New Year's Eve Sydney 2020/2021: Where to be for the NYE fireworks

The ultimate guide to New Year’s Eve Sydney 2020/2021

Where to see the fireworks, NYE harbour cruises, restaurant packages, hotels with views and more.

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The below information is for New Year's Eve 2020/2021. We'll update this page with information about the 2021/2022 events once available.

Millions of people flock to the Sydney foreshore every New Year's Eve however, due to COVID-19, this year's event is quite different. The 9pm fireworks have been cancelled but the midnight show is still going ahead as a shortened 7-minute display.

To reduce numbers, your only options to see the fireworks up-close in the CBD is to be an event, cruise and restaurant ticketholders, a hotel guest, a CBD residents (or one of their guests), or be an event worker. Whatever your case, you will need a New Year's Eve Pass to enter the city after 5pm. As of 28 December, the plan to allow access to the city for frontline workers has, unfortunately, been scrapped.

Don't have mates in the city and want to be front-and-centre? We've narrowed down your best event options to ring in 2021 in Sydney.

What would you like to do on New Year's Eve in Sydney?

On top of restaurant packages, harbour cruises and hotel stays these are some of your other options for catching the fireworks in the city.

Hot tip: choose carefully and you can score a bird's-eye view of the midnight fireworks from restaurants such as Harbourfront Seafood Restaurant.

  • Watch the firework from your office: If you work in a Sydney-based office where a COVIDSafe plan is in place, you may be permitted to head into the city to watch the fireworks from your workplace.
  • Gather in a private residence: CBD residents and their guests are permitted into the city with a permit. Bear in mind there are a number of rules to follow, including keeping gathering numbers to 5 guests or under.
  • Book a ticket for a party or event: COVID-safe venues throughout the city are hosting events and stays. This includes the Opera House's venues, and foreshore restaurants and venues such as Cruise Bar and Luna Park.
  • Have a house party or get together in a public space outside of the CBD: While you might not be able to make it into the Green Zone of Sydney's CBD, Sydneysiders are encouraged to celebrate in small groups. If you can see the city from your home you might like to host some friends. See here for more information on celebrating at home.

New Year's Eve pass for residents (and their guests) and event ticket holders

To be permitted into the Sydney CBD Green Zone after 5pm on 31 December 2020 you will need to secure your booking to an event and then apply for a New Year's Eve pass.

Here's how to do it depending on your circumstance.

  • For residents of the CBD: If you live in the Green Zone (see here to check your address) you are permitted to stay at your property on the night. You are also allowed to gather in groups of up to 5 guests to your place. All, including yourself, must apply for a New Year's Eve pass through the Service NSW app. While residents don't need a registration code to access this (you just need proof of your address), your guests will. To access this code you must register your event online here. You can then pass the code on to your friends.
  • For event ticketholders and event workers: All cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars, hotels, hostels, workplaces and strata building managements must register their events online here. Once registered, they'll receive a registration code that they can pass on to their guests or staff to apply. Once you've received your code, register for your New Year's Eve pass via Service NSW.

Everyone over 16 years old must have a New Year's Eve pass to enter the city after 5pm on 31 December 2020. Children under 16 must be registered on an accompanying adult's pass. Anyone without this pass may be denied entry into the CBD.

On New Year's Eve there will be a Green Zone and a Yellow Zone in place. The Green Zone is strictly for New Year's Eve pass holders. The Yellow Zone is free to the public however large groups and gatherings may be asked to move on in these areas.

As of 28 December, the plan to offer ticket-holding frontline workers access to prime viewpoints for the fireworks has been scrapped due to concerns around the ongoing Northern Beaches coronavirus cluster.


Sydney New Year's Eve parties and events

What's on at Sydney Opera House on New Year's Eve?

The Sydney Opera House has cancelled its gala performances for 2020 due to the pandemic but will return in fine form in 2021.

That's not to say you can't party under the sails. Most of the Opera House's attached restaurants and bars are opening on New Year's Eve with dinners, parties and those stellar views of the bridge and fireworks.

