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Watching Sydney’s NYE Fireworks from Mrs Macquaries Point

Watching the Sydney fireworks for NYE from Mrs Macquaries Point is one way to see them for free. This post is explaining what to know before you go + whether or not the wait is worth it!

Sydney fireworks from Mrs Macquaries Point.
Sydney fireworks from Mrs Macquaries Point.

With millions and millions of dollars going into Sydney’s spectacular NYE firework show each year, it’s an event that can’t be missed if you’re in the city. I’ve never seen anything as incredible as this fireworks display! But the biggest dilemma is – where should you watch it from? I’m going to share my thoughts on where I watched the show (Mrs Macquaries Point), and what advice I’d offer someone trying to plan their night of festivities.

sydney fireworks

As I mentioned, I watched the fireworks from Mrs Macquaries Point. Technically, this is one of the best viewpoints for the Sydney Harbour bridge. BUT, there are ton of trees that obstruct your full view of the fireworks (hence, the less than stellar photos above).

Cost & Capacity

With that being said, though, Mrs Macquaries Point is completely free to enter! So, I can’t complain too much. They do cap the amount of people at 16,000…which, it appeared they hit that mark around 2 p.m. this year. So, I would advise getting in line to enter the point by AT LEAST 12:30 p.m. (Be prepared for a long day!)

However, I don’t think it’s worth camping out overnight for, because once the show starts, people will push and shove their way into the best spots – regardless of how long you’ve been waiting. (You just need to make sure you’re inside before they reach capacity.)

The line to enter started well after the art museum!

The Wait

The photo above is the art museum, we had been waiting well before here to get into the point…and we had arrived at about 12:30 p.m. At that time, the line looked huge to us. However, it moved quickly. I think we only waited for 20 minutes.

sydney fireworks

Food & Drinks

Once you’re inside, you can lay down blankets or rent lawn chairs from different stands. There is also a good selection of food trucks and beer tents that offer a variety of beverages.

  • There is no BYO alcohol, so be prepared to buy it from the stands. (If you’re curious – beer was $9, wine was $15 & mixed drinks were $10.)
  • You can bring in non-alcoholic beverages, provided they are in sealed containers and not glass.
  • You can also bring your own food and snacks if you want.
  • There are also plenty of places to refill water bottles inside.


And, if you struggle to stay up until midnight, there is also an impressive fireworks show at 9 p.m. too! I had been waiting in line for the restrooms when that started (it was a 40-minute wait!), so I only saw part of it. And I really regretted it!

The main show itself went for a whopping 12 minutes! To get a glimpse of it, I have a video my husband took, above. Again, the trees really blocked a lot of it, unfortunately. But it was still incredible to see!

My Thoughts?

So, the moral of this story is, if you don’t want to pay to see the fireworks Mrs Macquaries Point is a good option. It was a fun atmosphere that never got too rowdy (thanks to the no BYO for alcohol).

However, if you want to get that million-dollar photo of the bridge and Opera House with fireworks exploding everywhere – be prepared to shell out the big bucks! You have the option of paying for reservations at the Botanic Gardens (anywhere from $200-$500 a ticket) or getting a spot on a boat (this can also be incredibly expensive)….but, I personally think saving your pennies and going to a ticketed spot (like the gardens) or getting a spot on a boat would be very much worth it for an unobstructed view. The fireworks are just that amazing!


If anyone has any questions or comments about Sydney’s NYE fireworks, please let me know in the comments below! And how did you spend your NYE? Were you much more comfortable than me? Haha.

*If you like this post, it is now available as a self-guided walking tour! Click here to download it.

Watching Sydney's NYE Fireworks from Mrs Macquaries PointWatching Sydney's NYE Fireworks from Mrs Macquaries Point

Watching Sydney’s NYE Fireworks from Mrs Macquaries Point
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  1. Richa Kamal says:

    Had always watched the Sydney one on news. This surely looks spectacular obstructed or unobstructed..
    Best part is that you did not have to freeze out while waiting 😀
    Happy New Year!
    Richa | Fancier’s World

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      That is very true…I certainly wasn’t cold this year! Haha. Happy New Year to you too, Richa! 🙂

  2. Happy new year! I watched the London ones from my computer, but yours are pretty! It’s a shame they didn’t go higher or the trees were in a different location. Gorgeous though!

    Raindrops of Sapphire

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Happy New Year to you too, Lorna! And oh yes, it’s a shame you can’t see them as well with the trees. But still very pretty. 🙂

  3. Really great option for NYE and the fireworks look fantastic!
    Awesome pictures and video!

    Have a nice day!:)


    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Thank you so much! Hope you have a nice day too! 🙂

  4. gymbagsandjetlags says:

    It sounds like it was almost worth the whole wait! Hey, do everything once right? Happy new year!

    xx, Pia

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Oh yes! It was worth the wait, but if I ever do it again, I’m definitely saving up to go to a ticketed area. Haha. Happy New Year to you as well! 🙂

  5. Lauren-Blair says:

    Oh my goodness, 40 minutes for a bathroom line? Yikes! Glad you mostly had fun! Happy 2017!!!! XO

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Haha! I will NEVER wait in line for a bathroom that long ever again. Haha. That was terrible! But other than that, it was a good time. 😉 Happy 2017 to you too, Lauren!

  6. robjodiefilogomo says:

    What a fabulous way to bring in 2017!!

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      It sure was. 🙂 Happy New Year, Jodie!

  7. Lee (@leethrifts) says:

    I’ve never really been one for NYE but this looks really fun! But wow that wait is a long! I am seriously so jealous of all of your adventures in Australia!! It really sounds like you’re having an awesome time.

    Lee – leethrifts.com

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Oh gosh, I’m not one for NYE either. I generally sit on the couch, eat a bunch of seafood and watch the ball drop in my pjs. Haha. This year was very much outside the norm! But I’m glad we did it! Sydney really knows how to put on a good fireworks show. 🙂

  8. I like fireworks and the ones in Sydney look truly amazing. I am just impressed how patient you are. I can’t imagine waiting whole day. I would probably just end up paying for tickets and see it from the Botanic Gardens. I think that it is a good option if you have a baby with you. Even if it is so pricey. :-)))

    You photos and the video are amazing. I feel like I was there. You captured it perfectly, Lindsey.

    Have a lovely weekend!


    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Haha, that is certainly the longest I have ever waited for an event. If I ever do this again, I am certainly paying for a ticket. Haha. And oh yes, having a baby with you.. it would be much nicer to be in a ticketed area. And thank you so much, Miri! Hope you have a lovely weekend too! 🙂

  9. denisesplanet says:

    That’s a great way to send NYE, dear Lindsey, and the atmosphere must have been full of joy, with people with the same vibe around! It’s also a unforgettable adventure, though 40 min to go to the restroom,, oooohh! Being able to take your own (non-alcoholic) drinks and food is good, I don’t drink much alcohol – only on special occasions, as NYE, but even last time I ddidn’t drink it. So that would be good for me. I am just thinking of the restroom… but OK, time flies and one can even find a new friend in the line, by chatting 🙂 Really a great experience, glad you were there! Hugs and happy January 🙂

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Oh it was such a fun atmosphere! Everyone was so excited. Haha…but the bathroom wait was certainly NOT a good time. But I did indeed make some new friends while in line. Haha. Happy New Year, Denise! 🙂

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