Easy Access Map Tracker A First For New Year’s Eve

Families with prams & people who use wheelchairs will find it easier to experience Sydney New Year’s Eve (NYE) 2017 – Wonder, thanks to a new accessibility-friendly mapping service.

Developed with the help of wheelchair users, Sydney will be one of the first cities in Australia to use directional mapping for wheelchair users at a large-scale public event.

The map will provide safe routes for people travelling from major transport hubs in Sydney’s city centre to accessible vantage points where they can experience the fireworks.

The maps are colour-coded based on the level of accessibility of a route – from black (steep descent) to purple (coasting), green (easy level), orange (incline) & red (steep climb).

The City Of Sydney has teamed up with Briometrix, entrepreneurs specialising in smart technology for people who use wheelchairs, to develop the accessibility map.

Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, said the new mapping system would benefit everyone.

“NYE is one of the biggest annual celebrations in the world. It’is so important that everyone gets the chance to come into the city and experience it & that is what this new colour-coded mapping service will help to enable” the Lord Mayor said.

“We are committed to making Sydney inclusive & accessible for residents & visitors from all around the world”

To develop the map, people who use wheelchairs travelled around the city to map out the most accessible paths to access official Sydney NYE2017 – Wonder vantage points.

Mark Tomkins, Briometrix disability advisor & himself a wheelchair user, helped test the accessibility map. He said it is useful for wheelchairs, prams & older people who find walking in the city challenging.

“If the map is accessible to those users, then it is safe for everybody in the community” Mister Tomkins said.

Jason Jones, a wheelchair user from Wollongong, was involved in mapping the city for the accessibility map. He has attended large-scale events in the city & believes the map is a useful addition in helping wheelchair users navigate the city.

“Around The Rocks there is a few areas that are really steep & the map will help wheelchair users find a way to get where they want to go. For me, it means that I can more easily plan my route”

The map is available to view via mobile or desktop at sydneynewyearseve.com/accessibility to help plan your night.

From the 27th of December, City Of Sydney volunteers will be available to guide groups or individuals along routes between public transport & vantage points to view the fireworks display. The volunteers will help familiarise the guests with the route & any changes for NYE. Bookings are essential with limited spaces available.

More on the ground services & new guides will mean Sydney NYE is more inclusive than ever before.

The Sydney NYE 2017 – Wonder event guide will be available in large print and audio & has been translated into 5 languages – Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Spanish & German. With the assistance of the Council For Intellectual Disability, an Easy Read version of the event guide has also been created in order to make information accessible to a wider range of individuals. See the event guide at sydneynewyearseve.com/event-guide.

The City along with major vantage point sites offer 6 designated accessible viewing areas for people with a disability to enjoy the fireworks with family & friends. These areas cater to those with sensory, neurological, psychological, cognitive & learning disability. Areas still available are at Barangaroo Reserve, Cahill Expressway, Mary Booth Reserve, Pirrama Park & the Sydney Opera House. Bookings are essential. See the vantage point map at sydneynewyearseve.com/vantage-points.

To find accessible ticketed events in Sydney for NYE, visit the What’s On disability inclusive page: whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/tags/disability-inclusive.

Sydney NYE 2017 – Wonder will include Auslan, British Sign Language & American Sign Language interpretations of ‘Welcome To Sydney’ projected on both sides of the Sydney Harbour Bridge pylons.

A live audio description will be broadcast on Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Extra & also on 2RPH on 1224AM or 100.5 FM. The broadcast will include a colourful narrative of the Welcome To Country, 9pm Family Fireworks, Harbour Of Light Parade & the Midnight Fireworks. Tune in to the ABC Radio app or ABC Extra digital radio station to enjoy the broadcast.

Those staying at home can enjoy the celebrations through the ABC television (TV)/online broadcast. The broadcast begins at 8:35pm Australian Eastern Daylight Time with live closed captions available on its TV & online services.

KIIS 1065 will broadcast the soundtracks for the 9pm Family & Midnight Fireworks.

For general enquiries & access to a detailed personal planning service, complete the online form at surveymonkey.com/r/NYEAccessibility.

