Video: ‘Now it’s real’ – Tourists converge on Sydney Harbour for NYE fireworks (Image supplied: City of Sydney)
Fireworks displays are being tweaked and partygoers are taking up position as Australia prepares to bring in 2018 with a bang.
Melbourne is putting on its biggest show of the year tonight in the CBD, with 14 tonnes of fireworks set to be launched from the top of 22 city buildings for New Year’s Eve festivities.
Between 300,000 and 500,000 people are expected to converge on the city for the night.
In Sydney, crowds have been building since early yesterday with revellers securing spots around Sydney Harbour, despite soaring temperatures.
Tourism and Transport Forum chief executive Margy Osmond said around 1.6 million people are expected to attend the fireworks around the edge of Sydney Harbour tonight where a special 20-second firework set designed by Hugh Jackman will be a feature of the festivities.
Actor Hugh Jackman holds up a firework at the announcement of his special NYE design. (Twitter: Hugh Jackman)
This year’s fireworks will also celebrate the same-sex marriage vote and the 40th anniversary of the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras with a rainbow cascade off the Harbour Bridge.
In Brisbane the light show consisted of lightning from storm cells that hit parts the south-east part of Queensland late in the afternoon.
It was hot and humid and the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) forecast severe storms for large parts of south-east Queensland.
The Brisbane City Council says it will take more than rain to stop tonight’s fireworks in the city — but if there are heavy winds then fireworks operators will need to decide whether or not they can proceed.