertainment and a midnight fireworks view. Find out more and book tickets here. From $400

All tickets include live entertainment, zoo access, free parking and complimentary transport from the car park. The zoo is a perfect site, and limited numbers mean you won’t feel too crowded.

NYE in Mosman at Athol Hall

Enjoy a 3 course dinner and 6 hour beverage package at this harbourside spot in Mosman. Sitting on the hill between Taronga Zoo and Bradley’s Head the site has good views over the harbour with some tree cover.

Doors open at 6pm Adults $450 and kids up to 12 years $250.

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. $95 for adults and $55 for kids two-hour seatings from 7pm till 10pm.

NYE at Nielsen Park

Located in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney in Vaucluse – Nielson Park is part of Sydney Harbour National Park free zone. Great view and a very relaxed vibe make this a good spot for families staying in the east. B.Y.O. Alcohol and food, picnic blanket. Very limited parking – buses do run nearby.

NYE at Strickland Estate

Another NSW National Parks with free access. Strickland Estate has traditionally been a licensed event and a glass-free zone. There is no BYO alcohol. Bag searches will be conducted before you enter the estate. You can BYO picnic and there will be a few food and alcohol for sale on site.

Milk Beach NYE view
Strickland Estate will have a similar view to this one taken from the beach below.

Free, tickets valid from 5pm to 8.30pm. If not at capacity at 8.30pm you can enter without a ticket. There is an accessible viewing are here and capacity for 2000 people overall.

Strickland house offers excellent views of the harbour and distance views to the Opera House and the Bridge. You can take the 325 bus to the venue, but getting home without a car could be challenging. 

Christison Park, Vaucluse

A local park with fabulous, but distant harbour views. Gates usually open at noon, alcohol permitted.

Dudley Page Reserve

This reserve in the Eastern suburbs offers excellent views of the city, and if you are a local want a low-stress venue, this could be it. The capacity is 2500, and Tickets range from $32.65 – $63.26. Gates open at 6pm

Accessible Areas – Wheelchair access for the NYE Fireworks

Sydney usually offers six fully accessible areas. You need to make a booking for these areas on a form issued by the council. These areas all feature accessible toilets.

  • Mary Booth Reserve at Kirribilli on the northern side of the harbour
  • Mrs Macquarie’s Point in the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
  • Pirrama Park at Pyrmont
  • Sydney Opera House
  • Cahill Expressway (Balloted)
  • Barangaroo (ticketed)

The Official Sydney NYE website has more details on these areas and how to reserve tickets.

NYE in Sydney in a Nutshell

  • My biggest tip is to plan early. Unless you do, you may find there are limited choices. Many ticketed events sell out weeks and sometimes months in advance.
  • If you are reading this in December, don’t despair. There are lots of free vantage points to see the world-famous fireworks, and it will all work out on the night if you have a plan.
  • Decide which part of the city to stay in and secure your hotel. I have reviewed a long list of budget hotels in Sydney if you need don’t want to max out your credit card.
  • If you want to book, a hostel be prepared for minimum booking periods of up to a week.
  • If you have a long-lost relative, now is a good time to rekindle that relationship 😉

In 2016, I watched the action from the Cahill Expressway after scoring some free tickets in the public ballot. Follow their Facebook page to hear when the ballot opens.

I have reviewed 4 NYE outings I have experienced in recent years, so make sure you check them for full details.

To sum up

Big changes in 2023 meant more free zones and longer wait times. These will likely continue in 2024 which mean you will have no choice but to arrive hours early if you want access to a budget night out. These sites will be closed as soon as they are full. in 2023 many several sites were closed by midday! If this does not appeal consider a harbour cruise or a restaurant booking to avoid the long wait and the chaos.

If you plan to be in the city, you will need a plan!

Want your event on our list? Get in touch here.

Have questions about things to see and do in Sydney?
Head over and join our Facebook Group and we will be happy to help

158 thoughts on “New Year’s Eve in Sydney 2024-25 MEGA List”

  1. Hello, thanks for your tips!
    Is there any place with a party for people around 30, that you could recommend? You talk about a couple of clubs in DarlingHarbour, but don´t mention any name.

  2. Hi Raquel
    It’s hard to say without knowing your musical taste 🙂 The bars along King Street Wharf usually have parties, places like Cargo Bar and King St Brewhouse. There will also be parties at The Star Casino venues. Depending on your budget you could check out Opera Bar ($$$$) or Luna Park’s Harbour Party ($$-$$$) with tickets starting at $139pp but the best bet would probably be a search of the Moshtix website which sells many of the NYE parties in Sydney.

  3. Hi there

    We are hosting two ticketed NYE events – one at the Sydney Observatory and one at the Australian Museum. Would love to be included/listed on your website if possible.


  4. Hi,

    First of all thanks for the effort.
    We are a group of 20 people around 25 years old. We like hip-hop, Techno/electro, reggaeton/latin, club music, etc.
    We want to go on a cruise on NYE, but we dont want to pay too much. Under 150AUS$ would be great. You know anything like that?

