Colourful family-fun on offer for NYE

14 Dec 2018

Novocastrian families are invited to roll up their sleeves and unleash their DIY home renovation skills this New Year’s Eve on a pop-up Funhouse on Market Street Lawn provided by the City of Newcastle and presenting partner Port of Newcastle.

The giant cardboard Funhouse will form the centrepiece of a fun family-friendly evening inspired by a colourful cast of roving characters and local makers, while Foreshore revellers also enjoy a free outdoor concert headlined by legendary rockers Dragon.

An epic 15-minute fireworks display will follow and be bigger and better than ever, with an explosion of colour launched from Stockton's Griffiths Park offering uninterrupted views from the harbour's southern shore.

A line up of live music, including Bowie Unzipped, will drive the party beat across the foreshore as market stalls and food vans round out the list of attractions.

“Our New Year’s Eve event will see families celebrate with a hands-on creative collaboration for the whole community and a fantastic line-up of entertainment throughout the evening - before enjoying our fireworks display," Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.

"I want to thank Port of Newcastle for partnering with the City to provide this safe and fun activation to celebrate the New Year."

CEO Craig Carmody said the Port was proud to be part of the celebration.

“Since our first shipment in 1799, the Port and the City have grown and prospered together," he said. "We are proud to partner with the City of Newcastle to deliver a celebration for the community that will mark the beginning of our 220th year of commercial shipping in the Port."

In keeping with the night's DIY vibe, event goers can let their creativity run wild across a number of maker stations, designing and decorating their own colourful cardboard costumes before taking part in a giant musical parade led by professional performers.

Working with a team of experienced local makers and artists, all comers will be provided with fun materials to decorate the multi-roomed Funhouse.

Inflatable slides and jumping castles will be on offer in the family-friendly zone, while local artist Bliss Cavanagh of Happy Senses creates a safe and magical sensory experience harbour side for people with disabilities and their families.

Cr Nelmes said New Year’s Eve is one of the most exciting nights of the year and it's important to ensure that celebrations can be enjoyed by every member of the community.

“This is a night designed to be welcoming, accessible and inclusive of everyone, with a wide range of entertainment for all ages,” she said.

“Following positive feedback from last year’s event, we’re repeating the VIP Sensory Area, which provides a safe base from where registered participants can explore the whole event or simply relax and enjoy the music and fireworks.”

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NYE Concert Stage, in the car park east of Queens Wharf

5:00 – 5:30pm: Ultraviolet
5:50 – 6:35PM: GW Freebird Blues
6:55 – 7:40PM: Bowie Unzipped
8:00 – 9:00PM: Dragon
9:00 – 9:15PM: Fireworks Finale
MC: Grant Walmsley

Family Fun Zone, Market Street Lawn
Join in the DIY fun at the giant cardboard Funhouse or make and decorate a costume to take part in the hourly parades along the event precinct. Work off some energy on the safe and accessible inflatable slides and jumping castles and enjoy the free family-friendly entertainment.

Food Alley, Market Street Lawn and along Wharf Road
Discover the range of mouth-watering treats on offer from a wide range of food vans, located in the New Year’s Eve food alley at either end of the event precinct. From burgers to desserts and everything in between, the vendors will have something to suit every taste.

Best Seats in the House Competition
Keep an eye out on City of Newcastle's social media channels for the chance to win the Best Seats in the House for your family or friends. You could win seats in a comfy space with the best view of the fireworks, including a gourmet hamper with nibbles and drinks for the group.

VIP Sensory Area, west of Queens Wharf
Following the success of last year’s pilot, local artist Bliss Cavanagh will once again create a very special VIP Sensory Area to help make the event more accessible, safe and fun for people with disabilities. Don’t miss out on this wonderful opportunity, as spaces are limited!

For more information about our VIP Sensory Area contact Bliss Cavanagh on 0415 701188.

Foreshore Precinct
Find the perfect place to sit back and relax along the harbour side precinct, stretching from Honeysuckle to Foreshore Park, and get ready to be amazed by the colourful pyrotechnic display on show during the 9pm fireworks.


Public Transport
Newcastle buses and ferries will be in service throughout the event, with a range of set down areas throughout the CBD. For timetables, travel plans, ticket and fare information call the Transport Infoline on 131 500 between 6pm and 10pm seven days a week.

Trains will also be running to the Newcastle Interchange on their normal schedules.

We're offering free parking in our King Street Parking Station from 5pm to 10.30pm. Parking is also available in designated areas throughout the CBD. Off-street paid parking is available at Care Park Lee Wharf, Mall Parking Station, Wilson Parking, Civic Park West carpark and East End Beach and Nobbys Beach parking areas.

Ride your Bike
A bike valet service will be available next to Lynch’s Hub. Ride your bikes into the hub, have your bike valeted there (BYO bike locks) and pick it up at the end of the night. Places are limited. You can also pre-order a gourmet picnic hamper online at Lynch’s Hub to be ready for pick-up when you drop off your bike.

Road Closures
The following streets will be closed from Monday 31 December to Tuesday 1 January.

  • Wharf Road (Watt Street to Argyle Street) from 6am - 3am
  • Wharf Road eastbound (Merewether Street to Argyle Street) from 6am - 3am
  • Scott Street, eastbound (Darby Street to Watt Street) from 3pm - 9.30pm (NYE)