Thousands gather for New Year’s Eve fireworks at events across Australia

Revellers have gathered across Australia for New Year’s Eve celebrations, with some in Sydney queuing for three days to gain the best vantage point for harbourside fireworks.

Celebrations kicked off early on Sunday before a series of spectacular fireworks displays.

Tap or click below to see the festivities from each capital city:


People wait in line to gain entry to Mrs Macquaries Point on Sunday morning.(AAP: Dan Himbrechts)

New Year’s Eve partygoers in Sydney have been praised for enjoying the celebration “in the right spirit”.

Hundreds of thousands of people flocked to the harbour foreshore, with crowds crammed onto the steps of the Sydney Opera House for Sunday night’s firework displays.

NSW Police made 19 arrests for various offences including assault and drugs, and three men were left with minor injuries after a stabbing at Woolloomooloo in the city’s east.


Assistant Commissioner Anthony Cooke said only a small number of people misbehaved among the huge crowds. 

“Every year Sydney welcomes the New Year with an extraordinary celebration across the city, and this year has been no different,” he said.

“In the main, people enjoyed the event in the right spirit and we’re very pleased that’s the case. 

“Police will continue to maintain a highly visible presence across the state to ensure everyone remains safe.”


The City of Sydney confirmed the Opera House was at capacity by Sunday afternoon, and all vantage points in the city and in North Sydney were full as of 7pm AEDT, ahead of the 9pm “Calling Country” fireworks.

A dance-off featuring characters from the popular children’s TV show Bluey was also projected onto the Harbour Bridge pylons.

Some partygoers camped out for days to get the best vantage spot.

people crowd circular quay ahead of the new year's eve fireworks display on sunday december 31 2023

Vantage points around Sydney Harbour and North Sydney were full by 7pm AEDT.(ABC News)

At Mrs Macquaries Point, the earliest group arrived three days ago to claim the best chance at a great viewing spot.

One member of the group, who travelled from Melbourne, said it was worth the trip.

“It’s a cold day. Yeah it’s hard, but it’s very exciting,” they said.

A line of tents and people behind a fence in the early morning

People set up tents overnight to stay dry as they lined up for the best fireworks vantage point.(ABC News: Alison Xiao)

Another group from Melbourne said they came to Sydney especially for the fireworks.

“We heard they are some of the best in the world so we went all the way here just for the fireworks,” they said.

Others had come from all over the world, including Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and China.

People running with bags and camping gear on a grassed area with a tent behind them

Gates opened an hour early at Mrs Macquaries Point, with people sprinting from the security gate to get a spot on the harbour.(ABC News: Alison Xiao)

Friends who used to study together reunited in Sydney to queue at 3am after travelling from Germany and the Netherlands.

They said they were “a little excited, very tired” but “pretty hyped”.

“It’s just a nice environment to be in, everyone’s very happy,” one said.

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Rain didn’t dampened the mood, but many who waited overnight had set up tents and tarpaulins to stay dry.

The gates were opened an hour early, with those who had waited sprinting in to gain a premium spot on the harbour.

multiple yachts float near Sydney Harbor Bridge and Opera House

Boat owners staked out their spots in prime position near the bridge.(ABC News: Xanthe Gregory)

British tourists Ben Upton and Naeve Oakman were camping out from 7am.

The pair brought food, games and a paint set to keep them occupied while they waited for the show to start.

Four people sitting together under umbrellas with sunglasses and new year headbands

Naeve Oakman (second from left) and Ben Upton (third from left) camped out with their friends from 7am.(ABC News: Xanthe Gregory)

“This is our first New Year’s in Sydney,” Ms Oakman said.

“We usually see it on the TV back home, it’s surreal being here,” Mr Upton said.

A crowd gathers on a river bank.

Crowds continued to grow at Sydney Harbour ahead of the midnight fireworks.(ABC News: Xanthe Gregory)

City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said about a million people were expected to see the fireworks from around the foreshore, with about 425 million watching around the world.

