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Christmas, New Years Events in Sydney

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Spending Christmas Day on Bondi Beach and watching the Sydney harbour fireworks are world famous so if you’re planning on heading this way over the festive period be aware that it gets very (VERY) busy, so you must book your accommodation well in advance.

If you are going to be in Sydney for the Christmas and New Year period this year then you are in for a treat! There are plenty of events going on: from beach parties to boat parties, from festivals to fireworks. To help you prepare for the biggest week of the year, here are some of the major events going on in Sydney.

Christmas & News Years Events Sydney

Christmas Festivities, Sydney

Celebrations in Sydney kick off 5 weeks before Christmas Day, which means the entire city has loads of events and activities to get involved in. And more Christmas carols than you ever wanted to see! Here are some of our top picks…

1. Lights of Christmas

Head on down to Hyde Park to see St Mary’s Cathedral play backdrop to Light, 3D Projections and Sound.

Where? St Mary’s Cathedral Square, College Street
When? From 5 December to Christmas Day
Time? 7.30pm Choirs / 8:30pm til midnight Light Show
Cost? FREE!
More info: here

lights of christmas
By sv1ambo [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
2. Martin Place Christmas Concert & Tree Lighting

The Light and Sound show doesn’t stop at Hyde Park. Venture on down to Martin Place to see Santa light up the giant Christmas Tree whilst singing along to carols!

Where? Martin Place, Sydney
When? From 24 November to 24 December
Time? 6pm – 8pm.
Cost? FREE!
More info: here

3. Canopy of Light

Sydney’s famous shopping district Pitt Street Mall will transform into a stunning boulevard of twinkling lights to celebrate the Christmas spirit with thousands of LED Lights and hanging Christmas Trees. There are also Carols every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from 6pm to 8pm.

Where? Pitt Street Mall, Sydney
When? From 24 November – 1 January
Time: 6pm – 1:00am
Cost? FREE
More info: here

Christmas Day Sydney

Probably one of the most common things on a backpackers bucket list for Australia is to spend Christmas Day on Bondi Beach. Thousands of people flock to the beach each year. You’ll see Christmas trees, hundreds of Santa hats and lots of sunburnt backpackers who can’t believe that they’re lying on a beach on Christmas day! Unfortunately Bondi Beach is an alcohol free zone on Christmas Day. This is for your own safety and to make the lifeguards jobs a bit easier. However there are plenty of bars around to have a beer!

Bondi Beach at Christmas
Bondi Beach at Christmas

Boxing Day Sydney

Head to Darling Harbour to watch all the boats set off on the world renowned yacht race to Hobart – 650 miles down the coast. It’s a huge Christmas event in Sydney and is free to go and watch with the added bonus that the fresh coastal air will help cure your hangover.

New Year’s Eve Sydney

Sydney is one of the first cities in the world to bring in the New Year and there are so many events to choose from!

Bondi Beach tends to be a popular spot to enjoy the day and the bars along Campbell Parade always have something going on. In a nutshell… the place is vibing!

The most popular NYE activity however is of course, to watch the iconic Fireworks display over the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. The most obvious place to watch the fireworks is from Circular Quay – the crowds here are unbelievable so plan to head on down early to save yourself a spot! Festivities begin at 6pm, including an aerial and water display. Check out the Harbour of Light Parade to see lots of vessels lit up in the harbour from 9.15pm to 11pm, just after the fireworks.

If the crowds aren’t really your things, there are a few other viewing points around Sydney where you can still catch the fireworks over the Bridge. Some of our favourites are The Rocks, Mary Booth Lookout, Campbell’s Cove and Pyrmont. Bradfield Park, Mrs Macquaries Point and the Royal Botanical Gardens.

The other place to head for New Year’s Eve is Darling Harbour, it’s free and you get to see in the New Year surrounded by like-minded people.With flame and light shows every hour from 7pm as well as land and water based fireworks at 9pm and midnight, Sydney New Year’s Eve at Darling Harbour is the highlight of the New Years celebrations. The site opens at 11am. Flame and light shows at 7pm, 8pm, 10pm and 11pm. Fireworks at 9pm and the main event – 21 minutes of fireworks at midnight. More info: here

New Year’s Day Sydney

For most people New Years Day in Sydney will be spent chilling out and recovering, but for those of you that haven’t yet had enough, tickets are on sale now for Field Day – a huge music festival held throughout the day at Sydney’s Domain. ‘There’s no better, fresher way to start the year: Out in the sun, grass and leaves of the Domain with a smile on your face, your friends by your side and the best music you’ll hear all year caressing your ears.’

Hopefully these Christmas and New Years Events in Sydney have given you a few ideas on things to do throughout the Christmas and New Year period and make this one a year to remember.

Make sure you book Sydney accommodation well in advance!

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