It started with a gathering at the playground on the waterfront, where the Pounawea Projects Group hosted a New Year's Eve carnival for the children. The BBQ sausage and Pikelets & Cream stalls were off to a good start with a queue forming within minutes of opening. At $2 a sausage and .50c for a pikelet it was a very cheap snack (or dinner).
Ruby was quick to have her face painted...
And Ollie to show off his winning spoils- 'fishing' in a paddling pool and tickets on a spinning wheel.
The cheering crowd, along with the participants, enjoyed the plate smashing- throwing golf balls at the china. Although I could have cried when a beautiful art deco Clarice Cliff bowl was propped up on the rack. Especially after the guy had taken great delight in parading it along in front of us. What a sacrilege, even more so when it was Ollie that smashed it off its perch! I'd forgotten my money otherwise I'd have bought it off the guy. I checked Ebay today and found a similar bowl for £50!
The 'Greasy Pole Pillow Fight' was very popular and brought back memories. Dad made one of these for us kids, well in fact he made one for Mum's pottery club fundraiser which was held on the farm and we got to use it afterwards. Dad covered ours in wax to make it really slippery, I don't think there was anything slippery on this one, some kids seem to be stuck to it like glue.
Ollie sussed his tactics out while waiting in line- put up your hand, and while your opponent is checking it out...
...whack him on the head from the other direction.
It didn't work though and it wasn't long before he took a tumble.
The horizontal bungy was another popular activity. The children were 'helped' along to the bucket by the men behind. They took the tension out just enough to allow the kids to feel like they were stretching it. Woe betide if they got cheeky though, the return spring was sometimes a little too fast for their feet.
This is Emily and her dad Harry (who was doing his year's worth of workouts in one night), they're friends of Rachel & Camerons and the reason why we were invited to join the family at Pounawea for Christmas- our family had been here before with Harry & Amanda. This was Harry's 40th continuous year at the camp.
There was family fun for everyone- egg & spoon races, balloon between the knee races and lolly scrambles. In this one, the first kid to blow the balloon up until it burst won! All good old-fashioned fun which everyone enjoyed.
Rain threatened all day and was promised for the evening but all that we got were a couple of minor passing showers and a cold wind blowing. And when the wind died down in the early evening the night turned out to be quite mild (by Catlins standards). Once we'd finished at the carnival we headed back to the camp, passing the jetty where the fireworks would explode from later.
Back at camp, the night had only just begun, as various groups gathered to celebrate and wait for midnight.
After a suitable time imbibing we gathered the stragglers together and made our way back to the waterfront to await midnight.
I left the family on the hard and made my way down onto the mudflats and further up stream with my tripod so I could get some firework shots from afar.
I didn't have long to wait (which was just as well, as my shoes and tripod slowly disappeared into the mud) before the countdown began...
...and fireworks exploded above the estuary.
Taking photos of fireworks is no easy task. Many of the photos you see of fireworks exploding over famous structures like the Sydney Harbour Bridge, are multiple shots blended together- this way you can see the city lights along with many fireworks bursts without the shot being over exposed. I had a few scenarios I wanted to try out but in the end I was a little too close to action, so I just concentrated on capturing a few of the bursts. All too quickly the excitement was over though and I was a little surprised that there wasn't a grand finale of multiple large explosions.
Afterwards the kids (and one adult who shall remain nameless) had a bit of fun with the sparklers they'd saved from Guy Fawkes.
We paid a short visit to the stage where the band were still playing but most of the people were making their way off down the street.
We also headed for home and just as we passed the jetty another round of fireworks burst into the sky above us- someone must have turned the torch on and found the finale string!
We carried on along the waterfront passing a police car with a flat tyre parked at the entrance to the road closed area. David helpfully held his torch on the wheel nuts as a few guys helped the police locate the spare and change the wheel.
The rain held off just long enough to see in the New Year and enjoy the fireworks display. It started to drizzle as we walked home and became a steady downpour not long after we climbed into bed.
And that was it, a totally pleasant and enjoyable New Years Eve with family, done for another year,