You can contact the City Of Sydney Sydney NYE 2017 – Wonder Accessibility Officer on 02 9265 9333 or email nyedisability@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au

Visit sydneynewyearseve.com for detailed information on the event.

Media Release: City Of Sydney


Charlie Pickering To Host Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s All-Star New Year’s Eve Countdown

Join our master of ceremonies, Charlie Pickering, as he counts down the biggest night of the year with the New Year’s Eve (NYE) 2017 broadcast, Countdown Live NYE 2017 on Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Television (TV) & ABC iview.

Presented from the Sydney Opera House, Charlie takes us through an evening jam-packed full of unmissable entertainment from an all-star line-up including Jimmy Barnes, Phil Jamieson, Marcia Hines & Kate Ceberano, with plenty of fun for all-ages including the Family Fireworks at 9pm, culminating in the world-famous Midnight Fireworks.

The evening events will commence with the Welcome To Country with Rhoda Roberts (Order Of Australia), followed by The Early Night Show, co-hosted by Hoot The Owl & the one and only Kitty Flanagan. Featuring The Play School Band, jugglers, acrobats & a marching band, it promises to be fun for all the family!

We will cross to ABC ME’s Grace Koh & Giggle And Hoot’s Jimmy Giggle who will be live from Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens. There will be a very special performance from Casey Donovan, we take a look at some hilarious Play School auditions & some of our younger viewers give us their views on hot topics and what was the “best-thing-ever” that happened to them in 2017.

At 9pm, the winner of ABC ME’s Design Your Own Firework competition, 7-year-old Lucia from Adelaide, will set the Sydney sky alight with the Family Fireworks display featuring her own unique firework design.

After the 9pm Family Fireworks, Charlie will take us through a variety of hilarious & heart-warming segments including comedian Sammy J, who will present his unique take on some of the year’s key stories & a behind the scenes look at the rehearsals for the biggest concert of the year.

Then it is time to do yourself a favour & get your groove on when the legendary Molly Meldrum welcomes Australia to Countdown Live, a live concert celebrating the songs of the iconic show, Countdown, performed by many of our most loved artists.

Audiences can enjoy live: Jimmy Barnes, Phil Jamieson, Colin Hay, Casey Donovan, John Paul Young, Marcia Hines, Kate Ceberano, Ngaiire, Montaigne, Isaiah Firebrace, Mahalia Barnes & Prinnie Stevens. They will be performing the music that is, quintessentially, Australia’s song book, with a few international classics thrown in for good measure.

At midnight, stand by as Sydney becomes the focus of the world as thousands of fireworks light up Sydney Harbour & we welcome 2018.

RUNDOWN HIGHLIGHTS (exact times subject to change):

8:35pm: New Year’s Eve 2017 commences on ABC & ABC iview

8:38pm: Welcome To Country

8:41pm: The Early Night Show

9pm: Family Fireworks

9.30pm: Countdown Live

Midnight: Fireworks

Audiences can watch the full broadcast in high definition on ABC TV with live streaming also available on ABC iview. The Welcome To Country, the Family & Midnight Fireworks will also be available on the ABC TV YouTube channel. The Family & Midnight Fireworks will also be streamed live on ABC TV’s Facebook page.

Join the conversation:






Rainbow Waterfall Heralds New Dawn For Equality

A rainbow waterfall of fireworks will cascade from the Sydney Harbour Bridge as part of this year’s Sydney New Year’s Eve (Sydney NYE) celebrations.

Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, said the dramatic ‘technicolour’ fireworks would confirm Sydney as the New Year’s Eve capital of the world again & celebrate Australians saying ‘Yes’ to marriage equality.

“This is a fabulous way to see out 2017 – the year that 4 out of 5 Sydneysiders said a resounding ‘Yes’ to marriage equality” the Lord Mayor said.

“The rainbow waterfall is a well-earnt tribute to the Sydney 78ers who marched for gay rights 40 years ago – it is a reminder of how far we have come & how far we have left to achieve true equality for our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender & intersex community. It is a wonderful way to ring in the new year & celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Sydney Gay And Lesbian Mardi Gras.