“They eyes of the world will be watching Sydney as we optimistically bring in the new year with our iconic New Year’s Eve fireworks,” Ms Moore said.

A mum and son smile and look at the camera, with the son petting his dog.

Simone and her son Aiden Read with his assistant dog, Charlie.(ABC News: Xanthe Gregory)


In Melbourne, New Year’s Eve enthusiasts set up picnics on the banks of the Yarra River as early as midday on Sunday.

Multiple families sit on the banks of Melbourne's Yarra River

More families keen for a prime spot for the fireworks shows had arrived by 5pm.(ABC News: Zilla Gordon)

Thousands of people were packed along the river by the time of the first fireworks display at 9:30pm.

Thousands more gathered to watch early fireworks displays in Footscray, where pop band Regurgitator also entertained the crowd. 

A crowd of people on a bridge at dusk

As daylight faded, Melbourne crowds gathered to watch the family-friendly fireworks at 9:30pm.(ABC News: Zilla Gordon)

Some families the ABC spoke to along the Yarra River in Melbourne’s CBD said they were disappointed after being “a bit confused” about the location for the 9:30pm fireworks, which were not visible to all patrons crowded along the riverbanks near the Southbank and Arts Centre precincts.

“We didn’t read the instruction manual on the fireworks this year, but … if you don’t read those things then you don’t know where to go, so that’s that,” one attendee said.

Fireworks are seen above the Bolte Bridge in Dockland during New Year’s Eve celebrations in Melbourne

Thousands packed key vantage points to watch the early fireworks at 9:30pm in Melbourne.(AAP: Diego Fedele)

Friends Ash Olsen, Amy Du and Catherine Hu were enjoying the early evening at Southbank on the banks of the Yarra River, but planned to watch the fireworks from an apartment with a prime view.

“Our theme for our party was 80s disco-core,” said Ms Du, who wore a bright blue wig for the occasion.

Three women smile for the camera with the Melbourne skyline behind them

Friends Ash Olsen, Amy Du and Catherine Hu planned an 80s-themed New Year’s Eve.(ABC News)

The main fireworks display at midnight was watched by hundreds of thousands of people in Melbourne’s CBD and other vantage points across the city.

Fireworks above the city skyline.

Thousands of people gathered in Melbourne’s CBD to watch the midnight fireworks display.(ABC News)

Police said they were generally happy with the behaviour of revellers but still made dozens of arrests and there were long waits for public transport.


Thousands of people gathered around Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra to ring in the new year.

A wide image of people gathering on a hill behind a body of water. Some people walk on a path near the shore.

There was only a 9pm fireworks display in Canberra this year, after the midnight session was axed.(ABC News: Mark Moore)

There was just one fireworks display at 9pm though, after the ACT government decided to axe the traditional midnight spectacle.

The 15-minute fireworks display was launched from the central basin of Lake Burley Griffin and Commonwealth Avenue Bridge.

A wide shot at night of fireworks above a bridge on Lake Burley Griffin. Some fireworks flowing off the side of the bridge.

Canberra’s fireworks display on Lake Burley Griffin and the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge.(ABC News: Elizabeth Byrne)


In Hobart, thousands made their way down to the waterfront for the Taste of Summer festival.

Mild weather enticed punters to get the best seats along the River Derwent, while the festival provided dozens of food stalls to showcase what Tasmania does so well: local food, wine, and a relaxed but festive atmosphere.

Crowds of people, some sitting and some standing, near an undercover pavilion at a New Year's Eve event.

Crowds enjoy the festivites at Hobart’s Taste of Summer festival.(ABC News: Maren Preuss)

Annette and Hayley Thorpe made the trip over from Brighton in the UK, for their first visit to Tasmania for that very reason.

“I came for the food festival,” Annette said.

