Survey: Fireworks, BBQs & friends the best way to ring in the new year as Australia marks 20th anniversary of televising Sydney fireworks

Millions of Australians will experience the spectacular New Year’s Eve fireworks from the comfort of their own homes, a friend’s place or venture into the city centre or a local town to ring in the New Year according to a new national poll by the Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF).

The 2016/17 Sydney Harbour fireworks will also mark the 20th anniversary since they were first televised in 1996/97 when Sydney Tower was the focal point of the midnight display.

Over the past two decades the Sydney Harbour fireworks has grown into a global event with an estimated 1.6 million people lining the harbour side vantage points and the spectacular reaching a worldwide audience of more than one billion people.

“Right around the world more than one billion people will know 2017 has arrived when the Sydney Harbour Bridge and surrounds fire up in an amazing display of light and sound. The Sydney Harbour spectacular has come a remarkably long way in just 20 years since it was first shown on our television screens,” said Margy Osmond, TTF CEO.

“The New Year’s Eve celebration is anticipated to be a $170 million direct windfall for the Sydney economy but we should not forget the nationwide benefit to the visitor economy of more than one billion potential tourists seeing one of our biggest drawcards light up.”

According to the survey of 800 people by the pollster Nielsen, four in five Australians (83 per cent) are planning to celebrate the New Year in some form while a few party-poopers (17 per cent) plan to be well rested for 2017 by shunning the countdown to midnight.

Staying at home and watching the fireworks (28 per cent) is the most popular way to ring in the New Year followed by a BBQ or party at a friend’s place (26 per cent).

One in ten Australians (11 per cent) will go with family and friends to watch a local fireworks display and a further 5 per cent will journey into the major cities to experience the big displays.

“Whether you are perched on your couch at home or partying to the countdown on the radio at a New Year’s Eve BBQ or camped out along Sydney Harbour, Australians are always ready and willing to celebrate the start of a brand new year and look forward to the opportunities ahead,” Ms Osmond said.