New Year’s Eve 2018

The big night was finally here!  We knew we couldn’t be in Sydney for New Year’s Eve without witnessing the legendary fireworks over Sydney Harbour.

Fortunately the Royal Botanic Garden offered its lawns for those of us who didn’t want to spend a fortune at one of the local restaurants.  For the price of a foundation membership and a reasonable special event fee, we got access to the park for a no-frills, bring-your-own-picnic evening on the lawn.

The gates opened at 5pm and we were there, ready to go along with all the other masses. 

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Once inside, we staked out a spot on the grass with a view of the opera house and bridge . . .

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. . . laid out our picnic . . . 

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. . . and settled in for a pleasant wait until nightfall.  We had our books, beach pads, and plenty to eat and drink.  It was going to be lovely!

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And then it started to rain.  And by “rain” I mean torrential downpour with thunder, lightening, and raindrops the size of small children.  We hunkered down the best we could beneath our umbrellas . . . 

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. . . and our fellow revelers did the same with their umbrellas, tarps, ponchos, etc.  Some poor souls had nothing and were quickly drenched.

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The worst of it was over within an hour, but the rain continued on and off the rest of the night.  So much for a relaxing evening of lounging on the lawn!

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Reminding ourselves that we had ancestors who crossed the plains, and repeating the mantra that “we can do hard things”, we persevered through the remaining 4+ hours until, at the stroke of midnight, the fireworks erupted and all was right in the world.

Because seriously, these fireworks were outstanding!  My photographs are nowhere near equal to capturing the experience.  Not only was the bridge was a shimmering fountain of lights, but there were at least three more points up and down the harbour where additional full displays were being shot off.  The result was a dazzling, immersive experience that captured all the hope and optimism of a festive New Year.

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Happy New Year to everyone!  

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P.S.  By way of contrast, here is a professional photo that I found on the internet that was taken a bit further down the point from where we were sitting.  It captures a bit better what it felt like to be there!

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