Next year, 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 of 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 Totti’s in Bondi, Eastside Kitchen & Bar in Chippendale and Chiswick in Woollahra.
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 Beach, Camp 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 Coogee, North Head, Manly to Spit Bridge, Hermitage 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 Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel
Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel on the water in Watsons Bay usually throws a New Year’s Day party. It’s a ticketed beach party, set in its Hamptons-esque design. While the venue has yet to announce its 2024 New Year’s Day party, other years have seen a ticket get you a cocktail on arrival, followed by free-flowing premium beverages.