At the end of every year, the first broadcast celebration of New Year comes from Sydney. They set the benchmark for all of the celebrations around the world, and its something that improves year on year. Chances are that if you’re travelling in Australia during the New Year, experiencing the Sydney New Year should definitely be on your to-do list.
But when so many people flock to the shores to bring in the New Year, you’ll want to get a few bits in order to make your night the best New Year ever.
From personal experience, the city generally becomes more expensive, and it can become quite difficult to find accommodation with so many revelers looking for a place to stay.
In this instance I’d suggest looking into the various hostels, Airbnb and less conventional places to stay – like camper vans. The best thing you can do though, is to book it well in advance.
It’s not unusual for hotels to have a minimum stay period during the holidays, and it’s usually somewhere between 3 nights to 7 nights. I was lucky enough to get a single night in the Hilton (and I’m sure it was the last room in the City). Again, I cannot emphasise enough how important it is to get in early.
The same applies for finding yourself a brilliant spot to welcome in the New Year. The seafront quickly becomes packed early in the day with crowds pitching down with food, shelter and a few stubbys. Either make sure you’re there early, or look for a better vantage point. There aren’t that many, considering that some of the best fireworks are launched from Sydney Harbour Bridge.
If you do decide to spend your day on the docks, don’t forget your sunglasses, your sunscreen, and most importantly, your esky.
Personally, I would suggest looking at getting on a boat and watching the fireworks from the water. You generally get fed on board and you’re much more likely to have a continuous stream of cold drinks and shade should you need it. You also have the added benefit of not having to spend the whole day burning in the heat.
There are plenty of tour operators that will accommodate you for New Year, so shopping around is likely to be your best bet. The bigger, fancier boats which generally occupy the better spots will be more expensive.
SydNYE usually launches an updated site and app each year which will be useful in planning what else to do during your trip. It also gives you some tips on the best vantage points, and pointers on public transport and boating.
Afterwards, the app also holds footage from the event, including the earlier fireworks display (9:00 pm if I recall correctly) that is aimed at children. No need to record the fireworks on your phone and ruin the moment with this stroke of brilliance.
New Years Eve certainly isn’t a cheap event, but it’s one that you should experience at least once. Might as well make the most of it.
It’s not unusual for bookings to be made over a year in advance, so make sure that you book in early (like, now) to ensure you get confirmed accommodation and somewhere to stay.