“We’ve only just arrived, but we’ve already got our sparkling [wine] and we’ve already got our seafood — it’s absolutely amazing.”

A medium shot of two women and a man cheersing with drinks at an ourdoor venue, smiling.

Annette and her daughter Hayley Thorpe celebrate New Year’s Eve in Hobart.(ABC News: Maren Preuss)

Another group sported birthday balloons and party decorations in anticipation of midnight, but not for the usual reason.

Tania and her family will celebrate her 50th birthday on Monday, marking the special occasion with her family by the water as the calendar rolls over to the new year.

A group of people sitting at standing at an outdoor table at a Hobart venue, smiling at the camera. A star balloon behind them.

Tania and her family celebrate her 50th birthday and New Year’s Eve.(ABC News: Maren Preuss)

Others jostled for a prime position near the yachts that have recently returned from the Sydney to Hobart race.

And a few revellers made their way out onto the water in private boats, settling in for the main midnight fireworks after the earlier family-friendly display at 9:30pm.

A medium shot of two children on the shoulders of adults, watching fireworks at night in the distance.

Children watch the early fireworks in Hobart.(ABC News: Maren Preuss)

Over in Launceston, in the north of the state, organisers of the annual New Year’s event BeerFest were expecting a crowd of about 10,000 people to head along — with plenty of food, drinks and music to keep people entertained.

Fireworks were also planned in Devonport, while the Burnie City Council has instead opted for a drone sky show for the first time.

A wide shot of people outside looking up at fireworks in the night sky, beyond where a ship sits docked.

Midnight fireworks in Hobart.(ABC News: Maren Preuss)


Tens of thousands of New Year’s Eve revellers flocked to Elder Park near Adelaide’s CBD to ring in the New Year.

It was the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic that the free fireworks event was held by the banks of the River Torrens/Karrawirra Parri.

People rushed through the gates from 5.30pm to claim a spot with a promising vantage point and to enjoy live music in the lead up to the fireworks displays.

Attendee Charles Vincent said he and his family would leave after the 9pm fireworks.

“It’s good to see people having fun,” he said. “People are having a bit of food, a bit to drink, chatting, it’s good to see.”

A medium shot of a family with two children sitting on a grass hill and smiling, surrounded by other people. Father holds food.

Charles Vincent and his family watch the 9pm fireworks in Elder Park.(ABC News: Stephanie Richards)

The event had capacity for 25,000 people at one time, but the Adelaide City Council estimated up to 80,000 revellers would pass in and out throughout the night.

SA Police started turning away some partygoers close to midnight, with the event reaching capacity for the main fireworks show.

Attendee Lorraine Ellis said she was glad the fireworks displays had returned to Elder Park/Murlawirrapurka.

“I’m glad everything is back to near-enough normal,” she said. “We’ve been every year … it’s a great event.”

A medium shot of a woman and three young people sitting among a crowd outdoors with drinks and food, smiling.

Lorraine Ellis (far left) says she’s glad the free fireworks event has returned to Adelaide’s Elder Park.(ABC News: Stephanie Richards)

Another attendee said she was enjoying spending time with family.

“It’s not as good as Sydney’s show but it’s not too bad,” she said.

Adelaide Lord Mayor, Jane Lomax-Smith, said the event had capacity for 25,000 people at one time.

“It’s really exciting to be back here because it’s a natural amphitheatre,” she said. “Everyone gets a good view.”

At nearby Adelaide Oval, cricket fans gathered for the annual New Year’s Eve Big Bash League match between the Adelaide Strikers and Melbourne Stars.

Crowds also flocked to see fireworks displays at Glenelg, Brighton and Semaphore, as well as across regional SA.

Public transport was free across Adelaide until 6am on New Year’s Day.

A wide aerial shot of fireworks near the Adelaide CBD at night.

The 9pm fireworks display at Elder Park.(ABC News: Lincoln Rothall)


Queenslanders farewelled 2023 with a dazzling firework display that illuminated the night sky.

