Win A Trip To Australia Day In Sydney 2023!

Until 11:59pm Thursday the 15th of December, Australian residents (minimum long-term visa) have a chance to win a trip for 4 to Australia Day In Sydney 2023 – a ‘flagship’ Sydney Spectacular – thanks to the Australia Day Council Of New South Wales (NSW)!

To enter, submit a video or photo that you captured that showcases Australia’s unique diversity or that represents Australians on the entry webpage. Some handy hints & tips can be found here.

All approved (by Australia Day Counil of NSW) entries will appear online here before the Australia Day Council of NSW narrow the entries to a shortlist of 20.

4 celebrities will then judge your work:

  • Casey Donovan (Stage star & Australia Day Live performer/host)
  • Dami Im (Singer-songwriter & Australia Day Live performer)
  • Costa Georgiadis (Gardening guru)
  • Donny Galella (Fashion stylist)

They will determine the winner as the entry that best demonstrates Australian identity and culture and/or what makes Australia or Australians unique.

The winner will be announced on the Australia Day Council of NSW’s online platforms on Thursday the 22nd of December at 5pm.

They will win tickets to:

  • WugulOra Morning Ceremony (4 x Very Important Person (VIP)),
  • Ferrython (4 x on board a competing ferry),
  • Australia Day LIVE (4 x VIP including pre-concert performer meet & greet backstage)

Plus:

  • AUD$550 to enjoy Australia Day In Sydney,
  • 2 nights accommodation (25/26 January) in a Sydney central business district hotel’s double/twin-share rooms (x 2) valued up to AUD$1500 (excluding goods & services tax (GST)) and,
  • if Sydney is not your closest capital city, 4 return economy airfares from your closest capital city to Sydney valued at up to $6000 (excluding GST).

The winning entry may also feature in the official broadcast of Australia Day LIVE!

For more information on the ‘Only In Australia’ Australia Day In Sydney 2023 competition, click here.

11pm WorldPride 2023 Sydney Harbour Bridge Light/Pylon Projection Show Plus Other New Sydney NYE2022 Details

A Sydney Harbour Bridge light and pylon projection show to promote WorldPride 2023, a biannual international LGBTIQA+ festival hosted by Sydney next year, will feature at 11pm during Sydney New Year’s Eve (NYE) 2022.

Sydney successfully bid for the festival in 2019 and will host it between the 17th of February & the 5th of March with a million people attending over the 17 days.

An artist impression (above) has been released supposedly of the 11pm show. Of note, is the symbol in the middle of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It strikes a resemblance to the iconic and now former Bridge Effect, which last featured at the 2014 edition. From what Sydney Spectaculars can tell, no Bridge Effect will feature at Sydney NYE2022 as there is no structure on the Sydney Harbour Bridge to support a Bridge Effect. This is significant as Bridge Effects (back in 2014) began construction as early as August and no Bridge Effect of that size has begun construction as late as October (2000, after the Olympics). Whilst it may be possible that a Bridge Effect is being considered for the actual WorldPride 2023 event, construction of it would have to start imminently.

Sydney NYE has twice promoted LGBTIQA+ issues: firstly, at Sydney NYE2017 – Wonder when a rainbow waterfall fell from the catwalk of the Sydney Harbour Bridge to the tunes of Go West (Pet Shop Boys cover) by The Village People to mark the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Australia, which came into effect 22 days prior & secondly, during the Sydney NYE2021 – See Sydney Shine‘s Welcome To Country finale when Indigenous drag Queen Nana Miss Koori, presented a handcrafted rainbow message stick to the Lord Mayor, Clover Moore.

Shortened Radio Broadcast

After a couple of years doing 12-hour broadcasts from 3pm to 3am, KIIS 106.5FM have roughly halved the broadcast for the 2022 edition. It now begins at 6pm, followed by the Calling Country soundtrack at 9pm and the Midnight Fireworks soundtrack before finishing at 12:30am. KIIS 106.5FM is the exclusive radio broadcaster of the Calling Country (9pm) & Midnight Fireworks soundtracks.

Harbour Of Light Parade No Longer In Name Only?

An interesting amendment to the Sydney New Year’s Eve schedule is the removal of the Harbour Of Light Parade name, which has been used since Sydney New Year’s Eve 2000: 100 Years As A Nation, Millions Of Years As A Land. It is now simply called Sydney Harbour Lights.

Also, for the first time since 2000, the City Of Sydney is not exclusively producing this event item. It is now being organised by Banks Events on behalf of the Commerical Vessels Association in co-ordination with the City Of Sydney.

In the only sign of status quo, Sydney Harbour Lights is still boats lighting up Sydney Harbour at 9:08pm before a parade begins at 9:30pm. This all roughly occurs around 9:15pm. The parade concludes at 11:15pm with the lights later synchronised to the Midnight Fireworks soundtrack.

There is no sign that the lights will be synchronised to Calling Country.

The Harbour Of Light Parade was not held in 2020 & 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, making the 2019 edition the last edition it had its trademarked name.

Media Launch

The media launch for Sydney New Year’s Eve 2022 will be held on Wednesday the 30th of November 2022 at 11am. The venue is the Royal Botanic Gardens. Media launch details reveal the likelihood that Calling Country, returning after a 2-year absence, has been creatively consulted by Re-Right Collective, a collaboration between artists Dennis Golding & Carmen Glynn-Braun residing at Artspace.

