Australia sends off 2013 with a bang

Fireworks explode over Sydney Harbour at midnight. REUTERS/Jason Reed
Fireworks explode over Sydney Harbour at midnight. REUTERS/Jason Reed
Australia will likely nurse a massive hangover with memories of the spectacular fireworks and thumping music that accompanied New Year celebrations.

The nation's standout event of New Year's Eve - a fireworks display on Sydney Harbour - didn't disappoint the estimated 1.5 million who gathered on the foreshore to see the 12-minute midnight show of multi-coloured, swirling, wheeling and comet-like crackers.

More than half a million turned out in Melbourne's city centre to see 7.5 tonnes of fireworks launched into the night sky from 22 locations.

Police in Sydney and Melbourne reported no major incidents, with no one injured when more than 100 revellers had to be helped to shore when two boats took on water in Sydney harbour.

An 18-year-old man was left in a critical condition at Sydney's St Vincent's hospital and a 25-year-old man arrested in what police are calling a serious assault in King's Cross.

NSW Ambulance said in a statement paramedics responded to a number of incidents across Sydney, the majority related to alcohol or to people under the influence of drugs.

Paramedics have praised the general conduct of crowds, with a lower than expected number during the night.

Further north, Brisbanites braved the threat of rain to witness the river city lit up by 30,000 pyrotechnic effects.

South Australia rang in 2014 with fireworks and music from local bands in Adelaide's Elder Park, while thousands packed into Canberra's Civic square to see fireworks launched form City Hall.

Tasmania did it with food, with tens of thousands converging on the waterfront and Salamanca for the annual gastronomic festival, Taste.

 

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