How to watch Sydney’s New Year’s Eve fireworks | Ticketholders have access, but you still have options [Updated]
What's happening, who can watch the show and how to get tickets.
Due to the ongoing Northern Beaches coronavirus cluster causing concern across Greater Sydney, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced plans to scrap New Year's Eve access for frontline workers to the harbour foreshore in the CBD.
While a blow to the thousands of ticketholders, there are still options for frontline workers – and the general public – to get last-minute access to prime viewing points for the shortened seven-minute firework display when the clock strikes midnight on New Year's Eve.
Tickets for harbour cruises, bookings at restaurants and hotel rooms with views are still available.
If you do make a booking, and it's within Circular Quay or North Sydney, you'll also need a New Year's Eve pass to access the CBD. If you're a resident or guest of one in these areas, you'll also need a pass.
Passes will be available from Service NSW.
For those who prefer to stay home, the fireworks will be aired on TV. There is a limit on private indoor gatherings across Greater Sydney (including the Central Coast and Wollongong) to five visitors.
If you live in the northern part of Sydney's Northern Beaches (north of Narrabeen Bridge and east of the Baha'i Temple) you are on a stay-at-home mandate with no indoor gatherings allowed. Those in the southern Northern Beaches you can host up to five people, including children. However, they must be from your respective local area.
If a Sydney New Year's Eve just isn't the same from home, here are five ways to experience the fireworks within the government's restrictions to bid adieu to 2020 and welcome in 2021:
With a limit on the number of passengers, cruises should be able to sail the harbour's waters. Passenger numbers will likely be limited due to social distancing requirements, so prices may be higher than in previous years.
For a budget-friendly BYO option, tickets start from $350 from companies like My Fast Ferry and Fantasea.
If you're keen to go all out on New Year's Eve, cruises including drinks and premium picnic boxes start from $500.
For the ultimate private New Year's Eve fireworks viewing, book into a hotel overlooking one of the city's fireworks displays. We're still able to find availability at hotels including harbour-view rooms at the Ibis Darling Harbour, king and twin rooms with harbour view at the Hyatt Regency Sydney and various harbour-view and bridge-view rooms at the InterContinental Sydney (pictured).
In general, as of the time of publishing, hotel prices for New Year's Eve in Sydney are on average lower than in years past, with centrally located hotels (without views, unfortunately) going for $400-$500 for the night.
While seats at venues will be limited, if you want to catch the fireworks in person, make a reservation for a restaurant along the harbour – or high above it.
For example, you can book a 4-course dinner at City Extra under Circular Quay station for $485, a degustation with matching wines followed by a private view of the fireworks at Tayim Restaurant and Bar in The Rocks or a 7-course meal with beverage package at the Harbourfront Seafood Restaurant in The Rocks from $550 per person,
For a view of the fireworks from above, a 6-course dinner with wines at Infinity Bar and Dining in Sydney Tower can be booked for $559 or $599 with premium window-side seating.
Attend a ticketed New Year's Eve event
Getting tickets to a New Year's Eve party can give you exclusive access to fireworks vantage points, dinners and drinks while ensuring that the number of attendees is controlled.
Events are still being confirmed, though the floating Glass Island is throwing a COVIDSafe party on the night with tickets starting at $565.95 per person.
We'll update our New Year's Eve in Sydney page with new events as they become available.
Stay home and stream it with family and friends
Given the limits on crowds that can watch from the harbour foreshore or attend restaurants and events, as the Premier put it in this morning's press conference "the vast majority of us will be watching from home".
The midnight fireworks will be streamed on ABC and available online. So, why not invite up to five of your nearest and dearest over or just cosy up on the couch with your family this New Year's Eve?
This article was originally published on 20 November 2020 and has been updated on 30 December 2020 to include the latest information and requirements from the NSW government regarding the plans for New Year's Eve in Sydney.