Things to do in Sydney

5 epic ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Sydney

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Sydney clocks in the new year a little sooner than the rest of the world, so it is only understandable that it's as grand as ever.
Pulling over a million, year on year, Sydney's New Year Eve celebrations are a sight to behold. All the world's cameras are focussed on the harbour as the city's sky dazzles with a dramatic outburst of pyrotechnic displays. While the firework displays are undoubtedly the highlight, there's a lot more to do in Sydney on New Year's Eve. Here are our top picks on how you should welcome the new year!

New Year Eve in Sydney - What's the hype?

Vivid Sydney

The much talked about Sydney New Year Eve is definitely worth all the hype it gets. From camping under the stars to circus-themed bonanzas, the annual Taronga Zoo party and Harbour of Light Parade; this city gives you aplenty to welcome the new year in any style you'd like.

Most festivities start in the morning and end well after midnight, giving you a chance to spend the whole day anticipating the new year ahead, while doing a whole bunch of fun things.

Top five ways to spend New Year's Eve in Sydney

1. Sydney new year harbour cruise

Sydney New Year Eve

The Sydney Harbour cruise is a favourite among locals and tourists alike to celebrate the new year. All cruises dock at an obstruction-free viewpoint for the first show of NYE fireworks after which they complete the 15 KM circuit of the harbour, making sure you're back at a panoramic angle for the midnight extravaganza. Sydney New Year Harbour Cruise can cost anything between AU$300 and AU$1100 per person*.
*Most cruises are inclusive of a lavish dinner spread, entertainment on-board and free flowing alcohol!

Popular New Year Harbour Cruises in Sydney

2. Opera Gala at the Sydney Opera House

Sydney New Year Eve

To celebrate at the Sydney Opera House, one has to have dinner reservations at either Bennelong or Opera Bar. At Sydney Opera House, watch a special performance of La Traviata, starring Kang Wang and Samantha Clarke followed with a delicious two-course dinner with petit fours and drinks. You'll also have time to watch the 9 PM. fireworks display during interval!

3. The Royal Botanical Garden

Sydney New Year Eve

Sydney's New Year Eve's fireworks are not to be missed! Experience the best view of the 2023 NYE fireworks by gathering your family and friends together and choosing from four fantastic free vantage points across the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney and The Domain Sydney.

Vantage points: Mrs Macquarie’s Point and Fleet Steps: entry via Mrs Macquaries Road | Tarpeian Lawn and Bennelong Lawn: entry via Macquarie Street

Don't miss out on this fabulous night!

4. A Wild NYE at the Taronga Zoo

Sydney New Year Eve

Sign up for a wild welcome to this New Year, adding to the fun are the warbles and squawks of night-time animals at the Taronga Zoo! Known for its strategic foreshore venue with spectacular views of Sydney Harbour, the Taronga Zoo promises pictursque views of the NYE fireworks. Whether you're interested in an overnight experience at the Wildlife Retreat at Taronga or an epicurean delight at a luminescent rooftop ballroom - celebrations at the Taronga Zoo are the best way to ring in the New Tear with your loved ones. Sip on fine wines, sample stunning cuisines and enjoy a front row view to all of Sydney's NYE celebrations.

5. Check into a hotel with a view

Sydney New Year Eve

Translate the words "room with a view" into reality by checking into one of the many Harbour side hotels for incredible views of the famous fireworks from the comfort of your very own room.

Budget hotels with a view of the Sydney NYE celebrations
Luxury hotels with a view of the Sydney NYE celebrations

Top Sydney Harbour fireworks free vantage points

If you're looking for free vantage points of the Sydney New Year fireworks, check out the top 5 listed below.

sydney new year fireworks - free vantage point
Mrs Macquaries Point

Capacity: 10,500
Opening time: 5:30 AM
Restrictions: No BYOB, no camping, no sunshades, no portable chairs, no pets, no busking.

Enjoy views of the front of the Harbour bridge with the Sydney Opera House in the backdrop

sydney new year fireworks - free vantage point
Birchgrove Park

Capacity: 5000
Opening time: 2:30 AM
Restrictions: No drones, no camping, sunshades must be taken down at sunset, no busking, no food for sale.

This one's a popular location with good views of the western side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

sydney new year fireworks - free vantage point
Dawes Point Park

Capacity: 35,000
Opening time: 3:30 AM
Restrictions: No camping, no sunshades, no pass-outs, no pets, no busking, no drones.

