The clouds continued to build up, but so did the crowd – nothing was going to stop 2019 kicking off in style on Newcastle foreshore.
“The foreshore is a great place to celebrate the new year with some special friends,” Jacqui Daley from Carrington said.
The rain, which began at 8pm and built to a spectacular thunder and lightning show an hour later, did little to deter the celebrations.
The scheduled 9pm fireworks display was eventually cancelled at 10.05pm.
Earlier in the evening the the water’s edge attracted those looking to unwind on a blanket and reflect. A stone’s throw away, the carnival on Wharf Road provided entertainment and adventure for young and old alike.
“I spent 15 years away from Newcastle. It’s a much better place now. I love the multi-cultural aspect the city has,” Alison Wark said.
For Shandelle Peters and Ashlee Smith (pictured), who recently met via Tinder, Newcastle harbour was the perfect backdrop for their first date.
“My New Year’s resolution is to try something new, so here we are,” Ms Peters said.
While the night was still young, both agreed their date was off to good start.
“It’s totally cool sitting by the harbour eating ice cream,” Ms Smith said.
The scheduled new year fireworks may have been the main attraction, but the improved urban amenity of the foreshore wasn’t lost on thousands of party goers.
For some it was the first time they have been to Newcastle since the completion of the light rail construction for others it confirmed what they had hoped would be achieved by opening up the harbour to the city.
“It’s the first time we have been into Newcastle for New Year’s Eve for about 15 years -we usually go to Sydney or Warners Bay, Helen Sibthorpe from Jewells said.
“I really like what’s happening in Newcastle. It’s been painful but I think it will be worth it.”
The recently completed Market Street Lawn and water spout gained the approval of dozens of youngsters keen to cool off on a balmy evening.
Among those enjoying the attractions were Tim and Carina Schiaffi from Elebanna who brought children Annika, Savannah, Flynn and Mason to see the fireworks.
“This is the fifth time we have been, the free stuff they have for the kids is really cool,” Ms Schiaffi said.
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