    Thanks you,


  5. Thank you so much for writing this. I just wish I had found this sooner. My friend and I are trying to decide between seeing the fireworks from Mrs Macquarie’s Point or the Harbour Hoopla. Does the Harbour Hoopla offer the same views as Mrs Macqurie’s Point. Thanks!

  6. The view from Mrs Macquaries Point is of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge almost side by side. It is probably my favourite view of Sydney. If you are considering the free area you would want to be there very early in the day to score a prime position. The view from Hoopla is from just above the Opera House with the Harbour Bridge to the side. From either spot you can see both clearly if you are in a good position.

  7. Hi. Thank you so much for the information. I just found out that the tickets for the Foundation and friends picnic at the Mare and Foal Lawn at Botanical gardens are still available. This is my first time in Australia. We are trying to decide between the Harbour Hoopla and the Foundation and Friends picnic. In your opinion which of these events would offer the best view for NYE.

    Also is there a local Facebook or ticket sales page where people may post tickets to the other sold out parties at the botanical gardens. Thank you!

  8. Hey! Thanks for the nice tips. Are you sure if it’s really okay to bring your own alcohol to birchgrove or Balmain? Because on the official Sydney nye site they said it’s prohibited…

  9. Hi Lars
    I have just checked, and it appears you are correct. All the Balmain sites are now alcohol-free. I am sorry for the error and have updated the page. It’s a shame that they restricted BYP in so many places as it makes it an expensive night out if you have to buy them from the bars on site.

  10. Hi,
    Can you give a small insight on the harbour hoopla… as that is still available for sale on the NYE official website

  11. We are visiting Sydney from Europe for NYE and want to see the fireworks at 9pm with the kids! How early should we tealistiscally get there to get a good spot? Any idea?

  12. Hi Mari
    It depends on where you are planning to watch from. The areas closest to the Opera House and the Bridge will fill quite early. Last year many were nearing capacity at 3 pm. If you are heading to Mrs Macquaries Point, for example, I would aim to be there in line by midday. Bradfield Park and Milsons Point seem to be OK until later in the day. Areas a little further out or without an Opera House view are a little slower filling up. I would head to the city around lunchtime to be sure of a good spot. The heat this year might make some people reconsider sitting out in the sun all day. Also, this is the first year they have locked down all open harbour spaces until 8 am NYE morning meaning you won’t have people camping out overnight for the best spots. Not sure yet what effect that will have. Also being a Saturday fewer people will be working so can come in earlier. So many variables, it is hard to predict. The Official NYE website gives details on how soon the city council expect each area to fill. Wherever you end up, I hope you have a fabulous evening!

  13. I think Harbour Hoopla is selling a little slowly this year because another operator ran that space last year and it was a disaster – bad food, long lines and very bad set up. This year the Royal Botanic Gardens have taken back the space, and I expect it will be managed as well as their other events that have been running successfully for year. You have a fantastic view from this spot, so I would certainly consider it.

  14. Thanks for your useful info.

    Do you know when all those alcohol free zones got out in place? It’s such an embarrassment. Sydney must be the only city in the world where alcohol is banned in public parks on New Year’s Eve.
    Do you think the authorities in Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro care about 1 million people drinking on one beach?

    I remember in the early 2000s we were free to drink in Sydney parks while watching the fireworks.

  15. Hi, I have got tickets for the Cahill expressway as well. Any tips on how to make the most of them and also what may be the best location? Thanks

  16. Hi again! Thank you form your reply! We’ve been looking at the maps and reading about the vantage points and I think we’ll be heading to pirrama park, which is walking distance from where we are staying!

  17. You are absolutely amazing! Thank you for putting this together and replying to everyone as well! Just a quick question what would the atmosphere be like at cruise bar (if you’ve been there) do they have a capacity limit (to allow for breathing space)? And also would it be impossible to find a table to sit at etc? Looking to have a chilled out time rather then a “hard party” style.


  18. Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair is not recommended for someone wanting to see the fireworks. Too many trees obscure the view. Great if you want to party with your friends though.

  19. Hi Dave Thanks for raising this, you are right it seems Mrs Macquarie’s chair has turned into party central – I suspect this increased this year due to the fact most of the other free Harbour vantage points were alcohol-free. Certainly, something to keep in mind for next year and I will update my article to reflect this. If you get there early, it’s still a great view, but later arrivals will find you stuck under the trees.

  20. Hi Andrea How did you find the Cahill? We arrived in time to get a front row spot not far from the elevator and were really happy with our view of the Harbour Bridge. We were not able to see the Opera House at all – that end of the road was really packed and we decided as locals it was not such a big deal for us. The bridge is more of a focus but it would certainly have been much better to have been more towards the western end of the road.

  21. Hi Daniel It seems the alchol free zones are increasing every year. I think it really started increasing about 3 years ago and it’s gotten to the point of being ridiculous in my opinion. Sad you can’t see in the New Year with a glass of bubbly!

