More than one million people flock to the Sydney Harbour foreshore every New Year’s Eve, all vying for the perfect vantage point of the multi-million-dollar fireworks extravaganza. But if you want to usher in 2018 with a little more glitz and glamour, have a look at these A-list parties taking place around the Harbour City on December 31.
Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House
Most Sydneysiders jostle for a view of the city’s most iconic landmarks on New Year’s Eve… so how about having a party inside of one? The Opera House is hosting performances of The Merry Widow and Opera Gala, a three-course pre-performance dinner overlooking the water, plus a Midnight Party with canapés, drinks, live entertainment and a front-row seat to the pyrotechnics.
Bennelong Point, Sydney NSW, +61 2 9250 7111
New Year’s at the Sydney Opera House | Courtesy of the Sydney Opera House
Such a massive New Year’s bash means that finding a way home after the fireworks is a nightmare — unless you spend the night on the Harbour, of course. Cockatoo Island offers camping and glamping packages for those who want to bunk down on the UNESCO World Heritage Site to guarantee their place in the heart of the New Year’s action.
Cockatoo Island, Sydney NSW
New Year’s Eve at Cockatoo Island | © Alfonso Calero/Courtesy of Harbour Trust
Observatory Hill enjoys a good enough view of the Harbour on a regular day, let alone when it’s illuminated by millions of dollars worth of fireworks. The Observatory’s New Year’s party includes a beverage package, canapés, late-night snack, live music, a photo booth for a souvenir selfie, plus a telescope viewing.
1003 Upper Fort St, Millers Point NSW, +61 2 9217 0111
Sydney Observatory | Courtesy of MAAS
One of the latest harbourside vantage points to join the party, the revitalised Barangaroo precinct offers a stunning perspective of the New Year’s festivities from the western face of the Harbour. Spread out a picnic blanket on the lawns of Barangaroo Reserve and enjoy a gourmet hamper or something from one of the four on-site dining outlets.
Hickson Rd, Barangaroo NSW, +61 2 9255 1700
New Year’s Eve at Barangaroo | Courtesy of Barangaroo
The rides of Luna Park will keep on whirling until 1am at Harbour Party, which transforms the harbourside amusement park into one of Sydney’s hottest New Year’s parties. A killer line-up of local artists and DJs will rock Luna Park until the fireworks take centre stage at 9pm and midnight.
1 Olympic Dr, Milsons Point NSW, +61 2 9922 6644
Botanic Gardens Restaurant
Feast on a seven-course degustation menu before you sink your teeth into 2018 with a private soiree at the Botanic Gardens Restaurant. This genteel open-air pavilion hosts a garden party on its private lawn in the heart of the Royal Botanic Garden, on the edge of the water.
Mrs Macquaries Rd, Sydney NSW, 1300 558 980
NYE in the Park
Victoria Park in Broadway is nowhere near the Harbour — but that hasn’t stopped this brand new music festival from promising the best New Year’s ever. NYE in the Park has assembled a line-up of dance floor favourites 2manyDjs, Krafty Kuts, Hot Dub Time Machine and more, plus plenty of bars, food trucks and its very own fireworks show.
1001 City Rd, Camperdown NSW, +61 2 9518 4800
Fireworks at NYE in the Park | © Courtesy of NYE in the Park
Party with tigers, giraffes and rhinos at Sydney’s harbourside zoo this New Year’s Eve. Taronga Zoo’s family-friendly event is perfect for those who want to check out the animals then watch the fireworks with a picnic… and don’t mind an elephant trumpeting in the background.
Bradleys Head Rd, Mosman NSW, +61 2 9969 2777
Pirrama Park Wharf
Snap up a ticket to this limited-capacity event at the Pirrama Park Wharf in Pyrmont, which offers fabulous vistas of the North Sydney foreshore and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. And you won’t leave with an empty stomach thanks to a menu designed by Jimmy Liks, one of the pioneers of Sydney’s modern Asian food revolution.
58 Pirrama Rd, Pyrmont NSW
Sydney New Year’s Eve Fireworks from Pirrama Wharf | © Belinda Rolland/Courtesy of Event Project
This Cuban-inspired luxury cocktail bar overlooks Circular Quay from the third floor of the Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour, and throws one of the trendiest New Year’s soirees in town, with Caribbean canapés, premium beverages and enviable views of the water.
61 Macquarie St, Sydney NSW, +61 2 9256 4000