Skip to main content

Australia Day 2020 in Sydney Harbour

Circular Quay, The Rocks, Darling Harbour & Milsons Point

OzDay 10k wheelchair race
08:45
Ferrython and Harbour events
10:45
Australia Day Live!
18:30
Circular Quay fireworks
21:15
Finish
21:30

Important event information

There are plenty of ways to celebrate Australia Day and with more than 60,000 people expected to attend events in Sydney Harbour, the best way to get to and from the city is by public transport with extra services running throughout the day and night. Anyone planning to catch a ferry is reminded that services will be affected while events are held in the harbour so make sure to plan ahead.

Stay connected

Get real-time updates on transport services, viewing area capacities and road closures online by following these social media handles:

There are plenty of ways to celebrate Australia Day with events and festivities on throughout the day at various locations in and around the city. The annual fireworks display will be held in Circular Quay again this year as part of the free, public event Australia Day Live!. visitors are encourage to arrive early to secure a good viewing spot of the show on the harbour and fireworks display in Sydney Cove.

Sydney CBD, Circular Quay and The Rocks

Darling Harbour: Children's Festival at Tumbalong Park, Darling Quarter from 11am to 3pm

Milsons Point: BBQ By the Bridge at Bradfield Park, Milsons Point from 10am to 4pm

Camperdown: Yabun festival at Victoria Park, Broadway from 10am to 7pm

Opal

You can use an Opal card for all modes of public transport in Sydney and surrounding regions, including metro, trains, buses, ferries and light rail. Receive Opal benefits including daily and weekly fare caps and a Travel Cap of $2.80 on Sundays. 

Remember to top up your Opal card before you travel to avoid waiting in line at top-up machines. You can top up your card online or at an Opal retailer.

More ways to pay

If you have a contactless-enabled American Express, Mastercard or Visa debit or credit card, or a linked device, you can use it to pay for your travel by tapping on and tapping off at Opal card readers. Available on all public transport services including metro, trains, buses ferries and light rail, contactless payments are another way to pay on the Opal network. Adult Opal fare pricing applies and you will receive Opal benefits, including daily and weekly fare caps.

Summer Holiday timetable

During the summer holidays including Christmas and New Year, transport services including metro, trains, buses, ferries and light rail will run to a changed timetable. Some services will run to weekend timetables on weekdays and other services, including those to major events, beaches and shopping centres, will run more frequently. Check out all the Summer Holiday Timetable details and plan your trip before you travel.

Sydney Metro services are high-frequency, driverless trains running between Tallawong Station and Chatswood Station.

Metro services start from the early morning running every 10 minutes until late.

Change at Epping to connect with T9 Northern Line trains to the city or change at Chatswood for T1 North Shore Line trains to Milsons Point.

For Metro service disruption information, check trackwork and travel alerts or plan your trip using the Trip Planner.

Trains to and from the city run approximately every 5 minutes on the City Circle and the T1 North Shore Line, and every 10 to 15 minutes on most other lines.

Australia Day event precincts in the city are all within short walking distance of key CBD train stations including:

  • Town Hall or Central for events in Darling Harbour.
  • Circular Quay, Wynyard or Martin Place for events in Circular Quay and The Rocks.
  • Milsons Point for events in Bradfield Park.

Visitors are reminded that trains from Circular Quay will be busy as large crowds leave after the evening fireworks so allow extra travel time and consider walking to Wynyard, Martin Place or St James stations to avoid the crowds.

Additional services will run to help crowds get to and from Australia Day events in the city.

  • T4 Eastern Suburbs& Illawarra Line:
    • Services between Bondi Junction and Central will run every 10 minutes from 9.30pm until 1am.
    • Services between Cronulla and Sutherland will run every 15 minutes from 10pm until 1am.
    • An additional limited-stop service to Hurstville will leave Martin Place at 11:07pm, stopping all stations to Redfern, then Sydenham, Wolli Creek, Rockdale, Kogarah and then Hurstville.
  • T2 Inner West & Leppington Line:
    • Services between Circular Quay and Ashfield will run every 15 minutes from 5pm until midnight, stopping all stations to Redfern, Newtown then Ashfield.
    • Services between Circular Quay and Homebush will run every 15 minutes from 5pm until midnight, stopping all stations to Homebush.
    • Services between Circular Quay and Leppington will run every 15 minutes from 10pm until midnight, stopping at Wynyard, Town Hall, Central, Redfern, Ashfield, Strathfield, Flemington, Lidcombe, Auburn, Granville, then all stations to Leppington.

