Although we didn’t plan to be here for Australia Day, the Sydney celebrations for Australia’s national day are iconic — especially the harbour fireworks. We made the most of our time here by taking the girls into the city for the party.

It’s hard to believe that it’s only been twelve months since we spent Australia Day at the beach on the Gold Coast. So much has happened to us since then — it’s as if we’ve lived several life-times in just one year!

Today, we first visited Victoria Park to check out the Yabun Concert. It’s not a long walk from where we’re parked, so we set off on foot.

Colourful caravan at Yabun, January 2012
Yabun is the largest single day Indigenous festival in Australia and showcases a variety of Indigenous creative talent.

Yabun was expected to attract between 10,000 and 15,000 people, and we felt the oppression of the crowds. There were long lines at most of the kids’ activities, although we found that we could participate freely at the circus-workshop space hosted by the Young, Black and Deadly circus crew.

Delaney with a hula-hoop, January 2012
After watching the other children, Delaney tries out a very large hoop.

Aisha with a hula-hoop, January 2012
Aisha has a bit more success at keeping the hoop moving around her torso.

Brioni spins a ribbon, January 2012
After giving up on juggling, Brioni twirls a ribbon.

Calista with a juggling pin, January 2012
Calista laughs at her own attempt at juggling.

While watching the girls play with the equipment, I met Josie from Positive Birth Stories. She has collected a number of positive birth stories on her website to empower women to birth naturally and free from fear.

Playing in Victoria Park playground, January 2012
We move to Victoria Park's playground for a bit of free play.

We decided to walk to Darling Harbour to see what other celebrations were happening there. It’s only a couple of kilometres, and we took our time so that our girls wouldn’t notice the distance.

Windwatcher, January 2012
While walking to Darling Harbour, we pass "Windwatcher" — a huge, 10.5-metre windsock on the top of the heritage-listed, 52-metre-tall chimney of Irving Street Brewery. Artist Mikala Dwyer described her artwork as a “simple but profound” reminder not just of the sky, but of the majestic force of the wind.

Calista posing, January 2012
Calista poses on a red post box opposite St Benedict's Church on Broadway.

Girls on poles, January 2012
We manage to get three girls up on the poles at one time!

Girls playing at Darling Harbour, January 2012
We find a quiet location at the perimeter of Darling Harbour where we can eat a meal and wait for the fireworks. As the girls slip in and out of the temporary fencing that is erected to keep alcohol out of the venue, the security guards admonish them to be careful.

Crowds at Darling Harbour, January 2012
We delay joining the crowds until the minutes before the fireworks over the water are due to begin.

Australia Day fireworks at Darling Harbour, January 2012
The fireworks are a spectacular display set to music, well worth the wait.

Sydney fireworks are legendary, and I’m glad we’ve experienced them this year. As soon as the main bangs were over, we started to make our way to the train station.

Riding the escalator, January 2012
As we make our way back home, we start to feel weary from the days' events and all that walking.

Aisha on the train platform, January 2012
Aisha is energised by having found this inflatable hand. It keeps her amused all the way home as she uses it as a "truck detector".