  22. This is very helpful, thank you! Question about transport- are there ways to reserve a car service to/from the harbor if you’re doing a cruise or how do you recommend getting back to your hotel/arinbnb after the evening?

  23. Hi Alex
    Glad you found the page useful. The streets around Circular Quay will be closed from mid afternoon on New Year’s Eve until early the next morning. You will most likely need to walk back to a meeting place determined by your car service. Uber and Taxis are very hard to find on this night, so I would recommend having a booking if this is important to you. Trains at Circular Quay station also stop for a few hours as the crush if it was opened would be just too dangerous. I would follow the advice of the car service company as they will be familiar with the road closures.

  24. I found your page whilst starting my research on a first time trip to Australia with limited time but for me NYE Sydney was a must. Very useful info .. torn between a tall ship experience and the Opera house.. but found the comment about booking a hotel on the same side to avoid crossing bridge useful though need to work out my geography now.. as a specific any additional ideas for the solo traveller ?

  25. I have not been to Luna Park on NYE but I imagine the view would be great. They usually have dance party events that sell for around the $100-200 mark.

  26. Hi
    Thanks for all the useful info on here. We are a couple from the UK, in our 50’s, who happen to be flying into Sydney on NYE at 7.30pm..and want to book accommodation somewhere in the city, with the hope of still being able to see some fireworks… Are we being unrealistic given we will probably not be in the taxi from the airport until around 9pm!

  27. Hi, Catherine firstly if you have not already booked your accommodation do so as soon as you can. By far the easiest option will be if your hotel has a rooftop or view. Lots of the main areas are full by 9 pm, but then a lot of families head home after the 9 pm show so it can be easier to get a spot at 10 pm. Let me know where you are planning to stay, and I will make some recommendations based on that. Also feel free to join our FB community where you can pick the brains of a bunch of locals. You can join here

  28. Hello Paula,
    This such wonderful information! We’re traveling to Sydney for NYE with our 11 year old; booked at a hotel in Circular Quay but now torn between keeping the room with a view or splashing out on the Hoopla or Lawn party. What do you recommend?

  29. Personally I would keep the room with a view and splash out on great wine and fancy food 🙂 Either Hoopla or the Lawn Party will have great atmosphere but the food and the lines at Hoopla can be disappointing for some.

  30. Hi Paula
    As a Pommie who has never been to Aus before, info like this is really invaluable, cheers 🙂
    We are a family of 3 with an 8 year old boy staying in Camperdown for NYE. Whilst keen for the adults to able to celebrate with a drink or 2, we are conscious that keeping an 8yr old occupied for the afternoon until the late show might be quite a challenge.
    Would appreciate if you could give some suggestions that will keep both old and young occupied in the south with a great view too

  31. Hi Gaz, That is a tough one. I would probably consider Barangaroo. You don’t have to be there until later – say 5-6pm and it attracts lots of families so your 8yr old might make a few friends to help pass the time. Last year tickets were $30 for adults and a bit less for kids. They sold out very quickly so it would be a good idea to register for their newsletter so you find out when they are released.

    Also register for the ballot for free tickets to the Cahill Expressway viewings. I won 6 tickets last year and it was brilliant! You only need arrive 2 hours before the show so no hours of waiting around.

  32. Hi,
    Thanks for this page it has been so useful. My wife and I will be travelling from the UK for a short 7 day stay in Sydney so that we can see the fireworks and your site has helped me such much. I have one question though as I am torn between 2 locations, the Aria or the Opera Kitchen. I have been leaning a bit towards the Aria as we would like a sit down meal but am slightly concerned the view might be obscured after looking at the website. Would you have a preference of which one might be best?


  33. Hi Ray So glad it has been helpful. I would probably choose Aria but honestly either would be a great night out. Enquire directly with Aria regarding the view but I imagine they will keep the Bridge end of the restaurant as standing space for everyone to gather for the fireworks show.

  34. Hi Sydney Expert,wrt capacity/room for an estimated crowd at the free venues, would they be gated and people getting denied entry? I experienced that Circular Quay one year and ended up not getting a view of the fireworks as I was kept outside the gate and the only view was Cahill Expressway which blocked the view of the whole bridge and harbour. In particular, I am thinking of going to Blue Point Reserve this year.

  35. Hi Michelle, not sure where my previous response went – I have been travelling with sketchy internet so my apologies as I thought this response had saved. Blue Point Reserve fills quickly each year with many people arriving there first thing in the morning. The capacity here is Capacity 15,000 and it reached that at 6pm last year. With NYE on a weekend this year I expect it will fill earlier. Bradfield Park is a good back up plan as it did not reach capacity until 11pm.

  36. Hi! Your information is super helpful. We spent NYE on our boat in Sydney Harbour in Farm Cove. Super fantastic view. Question for you; there were kayakers in Farm Cove for the fireworks. How would one go about getting out in a kayak?