NSW TrainLink:

  • Central Coast & Newcastle Line
    • Services arriving at Central between 9am and 8pm and leaving Central between 8am and 7pm will be built up to 8 carriages.
    • The 6:48pm and 7:48pm services from Central will extend to Wyong, stopping all stations to Gosford then Wyong.
  • Blue Mountains Line
    • Most services arriving at Central between 9am and 11pm and all services leaving Central between 7am and 11am, and 3pm and midnight will be built up to 8 carriages.
  • Southern Highlands Line
    • The 9:22am Moss Vale to Central service will start from Goulburn at 8:30am and will be built up to 4 carriages
    • The 4:07pm Central to Moss Vale service will extend to Goulburn and will be built up to 4 carriages
    • The 5:49pm Central to Goulburn service will be built up to 4 carriages
  • South Coast Line
    • The following services will be built up to 8 carriages: (arriving at Central) 08:18, 09:18 and 12:18, (leaving Central) 14:29, 15:29 and 16:29.

Trackwork

No trackwork is scheduled to take place on Australia Day. Check travel alerts and trackwork or use the Trip Planner to find the latest information before you travel.

Plenty of buses run regularly to and from the city on weekends with additional services scheduled to run on Australia Day on various routes from the Northern Beaches, Inner West, Hills District and Eastern Suburbs including B-Line B1, 170, 309, 324, 333, 339, 343, 372, 373, 374, 377, 392, 394, 396, 423, 428, 431, 438, 461 and 470.

Manly ferry replacement buses: Route 170 bus services will run between Manly and Wynyard in the city while the F1 Manly ferries are unable to operate during the harbour exclusion zones from 11:45am to 12:30pm and 6:30pm to 9:45pm. Buses run every 30 minutes and then from 12pm until 3.50pm and from 6.30pm to 9.30pm they will run every 15 minutes. Ferries resume regular service at 9.30pm from Manly and at 10pm from Circular Quay.

Hillsbus: additional services will run to and from the city to help you get to and from the celebrations.

  • Route 607X Bella Vista Station to QVB: services will run every 20 minutes throughout the day. Additional return services will run from the QVB every 30 minutes until 12:30am
  • Route 610X Castle Hill to QVB via Lane Cove Tunnel: express 610X services will run approximately every 15 minutes from 7am. Express return 610X services will run from the QVB approximately every half an hour until 12:10am

Forest Coach Lines: services will operate to a Sunday and Public Holiday timetable. Routes 194, 270, 271, 273 and 274 run to Clarence St and leave from Kent St.

Bus diversions

Sydney CBD & Milsons Point services changes:

  • From 6.30am to 11am routes 311, 324 and 325 will be unable to continue to Walsh Bay due to road closures for the GIO Oz Day 10k wheelchair race. Services will instead drop off at Park St, Town Hall, Stand J and pick up from York St, QVB, Stand A.
  • From 7am to 10pm: Route 230 services will terminate and pick up from Blue St at North Sydney Station due to closures on Olympic Drive. Access to Milsons Point is available by train during this time.
  • From 4pm to midnight: Buses that usually run to and from Circular Quay will start and end at Martin Place instead due to event road closures.
    • Routes 304, 333, 339, 343, 373, 374, 377, 392, 394, L94, 396, 397 and 399 will drop off at Martin Place, Elizabeth St, Stand C (Stop ID 2000421) and pick up from Stand F (Stop ID 200081).
    • Routes M52, 507, 515, 518 and 520 will drop off at Martin Place, Elizabeth St, Stand C (Stop ID 2000421) and pick up from Elizabeth St at King St, Stand E (Stop ID 2000283).
  • From 8.30pm to 10.30pm:
    • Route 208 services will start and end at Wynyard instead of Bridge Street / Gresham Street due to closures on the Cahill Expressway and Bridge St. Services to the city end at Wynyard, York St, Stand P (Stop ID 200048). Services to Northbridge start from Wynyard Park, York St, Stand K (Stop ID 200033).
    • Route 343 services towards the city / Kingsford will travel via York St and King St, missing a stop on Pitt St. Services from the city towards Chatswood will continue along Elizabeth St then travel via Market St and Clarence St, missing stops at Martin Place, Bridge St, Chifley Sq and Gresham St..

