NYE fireworks

NYE fireworks

Matt is lucky to work on Garden Island, which is just to the east of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House, with some pretty cool views. The land is owned by the Navy, and for a long time they have sold cheap tickets to employees, their friends and family to go and watch the New Year fireworks from there. Last year we missed it becasue we were in Tasmania, so we were keen to go this year.

We got a bit nervous as they announced the tickets quite late this year, but it all worked out in the end and we got 5 – for me, Matt, his parents and his sister Hannah who were visiting over New Year. Gates opened from 3pm and we arrived about 4.30pm. Across Sydney for NYE there are a lot of free venues, but they close when they get to capacity, so you have to get there very early to get a good spot, and they don’t let you take alcohol. We read some stories about people who had camped out for days before to get the best views. There are also a lot of places which put on events and sell tickets, a lot of which are around the $400+ mark!

NYE fireworks

NYE fireworks

Because the island is a Naval base there were some rules about going on (closed shoes, no gazebos or big umbrellas, no fireworks of your own and only a ‘moderate’ amount of alcohol!) A lot of these seemed to be ignored! We realised when we got there we were a bit unprepared compared to most other people. Lots of them were wheeling in trolleys crammed with chairs, radios and giant wheelie eskies and cool bags full of cold drinks. We did have some picnic blankets, a small cool bag, picnic (largely cheese based) and of course some card games to pass the time (Loot Letter, Monopoly Draw and Get Bit). If we get to go again i’ll definitely be packing some chairs and an umbrella for some shade when the suns up! I also left my tripod behind, which was clearly a mistake – most of my pictures were quite blurry!

Our NYE spot

Our NYE spot

We got a prime spot looking at the Opera House and the bridge, just one row back from the people who got there when the site opened. They only sell a set number of tickets and it was quieter than I expected, which was really good. It filled up more as the afternoon went on, so it was good to get there when we did. There were some food, so of course we had an ice cream.

Throughout the afternoon there were a few bits of entertainment including a couple of flying displays and a fire boat shooting out a giant water cannon. Once it got darker they had a light parade of boats, where they were all lit up with fairy lights and looked very cool sailing around.

Flying display

Flying display

Each year they have an early fireworks display at 9pm. The idea of this is its for families,so people with kids can watch it still and then take them home to bed. This display itself was 8 minutes and was really good, so after that I was looking forward to the midnight ones even more. They also had an ‘inspire moment’ at 10.30pm, which was a short firework display. After that there was quite a gap till the midnight fireworks, so we played some more games under the handy flood lights.

Illuminated boat

Illuminated boat

The midnight fireworks were amazing. I managed to get a spot at the front, which was great for the pictures. Annoyingly becasue I didn’t have my tripod a lot of them were blurry or quite grainy becasue of the high ISO, but I’ve learnt my lesson now! The volume of fireworks was massive, and watching the choreography (is that the right word for fireworks?) where they set them off from on top of the opera house and bridge, mirroring their shapes was really good. Seeing the reflections over the water was great too. Towards the end of the display they set a lot of fireworks down from the base of the bridge which made it looks like a waterfall – it looked very cool and very pretty.

NYE fireworks

NYE fireworks

Once the fireworks were over getting back wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be. It was busy, but not stupidly so. We were held for a while inside the station because of overcrowding on the platform, but only a couple of minutes. We go on a train fine, and changed train fine. At some of the stations there were a very large amount of people trying to get on because of some earlier problems involving a fire alarm and station closure, but luckily we escaped those.

It was a great day and evening and we were really lucky to be able to get cheap tickets to see the fireworks from such a good spot 🙂

NYE fireworks

NYE fireworks

 

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