“With more fireworks than ever before, this year’s Sydney NYE celebration guarantees to be the biggest, brightest & best in the world”

Sydney New Year’s Eve contributes an estimated AUD$133 million to the local economy & puts Sydney on the map as a global city for tourism, business, events and creativity on every level”

It takes Sydney fireworks director Fortunato Foti & the crew from Sydney family company, Foti Fireworks International, more than 5,000 hours to create the Sydney NYE display.

“The challenge this year was to create never-before-seen displays. Out of this, we have created some great effects that I am looking forward to sharing with the people of Sydney & the world” Mister (Mr) Foti said.

“This waterfall effect is a first for the Bridge & we have chosen the rainbow colours that work best for fireworks: red, yellow, green, blue, purple & silver”

Mr Foti says there will be more than 100,000 individual pyrotechnic effects on the night, setting a new record for the annual event’s 9pm Family & Midnight Fireworks with:

  • 8 tonnes of fireworks – 1 tonne more than in 2016
  • 13,000 shells – 1,000 more than in 2016
  • 30,000 shooting comets – 5,000 more than in 2016

Inner-Sydney artist, Nadia Hernández, is the creative artist for this Sydney NYE and a series of bright artwork designs have inspired a vibrant colour palette for the fireworks.

This year, the 9pm Family and Midnight Fireworks & the dramatic lighting effects beamed from the Sydney Harbour Bridge will feature new pastel shades including bright orange, pink, lime green & light blue.

Her artwork designs also feature inspirational words including ‘wonder’, ‘harmony’, ‘hope’ & ‘together’, which will feature in the animations projected onto the Harbour Bridge pylons on the night.

“I included these words in the Sydney NYE2017 – Wonder artworks because they reflect my love of Sydney & send a positive message of hope for Australia and the world as we move into a new year” Miss (Ms) Hernández said.

“The words & colours are all about what a wonderful place Sydney is in summer – spending time outdoors with family & with friends – and that sums up NYE in Sydney too”

“It is such an honour to have been chosen by the City to be the creative artist for Sydney NYE2017 – Wonder. This project really has been a dream come true for me”


This year, the Welcome To Country will include a tribute marking the 50th anniversary of the Sydney-San Francisco sister city relationship that will be celebrated in 2018.

A message from the Muwekma Ohlone peoples of the San Francisco Bay area will be projected onto the Sydney Harbour Bridge pylons at the close of the evening’s Welcome To Country.

Sydney New Year’s Eve creative consultant, Rhoda Roberts (Order Of Australia), said the message marked a close connection between the 2 cities’ First Peoples.

“There is a lovely connection between Sydney & San Francisco – both cities are very similar in their geography & both cities have a strong and vibrant Indigenous culture” Ms Roberts said.

“There is a great synergy between the histories of the First Peoples of these 2 great cities. The language, the stories & the rituals of the Indigenous peoples here & in San Francisco have survived recognised and honoured & are still strong today”

At the close of the Sydney NYE2017 – Wonder Welcome To Country, the following words in the language of the Muwekma Ohlone people will appear: “Makkin Mak Muwekma Wolwoolum, Akkoy Mak-Warep, Manne Mak Hiswi!”, which translates to English as: “We Are Muwekma Ohlone, Welcome To Our Land, Where We Are Born, San Francisco Bay Area”.

San Francisco Mayor, Edwin M. Lee, said the city was proud to be included in Sydney New Year’s Eve celebrations.

“We are honored that 2018 will mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of our sister city friendship which has built common understanding, cooperation & partnership across the Pacific” he said.

“In January, our San Francisco delegation will be visiting your beautiful city & joining with your citizens in celebrating 50 years of friendship & to set the foundation for another 50 years of citizen diplomacy”

The Sydney NYE2017 – Wonder program highlights include (times are Australian Eastern Daylight Time): 

6pm                 Pre-Show Entertainment

8:38pm           Welcome To Country

9pm                 Family Fireworks

9:15pm           Harbour Of Light Parade

Midnight         Fireworks

Getting in & out of the city centre is different on NYE. There will be road closures, on-street fencing & diversions to help people get around safely & move crowds to transport. Visit sydneynewyearseve.com for detailed information.

