New Year’s Eve fireworks on Sydney Harbour.

Going afloat for Sydney’s big aquatic events

Thousands of boats will be heading out to watch the start of the Rolex Sydney Hobart race on Boxing Day and the fireworks on New Year’s Eve.
To ensure safe and enjoyable boating for all, NSW Maritime has again authorised special exclusion zones on the harbour for these events and will be enforcing the associated restrictions, as well as the standard safety requirements and boating ‘rules of the road’.
NSW Maritime produces a free annual booklet with maps and details for all of Sydney’s major boating events of the season. Sydney’s Summer Aquatic Events – A Boating Guide 2010-2011 will be available from the start of December at NSW Maritime offices, harbourside fishing and boating clubs, marinas and chandleries. The booklet can also be downloaded from NSW Maritime’s website at

Rolex Sydney Hobart Race start

The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race will start for the 66th time at 1.00pm on Boxing Day. To prevent interference in the race by the spectator fleet, an exclusion zone will be enforced from midday until 2:20pm (see map, pages 52-53)
This area will be marked with yellow buoys and some fixed navigation markers. All spectator craft must remain outside the exclusion zone and no anchoring, sails hoisted or passive craft such as canoes, kayaks and surf boats will be permitted within 100m of its boundaries.
NSW Maritime advises all skippers to follow the directions of officials on the water, stay well clear of the exclusion zone between midday and 2.20pm and observe the ‘no wash’ 6-knot maximum speed limit to ensure that Boxing Day is enjoyable and safe for all afloat.
General safety messages will be broadcast on marine radio band 27.88 and VHF Channels 17 (NSW Maritime control network) and 13 (Sydney Ports).
Spectators intending to just watch the race start should position their craft on the western side of the Harbour. Spectators who position their boats in the eastern channel can follow the fleet down the Harbour to the Heads and out to sea. To watch the fleet sail out of the Harbour it is advisable to position your craft towards the Heads before the starting cannon fires.

New Year’s Eve on Sydney Harbour

Going afloat is a great way to experience New Year’s Eve and the City of Sydney’s spectacular fireworks at 9:00pm and midnight. With so many boats on the harbour it is important that skippers observe boating safety guidelines, use appropriate navigation lights and act with care, courtesy and commonsense.
An exclusion zone – marked by lit yellow buoys – will extend from Cockatoo Island in the west to Clark Island in the east (see map, pages 52-53) and will be activated from 8pm on New Year’s Eve to at least 12.45am on New Year’s Day to facilitate the safety clearance of the fireworks barges after the conclusion of the midnight fireworks.
A maximum 6-knot no-wash speed limit will be in force between 3pm New Year’s Eve and 2am New Year’s Day, between Cockatoo Island and Steele Point.

Lifejackets reminder

New compulsory lifejacket wearing requirements are now in effect for all recreational vessels on NSW waterways. You must carry a lifejacket for every person on board, and ensure that you and your passengers always wear a lifejacket when the situation and the law demand it.
For full details about the new lifejacket rules, visit or call the Info Line on 13 12 56.

Licence and Registration Renewals

Following the introduction of the Government Licensing Service earlier this year there were some delays in the renewal process for NSW Maritime licences and registrations.
Interruptions to the regular sending out of renewal notices are now over. NSW Maritime is back on track in sending out notices to customers to advise that their licence or registration needs renewal.
Vessel owners should note that it is their responsibility to ensure that their vessel is registered or their boat driving licence current. Even without a renewal notice, registration and licences may be renewed over the phone or the counter.
NSW Maritime is writing to clients who appear not to have renewed over the last three months, to remind them that their registration or licence has expired.
NSW Maritime apologies for any inconvenience during the introduction of the new licensing system.