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News & Media

  • December 24, 2015

Boaters are reminded to keep clear of a section of navigable water under the Sydney Harbour Bridge on Thursday 31 December for the safe staging of New Year’s Eve fireworks.

Roads and Maritime Services has declared New Year’s Eve on Sydney Harbour a special aquatic event for which an exclusion zone will apply.

A special event area, with an exclusion zone within, will be established in the waters between Cockatoo Island and Steele Point between 3pm and 2am.

From 8pm until 12.45am an exclusion zone will be in place between Cockatoo Island and Clark Island.
During this time no unauthorised traffic will be permitted to travel under the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The exclusion zone will be marked with yellow lit buoys and monitored by control vessels.

For vessels operating within the special event area during the listed times a six knot speed limit and minimum wash zone will apply within 200 metres of the exclusion zone.

For vessels wishing to leave the eastern harbour after the 9pm family fireworks there will be the opportunity to join in two escorted transits from Kirribilli under the Harbour Bridge to the western harbour at 9.30pm and 10pm. Vessels should gather in the marshalling area off Kirribilli and make contact with the nearest control vessel.

No other transits under the Bridge will be permitted while the exclusion zone is active.

Recommended spectator vantage points on both sides of Sydney Harbour Bridge include:

- North-west of Sydney Harbour Bridge
- Clarkes Point, Greenwich Ferry Jetty, Manns Point, Balls Head, Berrys Bay, Lavender Bay
- South-west of Sydney Harbour Bridge
- Mort Bay, Ballast Point, Snails Bay
- North-east of Sydney Harbour Bridge

- Neutral Bay, Shell Cove, Mosman Bay, Athol Bay
- South-east of Sydney Harbour Bridge
- Farm Cove, Woolloomooloo, Rushcutters Bay, Double Bay, Rose Bay

Skippers are reminded only vessels smaller than 15 metres will be permitted in Farm Cove.

On Tuesday 31 December there will be no beach or shoreline access into Bradleys Head National Park including access via Athol Bay, Taylors Bay and Bradleys Head lighthouse and jetties.

Bradleys Head precinct is a ticketed event with restricted access.

There will also be no access to the foreshore around Pirrama Park in Pyrmont.

Skippers are also reminded securing vessels to the shore is not permitted.

The transfer of alcohol or glass to boats will not be permitted via all wharves in Sydney Cove, Man O’War Jetty, Farm Cove Precinct, Yarranabbe Park, Pirrama Park and Darling Point Park (McKell Park) wharves.

Eastern Pontoon and Man O’War jetty will close at 11am, while Commissioners Steps and Harbourmasters Steps in Sydney Cove will close at 5pm to facilitate crowd management. It will not be possible to use these wharves when the nearby precinct parks are closed.

The best pick up points for vessels in Farm Cove is from Woolloomooloo Bay.

A map with the special event area, exclusion zone and spectator areas marked is available at

Roads and Maritime reminds people to wear a lifejacket when boating, especially in vessels smaller than 4.8 metres when alone, at night or offshore.

Skippers are also reminded the alcohol limit on the water is the same as on the roads – 0.05 and random breath testing applies on NSW waters.

For maritime safety information visit


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