It was 4:30am.
I was shattered.
Kerri was shattered.
The newly found Becki was shattered.
But we were laden with supplies, pilliow cases and sheets.
We were heading out for Sydneys legendary New Years Fireworks!
Now like most backpackers our planning for this event took up many evening discussions, asking locals, asking each other but never actually making a solid plan!
So the night before we thought stuff it….bite the bullet….put in the time and go for the Botanical Garden option.
This is probably the most stressful option. There’s limited capacity. This year even more so. And there’s no BYO on the booze front. But after the rather large disappointment which was a Sydney Xmas I wanted something to go to plan. And I knew the pictures I wanted to shoot.
Walking through the morning drizzle (yes it was drizzling AGAIN – whats the deal Sydney?!) via a Hungry Jacks coffee we got to entrance at around 6ish…..and there was already a que :S However we knew that we were early enough to get a good spot, despite the gates not opening until 10am.
Banter was had, food runs were done, shouting at que jumpers by Linzi was repeated, security guards were bombarded with abuse, but eventually we got in!
Power walking through the grounds we searched for a spot to set up camp. People were parking up asap, but the views were hindered by trees. I hadnt flown halfway around the world and got up so bloody early to settle for second best. I knew the pic i wanted and I was gonna get it! I missioned on until I found the clearing. The perfect framing of Harbour Bridge fronted by the Opera House. Picture Perfect and worth defending at all costs!
It was still only half 10…14 hours of sitting around! But luckily the rain had stopped :)
I think its best to power phrase the next section:
Security trying to move us, tired angry backpackers not taking that lightly, 549, power naps, portaloos, random banter, more naps, cheese and lettuce sandwhiches, Kerri being a pretzle, fits of giggles, not being drunk, acting drunk, oompa lumpas, free hugs, devil sticking to entertain the crowd, getting embarassed when i got applause, more sandwhiches, Kez stuffing her face with crisps, defending our spot, angry shouting at standing people, Linzi’s rage (which continued throughout the day) 549 549 walk the line walk the line, mexican wave, nick and ian smuggling in 2litres of vodka, cheeky drinks, angry scottish ladies, pikey late comers, save the tent, that idiot in the grey top, ghe security guy who couldnt do his job, beautiful views, hundreds of boats, the wrinkly tree, munching carrots and the time flying by.
Before we knew it the sun had set across the harbour and then half 8 was upon us….this signalled the first countdown fireworks for the childrens display. Everyone got uber stoked, but Linzi’s booming voice and sheer determination kept everyone in our area sat down so we could all see! this also meant all the pikey people who turned up at like 3pm couldnt just waltz in and steal a spot…and boy did they know it if they tried!
As 8 o’clock hit the first show started, the sky beside us errupted in a sea of colour, as did the horizon behind the opera house. It was a sight to behold, and only got better as fireworks began to emerge from the skyline of the CBD …but this was merely foreplay for the main event!
Every hour on the dot became a countdown with a mini display. The excitement was slowly brewing and our section kept outsiders out and looked after each other when people needed toilet break or a wander.
Then 11o’clock hit…sleepless hours had passed by and we were merely 60minutes away from realising a dream that had begun so many years ago.
Every 15minutes the crowd was whipped into a frenzy by the countdown shows.
Firmly seated and with torrents of abuse being hurled at the persistent last minuters we all stood our ground. The message was simply – sit down and we’ll all be able to see.
Unfortunately some obnoxious Aussie dude right royally p*ssed off Linzi which resulted in a rather amusing exchanges….but we owned him and the Aussie couple next to us were backing us up all the way!hahaha!
10mins to go and everyone was failing miserably to contain their excitement. 5 mins to go saw a lush mini display. Cameras were ready. Banter quietened down. And amazingly everyone stayed seated!
Then the clock struck midnight and the sky erupted. There were fireworks everywhere. The opera house was silhouetted by every conceivable colour. Then the bridge fireworks started. They were epic. Throughout the show the echoes of 1.5millions people shouting in excitement rang through the city.
In the excitement we’d all overlooked the 10second countdown…but during a brief pause from overpowering explosions someone got it started. Everyone shouted a belated but enthralled Happy New Year to each other and there were smiles all round!
20minutes later and Sydneys government pocket being millions of dollars lighter the show was over.
A massive applause rang through the botanical gardens.
Everyones patience had paid off and an epic, yet sober, new years eve had drawn to a close, with some of the most fun people I’ve met.
…..and yes it made up for xmas! :)
The half hour walk back to the hostel was peppered with hugging strangers, bouncing around in tired excitement and Hungry Jacks veggie burgers.
Me n Kez started our 2010 karma off to a good start by donating half our meal to a homeless dude, along with our left over sanwhiches and a pillow I stole from wakeup.
Happy New year everyone….I hope 2010 bring you safe travels and big smiles.
No idea where mine will be taking me…lets see what Oz has to offer :D