Considered one of the most spectacular events of its kind in the world, Sydney’s New Year’s Eve fireworks are a must-see for anyone fortunate enough to be in the city on December 31st. Despite being broadcast across the globe, nothing beats seeing these fireworks in person—especially from one of these lookouts.
Sydney Opera House
Unsurprisingly, the iconic Sydney Opera House tops this list. This location will get you smack-bang in the middle of the action with views of the Harbour Bridge, Sydney Harbour, and directly above the Opera House. The location is free to enter but fills up very quickly, so it’s recommended to secure your spot earlier in the day. Food and beverages will be sold within the vicinity.
Situated between Darling Harbour and Circular Quay, Barangaroo Reserve is both one of Sydney’s newest harbourside parks and one of the city’s best vantage points. Pack a picnic rug, bring along plenty of snacks and admire the 9pm or midnight displays. Food and drinks will be available to purchase, with a dedicated viewing area so that everyone can enjoy one of the world’s best firework displays.
Dawes Point (Tar-Ra) park
Dawes Point (Tar-Ra) Park is located under the southern end of Sydney Harbour Bridge. This is a stellar spot for watching the fireworks, which can be seen from both the eastern and western sides of the bridge. Be aware that this location typically gets quite congested from 10pm onwards.
Clark Island ‘Garden Party’
The Clark Island ‘Garden Party’ presents a hassle-free, ticketed vantage point that offers stunning views from the tip of Darling Point. The ticket includes a gourmet picnic hamper and cocktail on arrival, a choice of mains and desserts, as well as return ferry transfers. Welcome in the new year with live music from Sydney cover band The Shuffle, then dance into the night with the Garden Party DJs.
Dr Mary Booth Lookout Reserve
Dr Mary Booth Lookout Reserve is a small grassy area opposite Milsons Point in Kirribilli. Entry to the designated viewing area closes at 8pm; here, you can enjoy equidistant views of Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. With breathtaking views and a waterfront position, this is the perfect spot for a NYE picnic—book your place by 23 December.
This year, head for higher ground to get incredible views of the New Year’s Eve fireworks. Observatory Hill is a fantastic free vantage point located just a 20-minute walk from Circular Quay and is located on steep grassy terrain that provides an enviable birds-eye view of the harbour.
Bradfield Park is where the northern end of the Sydney Harbour Bridge meets land. This park is a great location for families and groups to sprawl on the grass and watch the fireworks unfold. This free vantage point will have food and drinks for sale, as well as plenty of public toilets.
Pyrmont Bay Park
Pyrmont Bay Park is located at Darling Harbour between the Australian National Maritime Museum and The Star, Sydney casino. The park enjoys great views of Sydney Harbour, however make sure you get a spot on the western side of the park if you want see the bridge. Entry to the park is free, with food and soft drinks available for purchase.
The suburb of Balmain has fantastic views across the water, with Thornton Park being a particularly popular spot to watch the NYE fireworks. This park enjoys uninterrupted views that reach to the western side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Entry is free and easily accessible via Balmain East Wharf.
Watsons Bay is fairly removed from the crowds of Sydney Harbour, yet it’s still a great vantage point to see the fireworks fill the city skyline. Whether you set up at Robertson Park or Watsons Bay wharf, you’ll be able to see the horizon light up with colour from Watsons Bay. Many of the surrounding restaurants will also have NYE packages on offer, including Sydney icon Doyle’s on the Beach.
New Years Eve Tips
- Many free vantage points fill up quickly on the day, so be sure to claim your spot early to avoid disappointment.
- Most vantage points have restrictions on things such as alcohol, pets and items that may obstruct others’ views. Be sure to check what’s allowed at your chosen spot before leaving home.
- It’s highly recommended to use public transport to get to and from your chosen vantage point. More than 4,500 extra bus and train services will be in action, making it even easier than ever to get around on New Year’s Eve.
- Some train stations, bus stops and operating routes may change on New Year’s Eve, so be sure to check out the latest updates and plan your trip using Transport Info.
- If you’re claiming your vantage point early, be sure to shield yourself from the hot summer sun. Items such as sunscreen, hats and long-sleeve shirts are easy to transport and provide good coverage.
- December is typically hot in Sydney, so ensure that you pack enough water to stay hydrated. It’s worth checking if your vantage point has any drinking fountains nearby.
- If you can, leave a little later after the fireworks end to avoid the congestion as everyone heads home. While you might get home later, you’ll likely have an easier journey.