See the Australia Day Transport Getting Home map (pdf 139KB) for more details on the bus diversions and alternative stop locations.

Customers are also advised to expect some delays on bus services to and from the city between 11am and 1pm as buses will be diverting and using alternate stops while road closures are in place for a planned protest march. For bus service disruption information, check travel alerts.

Special Event Vintage Buses

15 of Sydney’s iconic Vintage Buses from the Sydney Bus museum will operate a shuttle service running between the city and Milsons Point via the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The shuttle service runs approximately every 15 minutes from 10:30am until 5pm. Services are free to use with a gold coin donation.

The vintage buses will pick up and drop off at the Sydney Opera House on Macquarie Street and Broughton St, Bradfield Park at Milsons Point. See the Vintage Buses stop map.

Please note these buses are very popular and long queues are expected. Trains run frequently across the Harbour Bridge between Milsons Point and Wynyard and is the quickest alternate transport option.

Australia Day is one of the busiest days of the year for ferries and services will reach capacity early. There are also various impacts to services throughout the day and night due to events on the Harbour so customers are strongly encouraged to plan ahead and consider the alternative transport options.

Ferry service changes:

  • Circular Quay Exclusion Zones will be in effect from 11:45am to 12:30pm and 6:30pm to 9:45pm
  • Ferries will use alternate wharves outside of Circular Quay instead.
  • F4 Cross Harbour ferries will run between Circular Quay and Pyrmont only. No services between Watsons Bay and Circular Quay.

F1 Manly:

  • Ferries between Manly and Circular Quay (CQ) run every half an hour during the day then around every 20 minutes in the evening.
  • Services will be unable to operate during the day and night exclusion zones. Additional Route 170 buses between Manly and Wynyard will run during these times.
  • From Manly to CQ: First service leaves at 6.35am then every 30 minutes until 11am. No services between 11am and 12.40pm. From 12.40pm to 6pm services run every 20 minutes. No services between 6pm and 9.30pm. After this time services leave at 9.30pm, 10.15pm, 10.40pm, 11pm, 11.05pm, 11.40pm, 12:20am and 12:55am.
  • From CQ to Manly: First service leaves at 6.20am then approximately every 30 mins until 11am. No services between 11am and 12.40pm. From 12.40pm to 6.30pm services run every 20 minutes. No services between 6.30pm and 10pm. From 10pm services back to Manly leave CQ at 10pm, 10.30pm, 11pm, 11.45pm and 12.20am.

F2 Taronga Zoo:

  • Ferries will run a direct service between Taronga Zoo and Circular Quay (CQ) every 20 minutes in both directions.
  • From the Zoo to CQ: First service leaves the Zoo at 9.22am, last service leaves the Zoo at 6.35pm. No services between 11.20am and 12.20pm or after 6.35pm.
  • From CQ to the Zoo: First service leaves CQ at 9am, last service leaves at 6.20pm. No services between 11.40am and 12.40pm or between 6.20pm and 10pm.

F3 Parramatta River:

  • Ferries between Parramatta and Circular Quay (CQ) run every 30 minutes to an hour throughout the day.
  • During exclusion zones services will run to and from Barangaroo instead of Circular Quay.
  • From Parramatta/Olympic Park: First services from both wharves leaves at 7.38am then every hour from Parramatta or every half an hour from Olympic Park. The 10.38am and 5.38pm ferry from Parramatta will terminate at Barangaroo. Last services to the city (Barangaroo) leave Parramatta at 6.38pm and Olympic Park at 8.37pm. Services arriving at the city between 7pm and 8pm will terminate at Barangaroo.
  • From Circular Quay/Barangaroo: First service leaves at 7.07am then every 30 minutes until 11.07am, then from 12.37pm until 6.37pm. The 12:07pm ferry to Parramatta will leave from Barangaroo at 12.18pm. Evening services between 7pm and 10pm will leave from Barangaroo at 7.18pm, 7.48pm, 8.48pm and 9.48pm. Last late night ferry to Olympic Park will leave CQ at 10.07pm.

