New Year’s Eve in Sydney… on a budget!

Are you still trying to decide where to go to watch the NYE fireworks display in Sydney? Read below to see how we did it last year with front-row seats, right on the harbour, for FREE!


View from Cremorne Point, looking south toward the CBD

As part of our one month trip along Australia’s east coast in December 2013, plans naturally included a New Year’s Eve celebration in Sydney. I mean, not even Dubai has caught up to the NYE spectacle at Sydney’s Darling Harbour! Our advice is to forget the fancy $500 per head galas near Circular Quay and head across the harbour to Cremorne Point in North Sydney for front row seats of ALL the action.


After a long and hot day, the show has begun!

Below is a summary of our NYE in Sydney in December 2013. Note that our seats cost $0.

I walked down to the point the day before to scope out some viewpoints and even then, there were blankets and chairs marking spots! We were fine going the morning of the 31st, but do go early to ensure you get a prime view.


Perfect vantage point!

It is a long day, don’t get me wrong. We left our Cremorne accommodations at 8:30 am and headed to the grocery store / market for snacks and beverages (non-alcoholic). Note that there are only a couple of vantage points around the harbour where alcohol is permitted. You can see a detailed list here: Sydney NYE Vantage Points. We saw several people discretely drinking champagne and beer and in hindsight, I may have taken a few cans in my cooler. However, we did see police checking for alcohol, so you decide if its worth the risk.

Screen Shot 2014-12-27 at 11.27.42 AM

A short ferry ride across the harbour!

We brought enough snacks for the entire day, although there are food and drink vendors on site. Hot dogs, hamburgers, pop, coffee, ice-cream, etc.


Food vendors at Cremorne Point

There were four of us, so we took turns walking around the point and people watching. We brought books and magazines as well to pass the time, but the view directly across to the opera house was really enough to keep me entertained.


Doesn’t get much better than this!

It was cool watching the harbour fill up with boats; from multi million dollar yachts to speed boats and police boats busy keeping order.


We even had some shade!

The advantage of being on the north side of the harbour is that you can see fireworks from every platform as you are far enough away. The parties near Circular Quay, while no doubt amazing, are almost directly under the fireworks.


We were fortunate that our awesome airbnb hosts were avid campers and let us borrow their cooler/icebox, folding chairs and blankets.


  • High SPF sunblock/cream – It is summer in OZ after all
  • Cap/hat or some form of head covering
  • Large blankets or towels to sit on
  • Folding camping chairs
  • Cooler/icebox
  • Snacks and WATER
  • Camera and extra batteries (for night shots, don’t forget your tripod!)
  • Entertainment: books, magazines, deck of cards

We hope this helps you decide where to catch the fireworks in Sydney! It was a long day, but was totally worth it. If you are still on the fence about where to watch the fireworks, we highly recommend Cremorne Point!

Feel free to contact us if you have additional questions, we are happy to help!

jess + trickett

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