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Six Ways You Can Catch the New Year's Eve Fireworks from a Different Perspective

See in the new year surrounded by wildlife, or partying 83 levels above the city.
By Sarah Ward
December 22, 2020
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By Sarah Ward
December 22, 2020
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in partnership with

When 2020 comes to a close, it'll end exactly the way Sydneysiders expect: with the sky lighting up at midnight. The end-of-year festivities will be a little different — there'll be no fireworks at 9pm, and there'll be less hubbub around Circular Quay than usual — but you'll still be able to farewell a 12-month period we'd all rather forget by watching fireworks in all their bright and dazzling glory.

That's one part of the equation covered. You know what you're going to be doing when midnight hits, but choosing where to catch an eyeful is another matter indeed. After the chaos of 2020, staying at home for another night and checking out the fireworks on TV doesn't really cut it — so we've teamed up with Bar 83 at Sydney Tower, Sydney's newest and highest bar, to highlight six stellar options. From hopping on a boat to hitting up amusement park rides, this list of choices will let you experience the luminous action from a different perspective. Of course, heading to Bar 83 — which sits 83 levels above the CBD in Sydney Tower (hence the name) and just underwent a $12 million refurbishment — is definitely one of them.

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SURROUND YOURSELF WITH WILDLIFE AT TARONGA ZOO

Looking for a guaranteed way to have a memorable New Year's Eve? Watching the fireworks next to giraffes, tigers and more than 4000 other animals certainly fits the bill. That's what's on offer at Taronga Zoo's NYE festivities — and, thanks to the location, this laidback party comes with spectacular views. It's a picnic-style event, which means that you can bring your own food and snack on whatever takes your fancy. If you'd prefer, you can also purchase bites to eat, as well as alcohol on-site as it is not a BYO booze affair. The cost ranges from $200–600, so this isn't a cheap way to say goodbye to 2020, but you sure won't forget it in a hurry.

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Birchgrove Park, Flickr; Creative Commons

KEEP IT CASUAL IN A HARBOURSIDE PARK

First, the great news: if you're not one for big shindigs, getting dressed to the nines or throwing down a wad of cash for a single night's shenanigans, checking out the fireworks in a harbourside park is an excellent option. Now, the obvious news: even in this time of social distancing, you're likely to find plenty of other folks with the same idea in your chosen location. Still, you can take your pick of more than a few spots — including Darling Point's McKell Park, Nielsen Park in Vaucluse and Birchgrove Park, which is an inner west favourite.

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CRUISE ALONG ON GLASS ISLAND

Missing travel in 2020? Crossing your fingers that you can head somewhere exciting in 2021? If so, then you'll probably want to start the new year as you intend to go on: on a voyage. And, yes, cruising around Sydney Harbour still counts. Glass Island first hit the water earlier this year and the three-level boat is known for its parties. So, of course it's getting into the NYE spirit. You'll spend the night sitting on a glass-encased vessel, sipping drinks for three hours, snacking from gourmet food stations and hanging out with your mates. Tickets cost $565.95 each, but you need to buy them in tables of two–ten, so gather the gang.

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PARTY UP HIGH AT BAR 83 AT SYDNEY TOWER

A new year is a time for looking onwards and upwards — so why not kick it off 83 levels above the Sydney CBD? At the newly refurbished Bar 83, you'll get a different view of the city and the midnight fireworks. It is Sydney's highest bar, after all. Also on offer: eye-catching decor with a retro feel, 260-degree views thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows, canapes all night, four hours of drinks from 9pm–1am, champagne at midnight and a DJ spinning killer tunes. It's a seated cocktail party with $500-per-person tickets, so expect stellar table service, next-level specialty cocktails and a hankering to head back on another date to check out sister venues Infinity and SkyFeast.

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Four Seasons Hotel Sydney, Ken Seet

HAVE AN EPIC STAYCATION

You don't need to be in another city or country to enjoy a luxe hotel stay. In fact, booking a staycation has plenty of advantages over travelling further afield. You don't have to hop on a plane or drive for hours, for instance. Plus, there's no worrying about borders, which is a very 2020 problem. And, when it's NYE, you can find yourself a place with one hell of a view overlooking the harbour and fireworks — such as the Four Seasons Hotel Sydney. You'll be treating yo'self, of course, but if there's ever a night to relax in a swanky spot, pop on a fluffy hotel robe, have a few drinks and soak in the sights, this is it. Obviously, Sydney isn't lacking when it comes to other hotels with a view, too.

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CHANNEL YOUR INNER KIDULT AT LUNA PARK

In 2021, Luna Park is getting a hefty makeover, which will shut down the park for around six months and add nine new rides. That's a mighty good reason to consider a NYE trip to the historic spot before it goes on hiatus — if seeing out the year with unlimited rides while watching the fireworks isn't enough, that is. For $149, you can hop on the Hair Raiser, drive the dodgems, slip down the slides and circle around the ferris wheel as much as you like and even enjoy a stint on the carousel if that's more your style. Your ticket also includes live entertainment, which'll help keep you occupied from 7pm. It's a family-friendly affair, so prepare to have company.

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To book your NYE table at Bar 83 at Sydney Tower, head to the venue's website.

Please stay up to date with the latest NSW Government health advice regarding COVID-19.

Top image: Robert Walsh

Published on December 22, 2020 by Sarah Ward
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