I got to celebrate my first Australia Day or “Straya” day as it’s probably better known out here.
The mixed feelings for the day surprised me a little with “invasion day” protests being publicised everywhere in the run up to the holiday. I wasn’t so interested in getting into the politics of the day and so steered away from that side of things and instead just wanted to get a feeling for the celebration itself in the evening.
I knew it might be a long-shot getting close enough to see the event but I’d read that the fireworks would happen at 9 and had a wander down towards the Opera House for then. The main strip was closed to vehicles and as I walked past the entry to the Opera House gardens a sign blinked with a message saying no entry as the gardens were full. Undeterred, I continued down the road until I got near the exit of the event which had an area next to it view of the bridge.
There were throngs of people gathered there, all trying to get a good view of the event, I found a spot near a barricade where a woman was persistently asking the security guy to let her in as there were lots of people leaving and space to stand inside (which there was). After a while, he gave in and let us sneak our way inside which I was very grateful for. I got in a much better position when I was inside the gated area; although I was behind a few rows of people, I had a perfect view of the bridge.
They had a lot of famous Aussies talking over the speakers and building up the event. The display started just after 9 with Savage Garden playing live in the background. The display started with a procession of boats lit with their sails gleaming blue, there were then Jet Ski’s with giant sparklers on the back which led into the fireworks. The fireworks themselves were amazing, the display billowed out smoke so you couldn’t even see the bridge.
After the first display of fireworks, there was a pause which led into the national anthem and then a second display.
Overall well worth going to – I think i;d probably head down earlier next time to enjoy the whole of the day though