In light of the recent bushfires across the country, we acknowledge that this post covers a sensitive topic. We propose if you intend to watch the fireworks, then consider donating to one of the established funds below.
Do you ever just stop sometimes and wonder ‘how lucky are we to live in Sydney?’ I know I do and especially at this time of year when Sydney really comes into its own. After festive beach days, we are lucky to have a much envied, multi-million dollar production light up the Sydney skyline. Many plan their New Year’s Eve celebrations months in advance but parenthood and advance planning are often at odds. So we have pulled together a list of family-friendly Inner West spots where you can grab a rug, pack a picnic and watch the show.
As always, there are two firework shows: the very family-friendly 9pm, followed by the main event at midnight.
To get you in the mood, here is a clip of last year’s fireworks.
BALMAIN & BIRCHGROVE (TOP VANTAGE POINTS)
In the Inner West we are lucky to have one of the prime locations for New Year’s Eve, given the proximity to the harbour and the position of the firework barges. The Birchgrove and Balmain foreshore offers plenty of options to celebrate with the family.
There is limited off-street parking available but don’t forget access to the Balmain peninsula is restricted to residents only from 3pm on 31 December until 1am on 1 January. However, there will be extra buses operating to get you in and out of Darling Street. You can use the Transport NSW Trip Planner Tool for more details.
All parks on the peninsula are designated alcohol free zones.
Birchgrove Park (Grove Street, Birchgrove)
Birchgrove Park is one of the biggest and best spots for an uninterrupted view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge with a relaxed family-vibe and a great spot for a New Year’s picnic. There is an abundance of space on the oval for kids to run around and play, as well as plenty of portable toilets available.
Mort Bay Park (Cameron Street, Birchgrove)
Beside the Thames Street Ferry Wharf, Mort Bay offers direct views of the city and Harbour Bridge. With the capacity to fit thousands of people there is plenty of space to see the fireworks. Portable toilets are also available.
Elkington Park (Glassop Street, Balmain)
Elkington Park sits to the far left of the Inner West harbour area, a short stroll from Darling Street – and offers direct views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Play equipment will keep the kids amused and there’s a lot of space for a late-afternoon/early-evening picnic.
Illoura Reserve & Thornton Park (Darling Street, Balmain East)
Either side of the Balmain East Ferry Wharf and at the end of the 442 bus line is Illoura Reserve and Thornton Park, which offer picture perfect views of the Harbour Bridge. This space does get quite busy later on and is popular with young adults and back-packers. Portable toilets are available.
Simmons Point (Simmons Street, Balmain East)
A small park on north-eastern tip of the peninsula, holds around 300 people for the fireworks. There are no toilets but plenty of parks close by with amenities.
Ballast Point Park (Ballast Point Road, Birchgrove)
Ballast Point Park occupies the headland between Mort Bay and Snails Bay and has a panoramic spot to watch the fireworks. It is a 15 minute walk from Mort Bay Park, and doesn’t tend to get too crowded here, so is a great choice for families.
Dunlop Reserve (Roseby Street, Drummoyne)
Located near Birkenhead Point, this park has great city views; plenty of street parking, picnic tables, toilets nearby as well as a fenced playground and plenty of natural shade.
Peppercorn Reserve (St Georges Crescent, Drummoyne)
Peppercorn Reserve offers views of the harbour and looks out to several islands including Snapper and Spectacle Island. A favourite with families and locals, however there are no toilets or playgrounds.
Neild Park (Henley Marine Drive, Five Dock)
With plenty of nearby parking, toilets and a good view of the city skyline, Neild Park is a excellent option for a picnic with the family away from the crowds.
Glebe Foreshore Parks
The Glebe Foreshore encompasses several waterside parks including; Bicentennial, Federal, Blackwattle Bay and Jubilee parks. Although the Harbour Bridge is mainly obscured, you do get a fantastic view of the city skyline and the fireworks lighting the city up.
Sydney Park (Sydney Park Road, St Peters)
The northern hillside at Sydney Park is a popular and panoramic spot to watch the fireworks over the city. There is usually a relaxed family-friendly atmosphere with ample space for the kids to play.
Visit the City of Sydney New Year’s Eve website for vantage point information
Use the Transport NSW Trip Planner Tool for bus, train and ferry times on NYE
Visit the Inner West Council website for road closures on the Balmain peninsula