They follow Blak Douglas, who did a magnificent job in creating an expanded Welcome To Country last year to temporarily replace the 9pm Family Fireworks. His artistic talent was emphasised later in 2022 by winning one of Australia’s most prestigious art prizes, the Archibald Prize. What will the Re-Right Collective produce for Calling Country 2022, where the original Calling Country is joined with last year’s Welcome To Country? It’s a hard act to follow when an Archibald Prize-winning artist led the expansion.

From the Artspace website, we can see Carmen Glynn-Braun focuses on truth & trauma particularly in regard to Indigenous women while Dennis Golding, critiques Indigenous representation by comparing Australia’s colonial history with pop culture references particularly through the motif of a cape. Combined, through art, they truth-tell with sensitivity.

Of note, Artspace says ‘Carmen Glynn-Braun believes the survival and resilience of Aboriginal people makes for compelling and important subject matter and deserves a celebratory and respected platform within the arts (one that is well overdue)’. A worldwide audience of 425 million people on one of the most celebrated nights of the year at one of the biggest events in the world may well be that platform particularly if Calling/Welcome To Country no longer becomes just a COVID-19 pandemic replacement for the 9pm Family Fireworks.

It should be pointed out that a Welcome To Country will not feature as part of Calling Country this year but will precede it as a separate event at 8:57pm. Sydney Spectaculars believes both will be broadcast & Calling Country will immediately follow the Welcome To Country, with an Indigenous ‘countdown’ (based on last year’s Welcome To Country start) concluding the Welcome To Country.

Based on media launch details, Sydney Spectaculars speculates Calling Country will conclude with a performance by Brolga Dance Academy, an Indigenous dance school from Redfern.

Note: You may have noticed 425 million was written 2 paragraphs ago. In 2019, the City Of Sydney revised the figure from 1 billion after an audience evaluation. That is half an audience lost – a dramatic drop but since when and why we do not know yet still, but audience fragmentation due to the Internet is a possible cause.

More details should be released about Sydney NYE2022 on Wednesday!

Vivid Sydney Continues To Break Records Even During A Pandemic

Earlier this year during May & June, Vivid Sydney returned after 2 years of cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic and whilst the pandemic is still raging around the world, the event continued to break records showing Sydneysiders will still have confidence regarding major events in a post-COVID-19 world.

The New South Wales Government revealed a new attendance record was set: 2.58 million people over 23 days – a rise of 7.3% on pre-pandemic levels in 2019. This equates to an average of about 112,000 per day at Vivid Sydney. Compare that to the official 2022 opening weekend attendance of 440,000 people, another record attendance, which is about double the average attendance (220,000 per day). The opening night itself received 140,000 attendees.

But it didn’t beat the behemoth that is, the (former) Queen’s Birthday long weekend where 636,000 people attended (318,000 per day).

About 81% (2.1 million) of all Vivid 2022 visitors had a meal during their event visit, which shows the importance of a culinary experience at Vivid. Organisers have emphasised this recently by announcing an official expansion of the event to include a new Vivid Food program in 2023. However, most (66%) bought takeaway meals. 701,000 people (or 33% of meal purchasers) ate at a restaurant, cafe or hotel and whilst this may be the less popular choice, it grew as an option by 24% on its previous record.

Public transport usage also grew by 3% to 63% of (1.6 million) attendees while 90,000 people (4% of total visitors) viewed Vivid Sydney from cruises (which themselves are mostly part of a light display) but it shows most Vivid Sydney visitors view the lights not on the water.

While Vivid Light once again is the focus of the event with 96% of the attendance, attendances of the other Vivid programs in 2022 are:

  • Music: 70,100 (3%) (about 701 people per performance on average)
  • Ideas: 27,942 (1%) (about 263 people per session on average)

Vivid Light‘s newest precinct at Central Station & The Goods Line received 45,000 visitors (1,957 visitors per day, 2% of total & Light-only visitors), once again showing that nothing can remove the magnet that is Circular Quay.

1% (20,434) of Vivid visitors go on to travel around New South Wales post-event. It may be a small percentage, but it brings $12.2 million to the regional New South Wales economy.

There were also more than 72,000 family groups with small children in prams as well as 8,912 mobility participants and 5,000 wheelchair participants.

Also, more than 108,000 Vivid Sydney travel packages were bought contributing to a total of 567,249 total nights stayed in commercial accommodation during the event.

Media wise, there were 21,000 media clippings, which was double than 2019 & a 48.4% increase in website traffic on 2019, reaching 2.7 million hits. #vividsydney reached 353 million people while official social media content reached 81 million people (16% increase on 2019). Lastly, there were 411,000 viewers of official live streams on Facebook & TikTok, showing people prefer to be at the event than via a screen.

All up the event brought a $119 million boost to the New South Wales economy.

Volunteers from ages 18 to 89 also contributed 11,498 hours to the event.

After all that, it is no surprise that Vivid Sydney ended up winning 14 medals at the 2022 International Festival & Events Association Pinnacle Awards.

We have seen unprecedented attendance for Vivid Sydney 2022, which is wonderful to see and a clear sign Sydney is back bigger and better than ever

The stats speak for themselves and reflect the significant contribution the festival makes to the city’s economy with local hotels, bars, restaurants, tourism operators and small businesses all reaping the benefits. 
 
