A vibrant and cosmopolitan city, New Year’s Eve in Sydney is always a fun-filled extravaganza. For those attending the celebrations for the first time, these are some of the highlights to be expected, as well as a few tips on how to make the most of the night.
While the main festivities take place closer to midnight, there is plenty of pre-show entertainment to keep you busy, with the first event being an incredible water show that takes place at Sydney Harbour. Since the theme for this year is Walking on Country, the importance of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is being showcased this year, and just after 8:30 pm, a traditional ritual will take place over the water, where eucalyptus smoke is released to cleanse the harbour of any negative energy. At 9:15 pm is the highly-anticipated Harbour of Light Parade, in which Sydney Harbour is lit up with a parade of ships gliding in a choreographed dance across the water, each one decked out in sparkling lights to dazzle the crowd.
The first fireworks display of the evening is at 9 pm, as this gives the younger members of the public out there a chance to take part in the festivities if they are not able to wait up until midnight. With this emphasis on a younger audience, the soundtrack that the display is choreographed to is tailored to children, and the eight minute display is bound to have them enthralled. The main fireworks display takes place at midnight, and lasts for an impressive 12 minutes. Featuring an incredible range of pyrotechnic effects, these fireworks are let off from seven barges situated at various points along the harbour, culminating in a technicolor explosion over the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
When it comes to planning your night, there are certain spots around the city that make for incredible vantage points from which you can watch the night’s festivities. Birchgrove Park is one of the best, as it offers an open view of the Harbour Bridge, and, with so much space, it never feels too crowded. Darling Harbour is another popular spot, especially for families, and it often empties out quite a bit after the children’s fireworks display at 9pm. Manly Cove is another spot from which you can avoid the chaos of the city, as is Pirrama Park. For those that want to make the night even more special, book yourself a ticket to spend the evening at Targona Zoo, where you will be able to watch the fireworks amid the company of protected local wildlife. Of course, the most iconic spot to watch the fireworks in Sydney is at the Sydney Opera House itself, but be warned that this can become extremely busy, so you would need to arrive as early as possible.
With over 1.5 million spectators at the event each year, and with another one billion viewers watching the celebrations from around the world, Sydney’s New Year’s Eve festivities are considered to be some of the best in the world. With everything from captivating pre-show entertainment to a special fireworks display just for children, this is a night that the whole family can enjoy together.