The best spot to see the Sydney New Years Eve Fireworks – with kids!

The Let’s go Mum family visited Sydney for the 2018-2019 New Year’s Eve fireworks – it was fun, family-friendly and FREE! Here’s how they did it…

Sydney NYE Cahill Expressway fireworks

The Sydney New Year’s Eve fireworks are world-famous for a reason – they’re simply breathtaking to watch. But if you have children, it can seem like a logistical nightmare to get the kids to Sydney City to watch them without either, a) – paying a king’s ransom for a hotel room with a view, or, b) – braving the human-crush of the Sydney Harbour foreshore.

Last year I heard about the Cahill Expressway, and put my name down for a reminder email for this year’s ballot. I entered the ballot, and won a set of family tickets. So this year we spent our New Year’s Eve on the Cahill Expressway and had a really great time. I thought I would share the process with you so that you can enjoy New Year’s Eve from the Cahill Expressway with your family too!

See what it’s like! Watch the video of our NYE Cahill Expressway experience here

What’s the big deal about the Cahill Expressway on New Year’s Eve?

The Cahill Expressway, as the name suggests is a Sydney city road which is closed to traffic and open to pedestrians on New Year’s Eve. It offers a raised view of the Sydney Harbour over Circular Quay, with sweeping views from the Sydney Harbour Bridge to the Opera House – but you can’t just turn up to watch the fireworks from it on the night. Entry is restricted to ticket holders only, which you obtain through a public draw.

What is available on the night?

Emergency lanes are used to enter and leave, and during the event are kept open and clear. There is wheelchair/disabled access and guest assistance is also available. There is no alcohol or smoking allowed. There is a first-aid station on site. There are toilets located on-site.

Why is the Cahill Expressway such a great spot for families to watch the fireworks?

The Cahill Expressway is located safely above the heavy New Year’s Eve crowds. The complete area is enclosed and patrolled by security, and is a no-alcohol zone.  You are allotted a time to enter, and must queue to pass through a security check. This process takes around twenty minutes, including the walk up onto the Expressway itself from the city streets below.

When you win tickets, you are able to pre-order chair hire and food platters. Alternatively you can take food in with you (some restrictions apply) or buy hot food and soft drinks from the vendors on site. There are a number of dining table and chairs freely available for use on-site.

An excellent view of the fireworks is possible from all areas of the Cahill Expressway.

An excellent view of the fireworks is possible from all areas of the Cahill Expressway.

All of these factors make the Cahill Expressway a great choice for families to watch the fireworks.

Sydney New Year's Eve

How do I get New Year’s Eve family tickets to the Cahill Expressway?

There are two sessions available –  one for the 9pm family fireworks, and one for the midnight fireworks. Each session has room for up to 3,000 people, and although this sounds like a lot it’s not oppressively crowded, and there is room to move around.

To get a set of tickets (you are offered up to five tickets in total if you win) to watch the NYE fireworks from the Cahill Expressway, you need to enter the public ballot. The public ballot is open in early October, with ticket winners being notified in late October. You must be a NSW resident to enter the draw, and you may only lodge one entry.

When is the Cahill Expressway ballot open?

The best way to keep up to date with when the ballot goes live, is to visit the official Sydney New Year’s Eve website and subscribe to their newsletter. This email list will let you know exactly when the Cahill Expressway public ballot is open for you to enter. You can also find out general information at the Roads and Maritime Services website .


New Years Eve on the Cahill Express is a wonderful way to see the Sydney fireworks. It’s great to be able to relax with the family and take part in this fantastic Australian event to ring in the new year – Happy New Year!

The Cahill Expressway is a great place for NSW families to watch the New Year's Eve fireworks - and best of all, it's free!  Find out more here:


Do you have any favourite New Year’s Eve spots? Share them in the comments below!


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About LetsGoMum

Hi, I'm Barbara, mum of the Let's Go Mum blog. We'd love to hear from you! You can contact me anytime with ideas on where you think we should go or what you think we should try...just drop me a line at!