Fireworks countdown a New Year cracker

Fireworks countdown a New Year cracker

For the first time fireworks in the shape of numbers have led the countdown to Sydney’s spectacular New Year’s Eve display.

As well as the traditional countdown on the Harbour Bridge pylons from 90 to one, the numbers 10 to one lit up the night sky above the bridge this year. 

At the stroke of midnight, the letters SYDNEY were emblazoned across the Harbour Bridge to mark the beginning of the biggest and best Sydney New Year’s Eve displays that was enjoyed by one billion people across the globe.

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said Sydney had shown once again that it is the best place in the world to celebrate New Year’s Eve.

“More than a million people gathered around Sydney Harbour for tonight’s Sydney New Year’s Eve celebrations, and more than a billion watched from around the world,” the Lord Mayor said.

“This truly spectacular start to the New Year is only possible because of the many thousands of hours of hard work by our City of Sydney team and the Foti fireworks family. I would like to extend a sincere thank you to the many volunteers, event professionals, sponsors and partners who make this the biggest free public event in Australia.

“I hope you have time to relax with friends and family and return invigorated for a new year in 2018.”

Sydney fireworks director Fortunato Foti said his team has this year gone that little bit further to make this New Year’s Eve show even more spectacular.

The midnight fireworks display was fired from an array of individual pontoons instead of one bridge barge, allowing the display reaching a wider audience than ever before.

The 12-minute spectacular featured a rainbow waterfall of red, yellow, green, blue, purple and silver to help celebrate Australia voting ‘Yes’ for marriage equality and to mark the 40th anniversary of Mardi Gras in 2018.

Sydney-born superstar Hugh Jackman created a unique firework for the midnight display featuring a glittering gold brocade and waterfall shells that launched from barges on the harbour and from the bridge.

The stunning firework was set to the track ‘Wiyathul’ by famed Indigenous artist, Dr G Yunupingu.

There were more than 100,000 individual pyrotechnic effects on the night, setting a new record for the annual event’s 9pm and midnight displays, with:

  • 8 tonnes of fireworks – 1 tonne more than in 2016
  • 13,000 shells – 1,000 more than 2016
  • 30,000 shooting comets – 5,000 more than 2016

There were more than 3,000 individual lighting effects choreographed to the fireworks displays and music soundtrack – 1,000 more effects than last year.

New LED technology also meant the City’s New Year’s Eve lighting display was achieved using less power than ever before.

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Sydney New Year’s images are available for download here. Please credit: City of Sydney/Getty Images

For more information and images, please contact Belinda Wallis, City of Sydney Senior Media Relations Advisor, on 0467 810 160 or

For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, please contact Julia Lenton on 0410 748 039 or email