PHOTOS: Australia, Pacific Nations Ring in the New Year as January 1 Begins Arrival Around the Globe

Australia has rung in the New Year with seven tons of fireworks making Sydney’s Harbour Bridge ‘rain purple’ in a tribute to the late singer Prince.

Around 1.5 million revellers surrounded the harbour to join in the festivities.

An extra 2,000 police were on duty and buses were used to block off certain pedestrian areas following the deadly truck-driving attacks in Berlin and Nice, France.

After a year that saw the deaths of a seemingly endless parade of entertainers, Sydney honoured some of the most beloved.

There was a nod to the David Bowie classic ‘Space Oddity,’ with Saturn, moon and star-shaped fireworks. Bowie lived in Sydney for about 10 years during the 1980s and ’90s.

The fireworks launched from barges on the harbor also included a ‘Willy Wonka moment’ in tribute to the late actor Gene Wilder’s most famous role.

Tonga and Samoa in the Polynesian Triangle and Kiribati in the Central Pacific were among the first places in the world to see in 2017.

They entered the New Year at 10am GMT on Saturday, 31 December, celebrating with traditional dancing and flame throwing.

Auckland, in New Zealand, followed ringing in the New Year at 11am GMT. Five hundred kilos of fireworks were blasted from the city’s Sky Tower in just five minutes with Max Key, the son of former Prime Minister John Key, performing a DJ set.

Danish tennis star Caroline Wozniacki, who is in Auckland, tweeted: ‘Wishing everyone a happy and healthy New Year from Auckland! Excited to see what 2017 has in store.’

The last place on earth to observe 2017 will be remote and uninhabited US islands, including Baker Island and Howland Island.

SOURCE: Daily Mail