It’s the first New Year’s Eve in three years with no Covid-19 restrictions anywhere in Australia – and it’s about to go off with a bang.
Revellers heading to watch the fireworks in each city are being warned to plan ahead, pack light and expect an Uber surcharge.
Thousands of people around the country will watch fireworks to ring in the new year.
In Sydney alone, 2,000 fireworks will be launched from the four sails of the Opera House, while 7,000 effects will fire from 184 positions on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The Foti International Fireworks director, Fortunato Foti, said this year would be the best one yet for the harbour city.
“We put more than 4,000 hours into designing, staging and launching the fireworks so we can give people a reason to say ‘that was the best display ever’.”
“With so many people finally able to come and watch the fireworks in person, we really wanted to make sure they were in for something special,” he said.
From the harbourside to the Derwent River, the skies will be lit up in lights. So if you’re heading out, here is a quick survival guide to planning your night.
Get public transport
No one wants to watch the fireworks go off in their rearview mirror as they drive around in circles looking for a park.
To avoid this, most of the capital cities are putting on extra public transport options.
In Sydney, there will be major road closures to allow for the fireworks, so revellers are being told to plan ahead as public transport is the only way to travel into the CBD.
“Getting into and out of the city is different on New Year’s Eve,” a spokesperson for City of Sydney said.
“People need to allow plenty of time to get to their destination. There will be large crowds, road closures and entry cut-off times at some destinations, so we encourage people not to leave their planning to the last minute.”
Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Canberra and Adelaide will all have free public transport for the evening and into the early hours of 2023.
In Hobart, there are four locations that will have the best view – including the Taste of Summer, Parliament House Lawns and Princes Park, all of which can be accessed by public transport. At the Regatta Grounds, there is free parking.
Get your tickets organised
To watch the fireworks in certain cities, such as Sydney, Perth or Adelaide, some people will need to get tickets beforehand – even for the free spots.
Darwin Waterfront is a free event, and no tickets are required.
“We want people to plan their night and double-check whether they need a ticket this year for the spot they’re planning to watch from,” a spokesperson for Sydney city council said.
For those not interested in a harbourside spot, there are nine parks around Balmain and Birchgrove where people can watch the fireworks for free.
You can get a ticket or information on vantage points here.
In Adelaide, early entry to the family-friendly event at Rymill Park is currently booked out but non-ticketholders may be admitted after 8pm subject to capacity.
Plan ahead, pick where you want to be and check if you need a ticket.
Wear appropriate footwear
It’s packed – there’s quite a bit of standing and often a walk home. Wear the right shoes.
Pack light and check the drinking regulations
No one wants to be left carrying two iceboxes full of beer they couldn’t drink because they were in a dry zone once the show is done and dusted.
Some official celebrations will be booze-free – such as Brisbane and Darwin – while others, like Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart, will have different regulations depending on what spot you are in.
In Adelaide, Light It Up is a licensed event, with people allowed to purchase alcohol in certain areas.
In Canberra, there will be four hub areas along Lake Burley Griffin – at Regatta Point, Patrick White Lawns, Rond Terrace and Bowen Park – and people are allowed to bring alcohol to all.
Give up on the perfect picture
Take photos of your mates, of your family, of the new friends you’ve just made – but fireworks photos taken with a phone are often disappointing at best. If you do want to take some pics, do a bit of research beforehand.
But otherwise, look up, enjoy and bring in the new year.
Here is a quick rundown of events in each capital:
Sydney is home to Australia’s most spectacular fireworks displays, which begin at 9pm and midnight. A full list of vantage points around the harbour, many of which are sold out, is available here.
There are also smaller displays at Coogee, across five sites in the Parramatta council area, four sites on the northern beaches and some other suburbs and regional areas. Check your local council’s website for details.
There are family-friendly zones set up in Docklands, Flagstaff Gardens, Kings Domain and Treasury Gardens for the 9pm fireworks and a display at midnight, with 30 rooftops in the CBD used to launch the fireworks.
There will be entertainment and food trucks in the four zones, with the party kicking off at 6pm.
The Lord Mayor’s New Year’s Eve Fireworks will light up South Bank at 8.30pm for families with young children and at midnight.
The best vantage points will be Clem Jones Promenade, Streets Beach, River Quay Green and Riverside Green, and the Cultural Forecourt.
There will be four hub areas set up along the foreshore of Lake Burley Griffin at Regatta Point, Patrick White Lawns, Rond Terrace and Bowen Park to provide the best vantage points.
There are two synchronised fireworks shows, 9pm and midnight, with fireworks launched from the two barges across the Central and East basins. You can see a map of the event here.
A free Light Up festival will be held in Rymill Park, at the corner of East Terrace and Rundle Road, with two firework shows, one at 9.30pm and the other at midnight.
On Glenelg beach, entertainment starts at 7pm, with the Australian Rock Collective to perform. There will be two fireworks displays, at 9.30pm and midnight.
Fireworks will be set off from a barge on the River Derwent at 9.30pm and midnight.
The best vantage points are the Regatta Grounds, Parliament House Lawns and Princes Park.
For the first time, Perth is going to hold a family-friendly fireworks display in Elizabeth Quay. It’s set to start at 9pm. There will be a fair with food trucks and a bunch of different rides for all ages.
The traditional midnight fireworks will still go ahead, launching from four rooftops in the CBD.
The best spots to watch are Yagan Square, Perth Cultural Centre, Northbridge Piazza and James Street.
The celebrations along Darwin’s waterfront will kick off at 3pm, with entertainment, including the Bananas in Pyjamas commencing at 5pm. Entry is via Kitchener Drive, Darwin Convention Centre porte cochere, or Anchorage Court.
Fireworks displays are scheduled for 9pm and midnight.
And if you plan to party at home, you can see Sydney’s fireworks on TV or online. ABC TV and ABC iview will broadcast live from Sydney Harbour at 8.30pm.