Watch Live: 2018 New Year celebrations around the world
Sydney has welcomed in the New Year with spectacular firework displays, delighting onlookers.
There was eight tonnes of fireworks producing 100,000 individual pyrotechnic effects, and for the first time, there was a countdown to midnight.
Fireworks formed the numerals 10 to one on the Harbour Bridge. The word “Sydney” was then spread across the arch.
Actor Hugh Jackman has designed a brief section of the fireworks which will appear eight minutes into the midnight display.
New Year’s Eve celebrations kicked off with a family-friendly 9pm fireworks display lighting up the harbour.
The eight-minute display thrilled the early crowds and added to the mounting excitement about the main event.
All vantage points around the harbour are full and Sydney’s CBD is awash with revellers.
During the display, there was a rainbow waterfall off the bridge to celebrate the gay marriage vote and the upcoming 40th anniversary of Mardi Gras
One million people gathered in the CBD to watch the fireworks while another billion tuned in on television.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing across the country though – in Terrigal, on the New South Wales Central Coast, two people were taken to hospital after a barge of fireworks exploded.
Lord Mayor Cloover Moore said the City of Sydney had worked closely with NSW Police to make sure the $7 million show is a success.
“There are extra (security) measures tonight, but there’s no particular concern, they’re just measures that are being taken because of the sorts of things (terrorism) that have been happening around the world,” Ms Moore told reporters.
“We have always had a really fabulous, very safe event, and that’s what we’re counting on doing again tonight.”
Almost 45 per cent of those watching around the harbour are international tourists. Guides are written in Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Spanish and German.
French siblings Laura Hetuin, 20, and her brother Antoine, 16, snared a prime spot at Campbells Cove with views of the bridge and Opera House by arriving at 7am.
They packed sandwiches, water, suncream, card games and good spirits to get them through the 17-hour wait.
“We are really happy we are here (on the top step),” Laura told AAP.
“We came so early because it’s Sunday and people aren’t working so we thought maybe it would be even more crowded.”
Most roads in Sydney’s CBD will remain shut until 4am.
Around 500,000 people have filled Melbourne’s CBD to welcome in 2018.
Some streets in the CBD and Docklands are closed to vehicles amid heightened security concerns after a man was charged in November with allegedly plotting a New Year’s Eve terror attack, and following two deadly car attacks at Bourke and Flinders streets.
Extra concrete bollards have been erected across the CBD to prevent these attacks.
Despite the risk, authorities are still urging people to go into the city and party.
Extra police, road closures, bollards and security cameras are being rolled out to ensure the New Year is rung in safely in Brisbane.