SYDNEY – A massive fireworks display has set ablaze Sydney Harbour with light and colour as Australia’s largest city ushered in 2017.

Some 1.5 million revellers had been expected to turn out on the waterfront.


Earlier, Auckland in New Zealand has become the first major world city to welcome the New Year.

New Year celebrations kicked off in Auckland with spectacular fireworks from the Sky City tower, as New Zealand was among the first countries to have welcomed in 2017.


Thousands gathered there at 11am as multi-coloured fireworks exploded across the city skyline at midnight.

The Sky City – a casino and an event centre in Auckland – has an impressive 328m (1,080ft) tall tower that provided a dramatic backdrop to the annual fireworks, an hour after Samoa welcomed in 2017.

The preparations in different countries are all finalised to welcome 2017, but Australia kicked off a global party ahead of the new year.

Many cities around the world have stepped up security for New Year’s Eve celebrations, after a year in which attackers drove lorries into crowds in Berlin in Germany and Nice, France.