Fifteen Days in Australia
A Trip to Sydney, Cairns, Melbourne, and Diving the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea
- United Global First Class Lounges – Washington-Dulles and Los Angeles
- United Global First Class Los Angeles to Sydney
- Sydney: Days One and Two (Arrival, Walking Tour, Manly Beach, and Darling Harbour)
- Sydney: Days Three and Four (Sydney Opera House, Taronga Zoo, The Rocks, Bondi Beach, Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens, Woolloomooloo, and the Sydney Fish Market)
- New Year’s Eve at Sydney Harbour
- Virgin Australia Economy Class Sydney to Brisbane to Cairns
- An Evening in Cairns and a Flight to Lizard Island, AU
- Spirit of Freedom Live-aboard Dive Trip (4-night Coral Sea and GBR)
- Qantas Economy and Business Class Cairns to Sydney to Melbourne
- Two Days in Melbourne and the Park Hyatt Melbourne
- United Global First Class Sydney to San Francisco
New Year’s Eve at Sydney Harbour
I timed this entire trip in order to be able to take in the New Year’s Eve celebration in Sydney Harbour. As the first major city in the world to usher in the new year, Sydney’s New Year’s celebration is followed by many people all around the world. This event is decidedly a big deal in Sydney, and as such, lots of people flood into the Central Business District and fight for a good viewing spot to see the massive midnight fireworks display. Queues to view the show started to form the afternoon of December 30th — a bad sign for us considering we really didn’t feel like camping out in one spot all day on our last day in Sydney.
An ideal solution would have been to arrange to be on a ferry or boat in the harbour during the show. Alas, this option was prohibitively expensive, and I didn’t really know anybody in Sydney who had a boat. So instead, we decided to splurge for a private event hosted at the Italian Village — a restaurant off Campbell’s Cove with a wonderful view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. This shindig featured endless appetizers and alcoholic beverages, and was pretty pricey. But at that point, we’d figured that we had flown halfway across the World, so what the heck, why not?
The restaurant itself featured a large patio outside right on Campbell’s Cove in the Rocks neighborhood — it is the same small cove that stretches from the cruise ship terminal to the Park Hyatt, Sydney.
This basically meant that we’d have unreal views of the celebration. The views did not disappoint!