New Year’s Eve Events in Sydney
TV screens around the globe broadcast Sydney’s New Year’s Eve celebrations and the Harbour Bridge surrounded by fireworks and lights has become an iconic sight as the world beckons in the new year. The entire city puts its glad rags on and comes out to party and the atmosphere is always electric - there is surely no better place in the world to celebrate New Year’s Eve than Sydney, one of the first major cities to welcome in the new year. Every bar and restaurant in the city will be hosting a party but the real action happens by the harbour.
Here’s our guide to the most fun night of the year:
Arrive early - crowds start heading to the Sydney Harbour Bridge sites as early as midday and last year visitors arriving from 3pm onwards were turned away. To avoid the crowds but still get a great view, there are a number of areas outside the CBD, which are detailed on an interactive map.
Aerial Show (6pm)The evening’s entertainment begins with a flyover by Matt Hall, a former RAAF Fighter Combat Instructor. As the sun begins to set, a fire tug shoots tons of water into the sky, creating a spectacular rainbow, before Hall returns to perform a daredevil aerobatic stunt.
Traditional Smoking Ceremony (8pm)Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander boats fire white smoke over the harbour to cleanse it of negative spirits and an Acknowledgement of Country pays respect to the traditional owners of the land. This is followed by a series of fire-red fireworks set off from the bridge.
Family Fireworks (9pm)At the child-friendly time of 9pm, an 8-minute fireworks display will emblazon the sky with colour as a soundrack of chart hits from 2011 plays out over the harbour.
Harbour of Light Parade (9.10pm)A spectacular sight fills the harbour as a flotilla of tall ships, Sydney’s Heritage Fleet, Sydney Ferries, and charter boats switch on their light displays and sail a 15km circuit around the harbour. For a truly spectacular evening, why not book a ticket on one of the commercial vessels and be a special part of the celebrations?
Midnight fireworks (12am)The evening’s celebrations culminate in the world-famous fireworks display at the stroke of midnight. A truly spectacular display is set off from several barges, seven city skyscrapers and of course, perhaps most magnificently, from Sydney Harbour Bridge, all to a specially commissioned soundtrack.
After the excitement of the fireworks, you’ll probably want to continue the party, and there certainly aren’t any shortages of New Year’s Eve parties in the city. Head to one of Sydney’s many bars or clubs and party ‘til dawn!
Emily Buckley has travelled across Australia and much of the world in her capacity as a travel writer and loves to share her finds with HotelClub, a leading website accommodation specialist. Visit Hotelclub Sydney to find hundreds of discounted hotels in the city and book the trip of a lifetime!