Media Release: City Of Sydney

‘Countdown’ To New Year’s Eve With The Australian Broadcasting Corporation

This New Year’s Eve (NYE) the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), the Sydney Opera House & the City Of Sydney will be presenting Countdown Live NYE 2017; a concert celebrating the songs of Countdown performed by many of our most loved artists.

Jimmy Barnes, Phil Jamieson, Marcia Hines, Casey Donovan, Montaigne plus many more will provide the soundtrack to the nation’s New Year’s Eve party broadcast via ABC Television, Radio, iView & social media as we sing our way up to the Midnight Fireworks.

In the spirit of celebration, we are looking for the nation’s biggest music fans to join us at the Sydney Opera House’s Northern Broadwalk. So, do yourself a favour & in 25 words or less, tell us what being at this once-in-a-lifetime concert, under the NYE fireworks at the Sydney Opera House, would mean to you.

Submit your entry via the Countdown 2017 competition page.

For further information & terms and conditions, please see below.


Tell us in 25 words or less what being at this legendary concert, under the NYE fireworks at the Sydney Opera House, would mean to you.

Prize: 450 x double passes to the ‘Classic Countdown’ Concert on the Sydney Opera House Northern Broadwalk on Sunday the 31st of December 2017 from 4pm.

PLUS – 1 lucky group of 4 friends will have the chance to win a trip to Sydney including flights & accommodation to experience the concert & the NYE celebrations.

Entries must be submitted via the ‘Countdown’ 2017 competition page.

Entrants must acknowledge that they are responsible for their accommodation in & own travel to Sydney to be eligible to enter.

Judges will select the entry they deem to be the most creative. Winners will be announced on the 13th of December.

Media Release: Australian Broadcasting Corporation

What Do The Sydney NYE2017 Theme & Coin Have In Common? They Are Full Of ‘Wonder’!

Have you been wondering all year what this year’s Sydney New Year’s Eve (NYE) theme will be? Wondering when it will be revealed? I wonder if it will be a wonderful theme this year. I wonder if the answer is ‘on the tip of your tongue’?

Ah, good spotting! The theme for Sydney NYE2017 is Wonder!

In recent weeks, the Sydney NYE website has been quietly updated to include the theme & artwork details for this year’s event on their website’s ‘About’ page. As we guessed, the theme is all about Sydney being a true ‘wonder in summer’.

New Year's Eve 2017 artwork.

The artwork above, which is part of a “suite of stunning designs” is the work of Nadia Hernández, a multi-disciplinary designer based in Sydney, who is this year’s Sydney NYE ‘creative ambassador’ (Though the creative ambassador role has been reduced significantly since 2015 – it’s more of a ‘local artist’ role now with local fashion designers & paper artists contributing works to the past 2 editions of the event).

Through her unique paper-cut design, she has brought to life the sense of wonder you get during Sydney’s summer whilst capturing the vibrant mood & cultural diversity of the city.

The Coin

With less than 2 months to go, the Sydney New Year’s Eve 2017 – Wonder coin, produced in partnership by the City Of Sydney & the Royal Australian Mint, has gone on sale!

The Sydney New Year’s Eve 2017 – Wonder coin represents the unbridled wonder, exuberance & hopes of the world on New Year’s Eve. Add it to your Sydney NYE coin collection & treasure it for memories of a precious moment in time.

With a mintage of 5000, this 1/2 an ounce 99.9% silver coin with a diameter of 35.89mm is a fantastic souvenir to keep of this year’s event.

Reverse Side Of The 2018 $1 Coloured Fine Silver Frosted Uncirculated Sydney New Year’s Eve 2017 – ‘Wonder’ Coin. Image: Royal Australian Mint.
Obverse Side Of The 2018 $1 Coloured Fine Silver Frosted Uncirculated Sydney New Year’s Eve 2017 – ‘Wonder’ Coin. Image: Royal Australian Mint.
Packaging Of The 2018 $1 Coloured Fine Silver Frosted Uncirculated Sydney New Year’s Eve 2017 – ‘Wonder’ Coin. Image: Royal Australian Mint.

