Sydney Spectaculars – Season 2016!

Want to see Sydney in all it’s glory? Check out our 2016 season of ‘Sydney Spectaculars’! Here is what is happening so far this year:

26 January 2016 – Australia Day In Sydney

A day to celebrate the cultures of the Australian continent with many events throughout the day from ocean swims and indigenous ceremonies to concerts and wheelchair races – this is the day Sydney shines. This year will feature 3 pyrotechnic displays (the most since 1989) at locations around Sydney Harbour such as Darling Harbour, Circular Quay & off Bradley’s Head. If you’re not in Sydney, you can watch ‘Australia Day 2016 – Live At Sydney Opera House’ (which could feature the Circular Quay fireworks)live on Channel Ten from 7:30pm AEDT* on Australia Day!

5 February 2016 To 5 March 2016 – Month Of Love

‘Loved-Up’ Fireworks light up Darling Harbour every Saturday night while events with a love theme make the month-long event ‘lovely’ in Darling Harbour!

6–21 February 2016 – Chinese New Year

In an historic first, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House, Circular Quay Railway Station, Sydney Town Hall and the Capitol Theatre will all be illuminated red to mark Chinese New Year and to welcome the Year Of The Monkey. Check out the new ‘Lunar Lanterns’ placed around the city too. A small fireworks display on 6 February near Dawes Point will coincide with the switching on of the red lighting of the iconic Sydney structures to welcome in the new Chinese year!

19 March 2016 – Earth Hour

Created in Sydney, Earth Hour now occurs around the world. This ‘spectacular’ sees the lights of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House turn off for 1 hour to convey a practical message on the environment. Head down to the Sydney Harbour foreshore and have a candle-lit picnic or attend one of the organised Earth Hour events around Sydney! If you’re not in Sydney, participate at home by turning your lights off for 1 hour at 8:30pm!

24 March 2016 to April 24 2016 – Handa Opera On Sydney Harbour: ‘Turandot’

A temporary open air opera theatre on the foreshores of Sydney Harbour with the iconic view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House in the background. With dazzling sets, a performance worthy of a standing ovation and a spectacular fireworks display to top it off, this is a once in a lifetime experience for anyone but spaces are limited so book your tickets now!

27 May 2016 to 13 June 2016 – Vivid Sydney

Famous for their Sydney Opera House projection shows, the LED light show on the Sydney Harbour Bridge as well as the many projection shows and light displays on the ‘Light Walk’, Vivid Sydney is now just as big as Sydney NYE. 2016 will see the introduction of the Royal Botanic Gardens into the festivities for the 1st time as a nod to the 200th anniversary of the Royal Botanic Gardens. Also featuring live music and creative industry events, this is a once in a lifetime experience for anyone from outside of Sydney.

Darling Harbour usually also features a special pyrotechnic/laser/projection/water show frequently throughout Vivid Sydney but this is not confirmed yet.

2-17 July 2016 – Cool Yule

Darling Harbour transforms into a snowy wonderland while ‘Frosty’ Fireworks light up the night sky each Saturday night!

21 October 2016 – Sydney Opera House Diwali Spectacular

Watch the Sydney Opera House light up in yellow/orange/golden colours to celebrate Diwali!

26 November 2016 to 25 December 2016 – Sydney Christmas/Santa Fest

Featuring projections in Martin Place and on St Mary’s Cathedral & the Sydney Town Hall, Sydney Christmas brings the spirit of Christmas to Sydney in truly spectacular style. Check out the lighting ceremony of the massive interactive Christmas Tree in Martin Place, which features fireworks, for a truly magical night! Maybe Santa Claus will turn up? Darling Harbour also has Christmas-themed events including fireworks as part of their ‘Santa Fest’.

31 December 2016/1 January 2017 – Sydney New Year’s Eve

The grand finale of ‘Sydney Spectaculars’ – the original, biggest and best – Sydney NYE, the world’s biggest annual and most technologically advanced fireworks displays in the world! Without a doubt, this is a once in a lifetime experience for anyone from outside of Sydney.

That is all?

No! Many other ‘Sydney Spectaculars’ may occur throughout the year such as more Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge pylon projection shows but these other ‘Sydney Spectaculars’ are usually announced with short notice so keep an eye out on our blog if one gets announced unexpectedly!

What if there is no ‘Spectacular’ on when I visit?

Pyrotechnic displays frequently occur on Sydney Harbour so check our countdowns on the side of our blog to check when the next one is and where the most iconic view of the display is! Darling Harbour has general fireworks every Saturday night when they don’t have a ‘Spectacular’ on.

*Check your local guides for broadcast times outside of New South Wales.

Sydney Harbour Bridge To Feature As Part Of Chinese New Year

Despite all the downside over light rail construction affecting Sydney’s Chinese New Year Festival Twilight Parade over the coming years, there are plans to light the Sydney Harbour Bridge & several Circular Quay buildings red as part of Chinese New Year for the 1st time over the next 2 years.

In Chinese culture, the colour red symbolizes good fortune and joy. Red is found everywhere during Chinese New Year & other holidays and family gatherings.

In July this year, an artist impression of the City Of Sydney’s ‘Lunar Lanterns‘ element for the 2016 Festival was released. This element was designed to make up for the cancellation of the Twilight Parade next year. In the artist impression, it featured the Sydney Harbour Bridge lit red with fireworks seemingly coming off it’s upper arch.

Lunar Lanterns‘ Artist Impression: Alexandra & Bradley Creative

Whilst the red lighting of the Sydney Harbour Bridge was confirmed at the end of September with the issue of a tender request, the City Of Sydney said “At this stage, we don’t currently have plans for a fireworks display off the top of the Bridge.” when enquiring about the pyrotechnic portions of the artist impression.

This year, a small fireworks display off Dawes Point was held to signal the start of the Chinese New Year Festival with a main fireworks display held in Cockle Bay at Darling Harbour to conclude the Twilight Parade a few days later.

As part of now annual tradition, the Sydney Opera House will continue it’s recognition of the Chinese New Year Festival by lighting the western sails of the Sydney Opera House red again over the next 2 years.

The 2016 Chinese New Year Festival, which is to be held from Saturday 6 February to Sunday 21 February 2016, will celebrate the Year Of The Monkey. The launch of the Festival will occur later this month, where confirmation that the City is proceeding with the lighting of the Sydney Harbour Bridge & several Circular Quay buildings red is expected to be announced.