Sydney - Australia kicks off global New Year's Eve celebrations
Pyrotechnics erupted from the Sydney Harbour Bridge as the first round of family-friendly fireworks lit the sky above the Harbour.
One and a half million revellers watched the annual 9pm (AEST) extravaganza, featuring a stunning 10-minute barrage of fireworks launched from barges, city buildings and the Harbour Bridge.
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Earlier, revellers on Sydney foreshore enjoyed a traditional Aboriginal smoking ceremony to cleanse the area of negative spirits and ready party-goers for the year ahead.
Crowds continue to pile into vantage points, eager to witness the midnight fireworks over the Harbour Bridge.
The Sydney sky is lit up by a spectacular array of fireworks to welcome in 2012
More than 1.5 million people crowded on to yachts and along the shores of the city's harbour to watch the shimmering pyrotechnic display designed around the theme "Time to Dream" - a nod to the eagerness many felt in moving forward after the rough year.
Some of the fireworks formed the shape of clouds - "because every cloud has a silver lining," Mr Coffey said. Colourful lights beamed on to the centre of the bridge formed an "endless rainbow", symbolising hope.
The 'family fireworks' in Sydney began around 9pm local time - and were a warm up for the midnight display
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