Australia Rings in New Year with Glittering Fireworks at Sydney Harbour Bridge (Watch Video)
New Year's Eve fireworks erupt over Sydney's iconic Harbour Bridge. (Photo Credits: AFP)

Sydney, December 31: Spectacular and glittering fireworks were on full display at the Harbour Bridge in Sydney as Australia rang in the New Year.More than 100,000 fireworks exploded in the skies above Sydney Harbour at the stroke of midnight to the delight of an estimated one million people crowded along the foreshore and other vantage points across the city, according to Sydney Morning Herald. New Year's Eve 2019 Fire in Australia: Thousands in Sydney, Melbourne and Other Towns to Sleep at Beaches as Blaze Encircles Country's South-Eastern Region.

Light shows from the Harbour Bridge and Opera House were also synchronised with the 2020 celebrations, washing the Sydney skyline in an array of colours. New Zealand was among the first countries to welcome the New Year. Sydney's fireworks display controversially went ahead despite widespread fires across New South Wales and Victoria.

Sydney Rings in the New Year; Celebrations at Sydney Harbour:

New South Wales has copped the brunt of the wildfire damage in Australia, which has razed more than 1,000 homes nationwide and claimed 12 people lives in the past few months, according to local media reports. Some communities have cancelled their celebrations, but Sydney Harbour's popular display was granted an exemption to a total fireworks ban.

More than a quarter of a million people signed a petition seeking to cancel the fireworks. Sydney's lord mayor Cloover Moore has issued a scathing assessment of the federal government's climate change record amid thwarted calls for the city's New Year Eve fireworks display to be scrapped. It came an hour after Samoa and Christmas Island, under Australian territory in the South Pacific, were the first to usher in New Year.