Large numbers of people once again returned to the harbour and were dazzled by Sydney’s world-famous fireworks displays to ring in the new year under a glittering rainbow sky.
Pyrotechnics, pylon projections, a celebration of First Nations cultures and building excitement about the upcoming WorldPride festival delighted crowds gathered on the foreshore and those who watched on TV and online.
“What a spectacular night we’ve just had. After the challenges of the past few years, it was wonderful to welcome international and interstate visitors back to Sydney and mark the beginning of what we hope will be a safe, peaceful and fabulous 2023,” Clover Moore, Lord Mayor of Sydney said.
“It was great to see restaurants and venues buzzing with locals and visitors from near and far and Sydney has once again cemented its reputation as the New Year’s capital of the world, so we hope those watching from across the globe start planning a visit here.
“The fireworks, projections, music and live performances were a fabulous tribute to our remarkable city, showcasing the best of what our city has to offer as a stunning and safe, inclusive and buzzing destination. From our event organisers to the clean-up crews, thank you to everyone who made this event a terrific success.”
At midnight, the sky over the harbour erupted in a kaleidoscope of colour, with fireworks launched from pontoons, Sydney Harbour’s architectural icons and city rooftops.
The display culminated in a rainbow waterfall from the Sydney Harbour Bridge, framed by bursts of colour around the harbour.
A special moment at 11pm saw the bridge light up in Progress Pride flag colours alongside pylon animations and a rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Courtney Act on the ABC stage as the city prepares to host the WorldPride festival from February.
The 9pm Calling Country show featured First Nations artists sharing stories inspired by sky, land and sea through art, song, sound and dance.
The City of Sydney undertakes a major clean-up operation to ensure inner city streets and parks sparkle by early morning on New Year’s Day.
Employees in trucks, sweepers and compactors worked through the night to ensure the city is clean and accessible.
“We hope last night’s celebration provided some relief and an opportunity to look with hope to the new year. I’d like to wish everyone a happy, healthy, safe and peaceful 2023,” the Lord Mayor said.
Last night’s ABC broadcast from Sydney Harbour is on ABC iview now.