New Years Eve in Sydney: best place to celebrate?

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New Years Eve in Sydney: best place to celebrate?

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Old 09-06-2009, 02:07 PM
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New Years Eve in Sydney: best place to celebrate?

Hi all,
I am just planning my trip to Australia from 28th Dec til 15th Jan. I will be in Sydney over New Years although the hotels seem to unbelievably expensive at that period. My question is where to spend the night of celebration? Is it better in Opera bar, or Midnight at oasis in botanical gardens, or elsewhere?
As I will be 29 yrs old at the time of visiting, I want some fun party but also a great view of the fireworks.
Otherwise I plan to visit probably Uluru, Melbourne, Fraser island and Whitsunday, good choice? Or should I chose elsewhere? Which island close to barrier reef is best? Is it worth it to go all the way up to Cairns, or is it ok to stay in Mackay, or Townsville and move to the island close to there?
Thanks a lot for any advice!!! As it is such a big country, it seems rather hard to chose even with a couple of guidebooks
Eva from Prague

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Old 09-06-2009, 04:11 PM
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Welcome to the forum e eva and yes Sydney does get expensive for the Xmas NYE period because of the popularity of the Sydney Harbour Bridge fireworks and the city virtually bulges with people.
For the reason of demand, all the hotels and even backpacker hostels, virtually any places of accommodation know they ask inflated prices often for minimum seven day stays and get them, accommodation usually being booked out months in advance.

If you've got your accommodation already, you're lucky and getting somewhere reasonable to celebrate may mean buying a ticket and if you can get into the Opera House at a reasonable price that would sound like a great venue to me, but Oh will it be crowded, but then anywhere will but whereas they may be expecting people to leave the Botanical Gardens as soon as the fireworks are over, it would be likely for the Opera House bar to stay open a bit longer.
If not, take a walk over to the Rocks area as there are many hotels around that area but just beware the usual drunks etc., possibly the same scene a bit in Europe around pubs and bars.

You are here at a very hot time of the year for visiting Uluru, possibly temperatures above 40C but at least it is a dry heat.
But make sure you have some good lightweight, loose breathable type outfits, light in colour also may help, a broadbrim hat [there are great collapsible black mesh style ones especially for travellers at stores of Australian Geographic ? Journal, Society, Shop plus destinations, wildlife, adventure and science down under - Australian Geographic ] and you may also want to invest in a fly mesh, just some netting material joined with an elastic at one end and they fit over the brim of the hat to hang down to your shoulders for the flies can be a bit terrible.

It'll also be getting warmer and very humid further north on the coast too and your budget will no doubt affect just how much you can do or want to do and then there'll be days that you can lose most of with travelling so just a few things:
. Cheap Flights & Airfares - Compare Domestic and International Airlines - is a good site to use for putting in your places of travel from/to and dates to show flight options.
Once you select best flights, it is best to book direct with the airline.
. Whitsundays can be a bit of a pain to get out of for there are only flights mainly back south to Brisbane or Sydney and to fly north it is via a boat to Hamilton Island for on to Cairns at about a total price of $300 as against half of that to fly back to Brisbane.
. when you look at airfares to Uluru you also see they are quite expensive too.

So maybe do a little initial price checking to see what you might cut out based on cost.

You can do Fraser Island easily enough from Brisbane with day tours but it can make a long day of it and then there are self drive camping trips that backpacker hostels organise for backpackers but perhaps not what you're looking for with a lot of young ones and roughing it, particularly in warmer weather - home - Fraser Island - World Heritage Listed for options.
You could fly into Hervey Bay from Sydney and
Lady Elliot Island Great Barrier Reef - Official site have packages that include Fraser but just check a tour is also included or what it will cost extra.

With LEI you get to see part of the GBR.
Alternately you could decideto skip Fraser and head up to the Whitsundays, Whitsundays accommodation - Whitsunday Islands & Resorts & Holidays and certainly more partying options there - Magnums backpackers - Whitsundays and Magnetic Island but again there'll be a lot of drunk as a skunk young backpackers, but also other places there, couple of hotels and the yacht club is nice.
MANTARAY CHARTERS do a good day cruise on a smaller boat and then there are some nice sailing boats for overnight trips too.

I'd suggest if interested in those, you wait until you get there and see about stand by rates.

There are not really any GBR islands close to Mackay or Townsville.

If you haven't yet booked your flights and you have time to get a budget airlines cheap flight to the UK, for saving a heap of money, have a look at Welcome to, The World's Best Low-Cost Airline for very cheap flights Stansted to KL and then KL to Gold Coast or Melbourne and then you could fly on to Sydney from Melbourne with Welcome To Tiger Airways for less than $50 .

Maybe as a starting point you cost Sydney > Proserpine or Hamilton Island [alternates for Whitsundays but HI to Airlie Beach is ~$50 and a bus from Proserpine ~$20 , say 4 days there and then back to Brisbane

Look at tour options for Fraser Island, perhaps a two day one ex Brisbane - Fraser Island 2 Day Eurong Beach Resort Accomodation Adventure Tour - and more options here 2 Day Tours | Guided 4WD Tours | Queensland Bookings

Then you fly Brisbane to Alice Springs or Uluru.
Flying to AS would allow you to do a camping style tour to Uluru and that is a great way to see the centre [but it will be hot] and the night stars are something special, and all up because of expense of accommodation and meals at Uluru and then flight out, the camping trip with return to AS will be about as cheap.
Small Group adventure tours and travel throughout Australia or The Rock Tour - Uluru - Ayers Rock - Central Australia

Then from AS, there are cheap www.tigerairways flights to Melbourne.

