I’ve done several NYEs in Sydney, and had an apartment there for a number of years.
You might choose to begin or end your stay with a sunset Bridge Climb; the Bridge is closed to the public on NYE as the fireworks are set up that evening.
My advice would be to book up your hotel now, and be prepared to pay the full cost upfront; watch out to ensure the room is cancellable should plans change – sometimes over this period it is not and you’d lose out if you could not be there.
I’m lucky to have friends in Circular Quay with a terrific penthouse view of the Bridge and Opera House; the nearest you’ll get to replicating this will be the Club Lounge at the Intercontinental:
See if you can get a Friends & Family rate, package bundled with your flights, Quidco cashback, use Amex FHR or Virtuoso to extract more value; a great use of points if you can, though again a tad late to be booking on points now.
You’ll need to pay for this on top of your room rate; don’t count on Ambassador or even Royal Ambassador getting access for the main event!
The Park Hyatt is another option, though the roof isn’t as accessible as it once was since the renovations, and it’s a little too close to the Bridge to get the full effect.
If you can guarantee a Bridge-view room, the Quay Grand might work, though you’ll be lucky to get in even now:
The Four Seasons, Shangri-La and even some rooms at the Marriott on Circular Quay (not the other one) are all well located options as well.
You can’t really go far wrong getting a ticket to the Sydney Opera House for the evening; it’s one of the best places to see the fireworks:
The Opera Bar also throws a mean party:
If you’re looking for something with a view, without breaking the bank, try the Holiday Inn Potts Point (King’s Cross). It’s handy for the tube into the CBD and has terrific views if you get a Harbour View Room on the upper floors. Surrounding area somewhat “edgy”, though.