We visited Sydney for the first time for New Year's Eve 2011, joining 2 million other people all vying to to get a good view of the world renowned fireworks on the Sydney Harbour. We're both a bit wary of crowds and long queues, but we didn't want to miss this once-in-a-lifetime show. We asked some locals for advice, and a couple recommended Observatory Hill, small grassy knoll in the CBD. Even though we were on the back side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, a major focal point for the show, we had a fantastic viewpoint of the fireworks and didn't have to deal with crowds. You can arrive there as late as 6pm for a good seat on the hill. On the other hand, queues into the Opera House yards and the Sydney Botanical Gardens begin as early as 11am and are several hours long. If you plan to go, be sure to bring food, games and warm clothes!