Harbour Hoopla

31 Dec 2016 - 1 Jan 2017, A New Event for 2016

SOLD out

A fun new event on the edge of Sydney Harbour

A fun new event on the edge of Sydney Harbour

This event is set to be a night of fun best enjoyed with friends with incredible views of the midnight fireworks over the Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House.

Get your friends and family together for this fun new event! Join us for spectacular views of the midnight fireworks over the Harbour Bridge and Opera House, and all-night entertainment including a DJ and dancefloor, funfair alley, circus workshops, a theatrical costume photo booth and more. Bring your own picnic rug and enjoy a delicious summer picnic hamper complete with entrée, main, as well as sweet and savoury snacks. Plus there’s a bar on the premises.

For those that fancy, you are welcome to come dressed in a vintage circus theme or borrow our props at the photo booth.

*Every ticket purchased supports the work of our science, horticulture and conservation projects.

What you get:
  • Exclusive access to Tarpeian Way with incredible views of the midnight fireworks over Harbour Bridge and Opera House
  • Delicious summer picnic hamper with entrée, main, sweet and savoury treats, and a bottle of water
  • Licensed cash bar with a selection of beverages & snacks for sale
  • Live DJ and dance floor
  • Interactive vintage-circus themed entertainment
  • Easy access to public transport – St James Station and Martin Place Station
  • You are welcome to BYO rug

  • Accessibility


    For more information on disability access for this event. Details also at the bottom of this page.

  • Location & Time


    Tarpeian Way, Royal Botanic Garden Sydney. Saturday 31 December 2016, 6.00pm to 1.30am.

  • Tickets

    Sold out

    Price: $295pp + booking fee
    This is an outdoor event which will proceed in all weather. Fireworks are presented by City of Sydney. In the event that the fireworks are cancelled, the Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust will not be held responsible or provide compensation. A family friendly all ages event.

Included Hamper

Included Hamper

A delightful summer picnic by Trippas White. Collected on arrival, the hamper offers fresh salad entrees, a perfectly poached chicken main, with a decadent dessert and fine cheese plate to finish.

View Full menu

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Find out everything you need to know about this event.

Q: Where is Harbour Hoopla located?
A: Harbour Hoopla is held at the Tarpeian Way precinct, an elevated lawn area overlooking Circular Quay and the Opera House inside the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney. View Location Map

Guests will experience spectacular views of the Harbour Bridge from one of the best locations in Sydney to see the midnight fireworks! 

Q: What is included in the ticket price?
A: A Picnic hamper and a bottle of water is included in each ticket price (view the full menu). Patrons will collect their box at the entry to the event site. All beverages and additional snacks can be purchased at guests’ own expense. Special dietary requirements option is available upon purchase of your ticket.

Q: Is there any entertainment at the event?
A: Harbour Hoopla is a fun vintage circus themed event offering patrons a live DJ and a range of fun circus style games and activities. Patrons will also hear the synchronized fireworks broadcast. Guests are invited to dress up for the event in a vintage circus theme (optional) or have fun with our props in the themed photo booth in our props whilst having fun at the photo booth.

Q: Can I bring additional food to site?
A: No. Additional snacks are available on site if required

Q: What is the approximate cost of beverages at the event?
A: Please view the Harbour Hoopla bar list.

Q: What time are the fireworks?
A: There are two fireworks displays on New Year’s Eve: 9.00 pm and at midnight. Both displays are synchronised to music which is broadcast at the event. The fireworks are provided by the City of Sydney. In the event that the fireworks are cancelled, the Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust will not be held responsible or provide compensation. Visit the Sydney New Year’s Eve website for more information on the fireworks display and New Year’s Eve activities. 

Q: What time does the event start and finish?
A: Gates to the event open at 6.00 pm with last entry at 8.00 pm. Please note any guests who have not entered by this time will not gain entry to the event. The event finishes at 1.30 am (with last drinks at 1.00am) when all guests are asked to leave. Exit is onto Macquarie Street (same as entry).

Q: What are the seating arrangements?
A: Harbour Hoopla is a picnic-style event so please bring your picnic blanket along. No chairs will be permitted. You are welcome to bring strollers, but we will ask you to move them to the side to ensure all guests enjoy the spectacular views. 

Q: Can I bring children to Harbour Hoopla?
A: Harbour Hoopla is an all-ages event. There is a licensed bar at the event and only ticket holders over the age of 18 years will be permitted to purchase alcoholic beverages. Photo ID must be shown. 

Everyone entering the site regardless of age must have a ticket. There are no concessions for children or infants. Special consideration may be given on request for infants younger than three years of age. To lodge your request please email ezzie.magrin@environment.nsw.gov.au

Q: When do ticket sales close?
A: Ticket sales will close at 2.00 pm on the 30 December unless sold out prior.

