After patiently queuing up for hours in the blistering heat, Sydney’s New Year’s Eve revellers were given some early delights thanks to a stunning 9pm fireworks display.
The family-friendly display lit up the harbor city ahead of the official midnight show which will ring in the new year.
A stunning spectacle of light, it illuminated the city’s gloomy skies into a kaleidoscope of colour – but was delayed by 15 minutes thanks to dangerously strong winds.
A few kilometeres south of the CBD, Bayside Council cancelled its 9pm fireworks at Brighton-Le-Sands thanks to the forceful gusts blowing towards the habour.
Sydney’s Opera House (pictured) was dwarfed by the magical 9pm firework display, which began at 9.15pm thanks to high winds causing a delay in proceedings
Streams of red, white and pink light lit up Sydney’s harbour on Tuesday for the family-friendly firework display (pictured) ahead of the major midnight show
The 9pm family fireworks explode over the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge on Tuesday night (pictured)
SYDNEY NYE IN NUMBERS
- 15 months to plan the spectacular
- 285 cleaning staff on hand
- 35 tonnes of waste collected
- 54 trucks and sweepers to clean up
- 17 shipping containers for fireworks
- $133m for the local economy
- One million people attending
- One billion people watching
Despite the wobbly start, the city was soon bathed in streaming explosions of light as thousands of New Year’s revellers enjoyed the show at 9.15pm.
In just a few hours, the eyes of the world will be on Australia as the city dazzles with its main $6.5 million midnight pyrotechnical display.
Sydney locals and tourists alike camped out all day on New Year’s Eve to secure prime viewing positions for the harbour fireworks, with more than one million people expected to descend on the city to ring in 2020.
Excited partygoers were turned away from Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, the city’s most sought-after vantage point, at just 5pm after it reached capacity.
The east Circular Quay area was full and closed off at 6pm, while the Dawes Point area filled up just after 8.30pm.
Enthusiastic crowds swelled across the city on Tuesday despite scorching temperatures, with forecasts of more than 40C across western Sydney and in regional NSW.
By midnight, more than one million people will cram every vantage spot around the harbour.
There are eight pontoons parallel to the Sydney Harbour Bridge and four main barges from where the midnight fireworks, which will last for 12 minutes, will launch.
Revellers were treated to a family-friendly display early in the night (pictured) ahead of the $6.5 million midnight show
Thousands of people enjoyed the 9pm show (pictured), which was delayed by 15 minutes due to strong winds blustering through the harbour
Crowds waited for more than 24 hours to see the stunning fireworks display in Sydney (pictured) which began with a family-friendly 9pm show
A smoking ceremony welcoming visitors to Gadigal land is performed on vessel Tribal Warrior in Sydney Harbour (pictured) as part of its New Year’s Eve celebrations on Tuesday night
Once the gates opened it the competition only heated up, with thousands of revellers running through the Botanical Gardens to have the pick of the vantage spots (pictured)
At Mrs Macquarie’s Chair – one of the most popular vantage points – excited tourists began queuing up at 7am on Monday, more than 40 hours before the first fireworks was due to be launched.
The celebrated display, involving more than 100,000 fireworks, is going ahead despite widespread fire bans across Australia as firefighters continue to tackle unprecedented bushfires.
By the time they woke up early on Tuesday morning they had been joined by thousands more people all lined up in snaking queues throughout the Botanic Gardens.
When the gates were opened at 10am, thousands began streaming down towards the point overlooking the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House.
Mrs Macquarie’s Chair is one of the first fireworks location to fill up every year, and it did so quicker than usual this year.
Capacity for the prime spot has dropped to 13,500 in 2019, down from 19,000 just two years ago.
In total an estimated two million people will cram into the city to catch a glimpse of the Sydney fireworks.
Thousands of excited New Year’s Eve revellers (pictured) are gathered in Sydney’s Circular Quay eagerly awaiting the fireworks display
Crowds gathered all day at Circular Quay (pictured) to get the best vantage point for the fireworks display, with more than a million people expected by midnight
Dawes Point, right next to the Sydney Harbour Bridge, will be the location of choice for 38,000 people.
Only 7,000 lucky party-goers will be able to squeeze into the vantage point next to the Sydney Opera House.
But this year’s festivities were marred by controversy, with NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro on Monday calling. for the fireworks to be scrapped.
He said funds should be redirected to drought and bushfire relief, echoing calls from a petition signed by more than 275,000 people.
However, the NSW Rural Fire Service on Monday granted the fireworks – seen by one billion people across the world – an exemption from a total fire ban.
Excited tourists have been queuing up for more than 40 hours to get a glimpse of the fireworks display off Sydney Harbour Bridge (pictured)
A group German tourists (pictured) joined the line in the early hours of Tuesday morning and planned to pass the time by tanning
Meanwhile in Melbourne, crowds have also swelled throughout the day to secure themselves a good vantage point ahead of its multimillion-dollar event.
Fireworks will be launched from 22 rooftops around the CBD, with around 400,000 people are expected to attend the celebration.
The City of Melbourne has spent around $3.4 million on the event, which will showcase a dazzling 14 tonnes of fireworks.
In Brisbane, around 100,000 people are expected to view its own spectacular fireworks display.
Excited crowds gathered in the River City include to get a glimpse of the pyrotechnic rainbow, which will be created by fireworks launched from nine river barges.
Excited New Year’s Eve partygoers have been waiting at Southbank in Brisbane (pictured) all day ahead of the fireworks display at midnight
Crowds gather to watch New Year’s Eve fireworks at Southbank in Brisbane on Tuesday (pictured), camping out all afternoon with picnics
In Brisbane, around 100,000 people are expected to view its own spectacular fireworks display (pictured) on Tuesday night
In Darwin, storms are predicted to start around midnight.
But that is unlikely to put off excited revellers, who will enjoy a free concert by Daryl Braithwaite on the Darwin Waterfront.
It will enjoy its own 9pm fireworks display and scores of children’s entertainers.
The city is also hosting another major midnight New Year’s Eve fireworks display at Mindil Beach Casino.
In Perth, Yagan Square is packed to the brim as revellers prepare for a night of live music and entertainment.
As well as numerous musical festivals, fireworks displays will be held in Northbridge, Applecross, City Beach, Gloucester Park, Rockingham, Mandurah and Rottnest Island.