« Bye bye BangkokThe heart of Australia »

Fireworks in Sydney

Added: March 23, 2010

Tags: Australia RTW fireworks photos
We arrived to Sydney on 31st of December 2009 in the morning. Apart from visiting The Opera House we wanted to see New Years Eve fireworks. But it will not be so easy, because we skipped sleep during night.

It was impossible to find cheap accommodation in centre of Sydney. Don't get me wrong. We were looking for it in August! But all YHA hostels had 7 days of minimal stay so we settled on Formule 1 in Olympic Park. It was not bad, but it was too far (even with very good Australian trains) and mostly the room was tiny. We were 3 in the room for 4 people and we had not enough place to put our luggage!

Sydney Opera House

We did not go to bed in Formule 1, but returned to centre. We arrived to Circular Quay at 11:43 and our tour of Opera House was going to start at 12:00. It is not far away, but we had to get through at least 100000 people roaming around. And it got even worse as we got closer. We could see unbelievable long queue of people waiting to get into proximity of opera. Due to fireworks whole harbour has been closed and people had to pass through security and other similar attractions. Fortunately Zuzka got an idea, produced our tickets for our tour, shown them to security and they let us pass. So we made it on time. Tour inside of Opera House was very nice. I have learned a few things I would know if I was not ignorant of this part of our trip and used google. We even peeked into concert hall where they practised for evening premiere of something (who would remember the name? :-) ). But I liked more inside of Oslo Opera House. With outside view Sydney wins.

These photos are not from New Years Eve, but from 29/01/2010, see further text.


Waiting for fireworks

Seeing the awful queue at the "gates" and thousands and thousands of squatters being everywhere around the Opera we decided to stay here until midnight. But it was not planned like this. We planned (better word would be hoped or imagined) to return to hotel, have some rest and then return to enjoy evening. But somehow during planning I forgot to read information about how exactly it works around during fireworks here. Information about closures, where are good places to watch the fireworks and how many people have the same idea. So we were not prepared. We missed essentials like a hat and sunscreen.

The beginning was rather good. We bought some food, sat at the table outside of restaurants, but it was not sustainable - at 2pm all tables were removed in order to provide place for more people. Sitting at the steps? No, that could complicate rest of our travels! So Peter and me decided to run out of here! :-) But Zuzka, wanted to stay. She did not want to leave her dream to vanish due to fireworks seeking hordes. So she stayed. I gave her my mobile phone, because her was drained and hoped we see each other again early tomorrow. It was obvious we will not be able to return to this place.

The crowd started to gather at 6am!


We returned to Formule 1, checked our newly acquired tan (it was rather cloudy and still we were redder than yesterday) and instantly knew we did correct thing. We slept for 1.5h but then decided to stay in bed for another hour. That meant we could not be back at 8pm when gate closes definitely.

OK, there are plenty of other places near Circular Quay, right? Wrong! Due to closure of harbour and the bridge for train/metro the outlook was terrible. We tried to find better place nearby, because we did not want to go far away from Zuzka. But skyscrapers were blocking view too. So we spent some time looking around place where Matrix was filmed and then picked up the place we believed can provide some view.

Well, we could see fireworks. Some lame, cheap explosions that did not manage to get into main show :-) But people around cheered like crazy. Angrily, we went back to Circular Quay and realized there is a big screen there providing better view! So we watched there the last 5 minutes of fireworks (and now before I started to type this I used the magic of internet and watched it on youtube!)

Zuzka, on the other hand, has been rewarded for her patience with wonderful experience and couple of photos.



We were waiting nearly one hour before Zuzka emerged from dark, excited and full of energy! She made a few friends there and she managed to get into paid section with better view.

Now how to get to hotel with all those people around competing for public transport. We walked quite long before we caught some bus going in general direction of Olympic park, followed by two trains and we arrived to hotel before 4pm.


PF 2010

When Peter opened blinds and we woke up I was not happy. It's only seven!!! Well, yes, but 7pm! We slept for 15 hours!

It was hard to cram all our planned program for today into the last few hours of January of 1st. We decided to go to harbour again. When we arrived there it was already dark (as I said. Formula 1 was quite far away). So we spent some time around harbour to take photos we could not do yesterday and headed back. We are getting up at 4am tomorrow, to catch our flight to New Zealand.


Back to Sydney

We have been to Sydney once more, but without Peter. After we finished our New Zealand trip he went home and we returned to Australia to visit Uluru and Kata Tjuta. Then, on evening of 29/01/2010 we got 2nd chance to see Opera House. (You know, Zuzka is an architect and she needs to see these things twice)

We took the ferry to Rose Bay and back to see it from water. I was not very happy with her decision to go around the Opera again in the beginning, but I changed my mind quickly, because it really deserves to be seen from all sides especially with magic provided by light.

The lights were turned on soon after our arrival and colours of building started to change slowly as dusk fallen. It was getting dark rather quickly. I could see it on my photos easily. I had to repeat every panorama several times, because at least one photo was always blurry and next time I had to change exposure, due to less light.



More fireworks!

Sydney must be really the city of fireworks. Otherwise it is not possible to explain why during our shooting of Opera today we stumbled on fireworks again.

We were nearly finished. Thanks to presence of darkness and lack of tripods I started to think of going to bed (our flight to Santiago de Chile is tomorrow morning) when I was forced to reconsider. A small fireworks started at the opposite side of Opera, with Opera providing nice framing to it. It was really small, but rather comparable to my previous experience with fireworks here :-) (OK, definitely this one was smaller, but I managed to get sharp photo, beat that!)