Welcome 2017 in high style at one of Sydney’s waterside hotspots. The city is renowned for its New Year’s Eve antics, not least the fireworks, which become more spectacular every year. There are still tickets available to some of Sydney’s best New Year’s Eve events – and they all have front-row seats to the show. Check out our list and have the party to end all parties on New Year’s Eve 2016.
Roll up, roll up! Making its premiere in the New Year’s Eve line-up is a vintage circus-themed party. At Tarpeian Way in the Royal Botanic Garden, the Harbour Hoopla promises an evening of games, circus performances and an electro-swing DJ with Sydney Harbour as the backdrop. Every ticket-holder gets a picnic box and a bottle of water on arrival, then you’re free to explore sideshow alley, have your fortune told and hone your skills at a workshop – just in case you’re planning to run away to the circus.
Tarpeian Way, The Royal Botanic Garden, Mrs Macquaries Road, Sydney; 1300 111 369
Cost $229.20 per person
Luna Park Harbour Party
Luna Park is a pretty convincing option: the location is top-notch, the rides run all night, and the party doesn’t stop until 3am. There are ticket options for those who just want to eat from a food truck, party at the bar and go on rides all night; and there are options for revellers who’d rather watch the fireworks, cocktail in hand, or partake of canapés and an open bar. The choice is yours.
1 Olympic Drive, Milson’s Point; (02) 9033 7676
Cost general admission is $139 with ticket options topping out at $569 for the Palais VIP ticket.
Put your dancing shoes on for a night of bottomless Champagne, Cuban-inspired canapés, rum cocktails and dancing. The Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour’s Hacienda bar is like a swank downtown Miami bar, circa 1950. Watch ferries and party boats criss-crossing the water from the bar, which is lush with greenery, before the real fireworks go off – on the dance floor! Cha-cha-cha!
61 Macquarie Street, Sydney; (02) 9256 4000
Cost tickets start from $800 per person
Celebrate with the view those elephants get every day at Taronga Zoo. There are loads of party options at Taronga, from outdoor picnics to sit-down meals. Dress up for the Glitz and Glamour Dinner at the Harbourview Terrace where there’s a five-course feast, live music and dancing. The Celebrate Sydney Dinner in the Harbourview Ballroom is less formal but no less fun. Guest will dine at long communal tables and there are live DJs and dancing. A shuttle bus will run between Taronga and Central Station, North Sydney and Manly. For a really laidback zoo experience, opt for a picnic ticket and bring a spread to enjoy while you watch the fireworks, or buy food and drink on-site.
Bradley’s Head Road, Mosman; (02) 9969 2777
Picnic: adults $190; kids $100; $490 for a family of four. Kids under three are free.
Glitz and Glamour Dinner: $595 per person
Celebrate Sydney Social-Style Dinner: $495 per person
Glitz and Glamour Dinner: Black tie
Barangaroo has really come into its own in 2016, with a huge number of great waterfront restaurants opening their doors. The southern precinct, where said establishments are located, is open on New Year’s Eve, but Barangaroo Reserve is ticketed. The reserve has spectacular views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Balmain and Goat Island and opens from 6pm. There will be roving entertainers, plenty of space to spread your picnic blanket and bars on-site. Partygoers can bring a picnic, or hampers are available when you buy tickets.
Barangaroo Reserve, Hickson Road, Sydney; (02) 9255 1712
Cost Adults $29.50 plus booking fee; kids $5 plus booking fee.
Midnight at the Oasis
Midnight at the Oasis is a proper grown-ups event. Guests will arrive at the Fleet Steps at Mrs Macquaries Point and make their way to a waterside garden sanctuary set with white-clothed tables. From their reserved seats, revellers will have some of the best views in town of Sydney Harbour, including the Opera House, Farm Cove and the bridge, without the clamour of more congested harbour areas. A three-course meal will be served, after which the dancing will begin. There’s a live band, DJ and the Champagne will flow. As the night wears on, a late supper will be served.
Fleet Steps South, Mrs Macquaries Point, The Domain; (02) 9231 8111
Cost $415 per person plus booking fee
Dress code Cocktail (high heels are not recommended)
Sometimes, Sydney Harbour gets a bit much: the crowds, the clamour, the desperate search for a public toilet. What if we told you there’s a way to experience the glory of a Sydney New Year’s Eve from a slight remove? No, not watching it on TV at home – from an ISLAND. Cockatoo Island, to be precise. Far from the penal colony it once was, the harbour isle is a prime party spot, with an excellent vantage point for fireworks and tons of options for sleeping (as if you’ll be getting any).
Sydney Harbour; (02) 8969 2100
Cost Two-night minimum; camping from $595; glamping packages from $750.
Café del Mar
Usher in 2017 by getting down at Darling Harbour’s Café del Mar where international DJ Purple Disco Machine will be supported by a line-up of artists. Choose either the canapé package, which includes delicious finger food all night; or the dining package, which is a three-course set menu. The open-air setting offers brilliant views of the Darling Harbour fireworks.
Cockle Bay Wharf, 35 Wheat Road, Sydney; (02) 9267 6700
Cost Canapés package $99 per person plus booking fee; dining package $179 per person plus booking fee.
Squeeze through the sea of humanity down at Circular Quay to the best-positioned bar in Sydney. Opera Bar, set beneath those iconic sails right on Sydney Harbour, has been throwing one heck of a party for 14 years running. This year, its Endless Summer theme will be played out with dancing beneath palm trees, pineapple cocktails and five hours worth of delicious canapés.
Tip: arrive on time to nab a spot by the water.
Sydney Opera House, Macquarie Street, Sydney; (02) 9247 1666
Cost $440 per person
SEE ALSO: The Best Rooftop Bars in Sydney
The Theatre Bar at the End of the Wharf
The Sydney Theatre Company’s bar is a great spot to watch the sun go down any day of the week, but on New Year’s Eve, the water truly glitters. The open-plan bar at Walsh Bay has views of the western side of the Harbour Bridge and across the water from North Sydney to Balmain. The fireworks will be in full effect from this vantage point, and with the help of DJ Charlie Villas, so will the dance floor. Canapes will be served and the staff will ensure everyone has a glass of sparkling in hand at the stroke of midnight.
Pier 4, Hickson Road, Walsh Bay; (02) 9250 1761
Cost $275 plus booking fee