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This party never stops!

New Year’s Eve in Sydney is a grand party, and a spectacle. Everyone has seen the fireworks at the iconic Sydney Harbour but what happens when the smoke clears? Rohit Bhaskar reports.

india Updated: Jan 01, 2012 23:40 IST
Rohit Bhaskar
Rohit Bhaskar
Hindustan Times
Rohit Bhaskar,Sydney,New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve in Sydney is a grand party, and a spectacle. Everyone has seen the fireworks at the iconic Sydney Harbour but what happens when the smoke clears?

Kings Cross is just a short cab ride away from the harbour, in truth it’s a world away. The notorious neighbourhood houses the seedy underbelly of the city. It’s also where the creatures of the night head to continue their New Year’s celebrations up until the next morning. The sidewalks are drowned in a sea of neon, emitting from the signboards of strip-clubs and brothels that dot the most densely populated locality of Australia with 20,000 people living in a 1.4 km area.

Kings Cross has long been the bohemian capital of Sydney. In the first half of the 20th century the area was flooded with sly grogs, hubs where illegal alcohol was traded in those days of prohibition. Things have improved, although only slightly. Next to the strip-joints and adult stores are happening nightclubs and also hotels and hostels which have seen the area acquire the reputation as a tourist hub.

Kings X Hotel is one such nightclub, a lively place with five levels, each having a different themed New Year’s Eve party. For a nominal cover charge of $10 one heads inside to ring in the New Year the way it’s meant to be, with loud music and rivers of alcohol. The first level is called the Classic Pub, which gives the feel of a traditional, English pub. The music is loud and the crowd building up. Captain Morgan is the drink of choice, fine rum made from the choicest spices indigenous to the Caribbean Islands.

The action then heads to next level, The Balcony. Captain Morgan gives way to Australia’s own Bundaberg, a drink that has gained notoriety as the drink of Yobbos, slang for the uncouth, thuggish-types. One gets into the act with the friendly Aussie women joining in. Danielle Medel, a brunette, Sydney-native with flirty eyes and a playful disposition initiates the conversation. “Alone on New Year’s Eve? You’re with us now.”

Soon Medel’s friend, Katyanne Lo, also steps in. From Sydney, but currently an accountant in Hong Kong, Lo is fascinated when she finds out one’s origins. “India? Wow.” Soon the attention reaches slightly discomforting levels. Don’t get carried away, it implies an inadequate knowledge of cricket. “You’re here for the Ashes? I think India should beat Australia in the Ashes,” says Lo.

The next level is the Discotheque. After more Bundaberg, and some dancing, one heads further up. Skipping level four, one heads to The Rooftop. From there, one sees the crowd gathering below. It’s 4.30 am by now. Having done enough dancing, and drinking, one exits with the new friends in tow.

Outside, people are getting drunk. The cops are ever vigilant. New Years in Sydney is more than just the fancy fireworks!

First Published: Jan 01, 2012 23:37 IST