Lawrie Reid and his wife Tane Philp-Reid of ACT Fireworks set up for the New Year fireworks display on the beach at Batemans Bay on Monday. Photo: Jay Cronan
The south coast farewelled 2012 with a bang on Monday night.
Hundreds of families and holidaymakers packed Corrigans Beach, in Batemans Bay, to welcome 2013.
And the revellers were entertained by the biggest New Year's Eve fireworks display in years.
Bells Family Carnival at Batemans Bay
Ride in action at Bells Family Carnival at Batemans Bay. Photo: Jay Cronan
The midnight show was cancelled this year after alcohol-fuelled violence and anti-social behaviour by under-age drinkers caused mayhem at last year's event. The park was declared an alcohol-free zone and police enforced the booze ban.
The show was also bolstered by a cash injection by local businesses Berny's Fish & Chips and the Bayview Hotel, who combined with Bells Family Carnival to sponsor the annual fireworks display.
The new sponsors and combined show meant the 9.30pm family fireworks display was bigger and better than before.
ACT Fireworks provided 600 kilograms of explosives for the show. It took the fireworks operator Lawrie Reid about two hours to set up the 2000 shots, but only 20 minutes to fire them.
It was the 13th year Mr Reid, of Queanbeyan, had conducted the Batemans Bay display.
He hand-lit each shot and didn't choreograph the show in advance.
''I never do a display the same - even if I've got the same fireworks it will always be different,'' Mr Reid said.
''I start off slow, build up, then have a fake finale, a quiet spot, then build up again to the grand finale.
''You've got to give the crowd a false finale. Every good fireworks display gives the crowd a false finale and then a big finish.''
The Bells Family Carnival owner, Elwin Bell, said the carnival had been sponsoring the fireworks show for the past two decades.
''Fireworks are the cheapest form of entertainment in the world,'' he said.
Mr Bell said New Year's Eve and Australia Day were the biggest nights of the summer.
The carnival has entertained families and thrill-seekers at Batemans Bay over the summer months for 40 years.
''We've grown with Batemans Bay and Batemans Bay wouldn't be the same over summer without the carnival,'' he said.
The south coast's roads were heavily patrolled by police during the celebrations.