Q: How do I access Harbour Hoopla?

A: Harbour Hoopla is held at Tarpeian Way precinct at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney. Entry to the event is off Macquarie Street. Please note Macquarie Street will be closed to traffic on Wednesday 31 December 2016. View Location Map

Q: How do I get to the event?
A: Due to extensive road closures and high pedestrian traffic in the precinct, public transport is the best and most convenient option for spectators to get to the event.

The closest transport hubs are:
Martin Place Train Station: 750 m to the managed access entry gate on Macquarie Street.
St James Train Station: 900 m to the managed access gate entry on Macquarie Street. 

There is no parking and/or vehicle access to the Harbour Hoopla site. All ticket holders are advised to use public transport. Additional bus and ferry services are available. See transportnsw or phone 131 500.

Q: What time should I arrive?
A: Entry to Harbour Hoopla opens at 6.00 pm. Please allow additional travel time on New Year’s Eve. There is no need to arrive prior to the gates opening as only ticket holders will be allowed entry to the site. Please note all guests must enter the site by 8.00 pm. There will be no further admissions after this time.

Q: What should I bring?
A: Bring cash (there are no ATM facilities onsite), warm clothing, comfortable shoes and a picnic rug to sit on. Beverages are available for sale at the event site.

Q: What will not be permitted into the event?
A: No BYO drinks (including alcohol and water), sparklers, illegal substances, weapons, glass and aerosol cans. Large golf umbrellas will not be permitted. Smaller umbrellas no more than 50 cm are permissible. Restricted items may be confiscated and entry refused to any persons not complying with conditions of entry. Please note all ticket holders will be subject to a bag check at the entry check point.

Q: Can I get a pass-out once I have entered the Harbour Hoopla event?
A: No – there are no pass-outs from the site once a ticket holder has entered. There will not be any exceptions.

Q: Can I bring alcohol to Harbour Hoopla?
A: No – Harbour Hoopla is a licensed event, and a range of alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages will be available for sale. Opened beverages (including water) will be confiscated at the bag check. The Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust reserves the right to confiscate any restricted items and/or refuse entry to any persons not complying with Conditions of Entry.

Q: I have a special dietary requirement. What should I do?
A: Specific dietary requirements will be accommodated where possible. Special meal requirements MUST be submitted  by Monday 12 December 2016 via an online survey provided in an event information email.  

Q: Is there an ATM or Credit Card Facilities on site?

A: We recommend you bring cash onsite to Harbour Hoopla. Please note there are no ATM facilities on site. If you need to visit an ATM you must do this prior to entering the Harbour Hoopla event site.

Q: Is there a dress code for the Harbour Hoopla event?
A: Guests are advised to wear comfortable clothing and footwear (the event site is grass terrain). Guests are also advised to bring warmer clothing as it can become quite cool at night. The event theme is vintage circus and patrons are invited to dress up in a vintage circus themed costume if they wish, however this is optional. 

Q: Are there toilets on site?
A: Yes there are toilets including an accessible toilet for ticket holders’ exclusive use.

Q: Is Harbour Hoopla wheelchair accessible event?
A: No Harbour Hoopla is not wheelchair accessible. It is a picnic style event with the majority of the site being sloped grass terrain. 

For detailed Access Information for people with disability please refer to the fact sheet.

Conditions of Entry
Please remember you are entering the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney and Domain – a sensitive environment. Please consider the safety of other patrons. All patrons entering the site will be subject to security searches and must show valid identification and tickets. The following items will not be allowed to be brought into the event site:
•    No BYO beverages including alcohol and water
•    No glass
•    No sparklers, party poppers or candles
•    No umbrellas (personal umbrellas under 50 cm are allowed)
•    No chairs – picnic rug seating only

Pass Outs: No pass outs will be allowed
Harbour Hoopla is a non-smoking site. There will be a designated smoking area, away from where patrons are seated.

Responsible Service of Alcohol: Alcohol sales are subject to Responsible Service of Alcohol and Harm Minimisation Practices which will be strictly enforced. 
•    Any patrons under the influence of alcohol on arrival will be refused entry.
•    Only people aged 18 and over are able to drink and purchase alcoholic beverages. Patrons are also strictly prohibited from supplying alcohol to minors onsite (i.e. persons under 18 years of age).
•    You may be required to present photographic ID to security and bar staff in order to purchase alcohol. The following ID types are the only acceptable forms of identification:
- NSW Transport Drivers Licence or Interstate Drivers Licence
- Overseas Driver Licences with photo ID incorporated
- Passport (NO Photocopies)
- NSW RTA Photo Card www.olgr.nsw.gov.au/liquor_info_photo_card.asp 
- Interstate Proof of Age cards

News Year’s Eve at the Royal Botanic Garden & Domain is a Waste Wise Event
The Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust is committed to achieving best practice in environmental management. All packaging of food and drinks sold on trust land for NYE is biodegradable or recyclable. We cannot recycle containers if the recycle bins have general waste in them. If contaminated, the recycle station will be sent to landfill so please be diligent with waste disposal.