  37. Hi! Planning to be in Sydney for a week during NYE 2018. Going with my husband and 2 kids (6&5yo).
    Best time to book a hotel? Area? All the hotels right now have a no-money-back policy (Pay now full amount!). Would be too risky to wait another 6 months? Also where can we spend NYE with small children… Any child friendly location/restaurant?

  38. Hi Marcela There is no need to book yet. I would wait until after Easter at least. What do you need from your hotel? I would seriously consider the YHA at the Rocks. They have family rooms and you can watch the fireworks from their rooftop terrace. If you are considering a hotel room with a view you will be looking at a minimum 3-5 night booking and at least $500 a night for a budget hotel with no view and way over that if you want a view. I am working on a post of the best hotels for NYE at the moment that I hope to publish early February. Keep your eyes out for it and perhaps join our Facebook Community, several members shared their NYE experiences there this year.

  39. Hello,

    Thank you for this great article. Me along with my wife and my 3 year old son would be visiting Sydney especially for NYE and have already booked our hotels in CDB. I believe RBG is the most convenient location and Harbour Hoopla would be a good event. We have also registered at the link at RBG website. However, we are not sure if the pre-sale has started would would it start later. Any guess by when you it be available.


  40. Hey,
    I have a question about viewing the fireworks. Is it also possible to not enter any of the areas (free or paid), and to just stand somewhere on a random spot to view the fireworks? This because we do not feel much for entering an area really early, but prefer to just go to the city and view the fireworks from a random point. However, I cannot find anywhere if this is possible.

  41. Yes you can just stand on the street and have a view of some of the fireworks. However, anywhere with a view of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House will attract a crowd. I would suggest Bradfield Park. Bradfield Park under the northern side of the Harbour Bridge is a good spot to turn up later in the night.

  42. Hey, I am hoping to visit Sydney for new years and was wondering if it would be cheaper to stay outside the CBD and get a taxi on the night or stay central for one night?

  43. Hi Poly Taxis on NYE are very very rare. Rideshares like Uber and Ola surge at crazy prices. I would factor public transport into your plans as really it’s the only way and it’s busy and safe. How far our are you thinking of staying? Anywhere on the suburban train network would be fine for travelling home. It will be very difficult to find a room in the CBD for one night only as many have minimum stays and those that don’t will be booked out.

  44. I’m going to Australia for the first time over NYE and this is so helpful. Thank you so much for this information!

  45. Hi there, we have reserved some spaces on a cruise (pending payment depending on where the vessel will be placed on the night). It looks like the council have released who will be in the Harbour of Light parade on their website, however the company are saying they are still waiting on the decision. We have visitors over so really only want to be somewhere between the bridge & the opera house. I don’t suppose you could advise whether we should look into another boat? (would rather not as it is a good price compared to others, and it is listed in your ‘NYE Cruises’ so seems legit!) Thank-you very much!

  46. Only a few of the Harbour of Light parade boats seemed to have been named so I would assume that the company you are dealing with are still waiting for confirmation. I have only listed trusted companies on this page so you should be safe. I would give them a little more time.

  47. Hi there We are 1st timers in Sydney over New Year and staying in Darling Harbour can you advise what is the best vantage point or restaurant/party to view fireworks within walking distance
    your information is very helpful thank you

  48. Hi Paula,

    Thanks for this amazing detailed list. I want to spend NYE with my 1yo, husband and my mum but just not sure about the best spot for us. I had a look on Lawn with a view at Botanic Gardens, Bradleys Head (Amphitheatre) or Taronga Zoo (Gold tickets). Which one do you think is better or anything else I’ve missed on the list, please? Thanks again!

  49. Hi Marie
    Barangaroo would be a good spot for you if you want an outdoors picnic style event. Tickets have been under $50 in previous years and you can buy food at the event. Alternatively, you could try the Star Casino who will be hosting a few events. Many of the restaurants in Darling Harbour have their own NYE dinners and there are fireworks in Darling Harbour itself but you can not see the Opera House or Harbour Bridge from these.

  50. Hi Gabby, which side of the harbour are you staying on? I would not cross the harbour with a small child if I could avoid it as it adds a lot of time to your return trip home.

  51. Hi Paula, thanks for writing such an amazing and accurate review of the Sydney NYE.
    My family is coming over from overseas, we are 3 couples, my parents, sister and partner, and my 13 old nephew.
    I’m torn in between a few options, our budget it’s around $400.
    After reading your blog, I’m between, Clarke Island, Taronga Zoo Gold, also the Harbourview Hotel in North Sydney (not in your review), or even the Manly Ferry.
    We live close to Manly, which one would you go for?
    I’d love if you can assist me on this one!

  52. The ferry will have you closest to the action from that list, Taronga Zoo gold would be a good option too. If you are based in Manly I would choose one of those two for ease of getting home.

  53. Hi Paula, amazing blog. Thank you.
    My wife and my 2 kids (16 & 15) are coming from Argentina to enjoy NYE at Sydney. We’d love to spend the night watching the fireworks as well as enjoy a MUSIC party (dance, reggae, pop type music) and get dinner. Where would you recommend we go considering South or West side of the Harbour? We don’t mind crowds and our budget is about 600 p.person. There a few places you suggest that seem great (Mrs Macquaries Pt, Midnight at the Oasis) but are for adults only.
    Many thanks!

