Sydney’s Best Budget New Years Eve

New Years Eve is one of the biggest parties on the calendar, but this doesn’t mean it has to be the most expensive! It’s totally possible to live it up and party with friends on a shoestring budget in Sydney, which has some of the best New Years Eve fireworks in the world. It doesn’t matter if you are heading down to Circular Quay, or to one of the many free vantage points around the harbour, there’s plenty happening. Whether you are staying in one of the best Backpackers Sydney has to offer, or are just needing to budget a little more this time of year, we’ve got some great suggestions for livin’ it up on New Years Eve, without it costing you a fortune.

Fireworks: Free entertainment is everywhere

Sydney is well known for its spectacular fireworks displays, which are scheduled throughout the night. Sydney hosts her very own party through the streets of the city, so you don’t need to worry about finding a venue to go to for the night if you don’t have the money to spend. Alongside the right people, you can have the best New Years Eve ever, with the most spectacular entertainment ever… and to make it even better, it’s completely free!

There are a tonne of places to watch the fireworks from, including the Opera House, Dawes Point, Mary Booth Lookout, Blues Point Reserve and Observatory Hill Park. These places are very popular, so if you want a prime position, you will need to get there very early in the day. If you’re not fussed, but still want a great view, head down to Darling Harbour, Cockle Bay or Circular Quay for great views, although keep in mind that even these larger areas get very busy, so leave plenty of time to find a good vantage point. For a full list of vantage points, check out the official Sydney NYE website, which has an interactive map with more information available. There are fireworks around 9pm for the family, as well as the main event at midnight.

Endless experiences and vantage points

If you don’t mind spending a little on the venue, consider jumping aboard a ferry or cruise boat for an uninterrupted view of the fireworks action. Barangaroo Reserve is another great paid spot, and offers excellent views with a limited capacity, so you know you’ll be able to get a good look at the fireworks. Full price tickets are less than $30, but you will need to act fast, as they will sell out.

Looking for something other than the fireworks? Check out this page here which is regularly updated with a variety of events that are happening around Sydney (both free and paid). Luna Park also hosts a huge New Years Party, which is ideally located to view the fireworks, and this year also offers great headline acts like Havana Brown, Masd N Kutcher, Sneaky Sound System and many more. Of course, this event isn’t free, but you’ll have one of the best vantage points in the city, and plenty of action to keep you entertained. Or Celebrate Gay NYE with unlimited beverages, great catering and an exclusive rooftop venue, although if you’re on a backpackers budget you might need to dig a little deeper for this one. But if you can’t get to a paid event like this, there’s still plenty of free acts and live music scattered around the city, so you’ll have an amazing time either way. At 6pm, there’s a live aerial stunt show, water displays in the harbour, a welcome to country, as well as many other events and gigs staged by local businesses throughout the night.

Backpacker special offers

Backpackers can always expect a number of great special offers for all of the important events of the year, and New Years Eve is no exception. From News Years Eve cruises exclusively for backpackers, to specials on dinner and drinks packages, it’s just a matter of asking around and getting to know the best places with the best deals. Use your backpacker status for all it’s worth and you could save hundreds of dollars!

Be sure to plan ahead

One important thing to remember, no matter how you decide to spend your night, is to plan ahead. The best spots for viewing the Sydney fireworks fill up fast, so making a day of it is a great idea. Spending a day by the water on New Year’s Eve will ensure you and your friends have the best vantage point to see the fireworks in Sydney.

Here’s a few things to remember as you prepare for NYE:

  • Sunscreen – you don’t want to bring in the New Year looking like a lobster!
  • Water – don’t go home sick from dehydration because you didn’t have enough water during the day.
  • Comfortable shoes – You may be on your feet for a while. There’s no point in looking great in a pair of heels if you’re howling from pain when you’re getting them off at the end of the night.
  • Public transport – Extra public transport is put on for the New Years celebrations, and is by far the best way to get to and from the event. Check here for more up to date transport information from Transport NSW as it becomes available closer to the date. Some bus stops will change, with more added through the city, and Circular Quay will not be serviced from early in the evening.
  • Road closures – Hopefully you aren’t planning to drive, but if you are, keep in mind that there will be a lot of congestion and many road closures, especially throughout the CBD.
  • Uber – beware of skyrocketing prices caused by surge pricing. With over 1 million people heading into the Sydney foreshore, you could be paying up to 800% of the normal fare.

For those of you who are on the lookout for a backpacker New Year’s Eve event, it’s a good idea to buy your tickets as early as possible. Events sell out, especially the best and most value for money. And, if you are really looking to keep the party going, why not head to an event like Field Day, which welcomes in New Year’s Day with a mix of house, hip-hop, indie and electronic artists in The Domain. There’s plenty on, and fortunately, you are spoilt for choice in Sydney, whether you’re running a shoestring budget, or are ready to splash a bit of cash.

Having a fabulous free evening

As always, the best Sydney hostels will always have helpful staff that will be more than happy to help you with suggestions for how to spend your New Years Eve. They will often have some great ideas, and will be able to point you in the direction of the best events available as they are announced. So start planning, make bookings if necessary, and most of all, enjoy the party!