Road closures and transport changes this Australia Day
22 January, 2021

Image of past Australia Day celebrations featuring dazzling lights over Sydney's iconic Opera House

Sydneysiders are reminded there will be access changes and road closures in Circular Quay and The Rocks on Tuesday, 26 January 2021 for Australia Day events to allow people to move around safely while practising physical distancing.

Australia Day celebrations around Sydney Harbour will be different this year, and a number of daytime events on the harbour will not be taking place, including the Ferrython. I

n the evening, an Australia Day Live! Concert will be held at the Sydney Opera House forecourt including a short fireworks display however members of the public are encouraged to watch the live broadcast on ABC TV or iView as access to Circular Quay will be restricted from 5pm.

Transport for NSW Acting Deputy Secretary, Howard Collins said while Australia Day celebrations will be different this year, everyone is urged to remain alert and to follow NSW Health advice.

“Whilst we are encouraging people to celebrate Australia Day locally or at home this year, if you do need to use public transport remember, you must wear a mask. Allow extra travel time and plan ahead by checking real-time capacity indicators as you may need to wait for the next service with available physical distancing capacity. Look for the green dots for the safest place to sit or stand, practise good hygiene and stay home if unwell,” Mr Collins said.

“If you’re driving or catching taxis and rideshare this Australia Day remember to plan ahead and allow extra travel time on the roads as traffic may be heavier than usual with more people celebrating locally this year than ever before. Don’t forget to wear a mask while using taxi or rideshare services.

“If heading out on the water, please follow the NSW Health advice as well as NSW boating rules and any local waterway restrictions, such as speed limits. You can check the latest advice for boaters at”

From 5pm access to the Circular Quay foreshore area will be restricted. Only residents and their guests, workers, and anyone with a confirmed booking at a restaurant, venue or a ticket to Australia Day Live! will be able to enter Circular Quay - on-site QR check-ins will be required.

Roads around The Rocks will start closing from 4am and remain closed until midnight. Further closures will be in place from 7.30pm until 10.30pm including the Cahill Expressway and some roads in Circular Quay. Special event clearway parking restrictions will also be in effect on various roads in the city from 3am so drivers are encouraged to check signs carefully to avoid being towed.

Ferries will not run to or from Circular Quay wharves between 7.30pm and 9.45pm while an exclusion zone is in effect on the harbour for the evening event. Some Parramatta River ferries and Manly ferries will continue to run to and from Barangaroo wharf during this time instead.

Public transport services will operate to a weekend or public holiday timetable with some additional services to help everyone travel around safely. Use your Opal card or a contactless payment method and register your details via the Opal website or app.

A reminder that the school term starts on Wednesday 27 January with dedicated school services running and school zones speed limits back in effect. School children over 12 years are required to wear masks on all public transport.

For information about road closures, check

For public transport arrangements, check

For information on the Australia Day Events and Circular Quay access visit

For the latest COVID Safe health advice and guidelines visit


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