Fleet review: Sailors march down George Street in Sydney. Photo: Getty Images
George Street was choked with lunchtime traffic of a different kind on Wednesday as 4000 naval men and women stepped in time for the Combined Navies Parade.
Marching to the oomph of military bands, gloved hands swinging as black boots trod the hot tarmac, sailors from International Fleet Review ships gave cheering crowds their best turn under the midday sun.
As the first of a dozen bands headed south, its strains competed with the thud of eight helicopters flying in formation. On street level, watched on by tens of thousands, ships large and small were represented, including HMAS Darwin, Parramatta, Bundaberg, Diamantina, Yarra and Tarakan. HMAS Leeuwin's company, proud hosts of Prince Harry, walked in perfect time.
Then came companies of visiting ships, a colourful display from Indonesia, Britain, Japan and Nigeria, as men - and, in some cases, a notable absence of women - marched towards Town Hall, saluting Governor-General Quentin Bryce before turning onto Liverpool Street.