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Friday, 31 December, 1999, 16:53 GMT
Sydney's millennium spectacular
A spectacular fireworks display along the Sydney waterfront
A spectacular fireworks display along the Sydney waterfront
A spectacular fireworks display along Sydney's waterfront sparked off Australia's celebration of the new millennium.


I can't deny that Sydney is the best place on earth to be tonight

Tourist Danny Anderson
Some one million people were reported to have lined Sydney harbour to watch an extravaganza which included illuminated barges and laser beams bouncing off the Sydney Opera House.

Fireworks exploded up to a height of 1,000 metres, across the sky and the landmark Sydney Harbour Bridge, which was lit up by a huge, glowing smiley face.

"It's been absolutely fabulous," British tourist Danny Anderson said as he joined revellers.

"I can't deny that Sydney is the best place on earth to be tonight," he said.

Into 2000
The dazzling show began at the stroke of midnight, lasted for 24 minutes and ended with the word "eternity" illuminated across Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Some 6,000 boats jammed the harbour as people took up vantage points to take in the best view.

Fireworks over Sydney Harbour Bridge
Fireworks over Sydney Harbour Bridge
"This is the most beautiful place in the world," said Narrate Chanter who was visiting from London.

"It only happens once in 1,000 years. The atmosphere is fantastic," said another visitor, Graham Jackson.

But despite the crush the police said the crowd was extremely well behaved.

No Y2K worries

As the celebrations got underway, there were no apparent Y2K glitches.

The $3.5m fireworks display was operated on a computer system that went through without a hitch.

International attention was focused on Sydney to watch for any fallout of the millennium bug.

Staff in foreign embassies were expected to file early morning reports back to their home countries on Australia's experience of the new millennium.

See also:

31 Dec 99 | Asia-Pacific
31 Dec 99 | Asia-Pacific
31 Dec 99 | Asia-Pacific
31 Dec 99 | Science/Nature
31 Dec 99 | Asia-Pacific
Links to more Asia-Pacific stories are at the foot of the page.


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