Our Capital of New Year’s Eve

Everybody says Sydney, Australia, plays host to the best New Year’s Eve in the world – and I have to say, after my experience last year I pretty much agree with that.

However, there were a number of reasons why the stars aligned for us and made this New Year’s Eve in Sydney so special.

First of all, our friends visited from the UK – and what’s better than that? We had them in the city for four whole days in the build up and celebrated with barbecues, pub crawls and coastal walks. Nothing better.

Secondly, we had spent almost a year in Australia and over seven months of that was in Sydney – without fully realising it the city had become our second home. A home away from home. When we were travelling around the country it was eye-opening and breathtaking, but we were ready to get back to Sydney when the madness was over for a sense of who we were again. Who we were when we lived in Sydney and had a real life.

And finally, it couldn’t have been a more perfect day. The weather was hot and sunny and we barbecued until it got dark, at which time we headed over to Balls Head Reserve and managed to get front-row seats between blades of grass with an hour to spare to watch the unforgettable midnight firework display.

Although it might not have been so successful…

We had spent the days before this deliberating on our plan for the day. We’d heard that the best spots for the fireworks get full at around midday, and so our best bet would be to get into a park early and stay there all day.

This was a complication for us. We are English and so we have to be drunk on NYE and none of the spots allow you to bring-your-own alcohol, the weather was edging on 40 degrees and who wants to (or should) be sat in that all day and we wanted to be all “Aussie” and have a barbecue.

After much discussion we decided to leave it down to luck and do what we wanted. We had a wonderful day together with shrimp on the barbie and plenty of tinnies, until around about 9pm when it was already dark and the first set of fireworks had finished.

We jumped on the train and headed over to Balls Head Reserve, which is on the north side of the city. To our utter surprise the park was pretty sparse and nowhere near as busy as we expected. We walked and walked through the picnic blankets and camping chairs until we got to a fence that had panoramic views of the Harbour Bridge, and the tiny Sydney Opera House poking out beneath it.

We ripped our dresses climbing over the fence to sit in the long grass so nothing was obstructing our view. And we had even managed to get the bottle of champagne in!

The fireworks blew us away when they popped and sparkled above the bridge as soon as the clock struck 12, only made more beautiful by the reflections across the harbour filled with sailing boats.

I have to say Sydney, you made for an awesome start to our New Year, now for you New Zealand. Happy 2017!