With the tickets bought the previous day we decided to spend New Year’s Eve at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo  as we planned to watch the fireworks on Bradleys Head overlooking the Harbour Bridge later on. After a full day at the zoo we headed back to the camper van to change our clothing and get ready for tonight. Parked up in the side streets leading to the Zoo’s entrance we notice already that families are passing us by carrying blankets, food baskets and garden chairs, looking like they have done this before.

Sydney Skyscrapers
Early evening water display
The harbour is packed out with boats
An iconic view
The sun slowly sinking
Golden Skies

Athol Hall

With our rucksack full of sadly non-alcoholics drinks and snacks we follow the crowd down past the zoo entrance where the roads are now closed, towards Bradley Head. The streets are full of people some groups already turning back as they realise they need tickets to gain entry. Its still early evening  with six hours to go but the place is beginning to fill up. The gates to the lawn opened to the public at two this afternoon, from our vantage point across the bay in the zoo, we could already see the best places being taken early on. I don’t think this matters as most people will stand once the events start.

As the sun begins to sink, we find a place on the grass in front of Athol Hall, where a band is playing for a private party inside. The first event is the families display at nine, we all crowd around the Hall as it offers the best views of Sydney Harbour, from here it is possible to see the three main displays launched from the tugs in the harbour and of course a clear view of the main focal point of the evening the harbour bridge with the air display one the harbour.

Aircraft display
Loop the loop
Fading light
The start of the family display
Sydney Harbour Bridge

Into the New Year

Once the family display is over, we settle back into an anticlimactic wait for the next three hours for midnight. The lack of alcohol means the crowd is somewhat subdued, it is certainly the first NYE for me in a long while where I’ve not  had anything to drink, never mind its not every year we are in Sydney….

The long wait is over, we all stand and gaze out over the harbour as the display sends the fire fire works into the 2016 sky. I’ll let the picture still the story…..

NYE Sydney style


Happy New Year 2016

Its all over in twelve minutes ..fantastic.


Travelling Notes

Check out the visitors website : Taronga Zoo  located on the hillside on the northern side of Sydney harbour, Taronga Zoo provides fantastic views out over the city towards the harbour bridge. It is easy to spend all day wandering around the zoo, it is  very picturesque. 

Sydney New Year´s Eve  info for the New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Atoll Hall the location of the party and background music, the tickets are however for access to the lawns in front of the hall which offer great views of the harbour and bridge. 

Where : Athol Hall, Athol Bay, North Sydney, NSW, Australia.

Travelling : from Dural in the northern suburbs  of Sydney it took us about 45 minutes to travel the 32 km along the M1 into Sydney and out towards Mosman in North Sydney. The Zoo is on the peninsula Bradleys Head which sticks out into Sydney Bay called Athol Bay.  

Camping or CampervanSydney Hills  An Active Holidays site near Dural.  It takes 45 minutes to reach the centre of Sydney by jumping on the bus, which stops just outside the camping site. Alternatively park at Pennant Hills Station and take the train straight into  Sydney jumping off at Wynyard Station, this takes 40 mins and you get to go over the Harbour Bridge.    

Don’t tell anyone: book early !

Next up: Ferry to Manly.

pjbourne is a full time architect, urban masterplanner and sustainability designer. In his free time he’s outside with a camera, running, hiking or mountain biking through the Alps where he lives or indoors in front of the iMac planning another long road trip in a campervan to the other side of the world.

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