Boating safety on the Harbour a priority this New Year's Eve

Tuesday 30 December 2014

Minister for Roads and Freight Duncan Gay is reminding boaties to take extra care when celebrating on the Harbour this New Years Eve with special conditions in place to ensure a safe environment to bring in the new year.

“Every year we see more and more boats on the Harbour enjoying what is described as one of the most spectacular events in the world,” Mr Gay said.

“We all have a role to play to make the most of this great night and keep safe, and that means boaties have a few important things to remember.

“All skippers are reminded from 3pm on Wednesday 31 December until 2am on New Year’s Day there will be a six knot speed limit between Cockatoo Island and Steele Point. Vessel wash also will be required to be kept to a minimum.

“From 8pm until about 12.45am access under the Sydney Harbour Bridge will be restricted for safety reasons and an exclusion zone, marked by yellow lit buoys from Cockatoo Island to Clark Island, will come into force.

“Boaties picking up passengers from wharves should plan ahead as several wharves will be restricted to pedestrian use. For more information, including wharves suitable for those with special needs, visit

“Skippers should note 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.
“Eastern Pontoon and Man O’War jetty will close when the area reaches crowd capacity numbers and Commissioners Steps and Harbourmasters Steps will close at 5pm.

“The transfer or loading of alcohol or glass to boats will not be permitted at any Sydney Cove wharves. Skippers are reminded to remain below the 0.05 alcohol limit, with NSW Police to carry out random breath testing on the water.

“Of course, don’t forget lifejackets save lives and they must be worn by everyone on small boats up to 4.8 metres long when boating at night. It’s up to the skipper to make sure everyone on board has a jacket.

“Boaters seeking advice can contact Roads and Maritime boating safety officers who will be circulating in marked patrol vessels, or on marine radio VHF 17.”

Mr Gay said there would be some great vantage points around the foreshore and this year’s display would be one to remember.

“We’re the envy of people around the world - no matter where you are, you’ll see our fireworks first and I reckon we’ve got the best.

“This year, celebrations will start at 6pm with aircraft displays against the backdrop of Sydney Harbour followed by water displays as well as image and light displays when the sun sets.
“When the clock strikes midnight the main fireworks display will start firing along with the unveiling of the themed bridge effect to kick off the new year.

“To get this best view, boaties have a number of spectacular vantage points to choose from including:

  • 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”

For more information and a detailed map showing the navigation restrictions on Sydney Harbour for New Year’s Eve and safety requirements including lifejackets visit and

High resolution maps of the major events this summer on Sydney Harbour are available at

MEDIA: Emma Higginson 0467 743 192

View the original media release

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