Budget Travel

6 Free Sydney Events to Help you Celebrate New Year’s

Sydney is hosting a variety of FREE events, here are my favourite six things to do on New Year’s Eve.

Forgot to make plans for this New Year’s Eve? Christmas just fly past too quickly? I say that every year, I’m sure. And, of course every year, I get so caught up with Christmas festivities, I completely forgot to plan something for New Year’s Eve.

So, after a few hours browsing online for last-minute events, I’ve managed to find five fabulous New Year’s Events, which are all FREE.

Many of these events are already happening and a few are reserved for night time celebrations on the eve of the New Year – either way, if you forgot to plan something and are looking for something FREE and easy to join in on, check out these five events.

I have made mentioned to a a few restaurants where you will obviously need to pay for food and drinks. However, no NYE surcharge has been applied to any of the mentioned, so at least there is no entry or booking fee to go.

A Party Through the Decades:

The Soda Factory in Surry Hills will be hosting a Party of the Ages, where a celebration of music throughout the decades will be played all night. Starting off the night with some jiving and bopping to 50s and 60s jams, disco dancing through the 70s, moon walking through the 80s, grinding through the 90s, and pop lock and dropping it with a fat side of twerking to the 00s. Although this is a free event, you will need to book a spot. Email to book now as this party will be rocking tonight (super last-minute indeed).

Where: The Soda Factory, 16 Wentworth Avenue, Surry Hills

Date: Friday 28th December 2018 5pm to 3am

Mexican New Year with El Loco:

$7 Tacos mixed with your favourite beer and good mates, now that sounds like a super summery way to spend your New Years – don’t you think? El Loco in Surry Hills will be open until 3am this Friday and Saturday, with a mix of different DJ’s on rotation, delicious margaritas for anyone who doesn’t like beer, plus incredible tequilas and some of the best tacos ever. No booking necessary for El Loco, but I do recommend you get in early to grab a great spot before the crowd start, as this is a popular restaurant in Surry Hills and draws a pretty good crowd.

Where: 64 Foveaux St, Surry Hills

Date: Friday 28th December 2018 to Saturday 29th December 2018

Cocktails at Queens:

The Smelly Goat will be serving up a yummy range of cocktails for only $16 YUM, up until 10pm on Monday 31st December 2018. Make a night of it and head in early for dinner to order from their delicious Chinese inspired menu before finishing off with one of their signature cocktails. When you’re done, you can always head off to the fireworks to end the night. The Smelly Goat is a popular place to grab a good feed and cocktail, so I would call and check availability if you are planning on going with more than 2 people. They do take walk ins, but if the night is pumping, you may be waiting a while on the street, before you can get in.

Where: 167 Enmore Rd, Enmore

Date: Friday, Saturday and Monday to the 31st December 2018 6pm to 10pm

Darling Harbour Fireworks:

It’s been a while since Darling Harbour hosted their famous firework display; due to all the upgrades which have been happening around the area over the last few years. Finally, the fireworks are back and they will be on every night up until 9th February 2019. The Darling Harbour Fireworks are perfect for any families wanting their kids to watch a firework display, without having to deal with all the city crowds of the traditional Sydney Harbour Fireworks. Darling Harbour is a lot more manageable for families, where you can eat from one of the many surrounding restaurants, even take a ride on the Ferris Wheel and then finish off with the 8.30pm fireworks.

Where: Darling Harbour

Date: Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday 31st December 2018 from 8.30am to 9pm

Sydney Harbour Fireworks:

Of course, if you willing to face the crowds and are planning to get into the city via public transport, you can always snag a good spot somewhere to watch the 9pm or midnight NYE fireworks display on the Harbour. Go prepared if you are choosing this option though, take plenty of food and water, chairs and anything else you may need to pass the time whilst you wait for the fireworks to start. The best spots around the Harbour usually start to get taken anywhere from midday on NYE. If you are deciding to do this, for a fun and free way to spend NYE with friends and family, here are my recommendations on the best places to watch the fireworks:

Dawes Point Reserve; this is literally underneath the Harbour Bridge. If there is no wind, you may be smoked out – but when there is no wind, the fireworks are pretty spectacular from here. It fills quick though and there is no parking, unless you plan to get in at 9am. And, even then, after the fireworks, you may get locked into the area and unable to leave. So, I would definitely train it here.

The Botanical Gardens; what i like best about the gardens is their size. You can go a little later if midday is too early, find a good spot to hang with friends and family (pack a picnic – no BBQ though) and chill playing games. Then when the fireworks are getting ready to start, you can take a leisurely stroll towards the Opera house to watch. It still gets pretty packed, but at least you don’t have to share you picnic space with anyone.

Balls Head Reserve; you access this reserve from North Sydney. It can get very busy here, but no way as busy as the parks in the main central city area. And, you can drive to this location, as there is residential parking. But do be prepared to walk, as the parking fills pretty quick.

House Party:

So, this one is a no brainer really and not too late to organise. Believe me when I say, there are definitely more than a few friends and family who have not organised anything for NYE yet. Why not throw together a last minute party or BBQ at your place; or if you can’t at your’s, find someone else who can host. These are my favourite types of get together’s as you can really do anything you like. Play games, eat too much food, have a laugh and then watch the fireworks at midnight on the TV; which gives you a better angle than live fireworks anyways. Am I right?

And, the best part, you don’t have to dress up if you don’t want. Nor do you have to drive anywhere (unless someone else is hosting), deal with crowds and public transport or worry about ridiculous prices on any food you may need whilst out in town waiting for the fireworks to start.







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