Sydney fireworks


Fireworks

Nothing beats the New Year’s Eve fireworks on Sydney harbour. But that’s a long time between bangs. (*snort*)

If you fancy a more frequent fireworks fix, the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority puts on a show at Darling Harbour every couple of weeks. Mostly on a Saturday night, but sometimes Sunday or Monday – always from 9pm. The schedule until mid-2011 is below. Keep an eye on the Darling Harbour website for further dates.

  • Saturday 5th March
  • Saturday 19th March
  • Saturday 2nd April
  • Saturday 9th April
  • Saturday 16th April
  • Saturday 23rd April
  • Saturday 30th April
  • Saturday 7th May
  • Saturday 14th May
  • Sunday 21st May
  • Saturday 28th May
  • Sunday 12th June
  • Monday 13th June
  • Saturday 18th June

All Greek to me

Hornsby Greek Festival

The first ever Hornsby Greek Festival went “opa!” last weekend at Greenway Park, Cherrybrook. It was a hot, humid day, but the park was crowded with families enjoying fabulous Greek music and food.

We sat under the trees at the edge of the park, in earshot of the kids squealing on the dodgem cars, and ate our souvlaki and baby octopus while we watched the camels (Greek camels?) lollop around the perimeter of the oval. We took home a box of fresh almond shortbread (Kourabiethes) thinking it might last us a week, but they were so yummy they were all gone by Monday night!

I hope this becomes a hugely successful annual event – I’ll be keeping an eye out for it same time next year.

ArtExpress

ArtExpress, the exhibition of selected major works from HSC Visual Arts students, has been around for years. It was an annual affair even before I finished high school, which is a Very Long Time Ago Indeed. Since then it’s grown into a series of local and regional shows, across eleven venues.

In Sydney this year, you can visit ArtExpress at:

The small sampling that’s available online looks amazing. Every year I’m blown away with the level of maturity in these works.

Going batty

Gordon Flying Fox CampThe Gordon Flying-Fox Camp is one of Sydney’s secret treats. Every night between October and March, the bats from this site head out en masse for their evening jaunt. In their ten-thousands. That’s a lot of bats.

Wait on the Rosedale Road bridge, and about 20 minutes after sunset your patience will be rewarded. First you’ll spot a few loners taking flight in the distance, and before you know it, the sky will be full of them.

The night we went recently, there were lots of babies taking their first, unsteady flaps. Very cute. (What is the correct name for a baby bat? A batling? Cub? Pup? Kit?)

A great excursion for a Summer night.

Gordon Flying-Fox Camp
Rosedale Road bridge (between Minns Road and Glenview Street) – 10 minutes walk from Gordon railway station.
Every night, October – March

Rabbit rabbit

Chinese New Year Twilight ParadeIt’s the year of the rabbit. So the Chinese New Year Twilight Parade through Chinatown this year was heavily populated with bunnies. Racing bunnies on rollerblades (above); bouncy bunnies on stilts; giant bunnies made of recycled water bottles… there were even marching bands playing rabbit-related tunes (I heard the the Bugs Bunny theme more than once!).

We line up every year right at the tail end of the parade route. Apart from the fact that it’s very easy to get a spot with a good view, I love to watch the groups as they finish up. Some are still pumped full of adrenaline and yelling “Happy New Year” at the tops of their lungs, whole others switch off as soon as they cross that invisible finish line.

As soon as the last rabbit had run the gauntlet, the crowd dispersed as if by magic, headed to Darling Harbour for the fireworks. We went off in the opposite direction to buy a little bag full of Emperor Puffs to sustain us on the train home.

Chinese New Year Festival
28th Jan – 13th Feb
All over Sydney

Sydney Festival First Night


Sydney Festival First Night - Gramaphone Man

Last night we headed into the city for the early part of the Sydney Festival First Night. Our major driver was to participate in the big You Can Ukulele uke-off. All five of us (aged 10 to 43) had been watching the video on YouTube, and had learned our chords. We took the opportunity to do a bit of last-minute swatting up on our lyrics (the chorus, at least) while sitting in Hyde Park waiting for things to get going, and before we knew it, it was our turn! (Along with several hundred other ukulele wannabes.)

It was over far too soon! I wish we’d been given a whole songbook to learn – it was just so much fun playing along with such a huge crowd.

We wandered about Macquarie street and Hyde Park afterwards, and the feeling in the streets was great (though admittedly it was mostly families at this early stage). A large group of the NSW constabulary were joking around having their photos taken in front of Il Porcellino at the Sydney Hospital. Gramaphone Man (above) was entertaining passers by with his funky hapsichord beats. Orkestra Del Sol were keeping toes tapping. Everywhere you turned, there was something to groove along to or marvel at.

Before we headed home, we took advantage of the ANZ chill bar an the Hyde Park Barracks, drinking our free hot chocolates under the fairy-lit fig tree and lazing on cushions strewn across the astroturf. A perfect way to kick off the Sydney Festival.

Sydney Festival
8th-30th January
All over Sydney