Your guide to Sydney’s best New Year’s Eve events 2016-17

Now that we’re in December, Sydneysiders are no doubt scrambling to lock in those perfect NYE plans, and with so many options available around the famed Harbour City, one is definitely going to need some help sorting through all that’s on offer. Pretty much every venue around Sydney will be trying to coax you through their doors and into their ticketed event, but not all NYE parties are made equal. Because we’re a helpful bunch we’ve sifted through a shortlist of our favourite New Year’s Eve events around Sydney for the 2016/2017 period, trimming that down even more to present you with the below.

Hacienda (Circular Quay)


When Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour opened their new Cuban inspired vista bar, Hacienda, earlier this year it quickly became one of the most treasured new venues in the city. I mean that panoramic view really speaks for itself doesn’t it? And it’s not just that, the Cuban flavoured design also mirrors the food and drink menu, with fresh seafood and some lip-smacking cocktails (our favourite: the Old Smoked Presidente, with aged rum, orange curacao, dry vermouth, Angostura bitters and house-spiced raspberry syrup) served from a colourful bar that adds the 1950’s Miami pastiche.

This one is a no-brainer for New Year’s Eve, especially with the cocktail party package they’re offering: substantial Cuban inspired canapes (like snapper ceviche with oyster caviar, jamon wrapped crystal bay prawns, and beef empanadas) all night, an endless stream of Veuve Clicquot and premium beverages, and a DJ to score that priceless view.

Hacienda’s New Years Eve party will kick off at 7:30pm and last until 12:30am. Tickets are from $600pp. More information and bookings can be found HERE. 61 Macquarie St, Sydney NSW.

Taronga Zoo (Mosman)


Tourists wouldn’t normally expect Taronga Zoo to have one of the most incredible views of Sydney’s postcard-worthy harbour, but locals often keep this property as a reference point for one of the most special perspectives in the city. That billion dollar view is part of the reason why Taronga have a sun-kissed live music series during summer, part of the reason why it’s remained a mainstay attraction for a century, and certainly part of the reason why it’s such a popular option for New Years Eve.

The unique setting will once again be put to full use as the property’s Taronga Centre hosts a massive adults only NYE dinner. And it won’t be just the view that’s on offer; the venue’s world-class chefs will offer an enormous range of food, all using locally sourced produce for entrees, individually plated dishes and an array of desserts. All this will be served on long wooden tables, prefacing the city’s renowned firework displays with a dining experience that’s going to be hard to beat.

Titled the Celebrate Sydney Package, the lavish New Years Eve event will be one for the grown folk as they head into something a bit more relaxed than your usual end-of-year party, but no less impressive with the social-style dinner framed by that awe-inspiring view. It will take place in the property’s Harbourview Ballroom with those aforementioned long tables filled with delicious entrees, right before gourmet main courses and an array of desserts further the showcase of local culinary talent. “Celebrate Sydney” will be the theme for the night, with organisers encouraging guests to dress with a bit of colour in mind. This one is priced at $495 per person with a starting time of 7:30pm.

More information and bookings can be found HERE.

Marquee (Pyrmont)


If you’ve got the energy to keep up then head along to Marquee Sydney for New Year’s Eve because the internationally renowned nightclub will be bringing Krewella all the way down from Chicago, handing the reigns of the nightclub’s mainroom over to the dominant sister duo so they show revellers just why they’re sitting at half a billion streams online and are constants on top 100 DJ lists the world over.

With the event following their sell-out Sweatbox Tour across North America you can be sure Krewella are more than keen to celebrate what has been one of their most successful years to date as well, keeping Marquee’s energy levels at an all time high with their heavy rock and dance influences.

Doors will fly open at 10pm with several packages available. General tickets are set from $100 (+ bf) but those that want to spice it up a bit can grab a “VIP Krew” ticket with express escorted entry into the nightclub, premium canapes, a superior beverage package and exclusive VIP backstage access with Grey Goose; that one will set you back $400pp (+ bf). More information and tickets can be found HERE.

Note that all tickets purchased to the event will include entry into a draw to win a getaway to L.A for two with parties at the latest Tao Group venues and accommodation at the lush Dream Hollywood hotel.