  54. Hi Pablo,
    Where are you staying? This will help determine which event I recommend as crossing back over the harbour can be a long process after the event is over. Harbour Hoopla at the Botanic Gardens is an all ages event as are the National Park Islands, Clark and Shark – these 2 islands have music too.
    If you are on FB come and join our group – there is so much discussion on this topic already it will save you heaps of time.

  55. thanks Paula. We’ll be staying at Novotel Darling Harbour, so we are looking for something on the same side of the harbour (I figure South or West sides would meet that). Clark & Shark islands seem too far away.

  56. Dear Sydney expert
    I was hoping to go to Luna park but did not realise it was over 18s only. At this late stage, where can I go with a party of 8 including 4 teenagers. Budget is limited.

  57. Hi Caroline with a limited budget perhaps Barangaroo is your best choice. This year also several previously unticketed areas have been changed to ticketed to help manage crowds but will remain free. Check the Official NYE Sydney council website – Campbell’s Cove in the Rocks is one of the new ticketed spots that might be a good option.

  58. Hi Paula, my wife and I are mid-30s and we will be on our honeymoon in Sydney. We are staying on the Royal Botanic Gardens side of the bridge. We are trying to decide between the following parties: NYE Portside, Opera Bar, Sydney Observatory, Pirama Park Pyrmont, Sydney Harbor Tall Ships and Fusion Cruises. We were leaning towards NYE Portside, but was hoping you might have a suggestion. Thanks!

  59. Hi Tom Congratulations on your upcoming wedding. From your list, I would choose Portside or the Tallship. The view from Pirama is just not the same as seeing the action up close. It’s not a bad spot but not jaw-dropping.

  60. Hello Sydney Expert! Really like all the advise on your post…but I’m still confused about the best place to go for my family. We will be visiting from Los Angeles and staying at Meriton Suites World Tower (near Hyde Park). Our kids are 15 and 17 and we are a non-drinking family. What do you recommend please? We are prepared to go to a paid for location.

  61. Paula,

    This is such a useful page – I’ve recently moved to Sydney and have been looking for a comprehensive guide on NYE for ages, thank you so much for putting all the hard work in!

    In your opinion, is it worth paying a bit more to secure a drinks / food package at the ticketed events?


  62. Hi Will, I am not sure if you mean a ticketed area generally or an add-on food and beverage package for specific events.. I think it really depends on how long you are prepared to sit around and wait for the action to begin. The ticketed events mean you are likely able to turn up in the late afternoon or early evening and score a prime position. Alternatively, you would have to be at one of the free areas by early afternoon at the latest for prime position. As for the F&B packages – those really depend on the individual events.

  63. Hi there, I would like to propose to my partner on NYE… so looking for a vantage point with good views of at least harbour bridge but preferably also the opera house, intimate setting. One thing is that we will have to be able to reach the location and get in between 10pm and 11pm, since we will be with friends/family outside the city for the 9pm fireworks…
    Do you have any suggestions for us? Thanks very much!

  64. an intimate setting with a view of the bridge on NYE is almost impossible. Do you have a budget? Perhaps you could book a water taxi? It would not be cheap though. Any harbourside location will be jam-packed with people. I suggest you post this question in our Facebook Group and see if anyone has any ideas. I live on the city side of the bridge and I cannot think of a single spot.

  65. Hi how are you?? I will be in Sydney for Nye and stAying at holiday inn darling harbor any suggestions close by that hotel ? Would love a cruise we are 4 adults budget around 200 to 300 each

  66. Hi, There are very few cruises at that price point. Have a look at the Fast Ferry and Sydney ferries BYO cruises. You only go out for one of the two shows for that price generally, you choose between the 9pm or the midnight.

  67. Hi Sydney Expert,

    Absolutely fantastic blog and its been so helpful.

    So I’m trying to decide between Portside, Opera Bar and Cruise Bar.

    I used to live in, and I’m bringing a friend over from London to experience NYE in Sydney for the first time. I previously experienced NYE in the Garden in 2016 which was brilliant in terms of views (minus all the other problems). I’m struggling to pick an event that will give us the most bang for our buck, each from what I see has their pros & cons, so I’m struggling to whittle it down, any suggestions would be appreciated.


  68. Thanks for the great summary and tips about NYE, really helpful for someone not from Sydney!

    Do you have any knowledge about the Hickson Road Reserve vantage point at the Rocks?
    My family is going there but it is hard to find info or reviews about that site (maybe goes under another name in reviews or is a new vantage point?)?

  69. This is the first year this site has been ticketed. The atmosphere and the view of the Opera House are amazing. You are very close to the bridge so depending on the wind it could get a little smokey.

