Early birds ... thousands line up outside Mrs Macquaries Chair for the New Year's Eve fireworks. Photo: Nick Moir
The distinctly Australian scent of sweat and sunscreen fills the air at Mrs Macquarie's Point, where more than 6000 eager revellers have claimed their spot on the shores of Sydney's harbour for the New Year's Eve fireworks displays.
The queues began forming at 10am on Sunday around the Royal Botanic Gardens and the Domain as tourists, families and locals sought the best vantage points for the show.
Tan time ... vantage point secured, revellers settle in for the wait. Photo: Nick Moir
Among them is 51-year-old Gustav Garcia from Blacktown, who has been waiting since 9am today - a comparatively short amount of time considering the quality of his viewpoint.
"It's an absolute madhouse!" he said with a laugh. "But a good day out, everyone is in the right frame of mind."
A keen photographer, Mr Garcia is returning to Mrs Macquarie's Point for the first time in 12 years, along with his family, a few parasols and a well-stocked picnic basket.
Pier pressure ... seating arrives early on the end of Pier 1 in Walsh Bay. Photo: Dean Sewell
"It's such a fantastic view, we thought we ought to come back again this year."
The patch of grass where the Garcia family have set up camp is packed with revellers from around the world.
Some 17,000 people are expected to crowd Mrs Macquarie's Point by sunset, and a large portion of them are overseas tourists, including 23-year-old English traveller Amy Simmance, who arrived with a group of friends about 6am today.
"It's definitely worth it for this view," she explained. "This is probably the only time we'll get to spend a New Year's Eve in Sydney, so we're happy to brave the crowds and wait around in the heat."
A spokeswoman for the Royal Botanic Gardens, Karla Davies, said although the crowds are immense, the day seemed to be running smoothly.
Under the shade of the fig trees, the event organisers had set up several food tents, portaloos and ATMs.
"Everyone's here to enjoy the view from one of the world's most beautiful gardens, so spirits are high and everyone is behaving really well," she said.