Go to the Royal Australian Mint’s new release section to view and order now. Price: AUD$60 (Australia) and AUD$54.55 (International).

This latest coin represents the halfway point of the Sydney NYE coin releases. There are 5 coins left to be released, one each year.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation Broadcasts

The duration of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) television (TV) & iView broadcasts are unconfirmed still but regarding content of the TV broadcast, whilst no major details have been revealed, this small teaser of details was released recently:

Join ABC in a star-studded evening to count down the biggest night of the year with the New Year’s Eve 2017 spectacular event broadcast. Enjoy an evening jam-packed full of unmissable entertainment, comedy, and music, as well as the Family Fireworks at 9pm, followed by the world-famous Sydney Midnight Fireworks.

Well at least the Midnight Fireworks are now officially confirmed to be part of the TV broadcast! Anyway, that small teaser is too vague for now to confirm if it will be different to or the same as the previous ABC NYE broadcasts of recent years.

But have hope! We believe the ABC is planning a special pre-recorded segment for the TV/iView broadcast on the scientific branch of astronomy from none other than Sydney Observatory!

Whilst we do not know for sure what form this segment will take, an educational segment has not been done in the previous 4 ABC broadcasts which have relied mainly on children’s, music & talk/comedy/game show-style programming. This could indicate a change of direction in the ABC’s production of the NYE TV/iView broadcast. I wonder if this will be the case?

Educational segments have been done before on NYE broadcasts but those were mainly just ‘explainers’ on how fireworks are created (a lesson in chemistry!). Astronomy has little to do with pyrotechnics but in any case, on NYE, everyone is looking at the night sky anyway (well, for fireworks at least – don’t forget the time!) so why not explore the cosmos while you gaze skywards too?

Colourful Sydney NYE2017 Website Revealed

The Sydney NYE2017 website was revealed last week with less than 4 months to go. It is slightly different in design to last year’s website but it incorporates this year’s artwork for the event & includes new webpages plus an addition to the menu, different spacing & other small changes. The event’s logo was already revealed in July when ABC announced their ‘Design Your Own Firework‘ competition in conjunction with the City Of Sydney.

The updated website does not confirm the event’s theme. In fact, it gives no signal to a theme at all. Given there are no more Bridge Effects, there is a chance they could decide to stop doing themes and make the event ‘just a fireworks display’. They are, though, still trying to give the event some sort of creative touch as we’ve seen through the release of the logo in July.

For now, there is no reason to worry about the event’s theme as most years the theme isn’t confirmed until early December. It is usually just small clues revealed until then.

And the release of the logo in July did have one possible clue – 5 words placed within the logo, ‘Dance!, Radiate!, Wonder!, Hope! & Together!’. These words seem to capture the pondering of what the upcoming year will gives us when we celebrate NYE at a party in Sydney’s summer, which has been the general narrative of the event’s creatives in recent years. This interpretation of those 5 words may be incorrect – we will just have to wait & see.

But The Daily Telegraph last month revealed a small clue to this year’s theme by revealing this year’s theme to the Dawes Point Very Important Person (VIP) Viewing Area as Sunset. That event is also being styled to a beach-house. Previous years of that event have featured lanterns, deckchairs & give-away thongs so this beach-house ‘style’ could be nothing new particularly when Central Sydney implied back in May that that event will be downsized as “the large scale catering and entertainment will not be a part of the (VIP Viewing Area) plan”.

The website also confirms the event program, which is identical to last year’s, with the Sydney Opera House still a part of the Midnight Fireworks. It’s been 5 years since they re-introduced it in 2013 as part of the Sydney Opera House’s ‘decade of renewal’ so it’s likely now it will remain in the Midnight Fireworks for another 5 years at least.

A light show is confirmed to be on the Sydney Harbour Bridge again at least during the Welcome To Country but it is highly likely it will feature during the 9pm Family & Midnight Fireworks too. But what will this light show look like? Again, we’ll have to wait & see.