  70. Thanks for such great detail! We are considering the Harbour Rocks Hotel package – Harbour suite room/terrace. We’ve been to the hotel before, but not sure if the view from the roof is the best. Do you know? Also, you mentioned the view from the front of the bridge Is best, but I’m not sure what that means – I’m directionally challenged. :). Thank you!

  71. The “front” of the bridge is the side that faces the Opera House. Your view should include the front of the bridge but I am not sure if it will be at all obstructed. Best to call the hotel to confirm I think. I think the property is a great choice.

  72. I know that they sell the Strickland Lawn separately to the free beach location and that area is sold out so I imagine you will need to get there before lunchtime. I have not been on NYE so I am not 100% sure sorry. There is info at Strickland House website

  73. This is a sensational page. Truly well done! I managed to get some tickets to the Campbells Cove area. What i am not clear on is despite it being a ticketed/controlled area will they actually close it off from everyone even ticket holders? We are only interested in the 9PM fireworks and not hanging around for hours, was hoping we could just rock up sometime before then but not too early and then leave after it. But if they close it at like 6 or 7PM we’d end up coming in for nothing. Hope you can assist..

  74. My understanding is if you have a ticket you can enter at any time. It would be safest to email them directly but I do not understand how they could refuse you.

  75. Hello,
    we spend New Year’s Eve 2019 in Sydney. Since we do not want to start on New Year’s Eve at 08:00 am, we consider whether we should book a harbor cruise or alternatively watch the fireworks at Midnight at the Oasis.
    But now we want to make sure that we have New Year’s Eve tickets as well. When did the sale of Midnight at the Oasis tickets start last year?

    Is there a risk that there will be no Harbor Cruise tickets when the sale of tickets for Midnight at the Oasis starts or we may not get a ticket for Midnight at the Oasis?

    Thank you very much for the information on this website

  76. Where would you recommend for a young couple (mid 20s)? Thinking maybe Cruise Bar at Circular Quay, Portside, or maybe a cruise (any you would recommend for a young couple too?), but like the look of the views from the Botanic Garden spots.

    Thanks! Found this page super helpful by the way

  77. All three of these are good options, the Point in the Botanic Gardens attracts a mixed crowd and is very popular with a rock star view in my opinion. Cruise bar has a restricted view of the Opera House so take that into consideration. Another venue that only popped up last year is Squire’s Landing. I was there last night and it has an amazing view of both the icons.

  78. Hi There,
    Travelling to Sydney from Adelaide for NYE with my boyfriend who will be 17 at the time so we can’t attend over 18 events. Feeling very overwhelmed with all the options for nye but thank you for your blog! What would you recommend between the Harbour Hoopla, Cafe del mare rooftop party, shark island or luna park?

  79. I would probably not choose Cafe del mare due to location. Harbour Hoopla has a bit of a family vibe but is great. Shark Island has great views up the harbour and usually has good music too. Luna Park usually has a good music lineup and if it allows under 18s could be a good choice

  80. Hi. We are trying to choose between Campbells Cove and Barangaroo Reserve. Which would have a better vantage point of the fireworks?

    I saw on a blog that the best would be at the front of the harbour bridge which is where the climax would be. Which is a good place for this without having to spend excessively on ticket fees

  81. Hi
    We are staying at Sydney Sebel Apartments, 37 Victor St, Chatswood NSW 2067. Can you tell me the best place for NYE fireworks view please ?

  82. Hi Dawn, It will be easiest to stay on the same site of the bridge so look at the locations on the north side. Bradfield Park, Blues Point, Taronga Zoo perhaps.

  83. Hello we are visiting NYE 2019 and looking for a spot to watch the fireworks Southside as staying in Newtown catering for adults and an 8year old we would like to have a drink but BYO is not essential if you can buy. Originally from looking on this site which is amazing by the way I was thinking Barangaroo Reserve. But can you recommend anywhere else that we can get tickets for that we should consider not breaking the bank? Before we book here? We are traveling form the UK and not sure when we would come again?

  84. Barangaroo is a good option with kids. Harbour Hoopla is also good but will set you back 10 times as much. You can’t see the Opera House but you can see most of the Harbour Bridge and two barges of fireworks are nearby. There is entertainment and affordable food. Drinks were not cheap but they are not ridiculously priced. Hickson Road and Campbells Cove are both great spots too but less space and you need to be there earlier.

  85. Hi!

    We are 4 friends going to Sydney for New Years and we are trying to decide where to watch the fireworks. We are between: Campbells Cove, Mary Booth Reserve and Bradleys Head (The Amphitheatre).

    Which one do you think has a better view of the bridge?


  86. Hi, We are visiting Sydney for the 1st time over Christmas and New year from the UK, and are staying in Parramatta. Can you tell me the best place for NYE fireworks view please ?

  87. Thank you your site is amazing, current and very informative for international visitors I have found it a great resource, keep it up. Much appreciated advice 🙂

  88. Watching the NYE fireworks from a friends place in Potts Point, are there any buses or trains from Kings Cross station to Domestic Station,( Budget Ibis Sydney Hotel) after the fireworks?