Here's what you can book right now:

  • Bennelong: Peter Gilmore's in-house restaurant is hosting a New Year's Eve event in its main dining room and along its Cured & Cultured Counter in bar-style seating. At both, you can expect to feast on canapes followed by a 5-course dinner that's paired with matching wines. And all within the Opera House's sails. Tickets $1,450pp (bar-style seating) and $1,690pp (main dining room).
  • Opera Bar: Welcome the New Year on Darling Harbour foreshore almost directly under the sails of the Opera House. The NYE 2020 Under The Stars dance party is set to sparkle with some of Sydney's premier musicians at play. Roving food is included but drinks are extra. This is a standing 18+ event. Tickets $450pp.
  • Opera Kitchen (NYE dinner and fireworks): Situated right on the harbour's edge, Opera Kitchen is a favourite for sunny weekends. On New Year's Eve, it's a prime spot to take in unimpeded views of the Harbour Bridge. A ticket to the VIP event gets you a waterfront table, 4 hours of free-flowing drinks, a rolling feast of charcuterie and cheese, canapes, tapas, main and dessert (phew!) and a glass of champers to toast off the night. Tickets $700pp. For a cheaper seat, there is GA seating which includes 3 hours of rolling tapas and general access to the area for the fireworks. Tickets $450pp.
  • Opera Kitchen (NYE sunset dinner): For something cheaper (and child-friendly) there's also a sunset dinner which starts at 4.30pm and ends at 7.30pm. While you won't get the fireworks, you will nab incredible views of the final sunset of the year. This package includes a reserved waterfront table, 3 hours of hot and cold tapas and a drinks package with cocktails, wine, sparkling, beer and soft drinks. Tickets $295 for adults and $150 for children.
  • NYE Soirée: Ring in 2021 at the Yallamundi rooms at the Sydney Opera House and enjoy a 4-course meal and free-flowing champagne, beer and wine as midnight strikes for the fireworks. Tickets from $750pp (earlybird release).
  • Joan Sutherland Theatre: Tucked inside the Opera House, the northern foyer of the Joan Sutherland Theatre is being transformed into an exclusive night in for New Year's Eve. Take in a mammoth 5-course seated dinner and 5 hours of beverages and keep your eyes on the windows at midnight for the lights. Tickets $850pp (earlybird release).