F4 Cross Harbour:

  • Ferries will run between Pyrmont Bay and Circular Quay (CQ) only, making stops at Barangaroo, Balmain East, McMahons Point and Milsons Point. Services run regularly during the day but will be affected during the day and stop running during the evening exclusion zone.
  • No ferries will run between Rose Bay, Watsons Bay and Circular Quay for the entire day due to various harbour events.
  • From Pyrmont to CQ / Milsons Point: First service leaves at 8.15am and run every 30 minutes until 11.15am then every 15 minutes until 6.15pm. Services between 11.15am and 12pm will run between from Pyrmont Bay and Milsons Point only. No services will run from 6.15pm until 10.45pm. Limited late night services leave Pyrmont at 10.45pm and 11.15pm.
  • From CQ/Milsons Point to Pyrmont: First service leaves at 8.17am and run every 30 minutes until 11.15am then every 15 minutes until 5.45pm. Services to Pyrmont between 11.45am and 12.45pm will leave from Milsons Point instead of CQ. No services will run from 5.45pm until 10.15pm. Limited late night services leave CQ at 10.17pm, 10.47pm and 11.47pm.

F5 Neutral Bay:

  • Ferries between Kirribilli and Circular Quay (CQ) run every hour, stopping at North Sydney, Neutral Bay and Kurraba Point.
  • From Kirribilli: First service leaves at 8.32am then every hour until 6.32pm. No services between 6.32pm and 10pm. Limited late night services leave at 10.07pm and 11.37pm.
  • From CQ: First service leaves at 8.25am then every hour until 6.25pm. No services between 6.25pm and 10pm. Limited late night services leave CQ at 10pm and 10.30pm.

F6 Mosman Bay:

  • Ferries between Mosman Bay and Circular Quay (CQ) run every hour, stopping at Cremorne Pt, South Mosman, Old Cremorne and Mosman Bay.
  • From Mosman to CQ: First service leaves at 9.25am, and run every hour until 6.25pm. No services will run between 6.25pm and 10pm. Limited late night services leave at 10.22pm and 11.22pm.
  • From CQ to Mosman: First service leaves at 9am and run every hour until 6pm, except the 12pm ferry will leave from, Cremorne Point. No services will run between 6pm and 10pm. Limited late night services leave CQ at 10pm and 11pm.

F7 Double Bay:

  • Ferries between Double Bay and Circular Quay (CQ) run every hour stopping at Darling Point, and select services via Garden Island.
  • From Double Bay to CQ: First service leaves at 9.20am then every hour until last service at 6.20pm. No services between 6.20pm and 10.20pm..
  • From CQ to Double Bay: First service leaves at 8.57am then every hour until 5.57pm, except no service at 11.57am. No services between 6pm and 10pm. A late night service leaves CQ at 10.15pm.

F8 Cockatoo Island:

  • Ferries between Cockatoo Island and Circular Quay (CQ), and select services via Barangaroo, run every hour, stopping at Balmain, Birchgrove, Greenwich and Woolwich.
  • From Cockatoo Island to CQ: First service leaves at 9.19am then every hour until 6.19pm. The 11.19am service will terminate at Barangaroo instead of CQ. No services between 6.19pm and 10.19pm. Late night services will leave at 10.35pm and 11.35pm.
  • From CQ to Cockatoo Island: First service leaves at 8.45am then every hour until 5.45pm. The 11.45am service will leave from Barangaroo instead of Circular Quay. No services between 5.45pm and 10pm. Limited late night services leave CQ at 10.05pm and 11.05pm.

For Ferry alerts and disruption information visit travel alerts. For routes and wharves see the ferry network map (pdf 144KB).

