Lighting bridge for NYE like climbing Everest

Posted .

Sydney Harbour will light up like never before this New Year's Eve, with the Sydney Harbour Bridge lit shore to shore until 1am for the first time.

New lighting effects will stretch from the harbour foreshore in the south at Dawes Point, across the bridge arch and roadway, to the northern foreshore at Milsons Point. The spectacular show will capture the theme for New Year's Eve 2018, 'the pulse of Sydney'.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the world will watching Sydney as we ring in the New Year.

"Sydney New Year's Eve is always special, whether you are enjoying the event from the Sydney Harbour or watching on television at home," the Lord Mayor said.

"Our fireworks maestro Fortunati Foti and Lighting Director Ziggy Ziegler have yet again worked together to create spectacular new fireworks and lighting effects for tonight's celebration.

"I wish everyone a happy and safe new year."

It has taken around 800 hours for engineers and expert installers to navigate the bridge and create dramatic new bridge lighting effects - 80 more hours than last year.

Lighting Director Ziggy Ziegler said the large-scale installation had been a technical challenge.

"Each year we try to see how far the engineers want to go and we've thought about this new lighting configuration for many years," Mr Ziegler said.

"We found a way, but it's been like they're climbing down Mount Everest as they install and sustain the continuous lighting along the whole of the bridge structure.

"It's difficult because the angle of the bridge as you go down is quite steep, so the chaps are working on very tricky angles, and that's one reason we hadn't done this before.

"Originally we only used the top of the bridge, gradually we figured out how to get lights on the roadways, now we're using the entire bridge structure from shore to shore.

"It's going to be a big party of colour that will last all night this year, especially across the bridge that will be lit up longer than ever before.

"There'll be new bright pinks and bright oranges adding to the usual cooler tones of white and blue. It's definitely about keeping it fun and vibrant and always moving."

This year the Harbour of Light Parade vessels will together carry more than 12km of lights and 3,000 individually programmed bulbs to create synchronised light patterns throughout the evening.

The 55 vessels will also feature coloured lights this year, replacing the traditional white lights.

This New Year's Eve, the Luna Park ferris wheel will also be part of the show, with a co-ordinated lighting displays.

"We're having more fun with the lighting this year. Rather than just being a sitting backdrop, lighting will be a part of the show, helping bring the harbour and the Sydney Harbour Bridge to life like never before, and adding to the fireworks shows," Mr Ziegler said.

The dazzling lighting effects will join a line-up of new elements that will help an anticipated crowd of more than 1 million around the harbour and 1 billion worldwide see in the New Year on Sydney Harbour:

  • A five-minute mini-movie animation created with award-winning Australian pop duo Client Liaison and inspired by the Aussie music anthem, 'Great Southern Land', will be projected onto the Sydney Harbour Bridge pylons
  • More than 100,000 individual pyrotechnic effects will light up the harbour, Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, with the 9pm family fireworks and midnight displays featuring never-before-seen fireworks effects.
  • A new Aboriginal segment, Calling Country, will be shown on the Harbour Bridge pylons and see Sydney mark age-old traditions as well as the International Year of Indigenous languages in 2019.

For New Year's Eve event information, visit the Sydney New Year's Eve website.

For media inquiries or images, contact the City of Sydney media team. Phone 0448 005 718 or email

For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, contact Matthew Phillips. Phone 0436 817 973 or email

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