Get tickets New Year's Eve Sydney parties in the CBD

  • New Year's Eve at Infinity at Sydney Tower: There's not a better night to have access to 360-degree views of Sydney than on New Year's Eve. Tuck into a 6-course degustation menu paired with matching wine and ring in 2021 in style by upgrading your ticket to a guaranteed window seat. Prices from $559 pp.
  • New Year's Eve at Bar 83 Sydney Tower: Ring in 2021 on an unforgettable night at Bar 83 Sydney Tower. Indulge in a 4-hour beverage package including beer, wine and cocktails as well as a canapes package inclusive of a food station with oysters and antipasto platters. Prices from $500 pp.
  • Harbour Party NYE 2020 at Luna Park: A New Year's Eve party amongst this Sydney icon's fun-filled rides is currently in the works. Ride all of the rides and then party your way into the new year to a series of local artists and DJs. Prices from $99pp.
  • New Year's Eve 2020 @ Taronga Zoo: Spend the evening overlooking Harbour views with the animals at this annual experience. There are three tiers of tickets, all of which include a complimentary park and ride service, live entertainment and entry to the zoo. Food and non-alcoholic drinks are BYO or can be added onto your ticket. Prices from $200pp.
  • Cruise Bar: Sitting right underneath the Harbour Bridge with pristine views over the harbour, Cruise Bar comes alive with the sound of Sydney DJs and clinking glasses of sparkling. Prices from $229pp.
  • Barangaroo House: Matt Moran's venture has three options for you to choose from on the night across its three levels. Choose from a DJ party at Smoke on the rooftop with beverage package and share food ($349pp), a shared feast plus drink package at Bea on level 2 ($249pp) or for the cheap seats (and drinks), a table at House Bar.
  • A "Mask-erade" New Year's Eve @ Sir Stamford: Mask-up for this enchanted evening moments from the harbour. Held on the rooftop of the Sir Stamford, prepare to be regaled with a 5-course sit-down degustation, drinks, entertainment and those epic views. Prices $467.62pp.
  • Sails at Lavender Bay: The restaurant with a view is hosting an interactive 7-course tasting menu featuring a seafood course, meat course, cheese and dessert. Champagne is given on arrival, premium wines are served all night with DJ entertainment spinning well beyond midnight. Starts at 7pm. Prices from $845pp.
  • New Year's Eve at Sailmaker Restaurant: Settle in for an indulgent evening of succulent seafoods and charcuterie platters. Running from 8-11pm, children are welcome. Though bear in mind that since this ends early you won't be able to catch the midnight fireworks. Prices from $110pp.
  • New Year's Eve at Jounieh: Dine on a 3-course menu right on the edge of the wharfs of Walsh Bay. Seatings start at 6pm and run until midnight. You know the deal, book the latest you can get to catch those midnight sparklers. Prices from $85.49pp.
  • Zephyr Rooftop Bar: Sky high is where you want to be if the midnight fireworks are on your agenda. Book a spot at Zephyr and you'll be the envy of all with panoramic views as well as a DJ to set the scene and live food stations with fresh seafood and gourmet canapes. Runs from 8pm-12:30am. Prices from $422.03pp.
  • COAST cruise: Catch all the sights and sounds from the water on this luxury catamaran. On top of its 5-star service is live entertainment, nibbles and drinks. Sailing from 7.30pm-1.30am. Tickets from $755.41pp.
  • Stars Nightclub Cruising Extravaganza: Dance your way across three levels and two pumping stages while sailing your way into 2021. This on-the-water nightclub runs from 8.30pm-1.30am only stopping for the midnight fireworks. Operating at reduced capacity, expect live DJs, open bar and free flowing canapes. The way it should be. Tickets $466.45pp.
  • View Soiree @ View Sydney: Head to View Sydney to start 2021 with cracking views of the Harbour Bridge as it lights up at midnight. On the menu are oysters, champagne, seafood platters and gin cocktails. Tickets $150pp.
  • New Year's Eve at Quay: For front row views of the midnight fireworks and a delicious 7-course menu from Executive Chef Peter Gilmore. Prices from $1,400pp.
  • O Bar and Dining New Year's Eve: If fine food and wine is something you appreciate, it's only right that you farewell 2020 with an 8-course tasting menu paired with wine. Prices from $695.
  • View Dine NYE: Up the ante with something more luxurious at View. Say, a multi-course degustation dinner. Naturally, this includes drinks and access to the restaurant terrace where all the fireworks action can be seen. Seatings at 6pm ($400pp) and 9pm ($500pp).
  • Boat Party SoundWaves VII: Dance your 2020 cares away at the inaugural SoundWaves boat party. Expect 5 hours of non-stop fun to the tune of house and techno DJs, endless drinks and dinner to fuel you to the very end. Runs from 8pm-1am, tickets $475.84pp.
  • NYE Cruise on MV Spirit, MV Star or MV Princess: If ending 2020 in style is what's on your agenda, you can't do much better than one of Vagabond Cruises' ships. These luxurious cruises are serving up a night of seafood and carvery dishes complete with open bar, all night DJ and light show. Don't forget to grab your free party screamers and hats before running out onto the open deck at midnight for the main event. Tickets from $600pp depending on the ship.
  • NYE Prohibition Party in the Doss House: Not fussed about fireworks? On a bit of a party budget this year? For $135pp you can get in on this underground party in the heart of the city. For that price you'll nab a drink on arrival, bubbles at midnight, sharing platters and canapes and entertainment. And yes, if you really want to catch the fireworks you can run out to George Street and Playfair Street to get an eyeful.
  • New Year's Eve at Zephyr Bar: Enjoy a vibrant atmosphere on New Year's Eve at Zephyr Rooftop Bar with gourmet food and a DJ playing throughout the night so you can dance your way into 2021. Prices start at $399 pp.
  • Cockatoo Island: Spending a few nights on Cockatoo Island over New Year's Eve rewards you with epic views of the fireworks. Normally you'd be able to book a camping stay for a few nights for a pretty neat price. This year only the homesteads are available to book and these for a minimum of 5 nights. A ballot is in place to secure your spot in homes that accommodate 2 to 12 people. Prices start from $2,000.
  • Glass Island: While not exactly an island, this is a floating cruise ship that sails and docks at various spots in Sydney Harbour. On New Year's Eve, it's taking out the best seat in the house on the water. Naturally, there will be drinks, canapes and food stations, seats for everyone on board and a glass of Moet to toast the midnight fireworks. Tickets $565.95pp.

