If you want a sophisticated evening-out, make your bookings now for Lachlan's at Old Government House. The private rooms are those used by the Governors of Australia in the 1800. Intimate, decorative and as sophisticated as you can find. Invite your best friends, dress up and  pop open the champagne. Lachlan's is lovely.


   Lachlan's Restaurant, Old Government House


If your's is a family celebration, then head to the Parramatta River Foreshore and the Parade Ground of Old King's School. Travel by public transportation as parking is quite limited! Entry is free, but there will be no entry allowed once the sites are full. The Celebration will be spectacular and Rides and stall open at 4pm. 




Revelers can choose between live entertainment across three stages, amusement rides, a pyrotechnic jet-ski show, fire-breathing acrobats and a diverse large array of food stalls.


Popular performance group Dauntless Movement Crew will perform fire tricks and circus stunts on the River foreshore before celebrations culminate with the 9pm fireworks spectacular.


The Parade Ground will provide great entertainment for children and families with the stage program featuring Curious George, Cassie Darvall, the Sydney Soul Band and Jay Laga’aia, along with loads of amusement rides, food stalls and roving entertainment.


People are encouraged to share their images with #ParraNYE for a chance to see them up on the big screens on the night.


Exciting jet-ski pyrotechnics along the river  and then the skies will be lit with colour with a massive fireworks spectacular at 9pm.


New Year’s Eve in Parramatta is strictly glass and alcohol free.


From the Editor:


As a recently minted Australian resident, I discovered a trip that takes one away for three months seems like a very long trip.  Yes, avoiding much of the Australian winter and flying into the North American summer is a pleasure. Yet the longer one is away, the more one reminisces about the beauty of Sydney, of stunning Australian beaches and Sydney’s proximity to the wilderness of the Hawkesbury and the Blue Mountains.  And close to my heart, the early European history found in Parramatta and Windsor.


   Female Factory


Rehab, after surgery in Virginia (USA) for my new titanium meniscus was long and to keep my mood light and to avoid bouts of homesickness, I turned to Bill Bryson’s Down Under, In a Sunburned Country.  Screamingly funny from the first paragraph, this is a travel story everyone could love, but Aussies certainly.


Jetlag is a bear and only on Wednesday, after landing in Sydney on Sunday (22NOV), did I take my first exercise/walk – if you can call 25 minutes exercise. It is that time of year when those pesky little swift flies swarm into any exposed orifice and I remembered Bryson’s hilarious comments on those little pests. If you haven’t read Down Under, it will warm your heart and also make you laugh out loud. He loves Australia and isn’t shy about saying so, along with making us laugh at ourselves.

When I first immigrated to Australia ten years ago, I had observations similar to Bryson’s. However, I learned (from Bryson) that Australia is the 6th largest country and the world’s largest island, but then my American geography education was sorely lacking on any location ‘outside the U.S’.






Here is a brief excerpt from the cover:


‘It was as if I had privately discovered life on another planet, or a parallel universe where life was at once recognizably similar but entirely different. I can’t tell you how exciting it was. Insofar as I had accumulated my expectations of Australia at all in the intervening years, I had thought of it as a kind of alternative southern California, a place of constant sunshine and the cheerful vapidity of a beach lifestyle, but with a slightly British bent – a sort of Baywatch with cricket . . . ‘


Of course, what greeted Bill Bryson was something rather different. Australia is a country that exists on a vast scale. It is the world’s sixth largest country and its largest island. It is the only island that is also a continent and the only continent that is also a country. It is the driest, flattest, hottest, most desiccated, infertile and climatically aggressive of all the inhabited continents and still it teems with life – a large proportion of it quite deadly.




In fact, Australia has more things that can kill you in a very nasty way than anywhere else. This is a country where even the fluffiest of caterpillars can lay you out with a toxic nip, where seashells will not just sting you but actually sometimes go for you. If you are not stung or pronged to death in some unexpected manner, you may be fatally chomped by sharks or crocodiles, or carried helplessly out to sea by irresistible currents, or left to stagger to an unhappy death in the baking outback.

Ignoring such dangers – yet curiously obsessed by them – Bill Bryson journeyed to Australia and promptly fell in love with the country. And who can blame him? The people are cheerful, extrovert, quick-witted and unfailingly obliging; their cities are safe and clean and nearly always built on water; the food is excellent; the beer is cold and the sun nearly always shines. Life doesn’t get much better than this. 







Editor’s Note:

Bryson is on target: Life doesn’t get much better than this. It only takes a trip to the U.S., chaotic with the U.S. presidential primaries, frightening with frequent gun incidents and frustrating with massive traffic congestion in California to open my eyes—life doesn’t get much better than in Australia.