Extreme weather conditions and total fire bans largely determined how people in various parts of Australia were seeing in 2020.
Bushfires have ravaged parts of Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania for days. For some, this meant spending New Year’s Eve inside an evacuation centre, or without their friends and family.
And across the country, towns and cities cancelled their New Year’s Eve fireworks displays.
But this wasn’t going to stop revellers from celebrating the new decade with a bang.
Here’s the rundown of events around Australia.
New South Wales
Sydney lights up its harbour to welcome 2020. (ABC News: Bellinda Kontominas)
Sydney went ahead with its world-class firework display after the NSW Rural Fire Service granted organisers an exemption from a total fire ban.
On Monday, with the RFS declared a total fire ban across 11 areas in New South Wales, including Greater Sydney, the Illawarra and Shoalhaven, Far South Coast and Southern Ranges.
It said organisers must apply for an exemption to hold their fireworks displays in areas where total fire bans were in place.
However, Sydney’s scheduled 9:00pm fireworks were delayed until 9:15pm due to high wind.
In the southern Sydney suburb of Bright-Le-Sands, NSW Police announced that the 9:00pm fireworks had to be cancelled due to “adverse weather conditions”.
Strong #winds are making their way up the #NSW coast & are reaching #Sydney area. Winds are part of the forecast southerly change sweeping the coast & people on or around the harbour should take care
According the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), strong winds were making their way up the NSW coast and reaching the Sydney area.
BOM advised people on or around the harbour that they should take care.
Fireworks displays in many regional areas were cancelled or postponed, include those in Wollongong, Maitland, Orange, Berry, Shoalhaven, Huskisson, Armidale, Port Macquarie and Tweed Heads.
Back in Sydney, access to the Circular Quay was restricted.
The Cho family at Circular Quay. (ABC News: Bellinda Kontominas)
It meant hundreds of people were forced to find a spot on the middle of Phillip Street to view the fireworks, including the Cho family from Lidcombe, who ended up have a pretty good elevated view of the bridge.
Fireworks explode over the Princes Bridge in Melbourne. (AAP: James Ross)
Melbourne’s CBD planned to light up the sky for 10 minutes as the clock struck midnight.
There were also fireworks at 9:30pm at Yarra Park and Footscray Park.
Crowds gathered at Brisbane’s South Bank. (AAP: Dan Peled)
Fireworks displays were on offer at Brisbane’s South Bank at 8:30pm and again at midnight with more than 50,000 fireworks and lights on display.
At the Gold Coast, Kurrawa Park at Broadbeach was the best vantage spot for fireworks at 8:00pm and midnight.
Most families left after the early fireworks but large crowds remained along the river for the midnight show.
The ongoing bushfire crisis and drought was a topic of discussion at many picnic blankets.
Lisa Goldsworthy told the ABC she was visiting Brisbane from Bushy Park Station near Alice Springs, where they have had drought conditions for more than two years.
She said she initially felt uncomfortable about attending the fireworks.
“I did feel a little bit guilty coming along tonight, I did have a little twinge about it,” she said.
“But my kids are five and six and I enjoyed fireworks as a kid.
“How can you not try to have some joy in hard times?”
In Perth, beyond the ticketed events there were free New Year’s Eve celebrations planned across the city to welcome 2020.
The City of Perth began their party at 6:00pm in Yagan Square and the Perth Cultural Centre, with live music, fireworks, children’s entertainment and street performers.
City Beach was the stage for 10:00pm fireworks, and Rottnest Island was hosting entertainment and children’s activities from 4:00pm, with a fireworks at 9:00pm over Thomson Bay.
South of the river, Mandurah and Rockingham were holding family-friendly events on the eastern foreshore and at Churchill Park, with live music and fireworks at 9:00pm and midnight.
In Adelaide, the fireworks were at Elder Park and along the bank of River Torrens, at 9:00pm and midnight.
The 9:00pm family fireworks ended with a fire in nearby reeds on the northern side of the Torrens River footbridge near Adelaide Oval.
Funds raised from Adelaide’s New Year’s Eve celebrations will go towards supporting bushfire victims. (Twitter: City of Adelaide)
The Metropolitan Fire Service said it had one crew on standby, who were able extinguish the blaze within minutes.
It said the midnight fireworks were approved to go ahead with a second truck brought in to standby.
It comes after numerous calls to cancel the fireworks due to their potential fire risk, along with the recent devastation caused by Cudlee Creek bushfires in the Adelaide Hills earlier this month.
Adelaide City Council and its Mayor said the New Year’s Eve event was to be held as a fundraiser to assist bushfire victims.
Funds raised during the celebrations were to go to St Vincent de Paul, the nationally allocated not-for-profit organisation for the National SA Bushfire Appeal.
In Darwin, two 10-minute fireworks displays were on offer at the city’s waterfront, at 9:00pm and midnight, with Australian singer Daryl Braithwaite the headline act.
Canberra’s New Year’s Eve fireworks displays have been cancelled with a total fire ban declared for the ACT until 6:00am on January 1, 2020.
Celebrations are underway in Hobart. (ABC News: Greg Szabo)
New Year’s Eve celebrations got underway at the Taste of Tasmania festival on the Hobart waterfront.
Thousands of people were expected at the event.
Hobartians were being treated to major fireworks shows at 9:00pm and midnight.
In the north-west of Tasmania, the Burnie Bite and Brew waterfront party featured entertainment from 5:30pm to 12:30am, including fireworks displays at 9:30pm and midnight.
Fireworks above the Taste of Tasmania festival. (ABC News: Laura Beavis)
In Launceston, the BeerFest was hosting two fireworks shows, at 9:00pm and midnight.
Meanwhile, some of the remaining Sydney to Hobart yachts arrived in Hobart to cheers from New Year’s Eve revellers.