Have you heard the seductive sounds of a Sydney summer? Champagne popping, BBQs sizzling, waves crashing, ferryboats honking, kookaburras laughing – and that’s just the warmup. Sydney reaches its full crescendo on New Year’s Eve when its stunning harbour bursts into a symphony of pyrotechnics. You want special? This is special.
At a glace:
- Sydney NYE fireworks are viewed by 1 billion people worldwide
- Forty-five pyrotechnicians produce 11,000 shells resulting in 100,000 individual pyrotechnic displays including 25,000 shooting comets.
- Among the 3,000 boats navigating the harbour, 52 vessels are illuminated and make up the Harbour Of Light
- There is not one but two shows! Two shows? That’s right folks, Sydney does it twice in one night. The end of the 9pm show signals bedtime for the kiddies and allows for a large number of people to exit the harbourside suburbs.
The good news is there is still time to book up New Year’s Eve in Sydney. If you are on a budget, find accommodation away from the harbour and travel in on the well-organised public transport. With an extra two million people in town, the city kindly beefs up the number of trains and buses so no one is left stranded.
Thanks to the harbour being a natural amphitheatre with dozens of undulating bays, there is a multitude of wonderful vantage points, many of which become ticketed venues for the evening. This easy-peasy interactive map will help you make a location selection based on your needs. You can choose filters such as family-friendly, food and alcohol availability, wheelchair accessibility, and toilet locations. You have so many choices when it comes to how to ring in the new year: chill out with a picnic in a harbourside park, get in the thick of it on a harbour cruise, glam it up in a city hotel, or go all-out with a dinner and opera package at Sydney’s iconic opera house.
Let’s speak Australian for a moment: If it’s a park you have chosen, rock up (arrive) in the arvo (afternoon) to secure a decent pozzie (position) so you get a good squizz (look) at the crackers (fireworks). In the end you’ll be stoked (thrilled) you turned up (arrived) at a sparrows fart (early). You’d be a drongo (stupid) to turn up late as you’d have buckleys (no chance) of getting a Captain Cook (look) at The Coathanger (the Sydney Harbour Bridge), which is the highlight of the night. Some locations require you to stay off the turps (not drink alcohol), so do your research. There are some awesome hotels with some bonza (great) views but you’ll have to cough up (spend) big bikkies (lots of money) for this experience.
Still with us? Here are a few more tips:
- Both Qantas and Garuda fly directly from Jakarta to Sydney everyday. The flight takes about seven hours.
- Don’t bother with a hire car if you are sticking to the city for New Year’s Eve. Parking is expensive and there are many road closures around the harbour.
- Slip on a shirt, slop on some sunscreen, and slap on a hat. It is much easier to get sunburnt Down Under. Apart from the obvious health risks, lobster-red skin screams silly tourist.
- When in Oz, do as the Aussies do. Drink a Flat White.
- Not ready to leave? The Festival of Sydney launches on 8 January. Dive in. There is an embarrassment of choices.
Guaranteed, summer in Sydney will put a smile on your face and a spring in your step, and chances are you’ll carry the sparkle of those mind-boggling fireworks with you all the way back to Jakarta. Happy New Year, everybody!
Images courtesy of The City of Sydney