  89. Hi!!!! We are 5 adults and a baby, we wanted to know if you know any cruise that is within the exclusion zone? Or is it better to go to the botanic garden?
    thank you!!!!!

  90. Hi,
    We are a couple (30’s) from the UK and are staying at the Rendezvous Hotel Central and wondered if you could recommend a few places that side of the city that would best to view the fireworks and be best to get to and from the hotel? Different options and budgets would be great to explore.
    Your website is extremely helpful.
    Many Thanks,

  91. You will be able to take the train from Central to either Martin Place or Circular Quay (this closes about 5pm). Where to go depends on how much you want to spend. Campbells Cove or Dawes Point are reasonably priced. Perhaps head over to our FB group for more ideas. We have discussed this in great detail there.

  92. There are several cruises that are in the inclusion zone. Take a look at the Sydney Ferries options if you are on a budget. Harbour Hoopla would also be good with a child.

  93. Thank you for the amazing post (and for carefully replying to all questions!)

    We are a couple spending our 1st NYE in Sydney, willing to invest in a remarkable experience. Two main criteria would be – 1) amazing view, close to the action, 2) not too crowded, with a plethora of selfie sticks. We don’t really drink so don’t care about champagne fueled parties, but a nice ambiance/music would definitely be a plus. What would you recommend?

    Huge thanks and really look forward to getting your thoughts.

  94. HI! We are visiting for NYE from the Uk, we have heard James Squire’s landing is a great spot of the bridge and opera house but know it is a new venue and you haven’t listed it hear so unsure as to try there or not. do you know if it’d be a good spot for NYE? Thank you, may 2020 be one to remember!

  95. Hi! I will be at The Tank Hotel in Stream 97 Pitt Street, Central Business District, for NYE 2019-2020; what is the best location for the 9pm fireworks?

  96. Yes Ben Squire’s Landing does have a great view. I didn’t list it last year because it was the first time and I wanted to see how it went but I will add it shortly. It’s pricy but you are right in the thick of it.

  97. You can reach any of the Circular Quay locations in a 5-minute walk. If you want a free area you will need to get there by mid-afternoon at the latest. Perhaps consider Campbells Cove which is one of the lower priced events or Hickson Road if you are happy to pay a little more.

  98. Hi!
    We are spending NYE 2019 in Sydney and have a hotel booked in Lilyfield. There are 3 of us. Where would be the best place to view the fireworks? Unfortunately we cannot be in Sydney early enough to catch a boat for a harbour cruise, but we are willing to pay for a good view on the South side of the bridge on the Eastern side.
    Thanks for your help.
    Jim Mason.

  99. Hi, I’m a female solo traveller, the wrong side of 50, who will be on a Cruise Ship docked at White Bay Cruise Terminal. Cruise company cannot guarantee a great view of the fireworks. Never been to Sydney before, looking for best place to view….thinking on one of the boats, or Opera House. Thank you!

  100. Hi there
    I will be in Sydney for the first time from the UK this new years eve and I’m staying near Bondi Beach – I note you advised to stick to the side of the bridge you are staying on – are you able to advise which side of the bridge I will be on – being based 5 minutes from Bondi Beach. many thanks 🙂

  101. Thanks for this great summary! We are visiting from Austria and have decided to go for Soiree over Portside as it is 150 less and they offer almost the same with (hopefully) even better views!

  102. Hi<

    I'll be staying in George St. Tiger Hosted CBD , which vantage point is best to watch the Sydney fireworks & be able to go back to hotel easier. Thinking of Sydney Opera, Campbell's Cove, Bradfield Park Milson’s Point or Harbour Hoopla as other ticketed events/ areas are already sold out?

  103. Hi There, we have a booking at HartsPub @ Rocks for 6pm, 2 adults, 2 kids. Can we just walk back to Circular Quay and stand anywhere we find a spot to watch the 9pm fireworks? First time in Syd. Many Thanks

  104. This is very unlikely Nat. They expect bigger than usual crowds at Circular Quay this year because it is one of the few free unticketed areas this year. I would double-check with Harts for what they suggest.

  105. Hi There,

    Awesome information. Thank you. Just wondering, the Cahill Expressway, is the walk up to the view point very steep and hard to do? or is it manageable? Thank you 🙂

  106. I am grateful to say that this is the best place in Sydney. Happy new year party is a very special day everyone so this place is the best in Sydney. So thanks for the great blog.

  107. hey! thanks for a very detailed post! just a question, with the gold ticket for the Harbour View, can i have a good view without having to go there early to save a spot? i want to have a great view but also hang around the city as this will be my first time there and only have a few days. cheers!

  108. Thanks Marcos – glad it was helpful

    It’s the first year this location has been ticketed so I don’t know however the front row spots will fill up as soon as gates open. Having said that I would expect that you will have a decent view from anywhere in the gold area. To be certain I would contact the Botanic Gardens directly.

