You’ll be in Sydney New Year’s Eve. Where to see the fireworks in comfort? With dinner first. And do you need to book New Year’s Eve hotels much in advance?
Comfort, Style and Food with a View
Sydney has a number of hotel restaurants and bars that offer great harbour views and will give you a grandstand view of the fireworks.Other hotels open up their roof tops (usually in conjunction with food or drink packages).
Many of them have rooms that also look over the harbour, but I’m not really dealing with those here. I’m assuming you won’t want to come to Sydney to celebrate new year in your hotel room.
Sydney Harbour Hotels
These New Year’s Eve hotels all offer accommodation, so you can also book a room there, avoiding the often long waits and horrendous crowds after the fireworks finish. Approximate food and drink or package costs per person, where available, in brackets.
- Shangri-La, looks onto the harbour bridge and past the opera house to the heads.
- Altitude Restaurant ($1100) and Blu Bar, both on Level 36 give stunning fireworks views. Café Mix on Level 1 ($350) has views too.
- Park Hyatt, immediately underneath and slightly along from the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Looks down the harbour towards the Opera House. There’s a rooftop pool and terrace for guests only which will give a great harbour view, although I don’t think you’ll see most of the bridge itself from here.
- Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour has Q Dining and Hacienda Bar, both with excellent views of the bridge and harbour
- Pier One, the Gantry restaurant is right on the water at Dawes Point, Walsh Bay. Bridge views but note these are from the “back” (go here where I explain why that matters).
- Sydney Harbour YHA, the Rocks. Another fantastic rooftop terrace in this 5-star, upscale hostel. Note that New Year’s Eve roof party tickets for the evening are not included in room rates, you buy them separately.
- Holiday Inn Old Sydney, close to the Park Hyatt, has a rooftop pool and terrace that overlooks the harbour and bridge, or at least part thereof.
- The rooftop is open to guests (minimum 3 night stay over new year) and to NYE dinner guests at the Playfair Terrace restaurant. Go here for package details.
- Mercantile Hotel, George St, an Irish pub directly under the harbour bridge. A party pub with a rooftop bar. It will be raucous.
Note that the Four Seasons, although very close to the harbour, does not have any public spaces with fireworks views. Lounge 32, for club guests only, closes at 2000 (8 pm) even on New Year’s eve. The Grain Bar will be open and will probably have a DJ but has no views.
More New Year’s Eve Hotels
If you prefer to be out of the worst of the press of people but still want a grandstand position then have a look at North Sydney Harbourview Hotel which offers rooms and also a New Year’s Eve buffet dinner with indoor or outdoor seating, a view up the harbour to the bridge (“back” view) for fireworks watching, live music and special prices for children. ($319/$139)
Harbour View Bars and Restaurants
No sleeping at these New Year’s Eve hotels, bars and restaurants! But most will have special food and drinks packages. For example:
- The Glenmore, in Cumberland Street in the Rocks, is side-on to the bridge and has a rooftop bar with great views. ($300)
- O Bar and Dining, a revolving cocktail bar and restaurant on the 47th floor in Australia Square. ($400)
- Sydney Tower Restaurant revolving 360 ° above Centrepoint in the middle of the city. ($699, 18+ only)
More Sydney New Years Eve Ideas
Sydney Harbour has many vantage points which are perfect for New Year’s eve. They can be ticketed or open to all comers until they’re filled up, then closed. Some will be catered, others will have facilities – or not. I’ll deal with these over the next weeks. With these spots, timing is not that critical.
Restaurants, cruises and harbour islands though, all get booked out very early – as I write this in April, I see that some have already sold out. So, if this is what you want, then you really must get cracking and make that booking.
To charter a private boat, take a harbour cruise or view the fireworks from one of the many islands in Sydney Harbour, go to New Year’s Eve Sydney in Style where you’ll find answers to your questions and many links to get you going. But book early. You really do have to.
Even if you don’t have money to burn, some of the harbour islands compare very favourably with ticketed harbour side venues, so don’t ignore the link because your budget doesn’t stretch to the most expensive venues, cheaper options are also covered.