You can help us lessen the impact of NYE celebrations on our environment. How?
•    Please use the correct bin when disposing of general waste or recycling
•    Please bin your butts!
•    Help us protect our environment and contribute to a sustainable future!

For all the information specific to the above Royal Botanic Garden Sydney events, please follow our twitter and / or Facebook on the night to keep up to date.

To be up to date on the day, download the official Sydney New Year's Eve app which updates you with all the information you need on the night.  Clever features including free set-and-forget SMS scheduling service will allow you to enjoy your night.

Accessibility Facts

Accessibility Facts

For more information on disability access for this event.

Harbour Hoopla is a new vintage circus-themed picnic style event nestled on an elevated site opposite the Sydney Opera House. It overlooks Sydney Harbour and offers incredible views across the harbour and Sydney Harbour Bridge.

About the site

  • Mostly grassed site with steep slopes in some locations.
  • Site is not recommended for wheelchair users or those with limited mobility.
  • Picnic style event so movement is restricted as guests are scattered on rugs across the lawn.
  • Aisle ways are in place to allow movement from viewing areas to amenities/facilities.
  • The closet transport hubs are 1 – 1.5 kilometre from the site. Pathways are sealed but have steep gradients.
  • Minimal shelter or shade protection in queuing or viewing areas – bring a hat, sunscreen, rain jacket or umbrella.

Site facilities

  • Not a recommended site for wheelchair users or those with limited mobility.
  • Mobility support service. If you need assistance contact nye.disability@rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au or call 02 9231 8111 for further details
  • Accessible toilet
  • Multiple food and beverage service areas
  • Live DJ: electro-swing influenced style music.
  • Other entertainment: circus workshops, funfair alley, photo booth and fortune tellers.
  • Lighting – low level but adequate to allow safe egress
  • Onsite security and first aid


  • No seating in the queuing area. Those with specific requirements can register their needs via our online survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/XZM95R2 or by contacting nye.disability@rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au in advance.
  • Patrons can bring own picnic blanket but no BYO chairs allowed
  • General viewing areas are unreserved and fill on first in basis
  • Guests with limited mobility who cannot sit on the lawn can pre-register for access to seating in the designated viewing area only by contacting nye.disability@rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au.
  • Designated accessible viewing zones are in fixed locations chairs do not obstruct views for other patrons seated on rugs.

Food and Beverage

  • No BYO food or alcohol. Guests collect a picnic box on arrival.
  • Specific dietary requirements will be accommodated where possible. There is a Special Dietary Requirement question to complete when purchasing tickets. Special meal requirements MUST be submitted by Monday 12 December. ‘Special Dietary Meal’ ticket purchasers will be contacted with a reminder of the deadline and further details for submitting meal requests prior to the event.

Opening times

  • Security checkpoint gate is only open between 6.00 pm – 7.30 pm only on New Year’s Eve.
  • Entry is via Gate 1 on the eastern side of Macquarie Street, near Albert Street. There is no access through the Royal Botanic Garden.

Getting there:
Public transport

  • Public transport is the best way to get around on New Year’s Eve.
  • To plan your trip click here or call 131 500
  • Martin Place Station is 1 kilometre from Harbour Hoopla.
  • There is a lift between Philip and Macquarie streets.
  • Saint James Train Station 1.5 kilometres from Harbour Hoopla.
  • There is a lift at the Elizabeth Street entrance at Hyde Park.
  • Circular Quay station is not recommended as it is congested and steep gradients to negotiate.
  • Trains will not stop at Circular Quay between 6pm and 1am


  • Driving is not recommended. Road closures and clearways are in place on New Year’s Eve.
  • Limited accessible parking on Art Gallery Road for eligible permit holders only. Vehicle movement restrictions after the midnight fireworks, so long delays should be expected.
  • The Domain Car Park is nearest alternative public car park and is 1.5 kilometres from Harbour Hoopla.
  • It’s is outside the New Year’s Eve road closures and open until 3am on the night. Pre-booking online is recommended.
  • The car park has 2 lifts. Use the lift closest to the Art Gallery of NSW.
  • Vehicle clearance height in the car park is low at 1.9 metres.

Taxis and private vehicles
Taxis are in high demand on New Year’s Eve, so please book in advance. Call 02 8332 0200 or visit zero200.com.au

If you cannot use public transport and need to arrive via private vehicle or taxi please contact nye.disability@rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au for further detail on available options.