NYE Shark Island Party (Sydney Harbour)


Shoot across the harbour straight to Shark Island and you’ll find yourself in the middle of a Caribbean-themed tropical island, set for one of the most quintessentially Sydney NYE parties imaginable. The organisers have even tapped food favourites Butter and <Thievery to help keep the party flowing with food all night, from mezze plates to fried and jerk chicken, all of which are being offered exclusively for the event. Sunset will be scored by triple j fav LUEN and local DJ Recess will help take the night further before it all ends with that postard-worthy view of the NYE fireworks.

Tickets include a return ferry. Adults are $225, children (5-15 y.o) are $160 and children under 5 are free. You can grab more information and tickets HERE.

Bar Machiavelli (Rushcutters Bay)


Italian go-to Bar Machiavelli has one of the best venues in Sydney, taking up in the former warehouse that used to host Icebergs and later Porteno. They’ve done an incredible job making the space their own, with enormous ever-changing projections illuminating the walls and reiterating just how high the ceilings are. It’s nowhere near the harbour or Circular Quay though, but the team will cleverly bring the fireworks to their walls as they splash them across the walls for their NYE event, which of course includes a chance to sit down to their superb food.

The Early Bird sittings are from 6-6:30pm until 8:30pm and will be offered at $150pp, with a glass of Perrier Jouet on arrival followed by a 4 course a la carte menu (get the Chestnut Pappardelle with porcini mushroom and Madeira sauce, trust me) with drinks on consumption. A later sitting is available from 8:30pm for $225 per person, offering the same deal.

For bookings and more information click HERE. 10 Neild Avenue, Rushcutters Bay NSW.

Seadeck (Sydney Harbour)


2016 has welcomed some very fine venues to help balance out Mike Baird’s destructive ways, and a list of some of the most exciting wouldn’t be complete without a mention of Seadeck. The floating venue is pretty much the more in-touch evolution of a traditional harbour cruise (you know, the ones with V.B packages and food that tastes like plastic – I went on one for NYE, it wasn’t fun) with a better sense of what people actually want, so you can be sure they’ll be turning all kinds of notches all the way up for their NYE bash.

From 6pm they’ll be welcoming partygoers on board, offering a 3 hour package of premium drinks and roving canapes with tickets from $595pp. The party will last until 1:30am though, and throughout the night you’ll be entertained by the likes of Kaz James, Kate Elsworth, Marc Javin, and Jungle Snake.

For further information and tickets click HERE.

Banksii (Barangaroo)


If you’re looking to spend NYE at Barangaroo Reserve then you’ll need somewhere close for dinner beforehand. The precinct is not short on options but there are but a handful offering packages we think stick out, the hotly tipped Banksii being one of them. If you like vermouth and good food that focuses on the use of botanicals then this one is a no brainer, offering both early and late dining packages.

Early dining will be for sittings from 5pm until 6:30pm and include a signature Banksii Vermouth on arrival with a set menu of dishes like Oysters & Dry Vermouth, Grilled Prawns served with curry leaf butter and pickled tumeric, Roast Chicken with radicchio, parsley and agrodolce, and Bitter Sweet Chocolate Mousse with mandarin sorbet. This package will be priced at $95/$125 per ticket for adults, and $50/$80 per ticket for children. All tickets include a pass to Barangaroo Reserve valued at $30.

The late dining package is a bit more substantial on the food side of things, plus you get to watch the fireworks from the restaurants outdoor terrace. Bookings will be from 8pm with a Champagne Cocktail on arrival. Dishes included on the set menu are Kurobuta Berkshire Proscuitto with glazed almonds and grilled peach, Seared Snapper Fillet with wild fennel vinaigrette, Grilled Prawns with curry leaf butter and pickled tumeric, and Amaro Truffles. This one will be priced at $140 per person.

Bookings can be made online at or by calling 02 8072 7037. Shop 11, 33 Barangaroo Ave, Barangaroo NSW.

Sails on Lavender Bay (McMahons Point)

Image: Jacqui Turk
Image: Jacqui Turk

If a substantial 9 course dinner with enviable views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge is your kind of NYE party then it’d be hard to look past Sails. The North Shore favourite is offering a huge degustation to see out 2016, giving you front row seats to the 9pm and midnight fireworks. It’ll set you back $725pp and while the exact dishes haven’t been confirmed, with the regular menu featuring the likes of Snow Crab with avocado puree, grammy smith and radish, and Grimaud Duck Breast with roast beetroot, mulberries and jus, you can be sure the food will pair just fine with that view.

