Sydney has once again earned its place as the New Year’s Eve capital of the world, with the biggest and most spectacular fireworks display to welcome in 2018.
A rainbow waterfall cascaded from the Harbour Bridge for the first time while glittering fireworks designed by Hollywood superstar Hugh Jackman shot across the night sky.
“With more fireworks than ever before, the awe-inspiring New Year’s Eve fireworks display captivated Sydneysiders and audiences across the globe,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.
“More than one million people watched the 9pm and midnight fireworks displays from vantage points across the city, with images and vision shared around the world on TV and social media.
“Having a world-renowned Australian actor like Hugh Jackman join us in creating new fireworks effects was fantastic for Sydney and for Australia, combined with the beautiful designs on the Sydney Harbour Bridge pylons by our New Year’s Eve artist Nadia Hernández.”
Sydney’s biggest New Year’s Eve celebration required a mammoth clean-up effort to get the city moving again once the festivities were over.
City of Sydney staff worked through the night to collect around 43 tonnes of waste and ensure the city streets were clear of rubbish and thoroughly cleaned following last night’s celebrations.
The clean-up operation involved over 205 City of Sydney workers, along with 55 trucks, sweepers and compactors.
An additional 128 mobile rubbish bins were collected, filled with recyclable plastic bottles, paper and food containers.
“City staff worked tirelessly to clear truckloads of rubbish and leave the city sparking clean in time for sunrise on New Year’s Day,” the Lord Mayor said.
“It was an enormous task requiring nearly three times the number of cleansing staff on duty on an average day. We thank each and every one of them for their incredible efforts.”
All waste collected overnight was transported to the SUEZ Artarmon facility for processing.
Destination NSW estimates that the Sydney New Year’s Eve event contributes more than $133 million to the local economy.
“It was the biggest and most spectacular fireworks display yet, with more than 100,000 individual pyrotechnic effects and more than 8 tonnes of fireworks,” the Lord Mayor said.
“The spectacular midnight display culminated in a rainbow waterfall – with red, yellow, green, blue, purple and silver fireworks – cascading from the Sydney Harbour Bridge, to celebrate Australians saying ‘yes’ to marriage equality and the 40th anniversary of Mardi Gras in 2018.”
Fireworks Director Forch Foti, who has directed the fireworks for the past 21 years, spent more than 5,000 hours to create the remarkable New Year’s Eve fireworks display.
The effects were inspired by the work of Sydney-based artist, Nadia Hernández, who created eye-catching paper-cut designs with a bright colour palette.
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 Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The stunning firework was set to the track ‘Wiyathul’ by famed Indigenous artist, Dr G Yunupingu.
Australia’s First Peoples were recognised throughout the night with special pylon projections and lighting effects, the Welcome to Country and traditional smoking ceremony on the harbour.
Sydney New Year’s images and vision of the clean-up operation are available for download here. Please credit: City of Sydney/Getty Images
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Image: NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Metropolitan Field Operations Jeff Loy APM, Lord Mayor Clover Moore and City of Sydney Director of City Operations David Riordan on New Year’s Day. Credit: City of Sydney/Katherine Griffiths