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Big breakfast, Sydney style

There was only one place to be seen for breakfast in Sydney yesterday: 100 metres above the sparkling blue water on the Harbour Bridge. Gone were the eight lanes of traffic; in their place, a carpet of newly laid lush grass was dotted with tartan picnic rugs, food hampers and the odd cow.

Tens of thousands of people had registered for the ballot for the al fresco occasion, but only 6,000 were lucky enough to be chosen. Picnickers feasted on fresh croissants and platters of fruit, taking in the sound of honky-tonk piano and soaking up the views of the Opera House. “It’s amazing to see the bridge in this perspective,” resident Don Fuchs said . “Usually you sit in the car, you cross it, and that’s it.”

Jodi McKay, the tourism minister for New South Wales, said there were several birthday celebrations and even a picnic marriage proposal. City officials said the picnic might become an annual event.