Sydney New Years Eve

Sydney NYE Vantage Points: Tips, Advice, & Best Spots

Event Track / Sydney New Years Eve / Planning Guides / Sydney NYE Vantage Points: Tips, Advice, & Best Spots

Article Summary

  • Sydney offers over 30 fantastic vantage points for New Year’s Eve
  • Some of the vantage points require a ticket, but many are free.
  • The most popular spots like Circular Quay and Sydney Opera House fill up early in the day, so if you want one of these you need to go early
  • Many of the vantage points don’t sell alcohol, so if you want to drink you need to sneak it in or go to a place that sells alcohol

Looking to save some money this upcoming year at Sydney for New Year’s Eve? I don’t blame you – everything with Sydney New Year’s Eve is expensive. The hotels, the travel expenses, the parties – everything adds up to really hurt the bank. One great way to save money is take advantage of the free vantage points. Sydney offers many great vantage points to take in the New Year’s Eve fireworks, and the best part is they are free. This article goes over everything you need to know about the free vantage points and how to utilize them to have a great time at Sydney New Year’s Eve.

Sydney NYE Vantage Points

Where are the vantage points for Sydney New Year’s Eve?

The picture above shows all of the official vantage points for Sydney’s New Year’s Eve fireworks. In total there are over 30 different spots to take in the fireworks. Each vantage point has a specific capacity, and when that capacity is reached no one else will be permitted into the area. Some spots are obviously more popular than others, so it’s critical to know when you need to arrive.

So which vantage point should you head to for Sydney New Year’s Eve? Well, that depends. If you want to be in one of the best spots (Sydney Opera House, Mrs. MacQuaries Chair, Circular Quay) you are going to need to go early in the day. This means you are going to spend the majority of your New Year’s Eve waiting in one of these areas until the fireworks go off at 9 p.m. and at midnight. If you are fine with another vantage point, in which you will still be able to see the New Year’s Eve fireworks, you can go much later in the day. These spots won’t have as good of a view, but it is still solid. For Sydney New Year’s Eve 2017 there were still plenty of spots that weren’t full at 6 p.m., so you won’t need to wait nearly as long. You can get details on all of the vantage points for Sydney New Year’s Eve at

Are all of the Sydney vantage points free?

No, the majority of the vantage points are free for New Year’s Eve, but some of them are not. Certain spots require a ticket to attend, and often these tickets sell out quickly so you should research this if you want to go to one of these events. Some of the popular vantage points that require tickets are Midnight at the Oasis and The Point (just south of Mrs. MacQuaries Chair), Fort Denison Barangaroo Point. That said, the majority of the vantage points in Sydney are free on New Year’s Eve so you can find one that is free.

What are the rules with the Sydney New Year’s Eve vantage points?

Typically the main rules are no alcohol (unless its sold there), no glass, no camping and no busking. If you are American, like me, and wondering what busking means it basically is no performing or playing music. Some vantage points allow pets and some make you leave your pet at home for New Year’s Eve. Check on the official website for the specific rules. It’s important to follow these rules, you don’t want to get kicked out and need to find a new location to celebrate New Year’s Eve.

Do all of the Sydney New Year’s Eve vantage points sell food and drinks?

My understanding is that they all serve food and have non-alcoholic drinks. The food isn’t great, so if you want some good grub I suggest eating before you head to the park.

When do Sydney New Year’s Eve vantage points open?

This varies from point to point. The majority of the points begin opening between 8 and 9 a.m. Certain spots open later in the day around noon, but the majority of them open in the morning. Many of the popular spots, like Circular Quay or the Sydney Opera House, open early in the morning.

When do Sydney New Year’s Eve vantage points fill up?

As I’ve mentioned, this really depends on which vantage point you want to go to. When I was in Sydney for New Year’s Eve the Opera House, Circular Quay and Mrs. MacQuarie’s Chair were all filled up by 1 p.m. Other spots such as Observatory Hill or Pyrmont Bay Park stay open past 6 p.m. This can vary year to year but in general you don’t want to risk it too much – go early and make sure you get in. It is nice that many of the vantage points offer a sign on the entrance about what the current capacity is at, and what the max allowed capacity is for the area. If you get to your vantage point and see it isn’t close to capacity you can head to some bars or sightsee some more, just don’t wait too long!

Can I sneak alcohol in? It is New Year’s Eve after all

Yes, it’s actually quite easy to sneak in your own booze to any of the vantage points. Technically this is not legal, but I am certainly not one to judge. Just put it in your pocket or hide it somehow and you will get it right in. Again, many of these parks are alcohol free so show some discretion when consuming it.

So how does it work at these free vantage points?

Early in the morning on New Year’s Eve these vantage points begin accepting people inside. Some of them have seating, but most do not have enough for when the area reaches full capacity. Essentially you pick your vantage point and then set up camp until the fireworks go off. Each vantage point has bathrooms and will have food vendors, but not each has alcohol. You should research your vantage point thoroughly before you decide on which you will be headed to – you don’t want to be planning this on New Year’s Eve. As the day goes on the vantage point will continue to get more full. At full capacity you aren’t quite packed in like sardines, but you also don’t have a lot of room for activities. The main disadvantage to these vantage points is you need to go early and basically just camp there all day. This can be rough admittedly, especially if it is a hot summer day in Sydney. These spots are free, but you need to camp out all day which can be rather inconvenient and miserable depending on the weather.

Where can I get information on each vantage point?

The Sydney New Year’s Eve website has a fantastic website that describes each vantage point pretty thoroughly. You can get information on when the spot opens, whether or not they sell alcohol, what the capacity for the spot is, and when they expect it to fill up on New Year’s Eve. You can see all the vantage points for Sydney New Year’s Eve at

Do all of the Sydney vantage points sell alcohol on New Year’s Eve?

No, so this is really important to realize before you go. Only a few of the vantage points actually sell alcohol. The free vantage points that sell alcohol are Pirrama Park, Sydney Opera House, and Mrs. MacQuarie’s Chair. The latter two of those fill up typically before noon, so if you want to go to one of those you need to get there early.

What are the most popular free vantage points for Sydney New Year’s Eve?

There are many popular spots but the most popular are the ones directly along the harbor. This includes the Sydney Opera House, Circular Quay, Mrs. MacQuaries Chair, and Campbells Cove. These popular spots often fill up before noon so if you want to go to one of these you need to go early in the day. Once you enter the area you cannot leave. If you leave you won’t get back in and you will need to find somewhere else to celebrate New Year’s Eve.

Sydney NYE Observatory Hill

What’s a good spot that isn’t as popular?

My advice would be to check out Observatory Hill. You can see all the details about it at This spot is just past the Rocks and due to the fact that it is up on a hill it offers a great view of the Sydney Harbor. It’s also nice that it’s on a hill because you will have a clear view no matter where you end up. Many of the Sydney New Year’s Eve vantage points open between 8 and 10 am, but Observatory Hill does not even open until noon. When I was in Sydney for New Year’s Eve this spot was still open late in the day, so if you don’t want to camp out all day I really like this option.


I know it can seem overwhelming at first trying to figure out which vantage point to choose for Sydney New Year’s Eve. You really can’t choose wrong, you will have a blast at any vantage point. Sydney for New Year’s Eve is a great experience. My biggest tip is go early, especially if you are planning to go to a popular spot. If you still have questions feel free to ask me at - I will add your question to this page and do my best to answer you promptly.

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