New Years Eve at Sydney Harbour

Sydney Travel Blog

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Observatory Hill on New Years Eve
Everyone we spoke to had an opinion about New Years Eve at Sydney Harbour  Most people we talked to told us the fireworks would be amazing but the crowds would be crazy. 

We read in the paper that the city spent $5 million on the fireworks show this year (compared to only $2 million spent last year!).  We figured that this was something we had to see for ourselves.  Crowds we could handle.  Hell, we survived India, we could survive this.

We made it to Observatory Hill around 7pm to find the place nearly packed.  I say "nearly" because we were still able to pick our way through the groups of people lounging on the grass to find a teeny clearing to settle in.
View of the Sydney Harbour Bridge from Observatory Hill at dusk

One couple we chatted with told us that they arrived on the hill at about 1pm to stake out their spot.  Many people on the hill looked as though they had been there just as long with coolers (I'm sorry, eskies!) full of drinks, bags full of food, and some even had pitched tents to help shade from the strong beating rays of the sun.  This same lovely couple informed us that they liked coming to Observatory Hill to watch the New Years Eve show because they found the place LESS crowded than all the other vantage points on the harbour.  LESS.

We ended up on that hill due to a friend's recommendation.  It turned out that Observatory Hill was indeed a great spot to watch the fireworks extravaganza.  The place was packed but there was plenty of room to move about and there was a laid-back vibe in the air.
Rod and I on New Years Eve
  Everyone was just hanging out, drinking away the hours until the fireworks began.  And we were lucky.  We got to take in two shows. 

At 9pm there was an early show for the kids.  This was mighty impressive although we knew that the best was yet to come.  There were fireworks directly in front of the hill right over the harbour and we could spot at few other places along the shore where the same fireworks show was commencing simultaneously.  The 9pm show lasted maybe 10 minutes and for the rest of the evening, boats decorated with lights could be seen cruising around the waters.

Rod and I whiled away the time drinking and eating and drinking some more.  This was followed by plenty of singing in a voice I would hope to think was acceptable coming from an exuberant, intoxicated Chinese-Canadian plopped on the grass in a brand new, satin blue party dress.
giddy little me on New Years Eve
  I realized that night that I don't know nearly enough words to very many sing-a-long songs.  But that didn't really stop us from carrying on in various renditions of timeless classics from Green Day, Bon Jovi, Oasis, Metric, Counting Crows, and The Presidents of the United States of America. 

Peaches come in a can.  They were put there by a man.

Yes, we went there.  There was fun.

And pretty soon 7pm turned into midnight and we were dazzled with the very famous Sydney Harbour fireworks extravaganza.  Fireworks hailed down from the Sydney Harbour Bridge, exploded all along the shores, and even leaped up from the tops of buildings successfully surrounding us in a massive showering of colours.  We were so giddy we didn't know where to look.  Rest assured, for the many people who waited up to 12 HOURS all along the harbour shores, it was an incredible sight to behold. 

And for us and our new found friends, it was just the beginning of our New Years celebrations. 

It must be a good omen to begin the year wandering home barefoot, disheveled, famished and exhausted escorted by the light of the rising sun. 
shirlan says:
You got some great photos, and had a good time too! :-)
Posted on: Jan 01, 2009
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Observatory Hill on New Years Eve
Observatory Hill on New Years Eve
View of the Sydney Harbour Bridge …
View of the Sydney Harbour Bridge…
Rod and I on New Years Eve
Rod and I on New Years Eve
giddy little me on New Years Eve
giddy little me on New Years Eve
New Years Eve fireworks
New Years Eve fireworks
photo by: Sunflower300