Victoria

NYE party keeps going long after sunrise on New Year's Day

The fireworks had fizzled out and the bubbly went flat, but the party wasn't over for many who partied through the night and into Melbourne's first daylight hours of 2016.

Melburnians who were sensible enough to go to bed woke up to cooler conditions on Friday, but by that stage many were yet to sleep at all. 

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Happy New Year Melbourne!

Fireworks light up the city of Melbourne to kick-start 2016. (Vision courtesy Seven News Melbourne)

Scores of merrymakers danced while the sun rose over St Kilda Beach on New Year's Day, while some slept in the nearby sand.  

One man was startled to wake on the beach completely naked and subject to considerable attention from an equally startled crowd of onlookers. 

A weary partier awakes to find himself nude and highly visible at St Kilda Beach on New Year's Day.
A weary partier awakes to find himself nude and highly visible at St Kilda Beach on New Year's Day. Photo: Chris Hopkins

About  80,000 people congregated across the St Kilda foreshore – first families, and later backpackers – and up to 20,000 stayed there after midnight.

When the clock struck 12, some rushed into the sea to welcome 2016.

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A Port Phillip council crew started work at 4.30am to clean up rubbish along foreshore.

The council had pleaded with revellers not to "destroy" the beach after nearly six tonnes of rubbish, mainly glass, was strewn across the foreshore and South Beach Reserve during an impromptu rave on Christmas night.

Partygoers celebrate the first sunrise of 2016 at St Kilda Beach.
Partygoers celebrate the first sunrise of 2016 at St Kilda Beach. Photo: Chris Hopkins

The council had placed an extra 30,000 litres of bins around the foreshore to cope with the expected rubbish.

"It's disappointing that large amounts of rubbish, including glass, was left on our beaches and parks within a short walking distance of an available bin," mayor Bernadene Voss said.

While some were waking up, others were still partying at St Kilda Beach on Friday morning.
While some were waking up, others were still partying at St Kilda Beach on Friday morning.  Photo: Chris Hopkins

A cool change passed through the city on Thursday evening, bringing relief to those who were struggling to muster up a festive spirit in the 39-degree heat.

The temperature dropped to 30 degrees at 8.30pm, hit 24 degrees at 10.30pm and stayed in the low 20s overnight.

Families watch the fireworks in Melbourne on New Year's Eve.
Families watch the fireworks in Melbourne on New Year's Eve.  Photo: Luis Ascui

It was a comfortable 22 degrees in the city at 9am on Friday, with a partly cloudy day and a top of 27 expected.

Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan said the hundreds of extra trains, trams and buses worked well in taking the huge crowds home.

"Those crowds were disbursed in a reasonably orderly manner and in a good time and the system worked very, very well," she said.

About 250,00 people used public transport on New Year's Eve, she said, with 75 trains leaving Flinders Street Station just after midnight.

A total of 10 tonnes of fireworks were launched from 17 rooftops and other sites through the night, watched by throngs who lined the Yarra River.

More than half a million people were expected to come into the city, with four official live sites set up for prime viewing of the midnight fireworks.

A multicultural line-up of music and dance helped ramp up the celebrations at Federation Square. Crowds cheered and swung along to tunes from African beats to Japanese folk.

Thousands lined the Yarra River for live entertainment at Kings Domain, Docklands, Flagstaff and Treasury gardens before watching the fireworks from the city's best vantage points.

Hundreds of families were drawn to Yarra Park, taking advantage of the shade of the MCG for the early fireworks.

Children waved glow sticks as the sun set and counted down to the first fireworks as they watched local covers act Big City Beat.

Celebrations kicked off early at Yarra Park and Footscray Park.

Maribyrnong City Council deputy mayor Catherine Cumming said crowds exceeded last year's numbers after the festivities kicked off at 6.30pm.

"There are about 30,000 people here," Cr Cumming said.  

"The crowds started getting stronger about 7pm ... as soon as the sun went down the crowds started pouring in. We were a little worried because of the weather, [but] the crowd is absolutely humungous ... they are still coming in."

Cr Cumming said the non-alcoholic event was a "family-friendly affair" with "plenty of babies".

At Crown Casino, pop star Mariah Carey sang the old year away in front of an A-list crowd while her boyfriend, James Packer, looked on.

Far from the city, a festival atmosphere took over Apollo Bay as the immediate fire threat to communities closest to them subsided.

Families spilled out onto the beach and a carnival had been set up on the foreshore while tourists kept the town's restaurants and pubs busy.

At Falls Festival, British alternative rock outfit the Foals saw in the new year in front of 16,500 ecstatic revellers. The event had been forced to relocate to Mount Duneed Estate after bushfires threatening Lorne.

Police say revellers were generally well behaved across the state, despite illegal fireworks sparking dozens of fires

with Neelima Choahan, Tammy Mills, Rebecca Rubenstein, Kirsti Weisz and Rania Spooner