An estimated 2 million Australians viewed the famous New Year fireworks display on Tuesday night at Sydney Harbour, exceeding the initial anticipated crowd of 1.6 million people.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that as early as Tuesday morning, the good spots were taken and full as Aussies came in droves with outdoor chairs and reserved the prime areas. By 5 pm, eight places around the Royal Botanic Gardens, Circular Quay and the north shore were full and closed to people, according to the Transport Management Centre.
Reuters Fireworks explode over Sydney Harbour at midnight, ushering in the new year, in Sydney. December 31, 2013. REUTERS
The latecomers were turned away, including from the Blues Point Reserve that looked like a tent city. As a result of the record crowd, revelers headed to the reserve at McMahons Point were redirected to Bradfield Park under the Harbour Bridge at Kirribilli.
The fireworks display, which has as its theme "Shine," was designed by artist Reg Mombassa who painted the sky with different celestial shapes and movements. It stood 12 storeys high and 72 metres across, weighing 60 tonnes and needing 16 kilometres of light rope, 4 kilometres of electrical cable and 10,000 cable ties to hold the fireworks display in place.
Sydney was one of the first cities in the world to usher in 2014, although the first major city was Auckland in New Zealand where the fireworks display was launched from the landmark SkyCity tower.
While the fireworks display was dazzling the thousands of Kiwis on the country's financial centre, revelers danced on the streets.
Spectacular New Year's Eve fireworks displays were observed in major global cities such as New York, Berlin and Rio de Janeiro, although the record breaker was at the Burj Khalifa in Dubai which made it to the Guinness World Record for the largest fireworks display.