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New Years Eve - Nick [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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New Years Eve [Jan. 22nd, 2005|08:21 pm]
(One of the promised Australia entries that I didn't get around to composing at the time)

In Sydney at New Years Eve, they have two very large fireworks displays over the harbour. One at around 8.30, and the other at midnight. We were told that there isn't much difference between the two shows, except in terms of how busy the viewing areas were.

After speaking to quite a few people, we decided that going to the really central viewing areas (around the Opera House, just on the north shore of the bridge etc) were out of the question, because of how early we'd have to get there to secure a space. Instead, we opted for Badleys Head, which is the peninsula with Taronga Zoo on it. Looking at the handy leaflet on the fireworks we'd got, it was about the nearest point to Manly where we could see them from.

Since Manly had fireworks at midnight, we decided to go to see the earlier main fireworks. Sydney buses were running all night, at full strength, and the ferries were running later than usual (but not running while the fireworks were going off). So, we headed off about 6pm to get a bus towards the zoo. Impressively, one pulled up after a few minutes, and fitted an inordinately large number of people onto it (though that did mean it took ages for everyone to get their tickets).

Our very very full bus crawled off, barely making it up the hills, but had dropped us off in Mosman by about 6.30. We walked around the corner, and were surprised to find a shuttle bus down to the zoo appeared in no time. By 7, we'd completed the walk from the bus stop to the head, and were searching for a spot to sit.

We eventually found what seemed quite a good spot, with the harbour bridge visible between two sets of trees. Settling down, we proceeded to munch our picnic, and drink sparkling wine. Just as it was fully dark, the fireworks began.

Unfortunately, the fireworks were being set off either side of the bridge, so from where we were sat, we could only see the higher ones. It seems there was a reason that our spot had been left.... still, we got to see most of the fireworks, and they were very impressive. Ones that changed colour seemed to be the order of the day, and they had some really good ones that looked like a flower (yellow centre, then long lasting purple streaks coming down from them). There were a lot of colours you don't often see in fireworks (including a few that we couldn't think of the chemicals behind), so we were all impressed.

At the end, we quickly exited the park, and legged it up the hill to the bus stop. We didn't have to wait very long for a shuttle bus to take us back to Mosman. Here we only waited 5 minutes, before jumping on an express bus heading up past (but not to) Manly. In no time at all, we were at the Warringah mall, waiting for a costal bus back to Manly.

When that bus arrived, we got on, along with a few other people. Then a few 15 year olds appeared from out of nowhere, and got on. Then, much to our amazement, 100 more appeared.

I'm not joking. One moment there were none to be seen at the stop. Next moment, they were swarming everywhere. Our bus was jam packed with pissed 15 and 16 year olds, all heading to Manly for the fireworks. Not all that pleasant, but an impressive appearing trick. (We think the buses just don't stop if there are huge hoards of teenagers there, so they just leave one lookout to stop the bus, then the rest appear from the bushes).

After a short but unpleasant bus ride back to Manly, we got back to our flat for 10. We collapsed in front of the TV, and waited for midnight. We watched the Manly fireworks from the beach in front of the flat, but they really weren't in the same league as the harbour ones. Still, they were nice to watch, and it was only 50m back to the flat after...