The Sydney Harbour Bridge pylon projections are returning but so far, with no new changes – even no sign of the theme being projected onto them in different languages (though messages will still be shown in different languages).

There is also a new Ticketed Events webpage on the website for those wanting to get the once-in-a-lifetime experience of Sydney NYE they have always imagined.

Sydney NYE is also trialling new accessibility orientation sessions in the 4 days before the event. These sessions, led by an information booth volunteer, will guide individuals/groups along preferred routes from public transport to vantage points & back. This will allow for familarisation of the route by guests with the volunteer pointing out any event day-only changes. Bookings are essential as spaces are limited. Click here for more information.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s (ABC) television coverage will be on ABC1, starting at 8:35pm and will feature closed captions, while internet streaming will be done via ABC iView, the ABC TV Facebook page, the ABC Australia YouTube channel  & Sydney NYE’s website. The latter, will be global, so no need to worry about geoblocking this year.

Apart from ABC iView, all internet streams will be of the Welcome To Country, 9pm Family & Midnight Fireworks only.

Let’s hope organisers have solved copyright issues so the non-Australian audience can listen to the proper fireworks soundtracks live again. The displays are not the same without them.

Sydney NYE Logo Revealed As ABC Returns For 5th Consecutive Broadcast

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has been awarded the TV broadcast rights for this year’s Sydney NYE event.

This, along with this year’s Sydney NYE logo & possible theme, were confirmed following the release of details for the ABC ME ‘Design Your Own Firework‘ Competition:

ABC is well-known for their 2 controversial broadcasts of the event in 2013 and 2014. Their 2015 & 2016 broadcasts were a huge but not perfect improvement. The 2016 broadcast saw the full Sydney NYE broadcast on terrestrial television in high definition in Australia for the 1st time since the late 2000’s. The 2017 broadcast is expected to be roughly the same but again, we do hope for a little more enhancement of the broadcast.

Details and duration of the Sydney NYE2017 TV broadcast have not been revealed as yet but the 9pm Family Fireworks & the ABC ME ‘Design Your Own Firework‘ Competition winner have been confirmed as features of the broadcast. The Midnight Fireworks, whilst not confirmed, are all but guaranteed.

The logo of this year’s Sydney NYE event (at top of article) was also revealed as part of the competition. The theme has not been confirmed but the logo does provide a clue, which possibly could be the theme – 5 words placed within the logo, ‘Dance!, Radiate!, Wonder!, Hope! & Together!’. These words seem to capture the pondering of what the upcoming year will gives us when we celebrate NYE at a party in Sydney’s summer, which has been the general narrative of the event’s creatives in recent years.

The main part of the logo also seems to represent a painting of Sydney NYE as you can see representations of the Sydney Opera House & Harbour Bridge, a ferry, a cockatoo, partygoers, music, the beach, water, fauna, fireworks, a fork & lots of eyes. The latter presumably to represent the attention Sydney receives on NYE. The orange background presumably represents the summer climate.

This interpretation of those 5 words & the logo as a whole may be incorrect – we will just have to wait & see.

The Bridge Effect is highly unlikely to make a reappearance this year with another generic light show expected on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. How can they improve on last year’s? (See the video below for last year’s) Last year’s was done to perfection! That light show was pretty much a Bridge Effect of the Sydney Harbour Bridge! (Compared to NYE2015 when that’s what they tried to do and well, didn’t – they just put searchlights on the roadway)

There is a possibility the event may become more generic in the future as a result of having no more Bridge Effects. This year’s event may give us a more clearer idea of the direction the City Of Sydney are taking with the event in the future. Hopefully, the really creative, unique and constantly-changing themes of the past shall return. And more importantly, hopefully the traditional Bridge Effect returns too!

Here are the other things that have already been announced about Sydney NYE2017:

But anyway, all that is left to be announced is the Creative Ambassador & a confirmation of the theme plus any special details about this year’s event such as the type of light show. Can you guess who/what it will be? We’ll just have to wait & see – expect theme confirmation in September when the Sydney NYE website should be updated for this year’s event.