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NYE fireworks Sydney
Photograph: Daniel Tran/City of Sydney

Where to watch the 2023 Sydney NYE fireworks for free

Save your money for a nice drop for the midnight toast and head to one of these free fireworks-viewing spots in Sydney

Written by
Olivia Gee
Caitlyn Todoroski
Jasmine Lopez
Winnie Stubbs

Sydney is renowned the world over for its New Year's Eve fireworks display, so why not ring in a fresh new year from a prime position to view them?

Just a year ago, most of the prime spots to view the fireworks were paid – but now the NSW government has opened up many vantage points for free, for 2023.

Read on for our full guide to watching the 2023 New Year's Eve fireworks for free in Sydney.

Want to set yourself up at a venue for the night? Here's our guide to the best New Year's Eve parties in Sydney to ring in 2024.

Free places to watch the New Year's Eve fireworks

  • Things to do
  • City Life

Just a year ago, you had to pay to access many of the prime New Year's Eve fireworks-viewing spots throughout Sydney – but this year, the NSW government has announced that it's allowing free access to the best seats in the house across Barangaroo Reserve, West Circular Quay, Campbells Cove, Hickson Road Reserve, Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, The Domain and Mrs Macquarie’s Point (where tickets used to sell for up to $520).

For the more adventurous revellers among us, there’s also the option to head to one of Sydney’s National Parks like Bradley’s Head, Stickland Estate, Clark Island, Me-Mel (Goat Island) or Shark Island.

While some of the spots require a pre-booked ticket, there are also a number of locations across the foreshore playing host to free, unticketed vantage points for the big night – it's first in, best dressed, so you'll want to get in early.

Suss it all out over here.
Lisa Hamilton
Robertson Park
  • Things to do
  • Watsons Bay

Open from noon-12.30am

Enjoy panoramic views from this Watsons Bay spot with the Sydney Harbour Bridge peaking over the trees. Robertson Park is an unmanaged alcohol-free site that holds 500 but often doesn't reach capacity – make the most of it when it's time for the countdown. 

Simmons Point Reserve
  • Things to do
  • Balmain East

Open from 10am

Savour the western side of the Sydney Harbour at Simmons Point Reserve free of charge. It's busy here, but not super crowded, with the reserve on the northeastern tip holding 300 people for the fireworks. As with many a Balmain foreshore, it has an uninterrupted view of the bridge, but no alcohol is allowed, and there are no toilets (you’ll have to pop round to another of the nearby parks for those).

McKell Park (Darling Point)
  • Things to do
  • Darling Point

Open from noon

Commanding unique views of Sydney Harbour, McKell is a secret sanctuary where you can swim in the harbour via the sandstone steps, and set your picnic basket down on the water's edge. Why not take the family out to this oasis and spend the last day of the year enjoying Sydney's fireworks?

Embarkation Park
  • Things to do
  • Potts Point

Open from 10am

Overlooking Cowper Wharf in Woolloomoolloo, Embarkation Park has a great view of the Harbour Bridge, but beware that the lovely foliage here does mean some limited viewing. 

  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Rose Bay

Open from 3pm-12.30am

If you're a harbour-loving puppy owner, you'll know that this dog-friendly foreshore has incredible sightlines out towards the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The secluded spot in Rose Bay is an alcohol-free zone and there won't be any food being sold. So it's going to be all about the views here. But take it from us. They're worth it.  

Cremorne Point Reserve
  • Things to do
  • Cremorne Point

Open from 1pm

You may have to peak through a few gums to see the NYE fireworks from this Sydney Harbour peninsula, but it'll still be quite the show. You'll get to see the view that the giraffes at Taronga Zoo get to gawk at every year, and also enjoy the food and drinks available. This family-friendly site can accommodate up to 7,000 people so it can get crowded later in the day. There is no parking available so we recommend taking public transport and getting there early to secure your perfect spot.

  • Kids
  • Playgrounds
  • Pyrmont

Open from 2pm

If you want to cling to the foreshore, you can stay relatively central and still nab a free firework-viewing seat at Pirrama Park. This family-friendly site doesn't get crowded and offers glorious views over Blackwattle Bay. It can accommodate 7,000 party-goers and will be offering food and drinks all night. We recommend booking a picnic spot, but buy your booze, don't bring it. 

  • Things to do
  • Barangaroo

Open from 12pm

Though this area is home to an extensive park – perfect for setting up camp with your
picnic hamper – it’s also the spot to be if you’re keen to let a little loose on the dance floor, with a number or parties popping up throughout the precinct (more on that here). 

Garden Games will be set up throughout the park as well as water fountains and food trucks and a licencend bar. If you’ve been saving a bottle of fizz for the big night, this is where you’ll want to park for your picnic.

  • Things to do
  • The Rocks

Open from 9am

The earliest area to open will be The Rocks precinct, with five vantage points (Campbell’s Cove, Dawes Point Park, East Circular Quay, West Circular Quay and Hickson Road Reserve) open from 9am. E
ach of the vantage points offer their own advantage: with Campbell’s Cove boasting uninterrupted views of the harbour, Dawes Point Park and Hickson Road Reserve offering sheltered picnic spots from beneath the bridge and East and West Circular Quay situating you right in the centre of the action.

Each of The Rocks’ public vantage points are alcohol-free areas, so to stay hydrated, we’d recommend checking out our list of the best restaurants and bars in Circular Quay – our favourite restaurant of 2023 is a failsafe option for an excellent final dinner of the year.

  • Things to do
  • Sydney

Open from 1pm

Home to a sprawling children’s playground complete with slides, tunnels, swings, water fountains and a 21 metre flying fox, it’s safe to say that Darling Harbour is an excellent family-friendly option.

The free-to-access Cockle Bay vantage point will be open from 1pm, so you’ll have time to fit in a few hours of play (and possibly a visit to Sea Life Aquarium or Madame Tussauds) before catching the 9pm display.

Food-wise, head to Darling Square for an exhaustive range of options.

Can I please use your bathroom?

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