Adventuring Sydneyside: Darling Harbour and the Giant Duck

A few days ago I was chatting on the phone with my dad when he said, ‘Hey, how is that huge duck in the harbour?’

I was a bit surprised by his question considering that I had only learned about the upcoming arrival of this duck a day before he mentioned it. Still, news of this duck had clearly gone global (thanks NBC!), which only piqued my curiosity further. I knew I had to see it. It was a mission…a duck hunt, if you will.

Anyway, to bring those not following the duck news up to speed, the Sydney Festival started over the weekend, and one of Saturday’s big events was Rubber Duck: a gigantic and adorable art piece by Florentijn Hofman which floated its way into Darling Harbour.

Coincidentally, we had guests in town on Saturday, and they wanted to start their day at Sydney Tower. I was happy to oblige so I could use the opportunity to scope out the Harbour and see if I would be able to spot our yellow friend. (spoiler: I could. It was easy – it’s giant and yellow, after all.)

You can't hide from me ducky!

You cannot hide from me giant yellow ducky!

After Sydney Tower we headed down to Darling Harbour to get a closer look. We arrived a bit after 2pm, just in time to see The Arrival – a performance that included: 101 performers, 21 boat skippers, 5000 duck whistles, 5000 bubble blowers, 3000 little ducks, 8 bathtub boats, 7 miniature tugs, 2 full size tugs, 1 canoe, 4 trampolines, 216 square meters of taekwondo matting, one bathtub, 120 pairs of Pyjamas, 70 bathrobes, 120 pairs of slippers, a floating stage that is 138m wide and a giant rubber duck. Whew – thanks for the stats, SydFest!

QUACK!

QUACK!

Duck friends on the way...two of the 12 boat skippers (and 101 performers) welcoming the duck to town

Duck friends on the way…two skippers, a bathtub boat, and a ducky shower curtain

A few duck boats

A few miniature tugs joined in the ducky floatilla

A duck...not THE duck

A duck…not THE duck

Submarine, Navy Ship, Giant Duck - one of these things is not like the other

Submarine, Navy Ship, Giant Duck – one of these things is not like the other. This was the duck’s dock until it was time for his ‘arrival’.

Okay, so this was all very cute, and the crowd loved it – but I was here for the giant duck. Finally, after a bit more pomp and circumstance, it was time:

Entering the Harbour

Entering the Harbour

Duckface

Duckface

Cruising into Darling Harbour

Cruising into Darling Harbour

Giant duck leaves a giant yellow reflection

Giant duck leaves a giant yellow reflection

Rubber Duck with the city as a backdrop

Rubber Duck with the city as a backdrop

A small portion of the Rubber Duck paparazzi

A small portion of the Rubber Duck paparazzi

Happy Duck

Happy Duck

Little people, big duck

Little people, big duck

I loved Rubber Duck, and, perhaps more importantly, I’ve learned that Florentijn Hofman is rather amazing (evidence!). Of course, this was just day 1, so you’ll see much more from the Sydney Festival on here over the next few weeks. In the meantime, I have got to get this out of my head

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