Things to do on New Year's Eve in Sydney

Finish off 2020 with a bang with these epic experiences that are available on 31 December.

Frequently asked questions about New Year's Eve in Sydney 2021

What is Sydney doing on New Year's Eve to be COVID-safe?

As the NSW premier has stated, this year's New Year's Eve is going to be quite different.

Gone are the crowds and the free vantage points and in their place are events and options for you to celebrate in a COVID-safe way.

  • Getting around safely: Public transport is available on the evening and will run with additional services to get party-goers home after midnight. Capacity is being reduced and may be monitored to comply with physical distancing rules for your safety. Some CBD roads will be closed. More details will be released soon. If you have a restaurant or event booking, you can drive into the city. Another option is to order a rideshare which has health and safety measures in place.
  • Fireworks events: To reduce gathering numbers, the 9pm family-friendly fireworks have been cancelled. Only the midnight fireworks are going ahead. Numbers into the city are limited to ticket holders and residents only.
  • Restaurants and events: These are going ahead, running at a limited capacity. Bookings may be provided their own tables and increased cleaning may be in place. Ticketed events are able to host up to 3,000 people as long as there is no more than one person per 4 square metres.
  • Cruises: Harbour cruises are going ahead, but running at a limited capacity. If food is included, they'll likely be sit-down events with groups being provided their own tables instead of having to share. Increased hygiene and contactless payments will be in place. Here's some cruises that are still available to book for New Years Eve. Click here to see a complete list.

What's allowed when celebrating New Year's Eve at home?

  • Gathering sizes at home: Celebrating at home is encouraged and every New South Wales household can have up to 5 visitors on top of those belonging to the household. If you live in parts of the Northern Beaches, you may only be allowed up to 5 guests who must also reside in the area. Previously, this number was 50. When having a gathering, keep the gathering limits and don't attend if you're feeling unwell.
  • Gathering in a public space: Outside of the city you are free to gather in public spaces such as parks, reserves, beaches and gardens. When you do, your group must be no more than 30 people (initially 100) Be sure to keep your distance between groups as well for a COVID-safe celebration.
  • Airing of New Year's Eve fireworks on TV: The midnight fireworks are being streamed on ABC iView and the NSW Government website for free. The broadcast begins at 8.30pm and runs until after the midnight fireworks.

What are the rules for residents in restricted zones?


Residents living in Sydney Harbour and North Sydney area will require a New Year's Eve Pass if they live in the Green Zone. You can check your address here. If you are in the Green Zone you must apply for a New Year's Eve Pass if you're intending on staying within the Green Zone on the night.

Keep in mind that road closures may prevent you moving around swiftly, so if you're planning to head out take public transport if possible.

Although this was previously 50, residents can host parties with up to just 5 guests.

To do this you must register your event with Service NSW. Once registered you'll be given a code that you can pass on to your guests. They must use this to register individually for their own New Year's Eve Passes to be allowed into the Green Zone.

What are the popular free vantage points for the New Year's Eve fireworks? Will they be closed on the night?

Sydney Harbour has dozens of prime fireworks viewing areas scattered along Circular Quay, Darling Harbour, Balmain and the North Shore, which have previously been open to visitors.

In 2020, due to concerns around coronavirus, there won't be any vantage points in or around the CBD. Prime views can only be had by CBD residents or those with tickets or reservations at venues and hold passes. If you don't have a ticket to these vantage points, to events in the city or live in the area, you will not be allowed into the CBD on the evening.