  109. Hello, thanks for the tips they’re super helpful and detailed! What do you think about Observatory Hill Park? There’re free tickets available at that spot and would love to hear your views.

  110. I think it’s a lovely spot to watch from although you can’t see the Opera house or front of the bridge you will likely have a barge just to the left of you and you will see the bridge fireworks very well.

  111. How do I purchase a ticket for Bradley’s Head Amphiteatre when they become available? Is there a website for bookings please?

  112. Hi Cheryl, Tickets usually go on sale in early September although last year it was much later. I will update the page when they are on sale and post an announcement in our FB group. Try signing up for the NSW National Parks newsletter for direct updates.

  113. Hi there, this post is the best I’ve seen, thanks for all this info!
    I am travelling from Qt meeting my parents after almost 4 years and I don’t want to leave anything to chance cause I know how busy could be Syd by this dates.
    I still can’t find any info about when are the tickets selling starting dates and I wouldn’t be left out.
    Do you know when would be the starting dates to buy nyeve tickets for the luna park or mc Macquarie‘s spot at the gardens?
    That’s more or less my budget if you think of a better option is more than welcome!
    And thanks again! 🙂

  114. Hi Yasmin Most NYE tickets go on sale after August first. You can sign up for the Botanic Gardens Newsletter to be notified when the presale starts. Luna Park may not go on sale until Sept or Oct. It’s very hard to say because last year due to the pandemic many ticket sales did not start until Decmeber. I expect things to return to normal this year but it’s impossible to be sure. We will share updates in our FB Group

  115. Hi I’m impressed with this blog post, I was seeing what anyone thoughts are on the Sydney Boat Yacht Hire ? Has anyone hired them for a cruise via the Sydney harbour for a wedding cruise.

  116. I have been one of their boats for a 21st and it was well run. I was a guest so I am not sure of the cost or what the company was like to deal with. There was some bad press a few years back but I think things are back to normal now.

  117. Hi,
    I’m teying to book tickets for Royal Botanical Gardens but I can’t find anywhere to click buy tickets?
    Can anyone help?


  118. Hi Georgina You buy them directly from the Botanic Gardens website – tickets go on sale early Sept most years but sign up to their newsletter to be sure!

  119. Hi! Thanks for this great website. Will be in Sidney for NYE with my wife and two tweens and I am looking for great views and fine dining if possible. NYE in Sidney does not happen each year so I am ready to pay for the price. Just need to find a place that has still availability and allows under 18 in. Any advice would be much appreciated!

  120. Hi Sydney Expert! Thanks for your all your tips! Great share, I’m impressed with this websites information, I was seeing what anyone thoughts are on a good area for a proposal with the fireworks on NYE? I also want to hire a 360 video booth in Sydney (similar to this ) to capture the special moment, if you guys have any recommendations, let me know. Thanks for your help Sydney Expert.

  121. hello we are staying at the holyday inn potts point hotel with 3 children. where is the best place for the fireworks? thank you very much for your great article.

  122. This is definitely gold and hats off to compile such list. I have tickets to Bradley head but not sure if I should take a car

  123. Thank you for the insightful information. Obviously a lot of homework and experience has gone into this.

    As this is my first time in Sydney for NYE, trying to find somewhere to get some photos appears to be a great challenge as I’m just here by myself, so if I needed to go to the toilet, the chances of having your spot when you return seems impossible.

    But I find the more interesting (or disgusting) issue are the prices these businesses are charging because its NYE. It seems the rich get the pick, and the poor (or families living on limited income) get kicked.

    But again, thank you for the effort and detailed information. This might be one venture I’ll just have to sit out.

  124. Hi Patrick, it is a challege of travelling alone isnt it. I have always made friends with the people sitting around me and they will mind your spot, take your camera with you but I am sure others will save your place. This year more of the harbour is free than it has been in a decade. The free areas will require that you arrive early and brave the elements for hours but much of the waterfront is free.

  125. I would suggest you leave the car somewhere outside the fireworks zones. Lots of streets in Mosman and around the zoo will be closed so leaving your car somewhere you can walk back to is your best bet.

  126. Hello Paula,
    this page is amazing, so full of information! We are going to Sydney this year with my two (teenage) sons and husband. Our budget is very limited and also we don´t want to spend all day in the queue + on the spot. I am considering either Shark Island (as we will be accommodated in Randwick) or Nielsens Park. The latter seems to be quite far from the harbour, Shark Island is a bit closer. How much does it cost to get to Shark´s island? (you mentioned Rose Bay Wharf, it would suit us as we don´t need to get to the centre after the event) – is it only the ferry ticket or is there an admission to the “party” as well? Where can I book the tickets? And when do they open the sale?
    Thank you so much for you answer.

  127. Tickets for the islands usually go on sale in September or October although it may have been earlier this year. Sign up for their newsletter. Prices also dropped this year. There was previously a $200 plus a ticket but 2023 it was only a ferry charge – 2024 is anyone’s guess! haha Sign up for the NSW National Parks Newsletter so you are among the first to know.

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