Looking for an amazing international location to spend New Year’s Eve? How about Sydney, Australia? If your new year’s plans usually consist of below freezing temperatures, you can trade that in for a balmy 78 degrees in Sydney on New Year’s Eve.  Wherever you turn, you will find happy revelers alongside you there. Ahead are some great places to be on new year’s in the great down under.

Watching Fireworks

Sydney has no shortage of vantage points for an epic fireworks show on the grand Sydney Harbor. The show is hosted by the Sydney City Council and they have a great website that includes maps of the vantage points and the rules for each place. Some sites have free access and others are ticketed. There are pros and cons to both types. There are some awesome free locations that offer incredible views, however, they may be crowded, and you must get there early for entry because they fill up quickly. Ticketed sites guarantee you entry, but some sell out quickly and some may be pricey. So, shop around. Also, check ahead to see if your chosen site is alcohol free or not. Every site has its own rules. If possible, try to pick a location that has a good view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge because that is where the central climax of the firework show takes place and it is pretty spectacular. Lastly, it’s strongly recommended you pick a viewing location on the same side of the harbor you are lodging because getting back across that bridge after the show can be a headache with all the crowds.

Where to Stay

There are many hotels around the harbor that offer great views from their suites or special firework viewing areas that are reserved for guests. There are also countless budget-friendly options in the city, including apartments and youth hostels. Keep in mind that some of the top hotels have a minimum night stay over New Year’s Eve, and the sooner you can book the better. If you can’t find a place around the harbor to your liking, that’s okay. There are plenty of options within a short distance of the harbor, and there are plenty of public transportation options as well. Many roads around the city will be closed during the event so your best bet is to travel by bus, train, ferry, or light rail. There will be thousands of extra services running throughout the day and into the early hours of the new year.

What to Do

Plenty of events will be happening around Sydney to ring in the new year. Restaurants, cruises, concerts and dance parties are popular choices. Most of the waterfront restaurants around the city offer special menus for New Year’s Eve, but you do need to make reservations well in advance. Sydney Harbor is the location for popular activities and pre-show entertainment like aerial displays, a sunset demonstration of fire tug water canons, and a traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smoking ceremony, which uses eucalyptus smoke to cleanse the harbor of negative spirits. The Harbour of Light Parade is a highlight (literally) of New Year’s Eve. It consists of boats decorated with special rope lights that dance around the harbor from four different locations.


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