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Fireworks explode over the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House during a pyrotechnic show to celebrate the New Year

Sydney is one of the first capital cities in the world to ring in the New Year and every year, the city’s famed fireworks display takes place over the Harbour Bridge.

New Year, new theme… Every year, the event takes on a new theme, and this year’s Creative Ambassador, Kylie Minogue, in collaboration with the City of Sydney and Imagination Australia, has devised an innovative concept called ‘Embrace’, which is aimed at projecting a positive attitude of acceptance and tolerance in a unified celebration.

Spectacular fireworks… The New Year’s Eve festivities are a multi-tiered event with the exciting and creative visual spectacle of the Harbour of Light Parade, which features 52 illuminated boats connected with the magic of ‘rope lights’ to produce an amazing myriad of light and colours. The Parade is the lead-up to the two pyrotechnic displays, the nine pm Family Fireworks and the Midnight Fireworks. Synchronised to a soundtrack, the fireworks are launched from harbour barges, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and seven city buildings. The closing sequence of the show focuses on the Sydney Harbour Bridge as all firing points explode and lead up to an ‘all-white’ finale.

A true crowd puller…. Sydney’smidnight fireworksdisplay is viewed by more than one million people at the harbour; the televised Midnight Fireworks have an audience of 2.6 million people in Australia and over a billion people worldwide.

The famed vantage point… One of the most popular land-based vantage points is the Sydney Opera House forecourt which affords spectacular views of the Bridge. Special events for New Year’s Eve are held there with something for everyone – the annual Opera Gala, cabaret shows and upscale dining.

Dining options on New Year’s Eve… Many people opt for a picnic evening meal as they watch the fireworks display. Other DIY options for casual dining include Coles, Express or Woolworths Supermarkets. The fish markets at Pyrmont are also a popular choice. Restaurants on the East Circular Quay offer a variety of cuisines including continental, Asian and of course, good old Australian. With prime views, restaurants typically charge $300 plus per head; reservations usually need to be made well in advance.

In a nutshell… New Year’s Eve on Sydney Harbour is something one must experience once in a lifetime.

– Fauzia Kerai Khan


First published in the Real Estate Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on December 30, 2012.