Mrs Macquarie’s Point, the dress circle seats for the Sydney fireworks.
If you are trying to decide if you should spend New Year’s Eve at Mrs Macquarie’s Point read on. I have seen in the new year from this spot 4 times and have tried here to cover the main things you might want to know to help you decide if it’s the right spot for you. You might also like to check out our megalist of 45 places to watch the NYE fireworks in Sydney.
What’s it like to what the fireworks from Mrs Macquarie’s Point?
As a fireworks vantage point, Mrs Macquarie’s Point also known as Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, is hard to beat. Right in front of you are our two best-loved icons, the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, providing the perfect backdrop. Add to that 2 firework barges right in front of you are a view to 3 more up and down the harbour and you are surrounded by the action. Oh and best of all – it’s free!
Where is Mrs Macquarie’s Point?
Mrs Macquarie’s Point is a large grassy area that hugs the harbour at the edge of the Royal Botanic Gardens. It offers a fair amount of shade and a postcard view of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. The area has a capacity of 18,000 people, but even with such huge numbers, it fills up earlier every year. The site opens early in the morning and it is usually full and closed well before dark. Serious NYE revelers bring sleeping bags and begin to queue the night before. I arrived at midday in 2011 and had to join a 1-2 hour line to enter. If you arrive at 4 pm you will probably miss out.
What type of visitor is Mrs Macquarie’s Point best for?
This is the spot for party lovers on a budget who have plenty of time to spare. This is not a good place if you don’t like crowds, but if you do, you have found your home! With a few thousand people waiting for the action to begin the mood is great. Despite the crowded conditions, everyone is generally very well-behaved, good numbers of security staff and no byo alcohol help on that front. Overall I would describe the atmosphere as friendly although it can get a little rowdy later in the day. We witnessed a couple of young ladies from the UK who had had a little too much sun (or beer? who’s to say) decide they need to dance topless!
What is available at the site?
Food and drink are on sale, standard festival fare, noodles, wraps and the like at gourmet prices. Beers are pricey but there was a refund on bottles to encourage returns. Wine was only available in 1-litre tetra packs but from memory but it was surprisingly good.
You can bring in all your own food and non-alcoholic drinks but no glass. You are searched on entry and they do take things away so it’s best just to follow the rules.
Would I do it again?
Wall to wall people, pretty disgraceful portable toilets, overpriced drinks and long entry queues and yet for many years this was my favourite place to watch the New Year’s Eve fireworks display in Sydney.
The older I get though the more I think it’s worth getting organised and coughing up the big bucks for one of the Royal Botanic Gardens ticketed areas that offer a slightly better view sans trees, and the addition of a 5-course meal, a dance floor and a seat. For anyone on a budget though it really does not get any better than this, provided you can get a spot away from the tree cover.
Pros: The view and the vibe, oh and it’s free
Cons: The toilets get more revolting as the night goes on, no music or entertainment while you are waiting. The drinks are pretty expensive.
My tip: BYO toilet paper, sunscreen and a deck of cards to pass the hours of waiting time.
The crowd waiting at Mrs Macquarie’s Point New Year’ Eve 2011
A photo from my iPhone
Have you been more recently? What did you think?
I have reviewed my last four New Years Eve outings so make sure you check them for full details.
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