Happy New Year to everyone! I hope it’s healthy and prosperous for us all!
Our NYE was spent enjoying one of the most famous views – fireworks over Sydney harbor. We asked around and everyone says you have to get their early. They weren’t kidding! We arrived at Bradfield Park on the north side, right by the bridge around 12:30 in the afternoon and it was already filling up! We bought a cheap folding chair and took beach towels, and umbrella (for the sun), a lunch, and lots of sunscreen. By 5PM every inch of the park was covered in picnic blankets so that you couldn’t even see the grass or roads. We scored a prime spot with a perfect view of the Opera House across the harbor and the bridge too.
The people surrounding us were from everywhere – Japan, Brazil, Germany, and a few Aussies too. Incredibly, the heat, crowds, and long hours waiting seemed to bring out the best behavior in everyone – no fights, just happy, giddy (and somewhat drunk) people. Maybe there’s hope for the human race yet…
There are actually 2 sets of fireworks on NYE in Sydney. They are shot off from barges at different placed in the harbor. The first is the “Family Fireworks” at 9PM so that kids can watch and then get home to bed early. It’s much smaller than the midnight show, but we were stunned when after hours of waiting they finally started. The fireworks to the left of us were blocked by a huge tree. The fireworks to the right of us were blocked by the bridge pylon. We could hear them, but had no clear view. 8 1/2 hours in the hot sun for this? Doh!
After the fireworks there is a lighted boat parade. We considered moving while this was going on, but there really was no place to go at that point. We knew that the midnight fireworks were set off from more places, including the bridge, so we decided to stay put. It’s a good thing we did, because our view was fantastic. Fireworks came from the bridge, the barges, the tops of tall buildings in the city, everywhere! Unbelievable. It’s impossible to describe, but they were by far the best fireworks I’ve ever seen. What a great start to 2009!