What to Do New Year’s Day in Sydney, From Happening to Hangover-Friendly

Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel

In 2024, New Year’s Day falls on a Monday. This means that if you haven’t taken the few days off between Christmas and New Year’s for annual leave, you’ll be treated to a three-day weekend. You could take advantage of it by going away for chill-out time before getting back to work. Or you might just want to hang out in your city.

If that city is Sydney, or you’re visiting there on New Year’s Day, you have endless options for ways to spend a worthwhile day off. From parking yourself at one of Sydney’s many stunning beaches (with SPF on, of course), to hitting a music festival with big-name artists or a party at an sprawling outdoor bar on the water, here’s our edit for the best things to do New Year’s Day Sydney.

Eat and Drink

Many cafés in Sydney are open on New Year’s Day, though note that you may have to pay a public holiday surcharge. The restaurants and bars that usually close on Mondays will likely remain closed on New Year’s Day.

Some Sydney cafés confirmed to be open on New Year’s Day are Mayflower in Darlinghurst, Bourke Street Bakery in Surry Hills, Shuk in Bondi, Quick Brown Fox Eatery in Pyrmont and Black Star Pastry, which has multiple locations across the city.

For something heartier, book Saint Peter in Paddington, which does a special set menu on New Year’s Day. In the city, try your luck at Ho Jiak’s Town Hall and Haymarket shop fronts, or head to Jang Ta Bal for a Korean barbecue. Other Sydney restaurants confirmed to be open New Year’s include Eastside Kitchen & Bar in Chippendale and Chiswick in Woollahra.

If you’re in Bondi, see if you can get a table at Totti’s on Bondi Road or Promenade Bondi Beach right on the beach. Promenade will be hosting a four-course lunch for $169pp that’ll include a seafood flatter of chilled prawns, Sydney rock oysters and raw scallops, Westholme Wagyu beef and a dulce de leche pavlova.

Promenade Bondi Beach
Image: Promenade Bondi Beach

For a drink to toast the new year, Opera Bar, Coogee Wine Room, One Drop Brewing in Botany, The Glebe Hotel, The Golden Sheaf Hotel, Jackalberry and Darlo Bar are all open on New Year’s Day, just to name a few bars and pubs.

Hit the Beach

Go for the first swim of the year at one of Sydney’s sparkling beaches or ocean pools. Bondi is always a popular choice, or you can find a stretch of sand tucked away along the harbour, such as Milk BeachCamp Cove, or Seven Shillings. Go snorkelling at Clovelly, Little Manly Cove, Malabar Beach or Gordons Bay; catch a wave at Freshwater, Maroubra, Tamarama or Cronulla; or swim a few laps in the 112-year-old Wylie’s Baths, the family-friendly Bronte Baths, the triangular-shaped Fairy Bower Pool, the rocky Mahon Pool or MacCallum Pool, which boasts city skyline views.

Go For a Walk

Kickstart your New Year’s fitness regime with a coastal walk, such as Bondi to CoogeeNorth HeadManly to Spit BridgeHermitage Foreshore Walk or Federation Cliff Walk. For more of a leisurely stroll, explore the Royal Botanic Garden or walk through Centennial Park. You can view our edit of 10 walks you can do in Greater Sydney in a day here.

Listen to Your Favourite Acts at Field Day

If you’re not all partied out from the previous night’s festivities, you might consider heading to the massive music festival Sydney puts on at The Domain every New Year’s Day, Field Day.

This year’s line-up features Rufus Du Sol and Central Cee as headliners, with Cassian, Willo, Mall Grab and many other big-name bands and international DJs all set to play, too. Second-release tickets are $207, while a VIP pass will cost you $273.

Dance at a Party

Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel on the water in Watsons Bay is throwing a New Year’s Day ticketed party, set in its Hamptons-esque design. It runs 12 – 7pm and is roughly $130pp depending on when you buy the ticket. DJs include Alex Preston, Ben Gerrans, Little Fritter and Stace Cadet. Your ticket gives you free-flowing canapés and premium drinks from 12-2pm.

Over in the city, the newly-renovated Jackson George will be holding an open afternoon rooftop recovery party with DJs like Andrew James, Johnny Glesson and Mark Matthew. Chef Steven Sinclair will be firing up the barbecues and serving Spencer Gulf king prawn skewers with prosciutto, XO and lime dressing and hot and sour peppers with marjoram and salted ricotta.

Related: We Spent Hours Figuring Out How to Turn 22 Annual Leave Days Into 46 in 2024

Related: What’s Open, Venue, Bottle Shop and Supermarket-Wise, on New Year’s Day 2024?

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