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Published: January 20th 2016
It's New Years Eve and I am really excited for tonight. A number of years ago I read an article about places to be for New Year and Sydney came as the world's number one spot. At the time, I consciously thought I would probably never ever see it because Australia simply wasn't on my list of places to visit. Not for any negative reason but I always thought I was more of a European and Asian continent tourist. Australia was simply too far away when there were so many other places to visit nearer to home.
Melissa changed all of that when she decided to work in Oz for two years. Now I'm a great fan of FaceTime but two years? That was just too long for a hug and the seed for this holiday was sown. I reflect that a number of our holidays are inspired by others. Our trip to Thailand was inspired by Lewis who had gone there to live and follow his sport of Thai boxing, Hong Kong was inspired by Tina whose brother lived there, Singapore was inspired by our childhood homes, and India was inspired by Karen and Tony who was working there
for a couple of years.
We have booked tickets for a boat on the Harbour with Melissa, Emily, Kayleigh, Michelle and Maureen and bump into a couple more of Melissa's friends Georgina and Catherine. The tickets were expensive but when I later read Elly's experience of a 15 hour wait and 3 hour queue for a viewing spot overlooking the harbour, I know that this was a good investment. And oh wow, what Sydney lacks in the Christmas spirit, it more than makes up for at New year. We walk down to Darling harbour and the town is absolutely buzzing. There are queues for the bars, cool boxes being taken down to wherever, men and women dressed up to the nines, kids running everywhere and very much a part of the celebrations. It was not hard to get swept along with the atmosphere.
We arrived at our boat 'The Pontoon' and are greeted with trays of champagne, wine and beer. After sitting in the harbour drinking with typical cheesy NYE music for about an hour Melissa and Emily tell me that the boat isn' going anywhere and it is just a floating venue! What? I complain that we
can't even see the harbour bridge from here. OFortunately they are winding me up and we soon set off to cruise around the harbour.
The fireworks start at 9pm, apparently this is the family display for those with kiddies too young to stay up until midnight, now that's impressive. I just hope that they are not too close to the waterfront because I can't see how they would get out before the night has ended, the banks are simply heaving with people everywhere you look. All of the apartments that overlook the harbour are glowing with lights and bbq parties and our party of 300 is in full swing - this truly is spectacular.
This is an all-inclusive event so the waiters and waitresses continually walk the decks to top up glasses and hand out fresh drinks. The food is a constant stream of canapés of oysters, prawn cocktail, sushi, mini quiche, mini pies. There are food stations of the essential bbq, paella, Mexican wraps and ice cream and I suspect the strategy was that by plying the guests with food, they were less likely to get drunk!
The countdown to the new year begins and everyone
gets themselves ready with their party poppers. Midnight strikes, the party poppers are let off and the fireworks begin and I can't begin to describe the full effect or the scale of this display but I know I feel quite emotional and truly grateful to have had this opportunity. As we all kiss and hug and wish everyone Happy New Year, thoughts turn to home but they won't be celebrating for another 11 hours!
Michelle, Maureen, Martin and I decide that the evening has been eventful enough and leave for home while Melissa, Emily, Kayleigh, Georgina and Catherine make for the nearest bar!
Welcome 2016! X
More photos below.
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