Almost 30 per cent of attendees came from outside Sydney, with a significant portion of visitors then travelling into regional NSW, generating $12.2 million to regional economies. 
 
World-class events like Vivid Sydney are all about helping to boost the NSW economy, create jobs and showcase why Sydney is the best place to live.

Minister For Tourism, Ben Franklin

Applications Closing Soon For Sydney NYE2022 Volunteering!

Applications close on Monday the 28th of November for the Sydney New Year’s Eve 2022 Volunteer Program!

Based at information kiosks around the Central Business District and also roving the city, these volunteers provide information to the event’s audience.

The 2022 Sydney NYE Volunteer program is being run by Better Impact.

Successful applicants will receive access to an exclusive vantage point, an official cap, statement of service & a certificate of appreciation as thanks for helping with the event.

Applicants need to be over 18 years of age, available on Tuesday the 20th of December and NYE & have local Sydney city centre knowledge as well as a polite, friendly manner.

Being fluent in a 2nd language is desirable & customer service experience is welcomed.

There are shifts available as early as Tuesday the 27th of December.

If you apply, you may be selected for an interview, which will be held up to Monday the 5th of December. A mandatory volunteer briefing session will be held on Tuesday the 20th of December with all new volunteers having to attend an extra on-site city walk on Tuesday the 27th of December.

Team leader roles are also available, where you manage up to 10 volunteers. Previous volunteer team leader experience is desirable. There is no different process to apply for a team leader – you just need to nominate yourself in your general application – but all successful team leader applicants need to attend a mandatory briefing on Tuesday the 6th of December.

The shifts before NYE are in information kiosks at Customs House or the Queen Victoria Building for about 6 hours, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

The shifts on NYE are in the above information kiosks as well as in roving teams for about 4-8 hours, three times during that day – one in the morning, one in the afternoon & one in the evening.

You can nominate any shifts in your application and during the selection process, you will receive more information.

Only 37 days to go until 2023!

Wings Over Illawarra 2022 Drops Jaws

Photograph from Classic Aircraft Photography

About 30,000 people’s jaws dropped at Wings Over Illawarra 2022, held about two weekends ago.

It began on the Friday when the first ever Schools & Careers Open Day (a non-general public day) was held. It was headlined by a C-130J flyover at 12pm, which was viewed by 1,500 students and prospective aviators. The same C-130J then landed and was put into position as a static display for the 2 public air show days.

Saturday was a sublime day with the new Warbird Balbo successfully debuting with 8 warbirds in the sky including the Lockheed Hudson, Grumman Avenger, Vought F4U Corsair, Supermarine Spitfire MK VIII, CAC CA-18 Mustang, Focke Wulf Fw-190, CAC Boomerang & Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawk in what was the penultimate display of the day.

A skydive demonstration kicked off the air show by Skydive Australia before the Royal Australian Air Force Roulettes did their signature formation flying display, accompanied by 3 fireball pyrotechnics to conclude their show with their ‘bomb-burst’ formation finale.

A few hiccups followed – the English Electric Canberra TT-18 arrived early immediately after, piloted by the former head of the Australian Defence Force, Mark Binskin. After the Lockheed C121-C Super ‘Connie‘ Constellation flew, the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society Twins, a set of 3 aircraft consisting of the C-47 Dakota/Douglas DC-3, a Grumman S-2G Tracker & a DHC-4 Caribou, were to do a flypast but the C-47 Dakota/Douglas DC-3 was not able to take off.

As the afternoon started, the Focke-Wulf Fw-190 & Supermarine Spitfire Mk VIII (of which 2 appeared at the air show) did a new dogfight demonstration, which was opened with a simulated ‘air raid’ of Shellharbour Airport by the Focke-Wulf Fw-190, complete with fireball pyrotechnics & simulated gunfire across the runway.

The Saturday successfully ended, though a bit late, with the headline act – the F35 Lightning II, the newest military jet of the Royal Australian Air Force. Unlike last year’s debut display, it did not shoot flares off the aircraft, but it did conclude with the explosive Wall Of Fire (as spectacularly pictured above by Classic Aircraft Photography) .

Sunday was expected to have significant amounts of rain compared to the Saturday. There was even forecast the possibility of an afternoon severe thunderstorm. Organisers, therefore, reorganised the flying display program on the morning of, prioritising the more popular displays such as the simulated ‘air raid’ and dogfight demonstration & most significantly, the F35 Lightning II & the Wall Of Fire, which was brought nearly 4 hours forward. The opening skydive demonstration also did not take place and the Royal Australian Air Force Roulettes, whilst remaining in its opening timeslot (minus the fireball pyrotechnics, which was added to the F35 Lightning II handling display) left early at approximately 1:30pm due to poor weather at their Sale, Victoria base.

In a spot of luck, the weather remained a lot better than forecast all day for spectators but at the expense of a totally reorganised flying program. Safety is paramount at air shows, so the flying program changes were needed especially as wind shear, a hazardous meteorological phenomenon for aircraft, was a feature of the morning for the pilots. The Warbird Balbo, though, remained in its timeslot and concluded the Sunday but it was reduced to 5 warbirds. Most of Sunday’s flying program went ahead in the end, albeit in a different order.

