Sydney on New Year’s Eve is a battle to seek out the best vantage points of the city’s famous fireworks. If you’re willing to spend the day setting up camp in anticipation for the evening fireworks, there are plenty of free spots around the city surrounding areas. Beware, however: it’s a tough crowd with little space, sparse amenities, and a lot of chaos.
For those who’d prefer a little more class on New Year’s, there are plenty of events where you can whisk yourself and friends away to a quiet spot and wine and dine amongst good company. Here are some of the best places to enjoy a lavish New Year’s with fireworks views, without having to plan the party.
The Landmark: degustation, drinks & fireworks
This is Sydney’s ultimate New Year’s destination, with views of all the fireworks: Harbour Bridge, Darling Harbour, Balmain, Parramatta, and Chatswood. Set in a sprawling luxury penthouse in St. Leonards, The Landmark is playing host to a special NYE degustation and cocktail party to usher in the New Year. Food is by renowned Chef Hemant Dadlani, French wines by Le Plonque, and bespoke cocktails served all night at the fully-stocked bar.
All of this will take place in a fantastic and intimate indoor/outdoor setting, amongst a festive dining vibe complete with flowers and fairy lights. On top of all that, there’ll be live music from soulful vocalist Elizabeth Sophie. You’ll also be doing a good deed on NYE as 30% of profits will be donated to the NSW Rural Fire Service.
Shark Island: eat, drink, dance
This harbourside island and the national park boasts one of the best views of the Harbour Bridge fireworks. Best of all, it’s in an exclusive setting free of rowdy crowds and all-day waiting. Enjoy panoramic views of the city skyline, along with several foods and drink options to purchase on the evening. There are only 780 tickets released for the event. That means there’ll be plenty of room for each family, couple, or group of friends to sprawl out comfortably and enjoy themselves.
Getting to the island is its own bit of fun, with ferries leaving Rose Bay at 6:15 pm and 7 pm – but don’t miss your ride! On the night there’ll also be tunes from DJs Luen and Recess, pumping everything from disco to funk and soul. The only downside to the event is that you’re restricted to the ferry times for arrivals and departures. The last ferry leaves the island at 1:15 am, and you can only bring limited items with you. So leave the esky and picnic chairs at home. Read more about the event, view menus, and book tickets here.
The Greens: family-friendly fun
This one is for families who want to avoid being outdoors for NYE. The Greens in North Sydney is serving up family-friendly festivities and views of the Harbour Bridge fireworks from its hilltop venue. Keep kids entertained (and off your back) with activities within the Kid Zone. There’ll be jumping castles, interactive roaming performers, face painting, balloon artists, gift bags, and even a silent disco after 10 pm.
For mum and dad, there’s a free drink on arrival, food stations (food comes at an extra cost), and their own live music entertainment and mingling to be had.
Taronga Zoo: views and zoos
Another hotspot for kids on New Year’s Eve is Taronga Zoo, where families can party until late. This hugely popular NYE event sells different classes of tickets (diamond, gold, and silver), and features live entertainment amongst the zoo’s harbourside views.
Diamond tickets include free parking, food hamper, drinks, a gift bag, and exclusive free entry to Taronga Zoo during the day. The more budget-friendly Silver tickets include park & ride service from Spit Junction and free entry to Taronga Zoo during the day. The ticket types also earn you specific seating within the Diamond, Gold, or Silver reserves. No guesses for which ticket class gets the best views!
After splurging on the tickets, you can enjoy the BYO food and non-alcoholic beverages rule. And – best of all – parts of the zoo will stay open so you can check out selected animals on display before it gets dark.
It has to be said – if you find yourself feeling a little tired and lazy on New Year’s Eve, you’ve always got the live stream option. The best vantage point of the fireworks can be from your couch or bed, where you can indulge in a homemade cheese board, takeaway dinner, and BYO drinks. Head to this website to catch the fireworks live stream at both 9 pm and midnight. And if you really want to get into the spirit of things, tune into the radio (KIIS 106.5) for a synchronised soundtrack.