This is technically my first post of 2015. The last 8 posts or so were pre-written
pretty much in the same 24 hours, before we left for our vacation, and I appreciated being mostly technology free for three weeks. Actually no, I didn’t just appreciate it, I loved it. Our cruise was wonderful; I can’t tell you how amazing it was to be able to have a vacation without having to worry about the little unknown aspects that comes with traveling in unfamiliar territory. The last three weeks were, if I were to put it in one word, refreshing. I feel so revived and ready to start 2015 with a bang, I’m just bursting at the seams to share it all with you!
I’ll be writing about the cruise, places we visited, and travel tips for the next several weeks, and if there’s anything you’re waiting for me to share with you that I haven’t yet, feel free to mention in the comments or send me a quick email!
Since the beginning of 2015 is getting further and further away, I figured I better get on sharing what we did for New Years Eve with you all first before anything else.
If you’ve been reading for a while, you’ll know that I’m absolutely obsessed with fireworks. Big, small, loud, or quiet, I like them all. I also like taking pictures of them. I’ve known about Sydney’s New Years Eve firework show for quite some time, and was always way more interested in seeing that live and in person than watching the Times Square ball drop live in New York City. To my thrill it just so happened that our cruise itinerary lined up perfectly with the New Year celebrations, and we would arrive right before the NYE festivities.
If you’ve been to Sydney for New Years you’ll know it’s kind of a big deal. Signs, maps, banners, and event lists are scattered all over the city, and you’d have to be blind to miss them! This year their theme colors were a bright pinkish-purple, so NYE information was easy to spot while walking down the street. The city council also came out with an app for Sydney New Year festivities (yes they’re that dedicated) so you could have event times, a map of great firework viewing spots, live Sydney news feeds, and more right at the touch of your finger! They also offered a free text messaging system where you could get 50 free text messages through their app to send over the NYE night to friends, family, or whoever, just so you could stay safe and people would be able to know where you were! How cool is that?!
The Sydney Harbor Fireworks display is the main event of the night. Luckily for families with small children they offer two showtimes:9:00pm & 12:00am. The first show is 8 minutes long and the second midnight showing is 12 minutes. Both are absolutely spectacular, but all the special effects are left for the last showing. The city usually does a really unique and special display each year to go with the New Years theme for the city, and this year they did a fire-droplet type waterfall (or shall I say firefall?) off the Sydney Harbor Bridge. From what we could see of it, the
waterfall firefall was gorgeous. Unfortunately we had a gigantic black smoke cloud obstructing our view of it as it went off!
Because the fireworks are such a big deal, the die hard firework watchers and photographers line up bright and early (9:00am-10:30am) to get the prime viewing spots right along the harbor bank, or pay ungodly amounts of money to get a spot on a boat or airplane ($300+++). Derik and I weren’t about to waste our day in Sydney by waiting around for the main NYE event, and after researching a bit, we found out that Dudley Park Reserve offered a ticketed event ($30 each) where we could get in at 6pm and still have an amazing view of the Sydney skyline.
We fought the crowds and managed to get a spot right up against the park fence to watch both shows. Food, drinks, and children’s games were also provided to keep families entertained. I was a little disappointed how far away we actually were from the harbor, and we had stupid telephone lines right in front of our face, and thus, the pictures do as well. If I were to do it again I would love to view them from a boat or maybe standing near the Opera House. I would probably be impossible to photograph them that close since the Opera House viewing area is standing room only, but I would want to experience how big they actually are and see what it’s like to be in the midst of all that beauty.
I only had my climbpod tripod with me on this trip, so some of the photographs turned out a little shaky.
TRAVEL TIPS: Bring a blanket to sit on (we didn’t have one and it was horrible…hard to reserve your spot with just a t-shirt we had in our bag!), sunscreen, snacks, camera (with tripod), cash, and a few things to entertain you while you wait (magazines, card games, books, etc).
Want to learn how to take your own firework pictures? Check out this tutorial.