Day 5: Sydney
31 December 2009

Still adjusting to the time difference we were wide awake at 7am so we made an early start of it and walked from our hotel round to the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. People were already getting their spot for the best view of the fireworks some 14 hours later that night. All a bit keen for us and besides there was lots more of Sydney we wanted to see. We took the ferry back to Darling Harbour and visited the aquarium and wildlife center which turned out to be much bigger than we thought!

After walking through rooms full of butterflies, underwater viewing tunnels, kangaroo enclsoures and watching snakes eat rats... whole, we headed back to the hotel for a well earned nap as tonight was going to be a long night of standing around.

There are two fireworks displays over the course of the evening, one at 9pm and the other at midnight. We decided to watch the 9pm fireworks in Darling Harbour from the comfort of our balcony overlooking the action. We easily had the best view of the display in front of us and we even saw some of the fireworks being set off from the Harbour Bridge too. Afterwards we hot-footed it down to the Harbour Bridge and Opera House area (along with the rest of Sydney!) and tried to get some kind of vantage point for the main midnight display. This became quite a challenge as each area we tried to get into was closed off, full to the brim with people. We ended up in an area called 'The Rocks' which is down beside the bridge near the ferry terminal where we had been earlier. The firework display at midnight was spectacular, not only were they going off from the bridge in all directions but also from the Opera House and from the tops of all the skyscrapers that crowd around the harbour. A dazzling display of colour and noise, all set to music which admittedly was very hard to pick out from the overpowering noise of the explosions.

After the display had finished, we joined the other 1.5 million extra people wandering slowly back through Sydney to our hotels. The chances of getting into any of the bars was slim so we opted to have some new year drinks back at our hotel's bar which we did until nearly 3 in the morning.

Sydney Harbour Bridge
Sydney Aquarium
Sydney Harbour Bridge Fireworks