New Year’s Eve 2011, Sydney

1 Jan

It’s my first time counting down in Sydney, so I decided to go out and join the crowd. I chose to watch the fireworks at Mrs. Macquarie’s Point, and searched the Internet to look for some advice and suggestions.

On the day, I arrived somewhere nearby Hyde Park at around 12:30pm; the city is pretty calm, not a lot of people walking around. Even when I was walking to Art Gallery Road, there wasn’t many people, and I thought maybe it’s still a bit early. However, I was completely wrong when I saw the queue!

Long queue on New Year's Eve

These people are just part of them waiting in line to go into Mrs. Macquarie’s Point

Going up and down the little slope, I finally arrived at the security check point after 3 hours! My advice is if you are traveling with little kids or senior family members, make sure you find a spot under the shade for them to rest while someone else queue in line, prepare some food and something to entertain them too.

The weather was really nice yesterday, very sunny and not too hot. Another advice is to bring sunscreen with you, there’s not much shaded area while you are waiting in line, and you might find a spot inside the park without the shade too. If you are bringing an umbrella, be sure to check the rules and regulations first. I think they only allow small umbrellas. And don’t forget to bring a thin jacket, it may get a little breezing when the sun sets.

So it was around 4:30pm when I found a spot to sit down. Everywhere was very crowded, and of course the places with the better view are all occupied already. If you really want to get the perfect view, I guess you have to be there as soon as it opens. However, I think it is still possible to find a not-too-bad spot, you just need some time to search for it and wait for people to leave, because people are moving around and you might find a better spot by luck.

Many people bought their own food for picnic, but there were also a lot of people buying food from the food stalls. I bought my own food, so I didn’t check out the food stalls. It seems like they have a variety of choices, saw people with hot dogs, chips, pasta, corn dogs, fried noodles and more.

There isn’t much to do once  you get inside, and it is a really long wait! I had a nap, listening to my iPod and playing games. I thought I could access the Internet using my mobile; however, it was very weird that my mobile couldn’t connect to the Internet at all while I was inside the park.

There were some pre-show entertainments, but people at my area wasn’t so excited about the Aerial Show, because we didn’t really get to see the whole performance from out spot. I did see part of the Harbour of Light Parade after moving to another spot, but it would have been much exciting if they put some music on.

Both fireworks were amazing! I guess the crowd liked it especially when the fireworks came out from the Bridge. For the 9pm firework, I was standing in the middle of the road, and saw part of the Harbour Bridge and part of the firework. For the midnight firework, I was actually nearby the media area, where I believe they have the best view. However, I was a few steps far away, so I had some trees blocking part of the Bridge. I did, however, see the fireworks pretty clearly, especially through the man in front of me, who was recording it through his Iphone.

Didn’t get to take a nice photo of the Bridge or the firework, because I was so short and always surrounded by a lot of people who are so much taller than me, didn’t even have the chance to hold my camera up. Moreover, my view wasn’t the best, the trees are always blocking part of the view, so knowing I couldn’t take a photo that I would be satisfied with, I didn’t have the intention to take my camera out. To show you how amazing it was, I have to share with you the photo I got from City of Sydney’s Facebook page.

New Year's Eve Firework in Sydney

I was actually very impressed by how orderly and disciplined the crowd was, people were waiting in line patiently and I didn’t see people out of control, except some people who didn’t obey the rules, sneaking into some controlled area or trying to bring in alcohol. I was also happy with the transport arrangement after the celebration. It was a really long walk from Mrs. Macquarie’s Point to the bus stop at Hyde Park, but I managed to arrive home before 1:30am, as there were a lot of buses running. However, I think there could have been more signs to inform people; for example they didn’t have clear signs at Art Gallery Road, you might walk down to the end and find out you are in the queue for ticketed events.

If you are planning to join the New Year’s Eve celebration in Sydney next year, make sure you check their official website for some suggestions and of course, some rules and regulations. If you are really looking for the best spot and don’t mind spending the whole day out, be there as early as possible!

Best city for countdown?! New York, Hong Kong or Sydney? I would say when  you are with your friends and family, it doesn’t matter at all. Hope you all had a wonderful New Year’s Eve too!

Happy New Year! Wishing you all the best in 2012!

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