Despite the reorganised Sunday, both days saw aerobatic displays by Paul Bennet, Glenn Graham, Matt Hall and The Sky Aces as well as a plethora of warbirds & historic aircraft, both in the air and on display on the tarmac. In the air, there was a L-39 Albatros and an AP-3C Orion among others while on the ground, there was an F-111 and of course, the iconic City Of Canberra Boeing 747. There was also static Australian Defence Force aircraft, exhibits, stalls as well as drone racing. The latter of which was live streamed in full over the 3 days, which was won in the end by Davey FPV. A vintage military vehicle and German World War II exhibit (the latter complete with re-enactors) rounded out the static exhibits which were accompanied by general aviation exhibitors & scenic helicopter flights by Touchdown Helicopters. An expanded amusement ride carnival, The Captain’s Carnival with its signature ride, Speed & new food and wine tasting such as Wings Winery provided some alternative entertainment.

Wings Over Illawarra has landed as the latest flagship ‘Sydney Spectacular’ and we look forward to seeing how this (already large) event grows into the future.

Remember, if you missed the air show, the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society Museum, which is based at Shellharbour Airport, is open nearly year-round and holds monthly Tarmac Days, which if you’re lucky, may feature their historic aircraft taking flight.

But the time to be at Shellharbour Airport is Wings Over Illawarra – the newest ‘flagship’ Sydney Spectacular! Until November 2023!

Sydney Remembers The Fallen Of World War I

At Friday dawn, the Sydney Opera House was lit up with projections of poppies as a service was held across the Harbour at the Overseas Passenger Terminal to commemorate the fallen of the 1st World War.

The projections were repeated again at 8pm that night.

RSL NSW President Ray James OAM reciting The Ode
Photograph: RSL NSW

Attended by veterans, RSL NSW members, currently serving members, their families, the Minister for Transport, Veterans & Western Sydney & the general public, the dawn service featured The Ode being recited by the President of the Returned & Services League New South Wales (RSL NSW), Ray James OAM before the Army Bugler performed The Last Post across Circular Quay.

The projections of poppies have been an annual Sydney Opera House night projection held on every Remembrance Day since 2014. A dawn projection was introduced in 2020 and a dawn service in 2021, both most likely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. All dawn services have been held at the Overseas Passenger Terminal.

RSL NSW President Ray James OAM reciting The Ode, alongside the Minister For Transport, Veterans & Western Sydney, David Elliott
Photograph: RSL NSW © Salty Dingo 2022

As a mark of thanks from the state of NSW, travel was made free for Australian Defence Force members and families all day on Remembrance Day.

Minister For Transport, Veterans & Western Sydney David Elliott said 11 November was a day to pay respect to & remember those who have given their lives in service to Australia in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping missions as well as their families.

Remembrance Day Poppy Projections on the Bennelong sails of the Sydney Opera House
Photograph: RSL NSW © Salty Dingo 2022

Remembrance Day marks the anniversary of the beginning of the enforcement of the armistice of World War I, which began at 11am on the 11th of November 1918. Services were held around the world to remember the fallen & the war with a minute’s silence at the 11am mark.

Remembrance Day gives the community an opportunity to pause and reflect on the courage, resilience and sacrifice service men and women have shown for our nation. The poppy projection on the Sydney Opera House is a simple reminder for people here, and around the world, to ‘remember to remember’ those who have come home injured or ill, in body or spirit, and all those who bravely serve our country today

RSL NSW President, Ray James OAM

For more than a century, red poppies have been used as a symbol of community respect and recognition, marking the end of fighting in the First World War

Minister for Transport, Veterans & Western Sydney, David Elliott

Pre-Event Checklist: 5 Displays Removed Including Stunt Flying From Wings Over Illawarra 2022 But Opening Skydiving Display Added As Event Map Released Plus Weather & Transport Details

UPDATE (11:56PM, FRIDAY 11/11/2022): This article has been updated to include details on the industrial action on the Sydney Trains network & South Coast Line this weekend.

  • TICKET………………….Buy
  • WEATHER…………….Check
  • TRANSPORT………….Select
  • EVENT…………………..Travel To
  • VANTAGE POINT….Find
  • AIRCRAFT……………..Look Up For!

Flying Program Changes

Wings Over Illawarra last week confirmed via Facebook that. due to pilot availability and aircraft maintenance, the PT-17 Stearman, CA-27 Sabre and the Learjet 35’s (minimum & usually 2) would not be flying to this weekend’s air show.

Sydney Spectaculars was also informed by Wings Over Illawarra this week that the MH-60R Seahawk ‘Romeo’ helicopter would not be flying to this weekend’s air show due to similar reasons.

The CAC Wirraway has since been announced to fly on both days at 12:26pm at the expense of Paul Bennet flying a Super Cub onto a vehicle, the first foray into stunt flying by Wings Over Illawarra.

It has also resulted in a very differently timed flying program with the F-35 Lightning now flying only the last 8 minutes of the air show (previously 17) at 3:52pm both days. Also, both days is the Warbird Balbo, which is now at 3:34pm but running for an extra 3 minutes. The Royal Australian Air Force Roulettes also runs an extra 7 minutes now.

On Thursday, Wings Over Illawarra announced both days will open with a skydiving display by Skydiving Australia with multiple (do not know how many but more than 1) of their instructors skydiving into Shellharbour Airport.

You can find the latest flying program here with any future updates to the flying program, if any, to be posted there directly rather than through an article.

