I started planning our New Year’s Eve 2015 in SYD about this time last year. NYE is a big deal in Sydney. I mean, you can understand why.
S and I considered various options when planning our NYE celebrations. We had a set of circumstances which we were working under…
~ We were on holiday and it was a splurge trip for us, but we were staying with family so saving lots of money at the same time
~ Said family absolutely refused to let us stay in with them (they have 2 small children and had Done NYE in the past) but absolutely insisted we do something to celebrate
There are quite a few options to be had if you want to celebrate your new year in Sydney. I mean, it’s a big place and they do go all out.
Watching from Circular Quay ¦¦ We heard a few horror stories about the crush at Circular Quay and were put right off. Plus it would involve too much standing up for me, and we’d have the same food problems as above.
Watching from the zoo ¦¦ This was nearly our top choice. There’s a similar tiering of tickets arrangement as at the Botanic Gardens (see below), with food included, and if you get the most expensive tickets, you can pet animals from the zoo while you’re waiting for the fireworks! In reality, the view isn’t as good as from Circular Quay, you won’t be able to hear the music and the tickets are just as expensive. Plus it would have been impossible for us to get back home after the proceedings were over. This would however be a fantastic option if you lived on the North Shore (and really liked animals).
Watching from one of the islands ¦¦ You can buy tickets to watch from one of the islands but the transport options were too restrictive for us – there is one ferry over, and one ferry back. They leave quite early and late respectively, and it’s long time hanging around on an island. Plus, you have to bring everything yourself, including chairs and tents (!) which all sounded like too much of a shebang. Also, being on holiday, we didn’t have any of that stuff.
Watching from a restaurant or bar ¦¦ We saw the price of tickets or a meal at anywhere with a view (eg the Shangri-La, or Opera Bar), laughed, and shut the browser window.
Staying in and watching it on the telly ¦¦ This was tempting after we’d done the sums, but you can do that anywhere in the world and it’s not that special, is it? Plus our family forbade it.
A houseparty ¦¦ We sad tourists didn’t know anyone throwing a party, so that wasn’t an option! We did walk home past quite a few though, which looked like a blast.
~ You have to walk through this section to get to The Point (here’s a helpful map)
~ Very good view
~ Slightly later arrival time, for those who like to swan in at the last minute
~ Adults only
~ Street food style dinner with packed dinner and snack
~ A bit of live music (a folk singer) and a DJ at midnight
~ Alright loos (portaloos) but on your way in and out you can sneak into the portacabins in Midnight at The Oasis
~ Excellent view – the best, I’d argue
~ Fairly narrow arrival window; they have to get you all in before they can admit people to Midnight at The Oasis, so you’ve got between 6-7.30pm to arrive.
~ Adults only
3. Lawn with the View
~ Picnic provided and you bring your own blanket etc to sit on
~ Slightly restricted view
~ Family friendly
What we picked and why
We decided to spend our NYE at The Point, and may I say, it was an excellent choice.
|[General ambience at The Point. Oh hi harbour bridge.]|
~ The crowd was relatively low density, which meant it didn’t feel rammed or claustrophobic, and the lines for food never got crazy
~ The food was genuinely tasty, with plenty to keep me going all night. I got a special gluten free picnic, which was delicious, and I could eat something on most of the food stands
|[Food stands at The Point]|
~ They provided free water but no booze; there was a cash bar which was not as outrageously priced as I was expecting
~ The live music was a bit of a non-event but we weren’t there for that so we didn’t mind
~ The Point had by far the longest stretch of harbour front which meant we got to sit right by the water for the entire evening. Again I refer you to the map which illustrates this nicely…
|[Front row seats]|
General tips for NYE in SYD
~ Don’t bother trying to drive anywhere near the CBD all day. It will be shut.
~ Don’t bother trying to find anywhere to eat during the day except fast food places. They will be shut.
~ Plan your transport carefully. All the public transport timetables go up the wazoo.
~ We were convinced taxis would be as easy to find as magical unicorns, but actually we could have hailed one to get home. We decided to walk instead in the end, but it was good to know it was an option.
~ Soak up some street atmosphere, if you can. Our walk home was brilliant because we bumped into plenty of revellers and got to wish them all a happy 2015!
Having scheduled this for a couple of weeks ago, before my unexpected blogging hiatus, I got an email 2 days ago informing me that pre-release tickets were now on sale. Yesterday, I got another email informing me that most pre-release tickets have sold out. Don’t worry, tickets are now on general release so you can get yours straight away. But be quick! They will sell out fast.
Where was your favourite NYE celebration? What made it special?