Wednesday 6 May 2009

Sydney’s Oldest Precinct Brings History To Life

Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority is inviting Sydneysiders and visitors to experience a spectacular outdoor festival unlike anything seen before in The Rocks.

From 6pm–9pm on Friday 12, Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 June, Fire Water will present a dramatic interpretation of the fire that devastated the nineteenth century convict ship the Three Bees which sank in Sydney Cove 195 years ago.

The stunning spectacle will be complemented with the live classical sounds of ARIA Award-nominated band Coda, as hundreds of lanterns float on Campbells Cove, representing descendants of the many convicts who arrived in Australia.

Three times each evening, a sculpture of the ship will emerge from the water at Campbells Cove before bursting into flame as fire sculptures, light installations, musicians, giant helium-filled lanterns and flame-grilled food transform The Rocks into a stunning, warm winter haven.

Fire Water is a free event that will bring history to life through a stunning interpretation of the ship that brought 210 male convicts to Sydney. During preparations for its return journey to England the ship caught alight and burned until the fire reached the lower cargo hold and it finally sank off Bennelong Point when the ship’s gunpowder store exploded.

Visitors, including descendants of the Three Bees convicts, can create their own floating lanterns at workshops and place them into the harbour. Five-piece band Coda, will blend classical strings and contemporary music to create a unique, serene soundscape that will echo around the cove.

Harbourside stalls will offer a variety of flame-grilled food, or visitors can choose from some of Sydney’s best restaurants around Campbells Cove.

Fire Water is part of Vivid Sydney and the climax to Smart Light Sydney’s Light Walk. Vivid Sydney is one of five anchor events in the first ever NSW Master Events Calendar created by Events NSW on behalf of the NSW Government.

Details on Fire Water is available at or for more information on Vivid go to

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