The best spots for NYE in Sydney

The best spots for NYE in Sydney

Every year, locals and visitors flock to Sydney’s Harbour to celebrate the new year by watching one of the world’s most iconic fireworks displays.
Nanjing Night Net

This year’s spectacle of colour and sound is dedicated to celebrating marriage equality, in light of Australia’s recent Yes vote outcome and the 40th anniversary of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in 2018.

Pet Shop Boys’ song ‘Go West’ will play as rainbow fireworks tumble from the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

New Year’s Eve in Sydney. Photo: Wolter Peeters

Regardless of where you are in the city, here is where you can send off 2017 with a bang this new year’s eve: The City

Harbourside City Parks: Lay a picnic blanket at Embarkation Park, Potts Point (opens 6am), Pyrmont Bay Park, Pyrmont (opens 1:30pm), or Dawes Point (Tar-Ra) Park, The Rocks (opens 12:30pm) and watch the fireworks light up the sky at 9pm and midnight. While Observatory Hill Park may not boast waterside views, it offers good view of the western side of Sydney Harbour Bridge, and opens early at Noon. But if you were planning on toasting to 2017 with a glass of bubbly you may need to reconsider as alcohol is strictly prohibited at these locations. While BYO isn’t allowed at Pirrama Park, Pyrmont, drinks are available for purchase; plus, for Sydneysiders with accessibility needs, the park offers a designated accessible viewing area.

Inner-City vantage points: For those who can endure standing amongst the NYE crowds for several hours, claiming a spot at a harbourside vantage points provides the chance to witness the night’s most iconic event up close. The Sydney Opera House offers a popular vantage point with an accessible viewing area, but anyone hoping to make it in better get there early – gates open at 7:30am, and the venue reached capacity around lunchtime last year. East Circular Quay, West Circular Quay, Mrs Macquaries Point, The Rocks, and Campbells Cove all boast viewing areas and open at 9am, 12pm, 10am, Noon and 9:30am respectively. Families can enjoy some added festivities at Darling Harbour: from 7pm, patrons will enjoy a light show and party vibes, before watching the official fireworks. Much like at the parks, though, BYO alcohol is not allowed at any of these City of Sydney registered locations. Drinks will be available to purchase on site.

Pirrama Park: Not much for queuing? You can enjoy a guaranteed spot and two course meal from Jimmy Liks Catering – one of the instigators of Sydney’s modern Asian dining revolution – at Pirrama Park with this limited ticketed event. Join long-table dining or flop into a deckchair and enjoy the music and fireworks sound track from KISS 106.FM radio. Tickets are $176 (GST incl) for adults or $154 (GST incl) for kids, and include a glass of sparkling wine or soft drink. A cash bar means the drinks can keep flowing throughout the night.

The Royal Botanic Gardens: Ever wanted to soak up the Harbourside views at Sydney’s idyllic botanic gardens after closing hours? Well, you’ll have to act quickly because a few other thousand Sydneysiders do too apparently. Tickets have already sold out for three of the Royal Botanic Gardens’ NYE parties, but you can still step right up for Harbour Hoopla – an all-ages vintage circus-themed event. Along with partial views of Sydney Harbour, party-goers will enjoy a personal picnic box, live DJ and dance floor, performances and access to a cash bar. Tickets start at $325, making Harbour Hoopla one of the city’s pricier NYE options. The North

Aside from being home to a handful of very much-loved NYE viewing points, including Manns Point, Blues Point Reserve, Mary Booth Reserve (with a designated viewing area), North Head, Bradfield Park, and Cremorne Point, Sydney’s North Shore will also host some of the night’s hottest events, including several local beachfront fireworks displays.

Pittwater, Dee Why, and Manly Cove:Those who don’t feel like travelling to the city can still kick off their year with a bang. Northern Beaches Council, in partnership with local businesses, is hosting its own free fireworks displays at 9pm and midnight at Pittwater, Dee Why Beach, and Manly Cove. Alcohol is prohibited in these areas every night, and NYE is no different. Those planning on attending should be mindful of road closures and clearways surrounding each location.

