Watching the king of all fireworks displays

I thought I’d seen some fireworks displays in my life, but for me the king of all fireworks displays was at Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia in 2009 / 2010.

It was one of the reasons why I arrived in Sydney for Christmas and the New Year and it was one of the things that I was most looking forward to on my gap year.

For me there are only five places in the world to spend New Year’s Eve and down by the Rocks in Sydney is one of them.

There are quite a few ways you can see the Sydney Harbour Bridge fireworks:

1. You can go down to the Rocks or the Botanical Gardens and camp for most of the day, culminating in the big event in the evening

2. You can make friends with a rich Aussie and see it from their high-rise apartment / building

3. You can walk around the streets at night, soaking up all the different atmospheres and just watching the fireworks banging and crashing above you

4. Or you could break into the enclosure down by the Rocks to watch the fireworks up close and personal

Obviously I choose option four, made a lot easier by the fact that I was on my own. I remember it so clearly (which is quite surprising as I had a skinful of goon inside of me). I arrived at about 10pm, wine in my backpack, listening to Daft Punk and Fatboy Slim, you know, just to get me in the mood.

As it drew to midnight the crowd that I was with moved and pulsated, almost to the music that I was listening to, and there was a collective anticipation of bringing in a new decade in style.

I had the Opera House on my right, the Harbour Bridge on my left; life was good and the view was perfect.

All of a sudden, as it hit midnight, all the lights went off and the fireworks started. Words can’t quite describe the sights and the sounds of it all but it was like nothing I had ever seen before and it was such an amazing experience watching one of the world’s greatest spectacles.

And to cap it all off, due to the time difference, I even managed to phone home and share it with my mum. Now’s that’s New Year’s Eve with a bang…