Sydney Harbour: The Place To Be New Year's Eve 2015

30 Dec 15

Sydney Harbour Bridge Sydney Harbour Bridge

The annual New Year's Eve party held on Sydney Harbour is as famous all over the world as the city itself. Boasting one of the world's best New Year's Eve fireworks displays, Sydney Harbour on NYE is our answer to New York's Times Square ball drop. Each year features a new theme and more than a billion people agree that this incredible pyrotechnic feat is the only way to see in the New Year. Over 1.6 million spectators line the Sydney Harbour foreshore in addition to the 2.3 million people across the country and millions more around the world who tune into the festivities via radio simulcasts and television broadcasts, making it the party of the year.

A family-friendly event, the celebrations kick off at 6pm with a thrilling aerial display from the masterful flying ace Matt Hall. At 7pm crowds are treated to a stunning water display by a simple tug boat before Matt Hall returns at 8pm for an impressive finale. The pre-show entertainment is followed by Pylon Projections, an incredible display of illuminated images and videos that turn the blank canvases of the pylons of the Sydney Harbour Bridge into full-sized works of art, created especially for the event. Be sure to keep an eye out for the fireworks display countdown which will also appear on the pylons.

Next, we pay our respects to the living culture and heritage of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait people with the Welcome to Country ceremony. As Eucalyptus smoke is released over the water, the Harbour is cleansed of any bad spirits and moving imagery of Eora country is cast onto the Bridge pylons. From here, the Family Fireworks display kicks off, offering an exploding visual feast for the smaller spectators who may nod off before midnight. The fantastic show of colour and light illuminates the night sky with rockets firing from 4 barges on the harbour and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Paying tribute to 200 years of the Royal Botanic Gardens and 100 years of Taronga Zoo, the fireworks display is directed by Fortunato Foti and promises to wow spectators of all ages.

As the last of the family fireworks are extinguished, the waters of the harbour grow dark before being illuminated once again with the Harbour of Light Parade. Up to 60 ships will float across the water, decorated with bright white lights that light up this Sydney icon. Dazzling the crowd, the unique choreography enchants spectators as each vessel appears to dance in the glow of the harbour. Then it's time for the event we've all been waiting for, the main fireworks display at midnight. As the clock strikes 12, we'll celebrate the dawning of a new year in the most spectacular way. The dark sky explodes into life with a breathtaking 12 minute display of pyrotechnic effects firing across the Harbour Bridge, from 4 sails of the Sydney Opera House and from 7 barges floating on the sparkling waters of the harbour. No matter which vantage point you choose, you can be assured fantastic views of this incredible incandescence.

Spectators are set to flock to the harbour and as such a number of restrictions will be in place. Popular vantage points always fill up fast so we recommend arriving well before sunset to score your preferred location and avoid disappointment. Some of the best recommended vantage points are located at Athol Bay, Neutral Bay, Shell Cove and Mosman Bay north-east of the Sydney Harbour Bridge as well as Balls Head, Clarkes Point, Berrys Bay, Manns Point, the Greenwich Ferry Jetty and Lavender Bay north-west of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. To the south-east of the Bridge, vantage points include Double Bay, Rose Bay, Woolloomooloo, Rushcutters Bay and Farm Cove, however only vessels under 15m long may use Farm Cove. You'll also find some great vantage points south-west of the Harbour Bridge including Mort Bay, Snails Bay and Ballast Point. No matter where you choose to watch from, you can tune into a synchronised simulcast on 104.1 2Day FM.

Catching public transport is highly recommended, with an additional 4500 services added to cope with the demand of so many spectators. Catch a bus, train or ferry but plan ahead and arrive early to ensure you don't miss out, especially if you will be travelling into the city. Whether you're lucky enough to be watching this spectacular from the Sydney foreshore or tuning into the radio or TV broadcasts from elsewhere, there's no better way to see in the New Year than with this famous NYE extravaganza on iconically beautiful Sydney Harbour.