Spectacular celebrations touched with sadness
RADIANT colours exploded across the skies and the river city's crown jewel came to life as Brisbane celebrated the end of 2019 and toasted the start of a new decade.
But a solemnity has lingered over proceedings, because there has been little reason for celebration down south.
As Brisbane skies erupted in fireworks, families in New South Wales and Victoria battled flames in the country's worst fire season.
As Toowoomba resident Jack Wilson celebrated with his family at Kangaroo Point, he spared a thought for less-fortunate families in Victoria and New South Wales.
"I'm celebrating with a barbecue with the family and hopefully we'll make it through to midnight," Mr Wilson said.
"It's a contrast of events, celebrating up here when they're suffering down there so we're definitely thinking of them in this time."
Courtney Albertson from Clayfield was feeling fortunate as she ushered in the New Year with a picnic at Kangaroo Point cliffs.
"We're having a few drinks, cheese, chocolate, and a platter," she said.
"We are going to watch both of the fireworks at (8.30pm) and then at midnight."
Mrs Clarfield spared a thought and a schooner for her family, who weren't so lucky.
"We are from a country town down south where the fires are affecting so we're definitely going to have a few drinks for them tonight," she told The Courier-Mail.
Fortitude Valley resident Lisa Laundess was at South Bank to ring in the New Year.
"I'm actually originally from down south and my family and friends have been evacuated," she said.
"So it's tough, it feels a little bit sad that we're here celebrating and they can't be doing the same … but we'll celebrate for them."
Annice Lev was also among those at South Bank sparing a thought for our southern neighbours.
"I definitely feel for the people going through fires," she said.
"My family's actually in Gippsland at the moment and they can't go home to Melbourne because they're stuck at the holiday house.
"They're safe though so that's all that matters," she said.
Hearts were heavy for our southern counterparts but all eyes were on the skies for fireworks displays at 8.30 and midnight.
The Brisbane River erupted with colour for the city's biggest ever fireworks display.
The eight tonnes of explosives carried by nine barges detonated at South Bank, Howard Smith Wharves, Eagle St, Portside Wharf and, for the first time, the Regatta at Toowong.
Shells, snowdrops and blinking stars illuminated the city, supplemented by 10,000 individual pyrotechnic effects.
The early display was soundtracked by the year's biggest hits, the later event to the biggest hits of the decade. .
It was a consummation of light and sound watched by thousands of revellers and met with a chorus of applause and cheers.
Meanwhile, after a short delay due to high winds, Sydney skies burst to life, with firework displays continuing despite a controversial lead-up to the New Year.
Vantage points at Sydney Harbour were packed to capacity by 7.30pm; more than 1 million spectators were expected along Sydney foreshore.
Melbourne's New Year's celebrations were forecast to attract over 400,000 people.
Crowds packed the streets, parklands and riverbanks to watch 14-tonnes of fireworks blast kaleidoscopes into the Victorian skies.