Peacocking Down Under New Year’s Eve
Mar 2014 30

If you’ve ever met an Australian, you’ll know that they Peacock to levels higher than most anyone. The fact is, if there’s a party they do it with energy and intensity that cannot be matched anywhere! They work hard and play harder; a great example if this is celebrating New Year’s Eve in the glittering playground of Sydney, a Peacock-worthy event that should definitely be on your radar! Here’s our essential guide for NYE Sydney with a few backup events:

Leave your clumsy winter clothes at home, Sydney’s summer spans from December to February. Expect the average temperature to be around 78 degrees Fahrenheit for NYE.

The Main Event

New Year’s Eve Sydney: If you’re lucky enough to be in Australia (AU) over the New Year, this is the only place to be. It is one of the first capital cities in the world to celebrate New Year’s, and keeping with tradition they do it H-U-G-E. NYE Sydney is unforgettable; we’ve all seen the iconic opera house and harbor, on this night the area is lit up to the high heavens.

Now for the fun: Let’s face it; everyone loves fireworks, with the loudest and proudest pyrotechnics display in the country, the Sydney Harbour Bridge (known by the locals as “The Coat Hanger”) is the focal point which lights up the skies to bring you a sensational display that looks as though one million Christmas trees were shot into the sky!

Vantage Points:

  • Mrs Macquaries Point: An excellent beach vantage point east of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Over 17,000 people attend this area.
  • Opera House: Offering the ultimate view of the NYE fireworks, and is the closest land mass east of the Harbour Bridge. Different levels of packages are available; from formal gala to a full blown beach party.
  • Yacht Style: Elevate your NYE by immersing yourself in the AU experience; participate in the parade of lights on the harbour by renting a private yacht or get a ticket on the extravagant floating party known as the Starship Sydney/The Pontoon. Either way, this will be a supreme Peacock’d experience you’ll never forget.

More than one million revelers are drawn to the harbor to watch this spectacular scene unfold; and more than one billion people view the televised midnight fireworks display worldwide.

Sydney hosts several events in the lead-up which have included aerial acrobatics, Aboriginal ceremonies, and other friendly events.

Foodies & Drinks

As you explore this awesome city you’ll find trendy restaurants and cafes, and rustic pubs for your culinary pleasure and just as many funky bars if you’re up for a few drinks. Whatever your scene or budget, there’s a niche just for you. The Sydney area is inhabited by over 4.5 million people so your choice of day drinking, nightlife, and dining venues are virtually limitless. Here are just a few to get you started;

  • Opera Bar: An absolutely stunning view directly underneath the opera house. Expensive but an experience you will never forget. A spot for the tourists, but locals seem to enjoy as well.
  • Marco Polo Pool Club: A little bit of Miami/Los Angeles mixed into the AU. Reserve a cabana and enjoy people watching while you enjoy your poolside mimosa. Chic and relaxed the Pool Club is out in the open fresh air, perfect on a summer day or night. Expensive – yes.
  • Uncle Mings: Located along the bar-riddled York Street and is a must-visit while you’re in town. Hidden down a staircase away from the streetscape is this unique Shanghai haven. You’ll feel like you’ve stumbled across a secret as you soak up the old world ambiance in this tucked-away treasure! The smell of incense, red lighting and Chinese artifacts are just a few of the elements that add to the vibe and over-all experience; not to mention the selection of food (dumplings, yum) and extensive Asian drinks menu.
  • Shady Pines Saloon: No signage and a hard to find hidden front door, but worth the effort. A small rustic bar typically blaring Johnny Cash over the speakers that resembles a western saloon that makes you feel like you’re in the Wild West. Featuring a awesome collection of beers, spirits and wines. Any bar the serves quality drinks, has reasonable prices, and free monkey nuts is worth a stop. Try the pizza too!
  • Eau de Vie: A classy modern speakeasy. Dim lighting, long leather couches and dark wooden tables create an intimate venue for the discerning clientele. Knowledgeable mixologists serve their fashionable customer base drinks into the late hours.

Since it’s summer you’ll see people everywhere making the most of the long sunny days and balmy nights. So whether you’re exploring the nightlife, checking out the surf or simply soaking up some rays, Peacocking in Sydney is an experience you won’t forget.


Accommodation should be snapped up at least six months prior to New Year’s Eve, so forward planning is highly recommended. Try to get a room close to the action, as you have more chance of riding a kangaroo than catching a taxi on this popular evening! If you can’t snatch a hotel close by, you can hire a private driver to get you from A to B, to wherever else you want to go for around $300 – $400 AUD for the entire night. Great value if you’re part of a group (the more the merrier), and an absolute joy as you cruise past the crowds of people begging taxis to stop. A chauffer when no one can hail a cab – how Peacock is that?

Sydney Harbour Map

Sydney Harbour Map

Most of the hotels around Circular Quay (the hub of Sydney Harbour) will have a wicked view of the fireworks, which is a bonus if you plan to shack up for the night – book a room that faces the bridge so you don’t miss anything. Hotels generally have a minimum night stay during this crazy time of year, so be prepared to stick around Sydney for at least a few days. Don’t worry, it will be worth it!

Whether you’re trying to keep your wallet happy, or would rather splash out on something extravagant, there’s accommodation to suit all walks of life. A stay at The Park Hyatt, while pricey, is ideal for those up for celebrity spotting – stars such as Elton John, Michael Buble and Jerry Seinfeld have all stayed at this lavish hot-spot which overlooks the stunning harbor.

If you’re (unfortunately) unable to make it to this lively city for New Year’s Eve, there are so many other events throughout the year that are well worth your time. Here is a couple to consider…

Adelaide Fringe

Talent from around Australia and the world gather in Adelaide for the largest arts festival in the Southern Hemisphere (second largest in the world behind Edinburgh). During February and March the South Australian capital bursts at the seams with artistic flair, leaving a sure-to-please buzz lingering across the city.

The Garden of Unearthly Delights

The Garden of Unearthly Delights

Paying a visit to the “Fringe” will tantalize your creative taste buds, giving you access to comedy, cabaret, dance, theatre, film, circus (The Famous Spiegeltent has made an appearance), music, puppetry, visual art and design. The technical element is near perfect with impressive setups at every stage, allowing more than 4,000 artists to hire lighting and AV equipment if they don’t bring their own; it all adds extra flair to this spectacular event.

Camel Cup: Alice Springs

Yeah, you read right; camel racing in the Australian outback! This quirky event is held in Alice Springs on the second Saturday in July each year. A bunch of brave and daring riders get together for this laugh-out-loud event that ensures all in attendance depart nothing short of entertained.

It all started in 1970 when a bet between two mates resulted in a camel race. This hilarious display proved so popular that it continued on an annual basis, and today, draws around 5,000 people from over the globe.

Camel Cup Alice Springs

Camel Cup Alice Springs

Other than the races themselves, you’ll find belly dancers, rickshaw races and other eccentric oddities for added entertainment, as well as food stalls and bars for sustenance to get you through the day. All in all, a ridiculous day that needs to be experienced if you ever have the chance.

Australia has so much to offer being the wonderfully diverse country it is; this was just a snippet of the awesome events on-tap down under.

Danielle Henderson is a copywriter working in conjunction with Digital 360. She has provided a wide range of articles across the web on specializing in travel tips.