Event Map

There, you can find the event map, which was revealed last week:

WIngs Over Illawarra 2022 Event Map
Map: Wings Over Illawarra

Notably, from the event map, we can see the classic cars are no longer part of the show. Organisers did have registrations open for them this year so we assume they did not get many registrations this year and thus, removed it from the event entirely (though it is still on their website). A larger amusement ride Carnival – The Captain’s Carnival – takes its place. Vintage military vehicles will still make an appearance.

There will also be a new World War II German Exhibit near the runway intersection on the south-eastern side. It will contain motorbikes, reenactors, vehicles and information boards. The Focke Wulf Fw-190 is not part of this exhibit. There is also a new food and wine tasting area near the main entrance. A drone racing area will replace the Drone Expo this year.

Also new but not shown on the map is Wings Winery, which will also have craft beer, cider, gin, vodka, liqueurs, sauces, chilli-based products & relishes!

Weather

This year’s event is once again held in November – the 2nd time ever to be – but it is also the first event to be held on this particular November weekend (last year’s was held in late November) so previous events’ weather cannot be compared.

Weather has plagued the event before – mainly in 2014 & 2015, when high crosswinds cancelled the flying program (except 3 morning displays) and when an East Coast Low cancelled the whole event respectively. There is no sign of similar weather this year.

Forecast

The below paragraph is for the Wollongong area.

Except for wind, Saturday is looking better than Sunday at this stage with less rain and no chance of a thunderstorm in the Wollongong area. Sunday has a possibility of a severe thunderstorm. Saturday has a medium (50%) chance of showers while Sunday has a very high (95%) chance of showers. Saturday will be partly cloudy while Sunday will be cloudy. Both days begin with light winds. However, in the morning, on Sunday, the winds will become north to north-easterly 15-25km/h while on Saturday, the winds will become south to south-westerly 15-20km/h. In the middle of Saturday, the winds will tend south to south-easterly 20-30km/h.

The amount of rain forecast is not enough to cancel the entire event or most of the flying program. However, the possibility of a thunderstorm on Sunday particularly at or after 2pm may ground the flying program for the duration of the storm, if any. Previous editions have seen the flying program run overtime until 5pm if conditions necessitate it. Safety is paramount so if there is a delay in the flying program, please be calm and patient, particularly as the event is organised by a small but dedicated team. They will try their best to ensure a great safe air show. If a severe thunderstorm does appear, a warning will be issued by the Bureau Of Meteorology, which can be found here.

The below details are for Albion Park:

  • General Forecast: Shower Or Two (Saturday) & Showers (Sunday)
  • Minimum Temperature: 15 (Saturday) & 17 (Sunday)
  • Maximum Temperature: 24 (Saturday) & 26 (Sunday)
  • Possible Rainfall: Up to 2mm (Saturday) & 5-10mm (Sunday)
  • Rain Chance: 60% (Saturday) & 95% (Sunday)
  • Sun Protection: Recommended 8:40am (both days) to 4:40pm (Saturday) & 4:30pm (Sunday)
  • Maximum UV Index: 10 (Very High) (both days)

The Bureau Of Meteorology’s MetEye service predicts the following for Shellharbour Airport:

  • 11am Saturday – Rain, 10-25% chance of any rain, 10-20km/h winds heading north-northwest, feels like 24-27 degrees Celsius, 60-70% relative humidity, 9-10 (clear sky) UV Index
  • 2pm Saturday – Rain, 10-25% chance of any rain, 20-30km/h winds heading north-northwest, feels like 24-27 degrees Celsius, 60-70% relative humidity, 9-10 (clear sky) UV Index
  • 5pm Saturday – Rain, 10-25% chance of any rain, 10-20km/h winds heading northwest, feels like 21-24 degrees Celsius, 70-80% relative humidity, 1-2 (clear sky) UV Index
  • 11am Sunday – Thunderstorm chance, 25-50% chance of any rain, 10-20km/h winds heading southwest, feels like 21-24 degrees Celsius, 70-80% relative humidity, 9-10 (clear sky) UV Index
  • 2pm Sunday – Thunderstorm chance, 50-75% chance of any rain, 10-20km/h winds heading southwest, feels like 24-27 degrees Celsius, 60-70% relative humidity, 9-10 (clear sky) UV Index
  • 5pm Sunday – Thunderstorm chance, 50-75% chance of any rain, 10-20km/h winds heading south-southwest, feels like 24-27 degrees Celsius, 60-70% relative humidity, 1-2 (clear sky) UV Index

Sun protection is recommended when the UV Index is 3 or higher.

Transport

Ticketholders to the 2 main public event days are recommended to arrive by train.

Train

The air show is on the South Coast Line (Bondi Junction to Bomaderry via Central). This form of transport is ideal for locals, Sydneysiders and visitors & people from the Shoalhaven. The station the air show is at is Albion Park, which is right across the road from Shellharbour Airport. Due to industrial action, trains are running to a reduced frequency and changed timetable. Allow extra travel time. This advice should be particularly followed in regard to leaving the event. For details on other Sydney Trains lines, click here.