L1 Dulwich Hill Line

L1 light rail services run between Central Grand Concourse and Dulwich Hill with stops at Darling Harbour. The best stops for Australia Day events in Darling Harbour are Convention near Harbourside, Exhibition Centre near the ICC Sydney and Tumbalong Park and Pyrmont Bay near the Maritime Museum.

For access to Circular Quay change at the Chinatown or Central stops to connect with  L2 light rail services to Circular Quay, or to Town Hall if you're travelling after 4pm.

Services will run every 15 to 24 minutes from 6am to 9am then every 10 minutes until the last service to Dulwich Hill leaves Central at 11pm. After such time overnight services will run between Central and The Star only in both directions, as normal every 30 minutes.

L2 Randwick Line

The new L2 Randwick Line connects the Sydney CBD and the South East with stops between Circular Quay and Randwick via Chalmers Street at Central Station.

Services will run between Central and Circular Quay every 10 minutes in both directions until 4pm.

After 4pm, due to road closures in place at Circular Quay for the safety of large crowds attending the events, light rail services will only run between Randwick and Town Hall from 4pm until end of service. From Town Hall, you can either walk to the harbour foreshore or change for a Sydney Trains City Circle train to Circular Quay.

Services between Central Chalmers Street and Randwick will continue to run as normal every 10 to 15 minutes throughout the day until end of service at 1am.

Please note, light rail services on both lines between 11am and 12.30pm may be temporarily held between Convention and Central due to a planned march in the Sydney CBD. For the most up-to-date info and service disruptions, check the light rail travel alerts

For more details on stop locations and maps, see Light rail service information. For light rail service disruption information, check travel alerts or plan your trip using the Trip Planner.

Key roads around Circular Quay and The Rocks will close from the morning and evening to cater for Australia Day events in the city and around the harbour. Roads will also close in Milsons Point for events in Bradfield Park.

Key road closures in the Sydney CBD:

  • 4am to midnight: George St from Essex St to Hickson Rd. George St between Hickson Rd and Lower Fort St will remain closed until Monday 27 January for The Rocks Markets trading.
  • 7am to midnight: Hickson Rd from George St to Pottinger St.
  • 7am to 10am: Hickson Rd from Napoleon St to Towns Place (for GIO Oz Day 10K wheelchair race).
  • 7am to 11am: Hickson Rd from Towns Place to Pottinger St (for GIO Oz Day 10K wheelchair race).
  • 4pm to midnight: roads north of Bridge St including sections of Alfred St, Albert St, George St, Pitt St, Loftus St, Young St & Phillip St.
  • 7.30pm to 10.30pm: Cahill Expressway lanes 7 & 8 and Circular Quay Overpass, Lane 4 on the Harbour Bridge. The speed limit will be reduced to 40km/hr on Sydney Harbour Bridge between 8pm and 9:30pm.
    • The Cahill Expressway overpass walk (The Cahill Walk) will be closed to pedestrians between 4pm and 9:30pm, with no access from The Royal Botanic Garden, Macquarie Street, East Circular Quay, or The Rocks.
    • The Sydney Harbour Bridge Walkway and Cycleway will remain open.
  • 8.30pm to 10.30pm: Macquarie St north of Bridge St, sections of Grosvenor St and Bridge St from York St to Macquarie St, George St and Bond St. Note: no access to/from Opera House Wilson Carpark during this time

There will be no road closures around Darling Harbour as the main fireworks display will be held in Circular Quay.

Key road closures in Milsons Point:

  • From 6am to 5pm Burton St will be closed.
  • From 7am to 10pm Olympic Drive will be closed.
  • From 7.30pm to 10.30pm Lane 4 on the Harbour Bridge, Cahill Expressway lanes 7 and 8 and the Circular Quay Overpass will close. High St and Mount St on-ramps from North Sydney and Kirribilli will also be closed.
  • From 8pm to 10pm sections of Broughton St, Kirribilli Ave and Pitt St will be closed.

Vehicles parked inside road closures, in private and commercial carparks or driveways, are not permitted to drive onto closed roads until they reopen. Familiarise yourself with the road closure locations and times, as roads may not reopen for several hours. 

Check our interactive road closure map for easy access to detailed closure information.

