New Years Eve in Sydney - unforgettable!!

Trip Start Jun 15, 2007
Trip End Jun 27, 2008

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Monday, December 31, 2007

So on the 30th December, after Nic had finished work, we packed up Jethro and headed off up to Sydney to celebrate New Year.

New Year's Eve for Nic and I is normally spent with family and friends at a party at my parents house and has been that way for as long as I can remember.  So the thought of heading out and fighting for space in bars with a bunch of strangers did not fill either of us with much excitement.  So, about four weeks prior, we made the decision to make the most of this 'once in a lifetime' opportunity of being in Sydney at New Year and paid to spend the evening at the opera house. What an opportunity.  The itinerary for the night being - gala performance in the main hall consisting of an evening with the stars, then break for the 9pm fireworks, back in for the second half of the performance, out for free drinks and canapes.  The famous midnight fireworks over the harbour would soon follow then it was more free drinks and food with live music until the early hours.  One of the best things about this planned evening is that from the opera house you get the best seats for the fireworks as you are right on the waters edge.

So after spending the day at the beach and getting ready at Chris and Emily's house in Manly, we boarded the ferry and headed over to the harbour.  I don't think either of us were prepared for how many people would be making the same trip.  The queue for the ferry in Manly was MASSIVE with what seemed like millions of people queuing up.  I did think at one point that we would end up spending the evening at the wharf.

Surprisingly enough, we were soon boarding the ferry and making our way over.  The ferry from Manly takes you right in to the harbour and it was from here we began to realise just how many people had made the trip out for New Years Eve.  In front of the opera house, there were thousands and thousands and thousands of people already in place.  We learnt later that some people queue from early morning to guarantee a place on the harbour front as numbers are restricted.  All along the harbour and up to the bridge you could see people everywhere - the papers reported the next day that 1.1 million people had been there!!!

When the ferry docked we jumped off and got amongst the crowds.  We had to make our way from the wharf to the opera house which on a normal day takes about 5 minutes to walk.  Not this time.  It was time to sharpen elbows and battle our way through.  After about half an hour we were well on our way to the entrance and managed to run in to the opera house just as the performance was starting.  The first half of the show was excellent and very entertaining and it was fantastic to get to see the inside of the famous opera house and witness a performance.

Before long it was interval time and we headed out.  As the main hall holds over 2000 people we were unable to get a view of the 9pm fireworks and missed them!!!! Gutted.  Thankfully the 9pm fireworks are for the kids and are much smaller than the midnight fireworks.  As the bell rang for the second half of the show, we made the decision not to go back in.  The main reason we had come here was to watch the fireworks and witness at first hand what we had seen many times on the TV.  So, we found prime location on the balcony of the opera house and set up camp.  We took it in turns to run and get drinks and made sure that we would not be moved.  A couple of other people obviously had the same idea and we soon got chatting to a lady called Anastasia, who was highly entertaining. It was also great to be stood outside and soak up the atmosphere from all the party goers below us.  Time soon passed and the show had obviously finished as more and more people were rushing out to join us on the balcony.  Time to stand firm and not move.  After a few more glasses of free champers and beer, and meeting lots of very very posh people (we were so out of our depth) midnight was upon us.  I rested the camera on the wall and set to video - I was adamant I would not spend the whole time watching the fireworks through the lens of a camera.  So I set the camera going and got ready to enjoy the display.
5-4-3-2-1 - the countdown began. And then BANG!! The start of 15 minutes of pure magic in the sky - wow, wow and wow again.  I really do wish I could work out how to upload video onto this website as I have 15 minutes of fireworks footage and all you can hear is Nic and I in the background saying 'oooooooooo' and 'wow!!' and 'ooooooooooo' and 'ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!'.  It was unbelievable.  I have to say it brought a tear to our eyes - it really did. Just to be stood on the balcony of the opera house, at New Year, witnessing something like we had never seen before was just amazing.

Once the fireworks had finished we moved inside to where the live music was being played - a swing band - and had a good old dance. Unfortunately the party there ended at 1.30 so it was time to head out and into the masses. It was on our way out we walked into the Opera Bar which is right on the harbour edge and this is where we stayed until 3.30am dancing outside with the opera house and harbour bridge behind us.  What an experience - what a night.  It did not disappoint in any way and we will always cherish this experience.
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