These are the last train times before gates open at 9am (arrival station in italics):

  • Bondi Junction – 6:13am
  • Town Hall – 6:24am
  • Bomaderry – 6:26am
  • Central – 6:29am
  • Redfern – 6:31am
  • Wolli Creek – 6:41am
  • Sutherland – 7:03am
  • Kiama – 7:49am
  • Albion Park – 8:09am (from Kiama, 51 minutes before gates open & 2 hours, 51 minutes before flying program begins)
  • Wollongong – 8:16am
  • Albion Park – 8:36am (from Bondi Junction, 24 minutes before gates open & 2 hours, 24 minutes before flying program begins)

These are the last train times before the flying program begins (arrival station in italics):

  • Bondi Junction – 8:13am
  • Town Hall – 8:24am
  • Central – 8:29am
  • Redfern – 8:31am
  • Bomaderry – 8:32am (Saturday)
  • Wolli Creek – 8:41am
  • Bomaderry – 8:54am (Sunday)
  • Sutherland – 9:03am
  • Kiama – 9:56am
  • Wollongong – 10:08am (Saturday)
  • Wollongong – 10:10am (Sunday)
  • Albion Park – 10:16am (from Kiama, 44 minutes before flying program begins)
  • Albion Park – 10:31am (from Bondi Junction, 29 minutes before flying program begins)

Coach

The NSW Trainslink Southern NSW Coach Service 749 operates (Bundanoon to Wollongong via Albion Park). This form of transport is ideal for people travelling from the Southern Highlands. You cannot catch a coach from Wollongong to Albion Park. Bookings are required to be made on event day. The stop the air show is at is Albion Park Railway Station, which is right across the road from the air show. Below are the last available coach times to the air show (as of writing) (arrival stops in italics):

  • Bundanoon – 6:15am
  • Exeter – 6:20am
  • Moss Vale – 6:30am
  • Bowral – 6:45am
  • Burrawang – 7:03am
  • Robertson – 7:13am
  • Albion Park – 7:50am (from Bundanoon, 1 hour and 10 minutes until gates open & 3 hours and 10 minutes until the flying program begins)

Bus

Premier Illawarra operates 4 bus routes to the air show:

  • 37 (Lake Illawarra Loop: Wollongong to Shellharbour anti-clockwise via Dapto & Albion Park Rail)
  • 57 (Lake Illawarra Loop: Wollongong to Shellharbour clockwise via Warrawong & Albion Park Rail)
  • 76 (Shellharbour Village to Albion Park via Albion Park Rail (Loop Service))
  • 77 (Shellharbour to Albion Park via Albion Park Rail (Loop Service))

This form of transport is ideal for people travelling locally. However, they mainly operate on the Saturday. The stops the air show is at is Albion Park Railway Station, which is right across the road from the air show and the Princes Highway. There are 6 bus stops in the vicinity (1 at the Railway Station and 4 on the Princes Highway, three southbound, two northbound). All bus times below are for Saturday except where stated.

Below are the last available bus times at major bus interchanges before the gates open (arrival stops in italics) (bus route in brackets):

  • Warrawong Plaza, King Street – 7:29am (57)
  • St Francis Xavier Cathedral, Crown Street, Wollongong – 7:42am (37)
  • Warilla Grove Shops, Shellharbour Road – 7:44am (57)
  • Wollongong Central, Stand C – 7:45am (37)
  • Lake Entrance Road before Leewarra Avenue, Warilla – 7:47am (57)
  • Stockland Shellharbour, Shellharbour City Centre – 7:52am (57)
  • Central Avenue after Fisher Street, Oak Flats – 8:02am (57)
  • All Saints Anglican Church, Tongarra Road, Albion Park – 8:08am (76)
  • Dapto Mall – 8:09am (37)
  • Princes Highway opposite Albion Park Railway Station/Princes Highway opposite Creamery Road, Albion Park Rail – 8:10am (57, 50 minutes until gates open & 1 hour and 50 minutes until the flying program begins)
  • St Francis Xavier Cathedral, Crown Street, Wollongong – 8:17am (37, Sunday)
  • Wollongong Central, Stand C – 8:20am (37, Sunday)
  • 145 Princes Highway, Albion Park Rail/Princes Highway before Creamery Road, Albion Park Rail – 8:22am (37, 38 minutes until gates open & 1 hour and 38 minutes until the flying program begins)
  • Albion Park Railway Station, Princes Highway – 8:23am (37, 37 minutes until gates open & 1 hour and 37 minutes until the flying program begins)
  • Tongarra Road after Terry Street, Albion Park – 8:24am (76)
  • Princes Highway opposite Albion Park Railway Station – 8:32am (76, 28 minutes until gates open & 1 hour and 28 minutes until the flying program begins)
  • Albion Park Railway Station/Albion Park Railway Station, Princes Highway – 8:33am (76, 27 minutes until gates open & 1 hour and 27 minutes until the flying program begins)
  • Dapto Mall – 8:47am (37, Sunday)
  • 145 Princes Highway, Albion Park Rail/Princes Highway before Creamery Road, Albion Park Rail – 8:59am (37, Sunday, 1 minute until flying program begins)

Route 76 also stops in Woollybutt Drive at 7:58am but will travel, as shown in the list above, around Albion Park for 1 hour and 34 minutes before arriving at the air show at 8:32am/8:33am. Alternatively, you can walk the 15 minutes from that bus stop to the air show main gates or drive the 2 minutes to the official car park at the corner of Croome & Tongarra Road and catch the 1-minute shuttle bus to the air show main gates.

