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Fireworks as Aussies see in the New Year

FIREWORKS
illuminated skies across Australia overnight as New Year’s Eve
celebrations delighted kids, dazzled tourists and cheered revellers.

From backyard barbecues and pool parties to swanky harbour soirees
or camping on remote beaches, the sunburnt country rang in 2011 in
style.

Sydney was at the epicentre of celebrations, with fireworks billed as the biggest since the 2000 Olympics.

Judging by the crowd’s reaction, the city delivered in dazzling fashion.

“Stunning,
beautiful,” said Cinthya Romo, 32, a Sydney-based interpreter from
Chile, as she looked skyward from the Opera House forecourt.

“Sydney’s
best show yet,” remarked taxi driver George Stamp, who sacrificed a
bumper payday to enjoy the show with his children and 1.5 million
others.

As the clock ticked midnight the familiar rumble-and-bang
of fireworks sounded and streams of incandescent colour shot into the
heavens, illuminating the city.

A
pulsing X on the Sydney Harbour Bridge reflected the Make Your Mark
theme, replaced by a gold hand – the feature of the extravaganza.

A rainbow of explosions went off one after the other in a jaw-dropping finale that lasted 12 minutes.

People
travelled from all over the world to watch the $5 million display, and
they were joined by an estimated billion viewers who tuned into
international broadcasts.

But the best views were had by those
who queued for hours for a temporary piece of prime real estate at the
Botanic Gardens, the Sydney Opera House and Circular Quay.

“I’m
so glad they aren’t disappointing after such a long wait,” Melburnian
Ross Bagnato said of the 9pm (AEDT) taster, which included a glittering
red and white waterfall cascading from the Harbour Bridge.

An X on the Harbour Bridge reflected the Make Your Mark theme, was earlier replaced by a smiley face.

“I’m
smiling right back. It’s better than I expected and this is just the
matinee,” said radiographer Mary Lloyd, from Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire.

“Definitely as impressive as hoped.”

The
family-friendly display coincided with a parade of more than 50 vessels
forming a “Harbour of Light Parade” on the waters below – a teaser for
the much-hyped show-stopper which wowed the world at midnight.

Some
people queued 24 hours to take temporary possession of a prime piece of
real estate and by 8am (AEDT) yesterday thousands had descended on the
Botanic Gardens, the Sydney Opera House forecourt and Circular Quay.

It was a clear, sunny day in Sydney with temperatures reaching into the high 20s.

Predicted
thunderstorms didn’t force the cancellation of Melbourne’s New Year’s
Eve fireworks – although it was delayed by half an hour.

Storms
were forecast to roll across the city late in the evening to close out a
sweltering day on which temperatures were tipped to hit 40 degrees in
parts of the city.

Skies in Queensland may have cleared but much of the state was still underwater today.

Thousands of residents rang in the new year from evacuation centres, as historic-level floods continue to ravage the state.

In
Brisbane, clear skies made firework viewing optimal for tens of
thousands who flocked to CBD vantage points overlooking the Brisbane
River.

Garage band British India headline a concert at South Bank’s Suncorp Piazza.

On
the Gold Coast families enjoyed the explosive light show at Movie World
while revellers hit the Glitter Strip and Surfers Paradise nightclub
precinct.

South Australians saw in the new year after a day of
scorching conditions, with temperatures climbing over 40 degrees and
with much of the state on catastrophic fire warnings.

In Western
Australia, police were ready to ensure the safety of revellers who
descended on Perth’s major entertainment precincts of Northbridge,
Leederville, Subiaco, Fremantle and the CBD.

It was a warm night and the city continues to swelter in the heat at the start of 2011.

A cyclone warning was also in place for coastal communities as a tropical low crosses the Kimberley region.

In
the nation’s north, thousands of revellers saw in the start of a new
decade with a free family event at the Darwin Waterfront.

news.com.au

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Categories: Travel, World News
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