Bradleys Head provides a great view of the fireworks. Photo: Janie Barrett

Bradleys Head: Starting at $17.43 a ticket, NYE celebrators can secure a spot atop Bradley’s Head in Sydney Harbour National Park – Athol Lawn. While the park’s tree canopy blocks some Harbour views from Athol Lawn, you can avoid the stress of finding and claiming your spot in one of the city’s open venues. Marketed as an “ideal family viewing area for the Sydney New Year’s Eve Fireworks”, alcohol and glass is strictly prohibited at Athol Lawn for the night and bags will be searched upon entry. Interested parties should get in quick – two other ticketed events at Bradley’s Head have already sold out. The East

Darling Point: Locals can head to McKell Park, Yarranabbe Park or Rushcutters Bay Park east of Sydney city to secure a spot overlooking the bay from noon. While the former two boast Harbour Bridge views, visitors to Rushcutters Bay Park will only be able to catch the fireworks once they hit the night sky due to limited city views. Alcohol prohibited.

Double Bay & Point Piper: Free entry starts at noon and 2pm for those hoping to nab a spot at Duff Reserve and Murray Rose Pool & Blackburn Gardens, respectively. The latter only offers glimpses of the harbour, but you can get a clear view of the bridge from Duff Reserve. Alcohol prohibited.

Rose Bay & Watsons Bay: Visitors can catch decent views of the Harbour Bridge from Rose Bay Foreshore, Dumaresq Reserve, and Robertson Park. Tickets are also still available for the Waverley Council’s family-friendly part at Dudley Page Reserve, Dover Heights. With tickets starting at $18.35, kids can take to the jumping castle, have their face painted, run around the playground, and dance as a DJ spins tracks. There will also be a licensed bar for parents and food stalls to suit everyone’s taste buds if you don’t feel like packing your own picnic.

Coogee: For anyone who thinks staying up until midnight is overrated, enjoy the 9pm family-friendly Coogee Sparkles NYE fireworks. Hosted by the Randwick City Council, members of the local community and visitors are invited to grab their picnic baskets, make a day of swimming in the waves, and gather along the beachfront to watch a 20 minute fireworks display. Pets, smoking and alcohol is banned on Coogee Beach, so leave the dog and stubby holder at home. The West

Balmain East:The popular inner-west suburb is going to get a lot more popular come NYE, with Simmons Point, Lookes Avenue Reserve, Thornton Park and Illoura Reserve offering close-up views of the Harbour Bridge. Elkington Park sits to the far left of the inner-west harbour area, but offers views to the western side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Alcohol prohibited.

Birchgrove: Birchgrove has plenty of vantage points from which to enjoy Sydney’s world-famous light display: visitors have a direct view of the western side of the Harbour Bridge from Mort Bay Park, Birchgrove Park and Yurulbin Park. You’ll have to plan ahead if you want to get a spot at one of these locations; each one opens at 8am is is expected to reach capacity before nightfall.

Parramatta: Paramatta’s skyline will sparkle with light and colour on NYE 2017 as the suburb hosts one of Sydney’s largest NYE celebrations within the World Heritage-listed Parramatta Park. Join in as singers Frank Bennett, Grant Galea and Catherine Hunter belt out the classic with a big brass band, before watching fireworks erupt from three firing locations at 9pm.

Liverpool: Liverpool Council is hosting Light up the Lake at Chipping Norton. Free shuttle buses will run from Liverpool and Warwick Farm stations. The event is alcohol free and will include fireworks, live music, $2 rides and food trucks. The South

Brighton Le Sands: Stretch out along the beachfront running from Kyeemagh to Ramsgate, before watching fireworks light up the sky courtesy of the Bayside Council. For the best view, head to Lady Robinsons Beach to watch the 9pm lightshow. Drivers: be aware that there will be significant road closures and clearways in the surrounding area so parking may be difficult.

Miranda: Sydney South-siders who book a table at on the Westfield Miranda’s Kingsway or Rooftop restaurants for NYE will be privy to their own private 9pm fireworks display. Have your face painted, indulge in gelato cones, and enjoy balloon benders, light displays, live music, fire dancer, dancers and glow in the dark fairy floss.

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