So time wise it could be

02.01 > Whitsundays [could give yourself an extra day by flying on 01.01]
05.01 > Brisbane [Fraser or Gold Coast]
08.01 > Alice Springs [tour]
12.01 > Melbourne
And if you use Airasia, they fly out of Melbourne or www.tigerairways also have cheap flights back to Sydney if you leave from there.

So have a look how that'll work out getting flight times and the costs and we could fiddle it some more.

Last edited by Wanderer; 10-28-2009 at 03:50 AM.

  #3 (permalink)  
Old 09-09-2009, 09:25 PM
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Thank you! I looked actually on Heron island, the photos looked amazing but I figured out it is a private island and it seems rather hard to get to and expensive. Any thoughts?
I learned that the hotels in Sydney usually ask 4 or 5 nights minimum stay but I will have to pay completely in advance and usually there is no cancellation policy. I thought about going to Cairns and seeing Cape Tribulation, is it a good idea? Is it worth going to Blue mountains and Hunter valley, I am not sure if I can do both, what is more interesting and unusual?
Thanks a lot for help and advice!!!

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Old 09-10-2009, 11:25 AM
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Heron Island is expensive to stay at eva and a couple of alternatives you might want to consider are Lady Musgrave Island which you can do as a day trip - The Great Barrier Reef - Lady Musgrave Island - 1770 Great Barrier Reef Cruises though it is a bit of a time consumer in getting there as you would either have to hire a car to drive from Brisbane [or take a train or fly to Bundaberg] there being a shuttle from there.
The advantage is Lady Musgrave is on the GBR and just as good snorkelling as Heron or elsewhere.

Another island you might want to consider is Great Keppel Island, marketed in the past as a real party place with a motto of 'Get Wrecked on GKI' , only problem may be that they were going to re-develop the main resort there and I think it is in Limbo at the moment but there is other accommodation and pretty cheap, there being like a tent city with permanent tents that used to be a YHA youth hostel and also a lot of little bungalows, beautiful sandy beaches there and some reef areas for snorkelling but it is not really a GBR island - Great Keppel Island Holiday Village - QLD Australia , probably the cheapest island stay available and you can fly from Sydney or Brisbane to Rockhampton from where you could either get a small plane to GKI or a bus to connect with the ferry.
And then from Rockhampton you can fly on to Cairns or Mackay and then get a bus up to the Whitsundays.

Re the Sydney accommodation, if instead of a hotel you were prepared to look at alternatives, there are some hostels that have private rooms and Alfred Park on - Charter boats Resources and Information. might be worth trying or the YHA Central, Railway Square or Glebe, Glebe Hostel itself and then some of the University Campus accommodation units have rooms ro rent - On-Campus Accommodation - Physics - The University of Sydney and in particular.

Another trick you may want to try if you have a drivers licence is to see if there is a campervan that needs relocating between Sydney and Brisbane or Melbourne or even Adelaide or back from any of those to Sydney and with a pick-up date of 30.12 or 31.12 or delivery on 1st. or 2nd., some of them often for $1 or $5/n and sometimes fuel provided.
That way, you either stay in Sydney or get there by NYE and find a parking place, go to fireworks and party and you still have cheap accommodation, either delivering to depot in Sydney next day or heading off on the drive to where it needs delivering.
Rental Relocations Australia New Zealand United States Canada - Hire Now at StandByCars

Alternately, if you were thinking of heading to Cairns for NYE, it'll be very warm and humid but a good party atmosphere up there and should be easy enough to get accommodation and there's plenty of trips to the GBR.
There is also Fitzroy Island there which had a redevelopment of resort but then financial troubles and so it has been closed and supposed to open again in November, and quite a nice island [not on GBR] but still snorkelling and some good enough beaches and it's a lot cheaper than Heron, perhaps $200/n but also a budget type area that is also supposed to be redeveloped but I'm not sure whether it has been - I'll see if I can find out and re-post.

You could fly from Cairns back to Hamilton Island which is in the Whitsundays and either stay there or transfer to other islands or over to Airlie Beach and then from Proserpine back to Brisbane to still do Fraser Island or head for Uluru.

The Blue Mountains and Hunter Valley is OK, but not like real Wow! and up at Cairns you can do stuff like white water rafting if you want to, some night canoeing, some waterfall pools for a swim.
Cairns Tours, Holiday Packages and Accommodation with Raging Thunder have an online chat facility with a local operator and they may be able to tell you about Fitzroy Island day trips, sea kayaking and white water rafting.

But because of humidity, you can sweat a bit and have a real slippery feel and you might as well get extra sweaty and have a real rain forest experience at somewhere like Cape Tribulation Beach House Cape Tribulation Resort Accommodation in Cape Tribulation - Cape Tribulation Accommodation on the beach at Cape Trib where they have little cottages right in the rainforest.
Another good site for info up there is On The Wallaby

So a few options there to think about.

Last edited by Wanderer; 10-28-2009 at 03:51 AM.

  #5 (permalink)  
Old 10-27-2009, 07:21 PM
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Wow! I envy you for celebrating New Year in Sydney. I watched last year's New Year celebration in Sydney and it was amazing. I wish i could also celebrate New Year there. Anyway I am also planing to visit Sydney but not New Year, Maybe around March or April. I heard they have there beautiful beaches everywhere.

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Old 11-11-2009, 01:48 AM
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I will go to Sydney Opera House. I think every New Year's Eve they always have fireworks display after the countdown to New Year.

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