Located under the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Bradfield Highway on the southern side of the harbour, the Dawes Point Park offers a mix of good, yet limited fireworks views.

sydney new year fireworks - free vantage point
Yarranabbe Park

Capacity: 10,000
Opening time 9:30 AM
RestrictionsLNo BYOB, no food for sale, no camping, no sunshades, no drones, no pets, no busking.

The Yarranabbe Park is a large open foreshore location with clear views of the city and Sydney Harbour Bridge.

sydney new year fireworks - free vantage point
Hickson Road Reserve

Capacity: 2800
Opening time 3:30 AM
Restrictions: No alcohol, no sunshades, no portable chairs, no pets, no drones, no busking.

Situated near Dawes Point, Hickson Rd Reserve provides sweeping views of both the Harbour Bridge and Opera House, making it an ideal location to take in the vibrant fireworks display.

Getting around Sydney on New Year’s Eve

To avoid the hassle of car services and road closures, use public transport on New Year's Eve. With large crowds expected, plan your trip in advance and be aware of all available travel options.


In order to accommodate the increased demand on New Year's Eve, additional trains will be running throughout the day and into the wee hours of morning. Trains will bypass Domestic Airport and International Airport stations from 1:30 AM to 4:30 AM. Sydney Airport will be shut down during these hours.


Sydney's Metro services offer convenient and speedy transport options for visitors to the city. With over 40 stations across the network, Sydney's Metro provides quick and easy access to all of Sydney’s major attractions. The Metro services will run every 10 minutes on New Year's Eve from 4 AM to around 4:00 PM, then every 5 minutes until 3 AM. On New Year's Day, services will resume running every 10 minutes.


Sydney's buses are your go-to transport option when you're visiting the city! Thousands of additional bus services will operate throughout the day and night. Services to and from the city center will use different routes and stops between 5 PM and 7 PM while road closures are in place. Buses in local council areas will also be affected by road closures, so please plan ahead.


If you're looking to catch a ferry on New Year's Eve, arrive early in the day as queues will be long. You may not be able to board a ferry if they are at capacity, so consider an alternative plan such as taking the bus. Some ferry wharves including Circular Quay, Milsons Point and McMahons Point will have restricted access on New Year's Eve due to surrounding areas reaching capacity during the day.

Light rail

Sydney Light Rail will have extended hours on New Year's Eve, so you can enjoy yourself until the early morning. Trains will run from 8 PM until 4 AM. If you're going to be in the CBD, South East, or Inner West suburbs, make sure to take advantage of this! L1 services between Convention and Central won't be running from 8 PM - 1:30 AM due to crowd size and road closures, but if you continue walking towards Central you'll find trains that can take you home.

Tips for celebrating New Years Eve in Sydney

  • If you're planning to fly into Sydney for New Years, tickets on Tuesdays and Wednesdays are known to be the least expensive
  • Avoid renting a car around New Years as the city is bustling with traffic. An uber is a more hassle-free option. Note, surchages after the fireworks can be quite high due to increased demand.
  • On 31st December, the Harbour Bridge will be closed in both directions from 11 PM until 1:30 AM. If your travel plans involve using the Bridge, plan your schedule around these timings.
  • Ferries will stop running on New Year's Eve from 8 PM to 12:45 AM.
  • It is best advised to download the TransportNSW app for the lastest public transport updates on 31st December.
  • Check the weather forecast before heading out on New Years Eve as most of the viewing areas are open spaces with no shade.
  • The city rolls out thousands of extra buses and trains from 30th December, so long as you’ve got your Opal Card handy, you can get just about anywhere you want easily. Expect delays on all modes of transport however.
  • There are a few spots that permit BYOB (Bring Your Own Booze). If you're looking to spend New Year's on a budget, hit up these spots by bringing your own alcohol and food to the party. Note: There has been a significant increase in alcohol-free areas over the last few years so make sure you check the maps on the city of Sydney website for the rules before you head to your favourite spot.
  • For more ticketed Sydney New Year eve celebrations, check out the official website.

Frequently asked questions about New Years Eve in Sydney

Are the Sydney New Year Fireworks free?

Do trains run in Sydney on New Year's Eve?

Can I walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge on New Years Eve?

Are there two firework displays on NYE in Sydney?

How long does the Sydney New Year's Eve Fireworks last for?

Do the free fireworks viewing points get congested?

Is the North Sydney Olympic Pool's annual New Year's Eve fireworks event cancelled?

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