Across the state there were more than 105 firework displays held throughout the night, from as far north as Cairns, down to the Gold Coast.

Brisbane’s South Bank, which hosted this year’s main display, saw more than 85,000 people crowd around the city’s river foreshore.

Across the city there were also hundreds of ticketed events, with some hospitality venues extending business hours to continue celebrations.

A wide image of a crowd of people looking up at fireworks in the night sky above the Brisbane River.

Crowds watch New Year’s Eve fireworks in Brisbane’s South Bank Parklands.(ABC News: Arianna Levy)

Valentina travelled from Chile in South America to witness the city’s fireworks, which she said were beautiful.

“We have been here for a month and it’s our first New Year’s Eve here,” Valentina said.

“The weather has been hot but the people are what makes Brisbane so lovely.”

A close up of a young woman sitting on the ground outside at night and smiling, with other people behind her

Valentina travelled from Chile with friends to watch the Brisbane fireworks display.(ABC News: Arianna Levy)

Fariba and her family are from Afghanistan, and have lived in Brisbane for two years. She said she felt very lucky to share this moment with them.

“I’m very happy, it’s so beautiful and it’s nice to have somewhere for the kids to play,” Fariba said.

“It makes the new year very special.”

A photo of a woman wearing a headscarf and dress standing next to a man in shorts and a button up t-shirt with palm trees on it.

Fariba and her husband Alijan say it was their first time seeing a fireworks display since moving to Brisbane.(ABC News: Arianna Levy)


Thousands of people celebrated at the Darwin Waterfront in the Top End, despite hot and sticky heatwave conditions.

After the event was cancelled in 2022 as severe rain and winds swept across the territory, the crowds were feeling extra festive, and they were rewarded with a night of dry weather.

Picnic rugs were spread out on grassy embankments as families and revellers packed the waterfront area to ring in the new year.

There was standing room only for the two fireworks shows at 9pm and the main event at midnight, with many getting in early to get the best vantage point.

A wide shot of a crowd of people outdoors looking up at fireworks in the night sky.

Crowds enjoy a New Year’s Eve fireworks display in Darwin.(ABC News: Roxanne Fitzgerald)

Local music acts, a DJ and a light show with flames kept the crowds entertained across the night.

“It’s a free event, it’s family-friendly, it’s safe, there’s no alcohol allowed in the public domain, so it’s a nice safe experience for people,” Darwin Waterfront Corporation senior events and marketing coordinator Yasmine Welsh said.

“We have lots of security, lots of entertainment happening. It’s an awesome location to ring in the New Year.”

Afterwards, revellers and partygoers crowded nightclubs and bars in Darwin to keep the party going, with lines snaking out of nightclubs and police out in full force.


Huge crowds gathered across the city, beaches and along the foreshore in Perth from the early afternoon to watch the fireworks.

Local and visitors made the most of the calm weather and were treated to the first fireworks display at 8pm.

Red fireworks in the distance.

Fireworks were displayed at the South Perth foreshore.(ABC News: Zathia Bazeer)

Sadly, the evening had earlier taken a tragic turn after two children drowned near the Perth Stadium precinct.

Dozens of police and emergency services attended the scene as the pair — both under the age of 10 — were taken to Perth Children’s Hospital in critical condition, but later died.

In other parts of the city, revellers who grabbed tickets to the annual Gog Block Party had the chance to experience multiple music stages, musicians, silent disco, food trucks and cocktail bars at Fremantle oval.

A dark room full of people, one person sits on another's shoulders as red and blue lights surround them.

Revellers attended the Gog Block Party in Perth.(ABC News: Zathia Bazeer)

Attendees said they’re reflecting on this year and looking forward to what 2024 brings.

“It means a fresh start, a clean slate, more opportunities, maybe moving to a new place, a new city,” said Perth local, Astrid Dainton.

While there were plenty of police presence the evening was largely relaxed.


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