2019 gets off to explosive start
BRISBANE'S biggest ever New Year's Eve show went off with a bang as a whopping seven tonnes of fireworks were detonated across the city.
Thrilled onlookers marvelled as a dazzling display lit up the sky when an estimated 150,000 revellers packed vantage points across the city to welcome in the New Year.
More than 45,000 effects were spread across four key locations in two 10-minute bursts as part of the overnight spectacular.
The crowd was buzzing at Southbank after the first lot of New Year's Eve fireworks for the night.
After the impressive display, people are getting ready for the grand event - the countdown to the new year.
Lynda McCewen and Glenn Turley of Belmont braved the crowds of Southbank to see the show.
"We haven't been here for about five years."
The couple are planning to fit in another fireworks display before calling it a night for 2018.
"We live near Manly so we'll go down there and watch the fireworks over the water," said Mr Turley.
Sam William and Amber Craig of South Brisbane and Northlakes said they are expecting big things from the midnight fireworks.
"These fireworks weren't as good as Riverfire," said Ms Craig.
"But, I reckon the midnight ones will be way better," said Mr William.
Four-year-old Starla William loved the fireworks display.
"I liked the purple ones the best," she said.
Starla is determined to stay up until midnight, but her Dad is not so sure.
"The kids will probably get tired and cranky before then," said Mr Williams.
"We'll see what happens."
Rafael Nadal stepped out to celebrate New Year's Eve in Brisbane, ahead of his top seed Brisbane International match.
The Spanish tennis star arrived at Southbank's Stokehouse restaraunt at around 10pm to bring in the new year with friends.
The midnight show included a tribute to Aretha Franklin who died in August.
The Queen of Soul was honoured with a rendition of her timeless classic Respect.
The Cardenas family staked out their spot in front of the river at South Bank for about six hours, arriving well ahead of the early 8.30pm show.
Boris Cardenas said they were lucky to get the spot they had despite getting in early.
"When we got here, this whole area was already full," he said.
This is the first year of attending the fireworks at South Bank for the family, and the kids Kailah, 9, and Brianna, 11, were eager for them to start.
"They're exciting and they feel like they're so close," Brianna said.
"Sometimes I feel like they're going to land right on top of me."
The Takacs family spent the night cooling off at the South Bank pool and watching the fireworks. The Loganlea family of seven used the last day of 2018 reconnecting with relatives and talking about what they wanted in the New Year.
"We went to the playground and had fun," Peyton, 7, said.
The seven tonnes of fireworks along with an 10,000 individual pyrotechnic effects simultaneously exploded across South Bank, Eagle Street Pier, Portside Wharf and Howard Smith Wharves last night.
The 10-minute shows - the biggest in the state's history - featured new fireworks including whistling serpents, ghost shells and dragon tails. It was a 360-degree cacophony of noise and light.
For some, the celebrations marked more than New Year's Eve.
Yamba couple Dean Cooper, 29, and Stephanie Lamothe, 26, celebrated from the South Bank foreshore.
"It's our third anniversary. We're spending it together, not with friends, because it's our third year anniversary," Ms Lamothe said.
Newlyweds Alex and Sophia Foissey, visiting Australia on their honeymoon from their home in Singapore, were tipped off about the big show by locals.
"We were told by someone we met on Fraser Island that this spot by the bridge is the best place to see fireworks on New Year's Eve," Mr Foissey said yesterday.
The River City celebration was one of many held across the state as Queenslanders last night rang in 2019 in unprecedented style.
Up and down the coast and west to the border, Queenslanders were keen to celebrate the end of 2018.
On the Gold Coast, about 25,000 people turned out to celebrate the stunning 8pm fireworks.
Beaches around the city were packed throughout the day and into the evening as warm weather kept temperatures and spirits high.
Many among them had come from out of state and overseas to see the fireworks at Surfers Paradise.
The Sunshine Coast, already packed with holiday revellers, partied well into the night with fireworks and public events organised for a variety of locations.
Further south, spectacular white fireworks blazed the name Sydney across the arch of the Harbour Bridge last night as more than a million people welcomed in the New Year.
While in Melbourne, more than 350,000 people flocked to Melbourne's streets, riverbanks and parks to watch 14 tonnes of fireworks light up the city's skyline.
South Australians welcomed in 2019 in a vast array of styles. While tens of thousands flocked to Adelaide, Glenelg and other usual tourist spots across the state, many more saw the end of 2018 with barbecues and quiet gatherings at home.
Some worked, many cleaning up the aftermath of the revelry, but the city was the epicentre of activity for many families.
Aussies were among the first in the world to welcome in 2019, with many in the world still partying while most of us were tucked up in our beds.