The Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year is celebrated across the globe. BJ enjoyed two days of celebrations, one day with his lovely support worker and one with us as a family. There’s plenty to explore in Sydney and surrounding suburbs but here’s our round-up of where to enjoy Chinese New Year 2018 in the city.
LUNAR LANTERNS AT CIRCULAR QUAY
The most spectacular display is the Lunar Lanterns at Circular Quay. You really do need to wait until it is dark for the best effect. Early in the evening they looked nice but when the sun went down the illuminated figures became stunning with the harbour backdrop. Take a look at the video below and you’ll see the variety of lanterns and the crowds surrounding them!
The event is busy but we managed to get around with BJ in his chair fairly well.
The majority of the lanterns are accessible. The grass area where the rabbits are in First Fleet Park has no ramping and the pig installation at Cadman Cottage also has no ramp access. I’ve given feedback to the teams who were on duty in the two areas. The rest of the lanterns have great access.
I hate paying for parking stations if I can avoid it so we parked in Lower Fort Street in The Rocks. We drove into the city arriving about 6.30pm and the streets were fairly choked in and around Circular Quay. We slowly made our way to Lower Fort St where there was plenty of parking at that time and it was then only a short walk/wheel to the Overseas Passenger Terminal where we started our wander around to all the lantern displays. With an accessible parking permit the parking is free in Lower Fort Street.
The accessible bathrooms at The Gateway or The Sydney Opera House are our pick but here’s our full list of the best accessible bathrooms in the city.
Make sure you check out Art for Guide Dogs at Scout Place and Customs House from 16 – 25 February 2018. 60 Iconic Guide Dog coin collection dogs have been transformed by leading artists, designers, community groups and other special supporters of the charity. The display celebrates 60 years of service to the Guide Dogs NSW/ACT and Chinese New Year of the Dog 2018.
The public are asked to vote for their favourite dog by making a donation. When AJ was little we always had to stop and put some coins in the Guide Dogs who graced our local supermarkets. It was a lovely tradition which ultimately was benefitting a fabulous charity.
Check out the City of Sydney’s list of Lunar New Year celebrations and events here.
CHINESE GARDEN OF FRIENDSHIP DARLING HARBOUR
BJ is a regular at the Chinese Garden of Friendship, so much so, when we arrived one of the ladies said, “Weren’t you here yesterday?” Although BJ enjoys wandering around the gardens and feeding the Koi, his passion for the gardens stems from the scones available in the cafe! The way to a man’s heart and all that.
Click on the video below to take a tour around the gardens with AJ and BJ.
Due to the landscape design of the gardens there is a portion of the gardens which is not accessible. There is a wheelchair accessible path around the lower gardens and the café.
A stand-alone unisex accessible bathroom is available at the gardens.
The Australian Companion Card is accepted and the concession admission for BJ is $3.
Kids and adults can dress up in traditional Chinese costumes and take their own photos in the gardens. It was really popular on the day we visited. Cost is $10 for adults and $5 for children.
The Chinese Friendship Gardens has various activities for Lunar New Year. You can read more about what’s scheduled here.
If you’re thinking of visiting the city to see the Lanterns, we suggest arriving in the late afternoon, grab some dinner, watch sunset and then explore the Lunar Lanterns around Circular Quay. Celebrations continue until 25 February so be quick!