New Zealand, Samao welcome 2017

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Fireworks heralding 2017 at Auckland's Skytower.
Fireworks heralding 2017 at Auckland’s Skytower.

Samoa, Tonga, Kiribati and New Zealand have welcomed 2017 with tens of thousands of revellers packing out bars, party hotspots and family friendly events.

Fine weather in most of New Zeland’s main centres and popular holiday destinations – including the Bay of Plenty, Bay of Islands, Gisborne, Coromandel, Taupo and Queenstown – increased spirits in the hours leading up to midnight.

Cities in Samoa, Tonga and Kiribati were the first to welcome the new year. Across the Tasman flaming starbursts and raining firecrackers filled the sky above Sydney Harbour for a 9pm display (local time) – the first round of the biggest New Year’s Eve fireworks display the city has seen.

(Fireworks in Auckland)

Fireworks displays at a host of events around New Zealand marked the arrival of 2017 – but none more spectacular than the display which lit up the Auckland skyline.

As the clock struck midnight a fireworks spectacular display roared into life off the upper levels of the Sky Tower to ensure the year started with a bang in the City of Sails.

The display included 500kg of fireworks, featuring about 3000 individual explosions.

The extravaganza – which took months to arrange – lasted five minutes and 20 seconds and was soaked up by tens of thousands of onlookers at vantage points across the central city and in high-lying suburban areas.

*Adapted from New Zealand Herald

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