Hello 2023! Partygoers begin welcoming in the New Year as celebrations begin in New Zealand and in Australia with dazzling firework display on Sydney Harbour bridge

The end of 2022 is underway as revellers on the other side of the world begin ringing in the New Year. 

New Zealand was among the first countries to enter 2023 with a stunning light show and fireworks display over the Auckland Harbour Bridge and Sky Tower respectively. 

The country, led by Jacinda Ardern, was forced to cancel its celebrations last year due to its tough Covid-19 restrictions. It welcomed the new year with a five-minute fireworks display starting at the stroke of midnight. 

Its westerly neighbour Australia entered 2023 an hour later with a dazzling firework display on the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge. 

Fireworks explode over Sky Tower in central Auckland as New Year celebrations begin in New Zealand, Sunday, January 1, 2023

The “family fireworks”, displayed three hours before midnight every year ahead of the main show at midnight, fill the sky over the Opera House in Sydney on New Year’s Eve on December 31, 2022

It comes as hundreds of thousands of revellers are set to attend huge New Year’s Eve events across Britain tonight, as many return for the first time in three years following Covid restrictions.

Hordes of people will flock to central London to watch the capital’s fireworks, with viewing areas designated along the Victoria Embankment, Waterloo Bridge, Parliament Square and elsewhere. 

Mayor Sadiq Khan will present the event, which is the largest fireworks display in the UK, from 8pm, before Big Ben rings in the new year with its iconic bongs at midnight. 

The display is ticketed and has long sold out. Pedestrian areas will begin to be restricted from midday today, alongside road closures. Anyone using public transport is also advised to check their route before travelling. 

Mr Khan tweeted yesterday: ‘Cannot wait for our iconic NYE fireworks tomorrow! 

New Zealand, led by Jacinda Ardern, was forced to cancel its celebrations last year due to its tough Covid-19 restrictions

New Zealand welcomed the new year with a five-minute fireworks display starting at the stroke of midnight (Pictured: Auckland welcomes in the 2023 new year with fireworks from the Sky Tower)

Fireworks show give the welcoming to 2023 at New Year’s Eve celebration at Hagley Park, in Christchurch, New Zealand on January 1, 2023

Countdown to celebrate and welcome the 2023 at New Year’s Eve celebration at Hagley Park, in Christchurch, New Zealand on December 31, 2022

People welcomed 2023 with live music and fireworks at New Year’s Eve celebration at Hagley Park, in Christchurch, New Zealand 

Fireworks explode over Sky Tower in central Auckland as New Year celebrations begin in New Zealand

A person buying food at a food truck at New Year’s Eve celebration at Hagley Park, in Christchurch, New Zealand on December 31, 2022

Marc Hunter, singer of local band Dragon, performing at New Year’s Eve celebration at Hagley Park, in Christchurch, New Zealand on December 31, 2022

The local band Dragon performing at New Year’s Eve celebration at Hagley Park, in Christchurch, New Zealand on December 31, 2022

‘Although tickets are sold out, you can still watch the display live on BBC One tomorrow night.’

The display will be shown on BBC One during its airing of a special NYE concert fronted by the UK Eurovision star Sam Ryder. 

Elsewhere, thousands of people will also attend Edinburgh’s traditional Hogmanay celebrations as they return for the first time in three years.

The event was cancelled as a result of Covid-19 restrictions for the last two years.

All events hosted in the Scottish capital to mark the traditional Hogmanay celebrations were sold out, organisers confirmed.

Celebrations kicked off on Friday evening with the night afore party, headlined by pop superstar Sophie Ellis-Bextor with special guests Altered Images.

The Pet Shop Boys will headline the concert in the gardens in Princes Street Gardens while those attending the annual street party will be treated to DJ sets.

Fireworks will lift off every hour between 9pm and 11pm, counting down to the traditional midnight display.

Hundreds of thousands of revellers are set to attend huge New Year’s Eve events across the country tonight (Pictured: London’s NYE fireworks last year)

Elsewhere, thousands of people will also attend Edinburgh’s traditional Hogmanay celebrations (pictured) as they return for the first time in three years

London Mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted last night: ‘Cannot wait for our iconic NYE fireworks tomorrow!’

A large crowd party and celebrate by the London Eye on December 31, 2021

Edinburgh Hogmanay has missed three years due to Covid restrictions but will return tonight 

All events hosted in the Scottish capital to mark the traditional Hogmanay celebrations were sold out, organisers confirmed (Pictured: Hogmanay 2017) 

Partygoers ring in the New Year at the Hogmanay in Edinburgh on January 1, 2018

Al Thompson, director of organisers Unique Assembly, said the worst of expected bad weather should have passed but he urged party-goers in Edinburgh to wrap up warm for the festivities (Pictured: Hogmanay 2017)

City of Edinburgh Council leader Cammy Day said: ‘Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is the place to be to send off the 75th anniversary of Edinburgh as the festival city and kick off 2023 with a stellar musical line-up featuring a unique talent pool of Scottish acts and world-renowned artists.

‘We are immensely proud that so many people choose to share their New Year with us and enjoy everything our city has to offer.

‘The celebrations include a festival of ceilidhs, family-friendly events in sprogmanay and a candlelit concert at St Giles’ Cathedral.

‘Whether you join the magic of the night afore disco party, spend your midnight moment at the world-famous street party, have a ticket for the concert in the gardens with the Pet Shop Boys or start the year enjoying some of the scores of Scottish musical talent in final fling or first footin’ – I hope you enjoy being part of it.’

LED drummers parade through the streets of Edinburgh during the Hogmanay celebrations in 2017

As the clock strikes midnight and 2023 begins, the Met Office is predicting temperatures of 1C in Edinburgh, with it dropping to 0C come 3am

Lothian Buses have launched a special Hogmanay fare to get people home safely and Edinburgh Trams will be running services until 5am

Al Thompson, director of organisers Unique Assembly, said the worst of expected bad weather should have passed but he urged party-goers to wrap up warm for the festivities.

He said: ‘It’s outdoors in Scotland in winter but I’m really pleased that we’re coming to the tail end of some unsettled weather this week, so from Saturday right through to New Year’s Day we have got a clear run.

‘It’s going to be cold but it’s going to be dry, and that’s the main thing.

‘We’re just telling people to make sure that they wrap up warm and dress for the weather before they come out because the majority of the events are outdoors.’

As the clock strikes midnight and 2023 begins, the Met Office is predicting temperatures of 1C, with it dropping to 0C come 3am.

Lothian Buses have launched a special Hogmanay fare to get people home safely and Edinburgh Trams will be running services until 5am.

In Manchester, there will be an official countdown party in Piccadilly Gardens in the city centre, however there will be no fireworks due to ‘budgetary pressures’. 

Council bosses said there will be a big screen counting down to midnight alongside two separate areas, consisting of a bar space to purchase drinks and a family-friendly, alcohol-free viewing platform.

In Cardiff, families can ring in the new year at the Welsh capital’s Winter Wonderland, which will remain open until 12.30am. 

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