For the latest traffic conditions and the full event closure details including clearway locations and maps at Live Traffic NSW. For traffic conditions download a real-time traffic app from the App Store or Google Play.

Demand for taxis and rideshares will be high, particularly after the evening fireworks display so please be patient while in queues at taxi ranks or consider the public transport options.

Taxi ranks will be available at the following locations:

  • Darling Harbour: Zollner Circuit at the ICC Sydney from 10am to 8pm.
  • Circular Quay:  Macquarie Street, western side before roundabout, before 8:30pm and after 10.30pm only due to road closures on Macquarie Street.
  • The Rocks: Harrington Street between Essex Street and Grosvenor Street, eastern side, from 2pm until midnight.

For details of taxi networks servicing the Sydney area, visit NSW Taxi Council.

Parking

With car parks in the city expected to fill early and extensive restrictions on street parking in place, its best to leave the car at home. Some car parks will be inaccessible due to road closures for Australia Day events around the harbour.

Take advantage of the additional public transport services running to get you to and from Australia Day celebrations.

Special event clearways

Special event clearway street parking restrictions will be in place on most major roads in the Sydney CBD, around Circular Quay and The Rocks between 3am and midnight. In Milsons Point, clearways will be in effect on Olympic Drive and Broughton St from 6am to 10pm.

Sydney CBD:

  • From 3am to 10am: Hickson Rd from Towns Place to Napoleon St and Towns Place
  • From 3am to 11am: Hickson Rd from Towns Place to Pottinger St.
  • From 3am to midnight: George St/Hickson Rd from Alfred St to Pottinger St, Circular Quay West and sections of Essex St, Harrington St and Argyle St.
  • From 9am to midnight: Macquarie St from Albert St to the Sydney Opera House Roundabout.
  • From 2pm to midnight: all roads north of Hunter St as well as sections o fJamison St, Castlereagh St, Clarence St, York St, Grosvenor St , Margaret St and Carrington St.

Kirribilli/Milons Point:

  • From 6am to 10pm on sections of Broughton St, Fitzroy St and Olympic Dr. 

Clearways are strict no-parking zones, and apply even to local residents and businesses with parking permits and RMS Mobility Scheme permit holders.

Look for the bright yellow signs and read them carefully on the day and the night before when parking as some clearways come into effect very early in the morning. Vehicles left in special event clearways will be towed and a fee applies. If your vehicle is towed, call 132 701 to find its new location.

For a full list of clearway locations and times, visit livetraffic.com.

Official Australia Day 2020 volunteers are entitled to free travel on public transport on Sunday 26 January by showing their official Australia Day volunteer t-shirt to transport staff when boarding services.

  • Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink Intercity services (bounded by Bomaderry, Goulburn, Bathurst, Scone and Dungog stations).
  • Sydney Metro services
  • Sydney metropolitan bus services
  • Sydney Ferries
  • Sydney Light Rail

Note: an additional station access fee applies for travel to or from Domestic and International Airport stations. Your volunteer pass does not include the access fee, so if you're travelling from these stations you'll need to pay the train station access fee.

Viewing areas

There are dedicated accessible viewing areas and accessible event precincts for Australia Day events in the city. Visit Australia Day - Disability and Mobility Support for more information and contact details. 

Pick up and Drops off zones

Accessible drop off and pick up points will be available at the following locations (not available for parking):

  • North Sydney: Fitzroy Street (near vintage bus drop-off and pick-up point)
  • The Rocks: Harrington Street (out the front of Clock Tower Square)
  • Circular Quay: Young Street, Farrer Place (intersection of Bridge Street)
  • Macquarie Street: Aria Restaurant, 1 Macquarie Street (before 8:30pm and after 10:30pm only).

A valid Australian Disability Parking Permit or NSW Mobility Parking Scheme Permit must be displayed in the windscreen to gain access to accessible parking and accessible set-down and pick-up points. Vehicles left unattended are subject to towing.

Transport services

Accessible trips are shown in the Trip Planner with the wheelchair icon. You can select "accessible services only" in the Options to ensure you only see accessible services. Only trip plans with accessible train platforms, ferry wharves and buses will be presented. See accessible travel or download a transport app (select the "Accessibility" filter).