Friday, December 27, 2013

Where to watch the New Years Eve fireworks in Sydney

There can be few better ways of starting the New Year than witnessing the amazing New Year’s Eve fireworks displays in Sydney. Sydney has many advantages over the world’s other leading cities for New Year’s eve:

1 – It’s summer so you can enjoy a warm evening watching great displays
2 – You get to toast in the New Year before almost everyone else!

Sydney is a great place with a huge natural amphitheatre for spectators to enjoy the festivities, this being its famous Harbour.

Now given the coastline of the harbour is over 20 miles you have plenty of choice, but the prime spots are incredibly popular and/or incredibly expensive (especially for us Europeans at the moment)!

Those with very deep pockets have a great choice of venues in front and around the opera house, or in some of the great roof top bars and restaurants. But where do we recommend for groups and families wanting to experience this iconic night out without breaking the bank?

We recommend you head to Blues Point Nature Reserve, on the North Side of the water. A few good reason why:

1 – The views. If you are in Sydney you want to see the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Skyline. From Blues Points you have all three, lit up by the dual displays. From the right place on the grass bank you are looking under the bridge to the opera house. A travel photographer’s dream view!
2 – Its free! No costs involved to gain access to the public areas and a nice grass bank on which to sit back and relax.

Getting to Blues Point

The easiest way to get to Blue Point (see map) is to take the train to North Shores and follow the crowds.

It’s worth noting that there are obviously going to be thousands and thousands of folks out on the 31st December to witness the event. Crowd controls are in place and you will go through a checkpoint where (much to our surprise) you are stripped of any alcohol! It’s a dry do! Given the sizes of the crowds and demands the queues are huge for food, toilets, etc so go prepared!

From North Shores it’s about a 10-15 minute walk to the Blues Point Nature Reserve.

What time should you get there?

Well before 10pm ;-) As a guide we got there about 4:00 pm and the place was packed. Many people had been there with their small day tents from 6am! Saying that we did manage to secure a good pitch with great views, and a few disgruntled neighbours, by squeezing in at about 4:30. But ideally you should get there much earlier.

What will I see?

It’s a great event with:

1) all of the boats out on the water lit by fairy lights
2) the amazing fireworks
3) iconic views of Sydney
4) several aerial displays.

The Sydney Fireworks

Each year has a theme and there are two major fireworks displays. The first display takes place earlier for families with younger kids, at around 8:30. The second display of course being at midnight to welcome in the New Year. The kids are not short changed - both displays are very impressive!
There are two sets of fireworks for each display running simultaneously each side of the bridge, as well as the fireworks from the skyline building rooftops and the bridge itself.

The skies are illuminated and the sounds are thunderous, causing the fruit bats to take to the skies around the nature reserve.
Hundreds of boats are constantly cruising the harbour, with their lights in the many iconic Australian shapes, and those of the year’s theme.

The main midnight fireworks are amazing, with over $5m AUD worth of fireworks lighting up the Sydney skies from everywhere you look. The showers from the bridge were particularly impressive.

Get along and have fun! And while there take a look at the numerous other great Sydney Activities.

See more photos of the Sydney fireworks and things to do in the Sydney Area.

Local Activity Map

Get a customised activity map for your own blog or website here.