Have you thought about where to spend New Year’s Eve? What about going to Sydney to watch the world-famous fireworks? Last year we celebrated New Year’s Eve in Sydney and it was definitely a night to remember. Read on if you want to know more about how to spend new years eve in Sydney and what we would do differently next time.
To watch the New Year’s Eve fireworks in Sydney was something we dreamed of for a long time. And last year that dream came true. When we started our road trip end of November 2013 we just knew that we want to be in Sydney a few days before the end of the year. We did not plan anything until mid December. It turned out good but the only thing we should have booked way ahead was a place to stay. Read on to find out where to camp and how to spend New Years Eve in Sydney.
Which one of the free vantage points is the best? Tarpeian Precinct or Mrs Macquarie’s Point?
There are more than 60 vantage points. But the decision where to go on NYE turned out easier than we thought. We wanted to see the Harbour Bridge and if possible the Opera House too. If you want to watch the firework in front of the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, Mrs Macquarie’s Point is be the place to be.
We checked out Mrs Macquarie’s Point but where a bit surprised about how many trees are obscuring the view of the opera and the harbour bridge. There are only a few spots with unobscured views but the area is limited to a huge capacity of 18’000 people. That scared us a little bit because of the huge crowd.
After checking out Tarpeian Percinct our decision was made. That’s the place we want to watch the fireworks. The large grassy site has a capacity of 5000 people. The area is not huge but there is quite a big patch of grass without any trees. From here we have full view of the harbour and the Harbour Bridge too.
What time you should be there on 31 December
Check out the opening times of the gates a day before. On NYE 2013 the gate opened on 10 am. If you want to choose a good place you should be at the gate much earlier than that. We’ve been at the gate to Tarpeian Percinct at 6:30 am and there were already about 200 people waiting in front of us. And the queue does get bigger every minute. Make sure to get there on time because once the capacity is reached the gates will be closed. If you are in, there is no re-entry.
Food and drinks are available
You can either bring your own picnic or buy food and drinks. There was even ice cream with fresh strawberries. It is allowed to bring your own non-alcoholic drinks. Glass containers are not allowed. Also make sure that your water or non-alcoholic drinks are sealed. Bags are being checked at the entry gates.
We never had to queue for food or drinks too long. There are peak times of course but it was well organised and very efficient.
Drinking water taps are provided where you can refill your drinking bottles. That’s a big advantage.
Where to camp
If you don’t mind to be 1.5 hours away from Sydney CBD we can highly recommend Poplar Caravan Park in Camden. We paid only AUD 25 for an unpowered campsite. That’s a good price for peak-season. There is a bus station right in front of the park. It’s a 30 minute bus ride to the train station in Campbelltown and another hour to Sydney.
The only disadvantage is the distance to Sydney for the return trip after the fireworks. We managed to get to the train at 2.30 am to Campbeltown. From Campbelltown back to the campground in Camden we took a taxi.
Sheralee Caravan Park in Rockdale would be another option, probably an even better one because it is closer to Sydney CBD. From the park you can walk to Rockdale station where you can hop on a train that takes you to Sydney CBD in about 30 minutes. We stayed there in April and paid AUD 35. As they do not accept bookings for Christmas and New Year Holiday periods it is a good idea to contact the park before you get there.
Swiss Nomads Tips
- It’s well worth to check out the vantage point a day before the big night.
- Bring a blanket, plenty of food, sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses and something to build a cover. We used our tripod and a little umbrella to get a bit of shade. Plastic tarps are not allowed on the grass.
- Drink plenty of water. We’ve seen people that got dehydrated. It is a long wait and the sun can be quite strong on 31th of December.
- If you don’t like crowds check out other options like the Royal Botanic Gardens where you can buy a ticket in addition with a 5-course meal or book a Harbour boat cruise with a meal. The options are endless.
Don’t miss out the news on the official 2014SYDNEY site or the website of Paula, the Sydney Expert. While writing this blog post I stumbled upon Paula’s website. She is born and bred in Sydney and has written brilliant post about Sydney and the New Year’s Eve options. If you are planning your NYE in Sydney it’s worth to read her blog too.