Forty hours ahead of the launch of the first fireworks heralding the arrival of 2018, the first of this year’s New Year revellers began securing their spots around Sydney Harbour to ensure they won’t miss the world-famous pyrotechnic display.
The line to get into one of the best public viewing areas at Mrs Macquaries Point has been growing since the early hours of Saturday morning.
Taiwanese visitor Crystal Liu and her friends pitched a tent near the front of the queue at the Art Gallery NSW about 6:30am.
“We’re really excited for the fireworks, Sydney has the best in the world,” she said.
“We have snacks from Taiwan and from the local supermarket and 10 bottles of water, so we can eat and drink while we’re waiting.”
Jiun-i Chen, who has also travelled from Taiwan, said the long wait was all part of the experience.
“It’s really hot but I think it’s worth it if we get an amazing photo,” he said.
With the temperatures soaring in Sydney on Saturday, those without tents were using umbrellas to keep the sun off and ice-creams to keep cool.
German tourist Samira Rauner said the fireworks had long been on her bucket list.
“Back home, the first thing you see on TV is Sydney, the fireworks in Sydney, so it’s a must,” she said.
“We want to see the fireworks and the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House and the boats all in the one spot.”
NYE tourism worth millions
Anyone hoping to get to Sydney Harbour for the celebration will have to contend with huge crowds that come to Sydney for the New Year spectacular.
Yesterday, NSW police revealed they would use vehicles to block some streets to counter the threat of terror attacks using cars and trucks.
Tourism and Transport Forum chief executive Margy Osmond said the hundreds of thousands of tourists expected to spend New Year’s Eve in Sydney were a boost for the state economy.
“Of the 1.6 million people who’ll be around the edge of harbour tomorrow night, about 46 per cent of them will likely be international visitors,” she said.
“It has huge implications for the economy.
“It’s something like $170 million directly into the Sydney economy and then spread across the whole country because they’re coming here for more than the fireworks.”
The celebrations begin at 6:00pm on Sunday with aerial displays and a Welcome to Country.
The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast showers in the morning, but says weather conditions will clear by the evening.