You can grab more info HERE. 2 Henry Lawson Ave, McMahons Point.

Zushi (Barangaroo)


Here’s another one at Barangaroo, and again a ticket here will also get you access to Barangaroo Reserve for one of the most in-demand vantage points in the city. Before the fireworks you’ll need to eat though, and Zushi have a 10 course tasting menu planned for those heading along, inviting guests for either a 5pm or 8:30pm sitting with a menu that’s been carefully picked just for the night.

It’s all Zushi’s own modern take on Japanese cuisine here so expect dishes like a Sushi Sashimi Boat including lobster, Alaskan King Crab Tempura with tempura dashi sauce, Quail Karaage with mustard mayo, Wagyu Steak and dessert. Each menu comes with a complimentary glass of French bubbles to help you celebrate.

Tickets are $185pp (including access to Barangaroo Reserve) or $155 (without access to Barangaroo Reserve). A children’s menu is available at $70 per child. For bookings click HERE. 10/33, Barangaroo Avenue, Wulugul Walk NSW.

Cafe Del Mar (Darling Harbour)


Café del Mar have a sold line up of resident DJ’s ready to take you out of 2016, right alongside international guest and deep funk innovator Purple Disco Machine. This pulsating score will be thread through the Darling Harbour destination’s NYE event as the make use of their breezy open air terrace to offer a premium vantage point, split by several packages. There is the option of canape packages from $99pp, a three-course dinner package for $179pp, or a VIP experience from $149pp.

More information and bookings can be found HERE. Rooftop Terrace, Cockle Bay Wharf, 35 Wheat Rd NSW.

Catalina (Rose Bay)


For something a bit further out of the busy CBD head to Rose Bay’s famed Catalina which will be open for both lunch (regular a la carte) and dinner (set menu) on NYE. For dinner they’ve planned both early and late sittings, early being $150pp with sittings from 6pm until 8:15pm, and late sittings set at $275pp from 8:30pm.

All guests to dinner will enjoy canapes on arrival and three-course menu with their choice of entree, main and dessert. Coffee and petit fours will follow, and for those staying late Catalina have their own midnight fireworks display planned, capping off what they are describing as a “festive atmosphere”.

For more information click HERE and for bookings just shoot them on e-mail on [email protected] Lyne Park, Rose Bay, Sydney NSW.

The Cambridge Hotel’s NYE Street Party (Newcastle)


If you feel like a short road trip head along to The Cambridge Hotel in Newcastle to see out 2016 with some very fine live music. The venue’s NYE Street Party will feature two stages set up with headliners including Aussie emcee Illy and a recently reformed PNAU spinning up a DJ set. They’ll be leading an impressive lineup for home grown talent from San Cisco and The Kite String Tangle to Boo Seeka and Kim Churchill.

Tickets are $95pp + bf. Market stalls and food vendors will sit alongside plenty of bars and even some live art. It’ll kick off at 6pm on NYE and last well into the night, wrapping up around 2am. For more information, the full line up and tickets click HERE. Note that it’s an 18+ only event. 789 Hunter St, Newcastle NSW.

Harvest Newrybar (Byron Bay)


Here’s another road trip idea for, but it’s a bit further this time. Head all the way to Byron Bay and you can either try and beg for a Fall Festival ticket or head along to Harvest Newrybar, a venue that will be hosting the “pure hedonistic delight” of a Black & White Party. They’ll have their own champagne tower, dedicated oyster and sashimi bars, a yakitori station, garden spritz bar, seafood jambalaya, late-night suckling pig sliders, even a damn whisky cave.

This one will kick of at 7:30pm with tickets priced at $220 (drinks included). For more information click HERE. 18-22 Old Pacific Highway, Byron Bay NSW.

Feature image: View from Taronga Zoo.


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Chris Singh

Chris Singh is the Deputy Editor of the AU review and a freelance travel writer. You can reach him on Instagram by following @chrisdsingh.

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