Christmas and New Year in Sydney

Are you planning on being in Sydney for Christmas and/or New Year this year?

For a lot of Backpackers, it’s the ultimate dream to be in Sydney for the festive period … a Christmas BBQ on the beach with lots of photos to make your mates back home jealous because they’re trudging through the cold and wet weather while you’re partying in your bikini or swim shorts! And New Year’s Eve in Sydney is just that once-in-a-lifetime kinda experience that everyone wants to be a part of!

Because it’s so busy at that time of year, it’s important to plan ahead so that you have some where to stay in between all the celebrations!

So that you can get prepared, we’ve made sure that we’re prepared! Check out the following for our T&Cs for the Christmas and New Year period 2016/17:

• All reservations between 23th December 2016 and 3th January 2017 require a minimum 5 night consecutive stay.
• A 50% deposit at the time of your booking will be made from your nominated credit card.
• Reservations may be cancelled up to 1st November 2016. A refund of deposit will be made less a 10% administration fee.
• Reservations cancelled after 1 November 2016 will incur a full loss of deposit made at time of reservation being made.

You can book accommodation online with us here. (Hyperlink)Once you’ve got your accommodation sorted, you can get on with making some awesome plans! Here’s some of our recommendations:

Carols in the Domain

This is a free event held in the Domain (duh) where everyone gets together to sing carols and Christmas songs. The date for 2016 is to be confirmed yet but keep an eye out on the website. The Domain is only a short walk away from Sydney Central Backpackers hostel … grab a picnic blanket, some friends and head down (relatively) early to get a good spot! You can take a limited amount of alcohol in and there will be food stalls there too.

Carols in the Domain

Christmas Eve Party Cruise

Oz Party usually put on an awesome Christmas Eve Party Cruise, which sells out every year! For about $100 (prices TBC this year), you’ll get:

• 3 hours cruising around Darling Harbour on an awesome split-level party boat
• All drinks included – Beer, Wine, House Cocktails, Soft Drinks
• An awesome Christmas Buffet
• FREE entry to the incredible After-Party
• Lots of competitions and prizes to be won
• And so much more!

Keep an eye on the website or ask at reception about how to get tickets!

Christmas Day on Bondi Beach

It’s on most of our backpackers’ bucket lists … if spending Christmas day on Bondi is one of your to-dos, you’ll be in great company – thousands of people have the same idea and the atmosphere is great! You can’t take alcohol, well, because it’s not a great idea with that many people around, but there’s loads of bars along the beach front where you can quench your thirst! (Just don’t do what I saw one girl do last year – get so drunk that she had passed out by 11am, in the blazing sunshine, and her friends left her – I had to put her in a taxi – probably not her finest Christmas moment)!

Christmas on Bondi Beach Christmas Sandman on Bondi Beach

Boxing Day – Sydney to Hobart race.

If you can face the outside world after Christmas day celebrations, get yourself down to Darling Harbour to see the start of the Sydney to Hobart race. It’s a free event, an iconic part of Sydney’s events calendar! That fresh air will probably help your hangover, and if it doesn’t, you can head to one of the bars down there for hair of the dog!

Hair of the dog on Boxing day

New Year’s Eve – Sydney

You don’t need me to tell you why NYE is Sydney is so spectacular … but I will anyway! There is nothing, NOTHING, as amazing as watching the spectacular firework display that, if you’re anything like me, you’ve grown up watching on TV, but actually seeing it in person! Every year it gets bigger and better, and every year, it takes my breath away!

New Years Eve in Sydney

Tip #1: it is so tempting to go to the Botanical Gardens or down to Circular Quay and see it close up but if you can’t be bothered with the HUGE crowds, having to get there extremely early to secure a spot and then waiting all day (it’s a loooong day!), then there are plenty of other spots where you get just as good a view, there’s still enough people to have a great atmosphere and you don’t have to sit burning to a crisp to get the best spot. The first year I was in Sydney, I lived near Pyrmont, so we went to Pyrmont park which had a great view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge (but not so much of the Opera House.) Last year, I went to Rushcutters Bay park … which is just down the road from the hostel! You have a great, unobstructed view of the bridge, and the Opera House if you walk further down, and you don’t have to get there at stupid ‘o’ clock. Neither of these places allow alcohol after a certain time (but it will be like that everywhere in Sydney) And don’t try to pull a fast one and pour your vodka in to lemonade bottles – they smell them (talking from experience!), so you’ll just have to carry it all back home again if you don’t want to have to throw it away! However … because you don’t have to be stupidly early, you’ll have time to get ready and have a few drinks before heading down anyway!

Tip #2: If you decide that you do want to brave the crowds in Circular Quay or the Botanical Gardens … make sure you get there early! I think they stopped letting people in to Circular Quay at around 11am last year because it had reached capacity! Take lots of water because it will be hot and you won’t have much shade (so it goes without saying to take sunscreen too!). Also, take a little picnic because they charge an arm and a leg for food on the stalls that will be available (because they can!)

There’s all this and so much more going on around Sydney at the most wonderful time of the year. Make sure you book your Christmas / New Year accommodation in good time because otherwise you’ll find everywhere is either booked up or really expensive! And if you’re booked in with Sydney Central Backpackers, be sure to ask our staff what fun stuff is going on!

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