Being one of the first famous cities to welcome the New Year, Sydney is renowned as one of the hottest (NYE) New Year’s Eve destinations on the globe. The annual fireworks show on the harbour is watched by over a million people and more than a billion on broadcast! What started out as a regular fireworks show in 1976 has blossomed into one of the biggest fireworks displays on the planet. If you’re keen on spending the last day of the year in this extravagant city, watching the extravagant fireworks show, this article is right for you. I will try to inculcate everything from the types of fireworks to the best vantage points and some insider tips!
Family and midnight
The massive harbour, with the legendary Harbour Bridge and the Opera House is the ultimate backdrop for the fireworks show. The broadcast usually covers everything including the harbour, the famous landmarks, New Year cruises and of course, both fireworks shows. Both you ask? That’s right! There’s one at 9pm called the family fireworks and the midnight fireworks which go off at the stroke of midnight. The family fireworks display is just as it sounds – a family-friendly pyrokinetic show designed for families, young children etc. The midnight one is the real deal. It lasts for a couple of minutes and gets the whole world on its feet.
When it comes to getting a look, and I mean a good look, at these fireworks shows, the options are endless. But by far, the best and easiest way to enjoy them is onboard the New Year’s Eve cruises on Sydney Harbour. If you can book a seat on a premium glass boat, be rest assured of an experience like no other. With floor-to-ceiling glass windows, you will be surrounded by 360° views of the harbour attractions including the well-renowned Opera House, Harbour Bridge, Luna Park and much more! Under the supervision of the NSW Maritime Authority, the cruise will be positioned in special exclusion zones to ensure you get the absolute best angles of the fireworks display. All of this, plus a deluxe dinner, paired with excellent Aussie drinks, makes them the undisputed vantage point for the fireworks show. They tend to be sold out even before December! Book them while you still can!
Why Sydney? Why not Canberra? The answer is clear. Firstly, Sydney is the biggest city in Australia and probably the most luxurious as well. It is also the centre of attraction when it comes to the television industry. Secondly, the harbour background looks slick on TV. The other reasons are obvious – housing numerous iconic landmarks, the fireworks display here has a synonymous effect with that of the Ball Drop in Times Square or having the fireworks on Eiffel Tower. Also more than ten times the people live in Sydney than in the capital so that’s gotta count for something too!
Can latecomers join in?
Here’s the thing. The harbour will be swarming with revellers from far and near. Most people try to grab a spot somewhere in the park on the harbourfront probably even before midday. If your luck on booking a harbour cruise has run out, you have limited options. But all hope is never lost! After the family fireworks, most families don’t stick around, they go back home with their children and watch the climax from their TVs. I think it was in 2017, when me and my family went to the Quay (western side if I remember correctly) after 9, people were starting to move around, leaving plenty of room to swoop in and take their place. If you have a friend or family working in offices around Bridge Street or so, then you can ask them if you can access the top floors. See?! Nothing is impossible!