Below are the last available bus times before the flying program (arrival stops in italics):

  • Warrawong Plaza, King Street – 9:33am (57, Sunday)
  • Warrawong Plaza, King Street – 9:34am (57)
  • All Saints Anglican Church, Tongarra Road, Albion Park – 9:38am (77)
  • St Francis Xavier Cathedral, Crown Street, Wollongong – 9:41am (37)
  • Wollongong Central, Stand C – 9:44am (37)
  • Warilla Grove Shops, Shellharbour Road – 9:48am (57, Sunday)
  • Warilla Grove Shops, Shellharbour Road – 9:50am (57)
  • Lake Entrance Road before Leewarra Avenue, Warilla – 9:51am (57, Sunday)
  • Lake Entrance Road before Leewarra Avenue, Warilla – 9:53am (57)
  • Tongarra Road after Terry Street, Albion Park – 9:54am (77)
  • Stockland Shellharbour, Shellharbour City Centre – 9:56am (57, Sunday)
  • Stockland Shellharbour, Shellharbour City Centre – 9:58am (57)
  • Princes Highway opposite Albion Park Station – 10:01am (77, 59 minutes until flying program begins)
  • Central Avenue after Fisher Street, Oak Flats – 10:06am (57, Sunday)
  • Central Avenue after Fisher Street, Oak Flats – 10:08am (57)
  • Dapto Mall – 10:09am (37)
  • Princes Highway opposite Albion Park Station/Princes Highway opposite Creamery Road, Albion Park Rail – 10:14am (57, Sunday, 46 minutes until flying program begins)
  • Princes Highway opposite Albion Park Station/Princes Highway opposite Creamery Road, Albion Park Rail – 10:16am (57, 44 minutes until flying program begins)
  • St Francis Xavier Cathedral, Crown Street, Wollongong – 10:17am (37, Sunday)
  • Wollongong Central, Stand C – 10:20am (37, Sunday)
  • 145 Princes Highway, Albion Park Rail/Princes Highway before Creamery Road, Albion Park Rail – 10:22am (37, 38 minutes until flying program begins)
  • Albion Park Railway Station, Princes Highway – 10:23am (37, 37 minutes until flying program begins)
  • Dapto Mall – 10:47am (37, Sunday)
  • 145 Princes Highway, Albion Park Rail/Princes Highway before Creamery Road, Albion Park Rail – 10:59am (37, Sunday, 1 minute until flying program begins)

Route 77 also stops in Deakin Street, Bridge Avenue, Wentworth Street & Industrial Drive (Oak Flats), Wooroo Street, Karoo Street, Koona Street & Windang Street (Albion Park Rail) for local residents to travel to the air show between 9:16am & 9:26am on Saturday, arriving at Albion Park Railway Station, Princes Highway at 9:28am, 1 hour and 32 minutes before the flying program begins.

Airline

Link Airways is the only airline servicing Shellharbour Airport. All flights immediately before the air show are already sold out. These flights are only now ideal for people travelling from Queensland or Victoria.

Live Streaming

As like last year’s air show, the event will not be live streamed.

Applications Closing Soon For Vivid Sydney 2023 Local Business Program!

Applications close at 5pm on the 17th of November for the Vivid Sydney 2023 Local Business Program!

With applications opening back on the 18th of October, the Vivid Sydney Local Business Program sees interested local businesses apply for 1 of 4 tiers:

  • Tier 1 (retail/dining/entertainment/tourism)- digitally marketed special experience with Vivid Sydney window dressing & LED screen
  • Tier 2 (retail/dining/entertainment/tourism) – business-as-usual but with Vivid Sydney window dressing
  • Tier 3 (accommodation/tourism/experiences) – digitally marketed special experience
  • Tier 4 (businesses/cruise vessels) – your building/cruise synchronised to lights

The Vivid Sydney Local Business Program was first run this year with 172 retailers, 19 cruises and 24 hotels & according to Tourism Accommodation Australia, Vivid Sydney 2022 saw bookings jump to above 80% for the 1st time since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Also, according to the NSW Government, more than 650,000 Vivid Sydney 2022 attendees dined out in a CBD restaurant or hotel while 2.1 million enjoyed a sit-down or takeaway meal.

Vivid Sydney 2023, one of the 4 ‘flagship’ Sydney Spectaculars, will be held from Friday the 26th of May to Saturday the 17th of June. 

Sydney is well and truly open for business, and we’re calling on our retailers, hoteliers, hospitality groups, entertainment, travel and tourism operators in the Sydney CBD and surrounding suburbs to join the Local Business Program and truly immerse themselves in Vivid Sydney

Each year, Vivid Sydney brings something bigger and brighter to wow the hundreds of thousands of people who visit each year. This program is a fantastic opportunity for business owners to expose themselves to a large audience of potential new customers.

Nominations opened on 18 October and interested parties are invited to present ideas, special offers and experiences for inclusion in the 2023 Vivid Sydney Local Business Program.

Minister for Tourism, Ben Franklin

Wings Over Illawarra 2022 Flying Program Released, Confirms Finales & Reveals Stunt Flying Addition

The 2022 Flying Program of Wings Over Illawarra has been released!

You can read the flying programs for both public event days by clicking here and currently, they are the same for both public event days so you will not miss anything at this stage if you only attend 1 day.

A couple of days before the flying program was released, Wings Over Illawarra had confirmed to Sydney Spectaculars that the Warbird Balbo announced as part of the 2022 flying program last week would not form part of each public event day’s finale.

