The operators of Sydney Spectaculars have been following iconic Sydney Harbour pyrotechnic/projection events since 1999 and have studied the history and popular culture impact of these events. Multiple main firing location fireworks displays have been held in Sydney Harbour as far back as the early 20th century but it’s iconic history can go back as far as 1976, when the original version of Sydney NYE and its’ iconic Midnight Fireworks was held.
It has since spawned off to include Navy reviews, Australia Day, the Olympics, Rugby World Cup and APEC summits. The introduction of Vivid Sydney in 2009 has seen projection displays increasing in popularity as well as creating a centrepiece event for the Sydney Opera House (like Sydney Harbour Bridge on NYE). Finally, the fusion of projections and pyrotechnics occurred in 2013 during the International Fleet Review Spectacular and will be seen again during this year’s Sydney NYE fireworks displays.
What is a ‘Sydney Spectacular‘?
Due to the amount of fireworks displays held in Sydney Harbour every year, we have defined a ‘Sydney Spectacular‘ as:
A public event, held within our ‘Spectacular’ zone (see map below), which features either fireworks, projections, lights or a Sydney Harbour Bridge Effect. In regards to fireworks, single main firing location displays must be combined with other elements to be accepted. When held, Earth Hour is also accepted as a ‘Spectacular’.
NYE single firing location fireworks displays between 1976/1986 and 1989/mid-90’s have retrospectively been classified as a ‘Sydney Spectacular‘ due to their history credibly linking with the current version of Sydney NYE.
- Australia Day In Sydney (January 26)
- Visions Of Vienna (February 4)
- Handa Opera On Sydney Harbour – ‘Aida’ (March 27 to April 26)
- Earth Hour (March 28)
- 100 Years Of ANZAC – The Spirit Lives: 2014-2018 (April 21 to April 27)
- Sydney Welcomes Savannah Guthrie (May 4)
- Vivid Sydney (May 22 to June 8)
- Sydney Welcomes Tottenham Hotspur (May 28)
- Barangaroo Welcome Celebration – ‘Stone’ – Giant Picnic: Dusk Ceremony (September 6)
- Make Me A Millionaire (September 7)
- SuperLux (September 9 to October 17)
- 2005-2010: 10 Years – McGrath Foundation (September 16)
- Rugby World Cup (31 October)
- Diwali (11 November)
- P&O Presents Five Ship Spectacular (November 25)
- Sydney New Year’s Eve 2015 – ‘City Of Colour’ (December 31 2015/January 1 2016)
The Sydney Opera House also had the French Flag tricolour projected onto it between 14-16 November to represent Australia’s solidarity with France after the November 2015 Paris Attacks. Out of respect, this is excluded from being classified as a ‘Spectacular‘.
Can I see a fireworks display when there is no ‘Spectacular’ on?
Yes! Single main firing location fireworks displays occur often throughout the year on Sydney Harbour. They also usually occur every Saturday night in Cockle Bay at Darling Harbour. Check out the ‘Next Fireworks Display’ graphic on the left hand side of the webpage to see when the next fireworks display is and where is the best & most iconic vantage point to view it.
Fireworks displays in Grafton, Port Macquarie, Dubbo, Tamworth and Wagga Wagga may also be listed as they were locations that featured in the Closing Night Harbour Spectacular of the Games of the XXVIIth Olympiad: Sydney 2000 Closing Ceremony.
In relation to fireworks, if you require less than 24 hours notice or for any on-the-night updates, check the ‘Sydney Fireworks’ Twitter feed:Tweets by @FireworksSydney
Weather & Fireworks
Despite popular belief, fireworks can be fired during rain (in fact, they look better as a result). Despite this, fireworks may be postponed or cancelled to avoid crowds standing in the rain as well as because of other forms of hazardous weather such as lightning and hail. Fireworks can not be fired in high winds as they pose a safety hazard.
Disclaimer: Sydney Spectaculars does not organise any of the listed events so we cannot take responsibility if any of the listed events unexpectedly do not occur. If we are aware of a postponement/cancellation, we will do our best to promote it.