A New Year's Eve fireworks barge being prepared in Sydney
Sydney's New Year's Eve display will involve 58,000 fireworks. Image by HANDOUT/CITY OF SYDNEY
  • festive event (including carnival)

Australians are ready to ignite in force for 2024


December 29, 2023

Revellers across the nation are preparing to farewell 2023 with multiple cities set to sparkle with New Year’s Eve fireworks, light shows and illuminations.

More Australians say they hope to welcome 2024 without the heavy price tag, with one in three set to take advantage of free sites.

Sydney will be one of the world’s first major cities to celebrate, setting the tone with 20 minutes of pyrotechnics all up, a smoking ceremony, AI-driven projections onto the harbour bridge and illuminated boats on the water.

More than a million people are expected to flock to its foreshore and surrounding vantage points.

City of Sydney fireworks director Fortunato Foti said onlookers could expect something a little different.

“This year the displays will feature bright white, peach, lime, silver, gold, violet, yellow, burnt orange, pink and blue fireworks, as well as the crowd favourite colour-changing fireworks and some other surprises,” he said.

The midnight fireworks over the Sydney Opera House in 2022
 Sydney will be one of the first major cities in the world to celebrate the start of the new year. Image by Bianca De Marchi/AAP PHOTOS 

The 58,000 firework show will also feature surprise shapes and new pastel and neon colours.

“We’ve reached a point where each year we walk away thinking ‘that was the best show we’ve ever done’ – and really, that just spurs us on to do even better the following year.”

People wanting to celebrate from non-ticketed vantages are being urged to use public transport and arrive early to secure a spot.

More than 2000 extra police officers will also be deployed across the city.

In Melbourne, the crowd is expected to be similar to New Year’s Eve 2022, when a record 475,000 people flooded the CBD.

A midnight fireworks display will showcase more lasers and projections than previous years, lighting up the skyline from 27 rooftops.

City of Melbourne has designated four “celebration zones” where families can watch the 9.30pm spectacle and measures will be in place to avoid pedestrian “pinch points”, including closing the Elizabeth Street underpass, Lord Mayor Sally Capp said.

Across Victoria, public transport will be free from 6pm on New Year’s Eve to 6am on New Year’s Day.

Fireworks on the buildings along the Yarra River
 New Year’s Eve in Melbourne is expected to rival 2022, when a record 475,000 people flooded the CBD. Image by Diego Fedele/AAP PHOTOS 

Western Australia will celebrate with community events, parties and fireworks displays across the state.

Perth will be treated to two explosive displays, one at 8pm from a barge on the Swan River and a second at 11.59pm when fireworks on top of buildings dotted across the city will announce 2024.

New Year’s Eve fireworks are also planned in Karratha, Esperance, Albany and Pemberton, the Cocos Islands, Rockingham, Mandurah, Rottnest Island and a handful of other Perth beach and riverfront suburbs.

Brisbane’s official NYE program has not been altered despite heatwave conditions in the lead-in.

South Bank Parklands will host two fireworks shows along the Brisbane River, one at 8.30pm and one at midnight.

More than 80,000 fireworks will illuminate the skyline in what is expected to be the biggest display in Brisbane’s history.

Gold Coast council initially considered cancelling some events, with a possible risk of fire amid the swelter.

Fireworks display during New Year's Eve celebrations in Brisbane
 Brisbane is expected to push ahead with celebrations despite some obstacles. Image by Dan Peled/AAP PHOTOS 

However it’s continuing to list them on its website, including 8pm fireworks at Coomera Sports Park and Broadwater Parklands, 8.30pm at Lake Orr Varsity Promenade and 9pm at Paradise Point Parklands.

Spectators are expected to pack Hobart waterfront to celebrate 25 years since the city’s first New Year’s Eve river fireworks.

Lord Mayor Anna Reynolds said the $127,000 event would include two nine-minute shows from multiple barges on the Derwent.

In Adelaide, revellers can enjoy 9pm and midnight fireworks coupled with live music at a Riverbank event.

One in five Australians who are planning to watch the fireworks say they will arrive before midday to claim a free spot.

Residents in NSW, Victoria and South Australia are most inclined to camp out early, according to the latest research released by the Tourism and Transport Forum Australia.