A Banging Start to 2012

Trip Start Jun 15, 2011
Trip End Jun 01, 2012

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Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Tuesday, January 3, 2012

For New Years Eve we decided there was no choice but to go into the City to watch the world famous fireworks, who know when we'll get the opportunity again? The only problem is that a million other people think exactly the same thing and so in order to get a good spot to see them you have to be in the city pretty early. Some people start camping at the best stops a couple of days before New Year which is absolutely ridiculous if you ask me and a lot of people will get into the city in the morning to secure a decent view.

We weren't quite that fanatical but still, we wanted to have as good a spot as we could (without having to give up several full days to sitting around). So we rounded up the troops and the four of us (Sean, Katy, Julie (Sean's sister) and Tasmin (Sean's cousin)) set off at lunch time into the City with a picnic blanket, snacks and camera's at the ready. Initially we were thinking of going to Mrs Macquaries chair as it has panoramic views of the bridge and the Sydney Opera house but it was the first place to be full and closed in the early afternoon, when we were traveling into the city on the ferry we could see that the place was teeming with people. Instead we decided to stay near to the ferry's and landed ourselves a great spot at Circular Quay overseeing the Opera house and with a side view of the bridge.

We got into the city at about 2 o-clock so had 7 hours to kill before the first set of fireworks and 10 hours to kill in total as we waited to ring in the New Year. We setup our picnic blanket, got the radio going and played cards whilst catching the sun as it was such a beautiful day and really quite hot. Then at around 6 the first bit of entertainment started with a stunt plane flying over our heads and doing air acrobatics above the Opera house whilst a different plane wrote an advert in the sky. By 6 o-clock the whole place was absolutely packed and they closed the whole area off to new entrants, people were literally shoulder-to-shoulder but as we had setup our picnic blankets and were lying down we had tons of space which was awesome! 

Our area was an alcohol free zone along with most of the city centre and the police came round a couple of times asking to check our bags for alcohol. Between 6pm and 9pm our entertainment consisted of watching people who had smuggled drinks in, being forced to leave by the police. One of these unfortunates was a guy who got the ferry with us. By the time he was asked to leave he was unable to speak and had actually wet himself... I think it was a good thing that he had to leave. 

At 9 o-clock the first set of fireworks began and it was fantastic, we had a brilliant view and could see them exploding over the Opera house! All the waiting around was immediately worthwhile and we could see why so many people want to come to Sydney for New Years, and why it is hailed as one of the best New Year cities in the world. Somehow the combination of the fireworks with the iconic Opera House and harbour bridge created this breath-taking sight and an immense atmosphere. I can't imagine how anywhere could match it as the fireworks reflected off the skyscrapers and off the still harbour water.

Once the 9 o-clock fireworks were over loads of people who were with children or old people started to leave, presumably because they didn't want to stay until too late. The problem was that a channel opened up right through our picnic spot and dozens of people were literally walking over us and over all of our stuff to get out. A group of Colombian guys next to us decided they weren't having any of it and started pretending to be taking photos and blocking the route trying to force the people round to a different spot. It started to work but one old lady was getting so annoyed, she pushed and pushed and eventually took a running start and leaped over us and through this group of Colombian guys. Unfortunately for her, she then tripped and landed head first into the hedge with a massive thump! Silence ensued and we all looked around wondering if she was actually OK, she then got up and walked away after swearing at the guys. As soon as she had taken about 5 steps everyone in the vicinity broke into hysterical laughter at the sight of this old women flying head first into a bush. We were really glad that the line was moved around us and it also provided a bit of entertainment whilst we waited for midnight.

When midnight finally came around the fireworks didn't disappoint. It was absolutely spectacular and the whole city centre was lit up with the most incredible fireworks we've ever seen. At one stage there were fireworks going all around us so you didn't actually know where to look, and at the finale the sky was lit up as if it was day-time. There was so much going on that we had to watch it over and over again on Youtube the next day. It was truly breath-taking and a New Year we will remember for a long time to come. There's no doubt that all the waiting around was worth it, and to be honest it was quite fun to sunbathe, chat, play games and people-watch throughout the day anyway. 

The only negative was that as we left a guy who had climbed into a tree was climbing out, the branch snapped and him and the branch landed on me which again led to a lot of laughter, this time at my expense. 

 Ah well, Happy New Year!!!
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