The finale for both public event days is the F-35 Lightning II with the Wall Of Fire, beginning at 3:43pm and lasting the final 17 minutes of each public day’s flying program. The Warbird Balbo will be the penultimate display of each public event day with the largest formation display ever held at Wings Over Illawarra – 8 warbirds in the sky at once, beginning at 3:28pm and lasting 15 minutes.

The Warbird Balbo will feature the Lockheed Hudson, Grumman Avenger, Vought F4U Corsair, Supermarine Spitfire MK VIII, CAC CA-18 Mustang, Focke Wulf Fw-190, CAC Boomerang and the Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawk.

The previous record of largest formation display at Wings Over Illawarra was held by The Royal Australian Air Force Roulettes & The Russian Roolettes with their 6 aircraft each.

The Royal Australian Air Force Roulettes will be the opening flying display each day at 11am for 20 minutes. The Russian Roolettes (now named The Red Star Roolettes) has not been announced as coming to this edition’s air show as of writing.

But new for 2022 is stunt flying! Beginning at 1:27pm, Paul Bennet will pilot a Super Cub and will land on a vehicle in a jaw-dropping 10-minute display.

Other flying aircraft confirmed but with no confirmed flying times yet are the PT-17 Stearman, CAC Wirraway, the Learjet 35 (x2), the MH-60R Seahawk ‘Romeo’ & the CA-27 Sabre.

There are less than 2 weeks to go until the air show. Not long to go now! Buy your tickets now!

The Sydney Opera House Shines Gold For Diwali

Between 8pm & 11pm on October 24, the Sydney Opera House was lit up gold for Diwali.

The projection was done by The Electric Canvas, who have done them annually since 2015.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet and Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure welcomed the lighting of the sails to officially mark the start of Diwali, which is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains.

By lighting up the sails of the Opera House, we are sharing in the rich colour, vibrancy and values of Diwali. Tonight also symbolises our unity as a multicultural state, that no matter our cultural background, our faith or the language we speak, Diwali can be enjoyed and experienced by everyone in NSW.

NSW Premier, Dominic Perrottet

Falling between October & November annually, Diwali, which means ‘row of lights’ and is predominately called a festival of lights globally, is held on the last day of the month of Kartika in the Hindu, Nepali, Bengali & Indian National calendars. It is celebrated by lighting diyas (small oil lamps) which symbolise spiritual darkness’s lifting and life’s renewal. It is also considered a time to pray for health, knowledge and peace.

Mr Coure said celebrating events like Diwali is about celebrating NSW’s greatest assets, its people. 

Thanks to our rich diversity, we have the opportunity to join in celebrations right here at home that you would otherwise have to travel overseas to experience. For generations, the contributions of our Indian, Bangladeshi, Nepalese and South East Asian communities have been woven into the social fabric of our state, and by celebrating their culture tonight we are also celebrating their contributions to making NSW a multicultural and multifaith success story.

Minister for Multiculturalism, Mark Coure

Multicultural NSW Advisory Board chair Nick Kaldas encouraged all residents to enjoy the festivities during Diwali.

Cultural festivals like Diwali give us all a window into the contributions that diverse communities make to the rich cultural mosaic of NSW

Multicultural NSW Advisory Board chair, Nick Kaldas

As part of the Spectacular, a private function hosted by the Minister for Multiculturalism and co-organised by Multicultural NSW & SBS was held on the rooftop of the Museum of Contemporary Art, accompanied by speeches. The sails were lit up by the Minister for Multiculturalism. The BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir distributed packets of sweets for all guests during the function and did a performance of Shantipath prior to the lighting of the sails.

The performance of ‘Shantipath’ at the private function before the lighting of the sails.
Photograph: Multicultural NSW
Volunteers from BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir pose with the sweet packages. 
Photograph & Caption: Special Broadcasting Service

Attended include the Vice-President of the Executive Council (Damien Tudehope MLC), Minister for Digital/Customer Service (Victor Dominello MP), the Consul-General of India in Sydney (Manish Gupta), the Chief Executive of Multicultural NSW (Joseph La Posta), members of Multicultural NSW Advisory Board, the New South Wales Chapter President of the Australia-India Business Council (Irfan Mali) and members of the Indian community in Australia among others. Other people who attended are quoted below:

As an Indian, this a proud moment for me to witness this lighting up. I am overwhelmed

Prakash Belawadi, actor

The lighting up of the Sydney Opera House brings together the Indian diaspora in Australia

Convener of Hindi Schools in Sydney, Mala Mehta OAM

The government has realized the strength of the Indian community. This Diwali, we celebrate this strength too.

International Chair of the Australia-India Business Council, Jodi McKay

This lighting up of the Opera House is the symbol of the true message of Diwali and Bandi Chhor Diwas – the message of light and hope

Harman Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Harinder Kaur

Premier Dominic Perrottet did not attend the event due to floods in New South Wales.

The Sydney Opera House Diwali Spectacular is held annually, meaning the next edition should be held on 12th November 2023.

Sources

Media Releases | Multicultural NSW

‘Opera Sails are lit up for Diwali to convey that all communities are welcome in NSW’ | SBS Hindi (Contains a 11-minute podcast episode in Hindi)

‘Diwali 2022’ Photo Album – Multicultural NSW – Facebook