With the New Year fast approaching I thought I’d share my memories of the experience of bringing in the New Year in Sydney.
As a teenager living in Sydney the ‘thing to do’ for NYE was to go to Blues Point to watch the fireworks. What does this mean? As you know Sydney has a lovely harbour with many locations to see the fireworks. If you’re lucky you have a house or flat (or boat!) where you can watch the fireworks that come off the Harbour Bridge in the comfort of your own home (boat). There are also several parties that you can buy tickets to where you can get an amazing view and endless supplies of booze. But if you are a teenager and you don’t live on the harbour and don’t have money (or aren’t old enough to enjoy endless booze) then you had to find a free way to see the fireworks.
So back to Blues Point. Blues Point is short for Blues Point Tower which is an apartment block located at McMahons Point near North Sydney. Just in front of the tower is a patch of greenery where you get spectacular views of the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House, so the perfect spot for fireworks!
The best spots are located right on the waterfront so you needed to get there early. My friends and I would take it in turns each year to be the first ones to get there to save a spot. This meant getting there for around 8am!
The buzz around the area is amazing. There are lots of families that ‘set up camp’, other teenagers, groups of students etc. etc. As it’s very popular you end up becoming friends with those close to you as you’re all almost sitting on top of each other. It’s also the type of place where you bump into lots of people you know anyway!
Once you’ve found your spot and put down blankets, it’s a case of just waiting and keeping yourself entertained! This is hard at first as it’s early, you’re just thinking about the amount of time you have to wait, and you’re wishing it wasn’t your turn to do the early shift! But the time passes, your other friends start to arrive bringing food and more entertainment. You get to leave your spot as more of your friends arrive so you can have a wander around. And you must remember that it’s hot there so no need to worry about getting cold and having to huddle together!
The first set of fireworks start at 9pm, this is the one for the families with smaller children who may not make it to midnight! By this time everyone is in great spirit and super excited that some action is finally happening! Sydney is well known for its spectacular fireworks displays so watching the first set only makes you more excited for midnight!
Once the first set of fireworks is over some people do leave, but their spots are quickly taken by others who take the opportunity to grab what little space there is. The time between the 9pm fireworks and midnight seems to go by quite quickly and before you know it someone in the crowd has started to yell “10… 9… 8…” and then it hits midnight and everyone goes wild! You start hugging your friends, strangers, anyone!
And then the fireworks begin. Everyone is suddenly quiet and in awe of the bright flashing coming from the Harbour Bridge. The fireworks don’t disappoint and there’s always gasps of amazement and clapping from the crowd!
Once the fireworks are over there is a mass exit that’s it’s worth staying in your spot until the crowds ease up.
I did this for quite a few NYEs and it is a great way to bring the year in. If you’re spending NY in Sydney I would definitely recommend finding a vantage point somewhere to take in the atmosphere and fireworks.
And on that note I hope everyone has a Happy New Year however you choose to celebrate!
Auf Wiedersehen for now,