THOUSANDS of sailors were waving from warships, $10 million of fireworks were being unloaded at docks and royal watchers were eagerly awaiting the arrival of a prince on Friday as Sydney prepared the biggest party it has seen in a long time.
A 21-gun salute at the HMAS Sydney Memorial kicked off International Fleet Review celebrations.
By lunch time Saturday, much of the CBD will be blocked to traffic, security will be stepped up and crowds of up to one million will be lining Sydney Harbour.
Meticulous planning of Sydney Olympics proportions went in to the week-long event which will peak with a visit from Prince Harry and a 30-minute firework display on Saturday night.
The decorated royal will join the Governor General, Prime Minister and NSW Premier in saluting ships from more than 50 nations as they sail into the harbour from 2pm.
Details about where to go for the best look at the action can be found at http://www.fleetreviewtransport.info