Popular vantage points that will be closed on the night are:

  • Bradfield Park
  • Blues Point Reserve
  • Mary Booth Reserve
  • Quibaree Park
  • Kurraba Reserve
  • Cremorne Reserve
  • Beare Park, Elizabeth Bay (access to the marina remains open)
  • Embarkation Park, Potts Point
  • Bicentennial Park, Glebe
  • Giba Park, Pyrmont
  • Pirrama Park, Pyrmont
  • Observatory Hill Park, Millers Point

Before heading out, check the council's website to ensure the vantage point you've chosen is open on the night.


What will public transport be like on the night?

Buses, trains, light rail and ferries will run throughout the night at a reduced capacity. This is to allow for physical distancing.

Due to restrictions on who may enter the city after 5pm, changes have been made to public transport around Circular Quay. Specifically:

  • No trains will stop at Circular Quay Station from 5pm until 1 January 2021
  • The light rail will run to and from Town Hall only
  • Buses that typically run to Circular Quay will run via Wynyard or Martin Place instead
  • Ferries won't run to Circular Quay but some will continue to run to and from Barangaroo
  • North Shore ferries won't stop at Milson's Point or McMahon's Point from 5pm until 1 January 2021

While it's not mandatory, it's strongly recommended you wear a mask on public transport to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Before you head out, use Transport NSW's Trip Planner to plan your journey for the evening.

Will roads be closed on the night?

Yes. As with every New Year's Eve in Sydney, certain roads in and into the city will be closed on the evening.

Special event clearways will be placed from midday on roads in Circular Quay and The Rocks and roads in the Green Zone will start closing from 2pm. Any residents of areas marked as clearways must move their cars or be fined. This applies even if you hold a parking permit.

All closed and restricted roads will reopen from 4am on New Year's Day.

What happens if I try to get into the city without a New Year's Eve Pass?

Even if you have a booking to an event, you must hold a New Year's Eve Pass to be allowed into the city. Without it, you'll be denied entry. This includes all event workers, residents and their guests.

Where are the "zones" on the night and how can I tell where they begin and end?

There are two zones in the city. The Green Zone, which is the prime viewing area and includes Circular Quay and North Sydney's shoreline, and the Yellow Zone which is on its outskirts.

To enter the Green Zone you'll need a New Year's Eve Pass. To enter the Yellow Zone you won't, however this area will be heavily patrolled to reduce crowding.

The Green Area will be physically fenced off on the night and there will be multiple entry points for revellers to scan their New Year's Eve Passes to enter.

See above for the map of both zones.

Will recreational boats be allowed on the harbour?

Yes. Recreational boats are permitted on the Harbour on New Year's Eve, though they must follow all maritime laws including staying out of restricted areas and exclusion zones.

What are some of the best restaurants with harbour views?

Waterfront or rooftop restaurants are your best bet for securing a table with a view. Here are some of our favourites that are having New Year's Eve events in 2020:

  • Harbourfront Seafood Restaurant
  • City Extra
  • Tayim Restaurant and Bar
  • Bennelong at the Opera House
  • Opera Bar
  • Opera Kitchen
  • Aria
  • Aqua Dining
  • Quay
  • Cruise Bar
  • O Bar and Dining
  • Cafe Sydney

Where to stay: New Year's Eve Sydney hotels

If you don't want to bother with the commute home, or are visiting the city, here are some top spots to book with perfect views to kick off the New Year.

Note: limited rooms available.

Looking for more options? Check out our top picks of the best budget hotels and splurges on accommodation with views of the fireworks.


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18 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    BjörnMarch 4, 2019

    when does the ticket sale for NYE 2020 approximately start (your empirical values)? how long does it take until the locations are sold out?
    Thanks in advance!
    Björn

      Default Gravatar
      NikkiMarch 5, 2019

      Hi Björn,

      Thanks for reaching out! The exact dates hasn’t been announced yet so you can come back on our site from month to month to check if it the announcement is up! Hope this helps!

      Best,
      Nikki

    Default Gravatar
    NAHARUDDINSeptember 3, 2018

    When can I book tickets for Sydney Opera House Gala New Year 2019?

      Default Gravatar
      JoelSeptember 4, 2018

      Hi Naharuddin,

      Thanks for leaving a question on Finder.

