How can I watch Sydney’s New Year’s Eve 2016 fireworks online?

Alex Kidman 16 December 2015 NEWS


Want to catch all the excitement of the 2016 New Year’s Eve fireworks in Sydney from your mobile device or laptop?

There’s something to be said for being in person at a big fireworks display, but that’s not always entirely practical. To get the best spots for the New Year’s Eve fireworks in any major city you’ve typically got to set yourself up many hours in advance, or put up with the crush of the crowd and a limited viewpoint that’s likely to be obscured by an exceptionally large quantity of smartphones filming the whole experience. All of this presumes that you’re in a capital city in the first place, too.

Watching from the comfort of your couch is a much less crowded experience. The ABC will be running a full suite of free to air entertainment from 8:30pm on 31 December including the 9pm family fireworks and midnight full fireworks display from Sydney Harbour. However, despite simulcasting the primary ABC1 channel via iView, you won’t be able to see the fireworks that way. The ABC doesn’t hold the online streaming rights for the Sydney fireworks, which are held by Telstra.

So how do you tune in? You have two choices depending on your device type:

  • Smartphone: Telstra will stream the fireworks via its dedicated 2016 Sydney New Year’s Eve App. The app is free (although data charges will apply) and can be grabbed for iOS devices here and Android devices here. As part of its promotion of the fireworks, Telstra customers can also pre-load up to 50 SMS messages which can automatically be sent for free when 2016 rolls around.
  • Desktop: If you're viewing from a desktop browser, you can either watch from Telstra’s dedicated New Year’s Eve site or from Telstra’s YouTube channel. The YouTube site is, according to Telstra, not geoblocked, so if you’re an expat wanting to watch the Sydney Harbour bridge aglow from abroad, it should work fine for you on 31 December.

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