Media releases

Sydney puts on record breaking NYE display

Published 30 December 2016

Sydney’s iconic Harbour Bridge will shine like never before as the City of Sydney puts on its most dazzling New Year’s Eve display.

After 15 months of planning and more than 10,000 hours of work, the final touches have been made on the biggest ever Sydney Harbour Bridge effects.

“Sydney will once again cement its position as the New Year’s Eve capital of the world with this awe-inspiring event,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

"We're shooting over 20,000 fireworks off the Sydney Harbour Bridge , an increase of 2,400 from last year, and showcasing the world famous coat hanger arch with 175 lights – making 2016 the biggest display ever.

“Sydney New Year's Eve showcases some of the very best that Sydney has to offer and directly contributes $133 million to the local economy through local, interstate and overseas visitors.”

More than 1,000 accredited personnel and approximately 300 volunteers are working behind the scenes to bring Sydney’s most spectacular New Year’s Eve display to life.

Sydney New Year’s Eve lighting director Ziggy Ziegler said the bridge itself is the focal point of this year’s display.

“The bridge itself is the lighting feature. We’re following the shape of the bridge with light, taking advantage of the expanse and the shape and using that as part of the show,” Mr Ziegler said.

“We’re going to see a lot more bright colours – whites, light blues, even greens – and more than 150 individual lighting effect patterns.”

Red flares fired from the top of the Sydney Opera House and a golden sun blazing on the Harbour Bridge will mark the official opening of the 2016 Sydney New Year’s Eve celebrations and pay tribute to the world’s oldest living culture.

A kaleidoscope of cultural imagery will be projected onto the Harbour Bridge pylons, while a traditional smoking ceremony will be carried out on board two boats moving across the Harbour.

Australian fauna and flora, from kangaroo paw and golden wattle to Tasmanian devils and emus, will be showcased to the world, with photos and videos projected on the 89 metre pylons.

Tourism Australia worked with the City of Sydney, the Royal Botanic Garden and Domain Trust and Destination NSW to create the stunning fauna and flora display.

Tourism Australia chief marketing officer Lisa Ronson said the visual display will highlight and celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Royal Botanic Garden.

“We’re very proud of this partnership and we’re happy that millions around the world will be able to take part in what is undoubtedly one of the best New Year’s Eve celebrations globally,” Ms Ronson said.

The 2016 New Year’s Eve spectacular will be live streamed on, the one-stop shop for planning your night on the harbour, at home or across the globe.

The celebrations will also be broadcast in high definition on ABC TV and ABC iview, with the fireworks live streamed on the ABC TV Facebook page.

2016 Sydney New Year’s Eve highlights

6.00 & 8pm       Aerial displays above Sydney Harbour featuring flying ace Matt Hall

8.30pm              Sydney Harbour Bridge pylon projections commence

8.38pm              Welcome to Country ceremony

9.00pm              Family fireworks

9.15pm              Harbour of Light Parade

Midnight           Sydney’s spectacular fireworks display


For media inquiries or images, contact City of Sydney Senior Media Adviser Belinda Wallis on 02 8974 4153 or email

For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, contact Paul Mackay on 0432 182 647 or email