Fion So, left, and Karen Lee, prepare for a New Years Eve party they are hosting in Enmore, Sydney.

Escape: Fion So, left, and Karen Lee prepare for the New Year's Eve party they are hosting in Enmore so they can relax and avoid the crowds. Photo: Janie Barrett

More than 1.6 million people will converge on Sydney harbour to marvel at one of the world's most spectacular New Year's Eve firework displays. But this year, Karen Lee will stay in the comforts of her Enmore home.

The 30-year-old physiotherapist has welcomed the new year at vantage points such as Circular Quay, Mrs Macquarie's Chair and Blues Point in previous years but this time she wants to escape the crowds.

''My housemate and I have invited friends who don't want to go to the fireworks to a party. We want to relax at home,'' she said.

Twenty-five friends will settle on a large Persian rug in the courtyard surrounded by handmade candles in glass jars and driftwood artwork. She plans to serve a Mexican feast.

''I won't miss getting home from the fireworks. You have to battle drunk people,'' she said.

Micah Chua, 24, from Carlingford, has received invitations to New Year's Eve parties at homes in Lane Cove, Cheltenham, Ryde and Leichhardt.

He said he and his friends would prefer to ''chill out'' together and watch the fireworks on TV.

''We're young workers, or at uni, and none of us want to really go to the city,'' the website producer said. ''The train stations are congested, and you have to arrive earlier and earlier to have a good spot.''

Lindsay Muir, a 25-year-old law student, will be counting down to the new year at her Wahroonga home with 30 friends. ''We're having a pool party with a cocktail fountain, great food and desserts,'' she said.

The fireworks were the reason she made the trek to and from the city in previous years. ''The fireworks are magical. But it's stressful finding a good vantage spot at 2pm, and being in the heat all afternoon with the crowds.''

Jessica Sandy, a junior doctor at Gosford Hospital, will finish her shift and make the hour's drive south to a party in Leichhardt, where gin cocktails and wine will be flowing.

''My friends who aren't going to be at the party are going to Luna Park … but we wanted to have our own space with people we care about,'' she said.

The last New Year's Eve fireworks Torun Higgins attended was in 2000 but the 30-year-old designer doesn't think she'll miss out on the atmosphere, as she will ring in the new year with 40 friends at her house in Redfern.

''It's a bit the same - if you've seen one set of fireworks you've seen them all. They are pretty amazing but they aren't a big drawcard for me,''she said.

Celebrating at home

PROS
Celebrating with people you know.
Avoiding overcrowded public transport.
Avoiding potentially unruly crowds and drunk people.
Not having to stake out a spot and wait hours for fireworks.
The fireworks are similar every year anyway.
Network congestion makes it difficult for mobile phones to work.

CONS
Not being able to watch the fireworks live.
Missing out on the celebratory atmosphere.
Not seeing the views of the harbour.