New Year’s Eve in Sydney Harbour

New Year’s Eve in Sydney Harbour

What do you mean, it’s too early to be talking about New Year’s Eve?!  Nope. Not if celebrating in Sydney Harbour is on your ‘must do’ bucket list it’s not. You want to grab yourself a great fare, sort your accommodation and maybe rekindle your friendships with your long lost Aussie mates or family.



Sale. Did someone say sale? Even if you intend to travel peak season you can still get a great deal especially if you book early. Check out flight deals with Qantas and Cathay Pacific.

Emirates are also currently offering fares from £679 to Sydney for travel between 03 April – 05 December.

Trailfinders and Flight Centre also have great fares and fare guarantees.


Is it just the main firework display at midnight or would you like to also see the family firework display at 9pm aka 21.00hrs too?


Do you want to view the fireworks from terra firma land or bobbing along on the water?


Land options could be a viewing spot within the Sydney Harbourside Parks. A heads up that alcohol is not allowed so your bubbles would need to be of the non intoxicating variety. Pirrama Park, Pyrmont however does offer drinks to purchase. Likewise with inner city vantage points BYO is not allowed. There’s also the Royal Botanic Gardens (ticketed event), Darling Harbour, Manly Cove and Watsons Bay to name but a few. All non BYO. Have a look at this article from the Sydney Morning Herald but also keep an eye out for 2018 updates.

Sydney New Year’s Eve also has its own website too. You can pop your details in so that you can be notified when 2018 info is available.

Sydney Opera House terraces.

If you want to get glammed up and also enjoy an opera, (the interval of which is timed to include the 9.00pm fireworks), the Sydney Opera House is the place for you. Post opera, there are a few outdoor viewing areas, but be aware that spaces are limited and not guaranteed. To take the stress out of trying to nab and elbow your way into a space opt for the purchase of midnight party tickets too.


Right let’s look at the 3 B’s. Boats. Budget. BYO.

Boats range from catamarans, yachts, cruise ships and ferries with all budgets catered for from fine dining to BYO. If you’re really going for it there are also private charters. For a range of options check out Captain Cook Cruises. From five course cruise ship dining with drinks and champagne at midnight $1499 to the BYO experience of a Rocket ferry $499. Departures are from Circular Quay and Darling Harbour.

Manly ferries also offer BYO New Year’s Eve cruises starting from $225 with departure points from both Manly and Darling Harbour.

One more thing to add to your checklist is where your boat will be based during the fireworks. Are you in a prime location? Are you also in the exclusion zone, which is as close as possible to the Harbour Bridge fireworks and taking part in the Harbour of Light Parade? Oh and don’t forget to check out what are the viewing decks are like.


I fess up I wasn’t solo on New Year’s Eve. Sporadic contact with another friend, plus will we/won’t we get tickets, circa 2002 meant my first Sydney Harbour attempt was a no go.  On the plus side that year I recall singing a song or two at a fabulous house party in Noosa. Karaoke. Aussies. Alcohol. Great times and no regrets there.

Fast forward seeing out 2017 and Sydney Harbour was well and truly back on the map, this time with my lovely mate Ann.

As we weren’t a couple, the fine dining, gazing lovingly didn’t seem appropriate. BYO was the order of the day. Arms bulging and bags brimming with alcohol and food we set off down the hill to Manly Wharf.  To make the most of the experience we opted for the 7.00pm departure on Ocean Rider one of the Manly ferries. This also meant we saw both the family and midnight fireworks. Oh and we were in the exclusion zone and part of the Harbour of Light Parade too.

Just getting into our position (near Fort Denison) was a magical experience. Lots and I mean lots of boats heading out onto the water. Passing the tugs pulling along the huge platforms of fireworks that would form part of the on water display. The chatter, laughter, expectation and excitement that was in the air …

Synopsis. The oohs and aah’s increased as we went from family to the crescendo and extravaganza of the midnight fireworks. We proudly sported our florescent glasses, courtesy of tucking into a glow stick ‘do it yourself’ kit from a lovely family from Brighton. The drinks bag was empty at the end of the night. The food bag was still brimming aside from a pack of Doritos we had consumed. Note to oneself to just pack a few bags of Doritos next time. The party shoes remained in the bag, the flip flops aka thongs winning on comfort. 8 tonnes of fireworks, pulsating music and 100,000 pyrotechnic effects had fulfilled the dream. Go do!

Add New Year’s Eve Sydney to your bucket list. As for this year, Ann is off to the Galapagos Islands and as for me who knows what adventure awaits …

Looking for a community of like-minded solo travellers? Come on in and join our free community at WE GO SOLO. Pop your travel trips in and join in or get the conversation going. Not only eats and drinks, meet up for day trips or road trips too. Find out more.

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