      You can purchase tickets for Premium, A-, B- and C-Reserve seats for both La Bohème and Opera Gala.

      Just click on the seats you’d like to purchase above and you’ll be able to complete your order.

      Cheers,
      Joel

    Default Gravatar
    MeriPNGAugust 28, 2018

    Hi

    I am travelling with my daughters to see/experience Sydney NYE 2018/2019.It’s their first trip overseas. I would like to find a family friendly place with a good vantage point. We don’t mind joining the long queues just to get a good spot. Our accommodation is in Arncliffe so I guess we will need to travel in early. So any vantage point on the side of the bridge we will be staying in would be good.

    Thanks

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaAugust 29, 2018Staff

      Hi MeriPNG,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      Since there are a lot of options for you to see or experience Sydney’s New Year’s Eve, it would be a good idea to explore our page, specifically the map you will find above as it outlines the different vantage points. Take into consideration your personal needs, preference, and budget when looking for a place to stay as well.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

    Default Gravatar
    RonaDecember 8, 2017

    I am looking to find out when/where tickets go on sale for the fireworks at Sydney harbour for new year 2018/2019? I would be buying online from the UK.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      DeeDecember 25, 2017Staff

      Hi Rona,

      Thanks for your question.

      You are already on the right page where you may check for ticket deals for the New Year’s Eve fireworks views in Sydney.
      You can click the “Get Deal” button on the page if you want to check the details of a particular deal. And yes, you may book online even if you are from the UK.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

    Default Gravatar
    ScottOctober 12, 2016

    Hi, I am looking for somewhere in Sydney for NYE and wondered if there is any free areas and BYO alcohol?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      StephanieOctober 14, 2016Staff

      Hi Scott,
      Thanks for your question.
      The list of vantage points for the 2017 fireworks has not yet been released, however last year certain points such as Neilson Park, Elkington Park and Goat Island allowed for BYO drinks.
      We will update our site with confirmation of details and locations when the official listing for this year’s event comes out.
      Hope that helps,
      Stephanie

    Default Gravatar
    KarenSeptember 21, 2016

    We are booking a Chinese Restaurant called The East on Circular Quay which comes with sydney council tickets to access the Circular Quayside when our table expires at 8pm. Are there places to purchase alcohol without having tickets to enter the venues/bars on Circular Quay, when we have departed the restaurant at this time? We want to know that its not a non alcohol area?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      StephanieSeptember 22, 2016Staff

      Hi Karen,
      Thanks for your question.
      As mentioned in the article, many of the council vantage points are alcohol-free however there are a few that allow you to purchase alcohol on site. In Circular Quay, these spots are Bennelong Point and Lawn with the View. There will also be alcohol available at the Barangaroo vantage point.
      There are many bars along Circular Quay that will be open to the public. Getting into each however will depend on whether they have reached their maximum capacity or not. Alternatively, bottle shops will be open however by law they are required to close at 10pm.
      I hope that helps,
      Stephanie

    Default Gravatar
    HeribertoSeptember 12, 2016

    Hi, I’d like to know which restaurants accept children for dinner on 31th night, and have a good view of the bridge and or opera for the fireworks. Thanks

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      StephanieSeptember 13, 2016Staff

      Hi Heriberto,

      Read through our New Year’s Eve Sydney guide to find a list of restaurants with a view of the harbour and fireworks on New Year’s Eve.

      I hope that helps,

      Stephanie

    Default Gravatar
    KimiDecember 30, 2015

    Hello
    I am looking for a place to celebrate 31st eve with spectacular view of sydney harbor bridge fire works.
    We are group of around 12 people could you please help what place would be available.
    Thanks

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      StephanieDecember 31, 2015Staff

      Hi Kimi,

      Thanks for your comment.

      All the details required to view the New Years Eve celebration are in the article above.

      Regards,

      Stephanie

    Default Gravatar
    CreateConsultantsNovember 26, 2015

    How do I have our NYE event (Sydney Observatory) added to this article?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      StephanieNovember 27, 2015Staff

      Hi,
      We will contact you direct.
      Stephanie

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