Sydney’s harbour plays host to countless events every year and given the spectacular beauty of the area, it is easy to see why many organisers choose this venue for their events. Whether you are looking for a place to welcome in the New Year or a spectacular sporting event, these are some of the big events held every year in and around Sydney’s harbour.
1. Sydney’s New Year’s Eve
Sydney’s New Year’s Eve fireworks, which feature the Harbour Bridge, are one of the most spectacular fireworks displays in Australia. Those staying by the water can even enjoy these fireworks from the comfort of their hotel or serviced apartment.
If you would rather view these summertime fireworks in the open air, there are many good vantage points from which you can do so. These range from Rushcutters Bay and Bicentennial Park to the Sydney Opera House and the Rocks. Each vantage point has different capacity limits, amenities, and views, so you should do a bit of research to find out which one you would prefer.
2. Vivid Sydney
Vivid Sydney is usually held from late May to mid-June for 18 days, during Australia’s winter season. This festival of light, music, and ideas offers beautiful light installations around the harbour area, musical performances from local and international acts, and public talks and debates from leading writers and thinkers.
The focal point of the festival (which is said to be completely carbon neutral) is the Vivid Light display. This display projects light onto the Sydney Opera House, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and other major buildings to transform these sites into canvases of spectacular colour and light.
3. Darling Harbour Australia Day
Australia Day falls on 26th January and the occasion marks the anniversary of Captain Arthur Phillip raising the flag at Sydney Cove on the same date in 1788. Each year, Darling Harbour hosts a light and music show that ends with a firework display in Cockle Bay. Darling Harbour is the best place to view the fireworks and the light and music show that marks Australia’s special day.
4. Sydney Harbour Regatta
The Sydney Harbour Regatta is a competitive keelboat regatta that usually runs in March each year. Hundreds of keelboats compete in the harbour and offshore. Even if you are not a competitor, the regatta is an exciting and visually stunning event to witness from the shore.
5. The Sun-Herald City2Surf
Sydney’s Sun-Herald City2Surf is said to be the largest run in the world. In 2012, the event had 85,000 participants and raised over $4 million for charitable institutions. It usually runs on a Sunday in August each year, and anyone can participate in the 14km race and raise money for the 700 or more charities that are listed for the race.
6. Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race
The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race has been running for 68 years and commences annually on Boxing Day. If you love boats and want to see more of Sydney Harbour, make time and find a vantage point to watch this race. Sydney Harbour is the starting point for this 1,170km sailing race, and the sight of the sailboats filling up Sydney Harbour is truly spectacular.