How Melbourne Celebrated 2017
Melbourne New Year Celebration: MELBURNIANS brought in the New Year in style as hundreds of thousands flocked to the CBD to witness the largest show of fireworks the city has ever seen.
More than 500,000 revellers defied just foiled terror threats as beefed-up police numbers and scores of CCTV cameras monitored the New Year’s Eve celebrations to make sure broadcast safety.
Police including the mounted, water, air and broadcast order units were out in force during the celebrations.
Tonnes of fireworks were shot from 22 city buildings in a 10-minute spectacle at midnight, synchronised to a soundtrack.
Howard & Sons Pyrotechnics’ Rusty Johnson said no other city had attempted the scale of Melbourne’s fireworks this year, which covered nearly the entire 8sq km CBD area.
Senior Forecaster at the Bureau of Meteorology Chris Godfred said yesterday’s late maximum of 24 degrees at 5.40pm was a “bit of a relief” from the heat and humidity of the last week for revellers in Melbourne.
Security held contingency meetings across the city to prepare their staff for the night ahead, emphasising that their presence on Melbourne’s CBD streets was of the utmost importance.
Staff from foodie haven Fatto said it was the busiest and latest night of the year for the business, which overlooks the Yarra River and Melbourne’s city skyline.
Restaurant manager Nathan Schifferle said Melbourne was the “best city in the world”.
“We’ve got an incredible spot here and people like comfortably watching the fireworks.”
Staff from Spanish restaurant Teatro were also prepping for a busy night. Manager Dylan Cosford said the restaurant which overlooks the Yarra River on Southbank was fully booked weeks in advance and the drink of choice for Melburnians last night was the espresso martini.
“What else could you want, it’s the perfect Melbourne mix: caffeine to wake you up alcohol to keep you pleased!”
Andrew Wight, of South Melbourne, was soaking up the fine weather at Southbank with his wife Tamah. The pair plotted to see a movie previous to taking in the fireworks show.
“It is a fantastic show. It has gotten better over the years,” Mr Wight said.
Tamarah de Vries had come down from the Sunshine Coast in Queensland and was committed to seeing the night in style. Along with her family, they’d reserved a fill in spot along the Yarra to see the fireworks for a picnic with nibbles.
“It’s incredible, Melbourne’s got a fantastic vibe about it tonight,” Ms de Vries said.
“We’ll certainly be grabbing some of Melbourne’s legendary coffees later though, so we can make it til midnight.
“Melbourne’s way more accessible than Brisbane, apart from for the hook turns of course!”
Charmaine Ashe from Perth hopped on a 7.30pm river cruise previous to watching the fireworks along the river. “It’s divine here, there’s a wonderful atmosphere here. I like Melbourne!” she said.
Barry McPhillips had come down to Melbourne from Mosman in Sydney with his family said Melbourne was a lot more central than his hometown. “My son received a flower from a weirder, you can see everyone is coming together to delight in the night.”
French tourist Oliver Cadre said he would be ringing in the New Year even as enjoying the stunning city vista offered by his French friends’ apartment near Spring Street.
German tourist Julia Roeckle, who indoors in Australia last week, was also looking forward to the evening’s entertainment.
“I heard Melbourne is a gorgeous city,” she said, adding that she was plotting to stay six months.
James and Louis Jamieson travelled up from Adelaide with their young children for a small family break.
“We came over Tuesday and we are staying for a few days,” said Mr. Jamieson. “My wife has never been to Melbourne previous to.”
Mr Jamieson said he would be taking kids James, 5, and Sophia, 3, to see the early fireworks spectacle at 9.30pm previous to getting them to bed.
“It’s a hard job and there’s no instruction manual,” he said of raising the small ones, laughing.
PHILLIP ISLAND AND LORNE
PHILLIP Island revellers awoke to a inactive 2017 in Cowes, with the lack of fireworks leaving no spark in New Years Eve celebrations.
After distress in previous years, police were out in force to control crowds and underage drinking on the foreshore.
Acting Senior Sergeant Andy Boldiston said around 40 officers were on patrol on New Years Eve, with some officers and four mounted police coming from the CBD to help local members.
The New Year’s festivites saw Victorians flock to the beach in their thousands to ring in the new year, filling campsites and soaking up the last of the 2016 sun.
At well loved holiday spots such as Phillip Island and Lorne, revellers of all ages gathered for the closing party of the year.
Jumping off the pier at midnight was the way many holiday-makers in Phillip Island brought in 2017.
With campsites at capacity, hundreds loved a BBQ and beach cricket at Cowes.
Nathan Voss, 18 from Koo Wee Rup, said he plotted to delight in the night with mates.
“There’s a group of about ten of us, all sleeping in cars and tents around a mate’s holiday house,” Mr Voss said.
“We’ll be jumping off the pier at midnight.”
Mr Voss said he hoped for a successful 2017, when he’ll start a carpentry apprenticeship.
“My New Years pledge is just to be excellent at my new job,” he said.
School friends Matilda Davidson and Emily Debham from Warragul have been on the island since Boxing Day.
“Next year is a huge one for us, we’ll be finishing year 12,” Miss Davidson said.
Chloey Dodds, 18 from Beaconsfield and Ryan Witzand, 21 from Narre Warren said they plotted to ring in the new year with a huge beach party.
“We’ve got eight friends with us,” Mr Witzand said.
“We’re going to have a fantastic time tonight.” Mr Witzand said next year he hoped to own a new car and Ms Dodds’ New Years promise was “not to fail uni”.
Even as there were plenty of teenagers in town to ring in the new year, Cowes still remains well loved with young families.
But there was no official bang to bring in 2017 as Bass Coast Shire Assembly only provides fireworks for Cowes’ Christmas celebration, not New Years.
Instead there were market stalls, roving performers and face painting which kept kids entertained as the closing day of 2016 was brought to a close.
Hundreds of families flocked to Lorne’s main beach to bring in the New Year with sun and surf.
Those with young kids watched the early fireworks dazzle the Surf Coast sky at 9.30 last night.
An official midnight show was set off at Lorne pier as the clock struck 12.
Georgie Jenkins, Liz Tonkin, Lauren McKenzie, Greta Faulkner and Laura Shether were among 30 Bendigo school friends celebrating New Year’s Eve together.
“It’s a fantastic place to bring in another year especially with friends and family around,” 22-year-ancient Ms Jenkins said.
“There’s a huge group of us in Lorne from school celebrating the end of another year and beginning of the next.”
The medicine student said her goal for this year (2017) was to go back to uni and save money.
“I took a gap year and travelled around Europe so it’s time to go back to uni and close my studies,” she said.
Ms Tonkin said her New Year’s pledge was to “snapchat less”.
“I can always improve on my Instagram skills but I’ve been told that I’m annoying on snapchat,” she laughed.
Colac locals Jacob Hynes, 18, and Alicia McCarthy, 16, said they spend their New Year’s Eve at Lorne each year.
“It’s such a nice spot and we have a lot of friends and family down here,” Alicia said.
But the 16-year-ancient said she didn’t plot on setting any New Year’s resolutions.
“No one sticks to them anyway, so I haven’t made any for 2017,” she said.
Lorne Hotel manager Ty Pedersen said business was a lot better this summer compared to last year.
“We had the bushfire warning last New Year’s Eve and we were about 55,000 less in numbers,” he said.
“Business is back to usual this year though and we’re looking forward to a fantastic year.”
Lorne Hotel expected more than 12,000 revellers at the venue where many spent it at the beer garden and nightclub.