Since Sydney’s fireworks are some of the world’s best, New Year’s Eve doesn’t have to be an expensive night for it to be unforgettable. There’s nothing quite like being surrounded by the crowd’s gasps and cheers as the cityscape and harbour is lit up in celebration. We’ve pulled together the finest – and free – spots to head out to in the city this New Year’s Eve.
Blues Point Reserve
Blues Point Road, McMahons Point
This north-Sydney spot has a sweeping view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge fireworks. With a steep gradient, Blues Point offers a range of spectacular vantage points to bring in the New Year and a canopy of trees to provide some shady reprieve from the afternoon sun. Bring a picnic rug and set up camp in the in the mid-afternoon, as Blues Point fills up quickly.
Alfred Street South, Milsons Point
Next to Luna Park, Bradfield Park offers harbourside views of the New Year’s festivities. The park offers a panoramic cityscape backlit by the fireworks throughout Sydney, with the Opera House and Harbour show front and centre. A crowd- and family-friendly favourite, the spot is sure to fill up by sundown.
Darling Harbour, Sydney
One of Sydney’s most popular spots to spend New Year’s Eve, Darling Harbour’s Cockle Bay will light up three times to bring in the New Year. Arrive early in the day to reserve a spectacular view of the light show at 8pm and fireworks at 9pm over the bay’s waters, perfect early celebrations for the family crowd before the midnight countdown. Book quickly for any restaurant reservations, although food and alcohol will be served throughout the crowds.
Dawes Point (Tar-Ra) Park
Dawes Point Park, The Rocks
Underneath the Harbour Bridge, Dawes Point Park is in the middle of Sydney’s celebrations. Crane your neck for the Bridge’s show, or arrive early to find a spot east of the Bridge’s pylon for spectacular and reaching vieews of the Harbour fireworks over the Opera House silhouette. This might be as close as you can get without searing your eyebrows off, so it’s perfect for any particularly firework-enthusiastic kids (or adults).
Manly Wharf, Manly
This family-friendly celebration is perfect if crossing into the city is too much for the little ones. Live entertainment will be wandering up and down the East and West Esplanades of Manly Wharf from 6pm, before a 9pm fireworks finale over the waters of Manly Cove.
Mrs Macquaries Point
The Domain, Sydney
The only free event in The Domain this New Year’s Eve, Mrs Macquaries Point boasts a spectacular and coveted view of Sydney Harbour. Overlooking the Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House and surrounded by the Royal Botanical Gardens, Mrs Macquaries Point will no doubt reach capacity in the afternoon, so head down early with a picnic basket to stake out a spot. Alcohol will be available for purchase throughout the night.
Pirrama Road, Pyrmont
Pyrmont’s premiere vantage spot offers western views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and waterfront. Right on the water, Pirrama Park’s palm trees are picturesque but won’t offer much shade, so lather up the sunscreen. Alcohol will be available for purchase throughout the night.
Sydney Opera House
Bennelong Point, Circular Quay
One of the most iconic locations in Sydney, this vantage point usually reaches capacity before midday, and for good reason. Perfect for a picturesque New Year’s, with an unparalleled view of the fireworks from the Harbour Bridge. Alcohol will be available for purchase throughout the night.