Sydney isn’t the first city to see the arrival of a new year, but while I mean no disrespect to New Zealand, Sydney Australia is the first city to really announce its arrival to the world. As such, it’s one of those places you should try and see in the new year at least once in your life. No other place celebrates new year quite like Sydney.

Coogee Beach, Sydney.

This is the second year in a row that my new year has started in Australia’s premier city. I jumped a cheap flight from Melbourne up to Sydney and was met at the airport by my friend Kim and sunshine, lots and lots of sunshine!

The plan was to get back to her apartment at Coogee beach hang out there for a while then make our leisurely way over to meet up with others at Bradley Point where we would have a good vantage point to watch the famous fireworks that would herald the beginning of another year.

Coogee beach was teeming with swimmers and sun seekers basking under a cloudless blue sky. By lunchtime the party was already well under way as crowds of people swarmed around the various bars like bees around a hive.

Kim took me to her favorite Mexican food place, Beach Burrito Company, where we ate fat burritos and drank ice cold beer right out of the bottles that gleamed like gold in the sun.

While I think I prefer Christmas in a country where you can see your own breath when you venture outside, I do like New Year in the sun. I’m not sure if Australians do New Years resolutions, but when you’re sitting outside with a cold beer in your hand and a belly full good food the thought of making promises you’re already predestined to break just seems especially pointless.

I look around me and gave the notion of a New Year resolution a momentary thought. I’m not really big on them any respect, but if I were pressed to make one, just one, I would say that I’ll do more of this in the coming year. More sitting in the sun shooting the breeze in the company of cool people.

We eventually jump on a bus and make our way to Circular Quay to catch a ferry over Bradley Point. The city was bursting with people, just as you would expect Sydney to be on this day of all days. We had brought along some supplies for the evening in the park. A little food and some red wine. It wasn’t much, more of a ‘pic’ without much of the ‘nic’ if you follow me.

There are many vantage points from which you can watch Sydney’s world famous New Year fireworks display. The parks closest to the famous Opera house or the bridge fill up quickly and you need to get there early to ensure yourself of a good spot.

On the ferry to Bradly Point I found myself looking enviously at people on boats in the harbor. With tall drinks in their hands and the sun on their faces they were clearly in high spirits in what must surely be the best place to watch the fireworks from.

Imagine that, seeing in the New Year on a boat in Sydney harbor then sailing off into the night bound for who knows where. There’s a certain sense of romance to that, isn’t there?

We sat around chatting, drinking our red wine, and eating as the sun set on 2010 for the final time. Nobody ever makes a big deal of that do they. The leaving year slinks out of the preverbal back door without so much of a wave from us who 365 days ago all stood around eagerly awaiting its arrival like children waiting for Santa Claus. And here we are again, as 2010 disappears to the west of forever, we’re all getting drunk on behalf of the future.

Sydney new year fireworks.

Eventually the most anticipated midnight of the year rolls around, and the first fireworks leap into the night sky. Launched from the harbor bridge, the Opera House, and various buildings across the city, fireworks light up the midnight sky as one and a half million people cheer, ooh and ahh with delight. We all stand still, eyes fixed on the colored sky as the city positively revels in this moment when it knows the world is watching.

The final bang ricochets around the harbour as the sky goes dark once again. The masses give one last cheer and all too soon, the display is over. The New Year has arrived and for the next 24 hours it will enjoy the spotlight around the world as people greet it with open arms, cheers, and resolutions that may or may not be kept.

Welcome to the new year, it’s 2011 now.

[Video] Sydney’s New Year fireworks 2011 (Alternative view)
Cities of the world see in 2011
Once in a blue moon
Long way Home – Australia