NYE Revellers Set Up Early in Sydney to Ring in 2020

AAP
By AAP
December 31, 2019Australiashare
NYE Revellers Set Up Early in Sydney to Ring in 2020
Fireworks explode over the Sydney Harbour Bridge during the midnight display on New Year's Eve on Sydney Harbour in Sydney, Australia, on Jan 1, 2019. (Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Ross Miller is among more than one million people expected to ring in the New Year in Sydney, saying the city has “probably the best fireworks in the world.”

Sydney locals and tourists alike have arrived early on New Year’s Eve to secure prime viewing positions for the harbour fireworks, with more than one million people expected to descend on the city to ring in 2020.

Ross Miller, from Chester Hill, said he has been coming into the city to watch the famous celebrations for about 30 years.

Miller, sons Scott and Craig and Craig’s girlfriend Jade Watson set up camp at Dawes Point, at the base of the Harbour Bridge, about 8 a.m. on Tuesday.

“These are probably the best fireworks in the world,” Miller told AAP.

“If you’re going to watch them, you may as well watch them from the best seats in the house as opposed to the cheap seats.”

The foursome sheltered from the day’s heat under a tarp while they entertained themselves with card games.

Temperatures around the state are expected to peak on Tuesday, with forecasts of more than 40C across western Sydney and in regional NSW.

Asked if he was feeling optimistic about the new year, Mr Miller said he is “optimistic all the time – the good in people will come forward.”

Hank, Sunny and Lily, from Taiwan, drove almost 10 hours to Sydney from Brisbane and just before 11 a.m. were waiting on a grassy knoll at the base of the bridge for the new year to arrive.

“Sydney’s fireworks are the most beautiful in the world,” Hank told AAP.

Angie Lambert, 67, travelled to Sydney from Swindon, England and said “to see the fireworks live in Sydney was on my bucket list.”

“It’s got to be the best place in the world to see in the new year,” Lambert told AAP.

Lambert, who last visited the country 13 years ago, has a tattoo on her upper arm of Australia as she was “lonesome for Australia and I didn’t want to forget.”

NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro on Monday called for the fireworks to be scrapped and funds redirected to drought and bushfire relief, echoing calls from a petition signed by more than 275,000 people.

However, the NSW Rural Fire Service on Monday granted the fireworks—seen by one billion people across the world—an exemption from a total fire ban.

Lambert said the fireworks should go ahead “because it’s so important to Australia, to Sydney and the budget (was) spent 18 months ago.”

By Heather McNab

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